Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A

Department of Labor Guidance on Health Clinics’ Responsibility to Provide Sick/Parental Leave

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a very helpful set of Q&As on related to office/clinic operations related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

Of interest to doctors of chiropractic is Q&A 56 which provides:

Who is a “health care provider” who may be excluded by their employer from paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave?

For the purposes of Employees who may be exempted from Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave by their Employer under the FFCRA, a health care provider is anyone employed at any doctor’s office, hospital, health care center, clinic, post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, local health department or agency, nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider, any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, Employer, or entity. This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.

This definition includes any individual employed by an entity that contracts with any of these institutions described above to provide services or to maintain the operation of the facility where that individual’s services support the operation of the facility. This also includes anyone employed by any entity that provides medical services, produces medical products, or is otherwise involved in the making of COVID-19 related medical equipment, tests, drugs, vaccines, diagnostic vehicles, or treatments. This also includes any individual that the highest official of a State or territory, including the District of Columbia, determines is a health care provider necessary for that State’s or territory’s or the District of Columbia’s response to COVID-19.

To minimize the spread of the virus associated with COVID-19, the Department encourages employers to be judicious when using this definition to exempt health care providers from the provisions of the FFCRA.

Please note that a doctor of chiropractic is defined as a “health care provider” under the applicable statute and his or her employees are also considered health care providers for purposes of this DOL guidance. Therefore, a doctor of chiropractic may elect to exclude his or her employees from eligibility for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. 

April 3, 2020