[hypothetical] My child’s school has been closed because of the pandemic influenza. My child is not sick, but I cannot find a babysitter. What are my leave options?
There is no authority that would permit an employee to use sick leave to care for a child who is healthy or kept at home to prevent exposure to the flu. An employee is not necessarily entitled to use sick leave just because the child’s school has been closed to prevent exposure to the flu (a commonly used tool for social distancing) or for sanitation of the school building. Once the CDC has determined the flu is a serious communicable disease and a health care authority or health care provider has determined that the child’s exposure to the communicable disease would jeopardize the health of others, the employee would be entitled to use sick leave to care for that child.
An employee may use a total of up to 104 hours (13 days) of sick leave each leave year care for a child or other family member exposed to a serious communicable disease. In addition, depending on the particular circumstances, an employee may request to use annual leave, advanced annual leave, advanced sick leave or other paid time off, such as earned compensatory time off, earned compensatory time off for travel, and earned credit hours. An employee may also request leave without pay. Employees should consult with their agency human resources office to determine how their agency policy applies to their situation.