Wyatt Employment Law Report

Congress Jumps Aboard the H1N1 Bandwagon

Leave a comment

By George J. Miller

As if the flood of information and guidance from OSHA and the CDC were not enough to help employers and employees deal with the threat of H1N1 in the workplace, Congress has now gotten into the act.  On November 3rd, the Emergency Influenza Containment Act (H.R. 3991) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This bill would guarantee a maximum of five paid sick days for employees who are sent home or directed to stay home by their employer because they have symptoms of a contagious illness, or have been in close contact with an individual who has symptoms of a contagious illness, such as the H1N1 flu virus.

As if this were not enough, a second bill, the Pandemic Protection for Workers, Families and Businesses Act (S.2790/H.R. 4092) was introduced on November 17th in the House and Senate.  This bill would give employees up to seven paid sick days to use for leave due to their own flu-like symptoms, or for medical diagnosis or preventative care, or to care for a sick child, or to care for a child whose school or child care facility has been closed due to the flu.

Both bills would take effect fifteen days after being signed into law but would automatically terminate after two years.  They would apply only to employers of fifteen or more employees.

If both bills are enacted into law, it is not clear whether there would be circumstances under which an employee could stack the leave entitlements under the two laws and take up to twelve paid days off.

Author: Kim Koratsky

Labor & employment lawyer with the Memphis, Tennessee office of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP

Leave a reply. Please note that although this blog may be helpful in informing clients and others who have an interest in information privacy and security, it is not intended to be legal advice. The information on this blog also should not be relied upon to form an attorney-client relationship.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s