Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
July 16, 2020
 
Question:


Jennifer,

I have an employee taking vacation to south Florida.  Does she have to quarantine when she gets back? 

Thank you!  Stacy

Answer: 

So tough to answer this question and so many questions that are coming up daily on this forum, hence the absence of responses of late.  The answer here requires assessment of city, state and federal law, and interpretation of the practice's contractual relationship with the employee, policies and procedures.  I can see this assessment going a few different ways - perhaps we determine there is only paid leave  time available for this employee and the practice is exempt from "Families First" quarantine reimbursement - depending on the practice's size, prior treatment of employees similarly situated and contractual obligation to the employee, perhaps we can determine the employee is not required to quarantine and also not entitled to paid leave.  I can also see a determination the other way.   The practice may also want to use this scenario as a call for action to enact policy addressing voluntary leave.  My preference - on voluntary leave the employee is not entitled to paid leave, apart from banked sick or vacation time.  It is also up to practice policy / discretion whether the abide by the quarantine order, as practices can also potentially qualify as exempt essential services/workers.  

The best course of action - let's look at this before you make a determination with the employee.  Let's have support and document the path taken.