Do we still have to provide emergency paid sick leave or expanded FMLA if we lay off or furlough employees?
No. Employers who are closed — either due to lack of business or a state or local order — do not have to provide these leaves because they don’t have work available. Employees who are furloughed (temporarily not working but still on the payroll) are also not entitled to these benefits. In either of these cases, employees may be eligible for unemployment insurance instead. However, employers should ensure that they are not making furlough or layoff decisions based on an employee’s request or potential need for leave, as this would likely be considered interference or retaliation (and grounds for a lawsuit).