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When Paid Leave Isn’t Required, What’s the Best Course?

Sick man is flu, using a paper napkin and he have a runny nose. And he was covered in warm cloth.Health conceptWhat happens on January 1, after the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act sunsets and all the paid leave entitlements disappear (if Congress doesn’t act soon)? Did Congress think that the virus would be well under control and that these leaves wouldn’t be needed by now? Very disappointing. As an employment lawyer, I’m going to recommend to my clients that, at a minimum, they maintain flexibility for working parents and permit unpaid leaves to care for children who have no care or whose schools are closed. Employers must also allow leave for employees who have COVID symptoms or have been in close contact with a person diagnosed or strongly suspected of having COVID. If the company can’t afford to pay all of its employees, I’d still strongly recommend providing unpaid job-protected leave. First, safety is key; a sick employee will come to work if they can’t afford a missed paycheck or think they might lose their job if they don’t show. This leads to sick employees, clients, and customers. Second, this will pass, and employers will be rewarded with more loyal employees after the pandemic ends. Also, remember that the state or city in which the company operates may pass its own leave laws. The employer must be cognizant of these.

Contact me to discuss the laws applicable to your business, which may include the laws of states in which your employees live and telework.


For over 25 years, Katherine has provided her clients with robust representation in matters of employment and related business law. Katherine represents and counsels employers and executives in all facets of the employment relationship, including hiring, termination, discrimination, non-competition, Fair Labor Standards Act matters, issues regarding Family and Medical Leave and other leaves, whistleblowers’ complaints, and regulatory matters.  As a litigator, she is well aware of the nuances of law necessary to draft effective restrictive covenants, severance agreements, and employment contracts.  Along with her over 250 colleagues, she represents companies and non-profit organizations of all sizes. She has defended companies under investigation by both U.S. and state Departments of Labor and handled multiple matters before the EEOC.


Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the United States. With 14 offices in seven states, and the District of Columbia, and growing by 50% in two years through expansions in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, Offit Kurman is well-positioned to meet the legal needs of dynamic businesses and the individuals who own and operate them. For over 30 years, we’ve represented privately held companies and families of wealth throughout their business life cycles.

Whatever and wherever your industry, Offit Kurman is the better way to protect your business, preserve your family’s wealth, and resolve your most challenging legal conflicts. At Offit Kurman, we distinguish ourselves by the quality and breadth of our legal services—as well as our unique operational structure, which encourages a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurialism. The same approach that makes our firm attractive to legal practitioners also gives clients access to experienced counsel in every area of the law.

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Author: Katherine Witherspoon Fry, Esq.
Articles have been Reprinted with permission from the charlotte observer and Mike Hunter.

* These articles and related content on this website are provided without warranty of any kind and in no way constitute or provide legal advice. You are advised to contact an attorney specializing in Association Management for legal advice related to your specific issue and community. Some articles are provided by thrid parties and online services. Display of these articles does in no way endorse the products or services of Community Association Management by the author(s).