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Virus Closed Kid’s Camp? Now There’s New Guidance on Paid Leave

June 26, 2020, 5:34 PM

Workers at smaller companies can take paid leave to care for their children in the event that their summer camps are shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Labor Department announced.

Camps and other summer programs qualify as a “place of care” under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as do schools and daycare centers, the department said in a guidance bulletin issued Friday. That means a working parent is eligible for paid leave under the program if his or her child’s camp is canceled because of the virus.

The memo provides clarity on leave options as Covid-19 cases spike across about half the states.

The pandemic-related leave program provides eligible workers with two weeks of paid leave. The program also gives up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave, 10 of which are paid at two-thirds salary with a $200 per day cap.

Workers at firms with fewer than 500 employees generally qualify for the pandemic leave program. There are exemptions from the program for most health-care workers and those at small businesses with fewer than 50 workers.

School in Session?

The Labor Department also issued guidance on how virus-driven school closures affect child-labor protections. Those rules limit the number of hours 14- and 15-year-old kids can work in nonagricultural jobs when school’s in session. They also restrict the number of hours that minors aged 14 or older can work on a farm.

For nonagricultural work, school is considered to be in session during any week that students have to physically or virtually attend classes, the department said. School is out of session when it’s shut down and there’s no distance learning.

The same is generally true for agricultural work, although the determination of when school’s in session also takes into account the school calendar for the district where the minor lives, according to the department. Requiring distance learning is “an indication that school is in session,” it said.

“As workers and employers deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the workplace, the U.S. Department of Labor’s priorities include ensuring our response provides the support and information they need,” Cheryl Stanton, head of the Wage and Hour Division, said in a statement. “We will continue to provide guidance as new situations and issues arise.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Lauinger at; Martha Mueller Neff at