The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released updated guidance on pandemic-related worker leave. Employees defined as healthcare workers aren’t mandated to have paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. According to the American Health Care Association (AHCA), “The new definition is limited to those providing healthcare services and those reporting to healthcare providers. This definition includes employees who may not directly interact with patients but provide services that are integrated with and necessary for the provision of patient care.”
Activities considered necessary for patient care include:
- Feeding patients who can’t perform an activity of daily living independently
For assisted living communities, this could mean direct care providers, certified nurse assistants, personal care assistants, or other employees who provide direct resident care. Before this clarification, all employees in a healthcare facility were included in the definition of healthcare provider and therefore excluded from the paid leave requirement, according to AHCA.
DOL defines covered employees as those “who do not provide healthcare services, even if their services could affect the provision of healthcare.” Examples including building maintenance staff, human resources personnel, cooks, food service workers, and records/billing personnel.