Q Capital Archive

Emergency Influenza Containment Act

On November 3, 2009, a Bill, referred to as the “Emergency Influenza Containment Act”, was introduced into the House of Representatives. This Bill, likely prompted by the H1N1 outbreak, would provide an employee with up to five (5) days of paid sick leave per twelve (12) month period when the employer “directs an employee to leave work or not to come in to work because the employer believes the employee has symptoms of a contagious illness, or has been in close contact with an individual who has symptoms of a contagious illness . . . .” (H.R. 3991). Notably, an employer who fails to provide such paid sick leave pursuant to this Bill would be deemed to be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act insofar as, among other things, being considered to have willfully failed to pay minimum wage to the affected employee. The Bill would be effective no later than fifteen (15) days after the date of enactment, would apply to businesses with fifteen (15) or more employees, and would specifically apply to “influenza-like-illnesses such as the novel H1N1 virus.”

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