transforming risk into opportunity
October 12, 2021
absence management
Absence Management During COVID-19

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) came out in April 2020.  The FFCRA requires certain employers (those with less than 500 employees) to provide employees with paid sick leave (up to 80 hours) or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.   These provisions expired as of December 31, 2020.  Since the expiration, many state and local lawmakers have stepped in to fill in the gaps by placing temporary mandates on employers to pay workers who are sick, need isolation, or seek COVID-19 testing or vaccination.  The myriad of different state and local regulations are convoluted at best.  Adding to the complexity, many employers have also chosen to provide their own COVID sick leaves.  Many of which are covering employees in states that did not mandate COVID sick leaves, extended sick time, or cover the exhausted federal/state/local mandate.


The requirement to track and manage COVID-related leave has created an administrative burden for many employers.  Within our capacity, TRISTAR has committed certain resources to help and relieve some of these regulatory pressures—including but not limited to:


  • Helping clients manage when an employee or the family member they are caring for is severely incapacitated due to COVID and is under a doctor's care—tracking time-off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


  • Assisting clients with managing both mandated and company discretionary COVID sick leaves.  TRISTAR would help set up intake, communication, document collection, and manage the return-to-work processes.  Employees are advised to wait to hear back from their employer on approval/denial, and payments are processed accordingly. 


  • Unpaid personal leave not covered by federal/state/local government.


  • With the uptick of vaccination, employers are starting to transition employees back to work.  Some employees are mandated to get vaccinated before they can work onsite.  Within limit, we are also assisting employers that are allowing employees to apply for vaccination exemptions due to medical or religious reasons.  TRISTAR has agreed to take on any medical exemptions for clients who have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services with us since these requests legally fall under the ADA.


We expect to see an increase in demand for service accommodations as outlined above.  Much of the tasks are outside the normal scope of service.  Yet, it is TRISTAR's sincere belief to help alleviate these demands during this trying time.  For more information on how TRISTAR's absence management can help assist your program, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at



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