One issue that employers are confronting amid concerns about the Ebola virus is whether to provide paid leave for employees who need to be quarantined for monitoring.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently mandated a 21-day quarantine for people returning from three affected countries in Africa who have had direct contact with people infected with the virus. Those whose employers will not pay their salaries for that time period will receive financial assistance from the state, he said.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees of larger companies to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition and guaranteed them a comparable job upon their return. If workers are just told to stay home and take their temperature twice a day, however, “there’s a very significant question of whether that would qualify as a serious health condition,” said Shannon D. Farmer, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group.

Most employers likely do not want any negative publicity that would result from laying off someone on Ebola quarantine, Ms. Farmer said. Complications could arise, she cautioned, if a worker who took a quarantine leave also needed to take additional leave in the same 12-month period for a different reason, such as having a baby or caring for an ailing relative.

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