U.S. Department of Labor Clarifies Paid Leave Requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued revised regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which affect an employer’s obligations to provide paid sick leave and expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to its employees. The revisions were prompted by a New York federal court decision which determined that four provisions of the original regulations were invalid. The revised regulations do the following:
- Reaffirm that employees are not eligible for leave under FFCRA if the employer has no work available for them to perform.
- Reaffirm that an employee can take intermittent leave under FFCRA only with the employer’s consent. Intermittent leave is “leave taken in separate periods of time due to a single illness or injury, rather than for one continuous period of time.”
- Narrow the definition of “Health Care Providers” and “Emergency Responders” – both of which are excluded from eligibility under the expanded family and medical leave and paid sick leave portions of the FFCRA.
- Clarify that notice of an employee’s need to take FFCRA leave and supporting documentation need not be given prior to taking leave but must be given to an employer as soon as practicable.
State and Federal regulations and guidance related to COVID-19 continues to change. You should always contact your legal or financial professional to obtain the most up to date and relevant information for your individual circumstances. If you are an employer with 500 or fewer employees and you need assistance interpreting the FFCRA, we can help! Email: Jeff Venzie at email@example.com or Julie Pfaff at firstname.lastname@example.org.