DOL Provides Guidance on the Families First Act

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April 6, 2020

DOL Provides Guidance on the Families First Act

The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) at the website below:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Included at this site are fact sheets and questions & answers (Q&A) related to the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA.  Also included is a poster that is required to be displayed in workplaces and supplied to employees working remotely.

The questions & answers have clarified several issues:

  • The effective date of the FFCRA will be April 1, 2020, at the beginning of the 2nd quarter for payroll reporting purposes per FFCRA Q&A# 1.
  • If employees cannot work because their employers are subject to a government shutdown order or they are ordered to shelter at home, the employees will not qualify for the emergency paid leave or the expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA.  See FFCRA Q&A# 23 – 27.  This is the opposite of most initial interpretations of the law before this DOL guidance.  The DOL points out that these employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • FFCRA Q&A# 56 defines a health care provider who may be excluded by their employer from paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave of the FFCRA.  The Q&A  states that anyone employed by a doctor’s office, hospital or other healthcare provider may be exempted along with employees of entities that provide services or maintain the operations of healthcare facilities.
  • FFCRA Q&A# 2 states that an employer will determine if they have less than 500 employees at the time the employee’s leave is to be taken.

The questions and answers provide guidance regarding various scenarios related to the use of the FFCRA paid leave and expanded family and medical leave including treatment of part-time workers, intermittent use of leave and other issues.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

COVID-19 Task Force