COVID-19: The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division has issued guidance to employers and employees regarding the paid leave requirements under the recently enacted federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave and expanded benefits under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
Our prior client alert summarizing employers’ obligations under the FFCRA can be read here. This alert summaries the new DOL guidance. The DOL continues to issue guidance, and we will continue to issue further alerts as needed.
- An employer that has closed a worksite, whether voluntarily or as required by law, need not provide affected employees with paid sick leave or expanded medical leave under the FFCRA.
- An employer that has reduced its employees’ work hours need not provide affected employees with paid sick leave or expanded medical leave for the hours they are no longer scheduled to work.
- Employees may take paid sick leave or expanded medical leave on an intermittent basis (i.e., in less than full-day increments) for qualifying reasons, but only to the extent they obtain the employer’s permission for the intermittent leave.
- Employees who are not entitled to leave under the FFCRA may be eligible for expanded unemployment benefits under the federal CARES Act and applicable state laws.
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP’s Employment Practices and Litigation Group, named the 2019 Litigation Department of the Year for Employment by New York Law Journal, represents companies in connection with employment-related litigation, policies and practices. Our lawyers are well-versed in state and federal laws in this fast-changing area, including laws applicable to layoffs, plant closings, reductions in force, and the litigation of all types of statutory and contractual employment-related claims. Please contact Mark W. Lerner (212-506-1728) or Jessica T. Rosenberg (212-506-1789) if you have any questions.