Our members seeking to remain in compliance with changes to paid leave regulations stemming from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will want to look at the Department of Labor’s (DOL) revisions to paid leave regulations following a court decision which found portions of the regulations invalid. As announced by DOL:
“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted revisions to regulations that implemented the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The revisions made by the new rule clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, in light of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s August 3, 2020 decision that found portions of the regulations invalid.
The revisions do the following:
Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them.
Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that an employee must have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently.
Revise the definition of “health care provider” to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.
Clarify that employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable.
Correct an inconsistency regarding when employees may be required to provide notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave to their employers.
The Department issued its initial temporary rule implementing provisions under the FFCRA on April 1, 2020. The revisions to that temporary rule will become effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to American businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with paid leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the wages employers must pay. The law enables employers to provide paid leave reimbursed by tax credits, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.