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This week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released updated regulations that clarify provisions of the paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave provisions created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The new temporary rule was the DOL’s response to a recent New York court ruling that invalidated some of the FFCRA’s provisions regarding administration of paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave. The revisions took effect on September 16, 2020 and clarified the following:

Work Availability. Employees may take FFCRA leave only when their employer has work available for them. If no work is available, the employee is not eligible to take FFCRA leave. This requirement applies to all qualifying reasons for FFCRA leave.

Intermittent leave. Employees must have the approval of their employer to take intermittent FFCRA leave.

Documentation. Employees must provide documentation to their employer as soon as possible to support their need for FFCRA leave.

Health Care Provider Exemption. The definition of “health care provider” was revised to mean only employees who meet the definition of the term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or who provide diagnostic, preventative, treatment, or other services that are necessary to patient care.

Under the FFCRA, which covers the period April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide paid sick leave to employees for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons. The FFCRA provides payroll tax credits to employers to cover this paid leave.

For more background about the FFCRA and its paid leave provisions please see our original post published March 30, 2020n

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