US Dept. of Labor Issues New Guidance on Paid Leave Law as Businesses Reopen
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
The Department of Labor has provided additional guidance for employers on how the additional protections and requirements of various workplace laws can impact them under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"). The guidance supplements the temporary rule issued by the DOL in April. Final regulations are still forthcoming.
The DOL's new set of "Questions and Answers" is targeted to clarify application of the FFCRA. The FFCRA paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. The law applies to private employers that have fewer than 500 employees.
The FCCRA provides (1) paid sick leave and (2) paid family medical leave under certain circumstances created by COVID-19. The new FAQs focus heavily on how employers can reopen closed businesses in accordance with FFCRA's requirements. The Q&A also addresses the situation of returning furloughed employees to work, and explains how their leave entitlement should be counted.
Employers may not discriminate or retaliate against anyone for availing themselves under FFCRA protections. Continued monitoring of DOL guidance for additional updates or changes is prudent for businesses.