DOL Issues First Official Guidance for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Recently the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its first official guidance for employers and employees regarding the two paid-leave provisions in the coronavirus relief bill signed into law on March 18th. We now know this new law will take effect April 1 , 2020.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA’s) emergency paid-leave provisions apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, with exceptions available for small businesses and companies employing health care workers.

For the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, many employers will have to provide up to 80 hours of paid-sick-leave benefits if an employee requires leave to care for their own or someone else’s coronavirus-related issues. This new legislation also updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide workers with up to an additional 10 weeks of job-protected paid leave when they are unable to work or telework due to the school or child care service of their child (under the age of 18) having been closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These leave provisions take effect April 1st and expire on Dec. 31st

The FFCRA will not be applied retroactively to any employee, and employers cannot deny paid sick leave to workers who have already accrued or been provided leave for a qualifying reason before the act’s effective date, according to the DOL.

Within the FFCRA employees will be provided payroll tax credits to employers to cover the cost of having to provide paid leave to employees under these new sick-leave and family-leave programs

We understand many employers and employees are unsure how to apply this new law and/or access its benefits given how new and quickly it was created. It’s important to continue to look for updates and guidance concerning implementation.

First Set of DOL Guidelines

The DOL’s first set of guidance announced late yesterday, March 24th, includes various items such as fact sheets, Q&A documents, and posters. The department plans to provide additional information and compliance assistance as they continue working around the clock to finalize information and tools for employees and employers.

Please find links below from the DOL website:

Fact Sheets

Questions and Answers

Posters

Additional Resources

Visit Barnes Dennig’s COVID-19 Resource Center for a comprehensive list of communications. Please contact our COVID-19 Advisory Team or any of our leadership team at Barnes Dennig to discuss.

Barnes Dennig COVID-19 Advisory Team Leaders: