U.S. DOL Revises Regulations to Clarify Paid Leave Requirements under the FFCRA
October 12, 2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on September 11, 2020 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 in an Aug. 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 have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently.
• Revise the definition of “healthcare 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.
“As the economy continues to rebound, more businesses return to full capacity, and schools reopen, the need for clarity regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid leave provisions may be greater than ever,” said Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “Today’s updates respond to this evolving situation and address some of the challenges the American workforce faces. Our continuing robust response to this pandemic balances support for workers and employers alike, and remains our priority.”
The DOL issued its initial temporary rule implementing provisions under the FFCRA on April 1, 2020. The revisions to the temporary rule which will become effective Sept. 16, 2020 in the Federal Register can be found here.
Read the entire press release from the U.S. DOL here.