On March 24, 2020, in advance of issuing its full regulations, the Department of Labor (DOL) published further guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This guidance, entitled Families First Response Act: Questions and Answers, does the following:
- Confirms the FFCRA will apply to leaves taken for qualifying reasons beginning April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. For further information regarding qualifying reasons, please see our March 22, 2020 blog post on the FFCRA. Thus, in order to take advantage of the benefits provided by the Act, employers should not provide employees with paid leave under the FFCRA until April 1st.
- Clarifies how to determine if related and/or separate entities, which each employ fewer than 500 employees but jointly employ 500 or more employees, are covered by the FFCRA.
- Confirms each employee may only take a maximum of 80 hours of paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, regardless of the number of qualifying reasons the employee may have to take time off. However, employees who are out of work due to school/childcare closures may still take up to an additional 10 weeks (or a total of 12 weeks) of paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.
- Clarifies how employers must count hours for part-time employees, how to calculate an employee’s regular rate of pay, and whether to calculate overtime hours when paying employees under the FFCRA.
- Provides additional information about how small business employers with less than 50 employees must process their request for an exemption from providing child care-related paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave because it would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. Details about criteria required to meet this exemption will be provided in more detail in the forthcoming regulations.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers are located here:
Further guidance for employees and employers, respectively, is located here:
If you have any questions regarding this summary or the provisions of the FFCRA, please contact one of the employment attorneys at Delfino Madden.