On Friday, September 11, 2020, the DOL updated its regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), clarifying certain provisions that were previously struck down by a federal court in the Southern District of New York. The updated Rule takes effect September 16, 2020. The complete text of the Rule be found here.
Two important points of interest for all FFCRA employers:
First, the Final Rules reaffirms the DOL's stance that leave under the FFCRA can be taken "only if the employee has work from which to take leave." In other words, employees on furlough on are not entitled to FFCRA leave.
Second, the DOL reaffirmed its previous interpretation of the FFCRA that intermittent leave under the law is allowed only if an employee gets permission from their employer to do so.
As a refresher:
- The FFCRA became effective April 1, 2020 and remains in place until December 31, 2020.
- The law applies to most employers with under 500 employees and provides employees with two weeks - up to 80 hours - of leave at full pay (up to a cap) if they're sick or have to quarantine due to COVID-19.
- The FFCRA provides up to 80 hours at 2/3 partial pay (up to a cap) if workers have to care for sick family members or children home due to school closures (including virtual school).
- The law also provides an additional 10 weeks (at 2/3 pay) to workers who still can't work or telework due to school or childcare closures after the initial 2 weeks of Paid Sick Leave.
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