On Sept. 11, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued revisions to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act regulations, which implement paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. FFCRA requires private-sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers to provide covered employees emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.
The revisions clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions after an Aug. 3 decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York nullified key sections of the regulations.
According to a DOL press release, the revisions to the temporary rule 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.
The revisions to the temporary rule will be effective from Sept. 16, 2020, through the expiration of the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions on Dec. 31, 2020.
FFCRA FAQs are available here.