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On Aug. 3, an Obama-appointed federal judge in New York nullified key sections of the U.S. Department of Labor’s rules governing paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Of greatest concern to construction, the decision invalidates previous DOL guidance restricting paid leave during layoffs and furloughs and the DOL rules requiring employer consent to paid intermittent leave and employees to provide documentation before taking leave. (The judge also declared unlawful the broad definition of “health care providers,” who had been exempted from the leave requirements.)

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 FFCRA’s paid leave provisions went into effect on April 1, 2020 and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.

The decision creates many issues for construction industry employers who have been obeying the DOL rules now declared to be unlawful. For more information, listen to this Aug. 4 ABC webinar, New COVID-19 Paid Leave Issues for Employers as the Country Reopens, where ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin from Littler Mendelson P.C. addresses the impact of the court decision. You can read more on this decision in this analysis from Littler.

Employers should continue to monitor Newsline for updates on the case and its impact on the rules governing paid leave.