Updates to the Federal Coronavirus (COVID-19) Paid-Leave Mandate Provide Clarification for Employers and Employees

Last week, we wrote about legislative actions at both the state and federal level requiring different types of  leave and COVID-19. As news and developments surrounding the pandemic continue to evolve, so do updates on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This is federal legislation that temporarily expands the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to protect workers and assist employers in providing emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, for working families impacted by COVID-19.

There has been some confusion from employers and employees about the coronavirus paid-leave mandate. As such, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued two updates that we feel are important to share.

First, while FFCRA became law on March 18, 2020 the DOL confirms that the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions become effective on April 1, 2020 and apply to leave taken between April 1 and December 31, 2020. They also note that paid sick leave and expanded medical leave requirements are not retroactive. This means that employers may not take advantage of payroll tax credits allowed under paid sick leave and paid family leave provisions of the FFCRA for leave provided prior to April 1, 2020.

Second, the DOL provides its first set of guidance. What’s included?  

Most recently, the DOL has made available a required workplace poster. Employers with fewer than 500 employees, those subject the Act, must post the poster in their workplace as soon as possible and, to the extent they have workers working remotely, should distribute the same poster via email and/or post it on an internal or external website. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the DOL plans on providing more guidance and tools for employers and employees on a rolling basis.

Rose & Kiernan, Inc. continues to monitor and relay information related to the many aspects of dealing with COVID-19 and the workplace including legislative action and updates surrounding the coronavirus paid-leave mandate. We remind everyone to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce exposure, and will be available to answer questions throughout this time of uncertainty. Please contact us here or by calling (800) 242-4433.

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