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Mar 2020
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March 30, 2020

DOL Issues More Q&As on FMLA and Paid Sick Leave Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

As previously discussed in Warner’s Q&A for Paid Sick Leave eAlert (3.25.20), the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to issue guidance on the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act and Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), primarily through online questions and answers (Q&As). Yesterday, March 29, 2020, the DOL added 20 additional Q&As which can be found here. While not as significant as previous submissions, these Q&As do provide some additional information, including:
 
  • Making clear that the amount of leave available under the FMLA expansion is limited by the number of weeks an employee still has available to them under regular FMLA. So, if an employee has already used eight weeks of FMLA in the applicable 12 month period, they would only have four weeks to use under the FMLA expansion.
  • Making clear that COVID-19 sick leave is in addition to any and all other forms of company or state mandated sick leave.
  • Defining full-time employees (entitled to 80 hours of sick leave) as employees normally scheduled to work 40 hours or more per week and part-time employees (entitled to the number of hours they average over a two-week period) as employees scheduled to work fewer than 40 hours.
  • Providing detail on what a small business (fewer than 50 employees) needs to show to demonstrate that providing COVID-19 sick leave and FMLA would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern and thus need not be provided.
  • Providing employees with DOL contact information if they believe their employer is not complying with the Act.
  • Defines the “health care provider” exemption broadly to include “anyone employed at” various health care facilities, as well as other entities that contract with the health care providers to offer services or that maintain the operations of the facility.

If you have questions about the material summarized above or any other issues surrounding the FFCRA, please contact any member of Warner’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. As a reminder, the Labor and Employment Practice group will be hosting another webinar on the FFCRA on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. You can register here.

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