DoL Clarifies New Paid Leave Implementation

The FFCRA reimburses private US employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing paid leave related to COVID-19.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective Tuesday, April 1.

FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

“The FFCRA reflects a swift response by President Trump and Congress to the impact coronavirus is having on workers,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The bill provides unprecedented paid leave benefits to American workers affected by the virus, while ensuring that businesses are reimbursed dollar-for-dollar. This is one of a number of important actions being taken to protect and sustain workers and their families during this time of need.”

“With so many workers and so many employers struggling with the effects of these unprecedented conditions, this rule provides answers and relief,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “We remain committed to providing the information and tools required for employees and employers alike to be fully informed about their rights and protections under this new law.”

WHD will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA.

To view the webinar visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

WHD offers a number of plain-language compliance assistance materials to explain FFCRA’s benefits and requirements. Tools include a Fact Sheet for Employees and a Fact Sheet for Employers, available in both English and Spanish, and an expansive list of Questions and Answers addressing the questions WHD has most frequently received from stakeholders to date. Available guidance also includes two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, available in both English and Spanish, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law, Questions and Answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19 and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

 

For more information about the laws enforced by the WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

 

For further information about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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