Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) submitted revised regulations for the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Covering employers with fewer than 500 employees, the FFCRA created two different leave entitlements related to COVID-19: emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and expanded Family and Medical Leave (E-FMLA). To assist employers with administering FFCRA leaves, the DOL enacted the initial regulations in March 2020. These revisions are the result of an August 3, 2020, Southern District of New York (District Court) court ruling, which invalidated the following four aspects of the DOL’s original regulations:
FFCRA leave is only available if the employee has work to take leave from;
The definition of “health care provider”;
An employee may only take intermittent leave under the FFCRA with an employer’s permission; and
An employee must provide documentation to their employer for FFCRA leave before the leave is taken.
The District Court’s ruling left employers with a lot of unanswered questions. The ruling was not clear on whether it applied to just employers within the District Court’s jurisdiction in New York or whether it applied to all employers nationwide. To help resolve this ambiguity, the DOL’s submitted revised regulations attempt to address the district court’s rationale for invalidating the four original FFCRA provisions. Read More