Signed into law March 18, 2020, the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act will apply from the effective date through December 31. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) have provided further interpretation, of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act), advising only certain employers are required to provide employees with the leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
“When facing challenges such as this current outbreak, it is imperative to stay in close contact with trusted advisors to ensure that you have access to the most up-to-date data and strategies available for navigating the situation at hand,” advised Esra Hudson, an attorney with Manatt in Los Angeles. Now is the time for employers to review and revise their sick-leave policies Employment and Labor Law attorneys suggest.
What Employers Cannot Do:
- Force or require an employee to use other paid leave before using the paid sick time provided in the new legislation.
- Force or require an employee to find a replacement to cover his/her scheduled work hours.
- Retaliate against an employee for any of the following reasons:
- Taking leave according to the act.
- Filing a complaint or participating in a proceeding to enforce the act.
The paid leave benefits are available immediately to any employee regardless of how long the worker has been employed once the law is in effect. Note, that benefits are subject to statutory caps per employee and dependent upon qualifying reasons for the leave. Tracking these will help employers take advantage of any associated tax credits.
To find out if your company is required to provide these new provisions, read our blog Am I a Covered Employer Under the Updated FMLA.
Even during this uncertain time, businesses are still required to maintain compliance with labor law posters. Have remote workers? Sign up, for our Virtual Compliance Guide. Where you can access all mandatory labor law posters digitally at any time, add new users, select additional states, and more.