Employers Get First Round of Guidance on New Family Leave Law

Disaster Response

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced today its first round of published guidance to provide information to employers and employees about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1.

The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as:

  • How an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage;
  • How small businesses can obtain an exemption;
  • How to count hours for part-time employees; and
  • How to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.

The FFCRA will give all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses.

DOL reports this guidance is just the first round of information and compliance assistance to come from the agency. A workplace poster required for most employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.

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, can be found here.

Employers may also submit comments or questions related to compliance or implementation of the law online at ffcra.ideascale.com from March 23 through March 29. You also can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25 at 2 p.m. ET using the hashtag #EPWChat. Access the latest NAHB information and business resources for the coronavirus response at the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response page on nahb.org.

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