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Focus Area: Coronavirus/COVID-19

DOL Releases Additional FFCRA Guidance Clarifying Common Areas of Concern (Part 1)

On the evening of Thursday, March 26, the Department of Labor (DOL) added to its existing FAQs on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) addressing several outstanding questions regarding the leaves under the FFCRA that will take effect on April 1, 2020

As we have previously advised, the DOL’s guidance on the FFCRA is continually evolving, and new DOL guidance continues to be published without advanced notice. Our first article on the DOL’s FAQs can be found here.

The DOL’s FAQs are available here.

In the newest additions to the FAQs beginning with question #15, the DOL provides some guidance to employers on the following topics: 

  • Employee and employer documentation.
  • The employer’s ability to determine whether employees are permitted to work remotely.
  • The employer’s ability to decide if and when FFCRA leave may be taken intermittently by employees.
  • The “Safer at Home” order does not qualify as a state quarantine or isolation order that would trigger eligibility for FFCRA leave.
  • An employee’s potential eligibility for unemployment benefits while taking FFCRA leave.
  • The continuation of healthcare coverage during FFCRA leave.
  • The FFCRA’s interaction with an employer’s existing paid leave benefits.
  • Employees are not entitled to FFCRA benefits if they are terminated, temporarily laid off, furloughed, or have their hours reduced, either before or after April 1, 2020 (although an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for taking FFCRA leave, nor can an employer interfere with an employee’s right to take FFCRA leave). 

In Part 2 of this article, the Boardman Clark Labor & Employment team will provide further analysis and insights on what the DOL’s FAQs mean for employers.

Employers seeking to use the DOL’s latest FAQs to guide their business considerations and FFCRA implementation efforts should consult with legal counsel first to ensure they have the latest and most accurate information from the DOL as the FFCRA’s legal landscape continues to develop. 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Rather, it seeks to make recipients aware of certain legal developments that affect human resource issues. Recipients who want legal advice concerning a particular matter should consult with an attorney who is given a full understanding of the relevant facts pertaining to the particular matter.

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