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Legal Alert

Employer Update: Department of Labor Provides Initial Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 25, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued initial guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This guidance addresses key questions under the FFCRA:

  • Effective Date. The DOL indicates that the effective date of FFRCA is April 1, 2020.
  • Counting Employees. For the "500 or fewer employer" threshold, all full-time and part-time employees in the United States and its territories are counted, including employees on leave. The DOL also gives direction for counting temporary employees and day laborers.
  • Part-Time Employee Hours. The DOL provides instructions for counting hours worked by part-time employees for purposes of paid sick leave or expanded FMLA leave.
  • Calculating Wages for Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Leave. The regular rate of pay is determined by averaging pay over the six months preceding the leave, including overtime pay, commissions, and tips. The DOL gives two methods for calculating the regular rate of pay for employees who have been employed for less than six months.
  • Prior Paid Sick Leave Does Not Count. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act imposes a new leave requirement on employers that is effective beginning on April 1, 2020.
  • Grace Period. The DOL has also announced that there will be a 30-day non-enforcement period, giving employers, acting reasonably and in good faith, time to comply with the FFCRA.

The DOL Guidance can be found here: DOL FFCRA: Q&A.

The DOL has also released a workplace poster: DOL FFCRA: Employee Rights Workplace Poster. Directions for posting can be found here: Directions for Posting.

We expect additional guidance this week and will provide further updates as we learn more.

We Can Help

Please contact Maslon's Labor & Employment Group if you have questions or would like assistance reviewing your leave policies.

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