Covid-19 Update: Families-First Response Act Guidance Issued by the U.S. Dept. of Labor (3/26/20)

Lewis Glasser continues to follow the employment-related effects of the COVID-19 health crisis, including developments in the sweeping Families-First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires most employers with fewer than five-hundred (500) employees to (1) expand emergency paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and (2) to provide Emergency Paid Sick Leave. 

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance that provides answers to a number of questions under the Families-First Act, which goes into effect on April 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020. (Note that it was initially believed the Act went into effect April 2.) Yesterday’s guidance from the Department of Labor includes:

  • An “Employee Rights” notice (that was published by the U.S. Department of Labor and which we have attached to this email) that must be posted immediately by employers covered by the Act in order to inform employees of their rights (see poster PDF below). The notice should be posted in an employee common area and must be easily visible. If all, or some, of your employees are presently teleworking, work outside a traditional office, or are already on leave, we recommend that, in addition to posting the notice in an employee common area, covered employers circulate the notice by email to all employees. (DOL has issued specific guidance related to the publication of the notice that answers common questions.)
     
  • A DOL Questions and Answers Fact Sheet that provides detailed guidance and direction for employers as they determine their responsibilities under the Act and begin implementing policy changes. The fact sheet also helps employers determine if the Act applies to them (based on the number of employees); and how to properly calculate pay due and owing to each employee.
     
  • Clarification that an employee is only entitled to take the paid sick leave, required by the Act, once and that the leave is capped at 80 hours for full-time employees. However, DOL has made clear that an employee may take both the paid sick leave and the expanded leave under the FMLA in order to care for their child(ren) whose school or place of care is closed or for other reasons permitted by the Act.
     
  • Additional fact sheets to help in the swift implementation of the provisions of the Act, including a Fact Sheet for Employees and a Fact Sheet for Employers

We encourage you to review the linked guidance from DOL so that you may continue to stay up to date and to call Lewis Glasser with any specific questions or any other HR matters, as you continue business operations and adapt to COVID-19.

FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal (Adobe PDF)

 

Webster J. Arceneaux, III   

Member    

Lewis Glasser PLLC   

(O) 304.345.2000 (ext. 1006) / (D) 304.414-9006

                                  lewisglasser.com / wjarceneaux@lewisglasser.com    

Lori D. Counts-Smith   

Member    

Lewis Glasser PLLC   

(O) 304.345.2000 (ext. 1017) / (C) 304.542-1941

                                   lewisglasser.com / lcounts@lewisglasser.com                  

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This e-update is advertising material intended to provide addressees with informational updates and perspectives regarding matters of interest in connection with the COVID 19 pandemic. This e-update does not constitute legal advice, the provision of legal counseling or any other professional service, nor does it constitute a legal opinion regarding any specific facts. No attorney-client relationship is created by this e-update and this e-update does not constitute an offer to provide legal services.

The nature of the current crisis has resulted in an extraordinary pace of new developments. Readers are encouraged to follow up regularly on new developments in areas of interest and to consult with legal counsel at Lewis Glasser PLLC for guidance and to resolve specific matters or questions.

Attorney Advertising: Ann R. Starcher, Responsible Attorney

Lewis Glasser PLLC, 300 Summers Street, Suite 700, Charleston, West Virginia 25301

304-345-2000

 

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