In response to a United States District Court decision vacating parts of its earlier interpretations, the Department of Labor has updated its regulations of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to reaffirm its regulations in part and provide some updated revisions as well.
Set to take effect upon publication in the Federal Register (which is scheduled to be officially published on September 16th), the key changes as noted by the DOL include the following:
- Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them [explaining that this requirement applies to all qualifying reasons to take paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave].
- Reaffirms and elaborates on the requirement that an employee must have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently [though such condition would not apply to employees who take FFCRA leave in full-day increments to care for their children whose schools are operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis].
- Clarify that employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable [though need not be given “prior to” taking paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave]. It also clarifies an inconsistency in the employee notification process.
Managing leaves through the FFCRA, especially when they intersect with other leave benefits such as paid sick time, FMLA, state-mandated paid family and medical leave etc. is a daunting task! EANE members enjoy access to our employer hotline, staffed by our certified HR professionals that are available daily to assist members in navigating these complex waters!