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HR Alert: COVID-19 Changes to Federal Law

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As we’ve written about before, the federal government’s worker-friendly legislative answer to the coronavirus was to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which became effective April 1, 2020.

On Friday, September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor issued regulatory revisions addressing the law’s paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions which will be published and become effective September 16, 2020. The changes were prompted by a New York federal court striking down parts of the existing regulations. These changes:

  1. Confirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them.
  2. Confirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that an employee must have employer approval to take intermittent FFCRA leave.
  3. Revise the definition of health care provider to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under the FMLA regulations or who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.
  4. Clarify that employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable.
  5. Correct an inconsistency regarding when employees may be required to provide notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave to their employers.

FFCRA’s goal is for employers to provide paid leave reimbursed by tax credits, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

The Coppola Firm’s team of labor and employment attorneys have studied FFCRA since it first was announced. If you have questions about how to properly implement the leave provisions at your fewer-than-500-employee workplace, contact us. We’d be happy to assist.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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