Yesterday, a New York federal judge struck down four sections of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):

  1. the requirement that work must be available for employees to qualify for paid sick leave;
  2. the definition of “health care provider”;
  3. the requirement that employers must consent to intermittent leave; and
  4. the requirement that employees must provide documentation prior to taking leave.

The court said those paid leave-related provisions were not based on a permissible interpretation of or were inconsistent with the FFCRA. The DOL may likely appeal the decision or revise the final rule in accordance with the decision.

For now, employers should continue to maintain compliance with applicable FFCRA provisions and stay tuned for further developments.

In other recent FFCRA news, the DOL issued FAQs 94-97 to provide additional guidance on FFCRA leave requirements:

94. My employee used two weeks of paid sick leave under the FFCRA to care for his parent who was advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of symptoms of COVID-19. I am concerned about his returning to work too soon and potentially exposing my other staff to COVID-19. May I require him to telework or take leave until he has tested negative for COVID-19?

95. I was working full time for my employer and used two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave under the FFCRA before I was furloughed. My employer said I could go back to work next week. Can I use paid sick leave under the FFCRA again after I go back to work?

96. I have an employee who used four weeks of expanded family and medical leave before she was furloughed. Now I am re-opening my business. When my employee comes back to work, if she still needs to care for her child because her child care provider is unavailable for COVID-related reasons, how much expanded family and medical leave does she have available?

97. My business was closed due to my state’s COVID-19 quarantine order. I furloughed all my employees. The quarantine order was lifted and I am returning employees to work. Can I extend my former employee’s furlough because he would need to take FFCRA leave to care for his child if he is called back to work?

See bulletin below for the DOL’s response to these and all FAQs issued to date, as well as, an overview of the required paid leave provisions.

 

Check out our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources and information.