DOL guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

ALERT: Department of Labor issues guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 25, 2020

The Department of Labor issues limited guidance and additional resources following recent enactment of the Act.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued limited guidance following the recent enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act). We have included a list of key points, along with additional resources provided by the DOL.

Key points

  • FFCRA is effective April 1 and applies to leave taken between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Guidance is provided for counting employees for those that may be close to the 500-employee threshold.
  • The small-business exemption (fewer than 50 employees) applies when providing child-care related leave would jeopardize the viability of the business. Criteria will be addressed in more detail in forthcoming regulations.
  • For part-time employees who work variable-hour schedules, average the number of hours worked over six months to determine the two-week period work hours for which paid leave is eligible. This applies to both paid sick leave and family and medical leave under the Act.
  • When calculating pay due to employees, the number of overtime hours the employee normally would have been scheduled to work should be included; however, overtime premiums do not have to be paid for those hours.
  • For purposes of the FFCRA, the regular rate of pay used to calculate paid leave is the average of the regular rate over a period of up to six months prior to the date on which leave is taken, including commissions, tips or piece rates.
  • Employers may not deny the use of paid sick leave for a reason specified in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act if the employer provided leave to an employee prior to the Act going into effect.
  • Paid sick leave and expanded medical leave requirements are NOT retroactive.

DOL resources

For more information

Please contact Senior HR Consultant Carrie Cox, Outsourcing Senior Vice President Cindy McSwain or Tax Executive Vice President Shawn Sullivan using the contact information included below to discuss your situation or employer-related questions.

Carrie Cox

Senior Consultant
Org. Development & Family Business Services

Carrie has experience in a variety of human resource functions, including labor laws, compensation structures, employee classification, benefits administration, performance management and human resource best practices. She has served clients in a number of industries, including manufacturing, construction, banking and not-for-profits. Carrie is a member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRM) and serves on the Wichita chapter board of directors.

She is a certified practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory. Her additional certifications include Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute and SHRM-CP designated by the SHRM.

Cindy McSwain

Senior Vice President
Outsourcing Services

Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to joining the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned organizations.

Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Shawn Sullivan

Executive Vice President
Tax Services

Shawn serves as one of two primary leaders in the firm’s large tax group. He has extensive public and private experience in the fields of tax and accounting and works frequently with clients in the manufacturing, wholesale/retail distribution, real estate development and management, construction, and contractor industries. In addition to enhancing business performance to minimize tax consequences, he has experience in mergers and acquisitions and international tax and business structuring.

A certified public accountant, Shawn is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (KSCPA) and chairs the KSCPA Committee on Taxation.

Information in this document has been obtained by Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C. from sources believed to be reliable. However, AGH does not guarantee the accuracy nor completeness of any information. This communication does not and is not intended to provide legal, accounting or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and accordingly, AGH assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Nothing in this communication can be used to avoid penalties that may be imposed by a governmental taxing authority or agency.

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