DOL issues additional guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

ALERT: New DOL updates on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 27, 2020

Department of Labor provides additional guidance for employers related to requirements of Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided additional guidance for employers on key provisions related to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) requirements within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act), which will be effective April 1.

These include:

  • Employers must keep documentation on file for the reason the employee has a need for leave, which may include the federal, state or local government quarantine/isolation order; a doctor’s note when employees are ordered to quarantine/isolate or are under treatment; or posted notice of school or day care closure.
  • Employers are not required to pay EPSL or EFMLA to employees in the event of business closures, furloughs or reduced work hours. Employees should be encouraged to apply for unemployment in these situations if they are not receiving other forms of paid leave when not working.
  • EPSL and EFMLA leave may be used intermittently in certain cases when the employer agrees upon the intermittent work schedule. Different rules apply for intermittent leave availability when teleworking vs. working at the normal worksite, depending upon the reason for leave.
  • When employees have other forms of paid leave available, the employee may choose which leave they will use when time off is needed.
  • Employers are allowed but not required to supplement the amount of pay received by the employee for EPSL and EFMLA, when the employer allows it and the employee chooses to do so. This applies when the employee takes leave for reasons paid at 2/3 regular rate of pay and uses other forms of paid leave available for the remaining 1/3 pay. Payroll tax credits are not available for the additional amounts provided by the employer for leave not required by the Act.
  • Employers must continue to provide the same group health care coverage under the same terms when an employee uses EPSL or EFMLA. Employees generally must continue to make their normal contributions to the cost of health coverage.

Employers are required to provide information to employees regarding the benefits they are eligible to receive under the Act by April 1 and may post the DOL’s notice to satisfy this requirement. Employers will need to establish procedures for employees requesting leave, including documentation requirements/forms, tracking (e.g., new payroll codes) and recordkeeping requirements.

Additional information can be found on the DOL's website.

Questions?

Contact Carrie Cox with questions or for assistance with determining policy updates, procedures and forms, and general compliance assistance using the information below.

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.

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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