On March 18, 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). President Trump signed it into law shortly thereafter. The FFCRA established two new leaves of absence for employees arising out of or related to the COVID-19 pandemic: Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave. This leave is available to eligible employees effective on April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the model notices that employers are required to post in conspicuous places on the employer’s premises where other labor and employment law notices to employees are customarily posted. A copy of the model notice can be found on the DOL’s website.
Given that many covered employees are working remotely and/or already on approved leaves of absences related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advisable to take additional steps to make sure employees have access to the notice. Indeed, the DOL explains that “[a]n employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.”
These notices and the accompanying guidance answer some outstanding questions about the leaves of absence established by the FFCRA. However, there are still many unresolved issues. We will continue to monitor and analyze the guidance issued by the DOL regarding the FFCRA and provide updates as they become available.
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Shana R. Lewis
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