26 Mar Families First Coronavirus Response Act UPDATE: DOL Announces Effective Date of Paid Leave Laws and Releases Employee Notice Poster
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted March 18, 2020. Since then, employers have been anxiously preparing for the FFCRA’s two new paid sick leave laws—the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. Many had questions, but few had answers. Fortunately, the Department of Labor has released much-needed guidance to help employers comply with these new paid leave laws.
Effective Date. The DOL announced that the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements will go into effect April 1, 2020, one day sooner than many expected. The FFCRA’s paid sick leave provisions had to become effective no later than 15 days after the law was enacted, so many assumed they wouldn’t begin until April 2nd. This is significant because employees may start taking paid sick time under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act immediately upon becoming effective.
Model Notice to Employees. Covered employers are required to notify employees of the FFCRA’s paid sick leave requirements. The DOL released a model notice (poster) that employers can use to satisfy this requirement. Click here to download the DOL’s Model Employee Rights Poster. The DOL also provided additional guidance to help employers better understand and comply with the FFCRA’s notice requirement.
- Covered employers must post the required FFCRA notice in a conspicuous place on its premises and keep it posted. Employers may also provide this notice by email, direct mail or by posting it on an internal or external website that is used to provide information to employees.
- Employers are not required to post this notice in multiple languages, but the DOL is working on translated versions.
- The FFCRA’s notice requirement applies only to current employees, including new hires. Notice is not required for recently laid-off individuals or new job applicants.
- All covered employers must post the required FFCRA notice, regardless of any state notice requirements. Employers must comply with both federal and state laws.
- All private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to post this notice.
Legislative efforts to curb the impact of COVID-19 are proceeding at an astonishing pace. FFCRA regulations are “expected April 2020,” and may not be available until after the law goes into effect. Consequently, employers have little time to understand these new laws and adapt their operations accordingly. Confusion and anxiety are to be expected, but will hopefully diminish in time. Until then, employers should continue efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and remain informed. Please contact us for additional information about protecting your business.