In support of its ongoing effort to facilitate understanding of and compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently issued a set of questions and answers to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees with respect to their responsibilities and rights. The DOL also posted FAQs regarding employee notice requirements.
Signed into law on March 18, 2020, the FFCRA’s provisions will be applicable from April 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. The statute gives businesses in the U.S. with fewer than 500 full-time or part-time employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Eligible businesses can retain funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes, or file for a refund if what they’re paying for COVID-19-required leave exceeds their payroll tax liability.
To fulfill the notice obligations, each covered employer must post the FFCRA notice effective April 1, 2020, “in a conspicuous place on its premises where notices to employee are customarily posted.” In view of the fact that many employees are now working remotely, employers should consider adding the posting to intranet sites and using other means that may be visible to remote workers.to satisfy this requirement The DOL’s FAQs take the position that this obligation can be satisfied “by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees.” Covered employers must post this notice regardless of whether their state requires greater protections, as employers must comply with both federal and state law.
The DOL urges employers to check the Wage and Hour Division’s website or sign up for Key News Alerts to ensure that they remain current with all notice requirements, including updated versions of the FFCRA posters.
The DOL guidance has been changing frequently and without notice. Employers relying on published DOL guidance should make every effort to confirm they are acting based on the most current guidance, and retain copies of the existing guidance at the relevant time, in the event the need arises later to establish that actions were taken in good faith.