Many U.S. employers are eager to reopen their worksites and to resume more normal in-person operations. But resumption of business while the country continues to face the risk of COVID-19 infections presents significant legal and practical challenges. The nature of these challenges will differ based on the employer’s geography and industry. This article describes key labor and employment considerations for U.S. employers in planning and executing a reopening strategy.
Continue Reading Practical and legal considerations for reopening U.S. worksites related to COVID-19

California food sector workers now have the right to additional paid sick leave, even if they work for large employers exempted from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). And they are also entitled to handwashing breaks every 30 minutes and additionally as needed.
Continue Reading California grants additional paid sick leave rights to food sector workers

The Mayor of the District of Columbia recently signed two emergency laws that expand obligations of employers to provide leave to employees for COVID-19 reasons:

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law a massive two trillion dollar stimulus bill addressing a wide range of challenges to our economy caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The legislation, entitled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), supplements and modifies prior bills, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which we previously blogged about here, here, here, and here. While the CARES Act is lengthy (800+ pages) and complex, this post highlights in digestible portions a few of the significant provisions that are likely of the most interest to employers.
Continue Reading The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: significant provisions for employers

Following two rounds of guidance on the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) released additional guidance this weekend addressing issues of critical importance to many covered employers: the scope of the FFCRA’s health care provider and emergency responder exemptions, and the scope of the small business exemption for private employers with fewer than 50 employees, along with answering other questions. DOL’s most recent guidance is summarized below and can be found here. DOL has confirmed it will be issuing regulations to implement the FFCRA.
Continue Reading Department of Labor clarifies health care provider, emergency responder, and small business exemptions and answers other questions under COVID-19 related paid leave law

As the April 1 effective date for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave requirements rapidly nears, the Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its compliance guidance for covered employers. As a reminder, the FFCRA’s leave provisions — which mandate paid sick leave and paid expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for qualifying needs related to COVID-19 — apply to private employers with fewer than 500 employees and to many public sector employers, regardless of size. More information about the FFCRA is available in our initial post about the FFCRA and in our subsequent posts about DOL’s initial guidance (here) and about the tax credit available to employers who provide FFCRA leave to their employees (here).
Continue Reading DOL issues corrected COVID-19-related paid leave poster and further compliance guidance for employers

As discussed in prior blog posts, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will require covered employers to provide certain levels of paid emergency sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to employees for specified coronavirus-related reasons. In general, as explained in those posts, the minimum number of hours of the paid sick leave that employers must provide is 80 hours for full time employees, with pro-rated amounts for part time employees based on the average number of hours they work over a two week period.
Continue Reading Payroll tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Yesterday, March 24, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) published a news release and three guidance documents on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As we explained in our recent post, the FFCRA will require covered employers to provide certain levels of paid emergency sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to employees for specified coronavirus-related reasons, the cost of which will be refunded to private employers through tax credits. As DOL recognized in a Field Assistance Bulletin also issued yesterday, the tax credits are unavailable to public sector employers.
Continue Reading DOL issues posters and initial guidance on FFCRA paid leave for coronavirus needs; announces April 1 effective date

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a broad response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, has passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 363-40 and is expected to pass in the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump. The bill would impose significant obligations on covered employers, including requiring covered employers to provide employees who have a qualifying coronavirus-related need with up to 2 weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave, most of which is partially paid. Although subject to change, the most recent iteration of the bill has the following key provisions:
Continue Reading Families First Coronavirus Response Act could mean massive changes for employers nationwide