On April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and its leave provisions, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”), became effective. The same day, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued temporary regulations to augment the EPSLA and the EFMLEA. On April 14, 2020, the State of New York filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“District Court”) challenging certain parts of the DOL’s temporary regulations. On August 3, 2020, the District Court ruled that four parts of the temporary regulations were invalid and in response the DOL amended its regulations, on September 11, 2020, as follows:
- Paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave may be taken only if the employee has work available, which now applies to all qualifying reasons to take paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.
- Employer approval to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave intermittently, when intermittent leave is permitted by DOL’s regulations.
- The definition of “health care provider” to mean employees who are health care providers under 29 CFR §825.102 and §825.125, and other employees who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventive services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care.
- Employee shall give notice to his/her employer for the need of expanded family and medical leave as soon as practicable; if the need for leave is foreseeable, that will generally mean providing notice before taking leave. In addition clarified that the information the employee must give the employer to support the need for his or her leave should be provided to the employer as soon as practicable.
A copy of the amendments to the regulations can be found at the following URL: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-20351.pdf. Thomas Law Group can help you navigate this constantly changing legal landscape in an effort to stay abreast of continuing developments with the FFCRA.
*Information courtesy of Haynes Kessler Myers & Postalakis, Incorporated, of counsel with Thomas Law Group.