April 3, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor Invites National Online Dialog Regarding FFCRA
On April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect. The FFCRA requires employers with less than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and, in some instances, paid family leave to employees who cannot work due to the Covid-19. The Act is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and will remain in effect until December 31, 2020. Generally, the Act provides two weeks of paid sick leave, a subsequent ten weeks of partially paid family leave for care of a child, and refundable tax credits which, in many cases, will result in the Treasury Department writing checks to employers to cover some of the costs of the mandates.
Because the Act will undoubtedly generate questions from both employers and employees, the DOL posts a questions and answers page on its website which can be accessed at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions. The DOL is also inviting employers and employees to engage in a “national online dialog” by submitting questions and comments to https://ffcra.ideascale.com, no later than April 10, 2020. Employers and employees are being asked to consider the following questions when submitting their questions and comments:
- How can USDOL communicate in plain language employer obligations and employee rights under the FFCRA?
- What broadcasting strategies (webinars, social media lives, recorded interviews, etc.) would be most effective and impactful?
- Where should USDOL have compliance assistance materials available for employers or employees to most easily access them?
- How can USDOL make the best use of social media to communicate FFCRA requirements?
- What languages, besides English, should our compliance assistance materials be translated into?
- What formats (such as text or infographics) would best communicate the FFCRA requirements?
- Given that many employees are teleworking due to the pandemic, how do you suggest USDOL conduct outreach?
- USDOL has created a new mandatory workplace poster addressing FFCRA requirements. Where, including virtually, should covered employers put the poster so employees can see it?
If you are an employer and employee with questions and/or comments regarding the FFCRA, now is the time to go directly to the source by contacting the DOL. Employers are also encouraged to contact your employment attorney with any questions or comments you may have regarding the FFCRA. The employment lawyers at Anderson, McPharlin & Conners are ready to assist employers as they respond to Covid-19. Feel free to contact our employment department.