US Department of Labor adds guidance for workers, employers under coronavirus response act

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published more guidance, Saturday, March 28 for employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it goes into effect on April 1, 2020.

The latest round of guidance includes questions and answers addressing critical issues such as the definition of a “health care provider,” and the scope of the small business exemption for purposes of exclusion from the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. The Q&A also addresses whether public-sector employees may take paid family and medical leave. In addition, WHD posted its two recently released posters and fact sheets in Spanish on its COVID-19 website.

The guidance adds to a growing list of compliance assistance materials published by WHD, including the English-language versions of a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and two new required posters—one for federal workers and one for all other employees, as well as Questions and Answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.

FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by offering all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees tax credits to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their employees on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that employees are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act HERE.

For more information about the laws enforced by the WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or CLICK HERE.

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