DOL Issues Guidance Related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The guidance relates to paid leave
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance that provides answers to commonly asked questions that have resulted from the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the act). We previously wrote about key provisions of the act here, and provided our initial summary of the DOL guidance.
In recent days, the DOL has updated its guidance to address additional queries from employers. Highlights of the cumulative DOL guidance include:
- Effective Date of the Act. The act will take effect on April 1, 2020 (the "Effective Date") and will apply to leave taken between then and Dec. 31, 2020.
- Retroactivity of the Act. Leave benefits under the act are not retroactive, meaning they do not apply to leave taken prior to the effective date. Moreover, any company-provided paid leave taken by an employee prior to the effective date does not count against the leave entitlement for eligible employees provided under the act.
- Calculating the Employee Threshold. The act applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees in the U.S. or U.S. territories. This threshold should be calculated by counting all full-time and part-time employees, employees on leave, temporary employees and employees who are jointly employed with another employer. Independent contractors under the FLSA are not counted. If an employer has separate establishments or sites, these should typically be counted together toward the employee threshold. The DOL will use the "integrated employer test" under the FMLA to determine if two or more entities are considered "separate" rather than a single employer.
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