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Department of Labor Has Revised Rules on FFCRA Leave

On Friday, September 11th the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued revisions to the leave regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These revisions are primarily clarified when the leave is available and when the employee is required to attain permission before taking the leave.

Effective September 16th, the revisions made by the DOL address the following:

An employee can take the leave under the FFCRA as long as their work is available to them.

If there is no work available for an employee to perform due to circumstances other than a qualifying reason for leave, such as their place of employment is temporary closing, then there is no work to take leave from. The DOL clarifies the term leave to be understood as authorized absence from work and if there is no work available, then it is not to be considered leave.

Employees must obtain an employer’s approval to take leave intermittently.

The revision reaffirmed that an employee’s ability to take leave intermittently is dependent on approval from the employer. They also clarified the difference between intermittent and consecutive leave. Intermittent leave would be taking a portion of the day off, due to shortened hours at a day-care, school, or care facility of that nature. Consecutive leave would mean taking leave in full-day increments.

The definition of Health Care Provider has been redefined.

The original definition included all employees at any type of health care organization. The new definition narrows it down to employees that are directly providing health care services and those closely integrated to providing care.

When documentation is required.

The original rule had required an employee to furnish documentation before the leave was taken. The revision states that any documentation required to take the leave can be furnished “as soon as practical.

Parents’ choices may impact their eligibility.

Many schools have started to make the switch over to a hybrid-based model, which gives some parents the option to either send their children to school or to keep them home for full or partial weeks at a time. The DOL clarified that if parents make the decision to keep their children home when in-person class or care is available, they are not eligible for leave.

Employers and employees are encouraged to check their state and local laws as many have enacted their own Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinances that may help supplement what is already offered through the FFCRA.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.