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featured image showing a businessman reads families first coronavirus response act FFCRA

Update to FFCRA Leave Guidance

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued revised leave rules regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

These revised regulations provide additional clarity around leave rules and documentation as more people begin returning to the workplace.

The following revisions were included in the September 16th publication of the The Federal Register:

  • Reiterate that employees may take FFCRA leave only when work is actually available to them.
  • Reiterate that employees must have their employer’s approval to take intermittent FFCRA leave.
  • Revise the definition of “health care provider” to include “only employees who meet the definition of that term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.”
  • Clarify that employees must provide employers with documentation as soon as reasonably possible supporting their need for FFCRA leave.
  • Correct an inconsistency on when employees may be required to provide employers notice of their need to take expanded family and medical leave.

Some key takeaways regarding the most recent FFCRA leave regulations focus on the term “leave.” According to the DOL, is understood to mean “an authorized absence from work; if an employee is not expected or required to work, he or she is not taking leave.” In other words, if the employer is choosing to close the worksite, work is not available and therefore this would not be considered FFCRA leave time for the employee.

The DOL also reiterates that intermittent leave still requires a shared agreement between the employee and employer as to what can be reasonable allowed without putting undue hardship on the employer, especially for those employers who have less than 50 employees.

While documentation is still required for FFCRA leave, the language has been clarified to indicate that documentation must be provided as soon as practicable rather than prior to taking such leave.

For a complete breakdown of all the revisions recently made to the FFCRA, please refer to latest publication of The Federal Register.

Assistance

Understanding the ins and outs of these requirements can be confusing. HRinDemand has experts on hand to assist you. We also have for purchase, a fillable Emergency Paid Sick Leave/Emergency Family and Medical Leave Request Form to ensure you collect all the information you need to stay compliant.

If you need assistance managing the leave process under FFCRA, or are interested in purchasing HRinDemand’s new Emergency Paid Sick Leave/Emergency Family and Medical Leave Request Form please contact HRinDemand at 775-400-1322 or by email at info@hrindemand.com

Lindsay Bradley, MBA, MSML, is a consultant with the HRinDemand team, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth. 

Sources:

Society for Human Resource Management. (2020, Sept 14).  DOL Issues Revised FFCRA Leave Rules. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/dol-issues-revised-ffcra-leave-rules.aspx

Littler. ( 2020, Sept 13). DOL Revises FFCRA Regulations to Clarify Paid Leave Rules in Wake of New York Federal Court’s Decision https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/dol-revises-ffcra-regulations-clarify-paid-leave-rules-wake-new-york

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