The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with less than 500 employees to provide leave to employees due to certain COVID-19 qualifying reasons. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) set April 1, 2020, as the effective date for employers to implement the FFCRA’s regulatory requirements, but deferred enforcement of the law 30 days for employers demonstrating a good faith effort to comply.
The DOL started the 30-day period on March 18, the day after the FFCRA became law. Therefore, the deferral period expired on April 17, 2020. The DOL is now actively enforcing paid leave requirements under both the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which can lead to injunction and civil penalties—including liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees—against employers found to have interfered with or retaliated against employees exercising their paid leave rights.
FLB’s Employment Law attorneys have been assisting clients administer their FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion programs. By establishing protocols and educating employees, employers can significantly reduce the risk of a DOL investigation and potential legal action. Given the complexity of the FFCRA, employers should consult with counsel as to how each employer can best meet its legal obligations. If you have questions or concerns, we are available to assist you at any time. Please contact us using the form below, or give us a call at 610-797-9000.