The U.S. Department of Labor has revised regulations to clarify paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
A new rule clarifies workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, following an Aug. 3 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that found portions of the regulations invalid, according to a Sept. 11 DOL statement.
DOL issued its initial temporary rule implementing provisions under the FFCRA on April 1, 2020, which will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register on Sept. 16, 2020.
“As the economy continues to rebound, more businesses return to full capacity, and schools reopen, the need for clarity regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act paid leave provisions may be greater than ever,” said Cheryl Stanton, DOL wage and hour administrator, adding that the updates “respond to this evolving situation and address some of the challenges the American workforce faces.”
According to the DOL statement, the revisions:
- affirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them;
- reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that an employee have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently;
- revise the definition of “healthcare provider” to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under FMLA 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 required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable; and
- Correct an inconsistency regarding when employees may be required to provide notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave to their employers.