US DOL Releases Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Recently, Congress passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for those impacted by COVID-19.  This Act imposes emergency paid sick leave and family medical leave requirements on employers from April 2, 2020 until December 31, 2020.   The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.  The FFCRA will give all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees, funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.  The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.   There is also a workplace poster required for most employers that will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.