Littler Mendelson, a law firm specializing in employment issues, on Sunday wrote to the Department of Labor to convey feedback from ABA and other industry trade groups on how DOL should implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law in mid-March. The law provides paid leave for employees (of employers with fewer than 500 employees) who cannot work because they need to care for a child out of school or whose child care provider is unavailable. It also provides for two weeks of paid sick leave for employees quarantining due to the coronavirus.
With the DOL expected to issue an interim final rule or other final agency action to implement the FFCRA by the law’s April 1 effective date, the groups urged DOL to “clarify that an employee whose employer has provided the employee with the option to work a flexible schedule is not ‘unable to work (or telework)’” under the paid Family and Medical Leave Act provisions in the FFCRA. The letter also addressed employers’ ability to require documentation and verification that an employee who takes leave provided under the FFCRA is taking the leave for a qualifying reason.
The DOL issued a set of frequently asked questions over the weekend to provide clarity to employers.