The Department of Labor has issued a “temporary rule” to implement the paid leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18 and which took effect today.
The temporary rule provides for up to 12 weeks of leave—10 weeks of which is paid—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 due to the coronavirus. The rule also provides for two weeks of paid sick leave for employees quarantining, caring for a person with the coronavirus or caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to the coronavirus. Employers may deduct 100% of the paid leave from their payroll taxes.
The temporary rule requires an employee to provide documentation of the need for the leave and to provide timely notice to the employer. The rule also permits a small business with fewer than 50 employees to deny a leave request if the employee’s leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the business because of the employee’s specialized skills, knowledge of the business or responsibilities.
Littler Mendelson, a law firm specializing in employment issues, this past Sunday wrote to DOL to convey feedback from ABA and other industry trade groups on how DOL should implement the FFCRA.