Hot off the presses! the Department Of Labor just issued revisions to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is the law that temporarily expands the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide leave for a number of COVID-19-related reasons. The Federal Government ultimately pays for the leave through employer tax credits. The FFCRA expires on December 31, 2020.
The newly revised rule, which will be effective on Wednesday, September 16, answers 4 questions. Do you know the answers? Answers provided below:
- Can employees take FFCRA leave if work is not otherwise available to them?
- Can employees take FFCRA leave intermittently, or does it require employer approval?
- Employers may exclude “health care employees” from taking FFCRA leave. But just who is included in the definition of “health care employee”?
- When must an employee provide notice and documentation supporting his need for leave to his employer?
- No – work must be available. In other words, furloughed employees cannot take FFCRA leave.
- Employees must seek employer approval to take intermittent leave.
- “Health care providers” are now defined as employees who are employed to provide diagnostic services, preventive services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care. This definition is narrower than the ordinary understanding of “health care provider”, which typically includes nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and the like.
- As soon as practicable: an employee does not need to provide notice and documentation prior to the leave if the need for leave is not foreseeable.