On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division revised the paid leave provisions (including sick leave and expanded family and medical leave) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As a reminder, the paid leave requirements under the FFCRA are (currently) set to expire on December 31, 2020.

Specifically, the DOL made the following clarifications related to paid leave:

  • Employees may only take FFCRA leave if work would otherwise be available to them.
    • If an employer closes the worksite, the employee is not entitled to paid leave.
  • An employee must have employer approval to take intermittent FFCRA leave.
    • Example – Medical need due to health conditions
    • Example – To care for a healthy newborn or adopted child
  • The term “healthcare provider” has been redefined (narrowed) to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or provide certain medical services that would adversely impact patient care in the event they were not provided.
  • Employees must provide documentation supporting their need for extended FFCRA leave to their employer “as soon as practicable”.

For more information on the FFCRA and related COVID-19 wage and hour issues, see my past blog posts on the subject.