The Department of Labor issued this afternoon “temporary regulations” to assist with interpreting and complying the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), which provides for paid sick leave and expanded FMLA leave. The text of the regulations can be found here
Two significant portions of the regulations stand out at first glance:
The “stay at home” orders are now considered “quarantine or isolation orders” under the FFCRA. The DOL provides the following guidance (located on p. 88 of the PDF at the above link):
“For the purposes of the EPSLA [the portion of the FFCRA that provides for 80 hours of paid sick leave], a quarantine or isolation order includes quarantine, isolation, containment, shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home orders issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause the Employee to be unable to work even though his or her Employer has work that the Employee could perform but for the order. This also includes when a Federal, State, or local government authority has advised categories of citizens (e.g., of certain age ranges or of certain medical conditions) to shelter in place, stay at home, isolate, or quarantine, causing those categories of Employees to be unable to work even though their Employers have work for them.”
The DOL has provided guidance as to which smaller employers will be exempt from the paid sick leave and expanded FMLA provisions.
The following is from p. 103:
“Exemption from requirement to provide leave under the EPSLA Section 5102(a)(5) and the EFMLEA for Employers with fewer than 50 Employees. (1) An Employer, including a religious or nonprofit organization, with fewer than 50 Employees (small business) is exempt from providing Paid Sick Leave under the EPSLA and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the EFMLEA when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. A small business under this section is entitled to this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined that: (i) The leave requested under either section 102(a)(1)(F) of the FMLA or section 5102(a)(5) of the EPSLA would result in the small business’s expenses and financial obligations exceeding available business revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at a minimal capacity; (ii) The absence of the Employee or Employees requesting leave under either section 102(a)(1)(F) of the FMLA or section 5102(a)(5) of the EPSLA would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or (iii) There are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the Employee or Employees requesting leave under either section 102(a)(1)(F) of the FMLA or section 5102(a)(5) of the EPSLA, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity.”
Since the State of Florida has been put under at Stay at Home Executive Order, the following will now apply:
- Employees with an “essential business” will still report to work as normal
- Employees with a “non-essential business” will now qualify for the 80 hour Emergency Paid Sick Leave under FCCRA.