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DOL Revises FFCRA Regulations in Response to Court Decision

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued revisions to regulations implementing the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The revisions were issued in response to a New York federal court decision that struck down parts of the regulations. The revisions take effect on Sept. 16, 2020.

Important Dates

April 1, 2020: The DOL issued regulations under the FFCRA’s employee leave povisions

Aug. 3, 2020: The Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York partly vacated the FFCRA leave regulations/

Sept. 16, 2020: Revisions to the FFCRA regulations take effect.

Summary of Revisions to the FFCRA Regulations

The revisions reaffirm and provide an additional explanation for two provisions of the regulations:

  • The requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them
  • The requirement that an employee have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently 

The DOL also revised the definition of “health care provider” to include only employees who meet the definition of that term under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations or who are employed to provide services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care (such as diagnostic, preventive or treatment services). 

The revisions also clarify that: 

  • Employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable (rather than always before taking leave).
  • For expanded family and medical leave, advance notice is not prohibited. It is typically required if the need for leave is foreseeable, such as when an employee has advance notice of a school closing.

The revised regulations narrow the definition of health care providers whom employers may exclude from FFCRA leave.

This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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