HR Tip: New York federal court decision overturning provisions of FFCRA creates uncertainty for employers

Shortly after the regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) were issued, the State of New York sued the DOL, claiming that the agency unlawfully denied leave to otherwise eligible employees and exceeded their statutory authority in drafting the final regulations. The court decision, issued on August 3, invalidated four of the regulations:

  • The DOL’s requirement that FFCRA leave is available only when there is work available and employees can be denied leave under certain circumstances if there is no work available
  • The definition of healthcare providers under a provision that excludes healthcare providers from having to provide leave benefits is too broad
  • The requirement that employees obtain consent from the employer for intermittent leave for certain reasons
  • The requirement that documentation supporting the need for FFCRA leave is required before an employee takes FFCRA leave

While the decision clearly applies to employers within the court’s jurisdiction (Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City and Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan counties in New York state), its applicability elsewhere, particularly in other states, is unclear. In light of this ruling, the DOL has issued revised regulations. The revised rule clarifies workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities regarding FFCRA paid leave.

HR Tip: New EEOC guidance related to COVID-19 and family members

In recent guidance (Question D.13), the EEOC said that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require employers to accommodate workers who want to avoid exposing family members who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

“The ADA does not require that an employer accommodate an employee without a disability based on the disability-related needs of a family member or other person with whom she is associated. For example, an employee without a disability is not entitled under the ADA to telework as an accommodation in order to protect a family member with a disability from potential COVID-19 exposure. Of course, an employer is free to provide such flexibilities if it chooses to do so. An employer choosing to offer additional flexibilities beyond what the law requires should be careful not to engage in disparate treatment on a protected EEO basis.”

For Cutting-Edge Strategies on Managing Risks and Slashing Insurance Costs visit www.StopBeingFrustrated.com

HR Tip: Resources to help navigate the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), IRS tax relief, and related employment laws

On Tuesday, March 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the effective date of the leaves available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will be April 1, 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, which confirmed that employees must give notice to their employers of the need to take leave and provide documentation to support paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave. The IRS also provided guidance on needed documentation. Here are current resources:

Temporary guidance

IRS guidance

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements

 

Q & A

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers

COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act: Questions and Answers

COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions and Answers

 

Posters

Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Federal Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice – Frequently Asked Questions

 

Tax credits for small and mid-sized businesses

Under the act, employers are able to recoup these payments immediately by keeping a portion of the deposit it otherwise would pay as part of their employees’ federal, social security and Medicare taxes. Eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS. If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS.

Employers need to keep accurate documentation on these issues.

More information

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

 

Field Assistance Bulletin

Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-1: Temporary Non-Enforcement Period Applicable to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

 

HIPPA, FMLA, and ADA

NIH HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus

The FMLA and Leave

ADA Accommodation

For Cutting-Edge Strategies on Managing Risks and Slashing Insurance Costs visit www.StopBeingFrustrated.com