DOL outlines small-business exemption from coronavirus paid leave law

HR Dive | March 30, 2020

Employers with fewer than 50 employees may claim an exemption from the emergency paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and the exemption applies specifically to leave taken for reasons of child care and school closures related to COVID-19, according to a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance updated March 28. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, including religious and nonprofit organizations, are exempt from two aspects of the FFCRA’s provisions — (1) paid sick leave due to school closure, place of care closure or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons; and (2) emergency paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — when doing so would jeopardize the viability of the business, DOL said. An "authorized officer" of the business must determine whether it meets this criteria, according to the guidance. Separately, DOL's Wage and Hour Division published a Field Assistance Bulletin regarding its temporary non-enforcement of the FFCRA until April 17. DOL will not bring enforcement actions against any public or private employer for FFCRA violations during this 30-day period provided the violating employer acts "reasonably" and "in good faith." The employer must also remedy any violations as soon as practicable, its violations must not be willful and DOL must receive from the employer a written commitment to comply with the law in the future.

Spotlight

The adage is that you don't discuss politics, religion, or sex at work. We're now just a few months away from a national election. With primary races over, the conventions coming up, and the final election frenzy leading up to November, both public and private employers should take a moment to review the law and their policies to ensure they're in compliance and ready to react when issues arise.

Spotlight

The adage is that you don't discuss politics, religion, or sex at work. We're now just a few months away from a national election. With primary races over, the conventions coming up, and the final election frenzy leading up to November, both public and private employers should take a moment to review the law and their policies to ensure they're in compliance and ready to react when issues arise.

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