Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) - FAQs


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued FAQs regarding the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act).  The FFCRA contains the paid sick leave and enhanced FMLA entitlements previously discussed.  I wanted to spotlight two important issues raised in the FAQs.

First, the effective date of the FFCRA is April 1, 2020.  We previously reported that based on the text of the Act the effective date was April 2, 2020, but the DOL has decided to move it up a day.  Happy April Fools.  All kidding aside, if you were planning on conducting layoffs or terminations on the 1st, you may want to move that up a day so as to avoid the possibility those individuals will have rights under the FFCRA.

Second, it may be more of a challenge to aggregate more than 500 employees among different related companies for the sick leave portions of the FFCRA.  The DOL is taking the position that for the sick leave entitlement, the only companies that may be counted towards the 500 employee threshold are “joint employers.”  That is a more stringent test than the “integrated enterprise” test used in most employment law statutes, including the FMLA. 

Here is the link to the FAQs for further information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

Stay safe and please let us know if we can help.

Thanks, Jack, Elizabeth and Jim

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