U.S. Department of Labor Revises COVID-19 Paid Leave Rule Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted revisions on September 11 to regulations that implemented the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The revisions made by the new rule clarify rights and responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions, considering the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s August 3, 2020 decision that found portions of the regulations invalid.

The revisions do the following:

  • Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that employees may take FFCRA leave only if work would otherwise be available to them.
  • Reaffirm and provide additional explanation for the requirement that an employee must have employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently.
  • Revise 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 diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services, or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.
  • Clarify that employees must provide required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable.
  • Correct an inconsistency regarding when employees may be required to provide notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave to their employers.

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