As explained in our prior Newsletter, on March 18th President Donald J. Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (hereinafter, the “FFCRA”) that applies to private employers with less than 500 employees. On March 25th, the Department of Labor published the poster or notice that must be displayed by employers at their premises, as required by the FFCRA. The poster can be viewed here.
Please note that the DOL’s poster “appears” to have an error because: (a) it omitted the payment requirement with respect to paid sick leave for reason 5 (school closings); and (b) capped the additional 10 weeks of pay under the expanded FMLA at $12,000 instead of $10,000. However, an employee that can’t work or telework for reason 5 (school closings) due to COVID-19 related reasons, can get:
- paid sick leave of pay up to $200 daily ($2,000 total), and
- an additional ten weeks of expanded FMLA at pay up to $200 daily ($10,000 total)
It is possible that the DOL reached the $12,000 cap by grouping those two scenarios in the poster to save space. Nonetheless, we will continue to monitor this issue and notify you if the DOL issues a revised poster. The DOL also issued FAQs concerning the poster, which can be downloaded from here.
On another note, yesterday the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the FFCRA. The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under the FFCRA, among other things. You may access those documents here:
These guidance and posters are just the first round of information and compliance assistance issued by the DOL, since we expect further guidance will be issued promptly, including regulations. We will of course keep you posted.
Lastly, note that while the FFCRA states that it will go into effect no later than 15 days after its enactment, the DOL has taken the position that it will become effective April 1st.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the FFCRA and its application or impact to your operations, please contact any of the following attorneys from our Labor & Employment Practice Group at your convenience:
|Juan J. Casillas Ayala
|Luis F. Llach-Zúñiga
|Israel Fernández Rodríguez
|Luis R. Ramos Cartagena
The content of this Newsletter has been prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended as, does not constitute and should not be construed as, either legal advice or solicitation of any prospective client. An attorney-client relationship with Casillas, Santiago & Torres LLC (CST) cannot be formed by reading or responding to this Newsletter. Such a relationship may be formed only by express engagement with CST.