Client Alert: U.S. Department of Labor Issues Regulations on Paid Leave Under the FFCRA

On April 1, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released the final rule implementing the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”), both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). (The version released is temporary, pending official publication in the Federal Register).

Thompson & Knight’s previous Client Alert outlined the EPSLA and EFMLEA and summarized the DOL’s prior guidance. This is an update to that Alert to reflect changes wrought by the rule. You can view all Thompson & Knight’s COVID-19 Client Alerts here.

As a refresher, the EFMLEA amended the FMLA to add as a qualifying reason leave related to the need to care for children due to school closures or the unavailability of childcare for a COVID-19-related reason (Expanded Family and Medical Leave), which is paid at a reduced rate for the portion of the new leave that extends beyond ten days. The EPSLA requires covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave (Paid Sick Leave) to employees for certain absences related to COVID-19. For private employers, the legislation
applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees.