On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, President Trump officially signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law. The text of the FFCRA provided broad details concerning its two principal mandates: (1) new, paid sick leave rights for workers impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for others with COVID-19; and (2) new, enhanced leave entitlements under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including limited paid leave rights. However, Congress failed to address many of the details concerning the implementation of the FFCRA, instead deferring to the Secretary of Labor.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a series of guidance attempting to answer preliminary questions concerning the mechanics of the FFCRA. Specifically, the DOL issued a General Question and Answer page, along with Fact Sheets for Employers and Employees. The DOL also stated it also will be issuing implementing regulations regarding the new law in the near future, as well as additional guidance. Of note, the DOL indicated that the FFCRA will officially go into effect on Wednesday, April 1, 2020—not on April 2nd as originally expected.
While circumstances remain fluid, we will continue to monitor further proposed legislation and its potential impact on our clients.