On August 3, 2020, a federal court in New York ruled that four parts of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) regulations were invalid because they overstepped the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) authority in promulgating the regulations. In response to this ruling, the DOL issued new regulations, which were published and became final on September 16, 2020.
These new regulations:
1. Reaffirmed that FFCRA leave may only be taken if the employer has work available for the employee;
2. Reaffirmed that an employee must obtain the employer’s approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently;
3. Revised the definition of a “health care provider,” who can be exempted from paid FFCRA leave, to mirror that under traditional FMLA and to include other employees, who provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services, or other services integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care; and
4. Clarified that information the employee must give the employer to support the need for leave should be provided as soon as practicable.
Employers should review and ensure that their administration of FFCRA leave is consistent with the new regulations. The new regulations may be found at DOL New Regulations.
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