The Department of Labor now has issued guidance, questions and answers, and a poster for those employers covered by the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which we have summarized here.
Guidance and FAQ Highlights
Notably, the FAQ states that the effective date of the FFCRA is April 1 and not April 2. (The statute’s actual language is “not later than” 15 days from enactment, which calculates to April 2).
DOL’s guidance mentions that covered employers qualify for reimbursement through tax credits for “all qualifying wages paid under the FFCRA . . . up to the appropriate per diem and aggregate payment caps.” It goes on to note that the credits extend to “amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage.”
Major takeaways from the FAQ include:
- The paid leave provisions “apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020” and this leave is not retroactive. This may indicate that an employer who grants this leave before April 1 may not be able to take advantage of the tax credit.
- When and how the coverage threshold of 500 or fewer employees is calculated.
- How to calculate paid sick leave.
Little guidance is provided for the small business (under 50 employees) exception. Instead, DOL instructs these small employers to maintain records as to why they cannot meet the FFCRA’s requirements and look for additional regulations to come.
DOL also issued its workplace poster for the FFCRA. All employers with fewer than 500 employees who are covered by the new law should put this up, even if you have fewer than 50 employees and plan to seek an exemption. The poster FAQ page explains how the poster must be posted. Notably:
- You must put the poster “in a conspicuous place” on your premises. Consistent with other federal posting requirements, if employees don’t come to one central place, you need to post it in multiple places.
- You may satisfy this posting requirement by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.
- You do not have to post it in multiple languages yet. DOL is working on translating the poster (so this could change).
- You will need to keep the posters up through the end of this year.