The U.S. Department of Labor has just issued over one hundred pages of detailed temporary regulations, effective from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The regulations provide much-needed clarity on a range of issues that many employers have struggled with over the past week.

Below is a summary of key points:

Continue Reading DOL Released 100+ Pages of Detailed Temporary Regulations

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), the third phase of emergency relief passed by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act includes relief measures for workers and employers that impact employee benefit and compensation arrangements, and which may require employers to take certain administrative actions. Below is an overview of the CARES Act provisions affecting various types of employee benefit and compensation arrangements.

Note that this Advisory does not address the CARES Act provisions specific to air carriers and charitable employers.

Continue Reading CARES Act Impact on Employee Benefits and Compensation

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law.  The CARES Act’s purpose is aimed at reducing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulating the economy with a $2.1 trillion dollar infusion.

Among other things, the CARES Act amends Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act creating the “Paycheck Protection Program (the “Program”). The Program broadens relief to a segment of small businesses other than those that would otherwise be ineligible to receive SBA 7(a) loans.  The Program will apply retroactively from February 15, 2020 until June 30, 2020. Below are some highlights:

Continue Reading CARES ACT HIGHLIGHTS: Paycheck Protection Program and FFCRA Amendments

On April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations for implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which became effective the same day. We reported on the DOL’s other recent efforts to flesh out the new law through its FAQ section, which included some much needed guidance on what has been dubbed the “small business exemption.”

In keeping with that guidance, the DOL’s temporary rule confirms our understanding of the eligibility requirements under the exemption. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempted from providing leave to employees requesting leave due to a COVID-19 related school closure or unavailable caregiver if an authorized officer of the company determines that providing leave would “jeopardize the viability of the small business.” A more detailed analysis of these eligibility requirements can be found in our previous post.

However, the temporary rule also places renewed emphasis on the importance of documenting. For every instance that an authorized officer determines leave should be denied based on the criteria set forth in the exemption, the business must document “the facts and circumstances that meet the criteria  . . .  to justify such denial” and must retain such documentation for four years.

Further, regardless of whether a small business chooses to exempt one or more of its employees through the exemption, businesses are still subject to the FFCRA’s notice posting requirements.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) is effective today, April 1. In honor of this undoubtedly daunting occasion for employers with less than 500 employees, we analyze the most significant provisions from the Department of Labor’s updated FAQs, which fill in gaping holes in the legislation that left employers (and counsel) puzzled.  For employers with fewer than 50 employees, we also examine recent DOL guidance on the “small business exemption” and identify the ways in which employers can qualify for this exemption.

Continue Reading Updated DOL Guidance – What Employers Need To Know On The First Day Of The FFCRA

Illinois and other states are now on the second week of the extraordinary executive orders colloquially referred to as the “shelter in place” or “stay-at-home” orders.  Illinois’ version, COVID-19 Executive Order 8 (the “Order”), was issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 20, 2020, is effective through at least April 7, 2020, but will likely be extended.  The requirements of the Order, and the practical takeaways from it for employers struggling to remain open for business and protect their workforces, are instructive to employers in any jurisdiction. A Kelley Drye Client Advisory addressing compliance with Stay-at-Home Orders is located here.

As in other states, the Order generally requires all individuals living in Illinois to stay at home unless they are leaving their home for Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions, or to Operate Essential Businesses and Operations. As summary of Essential Businesses and Operations is contained below.

Continue Reading Lessons from Illinois’ Shelter in Place Orders

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued the first round of guidance regarding the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

This guidance includes: Fact Sheet for EmployersFact Sheet for Employees; and Questions and Answers.  Although much of the DOL’s guidance echoes what we already knew (or guessed) about the FFCRA, the DOL did address some issues that employers have been grappling with since its enactment last week.

Below is a summary of the pertinent highlights:

Continue Reading New DOL Guidance Puts Employers on Notice: FFCRA Takes Effect on April 1

Not to be upstaged by the President, and just as the Senate was voting on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (“FFRCA”), New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law paid sick leave legislation to mandate paid sick leave and provide job protection for ALL New York employees, including those who are quarantined or ordered to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19.

There are two major distinctions between the FFCRA and the New York Sick Leave Law:

  • The NY law applies to ALL employers, not just those with under 500 employees.
  • The NY paid sick leave law for employees with COVID-19 issues is effective immediately. The amendments to New York Labor Law mandating state-wide paid sick leave go into effect in 180 days. This article focuses on the COVID-19 portion of the law.

Continue Reading NYS Enacts COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Legislation—Effective Immediately

On March 18, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), which creates the Family Medical Leave Expansion Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act in order to provide protections for employees who need to take leave during the COVID-19 health crisis. Employers should be prepared for the below provisions to take effect on April 1, 2020.  Below is a brief summary of the salient points of these new laws and the circumstances under which paid sick leave and the expanded family leave will be available to employees.

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Now What?

MARCH 24, 2020 AT 1:00PM EST

Is your company ready? Do you have questions about the new law? Join Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment co-chairs Barbara Hoey and Mark Konkel and senior associate Diana Hamar as they take a deep dive in the new law and the circumstances under which paid sick leave and the expanded family leave will be available to employees, share practical advice and discuss potential hidden issues such as WARN.

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