On Friday, April 17, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on COVID-19 issues and equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws.  The easy to read Q&A format is necessary reading for essential employers whose physical workspaces remain open, and for employers contemplating re-opening plans or personnel changes.  The EEOC’s guidance clarifies that EEO laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), continue to apply during the pandemic, while recognizing that these laws should not interfere with applicable safety guidelines issued by the CDC and other agencies.  Recent guidance addresses the following issues:

Continue Reading EEOC Releases Updated COVID-19 Guidance (Updated as of April 23, 2020)

For the last several weeks, the Department of Labor has periodically updated its Families First Coronavirus Response Act: (FFCRA) “Questions and Answers” page by illustrating real-world applications of the FFCRA.  We covered previous updates on March 31, 2020 and March 25, 2020.  The most recent updates – questions 80-88 – illustrate common issues in computing employee hour and pay entitlements under the FFCRA, among others.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Updates Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A Guidance on Calculating Leave Entitlements

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act’s (“FFCRA”) swift enactment left employers scrambling to interpret its provisions.  Fortunately, the Department of Labor has issued temporary regulations that resolve many common questions and scenarios.  Final regulations are expected on April 6th.

The FFCRA provides two types of paid leave: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”).  You can read about the basic provisions of FFCRA here.  This post summarizes some critical issues concerning FFCRA implementation.


Continue Reading DOL Issues Temporary Regulations Detailing FFCRA Paid Leave Rules

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) FAQ leading up to the April 1, 2020 implementation. Over the past week, the DOL has supplemented the FFCRA FAQ several times to provide guidance and clarifications concerning lingering questions. Some of the recent clarifications we find helpful are below.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Continues to Update FAQ Concerning Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Updating our prior Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) guidance, today the Department of Labor issued a model poster concerning FFCRA rights and responsibilities. The poster is accessible at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf

The FFCRA requires covered employers post in a conspicuous place on its premises a notice of FFCRA requirements. For covered employers with remote work forces,

Yesterday, the Department of Labor issued preliminary guidance concerning the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”), which was passed just six days ago.  The guidance provides some clarity on a few key issues:

Continue Reading Department of Labor Releases Preliminary Guidance Concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Last week, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees expanded family and medical leave and paid sick leave benefits for Coronavirus-related reasons.  The FFCRA creates for certain private employers a refundable paid sick leave credit and paid child care leave credit that are intended to immediately and fully reimburse these employers, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

Continue Reading IRS and DOL Preview How Employers Can Recoup Costs of Providing Paid Leave to Employees for Coronavirus-Related Absences

For the first time in sixty years, the U.S Department of Labor is substantively revising the regulation that articulates when two people or businesses are “joint employers” of an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The final version of Joint Employer Status under the FLSA will be published this Thursday, January 16, and is effective on March 16, 2020.  See 29 CFR Part 791.  The unpublished version is available here.  The revisions are meant to “reduce uncertainty over joint employer status, promote greater uniformity among court decisions, reduce litigation, and encourage innovation in the economy.”  Franchise chains, temp agencies, and businesses that outsource their workforces are among those that will benefit from the revised rule.

Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Joint Employer Rule Applicable to Wage and Hour Violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Department of Labor announced its return from winter vacation this week by issuing three new opinion letters.  Two of the letters address Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) payment calculation issues; the other deals with the applicability of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to a special health district.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Releases First Three Opinion Letters of 2020

To be exempt from state and federal overtime requirements, an employee must satisfy both a salary test and a duties test. In May 2016, we blogged about the Department of Labor’s issuance of a Final Rule modifying the so-called “white-collar” employee exemptions to overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The proposed Final Rule increased the minimum salary that must be paid to exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to approximately $913 per week ($47,476 per year), and provided for subsequent annual revisions/increases. The Final Rule did not make changes to the duties test, which still must be satisfied for the exemptions to apply. The Final Rule was supposed to be effective on December 1, 2016, but on November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Final Rule from taking effect. On September 6, 2017, that injunction was made permanent, and the minimum salary threshold under federal law will remain at $455 per week at least until new regulations are issued by the Trump administration’s Department of Labor.
Continue Reading Should New York Employers Care that the Obama Administration’s Final Rule is No More?