Coronavirus and the Workplace

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.

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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:

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Effective at noon on March 24, 2020, Massachusetts will become the latest state to close non-essential businesses in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.  As covered here previously, Connecticut and New York issued substantially similar executive orders in days immediately prior.  The Massachusetts order identifies “essential” businesses, orders the closing of non-essential businesses

On Sunday March 22, 2020, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development released “legally binding guidance” concerning which businesses are “essential” for purposes of Governor Lamont’s March 20, 2020, Executive Order 7H (directing all businesses and nonprofit entities to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they

UPDATE: Executive Order 202.8 can be read here.  In addition to closing workplaces to non-essential employees, the order:

  • Tolls state court litigation deadlines until April 19, 2020
  • Suspends Department of Motor Vehicles related deadlines until April 19, 2020
  • Tolls shareholder meeting-related deadlines until April 19, 2020
  • Tolls residential and commercial eviction enforcement for 90 days
  • Abates late fines and penalties related to filings due on or before March 20.

At a press conference this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a forthcoming executive order placing further restrictions on New Yorkers’ daily life.  The order will be effective as of Sunday.  Per the New York Times, relevant employment-related provisions include:


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On the heels of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law yesterday, New York State has enacted broad legislation extending paid sick leave benefits to employees.  The extent of paid sick leave is determined by employer size and revenue, and can be utilized by employees whether they are sick, or absent from work because of a “mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation” issued by “the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.”  All of New York City is currently subject to such an order.

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If you are reading this post, you already know about SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”), or, coronavirus.  There is no shortage of news to absorb and guidance to implement.  Federal, state (CT, MA, NY), and local (Boston, Hartford, New Haven, New