Department of Labor alters Families First Coronavirus Response Act job-leave provisions following lawsuit

October 10, 2023

The U.S. Department of Labor is making changes to portions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that were the subject of a lawsuit earlier this year.These actions better define the rights workers have along with employer responsibilities under FFCRA as it pertains to job-protected leave. FFCRA, which was enacted in April 2020, requires certain employers to provide their employees paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.A news release from the Labor Department says the revisions:

  • Reiterate the requirement that employees may only use FFCRA leave if work otherwise would be available to them.
  • Reaffirm the requirement that an employee needs employer approval to take FFCRA leave intermittently.
  • Match the definition of “health care provider” to the Family and Medical Leave Act, which includes those who are employed to provide diagnostic, preventive, treatment or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care. That change means administrative and other support staff at health care organizations are no longer classified as health care providers under FFCRA.
  • Clarify that employees must provide their employers required documentation supporting their need for FFCRA leave as soon as it is feasible.
  • Corrects an inconsistency about when employees may be required to provide their employer notice of a need to take expanded family and medical leave.

These changes come less than a month after a federal judge in New York struck down portions of FFCRA.Connor Cross, Director of HR for Syndeo, says the revisions will affect employers in the health care industry that previously enacted exemptions for all of their employees.She says employers should review and revise their FFCRA policies and procedures as needed. Syndeo will assist its clients with that process.About us: As the Heartland’s leading employer services company, Syndeo partners with local business owners to help them minimize risk, improve efficiency and maximize profitability allowing them the freedom to focus on growth and fulfilling their mission. Syndeo fulfills its mission by taking on all of the HR responsibilities for our clients’ workforce, including employee relations, benefits, risk management and payroll.

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