Late on March 24, 2020, The Department of Labor (DOL) issued some guidance around the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that was placed into law on March 18, 2020. See our article here related to the details of the law as it was enacted. Since then, there has been a lot of confusion and unanswered questions related to the details of this new law, the impact on small businesses and their employees as well as how to manage the intricacies of compliance.
The DOL continues to indicate that additional guidance is coming and with that, here is the first wave of information that does include an adjustment in the effective date. Originally, it was expected to be effective April 2, 2020 but it has been adjusted to an effective date of April 1, 2020. There is a 30 day non-enforcement period in which the Department of Labor will not penalize companies under this law for non-compliance if they have showed a good faith effort to prepare for compliance.
In addition to the adjusted effective date, the guidance includes a Fact Sheet for Employees that outlines their rights under the FFCRA, a Fact Sheet for Employers as well as a comprehensive Question & Answer sheet that does cover some details that may be helpful for small businesses as they navigate through their business continuity plans.
One of the biggest things that small businesses are still waiting for is guidance on applying for exemption from the Act. That is expected to be released next week, the week of March 30, 2020, along with guidance related to the tax credits for payments made under the FFCRA. The DOL has indicated that if a small business is expecting to file for an exemption, they should start preparing documentation around as to why being subject to paying under the provisions of this law would cause them ongoing financial harm.
The Department of Labor also issued the Employee Notice that all covered employers are required to provide employees regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical leave. The notice can be found here and the FAQ about the required notice can be found here.
There is still so much more to come on this and a lot of details to be worked out. We are continuing to stay vigilant on updates as they become available so that small businesses can make the best decisions possible with the information available. We will get through this together.
Be well – Deanna and the Employers Advantage LLC team Robert, Jessica, Shannon, Rachel, Marie, Tammy, Brenda and Lisa