DOL News Release 20-1113-CHI (May 29, 2020)
Following an investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, a municipality has agreed to pay back wages to an employee who was improperly denied paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) after her health care provider recommended a 14-day quarantine for reasons related to COVID-19. The employee had also requested FMLA emergency childcare leave when her child’s care provider became unavailable due to COVID-19-related reasons. The news release emphasizes that the DOL is working to protect employee rights and educate employers during the coronavirus pandemic and directs employers to the compliance resources on its website.
EBIA Comment: The DOL’s investigation serves as a reminder that the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions (see our Checkpoint article) are not a suggestion but an obligation. Employers should be familiar with the law’s requirements and have procedures in place for offering the requisite leave and continuing group health plan coverage for the duration of the leave (see our Checkpoint article). For more information, see EBIA’s Group Health Plan Mandates manual at Sections XVI.D (“Expanded FMLA Emergency Childcare Leave”), XVI.E (“Emergency Paid Sick Time”), and XVI.G (“Enforcement”). See also EBIA’s Fringe Benefits manual at Section XXII.G (“Other Laws Affecting Vacation/PTO Plan Design”).
Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.