COVID-19: 7 Things HR Needs to Know About FFCRA Notice Compliance
With its passage in spring 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) attempted to ease the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the legislation has already made significant impacts on teams around the county, compliance questions still remain for many HR teams. Here’s what you need to know about notice compliance.
What is the FFCRA?
The FFCRA is an economic stimulus plan that affects coverage for COVID-19 testing, provided expanded federal family and medical leave, and implemented a new federal paid sick leave law. It is one of two hallmark laws passed at the onset of the pandemic, the other being the CARES Act.
Signed March 2020, the law is expected to be in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.
What Does HR Need to Know About FFCRA Compliance?
The Department of Labor (DOL) published an FAQ that covers FFCRA notices and compliance concerns. HR teams working for private companies with less than 500 employees must consider the following details:
- All covered employers must post FFCRA requirement notices in a clearly visible location at the worksite: Note that employers can satisfy this requirement by emailing or mailing the notice to employees, as well as posting it on an internal or external website. If an organization operates out of different worksites or buildings, the notice must be posted in each facility.
- Employers are not required to post the notice in multiple languages: With this in mind, the DOL has translations available if needed—including in Spanish.
- The notice only applies to current employees: Employers are not required to share the notice with recently laid-off employees or new job applicants. However, if your team hires someone new, the notice must be shared with them.
- The notice must be posted even if an employer’s state providers stronger protections: Employers are required to comply with both state and federal law.
- All private employers with less than 500 employees and certain public sector employers are required to post this notice: The law and corresponding notice requirements don’t apply to employers with more than 500 employees or to certain public organizations.
- Updated notices can be found at the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s website: HR teams can also download the PDF using the following link. These notices are available free of charge.
- Notices must be posted as of April 1, 2020
What Else Does HR Need to Know About the FFCRA?
The FFCRA made several key changes to paid leave requirements, including to paid sick leave and family and medical leave. While the law applies to employers with less than 500 workers, there are some exceptions to certain rules.
In September 2020, the DOL issued clarifications on several FFCRA rules. These include:
- Employees must have work available to them in order to take FFCRA leave
- Employees must receive approval from their employer to take FFCRA leave
- Employers can exclude employees from FFCRA leave eligibility if they're healthcare providers or emergency responders as defined by the FMLA (with exceptions)
- Employees are required to provide appropriate leave documentation as soon as possible
- Improved consistency regarding reasonable notice procedures for employees
For a full rundown of the updates that were made, employer exceptions, and a list of qualifying reasons for leave, visit the following blog.
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