DOL Publishes Model Notice and Additional Guidance on FFCRA, and CDF Launches Covid-19 Resource Page
Yesterday, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) published its initial guidance for employers on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Today, the DOL published the model notice for employers to use to educate employees about the FFCRA’s provisions. The model notice is here. The DOL also published helpful Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) on the notice posting requirements, including guidance on how and where to post the notice or otherwise communicate its contents to employees, whether it needs to be provided to laid off workers, whether it needs to be provided to new hires, etc. As of now, the notice has not been published in any language other than English. The DOL indicated that it is preparing translated versions for employers to use, but noted that there is no requirement for notice to be provided in other languages. The DOL’s FAQ are here.
In addition to the foregoing, the DOL also published a field bulletin regarding temporary non-enforcement of the FFCRA for the period of March 18, 2020 to April 17, 2020. The field bulletin is here. Essentially, the DOL has indicated that it will not bring enforcement actions against employers during this period, provided they are taking reasonable, good faith steps to comply with the FFCRA. This temporary non-enforcement period is intended to give employers some time to perfect their compliance. The most interesting thing about this bulletin is the time period for non-enforcement. It says that it will not take enforcement actions against employers for the time period of March 2020. This seems to imply that employers have compliance obligations that started March 18, 2020 (the date the FFCRA was signed into law). This is at odds with other DOL guidance published yesterday indicating that the FFCRA takes effect April 1, 2020. Thus, it STILL remains unclear whether employers who have begun complying with the FFCRA by providing paid leave to their employees will get payroll tax credit for payments made between March 18, 2020 and March 31, 2020. My plea to the DOL/IRS: Can you please clarify this for employers? Thank you.
Finally, for all of our subscribers, please note that we have compiled a Covid-19 resource page for employers. The site is here. The site contains helpful Q&As on many Covid-19 related issues employers are confronting, as well as links to laws and guidance applicable to employers. We hope you find it helpful.