Wednesday, March 25, 2020

More DOL Guidance on FFCRA (EFMLA and paid sick leave) - including an effective date!

Drip.... drip.... the details about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act continue to emerge. Here's the DOL press release announcing additional guidance. The latest guidance is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers page. The big news is that we finally have a formal effective date:
The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Not official use.
There was some confusion about this because the statute says that it will take effect "not later than" 15 days after enactment. Some attorneys erroneously assumed that this meant it would take effect 4/2 (exactly 15 days after enactment). Meanwhile, guidance from the IRS over the weekend described "immediate" tax relief and included the word "can begin" as though employers could now begin taking advantage of the tax credits immediately.

They also announced a 6-month lookback calculation method for the "regular rate" of pay for the paid leave:
For purposes of the FFCRA, the regular rate of pay used to calculate your paid leave is the average of your regular rate over a period of up to six months prior to the date on which you take leave. If you have not worked for your current employer for six months, the regular rate used to calculate your paid leave is the average of your regular rate of pay for each week you have worked for your current employer.
Stay tuned because we're expecting the formal notice that employers must provide to their employees later today.

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