April 1, 2020
By Anne E. Baggott
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule with additional guidance for compliance with the coronavirus-related paid leave benefits for employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide workers with additional paid leave benefits for COVID-19-related reasons. Our March 19 update, Emergency Paid Leave Law for Employers Effective April 1, 2020, provides additional details.
The DOL today clarified the documentation employers need to support that the FFCRA paid leave benefits qualify for the dollar-for-dollar tax credit available to employers. The employee needs to provide the business with the following to document the need for leave:
- Employee name.
- Dates for which leave is requested.
- Qualifying reason for the leave.
- Oral or written statement that the employee is unable to work because of the qualified reason for leave.
- If the reason is due to a quarantine or isolation order for the employee or a family member, the employee also must provide the name of the government entity issuing the order.
- If the reason is due to healthcare provider advice to self-quarantine or to care for a family member who is advised to self-quarantine, the employee also must provide the name of the provider.
- If reason is due to a school or child care closure, the employee must provide the name of the son or daughter; name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that’s closed or has become unavailable; and a representation that no other suitable person will be caring for the son or daughter while employee is taking this leave.
If the employee cannot provide this documentation, the business is permitted to deny the leave request. If the employee makes an oral request, the business must obtain the required information from the employee and create a document that supports the request for leave.
Employers are required to retain all documentation for four years, regardless of whether leave was granted or denied. If an employee provided oral statements to support his or her request for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, the employer is required to document and retain such information for four years.
Contact Anne E. Baggott at 816-714-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with coronavirus-related employment issues.