We reported last month on a decision by a New York federal court that rejected portions of the Department of Labor regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) leaves signed into law earlier this year. The FFCRA created rights for employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees, and all public employers, to take up to 10 days of paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) for various COVID-19 related reasons, and another 10 weeks of paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”) for leaves necessitated by COVID-19 related school and day care closures. The court held that the following FFCRA rules were improper:
- A rule allowing for intermittent FFCRA leaves only if the employer and the employee agreed to the use of leave time intermittently;
- A rule denying FFCRA benefits to employees who are unable to work due to FFCRA-covered reasons when the employer does not have work for those employees (for example, when the employee would be on furlough status due to a COVID-related reduction in force);
- A rule allowing employers of health care providers to exclude a broad range of employees from the FFCRA’s benefits; and
- A rule allowing employers to require documentation of the need for FFCRA leave time prior to the leave’s commencement.