Agency Resources For Employers on Coronavirus
On Friday, the Connecticut Department of Labor issued helpful guidance for employers on issues related to coronavirus. The document advises employers on unemployment eligibility; wage and hour compliance in the event of temporary closures, remote working arrangements, and other scenarios employers may be encountering; the Family and Medical Leave Act; and Connecticut’s paid sick leave law.
The document from the Connecticut Department of Labor offers state-specific guidance to supplement information released by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made various resources and guidance documents available regarding preparing workplaces and protecting employees from coronavirus, including a notice in both English and Spanish and a detailed document entitled Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 with information about how to protect employees with varying risk levels for exposure to the virus.
In addition, while not yet in effect, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an extensive relief bill on March 14 with multiple provisions that, if implemented, will impact employers. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, HR 6201, includes provisions establishing a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak, expanding unemployment benefits and providing grants to states for processing and paying claims, and requiring certain employers (i.e. those with less than 500 employees) to provide paid sick leave to employees. The bill now goes to the Senate. We are closely monitoring this pending legislation and will provide further updates as they become available.