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Important Update From the Department of Labor Regarding FFCRA Sick Leave and Family Leave

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has just issued important new guidance regarding the use of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave. This is the sick and family leave that must be offered by certain employers as of today, April 1st and for which employers will receive a credit at the end of the quarter.  The DOL’s guidance differs from what was previously expected based on the plain language of the law. Specifically, be aware that the DOL has taken the position that:

  1. Furloughed employees are NOT eligible for FFCRA sick leave or paid family leave, despite the fact that furloughed employees remain employed, on the payroll and eligible for health benefits;
  2. If a worksite is closed, preventing the employee from working, the employee is NOT eligible to use FFCRA sick leave or paid family leave; and
  3. The DOL has seemingly confirmed that FFCRA sick leave or paid family leave is not available simply because of an office closure due to an executive order, such as the orders we are currently experiencing in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

The full list of DOL questions/answers/guidance can be found here:

The new DOL issued poster that must go up in office re: COVID-19 is here:

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About this Author

Jay S. Becker, Giordano Law Firm, Labor & Employment, Cannabis Law, Corporate Labor Relations Employment Law and Litigation
Shareholder

Jay, chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Area, devotes his practice to labor relations and employment law and litigation on behalf of management. His experience includes conducting trials, hearings, arbitration and mediation sessions; responding to state and federal administrative agency charges; collective bargaining; drafting employment-related corporate documents such as restrictive covenants, employee handbooks, employment agreements, various stock and compensation plans, and separation/severance agreements. He counsels employers on all employee relations issues including, but...

732-741-3900
Jeri L. Abrams, Giordano Halleran, Employment Documentation Lawyer, Workplace Litigation Attorney,Labor & Employment
Shareholder

Jeri focuses primarily on employment law, with an emphasis on drafting and negotiating complex employment-related documentation, such as executive employment, consulting, restrictive covenant, commission, bonus, retention, change-in-control and severance agreements. Jeri counsels employers on a broad range of employment matters, including hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, family and medical leaves, disability leaves and accommodations, anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, wage and hour compliance, and reductions in workforce. She works closely with management, in-house counsel, and human resources personnel in the development and implementation of employment policies and handbooks that comply with applicable law and are consistent with the employer's unique practices and organizational culture. Jeri also advises clients on the employment aspects of M&A deals and other corporate transactions.

Representative Matters 

  • Fortune 300 Company: Represented client in 4 separate recent acquisitions; drafted and negotiated complex executive employment agreements between the client and the founder of the acquired businesses, each of whom were integral to the value of the business being purchased.

  • Publicly-held Pharmaceutical Company: Represented client during a major workforce reorganization, which included 2 plant closures, staff relocations and a series of 9 reductions in workforce; worked closely with the client's legal and human resources departments to ensure the orderly separation of more than 600 employees and to minimize associated legal risks and business disruption; provided advice related to federal and state WARN act issues, wage and hour laws, OWBPA requirements and severance arrangements; prepared and negotiated severance agreements.

  • Publicly-held REIT: Advised client on a wide-array of unique employment matters in the context of the "spin-off" of one of its divisions.

  • Private Equity Firm: Represented large private equity client in connection with a high risk and sensitive termination of the CEO of one of its portfolio companies.

  • Private Equity Firm: Represented private equity firm in the drafting and negotiation of employment agreements for the senior executives of a large portfolio company.

732-741-3900
Ari G. Burd, Shareholder, Giordano Law Firm, Labor & Employment, Cannabis Law, Health Care
Shareholder

Ari devotes his time to assisting and defending employers with regard to traditional employment issues. He frequently counsels employers for compliance with New Jersey laws and has extensive transactional and litigation experience.

Ari has litigated employment matters throughout the state, having made appearances in almost every Superior Court in New Jersey, as well as before both Federal District Courts in New Jersey and the Federal and State Courts in New York.  These actions have involved a diverse range of claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...

732-741-3900