Among the many changes COVID-19 has brought about is the increases use of telemedicine for persons in need of medical services. On December 29, 2020, the United States Department of Labor embraced the use of telemedicine as a method by which an employee can obtain “treatment” for “serious medical condition” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave for their own or a...read more
There are no magic words an employee needs to utter to trigger rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Rouse v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, No. 18-17452 (9th Cir. 2020) illustrates the point. In that case, Rouse sent his employer an email saying he wanted to take three days of paid vacation to have surgery. Even though Rouse did not mention the FMLA, the court found that the email, as well...read more
The U.S. Department of Labor published a request for information on July 16, 2020, seeking comments on possible revisions to the DOL’s FMLA regulations. If you are an employer interested in submitting comments to the DOL, we can help you do that. Just let us know. Submissions are due on or before September 15, 2020. The notice states that “the Department seeks input from employers and employees on the current FMLA...read more
No question, we are in a time of high anxiety. Friends, family and pretty much everyone else I talk to has a story about how they are dealing with the new normal in the time of COVID-19. We all need someone to talk through stuff with. I suspect that many Employee Assistance Plans will see an uptick in use over course of 2020. But does the person you talk to qualify as a health care provider under the FMLA? A recent case from...read more
In its most recent questions and answers, the Department of Labor addresses the circumstances in which employers may require employees to use existing leave and how existing leave works in conjunction with EFMLA and EPSL under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This information is found in FAQ 86, with reference to previous guidance at Questions 31-33. Let’s take EFMLA first. EFMLA is available when an employee is unable to...read more
It has been about two weeks since the DOL issued guidance on the paid leave (EFMLA and EPSL) required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Here is a summary of the DOL’s latest guidance -- questions 80-88 on the Department’s FAQ page. These questions and answers primarily concern employees with irregular schedules and how to determine the number of leave hours and rate of pay for leave purposes. The Q&A...read more
You may already have employees who’ve taken emergency FMLA (EFMLA) or emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) related to COVID-19 under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"). Maybe you haven’t. Either way, you should have a plan for FFCRA leave requests that accounts for the following: Accept verbal notices and requests for leave and follow up with employees to obtain written notice to support the leave request. Do not...read more
Under What Circumstances Is An Employee Unable To Work (Or Telework) Because They Are Subject To Quarantine or Isolation Order?
The Department of Labor (DOL) continues to change and add to the question and answer (Q&A) guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). It has grown to 79 questions and answers of as April 8, 2020. That guidance can be found here. In its Q&A guidance, the DOL is clear that FFCRA paid sick leave is only for employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but who would otherwise have work to do. If an...read more
On April 6, 2020, when the Department of Labor (DOL) published temporary regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), it clarified a significant detail for employers with fewer than 50 employees. According to the DOL, the small employer exemption applies only when leave is needed to care for a son or daughter whose school is closed or whose childcare is closed or unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons. The...read more
Over the weekend, the Department of Labor released additional guidance regarding the emergency family and medical leave (EFMLA) and emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new questions and answers -- Q&A 60-79 -- largely reiterate prior guidance and the recently issued DOL regulations. We’ve covered these developments over the past few weeks. So what is in the fourth...read more
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