Last week we discussed the difference between a furlough and layoff. You can access this information by visiting our Blog and clicking “COVID-19 Updates From Shelter to Families First”. The Federal Department of Labor has released more guidelines on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) works for Paid Sick Leave and the Emergency FMLA when your employees have been or will be furloughed or laid off in the future.
● If you have already closed your place of work or sent your employees home because you did not have work for them to do, your employees will not be eligible for the FFCRA Paid Sick Leave or Emergency FMLA.
● If you close your place of work or send your employees home after April 1st, 2020, your employees are not eligible for the FFCRA Paid Family Leave or Emergency FMLA after your workplace has closed.
● If an employee is on FFCRA Paid Leave or Emergency FMLA when you close your workplace down, they are only eligible for pay under FFCRA for the time they used before you closed down. From the date you close down going forward, they are not eligible for FFCRA Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA.
● The above is true even if you tell your employees that you are going to open up again at some point in the future. They are not eligible for FFCRA Paid Sick Leave or Emergency FMLA while you are closed down.
● If an employee is still working but you reduce their hours per week because you do not have enough work for them to do, they are not eligible for FFCRA Paid Sick Leave or Emergency FMLA to make up the difference in hours. They are only eligible for pay under FFCRA if they meet one of the six qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. A reduction of hours is not one of the qualifying reasons.
● In the above situations, your employees may be eligible for unemployment insurance. They should be directed to contact the state’s unemployment insurance office for more information.
You can find more information on this subject on the DOL FFCRA FAQ’s.