Our colleagues Jeffrey H. Ruzal, Denise M. Dadika, Maxine H. Neuhauser, and Eduardo J. Quiroga have co-authored an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: “Department of Labor Issues OSHA, Wage/Hour, and FMLA Guidance Addressing COVID-19.”
Following is an excerpt:
In response to the spreading 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, which has now been declared a national emergency by President Trump, the Department of Labor has released guidance to employers, summarized more fully below:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (“OSHA Guidance”), which identifies measures that employers can take to reduce worker exposure to COVID-19 and help reduce its spread.
- The Wage and Hour Division published questions and answers (“FAQs”) providing information on common issues that employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, including effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). As detailed in our recent Advisory, the FMLA guidance may soon change significantly for certain employers based on recent federal legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201) (“Bill”), which passed in the House of Representatives and is currently making its way to the Senate. The Bill, as currently drafted, would require private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide expanded FMLA benefits and paid sick leave to employees in specific emergency circumstances.