The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak. Among other things, the FFCRA extended federal paid leave benefits to many workers employed at companies or organizations with fewer than 500 total employees.
Subsequently, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on several different provisions within the law. Notably, the DOL’s guidance limited the number of employees who were eligible for federal paid leave of benefits under the law.
On August 3, a New York federal judge invalidated key portions of the DOL’s guidance. In the State of New York v. United States Department of Labor, et al, Judge J. Paul Oetken struck down DOL regulations, expanding paid leave benefits.
For the most part, the federal court agreed with the arguments raised by the plaintiffs, finding that the DOL overstepped its authority in restricting access to federal paid leave benefits under the FFCRA. Here are the three most important things to know about the decision:
The Trump Administration has an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Second Circuit. If an appeal is filed, it is possible that a stay will be issued or that the Second Circuit will reinstate the regulations. Considering the decision, all employers covered by the FFCRA should ensure that they have the proper policies in place.
David T. Harmon, Esq., and Keith D. McDonald, Esq., are partners in our Labor & Employment Practice Group. David co-chairs the Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Practice Group and focuses his practice on the areas of executive compensation, employment, and business law. Keith concentrates his practice on commercial litigation, labor and employment, and higher education law. David and Keith can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you have any questions about temporary federal paid leave regulations as well as any other matter in the areas described above.