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DOL Guidance Addresses Federal Contractors and FFCRA Leave Pay

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued questions and answers (Q&As) on when federal contractors must include Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) or Executive Order 13706 fringe benefits or their monetary equivalent for workers taking leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The SCA and DBA require certain federal contractors to pay their workers at least the local prevailing wage rate, including fringe benefits. Executive Order 13706 mandates that contracts covered by the SCA and DBA provide workers with accrued paid sick leave.

According to the Q&As, federal contractors whose work is covered by the SCA, the DBA or Executive Order 13706 generally do not have to pay the health and welfare fringe benefit rate that those laws and order would normally require when employees take FFCRA paid sick leave or expanded Family and Medical Leave. The DOL explains that the FFCRA mandates compensation only at the employee’s regular rate, which does not include the health and welfare fringe benefit rate. But any employee health insurance benefits must be continued as if the employee were working.

Employers with contracts covered under SCA, DBA or Executive Order 13706 are encouraged to review the Q&As to ensure that employees qualifying for leave under FFCRA are compensated appropriately.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.