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U.S. DOL Publishes More Q&As on Employment Laws and Coronavirus

On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the agency’s publication of additional questions and answers about the operation of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in workplace situations involving COVID-19.
 
The DOL’s new guidance on COVID-19 and the FLSA addresses topics such as teleworking and compensable time, maintaining employees’ exempt and nonexempt status and hazard pay. The new guidance on COVID-19 and the FMLA adds questions on whether a telemedicine appointment can establish a serious medical condition under the statute, and whether the FMLA prohibits employers from requiring a COVID-19 test of employees returning from FMLA leave.

Issues addressed by the DOL’s additional Q&As on the FFCRA include requiring employees returning from FFCRA leave to be tested for COVID-19 and the availability of FFCRA leave after a furlough.

 Next Steps

Employers should review the updated guidance and resources on the DOL’s COVID-19 and the American Workplace website. Due to the complexity of the federal statutes, and their interaction with state and local laws, employers with leave related questions who have HR Works’ Virtual Helpline Service are encouraged to reach out to the Virtual Helpline for assistance.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. 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.