U.S. Department of Labor publishes guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The U.S. Department of Labor´s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) adds to guidance for employers as well as workers by explaining some aspects of the FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act), like for example paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave benefits. They seek to provide guidance by informing employers and employees about how each of them will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the FFCRA when it went into effect on April 1, 2020.
The U.S. Department of Labor sees it as its mission to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States of America. Furthermore, they intend to improve working conditions, advance opportunities for profitable employment and assure work-related benefits and rights. The mission of the Wage and Hour Division is promoting and achieving compliance with labor standards in order to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation´s workforce.
The WHD has already published a number of compliance assistance materials, including the English version of a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and posters. Some further explanations are offered within the latest round of guidance, answering some of the most common questions they are receiving, for example if public sector employees may take paid family and medical leave. With their guidance, the WHD tries to ensure that the American workforce has all the important information and tools they need during these difficult times. The information on the WHD website is being constantly updated, whenever new information is available about the benefits that go into effect on the 1st of April, and therefore should be checked frequently.
The FFCRA is an intent of defeating the negative impact of COVID-19 by offering all American businesses with less than 500 employees tax credits, to make sure they can provide their employees with paid leave – either for the employee´s own health needs, or to care for family members. Therefore, the legislation enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, so that they are not forced to choose between their monthly paycheck and the measures recommended by public health to combating the coronavirus.