Regulations have been issued to implement Families First Act
For those of you who may not have heard, the Families First Act is now in effect. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website is full of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) pages that are of use, but moments ago we received regulations. These regulations are very lengthy and complex. I strongly recommend that if you have any employees requesting this leave, you reach out to discuss the specifics.
Following a preliminary review, one regulation I want to call to your attention is 826.100. The regulation provides that employers can only require limited documentation of the need for leave. This is a departure from the DOL’s FAQs and a somewhat unfair one. While employers are told they must obtain documentation for tax purposes, regulation 826.100 provides that—at first—the “documentation” may simply be (at least at first) an oral representation from an employee that he or she has a need for leave. The full text of Section 826.100 is below. This should guide you as you determine what information you need to permit the available leave.
If you have questions about your coverage by the act, specific or mechanics of how it works, etc, please give me a call at 256-713-2205 or 256-457-5200 (cell).
Section 826.100 Documentation of Need for Leave
(a) An Employee is required to provide the Employer documentation containing the following information prior to taking Paid Sick Leave under the EPSLA or Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the EFMLEA:
(1) Employee's name;
(b) To take Paid Sick Leave for a qualifying COVID-19 related reason under§ 826.20(a)(1)(i), an Employee must additionally provide the Employer with the name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order.
(c) To take Paid Sick Leave for a qualifying COVID-19 related reason under Section 826.20(a)(1)(ii) an Employee must additionally provide the Employer with the name of the health care provider who advised the Employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
(d) To take Paid Sick Leave for a qualifying COVID-19 related reason under Section 826.20(a)(1)(iii) an Employee must additionally provide the Employer with either:
(1) the name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order to which the individual being care for is subject; or
(e) To take Paid Sick Leave for a qualifying COVID-19 related reason under§ 826.20(a)(1)(v) or Expanded Family and Medical Leave, an Employee must additionally provide:
(1) the name of the Son or Daughter being cared for;
(f) The Employer may also request an Employee to provide such additional material as needed for the Employer to support a request for tax credits pursuant to the FFCRA. The Employer is not required to provide leave if materials sufficient to support the applicable tax credit have not been provided. For more information, please consult https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided- by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs.
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