A federal court in New York recently struck down four federal Department of Labor rules related to the leaves provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As a result, certain aspects of the FFCRA are now more favorable to employees. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if the ruling applies nationwide or only in the Southern District of New York, where the court is located. Until there is further activity in the case—which may clarify whether the rules remain intact throughout the rest of the country—we recommend that employers err on the side of caution when administering FFCRA leaves and assume these particular rules no longer apply.
What is clear is that these four rules definitely do not apply to the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, New York, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester (i.e., the Southern District of New York).
Here are the rules that the court invalidated:
The requirement that work be available for an employee to use leave
The requirement that employers agree to intermittent leave
The requirement that employees provide documentation before taking leave
The definition of health care provider, for the purpose of exemption from leave
We will be watching closely for activity in this case and will let employers know if and when things change or become clearer.
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