Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On March 18th, President Trump signed FFCRA into law. The act includes emergency paid sick leave, emergency family and medial leave, and provisions for health plans to cover COVID-19 testing.
Please reference the following resources for more details.
DOL | Wage and Hour Division
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Expanded Family and Medical Leave Rights
POSTER: Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Legal Update: Coronavirus Bill Requiring Paid Employee Leave Signed Into Law
Benefit Advisors Network Legal Alert: Congress Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Benefit Advisors Network Employer Reference Guide: Families First COVID-19 Response Act
HR Compliance Bulletin: IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Leave
HR Compliance Bulletin: DOL Clarifies Exemptions to Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
On March 25 Congress agreed to a economic rescue package designed to provide financial assistance to Americans and their families, the airline industry, small businesses, and hospitals. This package has been agreed to by Congress, but has not yet passed.
News Brief: Congress Agrees to $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill
In the Know: Understanding the Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package
Summary of the CARES Act: https://www.steptoe.com/en/news-publications/cares-act-goes-to-the-white-house.html?tab=overview
To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs available to them, the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has created a guide to the small business provisions of the CARES Act: https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/guide-to-the-cares-act
The Council is a commercial insurance and employee benefits trade association who promotes growth and drives the industry forward. Their COVID-19 resource page has a section for Federal, State, and Global Activity.
Please visit OSHA's COVID-19 page for the latest information from OSHA and to access health and safety guidance and resources.
Download: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Recording Workplace Exposures to COVID-19
OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.
COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:
Link: Coronavirus Resources at the Department of Transportation
Waivers Granted for Expired CDLs, CLPs, and Medical Cards
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a waiver applying to all interstate and intrastate CDLs, CLPs, and medical cards allowing eligible drivers to continue to operate with an expired license until June 30, 2020, under certain conditions.
Learn more about the conditions and restrictions in this article from JJKellerLibrary.com.
Drug & Alcohol Testing During a Pandemic: New DOT Guidance
The US DOT has issued guidance on mandatory drug and alcohol testing. It expects carriers and drivers to continue to comply with testing regulations, but recognizes that not all needed resources may be available or drivers may be unwilling to risk catching the virus at a collection site.
To learn more about how the US DOT wants to provide "maximum flexibility" please read this article from JJKellerLibrary.com.
Employers should be wary of inadvertent discrimination when it comes to a coronavirus prevention policy. The policy must be equally enforced. Discriminating against employees-or asking illegal health-related questions-can introduce a host of legal concerns.
It is also important to be educated on the facts about the virus and avoid stigma. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blam someone, fears about the disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear and anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.
For more information about reducing stigma visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/reducing-stigma.html
Resources are provided as information only and should not be construed as medical or legal advice.