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On March 24, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.

The guidance announced today is just the first round of information and compliance assistance to come from WHD. A workplace poster required for most employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.

The Department is also hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees an innovative opportunity to offer their perspective as the department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the FFCRA.

The ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches, that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. DOL needs your input by March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com from now through March 29, 2020 or can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25, 2020, at 2 p.m. (EDT) using the hashtag #EPWChat and #NAIFA.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

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