New Posting Requirements Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave
By Lisa A. Kopecky, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, LDSS
The new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) are now in effect as of 4/1/2020 and will remain in place through 12/31/2020. This is a temporary rule that was developed to address new workplace issues caused by COVID-19 and requires that all covered employers post the notice in a conspicuous place for all current employeesto view.
How do I know if I am a covered employer?
Generally, all private employers that employ fewer than 500 employees are covered under the FFCRA and must post this notice.
Where do I find the notice?
This employer notice posting requirement is easy to do and can be done pretty painlessly. The U.S. Department of Labor has made a model notice available to all employers (non-federal) free of charge at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf.
How do I post and/or distribute the notice?
The FFCRA requires the notice to be posted but also allows for the notice to be electronically distributed to satisfy the posting requirement.
And since we are currently a workplace that consists of some employees working at the business worksite and with many employees now either working remotely or unable to work at all, here are effective ways to reach them all that are permissible under the Act:
1. Print & Post with Labor Law Notices – Print the notice and post it along with your other required employer notices where employees are used to viewing them. It should be in a conspicuous place at each worksite where current employees can view it.
2. Employee Portal – If your business has an employee portal for employees to access other critical information such as paystubs, benefits information, paid time off, etc., post it there! This is one of the more effective ways to reach your employees.
3. Email It – If you have email addresses for your workforce, email it out to all. This can be the fastest way to reach everyone since we are all reliant upon our email for community, school and news updates.
4. Snail Mail – The Act does also allow for printing and mailing through the post office or other delivery service provider. So if you have employees who are not able to access your physical worksite or online communication, this may be the most suitable way to reach them. And if you have a way to collect proof of delivery, that is recommended.
And consider posting and distributing your own Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) along with, or shortly following, the notice. Your employees are dealing with many unknowns and lots of forced changes to their work and home life. So they’re likely to have lots of questions. If they do have questions or need assistance, who should they reach out to? And as questions are coming in, formulate your answers and add it to the FAQ and reshare. It’s understandable that you will not have all the answers right now but fielding their questions and letting them know you’ll get answers as soon as possible helps ease anxiety and stem potential issues.
Do I have to translate the notice for my workforce whose first language is not English?
The FFCRA has not made it a requirement to post a translated version. However, they do have a Spanish language version of the poster available if that applies to your workforce. It can be found at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA-Employee_Paid_Leave_Rights_SPANISH.pdf
And they are working on translating it into other languages as well so periodically check their website for updates: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
Other helpful links:
FFCRA Notice FAQs:
Fact Sheet-Employer Paid Leave Requirements: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA-employer_Paid_Leave_Requirements.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor COVID-10 and the American Workplace Website: