FMLA/Leaves of Absence

On August 1, 2019, Dallas joined a host of states, cities and counties across the country when it implemented the City of Dallas’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance No. 31181. Under the Ordinance, employers were required to provide paid sick leave to all full-time and part-time employees. While legal challenges effectively stopped the enactment of other cities’ ordinances, the Dallas Sick Leave Ordinance remained unchallenged – until recently, that is. 
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On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, an unprecedented $2 trillion economic rescue plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our firm has previously summarized the CARES Act’s tax and health and retirement benefits provisions.  Below, we summarize additional aspects of the Act that impact the workplace.
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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is set to take effect on April 1, 2020.  As we previously reported, the Act requires that employers with fewer than 500 employees provide two new forms of paid leave.  First, covered employers must provide up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work because of certain COVID-19 related reasons.  Second, covered employers must provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave (in addition to the 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave) to eligible employees who are unable to work or telework because they need to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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The Department of Labor released posters that employers with fewer than 500 employees must use to meet the notice posting requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The DOL issued two posters, one for federal employers, available here and one for all other covered employers, available here.  The DOL also provided a questions and answers page regarding the notice posting requirement here.


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In the early morning hours of March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to address concerns related to the spread of COVID-19.  The Senate is expected to consider the Bill shortly, and according to media reports, the Bill has the Trump Administration’s support.  Our summary highlights provisions of the Bill related to leave. 
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Effective January 1, 2020, organ donors in California are entitled to an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave.  AB 1223 extends the maximum leave time available to employees who participate in an organ donation program.  This law applies to private employers with 15 or more employees. 
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The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016, which implements the District of Columbia’s new Paid Family Leave program, kicks-in for employees on July 1, 2020.  However, employers must post a PFL notice in the workplace no later than February 1, 2020.   
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