July 13, 2020

DOL, OSHA Release New COVID-19 Related Guidance

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor released new guidance that clarified companies with fewer than 500 employees must provide paid leave to employees in the event that a child’s summer camp is closed due to COVID-19. The requirement comes under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which made eligible employees entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave in the event that a child’s school was forced to close due to COVID-19.

The announcement, which is available here, noted an employee who requests FFCRA leave must provide the employer information in support of the need for leave either orally or in writing, including an explanation of the reason for leave and a statement that the employee is unable to work because of that reason.

Additionally, in the case of leave to care for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed, the employee must provide the name of the child, the name of the school or place of care, and a statement that no other suitable person is available to care for the child.

Also last week: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a new FAQ webpage that attempts to answer questions related to pressing COVID-19 issues. Topics addressed include employer requirements, face coverings, cleaning and disinfection, return to work, and testing. The FAQs are available here.