Questions arise for regulatory clarification re coronavirus leave

As noted, Congress enacted two new forms of coronavirus leave this week: sick and FMLA-type leave. Bloomberg BNA reports that the DOL held a townhall today 3-20-2020 to invite suggestions for regulatory clarification and that questions raised in that townhall included:

  • How the exemption for small employers (less than 50 workers) will be interpreted? How will the 50-worker threshold be counted? Will there be any other requirements or will all employers with fewer than 50 workers be exempted?
  • How the exemption for large employers (more than 50 workers) be interpreted? How will the 500 workers be counted?
  • How will existing paid and sick leave interface with these two new forms of leave?
  • Will amounts paid to furloughed workers as a result of the coronavirus events count towards these two new forms of leave?
  • How will the new coronavirus-FMLA leave interact with regular FMLA leave for individuals who experience both coronavirus-related and un-related medical conditions?
  • How will the Treasury Department clarify the rules for how and when employers may assert the tax reimbursement credit to offset payments for these two new forms of leave?

As previously posted, the DOL is expected to issue its regulations — without prior notice or opportunity to comment — no later than the Act’s effective date, and as early as next week.

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