On August 3, the federal court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) issued an order invalidating several significant portions of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The SDNY struck down the following provisions:
- That work has to be otherwise available to the employee for the employee to be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL).
- The DOL’s expansive definition of “healthcare providers” for the purposes of who can be excluded from the FFCRA mandated leave.
- That an employer must agree to the use of EPSL on an intermittent basis by employees for reasons not related to the possible spread of COVID-19 by the employee.
- That an employee must provide documentation requesting FFCRA before the beginning of the leave.
This ruling clearly applies in the Southern District of New York, however, its impact outside of the district is uncertain. As of now, employers who operate in that jurisdiction may have differing obligations under the FFCRA than employers operating outside.
A more detailed description of the ruling is provided below.