In California, missed break premiums must be paid at overtime rates
California ruled that employers must pay employees for missed meal, rest, and recovery breaks at the employee’s “regular rate of pay."
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance which answers a number of key questions on the new federal coronavirus paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, including when the law takes effect, how to count employees for purposes of the 500-employee threshold, how to treat related employers and other key questions. The DOL also issued model paid sick leave posters and announced limited amnesty for violations through April 17th.
As summarized in more detail in our March 19 client alert, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and governmental employers (regardless of size), to provide up to 10 days of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave if an eligible employee is unable to work or telework due to certain coronavirus-related events. The law permits employers of healthcare providers and emergency responders to opt out and provides an exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 employees where compliance would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
The DOL guidance, which is in the form of employer and employee fact sheets and questions and answers (Q&As), answers some but not all key questions related to the new leave law, including:
The Q&As also provide detailed guidance on how to calculate hours for part-time employees, overtime, leave amounts and rates of pay calculated and how to coordinate paid sick leave and emergency FMLA leave.
See the chart summarizing the DOL’s Q&As for more detail.
The DOL has issued two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, to help employers fulfill their requirement to notify employees about the employee's rights under the FFCRA. The DOL also issued questions and answers about the posting requirements, including:
The Q&As answers a number of other questions, including how to provide notice at various worksites and what to do if the employer is running out of wall space (make room for the notice).
The DOL issued a Field Service Bulletin that provides limited amnesty for employers who fail to comply with the FFCRA. Under this guidance, the DOL will not bring an enforcement act against a public or private employer for violations of the FFCRA occurring through April 17, 2020, as long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the FFCRA. To show reasonable and good faith action, the employer must:
If these steps are not taken, the DOL reserves the right to exercise its full enforcement authority. After April 17, 2020, this amnesty will not be available and the DOL will fully enforce FFCRA violations, as appropriate and consistent with the law.
These are unprecedented and challenging times for employers, but Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers are continuing to monitor breaking developments as they occur. For regular updates, see our dedicated COVID-19 (coronavirus) page on nortonrosefulbright.com.
The acting assistant secretary for OSHA James Frederick issued an editorial promoting two sources of grant monies available to employers, unions and other organizations.
© Norton Rose Fulbright LLP 2021