After observing a 30-day nonenforcement period to help employers come into compliance with new paid leave rules, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it is fully enforcing all provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The FFCRA requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain government employers to provide paid leave for their employees, either for the employees’ own health needs or to care for others, for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These requirements apply for employee leave taken between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Now that the temporary policy has expired, the DOL is fully enforcing the FFCRA. Employers may still face retroactive penalties for violations committed during the nonenforcement period under certain circumstances. According to the DOL’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the FFCRA, the agency will retroactively enforce violations back to the effective date of April 1, 2020, if employers have not remedied the violations. Penalties for FFCRA violations include civil lawsuits and criminal charges punishable by imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
The laws take effect within 15 days of passage; the leave benefits will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
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