Posted: April 15 at 3:40 PM
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released its updated Questions & Answers that provide information on how small business may take advantage of an exemption under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).
An employer’s general duties under the EFMLA and EPSLA are discussed in a recent article from Bell Nunnally at this link.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees who meet certain criteria set forth by the DOL can elect a small business exemption from the EFMLA and EPSLA. While additional regulations are expected to be announced soon, the DOL’s Questions and Answers provide the following:
A small business is exempt from providing paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave due to school or place of care closures or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons when doing so would jeopardize the viability of the small business as a going concern. A small business may claim this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined that:
The DOL’s answers suggest that the small business exemption is limited to exempting employers from child-care-related paid leave, but not for the other leave provided under the EFMLA and EPSLA.
The DOL also expressly stated that it “encourages employers and employees to collaborate to reach the best solution for maintaining the business and ensuring employee safety.”
If you want to discuss whether your business may qualify for the department’s small business exemption, please contact our Labor, Employment and Benefits team.