To help our clients navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Keane & Beane is providing numerous Legal Alerts on a variety of issues. The information contained in this Legal Alert is applicable as of today, March 27, 2020. Many situations are so fact specific and nuanced that this Legal Alert only addresses some of the more pressing ongoing issues. The discussion below is therefore general and does not address all considerations and specific analyses that may need to be undertaken prior to taking action.
On March 25, 2020, the United Stated Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Model Notice that covered employers must post regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), as well as an FAQ on the notice requirements. The Model Notice can be found here and the FAQ can be found here.
Under the FFCRA, employees are entitled to paid leave, without charge to accruals, due to certain COVID-19 related absences, such as being under quarantine or caring for a family member under quarantine, seeking a diagnosis of COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms of the virus or caring for a family member who has experienced such symptoms and is seeking diagnosis, and/or caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 precautions. For a detailed description of the leave entitlements under the FFCRA, please see our Legal Alert.
Pursuant to the FFCRA, all covered employers are required to post in “conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted,” a notice advising employees of the FFCRA’s requirements. The notice does not need to be translated into multiple languages, though the DOL does plan to release the notice in other languages. Significantly, given the current COVID-19 crisis resulting in much of the nation’s workforce working from home, the posting requirement can be satisfied by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees, or posting the notice on an employee information internal or external website. The notice must be provided to current and new employees.
When physically posting the notice in the workplace, employers should adhere to the following guidelines:
- The posting requirement is not satisfied by placing the notice, along with other notices, in a binder and affixing the binder to the wall. The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place where it is easily visible.
- If all employees report to a single location each day, even if they subsequently leave for different work locations, the employer only needs to post the notice in a conspicuous place where employees can see it at such single location. Under these circumstances, the notice does not need to be posted at each work location.
- If employees work in different locations, without reporting to a common location each day, the notice must be posted at each work location. Separate buildings, even when located on the same campus or industrial park, are considered separate work locations.
- The notice should be posted in an area or areas of the work location where it can be seen by all employees. This may require posting the notice in multiple areas of a work location if the location is large and there is no common area frequented by employees. For example, in a large building with multiple floors, an employer may need to post the notice in the break room of each floor of the building.
Prior Keane & Beane Covid-19 Legal Alerts
Keane & Beane, P.C. has prepared several Legal Alerts concerning the Federal and State response to COVID-19 and the impacts on employers and local governments. Our Legal Alerts are available here.
Consult Counsel Regarding Specific Questions
Given the fluidity of this rapidly developing situation, we encourage you to reach out to a member of the Keane & Beane Public Sector Practice Group with questions regarding specific situations. We note that there are legislative developments in Congress and New York which impact each of these questions, which we are closely monitoring. Because of the frequent developments, you should consult counsel regarding specific questions. For questions on employment and labor issues contact William Kang or Lance H. Klein and on general municipal issues contact Nicholas M. Ward-Willis or Drew Victoria Gamils or any other attorney in our Public Law Sector Practice Group.