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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted, and will continue to impact, every facet of our lives.

As part of the federal response to this crisis, a new law was enacted called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), which, for the first time, mandates paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave in certain circumstances related to the pandemic. The Act takes effect on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and expires on December 31, 2020.

The Act applies to all employers with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the Act’s requirements if those requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. It is not yet clear how a small business can claim the exemption, but regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be issued within the next week. Those regulations are expected to provide clarity on that point as well as other issues under the Act.

As with other employment laws, employers are required to provide employees with notice of the Act’s provisions. Importantly, notice must be given by all covered employers, including small businesses who may ultimately qualify for an exemption from the Act. Notice should be posted in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises where similar notices are customarily posted. With many employees now teleworking, the DOL advises that an employer may satisfy the notice requirement “by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.” The official notice poster issued by the DOL can be found by clicking here.


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Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann, P.A., with offices located in Boca Raton, Florida, has practice areas in Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment, Construction Litigation, Chinese Drywall Litigation, Bankruptcy and Creditor's Rights, Real Estate Transactions, Real Estate Litigation, Business Transactions, Family Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Appellate Matters. We represent clients throughout Florida and nationwide.

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