Last night, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Division C of the FFCRA contains the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“Emergency FMLA Expansion Act”). Division E contains the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“Emergency PSL Act”). These measures require private employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers to provide certain employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, and up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave (10 of which must be paid) for certain employees who experience “qualifying needs” for leave.
1. Emergency FMLA Expansion Act
The Emergency FMLA Expansion Act applies to private employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers. It requires such employers to provide “eligible employees” up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” An “eligible employee” is one who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested. A “qualifying need related to a public health emergency” means the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for his or her son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school of place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.
The Emergency FMLA Expansion Act permits employers to require that the first 10 days of leave under the Emergency FMLA Expansion Act be unpaid. Subject to certain caps, after the first 10 days, an employer must pay the employee at a rate of two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would have been required to work for the remainder of the employee’s leave entitlement.
Employers must generally restore employees who take emergency FMLA leave to their prior or equivalent positions. There are limited exceptions for businesses that are required to eliminate positions due to operational changes caused by the public health emergency.
2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
In addition to extending job-protected leave rights as explained above, the Emergency PSL Act requires employers having fewer than 500 employees and public employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for certain reasons. A covered employer shall provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick leave to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need for leave because of one of the following reasons:
(1) the employee is subject to a local, state, or federal quarantine order related to COVID-19;
(2) a health care provider has advised the employee to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
(3) the employee is seeking a medical diagnosis and is experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms;
(4) the employee is caring for an individual who is or has been advised to self-quarantine;
(5) the employee is unable to work because he or she needs to care for a child because the child’s school, day care, or child care is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19 concerns; or
(6) the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
A full-time employee shall be entitled to paid sick leave for 80 hours. Part-time employees shall be entitled to paid sick leave for a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a 2-week period. The amount paid as sick leave pay is also subject to certain caps, and employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who take paid leave.
Certain tax credits are also provided to mitigate the impact on employers.
The FFCRA – including its Emergency FMLA Act and Emergency PSL Act components – is effective not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment. Therefore, if your business or operation is covered, it is imperative that you take immediate steps to comply. The FFCRA is set to expire December 31, 2020.
If you have questions about how these issues may affect your business, contact Joshua B. Gessling, or the ZSWS lawyer with whom you regularly work.
Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP (ZSWS) is pleased to announce that Patrick A. Shoulders, Dirck H. Stahl, and Clay W. Havill have been selected to the 2020 Indiana Super Lawyers list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. Mr. Shoulders was selected for inclusion in the area of General Litigation, Mr. Stahl in the areas of State, Local, and Municipal Law, and Mr. Havill in the area of General Litigation. Only 5% of attorneys in Indiana receive the distinction of Super Lawyer, and only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 are selected as Rising Stars.
In addition to the above recognition, Mr. Shoulders was also honored as a “Top 50” lawyer in the State of Indiana in the 2020 edition of Super Lawyers.
L. Katherine Boren has been selected as a member of the Leadership Development Academy (“LDA”) Class of 2020. The LDA, now in its ninth year, is a statewide leadership program established to empower and develop lawyers to be informed, committed, and involved so that they may fill significant leadership roles in local and state bar associations, local communities, and organizations and to serve as role models in matters of ethics and professionalism. The lawyers selected represent a geographic breadth of the Hoosier state, and all are accomplished legal practitioners who have been admitted to practice for less than 15 years. Members will participate in five sessions featuring professional facilitators and prominent speakers from various disciplines to inform participants about leadership principles and techniques, the importance of effective leaders in organizations to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and the challenges and rewards of leadership in action.
For more information about Katie Boren, see her ZSWS bio: http://www.zsws.com/attorney/katie-boren/
Christopher Riccio and Erik Bryant have joined Ziemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP as associate attorneys.
Chris Riccio’s practice is focused on civil litigation, family law, and municipal law. Chris, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wake Forest University in 2012 with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Chemistry. While at Wake Forest University, he was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and received the Jack D. Fleer Award for Excellence in Honors in Political Science, which is given to the graduating senior who has qualified for Honors and is deemed by a departmental committee to have written the best senior thesis. Before law school, he interned in Washington, D.C. in the United States Senate. Chris obtained his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 2017. Chris is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Kentucky.
Erik Bryant’s practice is focused on a wide range of civil litigation matters, including corporate defense and municipal law. Erik, an Evansville native, graduated from Wabash College in 2014 with a major in Spanish and a minor in Rhetoric. As an undergraduate, Erik also participated on the baseball team and studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, where he gained valuable speaking skills in the Spanish language. Erik received his law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. During his time in law school, Erik served as a clerk in the chambers of the Honorable Judge Melissa S. May and assisted in the drafting of appellate opinions. Erik also worked as a clerk for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (“OIAG”) in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. After successfully passing the Indiana Bar Exam, Erik served as a Deputy Attorney General handling cases from nearly every section of the OIAG, including Consumer Protection Litigation, Medical Licensing Enforcement Litigation, Criminal and Civil Appeals, Asset Recovery and Bankruptcy Litigation, Administrative and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation, and Correctional Litigation. Erik is licensed to practice law in Indiana.
If you would like more information about Chris Riccio, please call Mr. Riccio at (812) 424-7575 or email him at email@example.com.
If you would like more information about Erik Bryant, please call Mr. Bryant at (812) 424-7575 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Joshua B. Gessling
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule increasing the minimum salary requirement for white-collar-exempt workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $23,660 (annualized) to $35,568 (annualized). The new rule also increases the salary level required for highly compensated employees from $100,000 to $107,432.
Workers classified as exempt under one or more of the white collar exemptions – which includes employees classified as exempt under the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions – must generally receive a minimum salary level, be paid on a salary basis, and actually perform certain job duties. While the DOL’s new rule raises the minimum salary level, the job duties and salary basis tests remain unchanged.
The DOL’s new rule is effective January 1, 2020. It is anticipated that the DOL’s new rule will require employers to reclassify over one million workers from exempt/overtime ineligible to non-exempt/overtime eligible.
Employers are encouraged to consider how this change will impact the continued classification of certain employees as exempt. Employers must decide prior to January 1, 2020, whether individuals making less than the soon-to-be-implemented minimum salary level should receive a pay adjustment or be reclassified as non-exempt/overtime eligible. Employers must also determine the extent to which such changes impact budgets, recruitment, and hiring. As a broader effort to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws, employers may also consider reassessing the job duties of exempt employees who make or will make more than the new minimum salary level as of January 1, 2020, to ensure these employees continue to actually perform the job duties required under the applicable exemption.
If you have questions about how the DOL’s final rule might impact your business, please contact the ZSWS lawyer with whom you regularly work or any member of the firm’s labor and employment law practice team.