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A Potential Childcare Disruption for Rehired Employees

As businesses reopen, employers with fewer than 500 employees need to brush up on the FFCRA Paid Leave rules, including a potential disruption to your return to operations. 

Under the FFCRA, employees may be eligible for up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and up to 12 weeks of paid Emergency Childcare Leave. The eligibility and use of Childcare Leave have presented the most questions. Check out Bryan Meek’s article about summer vacations

Under the FFCRA and the Department of Labor guidance, employees would be eligible for Childcare Leave only if the employer had them on its payroll for at least 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day leave would begin. 

Many of the reinstated employees have been on unemployment, rather than the employer’s payroll for the past month or so.  

Does this mean the rehired employees are not eligible for Childcare Leave until they work for at least a month? Not necessarily

Why? Under the CARES Act, Congress added a loophole for rehired employees. If an employee was laid off on or after March 1, 2020 and is then rehired, the employee is immediately eligible for Childcare Leave if the employee worked 30 of the last 60 calendar days prior to layoff. 

What is the concern? An employee can return to work as part of a rehire program for one day, and then go on 12 weeks of a combination of Emergency Sick Leave and Emergency Childcare Leave paid at a 2/3 rate up to $200 per day. 

What should employers do? The Childcare Leave process is designed to be interactive. Engage in an interactive process with your employees about their scheduling and childcare needs. You can remind employees that the childcare disruptions will likely extend into the next school year, so it’s wise to conserve the leave for when it is absolutely necessary. 

For additional questions, please contact Jeffrey Miller 216.658.2323 or any member of the Labor + Employment Team of BMD.  

HHS Announces an Additional $20 Billion In Provider Relief Grants

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $20 billion in new funding for providers on October 1, 2020. Eligible providers include those that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments as well as previously ineligible providers, such as those who began practicing in 2020, and an expanded group of behavioral health providers confronting the emergence of increased mental health and substance use issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The new Phase 3 General Distribution is designed to balance an equitable payment of 2% of annual revenue from patient care for all applicants plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19.

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.