Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis has launched a COVID-19 Response Team. Contact Jon Hyman with any questions on how your business should respond to this national emergency.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-30-2020: DOL FAQs on the FFCRA, the threequel (and a Zoominar reminder) #coronavirus

A quick reminder that I’ll be live on Zoom today from 1 - 2 pm ET discussing all things Coronavirus, including the DOL’s most recent additions to its Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs (part 1 of which I covered here, and part 2 of which I’m covering below).

You can access the Zoominar here: (and don’t forget that Norah promised to join for a song at the end).

Now, onto the most recent development—the DOL’s weekend additions to its coronavirus paid family and sick leave FAQs (maybe its last before the law’s 4/1 effective date).

Here’s what the DOL has to say about some very important open issues.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-27-2020 number 2: More answers from the DOL on the FFCRA, and another Zoominar

Late yesterday, the DOL published a second round of FAQs (numbers 15-37) answering more questions on the operation of paid family and sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Here’s what the DOL has to say:

Coronavirus Update 3-27-2020: How are we feeling? #CoronavirusCoping

After a week of self-imposed quarantine in my home, and a week of mandatory sheltering in place by the State, now is as good a time as any to tell everyone how I’m holding up, and also to ask everyone, “How are you?”

First me.

The truth is, I’m not great. I’m tired, I’m stressed, and I’m worried.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-26-2020 number 2: Is the DOL’s FFCRA notice correct as published?

The speed at which the coronavirus news cycle moves is dizzying.

Is it possible that the DOL’s FFCRA Employee Rights Poster is correct as published, even with it listing a $12,000 cap for paid family leave?

Coronavirus Update 3-26-2020: A coronavirus Q&A and the DOL’s FFCRA notice (with a big ol’ typo)

Yesterday I held my first Zoominar. (Is this an actual word, or did I just make it up?) I opened up my Zoom room for the first 100 people to join and ask any coronavirus-related employment law questions they wanted. I shared #MyQuarantineHaiku (see below), saw some familiar faces, met some new old friends, and answered dozens of questions.

If you weren’t able to join or couldn’t get in, you can watch it here:

Also yesterday, during my Zoominar, the DOL published its required Employee Rights poster for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You must post it alongside your other employment law posters no later than April 1, and email it to those employees that are currently working remotely. But you might want to brush up on your PDF editing skills before you do so, because the DOL’s model poster has a big ol’ typo. In describing the paid leave entitlement for employees taking time off to care for children, the DOL lists the maximum dollar cap as $12,000 instead of $10,000. A big mistake, and one we will assume the DOL will fix soon. (Thanks to Eric Meyer for pointing this out to me.) You can also bring it to the DOL’s attention on one of its FFCRA twitter chats, or on the online forum it is hosting.

Two more things. First, I will be hosting another Zoominar this coming Monday, March 30, from 1 – 2 pm. And this time I won’t be caught off guard by the questions about how my daughter’s band, Fake ID, is weathering the coronavirus storm. In fact, she’s promised to join and perform a song for everyone. You’ll be able to access the Zoominar here.

Finally, #MyQuarantineHaiku.

Day-time pajamas
I don’t have hair to pull out 
Night-time pajamas

Be well and stay safe. I’ll see everyone tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-25-2020 number 2: Someone needs to tell the DOL that 15 days from March 18 is April 2, NOT April 1

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has an effective no later than 15 days after President Trump signed it. He signed in late in the day on March 18. We all did the math, and calculated an effective date of April 2. We all did the math.

Which is why we were all surprised when the DOL published a Q&A yesterday and announced an effective date of April 1.
What is the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act? 
The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Apparently, everyone can count to 15 except the Department of Labor.

Coronavirus Update 3-25-2020: The 5th nominee for the “worst employer of 2020” is … the coronavirus stimulus snatcher

Can we just close the poll now and announce today’s nominee the winner? If anyone can verify the identity of this employer I’d love to know who it is.

Alison Green, over at Ask a Manager, provides the truly awful details.
I work in an administrative role at a national restaurant chain. 
I just got off of a conference call with corporate in which they told us that if the U.S. government sends us the proposed stimulus checks due to Covid 19, they plan to absorb the money we receive by cutting our hours to reflect that amount. In other words, if each person receives a check for $1,200, $1,200 will effectively go back to the company. Is this legal?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-24-2020 (number 2): I’ll be chatting all things coronavirus tomorrow, Mar. 25, from 12 - 1 ET

There are so many questions about all things coronavirus and workplace, I thought I’d try something new for all of my valued readers.

Tomorrow, March 25, from noon through 1 pm ET, I’ll be live on Zoom chatting all things coronavirus.

You can access this live chat here:

Space is limited. The room can only handle 100 at a time, and it’s first come, first served. Have your coronavirus questions ready, and I’ll try to get to as many as I can in the hour we have.

I'll also be recording it to share later if you can't get into the chat room.

And, if this is well received I promise I’ll do more. 😉

Coronavirus Update 3-24-2020: Layoffs, furloughs, and group health insurance

The question I’ve received the most in the past week is the difference between a layoff and a furlough. Both are reductions in force caused by economic conditions. There is one key difference.

  • A layoff is a permanent job loss, usually with no expectation of recall to full-time employment.
  • A furlough is a temporary and short-term reduction of one's hours (in this case down to zero) with an expectation of a return to full-time employment.

One issue that keeps recurring is what happens to employees’ health insurance if they lose their jobs related to coronavirus-related job cuts.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-23-2020: Frequently Asked Questions about Ohio’s “Stay at Home” Order

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, at 11:59 pm, and continuing through at least April 6, the State of Ohio, via an order of Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, has closed all non-essential businesses to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Governor DeWine stated that he would reevaluate the April 6 end date as necessary. These closures are mandatory. A copy of the Order is available here.

To help answer your most pressing questions about how this Stay at Home Order impacts your business and your employees, I drafted this FAQ.

For additional information and updates on how Coronavirus will continue to impact your business, bookmark or, or subscribe via RSS or email.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-21-2020: Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for businesses

The Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the IRS announced impending regulations that will help covered businesses navigate the paid family and sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including available tax credits, the small employer exemption, and a 30-day non-enforcement grace period.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-20-2020: How are you feeding your soul?

What did you do to feed your soul this week? I’ve been sheltered at home with my family. We’ve decided to self-quarantine because our 11-year-old son’s congenital heart defect makes him high risk. Aside from working (a lot), I’ve turned to a few things to fill my soul with some much-needed joy.

Center square ftw!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-19-2020: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is law

Five days.

That’s all it took for both parties in both houses of Congress to work together, along with the White House and President Trump, to pass important relief legislation for American workers. We need more cooperation like this to see our country thru this crisis.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Senate passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act

This afternoon, by a margin of 90 - 8, the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It will now go to President Trump for signature. The law will be identical to the amended bill passed by the House Monday evening. It will become effective in 15 days after President Trump signs it (as he has said he will).

For the next two weeks, businesses will have to get their FMLA and sick leave houses in order. Policies will be needed to be reviewed, amended, and drafted. Forms will need to be created. And new posters will have to be hung in the workplace.

Coronavirus Update 3-18-2020: “Gag and vote for it anyway,” and an EEOC update

It looks like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is one step closer to becoming law … just not quite yet.

During a lunch meeting of Senate Republicans yesterday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his constituency they should pass the bill. He did so, however, in the most Mitch McConnell way possible.

A number of my members think there were considerable shortcomings in the House bill. My counsel to them is to gag and vote for it anyway.

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