DOL issues a Families First Coronavirus Response Act notice. And employment law nerds, like me, spotlight an error.

The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, 2020. In Section 5103 of the FFCRA (right here in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act section), it says that “[n]ot later than 7 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall make publicly available a model of a notice that meets the requirements of [the Act].”

Yesterday, on March 25, 2020, we got the notice.

Actually, there are notices plural.

One for the private sector and another for federal workers.

And there’s also this FAQ to support the posters.

Basically, by April 1, which is when the law takes effect, you need to post the notice in a conspicuous place at work.

Even if you work in a state with greater protections. The employer must comply with both federal and state law.

But, since many facilities are closed right now, emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees, or posting the notice on an employee information internal or external website will suffice.

If you’ve laid people off recently, I’m sorry to hear that. For what it’s worth, you don’t need to give them a copy of the notice.

Now, what’s this about a mistake in the notice?

Check this out:


Hat tip to an eagle-eyed employment attorney on LinkedIn who gave me the heads up. The red box and writing are mine, after which I got a little big for my britches and called it out to the DOL on Twitter.

You see, an employee that can’t work or telework because s/he is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, can get paid:

  • paid sick leave of 2/3 pay up to $200 daily ($2,000 total), and
  • an additional ten weeks of expanded FMLA at 2/3 pay up to $200 daily ($10,000 total)

The total is $12,000 — not just for the ten weeks of expanded FMLA. You know that, I know that, and the DOL knows that too (even though the poster is ambiguous at best).

Join me tomorrow for another live chat.

Friday at noon eastern, I’ll be on Facebook Live (here) and (hopefully) YouTube too. So, subscribe to The Employer Handbook YouTube channel.

I’ll bring everyone up to speed on the lastest COVID-19 workplace news. Yep, I still plan to answer your hypothetical question for a friend in a way that doesn’t involve any legal advice or create any attorney-client privilege. Go ahead and email one to me.

But, I’d also like you to hear some of your top COVID-19 best practices (and mistakes that other HR pros are making). I’ll share some of the best on Friday, with special guests, Taylor Swift and Bowzer from Sha Na Na. Assuming that we can work out the small, final details on their contract riders.

(I nearly scored Enrico Pallazzo — he saved the Queen of England’s life, you know — but no such luck)

Hey, unrelated, does anyone know where I can find a metallic blue unicorn with racing stripes? Asking for a Bowzer friend.

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