Benefit News

DOL Issues Guidance Regarding FMLA and Paid Leave Expansion Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 25, 2020

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published guidance to assist both employers and employees in taking advantage of the relief available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance includes a series of Questions & Answers (Q/As), as well as separate fact sheets for employers and employees that summarize key FFCRA provisions.


The Q/As are welcome news to employers covered under the FFCRA, as they clarify several ambiguities in the COVID-19 relief legislation. Key highlights are as follows:

  • April 1, 2020 is the effective date of the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions.
  • The 500-employee threshold is determined as of the time leave is taken and includes both full-time and part-time employees located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories or possessions, including temporary employees and those who are on a leave of absence.
  • Whether two or more entities under common control are considered a single employer for purposes of counting the 500 employees is determined under the integrated employer test under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
  • How to count hours worked by, and calculate compensation due to, part-time employees for paid sick leave or expanded family leave purposes.
  • How the expanded paid leaves under the FFCRA integrate with existing leave amounts accrued under the employer’s policy, or existing federal, state and/or local requirements.

The Q/As are available here, along with the fact sheets for employees and employers, available here and here, respectively.

More Information

This guidance is the first of several regulations we anticipate to be forthcoming from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding implementing the FFCRA. For further information regarding the FFCRA, and the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit our dedicated webpage at

For additional information, please contact your Burnham Benefits Consultant or Burnham Benefits at 949-833-2983 or

Burnham Benefits does not engage in the practice of law and this publication should not be construed as the providing of legal advice or a legal opinion of any kind. The consulting advice we provide is intended solely to assist in assessing its compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other applicable federal and state law requirements, and is based on Burnham Benefit’s interpretation of federal guidance in effect as of the date of this publication. To the best of our knowledge, the information provided herein, and assumptions relied on, are reasonable and accurate as of the date of this publication. Furthermore, to ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any tax advice contained in this publication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of (i) avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.

Back to Updates