New Paid Time Off Rule Takes Effect April 1

Labor Department says the requirements aren’t retroactive.

March 25, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law by President Trump last week, created new paid time off requirements for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The language of that law indicated that it take effect within 15 days of the President’s signing it. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced yesterday that it will be effective one day short of that deadline on April 1, 2020. 

It is also worthwhile to note that DOL also announced that the requirements are not retroactive. Any time off employees take before April 1, 2020, is neither subject to the new requirements to provide paid time off nor are companies eligible for the tax credits meant to reimburse employers for those expenses. 

DOL made these announcements via three documents released yesterday: Frequently Asked Questions, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Fact Sheet for Employees.  The department also announced that it will be providing a required workplace poster later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more FAQs.

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.

Meanwhile, Congress has continued to creep closer to agreement on a massive, possibly $2 trillion, economic stimulus bill that may include some tweaks to these rules, alongside likely payments to American citizens and billions of dollars in loans and grants to help prop up the American economy.