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Department of Labor Guidance Regarding COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor and its Wage and Hour Division has continued to offer guidance to business owners and employees regarding coronavirus policies and requirements. This page will be updated as the crisis continues.

MAY 5
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) funding made available to states and territories to employ workers temporarily to respond to the coronavirus public health emergency can be used for contact tracing.

MAY 4
OSHA has translated and published its “Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus” poster in 11 additional languages.

MAY 3
The U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.

APRIL 28
The Department of Labor has issued COVID-19 relief and guidance for employee benefit plans.

APRIL 21
OSHA has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect construction workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

APRIL 20
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the end of the temporary period of non-enforcement of paid leave protections under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

APRIL 19
The U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions last week to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.

APRIL 16
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance to advise compliance safety and health officers to evaluate an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards during the coronavirus pandemic.

APRIL 15
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of the first installment of 26 Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) totaling $131,384,557 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the coronavirus public health emergency.

APRIL 13
OSHA announced an interim enforcement response plan for the coronavirus pandemic.

APRIL 10
OSHA has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

APRIL 8

  • The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • OSHA has also issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect retail workers from exposure to coronavirus.
  • OSHA has expanded temporary guidance provided in a March 14, 2020, memorandum regarding supply shortages of N95s or other filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

APRIL 6
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new poster listing steps all workplaces can take to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

APRIL 5
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20 providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

APRIL 4
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Guidance Letter 15-20 (UIPL) providing guidance to states for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

APRIL 3
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim enforcement guidance to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators (N95 FFRs). The action marks the department’s latest step to ensure the availability of respirators and follows President Donald J. Trump’s Memorandum on Making General Use Respirators Available.

APRIL 2
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 14-20 (UIPL) outlining relevant provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act related to the administration of and eligibility criteria for state unemployment insurance (UI) programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for those not typically eligible for UI, such as gig workers, and expanded UI benefits.

APRIL 1
The U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020.

MARCH 28
Guidance includes questions and answers addressing critical issues such as the definition of a “health care provider,” and the scope of the small business exemption for purposes of exclusion from the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, as well as whether public sector employees may take paid family and medical leave.

This guidance adds to a growing list of compliance assistance materials published by WHD, including the English-language versions of a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and two new required posters—one for federal workers and one for all other employees, as well as Questions and Answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.

MARCH 27
Guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), including questions and answers addressing critical issues such as what documents employees can be required to submit to their employers to use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave; whether workers can take paid sick leave intermittently while teleworking and whether workers whose employers closed before the effective date of the FFCRA can still get paid sick leave.

MARCH 26
Guidance includes two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law. It also includes questions and answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.

MARCH 24
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

MARCH 20
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

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