DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, bringing with it a slew of changes to various labor laws. Among the most significant of these changes were those rules regarding intermittent leave and telework, two practices that are substantially more important now that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Employers who intend to have their employees work from home, as well as employees intending to work from home, should familiarize themselves with these provisions to understand how they might affect their business.

Telework refers to the practice of allowing employees to work from home, using email, phones, teleconferencing, and other means of telecommunication to conduct business despite a lack of physical proximity. Intermittent leave is the practice of allowing someone to take time off from work in separate blocks of time, rather than all at once. Both telework and intermittent leave are being used increasingly by employers to deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new rules laid out in the FFCRA note that an employee may telework when their employer allows it and reminds employers that telework constitutes paid work not compensated by the paid provisions of the FFCRA. You are still entitled to sick days if, for reasons related to the coronavirus, you are unable to work either in your workplace or telework from home. You may also take your sick days intermittently and are entitled to expanded family and medical leave even if you would otherwise telework from home. There are other changes as well, which are explained in this FAQ from the Department of Labor.

If you have gotten into a legal dispute with your employer, it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 39 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steven Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

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