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Grace period to comply with federal sick leave act ends April 17

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In order to help public and private employers come into compliance with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a 30-day “temporary non-enforcement period” went into effect on March 18. This temporary period means that the Department of Labor will not bring enforcement actions against public or private employer for violations of the act occurring within 30 days of the federal bill’s enactment (March 18 through April 17, 2020) — provided the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply.

In order to help employers comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a 30-day grace period went into effect March 18. This grace period means that the Department of Labor will not enforce actions against employers for violating the act through April 17, 2020 if the employer has made reasonable, good-faith efforts to comply.

Reasonable and in good faith are defined as when all the following facts are present:

1. The employer fixes any violations, including by making all affected employees whole as soon as possible. This program is designed to ensure that all covered employers have access to sufficient resources to pay required sick leave and family leave wages.

2. The violations of the act were not willful.

3. The DOL receives a written commitment from the employer to comply with the act in the future.

If the employer either violates the act willfully, fails to provide a written commitment to future compliance with the act, or fails to remedy the violation, the DOL reserves its right to exercise its enforcement authority.

The Department of Labor will fully enforce the act after April 17, 2020