Q: Has the DOL updated its Frequently asked Questions for extended Family Medical Leave regarding documentation requirements for the Families First Coronavirus Act?

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A: The DOL has updated the FAQ for documentation and eligibility requirements.

DOL FAQ 92 addresses the documentation requirement when an employee requests leave for a suspected case of COVID 19.

  • The DOL states an employer may require the employee to identify his or her symptoms and provide a date for a test or doctor’s appointment in their request.
  • An employer may not, however, require the employee to provide further documentation or similar certification that he or she sought a diagnosis or treatment from a health care provider for the employee to use paid sick leave for COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • The minimal documentation required to take this leave is intentional so that employees with COVID-19 symptoms may take leave and slow the spread of COVID-19.  
  • Please also note that all existing certification requirements under the FMLA remain in effect for other qualifying reasons under the FMLA.

The IRS updated IRS FAQ #44 on information an employer must have to substantiate eligibility for tax credits under FFCRA.  
The question states that an employer needs to receive:

  • the employee name, date or dates for which leave is requested
  • a statement of COVID -19 related reasons with written support for such reason and
  • a statement that the employee is unable to work, including by means of telework.

The DOL added a Return To School Section under the FAQs 98-100 which addresses what leaves qualify under FFCRA if a school operates under a hybrid attendancea parent chooses remote learning when in person is an option, and when a school year begins remotely In addition, DOL FAQ 91 discusses what questions an employer may ask an employee if an employee requests FFCRA for a school closing even though they have teleworked with their children at home in the past.

Employers are encouraged to read the FAQ found on the DOL website at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-question as well as the IRS FAQ found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-how-to-substantiate-eligibility-and-periods-of-time-for-which-credits-are-available-faqs#substantiate_eligibility

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