Situation Report | September 21, 2020
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new regulations related to the key provisions included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The new regulations amend the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion ACT (EFMLEA) following a court ruling by the Southern District of New York that concluded that the U.S. DOL exempted too many types of health care providers under the FFCRA.
The new DOL revisions narrow the definition of exempted health care providers with fewer than 500 employees. The definition now only covers employees who qualify as a health care provider under the Family and Medical Leave Act regulation, or those who “provide diagnostic services, preventative services, treatment services or other services that are integrated with and necessary to the provision of patient care, which, if not provided, would adversely impact patient care.”
The definition applies to those more involved in direct patient care, including nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical social workers and physician assistants who are authorized to practice under state law. However, it remains unclear whether a home care aide or personal care attendant not subject to a health care professional’s order or supervision qualifies for the exemption, according to our colleagues at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
While the industry awaits additional clarification on the new rule, HCA, along with its counsel and national partners are working to confirm the extent to which personal care services are exempt. HCA encourages its members who are unsure of their exemption status to consult their counsel.
We will also be examining how the effect of these changes will interplay with a separate state law that also requires paid leave (with no health care exemption).
To learn more about the exemptions and read the new regulations, visit the U.S. DOL website.
For questions or concerns about the new rule, or state or federal sick leave provisions, please contact HCA’s Director for Advocacy & Public Policy Alyssa Lovelace.