New COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation Requires New Notice to Employees

Amidst the massive amount of detail for employers to digest in the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (CARES Act), the Department of Labor (DOL) also slipped in a required employee notice and a set of FAQ’s explaining it. This notice requirement applies to everyone covered by the FFCRA (i.e. most employers with fewer than 500 employees).

The DOL has prepared a standard poster that assembles all of the information required for the employee notice. The poster or equivalent notice must be posted in a conspicuous place on the employer premises by April 1, 2020. Given the number of workers currently teleworking, however, the DOL will allow the posting requirement to be satisfied by either emailing or direct mailing it to employees, or by posting it on an internal or external website.

Who Gets the Notice?

The notice need only be posted in its English version, although the DOL will be translating its poster into other languages for those employers who wish to post them as well.

Employers need not share the notice with anyone recently laid off, nor with current job applicants – only current employees are entitled to the notice (including new hires). However, the FAQ’s did not address whether furloughed employees who are expected to return are considered “current employees” for this purpose.  It is probably best to send them the notice as well to ensure compliance.

If employees report to a central office or location before heading out to job sites, the notice need only be posted in the main location if doing so will allow them to see it. However, if employees report directly to work in several different buildings or locations, the notice must be posted in each such building or location.

Since the issues surrounding COVID-19 and the regulatory response to it change frequently, the DOL has recommended checking their web site regularly to be sure that you have the latest version of the required notice. You can also subscribe to their Key News E-mail Alerts for information on new notices and other important developments.

Bottom Line

Essentially, you can just put the poster where you put all your other agency posters or, if all or a large portion of your employees are now working from home, use the e-mail or direct mail options.