January 7, 2021
Authored by: Christy Phanthavong and Lily Kurland
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) wrapped up 2020 by issuing COVID-related guidance under both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The DOL issued new FMLA guidance in the form of two “Field Assistance Bulletins” (FAB), noting in a press release that the guidance is part of the DOL’s “ongoing efforts to support the American workforce through the pandemic recovery.”
In FAB 2020-7, the DOL addressed the employer notice provisions of various federal labor laws. With respect to the required posting of the general FMLA notice, the DOL explained that it will consider electronic posting by employers to satisfy the posting requirement when: (a) all hiring and work is done remotely; and (b) the employer posts the FMLA notice on an internal or external website that is accessible to all employees and applicants at all times. To the extent an employer has a hybrid workforce (i.e. employees who work remotely and employees who work on-site), the DOL encourages employers to use electronic postings to supplement, not replace, their posting requirement of the general FMLA notice.
In FAB 2020-8, the DOL indicated that it will continue to apply a policy previously adopted in response to the pandemic on the subject of telemedicine and the “in-person” visit aspect of the definition of serious health condition under the FMLA. The DOL will consider a telemedicine visit to constitute an “in-person” visit so long as the