Letter to DOL to Hold it Accountable for Providing Workers Access to Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave

CLASP worked with our partners to send the U.S. Department of Labor this letter from over 100 organizations urging it to re-consider parts of its regulation that undermine the paid sick and paid leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). On March 18, 2020, Congress passed the FFCRA, providing some employees up to 10 paid sick days and up to 12 weeks of family leave (10 weeks paid), in addition to other critical measures.

This was the first time Congress required federal paid leave for private sector workers—an important first step in ensuring workers earning low wages have access to these benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to other guidance, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Temporary Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective April 2 – December 31, 2020.

Many of DOL’s interpretations of the FFCRA significantly undermine the law’s purpose to provide crucial paid sick days and paid family leave to workers needing to care for themselves and others because of COVID-19. We call on DOL to reconsider interpretations of the FFCRA which have narrowed the number of workers covered and the scope of the protections afforded, to expand outreach and education to workers about their new protections, and to ensure robust and swift enforcement.