The United States Department of Labor recently updated its guidance on the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA+).

My colleagues at Shipman & Goodwin recapped the new guidance here.

One of the key takeaways from is that under the USDOL’s prior guidance and regulations, it was not clear if an employer could require an employee to use accrued leave during the 10-week period of FMLA+.

In its recently issued guidance, the USDOL clarified that an employer can require employees to use accrued paid leave under the employer’s policies to cover absences under the FMLA+.

The practical effect is that an employer might be able to require employees to use up their accrued leave while out on FMLA+, potentially exhausting their leave balances.

Once employees exhaust their accrued leave, then they still will be able to receive 2/3 pay for the remainder of the FMLA+ leave.

Sounds clear, right? Well, not exactly. The regulations and guidance issued by the USDOL has been heavily questioned by others as being directly opposed the express terms of the FMLA+ and EPSLA.

Employers may want to keep watching this space (and others) to see if the USDOL issues a clarification before requiring employees to use accrued leave during an FMLA+ absence.