The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday ruled against the Department of Labor regarding its regulations related to certain expanded paid leave authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The FFCRA placed new requirements on certain employers with fewer than 500 employees with respect to family and medical leave, as well as paid leave, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The law directed the DOL to issue regulations defining which “health care providers” could be exempted from these new leave requirements.

New York state challenged the DOL’s regulations, arguing that the regulations “risk denying vital financial support during an unprecedented crisis and exposing workers, their families, and their communities to unnecessary spread of COVID-19.” Ruling yesterday in favor of the state, the court found that the DOL’s interpretation of “health care provider” was overly broad and not supported by the statute.

The decision invalidates the final rule’s definition of “health care provider” as well as certain other provisions challenged by the state, while letting all remaining portions of the final rule stand.

The AHA in March had urged the DOL when issuing regulations required by FFCRA to recognize the breadth of workers essential to health care operations.

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