Scott Statement on Federal Court Voiding Trump Administration Restrictions on Access to Emergency Paid Leave

August 4, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after a federal judge in New York struck down the Department of Labor’s (DOL) restrictions on workers’ access to paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The decision invalidates provisions of DOL’s rule that allowed employers to avoid providing workers with paid leave if (1) the employer asserts that they did not have work for the employee, (2) the employee fell within DOL’s overly broad definition of “health care provider,” (3) the employee did not provide documentation before taking paid leave, or (4) the employer did not agree to the worker taking intermittent (non-contiguous) leave.

“Today’s court decision is an urgent intervention in the Department of Labor’s unlawful effort to deny millions of workers access to emergency paid leave during a global pandemic. 

“Congress explicitly provided COVID-related paid leave for as many as 87 million workers by passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  However, instead of following the law as Congress intended, the Department of Labor made it easier for employers to deny workers paid leave.  As a result, too many workers have been forced to choose between their paychecks and the health of both themselves and those around them.

“The number of new daily COVID-19 cases today is nearly 20 times higher than it was in March when Congress first passed emergency paid leave in response to COVID-19.  As the need for paid leave continues to grow, the Senate must now pass the Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), which the House passed in May.  This Act will expand and extend access to emergency paid leave through next year to protect the health and financial security of workers, their families, and their communities.” 

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