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Labor Dept. Guidelines Aimed at Aiding K&B Firms, Employees

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Labor Dept. has announced its first round of published guidance to assist companies and employees – including dealers, design firms, residential remodelers, manufacturers and others in the kitchen and bath industry – take advantage of the benefits offered by the newly enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The FFCRA, scheduled to take effect April 1, is aimed at providing a wide range of businesses with funds to provide employees with emergency paid family and medical leave. The legislation also guarantees free coronavirus testing, significantly expands unemployment insurance and food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding – essentially ensuring that employees are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public-health measures being mandated to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. In addition, FFCRA includes tax credits to help employers and self-employed individuals defer costs related to government-imposed coronavirus mandates.

The Labor Dept. guidance – provided in documents entitled Fact Sheet for Employees, Fact Sheet for Employers and Questions and Answers – addresses a wide range of common questions. According to the Labor Dept., the guidance issued thus far represents only the first round of compliance assistance that will be made available to businesses and employees. The Labor and Treasury Departments are expected in the days and weeks ahead to release additional guidance on implementing the new requirements.

The Labor Dept., which administers and enforces the new law’s mandates, also said it will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an opportunity to offer their perspective as the agency develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies to assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. Interested persons and companies may submit comments or questions related to compliance or implementation of the legislation at ffcra.ideascale.com through March 29.

Kitchen & Bath Design News readers are advised to visit the websites of the Labor and Treasury Departments (www.dol.gov and home.treasury.gov, respectively) for details regarding the legislation. Additional information and businesses resources aimed at assisting companies and employees navigate through the coronavirus pandemic are available from the National Association of Home Builders, www.nahb.org.

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