New York City (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday voided parts of a Trump administration guideline that limited paid authorized leave and emergency situation family leave for potentially countless employees affected by the coronavirus.
FILE IMAGE: Individuals who lost their tasks wait in line to file for unemployment benefits, following a break out of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Arkansas Workforce Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S. April 6,2020 REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Image
Ruling in a case brought by New york city Chief Law Officer Letitia James, U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan stated the Department of Labor overstepped its authority in denying eligibility for advantages to a number of groups of workers.
The guideline was embraced in April to carry out the Households Very first Coronavirus Response Act, which made as many as 61 million staff members eligible for up to 2 weeks of paid authorized leave and 12 weeks of mostly paid emergency family leave.
Congress passed that law with objectives of motivating companies not to slash payrolls, in part due to the fact that they would be reimbursed through tax credits, and not forcing impacted workers to select between their jobs and their health.
Oetken overruled a provision in the guideline letting some companies reject paid sick leave if the economic downturn led to their having no work available for affected employees.
The judge also invalidated what he called the rule’s “vastly overbroad” meaning of “health care supplier,” which the government conceded could keep people like English professors, librarians and cafeteria managers from acquiring advantages.
Oetken also voided provisions that employees obtain company consent for periodic leave and record their reasons for authorized leave beforehand. Other arrangements were permitted to stand.
” The court acknowledges that the DOL labored under significant pressure in promulgating the last rule,” Oetken composed. “But as much as this moment calls for flexibility and resourcefulness, it also requires restored attention to the guardrails of our federal government. Here, DOL jumped the rail.”
Neither the Labor Department nor James’ office immediately responded to ask for comment.
The case is New york city v U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-03020
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New york city; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown