As COVID-19 cases across the country begin to surge, COVID-19-related hospitalizations are also on the rise. This increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations likely will have a number of practical implications for the health care industry. Specifically, many health care employers likely will experience staffing shortages similar to those experienced when the pandemic first began. As a result, in an effort to preserve adequate staffing levels, many health care employers may seek to invoke the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) exemption for health care providers, meaning health care employees are not permitted to take paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. However, in deciding which health care employees to exclude from the FFCRA’s leave provisions, employers must remain cognizant of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) definition of “health care provider,” which was recently revised and narrowed.
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