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Coronavirus act guides leave for federal workers

USPS wants employees to know about a new law that aims to protect workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Because the Postal Service is committed to the health and well-being of its workforce, the organization is reminding employees of certain rights they have under the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The legislation is meant to ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The act sets guidelines for the federal government to follow when providing full-time and part-time employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

These provisions will apply from April 1 through the end of the year.

One key provision is that employers may not discharge, discipline or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes this leave as a result of being unable to work — including telework — because of qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.

Another key provision: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the act.

As part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, the Postal Service is continuing normal operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additional information about the act and the Postal Service’s pandemic response can be found on the COVID-19 LiteBlue page.