This page contains information pertaining to leave options available to employees due to COVID-19.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides two forms of paid leave to assist employees impacted by COVID-19: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML). Employees may access FFCRA leave only when the employee has an assigned function/role that is capable of being performed, either onsite or at a remote location, but the employee is unable to perform the assigned duties due to certain, specific COVID-19 related reasons. These new paid leave provisions became effective April 1, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

The chart below provides a snapshot of leave laws available to employees affected by COVID-19.

ELIGIBILITY

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) - Employees are eligible from the first day of employment.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) - Employees are eligible after 30 days of employment.

QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) – An employee is entitled to take EPSL if the they are unable to work, because the employee:

  1. Is subject to a Federal, State, or local government quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID–19.
  3. Is experiencing COVID–19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis from a health care provider.
  4. Is caring for an individual subject to an order as described in (1) or has been advised to self-quarantine as described in (2) above.
  5. Is caring for their child (under 18 years of age or if over 18, must be incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability) whose school or place of care has closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  6. Is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) – An employee is entitled to take EFML if they are unable to work because the employee is caring for their child (under 18 years of age or if over 18, must be incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability) whose school or place of care has closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to a COVID-19 related reason.

HOW LEAVE MAY BE TAKEN

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) – If an employee is working onsite and requesting leave for reasons 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6, leave must be taken in full-day increments (prorated for part-time employees). Once an employee begins taking leave for one or more of these qualifying reasons, they must continue to take paid sick leave each day until the employee either uses the full amount of EPSL or no longer has a qualifying reason for taking the leave. Intermittent leave must be agreed to by the employee and school and may only be taken if the employee is requesting leave for any of the six reasons or, working at their usual worksite and requesting leave only under reason 5.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) – Leave is taken in full-day increments (prorated for part-time employees). Intermittent leave must be agreed to by the employee and school.

CALCULATING LEAVE PAY

How much an employee will be paid while taking Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) under the FFCRA, depends on the employee’s normal schedule, as well as the reason the leave is requested.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) – Employees taking leave for reasons 1, 2 and 3 are entitled to their regular rate of pay, up to the maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total over the entire two workweek period. Employees taking leave for reasons 4, 5 and 6 are entitled to two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, up to the maximum of $200 per day, or $2,000 over the entire two workweek period.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) – The first ten workdays of leave are unpaid, but employees may substitute paid leave, including but not limited to EPSL if still available, at their option. For the following ten workweeks, employees are entitled to be paid at an amount no less than two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, up to the maximum of $200 per day, or $10,000 over the entire ten workday period. If combined with EPSL, the maximum amount increases to no more than $12,000 over the entire twelve workweek period. This use runs concurrent with the first two workweeks of unpaid leave under the EFML.

INTERACTION OF FFCRA LEAVE AND EMPLOYER PAID LEAVE

Leave under FFCRA is in addition to any school provided leave entitlements. The school cannot require that an employee use their available paid leave accruals before they use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML). Employees may choose to use their existing available paid leave to supplement the amount they receive from EPSL or EFML, up to the employee’s normal earnings.

NOTICE OF LEAVE REQUEST

When leave is not foreseeable, requests should be made as soon as practicable and in advance of the leave if possible. If the need for leave is foreseeable, requests should be made five (5) business days in advance of the need for leave or within two (2) business days after learning of the need for leave.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

Documentation to support an employee’s qualifying reason for leave is dependent on the reason for the requested leave. Employees will be required to complete a statement supporting their request for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL). Employees will be able to provide supporting information for Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) directly on the leave request form.