Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Both paid leave provisions take effect April 1, 2020, and both will expire December 31, 2020. These paid leave types apply to Lander University employees. If you have a specific question, please email the Office of Human Resources at HR@lander.edu.

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Under the new Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, Lander University employees will be eligible for a new, temporary form of leave that allows them to take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for one of six qualifying reasons listed below.

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1) or has been advised as described (2). Please note that the person being cared for does not have to be related to the employee for the employee to qualify for leave.
  5. The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed (or the childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID–19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

 

FAQs

Does Executive Order 2020-11 constitute a quarantine or isolation order?

Yes, Governor McMaster’s Executive Order requiring that all non-essential state employees not report to work constitutes a “Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.” Therefore, all employees who are unable to work-from-home and have been ordered not to report to the worksite would qualify for this leave.

How many hours of paid sick leave can be taken?

Full-time employees (those who are regularly scheduled to work 37.5 or 40 hours per week) are entitled to 80 hours of paid leave. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires that paid sick leave be provided for the hours the employee would have been normally scheduled to work even if that is more than 37.5 or 40 hours in a week. For example, an employee who is scheduled to work 50 hours a week may take 50 hours of paid sick leave in the first week and 30 hours of paid sick leave in the second week. In any event, the total number of hours paid under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is capped at 80.

Is the paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act paid at my regular rate of pay?

It depends on the reason for leave. If leave is taken for one of the following reasons, the employee is paid their regular rate of pay up to $511.00 per day or $5,110 in the aggregate:

  • The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID–19.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

If leave is taken for any other eligible reason (as follows), the employee is paid 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate:

  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1) or has been advised as described in (2) above.
  • The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed (or the childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID–19 precautions.
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Employees can use any accrued leave to supplement leave taken pursuant to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act up to their regular salary rate.

Can I take paid sick leave intermittently under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

Yes, leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act can be taken on an intermittent basis.

Are part-time employees entitled to the same amount of leave?

Part-time employees, including employees in part-time FTE positions, are entitled to paid leave for the number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a two-week period.

Does paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act carry-over to next year?

Leave may be used at any time between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, but paid leave provided under the Act does not carry over from year to year.

If an employee has other forms of accrued leave, can the University require them to use those forms of accrued leave first?

No, the University may not require an employee to use other paid leave before the employee uses paid leave under this Act. The employee may, however, choose to use other paid leave available prior to or instead of the leave provided under the Act.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) 

The EFMLA temporarily amends and expands the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of leave if the employee is unable to work, including working from home, due to the need to care for the employee’s child (under 18 years of age) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. A public health emergency is “an emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a federal, state, or local authority.”

 

FAQs

Who is eligible to take EFMLA?

Employees are eligible to take leave under the EFMLA Act if they have been employed at least 30 calendar days. This includes employees in non-FTE and non-leave accruing positions. Unlike the other provisions of the FMLA, there are no hours worked requirements for eligibility, and employees are not required to work the normal 12-month period for leave taken pursuant to the EFMLA. If the employee worked as a temporary, time-limited or temporary grant employee and was then transitioned to an FTE position, the total time worked in both positions should be added to determine if the 30-day timeframe has been met.

Is EFMLA leave paid or unpaid?

The first 10 workdays of the 12 workweeks of leave provided under the EFMLA are unpaid, but in accordance with standard FMLA administration, employees may use any paid leave available concurrently with EFMLA leave during this 10-day period. After the first 10 workdays, paid leave must be provided for the remaining leave taken under the EFMLA. This includes leave taken by employees who do not currently earn leave including temporary, temporary grant and time-limited employees. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act requires you to pay an employee for hours the employee would have been normally scheduled to work even, if that is more than 40 hours in a week.

Is the leave paid at the employees’ regular rate of pay?

The paid leave provided to eligible employees shall be calculated at two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay and should be based on the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work. Paid leave under the EFMLA is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate. Employees can use any accrued leave to augment leave taken pursuant to the EFMLA up to their regular salary rate.

Can EFMLA leave be taken intermittently?

Yes, leave under the EFMLA can be taken on an intermittent basis.

Does EFMA leave carry-over to next year?

No, leave may be used at any time from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, but paid leave provided under the Act does not carry over from year to year.

What notice must be given by employees taking EFMLA leave?

In any case where the necessity for leave under the EFMLA is foreseeable, an employee shall provide the employer with as much notice as is practicable.

What certifications or documentation can the University require?

The normal FMLA certification process is not required for leave taken under the EFMLA. Agencies may request documentation of the school or childcare provider’s closure but should be flexible in the documentation accepted. For example, a printout or screen shot from a school or provider’s website indicating closure related to COVID-19 may be accepted.

Do job restoration requirements apply to EFMLA leave?

Yes, the same FMLA restoration to position requirements apply to leave taken under the EFMLA.