FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions

These leave provisions were effective on April 1, 2020, and are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

Yes. Emergency Paid Sick Leave is available to all employees. Expanded Family and Medical Leave (FML) is available to employees who have worked for the University for 30 days or more and have not exhausted their allowed FML allotment.

Yes. Employer contributions for benefits will continue, your employee contributions for benefits will still be deducted from your paycheck, and your benefits enrollments will not change. 

You are unable to work if work is available, either on-site or remotely, and you are unable to perform that work due to a qualifying reason.

Yes. If you are unable to telework your normal schedule of hours, discuss your situation with your supervisor. The University encourages everyone to problem-solve collaboratively and flexibly. For example, you could telework from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., take leave from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., then return to teleworking.

Yes. If your work does not require you to be available 8:00 to 5:00, you are encouraged to discuss your situation with your supervisor and negotiate a flexible schedule.

No, Emergency Paid Sick Leave is not paid out upon separation of employment. It also does not roll over for future use.

No. You and your spouse/partner should alternate taking leave in order to share childcare responsibilities.

You may not use either of these paid leaves if another parent, guardian, or childcare provider is available to care for your child.

You may take leave to care for

  • your biological, adopted, or foster child
  • your stepchild or legal ward
  • a child for whom you are acting as a parent, with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support that child

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

You can request Emergency Paid Sick Leave if you are unable to work (including telework) for the following COVID-19-related reasons:

  • You are under a quarantine order
  • You are sick with diagnosed COVID-19 or are awaiting COVID-19 test results and are advised to quarantine
  • You are caring for a family member who is under a quarantine order or is sick with COVID-19
  • You are caring for minor children whose school, daycare, or normal childcare provider is closed/unavailable due to COVID-19 (or your adult child is incapable of self-care due to a disability)

Full-time employees can take up to 80 hours. If you work less than full time, this amount is prorated, and you can receive the number of hours you would normally work in two weeks.

No. The two weeks of Emergency Paid Sick Leave is in addition to any sick leave hours you may have accrued.

If you meet one of the qualifying reasons, submit this request form to your supervisor.

At this time, you will receive 100% of your regular rate of pay. However, the FFCRA does permit employers to pay two-thirds of an employee’s rate of pay for some qualifying leave reasons. The University reserves the right to modify or reduce the rate of pay provided, consistent with applicable law, and will provide as much advance notice as possible should this occur.

No. You can only use Emergency Paid Sick Leave once. Benefits-eligible employees can use accrued sick time. Employees without sick time should discuss options with their supervisor.

Complete the request form fully. If you have any documentation in electronic form, attach it to your request. For example, you may provide an email from a public health agency, notifying you of possible exposure, a telemedicine receipt, or a texted appointment reminder. It is not necessary to make a medical appointment for the sole purpose of obtaining documentation. If you have paper documents you cannot scan, retain them to provide at a later time, if needed.

If you have worked for the University for 1,250 hours over 12 months, you are eligible to request regular FML for your own or your family member’s serious illness.

Normal FML notification and healthcare certification processes will apply to this leave request. Contact your leave advisor for assistance.

Generally, no. If you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, you may take Emergency Paid Sick Leave only to seek a medical diagnosis or if a healthcare provider advises you to self-quarantine.

You may take Emergency Paid Sick Leave to care for someone who is under quarantine or isolation if that person

  • is unable to care for themselves
  • depends on you for care and genuinely needs your care
  • is an immediate family member, someone who regularly resides in your home, or someone whose relationship to you creates an expectation that you would provide care (such as an elderly aunt)

The need to provide care must prevent you from working and from teleworking.

You may not take Emergency Paid Sick Leave to care for someone with whom you have no relationship or to care for someone who does not expect or depend on your care.

Expanded Family and Medical Leave

Expanded FML is available only if you are unable to work or telework because you need to care for children whose school, daycare, or normal childcare provider is closed/unavailable due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

You may be eligible for both types of leave. Expanded FML is available for up to 12 weeks. The first two weeks are unpaid. You may choose to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave or any accrued vacation, sick, or compensatory time to continue your pay during this initial two-week period.

After the initial two weeks, you will receive Expanded FML with pay. At this time, you will receive 100% of your regular rate of pay during that time. However, the FFCRA does permit employers to pay two-thirds of an employee’s rate of pay while that employee is on Expanded FML. The University reserves the right to modify or reduce the rate of pay consistent with applicable law. As much advance notice as possible will be provided if this change should occur.

The law allows Expanded FML for any child under 18 or any child over 18 who is incapable of self-care due to a disability. You are expected to discuss with your supervisor why you are unable to work or telework and whether an intermittent schedule would be possible.

No. The only type of FML that is paid is Expanded FML. This covers only leave taken because you must care for a child whose school, daycare, or normal childcare provider is closed/unavailable due to COVID-19-related reasons.

If you cannot work or telework your normal number of hours because of your childcare responsibilities, submit this request form to your supervisor.

If you wish to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave for the first two weeks, request both leaves using the same form.

If you have taken FML in the past 12 months, those FML hours count towards the allotment of Expanded FML you have available. For example, if you have already taken 12 weeks of FML in the past 12 months, you are not eligible for Expanded FML.

Any Expanded FML that you use will count towards your available basic FML allotment. For example, if you use the full 12 weeks of Expanded FML now, you will not be eligible for basic FML over the next 12 months.

For the purposes of Expanded FML, a “childcare provider” is someone who cares for your child on a regular basis. That may be a paid provider, like a nanny, au pair, or babysitter. It may also be someone who provides childcare at no cost and without a license (such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or neighbors).

Supervisor Questions

In most cases, you cannot deny this leave based on your business needs. Some healthcare providers and emergency responders are exempt from the leave provisions under FFCRA, and you may contact Human Resources to discuss. 

The University encourages you to engage in an interactive problem-solving discussion with your employee to find a means to continue core job responsibilities. This might include such strategies as a flexible teleworking schedule or shuffling responsibilities among your employees to facilitate remote work for the employee who needs leave.

If you suspect abuse, please contact your HR consultant for guidance. 

Units within the university pay their eligible employees for these leaves. Federal funding is not available, and tax credits described within FFCRA are only available to private employers.

Calculate the average number of hours your employee is normally scheduled to work in two weeks (usually equal to FTE) and divide by 10 to obtain the number of hours your employee may take per day.

If your employee’s schedule varies, total the number of hours worked in the past 6 months and divide by 13 to get the average number of hours worked per pay period. Then divide by 10 to get the number of hours your employee may take per day. If your employee has not yet worked 6 months, calculate the average over whatever time period they have worked for you.