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Employee Leave Under the FFCRA

Overview

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18th and is in effect April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The FFCRA provides additional paid sick time and expands family and medical leave (FMLA) through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act as outlined below. This website provides important definitions, an overview of eligibility, process information, tools and guidelines, and frequently asked questions.

Human Resources encourages supervisors and employees to collaborate to achieve maximum flexibility to meet the needs of both individuals and departmental business needs during this time. While some example scenarios are addressed in the FAQs below, employees and supervisors are encouraged to work with Human Resources to address any relevant questions or concerns.

For more information or questions regarding FFCRA, please contact Colleen Jernigan, Human Resources Office, 329-7222.

Important Definitions

  • “Emergency paid sick leave” – means paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL). Emergency paid sick leave is different than any paid leave an employee may have accrued with Mississippi University for Women.
  • “Expanded family and medical leave” – means paid leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA).

Eligibility Overview

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

All eligible employees of, Mississippi University for Women, regardless of start date or full-time status, are qualified to take up to two-weeks of leave (maximum of 80 hours).  Employees will either receive their regular rate of pay, up to a $511 per day (for a maximum of $5,110 over the two-week period), or 2/3 of their regular pay up to $200 per day (for a maximum of $2,000 over the two-week period), depending on why they take this leave.

Employees will be paid at their regular rate of pay up to a total of $511 per day (for a maximum of $5,110 over the two-week period) under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act if the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

Employees will be paid at 2/3 their regular rate of pay, up to $200 a day (for a maximum of $2,000 over the two-week period), if the employee:

  1. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  2. is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  3. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Expanded Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

This leave is only available for employees who are unable to work due to the need to care for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons. Employees who have been on the payroll for at least 30 days prior to the start of their leave are eligible. This leave period is paid at 2/3 of the employee’s normal rate of pay up to a limit of $200 per day (up to a maximum of $10,000 over the 10-week period or $12,000 over the 12-week period including emergency paid sick leave). It is important to note that this expansion does not provide more than the 12 weeks of FMLA already provided within a calendar year and does not eliminate any of the existing coverage for qualified reasons under FMLA; this expands upon eligible reasons for using such leave and provides for a minimum partial payment under some circumstances.

Note: Employees will need to certify that special circumstances exist that require you to provide care for a child older than 14 years of age during daylight hours.

Process Overview

Employees needing to take leave under FFCRA should:

  1. Notify their immediate supervisor of their leave requirement as soon as possible;
  2. Complete and submit the employee FFCRA Leave Request Form to Human Resources;
  3. Designate their leave time in paper form or Banner Web Leave and COVID FFCRA Monthly Leave Form (both EPSL and EFMLA). Biweekly paid employees who complete a paper time log will be given specific instructions once the FFCRA request is approved; and
  4. Submit required supporting documentation to Human Resources within 15 days of the start of the leave period. For information about approved supporting documentation, please refer to the FFCRA Leave Request Form.

Resources and Leave Forms

FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act? +

    The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020 and extend through December 31, 2020. FFCRA is not retroactive.
  • How do I know whether I have “been employed for at least 30 calendar days by MUW” for purposes of expanded family and medical leave? +

    You are considered to have been employed by MUW for at least 30 calendar days if you have received pay for hours worked within the last 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day your leave would begin.
  • How will Mississippi University for Women count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave? +

    A part-time employee is entitled to leave for the average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, MUW will calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work based on their assigned schedule (for non-exempt hourly employees) or based on the assigned FTE (for exempt employees).
  • Can I use accrued personal or medical leave in combination with FFCRA two-thirds pay in order to receive 100% pay? +

    Yes. But only personal leave can be used for reason (5). Please refer to the examples in the FAQs.
  • Can I use my accrued leave INSTEAD of using leave under the FFCRA? +

    Yes. If you are taking emergency paid sick leave, you may substitute any accrued personal leave, medical leave or comp time you have with MUW. However, only personal leave may be used for childcare needs due to COVID-19 related closures of your child(ren)’s school, daycare, or childcare provider.
  • Can I take 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for my self-quarantine and then another amount of emergency paid sick leave for another reason provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act? +

    No. The total number of hours for which you receive emergency paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. You may take up to two weeks—or ten days—(80 hours for a full-time employee, or for a part-time employee, the number of hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a typical two-week period) of emergency paid sick leave for any combination of qualifying reasons.
  • If I am or become unable to telecommute or work remotely, am I entitled to emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave? +

    If you are unable to perform the tasks currently assigned to you – including those implemented as part of a telecommuting agreement – or work the required hours currently assigned to you, because of one of the qualifying reasons for emergency paid sick leave, then you are entitled to take emergency paid sick leave.

    Similarly, if you are unable to perform those telecommuting tasks or work the required telecommuting hours because you need to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 related reasons, then you are entitled to take expanded family and medical leave. Of course, to the extent you are able to telecommute while caring for your child, emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave is not available.
  • What does it mean to be unable to work, including remote work or telecommute for COVID-19 related reasons? +

    You are unable to work if your supervisor has work for you and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons set forth in the FFCRA prevents you from being able to perform that work, either under normal circumstances at your normal worksite or by means of telecommute.
  • If I am home with my child because their school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, do I get emergency paid sick leave, expanded family and medical leave, or both – how do they interact? +

    You may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of twelve weeks of paid leave subject to the pay caps outlined above. You may take both emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.
  • Can I use FFCRA leave intermittently? +

    Yes, with conditions and upon supervisor approval. FFCRA must be taken in half day or whole day increments only based on your regular work schedule – NO EXCEPTIONS. See additional FAQs related to intermittent leave.
  • Can I take my emergency paid sick leave intermittently while working IN the office (as opposed to telecommuting)? +

    Emergency paid sick leave cannot be taken intermittently for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19 if the leave is being taken because: Reasons 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 listed on page 1.

    Unless you are telecommuting, once you begin taking emergency paid sick leave for one or more of these qualifying reasons, you must continue to take emergency paid sick leave each day until you either (1) use the full amount of emergency paid sick leave or (2) no longer have a qualifying reason for taking emergency paid sick leave. This limit is imposed because if you are sick or possibly sick with COVID-19, or caring for an individual who is sick or possibly sick with COVID-19, the intent of FFCRA is to provide such emergency paid sick leave as necessary to keep you from spreading the virus to others.

    If you no longer have a qualifying reason for taking emergency paid sick leave before you exhaust your emergency paid sick leave, you may take any remaining emergency paid sick leave at a later time, until December 31, 2020, if another qualifying reason occurs.
  • May I take my emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave intermittently while working remotely or telecommuting? +

    Yes, you may take leave under FFCRA in intermittent, half day or whole day increments if you are unable to telecommute your normal schedule of hours due to one of the six qualifying reasons. In that situation, you may take emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave intermittently while telecommuting. For example, you may work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as normally scheduled while taking Tuesday and Thursday as intermittent emergency paid sick leave.

    That said, Human Resources encourages supervisors and employees to collaborate to achieve flexibility and meet mutual needs, and is supportive of such voluntary arrangements that combine telecommute and intermittent leave as needed.
  • May I take my expanded family and medical leave intermittently while my child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, if I am not telecommuting? +

    Yes, but as noted above, only with your supervisor’s permission and in half day or whole day increments. Intermittent expanded family and medical leave should be permitted only when you and your supervisor agree upon such a schedule. For example, if your supervisor and you agree, you may take expanded family and medical leave on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but work Tuesday and Thursday, while your child is at home due to closures.
  • Do I qualify for leave for a COVID-19 related reason even if I have already used some or all of my leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? +

    If you are an eligible employee, you are entitled to emergency paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act regardless of how much leave you have taken under the FMLA.

    Your eligibility for expanded family and medical leave depends on how much leave you have already taken during calendar year 2020 used for FMLA. You may take a total of 12 workweeks for FMLA or expanded family and medical leave reasons during a 12-month period. If you have taken some, but not all, 12 workweeks of your leave under FMLA during the current 12-month period, you may take the remaining portion of leave available. If you have already taken 12 workweeks of FMLA leave during this 12-month period, you may not take additional expanded family and medical leave.
  • What documents do I need to give Human Resources to get emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave? +

    You are entitled to emergency paid sick leave if you are unable to work or telecommute due to a qualifying reason related to COVID-19. To initiate your FFCRA leave of absence (for any of the six reasons noted above), you should notify your immediate supervisor as soon as possible, complete the employee FFCRA Leave Request Form (and submit to Human Resources), and submit supporting documentation to Human Resources within 15 days of your leave start date.

    Supporting documentation for your leave may include a copy of the Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or written documentation by a health care provider advising you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, written documentation by a healthcare provider designating you as a qualified caregiver due to concerns related to COVID-19, or written notice of closure from your child(ren)’s daycare provider or school due to COVID-19 related reasons. Need for such notice of closure or unavailability from your child’s school, place of care, or child care provider, may be met by a notice that may have been posted on a government, school, or day care website, published in a newspaper, or emailed to you from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider.
  • How do I request and record leave? +

    You will need to complete the FFCRA Leave Request Form and forward it to Human Resources for approval. Accrued personal and medical leave will be recorded as normal, either in Banner or a paper leave record. FFCRA leave (both emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave) will be recorded on a paper COVID FFCRA Monthly Leave Form. All employees will use two leave records while using FFCRA leave. Biweekly paid employees who complete a paper timesheet will be given specific instructions once the FFCRA leave request is approved. FFCRA must be taken in half day or whole day increments only based on your regular work schedule – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Examples of how to record time and leave for FFCRA (intermittent, supplement accrued leave) +

    Example 1 - Employee works 4 hours and uses expanded family and medical leave (EFMLA) for reason (5) for the remaining ½ day and elects to supplement personal leave to receive 100% pay for the day. Since EFMLA is paid at two-thirds of the employee's regular rate of pay, it will be calculated at 2.67 hours and the employee will be charged 1.33 personal leave hours to receive 100% pay:
    Hours Worked = 4
    EFMLA = 4 [Recorded as EFMLA = 2.67 + Personal Leave = 1.33]

    Example 2 - Employee takes 8 hours emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) for reason (4) and elects to supplement medical leave to receive 100% pay for the day. Since EPSL is paid at two-thirds of the employee's regular rate of pay, it will be calculated at 5.34 hours and the employee will be charged 2.66 medical leave hours to receive 100% pay:
    Hours Worked = 0
    EPSL = 8 [Recorded as EPSL = 5.34 + Medical Leave = 2.66]

    Example 3 - Employee works 4 hours and uses EFMLA for reason (5) for the remaining ½ day but does not supplement accrued leave and will receive two-thirds pay for ½ day.
    Hours Worked = 4
    EFMLA = 4

    Example 4 - Employee takes 8 hours EPSL for reason (4) but does not supplement accrued leave and will receive two-thirds pay for the day.
    Hours Worked = 0
    EPSL = 8
  • Who is a “health care provider” for purposes of determining individuals whose advice to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 can be relied on as a qualifying reason for emergency paid sick leave? +

    The term “health care provider,” as used to determine individuals whose advice to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 can be relied on as a qualifying reason for emergency paid sick leave, means a licensed doctor of medicine, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider permitted to issue a certification for purposes of the expanded family and medical leave.
  • If I elect to take emergency paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, will MUW continue my benefits coverage? +

    You are entitled to continued benefits coverage, including any coverage in which you are enrolled, during your expanded family and medical leave on the same terms as if you continued to work. You must continue to make any normal contributions to the cost of your benefits coverage.
  • Who is a son or daughter under FFCRA? +

    Under the FFCRA, a “son or daughter” is your own child, which includes your biological, adopted, or foster child, your stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom you are standing in loco parentis—someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a child. For additional information about in loco parentis, see Fact Sheet #28B: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for birth, placement, bonding or to care for a child with a serious health condition on the basis of an “in loco parentis” relationship.

    In light of Congressional direction to interpret definitions consistently, WHD clarifies that under the FFCRA a “son or daughter” is also an adult son or daughter (i.e., one who is 18 years of age or older), who (1) has a mental or physical disability, and (2) is incapable of self-care because of that disability. For additional information on requirements relating to an adult son or daughter, see Fact Sheet #28K and/or call the Department of Labor toll free information and help line available 8 am–5 pm, 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).
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The W: Human Resources

Human Resources

Laura Quinn
Director

Shattuck Hall

Mailing: 1100 College Street
MUW-1609
Columbus, MS 39701
Phone: (662) 329-7222
Fax: (662) 241-7616

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.