The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was created to assist employees who have work available but who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 qualifying events. The Act provides eligible employees with two types of paid leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML). These new benefits are effective April 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.

Poster: Employee Rights Under the FFCRA (PDF) FFCRA Webinars
As permitted by the FFCRA, the University has made the decision to exempt UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine employees, under the “health care providers” exemption, and certain other groups of designated employees, under the “emergency responders” exemption, from both EPSL and EFML provisions because their skills and services are deemed critically necessary to fulfill the University’s mission in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic at this crucial time.
EMERGENCY PAID
SICK LEAVE
(EPSL)
EXPANDED FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE (EFML)
Does this provide medical leave for an employee? Yes No
Does this provide medical leave to care for a family member? Yes No
Is this leave available to take care of a minor child whose school or daycare is closed? Yes Yes
How much leave does it provide? Up to 80 hours (Prorated for part-time) Up to 12 weeks (Pro-rated for part-time)
Is this leave paid? Yes (Can also be used during first 2 weeks of EFML) After first 2 weeks
What is the cap on leave paid? 100% of regular pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total if taken to care for self

2/3 of regular pay,
up to $200 daily and $2,000 total if taken to care for family member or for child care purposes

First 2 weeks of leave are unpaid (Employee may use other eligible paid leave)

Up to 10 additional weeks paid at 2/3 of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $10,000 total

Can I take this leave for smaller increments than eight hours in a day? No Yes
Is my job protected when taking this leave? Yes Yes
What is the minimum period of employment before I am eligible for this benefit? None 30 calendar days
Are part-time employees covered? Yes Yes

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

All types of University employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary) are eligible for the immediate use of paid EPSL for qualifying reasons. There is no length of service requirement for this benefit. However, EPSL is available only through Dec. 31, 2020.

EPSL provides up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time) of paid leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to a government-ordered 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 COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a government-ordered quarantine or a health care provider’s recommendation to self-quarantine;
  5. The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19, or the child’s regular child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19; or
  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”.
  • If the employee is unable to work for reasons (1) through (3), EPSL provides paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate (or at the applicable minimum wage, whichever is greater), up to $511 per day or $5,110 in total.
  • If the employee is unable to work for reasons (4) through (6), EPSL provides paid sick leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day or $2,000 in total.
  • EPSL is continuous and cannot be taken intermittently.
  • Employees may supplement EPSL with any other paid leave available to them. If the employee is eligible for paid administrative leave under the special COVID-19 leave provisions, then the paid administrative leave will be used to supplement EPSL. An employee may request to use other available leave if paid administrative leave is not available.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML)

Both active permanent and temporary employees who have been employed by the University for at least 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day the leave would begin are eligible to receive EFML.

Maximum benefit of twelve weeks. First two weeks unpaid, with remaining weeks paid at two-thirds of the employee’s pay, up to $200 daily and $10,000 total, if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee needs to care for their “son or daughter” whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19-related reasons.

  • The first two weeks of EFML are unpaid. Employees may use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) to remain paid during this time.
  • Employees may supplement EPSL and/or EFML with any other paid leave available to them.
  • If the employee is eligible for paid administrative leave under the special COVID-19 leave provisions, then the paid administrative leave will be used to supplement EPSL. An employee may request to use other available leave if paid administrative leave is not available.
  • EFML may be used intermittently. Employees should discuss their proposed work schedules with their supervisor.
  • EFML does not extend the total number of weeks of FMLA leave an eligible employee may use within a 12-month period.

Other Provisions for EPSL and EFML

  • EPSL must be used on a continuous basis and cannot be taken intermittently.
  • EFML may be used intermittently. Employees should discuss their proposed work schedules with their supervisor.

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave, if applicable, will supplement the FFCRA requirements for EPSL and EFML. If COVID-19 paid administrative leave is expired or not applicable, then employees may supplement the pay provided under the FFCRA with any other paid leave available to them.

For FLSA non-exempt employees, an employee’s pay rate for EPSL and EFML is the average regular rate, as defined in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for each full workweek in which the employee has been employed over the six-month period immediately prior to the day the leave would begin; or, the entire period of employment if not employed for at least six months. For FLSA exempt employees, an employee’s pay rate is the hourly rate of the employee’s annual salary.

EPSL and EFML Comparison

The FFCRA does not provide paid leave benefits to employees who are unable to work because they cannot perform their duties remotely and/or an alternative remote working arrangement is not possible due to the nature of their position. Both EPSL and EFML apply only when employees have work available but are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 circumstances.

  1. Notify your supervisor that you need leave for a qualifying reason under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  2. Complete the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Request Form
  3. Submit the FFCRA form to the Office of Human Resources. Email the form to leave@unc.edu or fax the form to (919) 962-6010.

The Benefits & Leave Administration unit will review your form and communicate with you and your department regarding the status of your request for EPSL and/or EFML. Should you have any questions about your request, you may call the Benefits & Leave Administration unit at (919) 962-3071 or email us at leave@unc.edu.

Time/Pay Entry

Employees will need to coordinate with their TIM Administrator for proper record keeping and reporting of these hours for payment.  The TIM Administrator will enter this information on the employee’s timecard, for this to roll into Payroll for proper payment.

Questions

Contact

For questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), please call the University Benefits & Leave Administration Support Team at (919) 962-3071 or send an email to leave@unc.edu.

Poster: Employee Rights Under the FFCRA (PDF)