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The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. UNC-Chapel Hill implemented the FFCRA policy effective May 1, 2020. FFCRA benefits only apply when employees have work available but cannot work or telework due to Reasons 1 – 6 under the FFCRA (see table below). If an employee is eligible for the FFCRA leave benefits, FFCRA leave must be applied before any of type of leave. Employees who were on other pre-approved leave or are unavailable for reasons other than provided above must use available and applicable leave types, e.g. vacation leave, parental leave, bonus leave, compensatory time, or take leave without pay. 

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. 

Poster: Employee Rights Under the FFCRA (PDF)

Summary of FFCRA Leave Provisions

QUALIFYING EVENT
Leave related to COVID-19 If the employee has work available but is unable to work or telework because the employee:
EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE (EPSL): Up to two weeks of paid leave (80 hrs., pro-rated for part-time employees)

 

EXPANDED FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE (EFML): Up to 12 weeks of EFML (480 hrs.; prorated for part-time employees)

 

(1) Is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 100% of regular pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total
(2) Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19 100% of regular pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total
(3) Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis 100% of regular pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total
(4) Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in #1 or #2 above Two-thirds of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total
(5) Is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons Two-thirds of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total Up to 12 weeks (480 hours -prorated for part-time employees) of EFML

The first 80 hours of EFML are unpaid (Employees may use other eligible paid leave during this time)

The remaining 400 hours are paid at two-thirds of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $10,000 total

(6) Is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Two-thirds of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

All types of University employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary, including student employees) 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. 
  • EPSL is counted separately from a permanent employee’s normally accrued sick leave.

Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML)

All types of employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary, including student 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 12 weeks or 480 hours if taken intermittently (prorated for part-time employees). The first 80 hours of EFML are unpaid. The remaining 400 hours of EFML are 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 80 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) of EFML are unpaidEmployees may use EPSL, if available, to cover the first two weeks of EFML or use other available accrued personal leave or paid time off. 
  • EFML may be used intermittently. Employees should discuss their proposed work schedules with their supervisor.
  • EFML is an expansion of the benefits provided under the traditional Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA). 
  • EFML does not extend the total number of weeks of FMLA leave an eligible employee may use within a 12-month period.
  • Employees who previously exhausted their 12-week entitlement under the traditional FMLA do not qualify for EFML.  

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.

Interaction with COVID-19 Leave Provisions 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) taken for reasons 4 – 6 is capped at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day, as is Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML). If needed, the University will supplement the pay of employees who exceed the FFCRA daily rate caps with COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) to bring the employee to two-thirds pay.* The employee is responsible for further supplementing the difference between their normal pay and what is covered by the combination of FFCRA and PAL by using their own accrued leave and/or other accrued paid time off.

Once FFCRA leave is exhausted, employees must use their accrued leave or accrued paid time off for hours not worked due to the FFCRA reasons listed above; however, once an employee has exhausted all accrued leave and paid time off, absences due to reasons outlined in the FFCRA to qualify for EPSL Reasons 1 – 3 (subject to quarantine/isolation order, advised to self-quarantine, or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis), will receive COVID-19 paid administrative leave at 100% of the employee’s pay, up to 160 hours through Dec. 31, 2020.

Once FFCRA leave is exhausted, employees may receive COVID-19 paid administrative leave at one-third of the employee’s pay for scheduled hours they cannot work due to the reason outlined in the FFCRA to qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML).

In addition, once an employee has exhausted all of their accrued leave and paid time off, absences due to reasons outlined in the FFCRA to qualify for EPSL Reasons 1 – 3 (subject to quarantine/isolation order, advised to self-quarantine, or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis), will receive COVID-19 paid administrative leave at 100% of the employee’s pay, up to 160 hours.

If needed, the University will supplement the pay of employees who exceed the FFCRA daily rate caps with COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) to bring the employee to two-thirds pay.* The employee is responsible for further supplementing the difference between their normal pay and what is covered by the combination of FFCRA and PAL by using their own accrued leave and/or other accrued paid time off.

Example: Two-thirds pay (FFCRA + PAL*) + One-third pay (accrued leave) = 100% pay

Employees who need leave for Reasons 4 – 6 under the FFCRA must use available accrued leave or other paid time to supplement the two-thirds pay provided by FFCRA leave (plus PAL, if applicable) to maintain full compensation.

Example: Two-thirds pay (FFCRA) + One-third pay (accrued leave/paid time off) = 100% pay

If needed, the University will supplement the pay of employees receiving FFCRA benefits with COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) so that they receive full pay without drawing on other available accrued leave balances.

Example: Two-thirds pay (FFCRA) + One-third pay (PAL) = 100% pay

How to Apply for FFCRA Leave

  1. Notify your supervisor that you are unable to work/telework due to a qualifying reason under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  2. Complete the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Request FormPlease note, incomplete forms will not be processed.
  3. Submit the FFCRA form to the Office of Human Resources by either emailing the form to leave@unc.edu or faxing the form to (919) 962-6010. 

The Benefits & Leave Administration unit will review your request form and communicate with you and your department regarding the status of your request for FFCRA leave. 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.   

TIM Administrators: The FFCRA and Paid Administrative Leave Calculator will tell you what pay codes to use and what amounts to enter in TIM for employees who have been approved for FFCRA leave and COVID-19 paid administrative leave. The FFCRA and Paid Administrative Leave Calculator is located on the HR Community Toolkit web page. For ‘how to’ TIM questions, please email timsupport@unc.edu.

Additional Resources

Please refer to the FFCRA Fact Sheet and FAQs for additional information.

Contact

For questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), please call the University Benefits & Leave 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)