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 FFCRA was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and is effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Included in this new federal law are two new paid leave provisions, Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML). These new benefits will allow the University to provide additional paid time off under qualifying circumstances to eligible employees affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Both leave types are temporary and apply only when employees have work available but cannot work or telework due to COVID-19 circumstances.
As permitted under 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 of the new leave 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)
Unless exempted, UNC-Chapel Hill employees, including non-benefits eligible and student employees, are eligible for up to two weeks (80 hours for full-time; prorated for part-time) of paid sick leave if work is available but they are unable to work their scheduled weekly hours either on campus or through telework because they:
- are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
- are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis;
- are caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order as described in (1), or has been advised to self-isolate as described in (2);
- are caring for their child(ren) whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
- are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For qualifying employees, up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave is available. For more information on the criteria and to apply, please refer to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act page.
Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML)
Unless exempted, employees, including non-benefits eligible and student employees, who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days may be eligible for up to 12 weeks (480 hours for full-time; prorated for part-time) of leave when they have work available but are unable to work or telework because of the need to care for their child under the age of 18 whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.
The first ten days of EFML are unpaid but may be used concurrently with EPSL, or with any leave accruals or available paid administrative leave. The remaining 10 weeks of EFML are paid at 2/3 of an employee’s pay, up to a maximum of $200 per day. Employees may also use their available leave accruals to supplement the EFML payment to receive their full pay while taking time off under the EFML.
EFML is a new qualifying reason for leave under the current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) program. It does not add any additional weeks to FMLA entitlement, nor does it convert traditional FMLA to paid leave. Prior usage of FMLA leave may affect eligibility for EFML. In addition, use of EFML now may affect future eligibility for traditional FMLA leave.
For qualifying employees, up to 12 weeks of job-protected expanded family and medical leave is available, with 10 weeks being paid at partial pay. For more information on the criteria and to apply, please refer to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act page.
Please work with your TIM Administrator to record this time in TIM.
For additional information about the FFCRA by the U.S. Department of Labor:
Please note: All COVID guidance is subject to change, based on new federal regulations and/or guidelines.