COVID 19: New Policies: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA)

The College continues to monitor and implement measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, faculty have implemented online classes, essential personnel continue to work under sanitary and safe conditions, and employees are working remotely. The College appreciates the efforts of all employees to maintain business operations and support our students and the public.

The purpose of this memo is to share with you provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This Act provides two distinct types of paid leave for employees as a result of the Coronavirus situation. Attached you will find an Information Sheet that has all the pertinent information about the provisions, eligibility, and the application process. Generally, the two provisions of the Act are as follows:

  • The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provides ten work days (80 hours) of paid sick leave to eligible employees for health situations impacted by the COVID-19 virus. It also applies when an employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order of quarantine or self-quarantine or isolation or caring for an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate. In addition, it applies to an employee caring for a child of the employee and the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 and the employee is unable to work onsite or remotely due to the child care issues.

  • The Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) is an extension of and amends FMLA. An employee may request paid EFMLA leave if the employee is unable to work or telework due to the need to take care of a child of the employee under 18 years of age, if the child’s school is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, and the employee meets the eligibility requirements as explained on the attached Information Sheet.

These programs are available to all eligible employees including adjunct faculty and hourly employees. As of the date of the leave request, an employee must be on the ACC payroll and working, either on site or remotely. Supervisors should ensure that hourly employees receive this information since not all hourly employees have an ACC email address.

Employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 school or daycare closures may apply for both the EPSLA and EFMLA, if eligible. Employees who are unable to work due to their or an immediate family member’s COVID-19 related illness may only apply for the EPSLA, but may also be eligible for our regular unpaid FMLA protection if the illness lasts longer than 2 weeks. There are separate application forms and procedures for each type of leave.

While these leave provisions are available for eligible employees, the law provides a formula for calculating compensation based upon the leave type. When an employee is approved for EPSLA, they will receive their regular rate of pay. When approved for EFMLA, they will receive 2/3 their regular rate of pay during their leave based on the federal formula. See the Information Sheet for the formula.

Attached is a FFCRA Information Sheet regarding these new leave programs. Please print it and refer to it as needed. If you have further questions, visit the Human Resources Benefits website where additional information is posted and an FAQ is available. Questions can be emailed to: hrbenefits@austincc.edu.

Complete information about these programs is in the attached Information Sheet and is located at the following websites:

The College appreciates your dedication and commitment to our mission, the students, and the public. With your assistance, it is our goal to continue to service students and the public while ensuring our employees, who have unique needs at this time, are accommodated. Thank you for all that you do during this time of unchartered initiatives.

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs - WRD

Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion - PDF

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and CARES Act - PDF

Families First Coronavirus Response Act FFCRA Information for ACC Employees - PDF