New Paid Leave Provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The United States Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes a provision for emergency paid sick leave and an expansion of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage.   

Please note: This new federal emergency paid sick leave does not replace the University System of Georgia (USG) Non-Closure Emergency Leave

This memo defines and outlines the requirements for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)? 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides: 

  1. Emergency Paid Sick Leave to employees to assist with various circumstances related to the Coronavirus COVID-19 public health emergency and 
  2. Expanded Family Medical Leave Act for Coronavirus COVID-19 related leave needs.

These new requirements went into effect on April 1, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020.

FFCRA Qualifying Reasons 
The employee is, in connection with COVID-19: 

  1. Subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order (Click here for CDC’s definition);
  2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
  3. Experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. Caring for an individual who is subject to (1) or (2);
  5. Caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable; OR
  6. Experiencing any similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What This Means for Georgia Tech Employees 
For each leave option under FFCRA, below you will find the eligibility and pay mapped to each qualifying reason listed above: 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Entitles any current employee, regardless of their length of service, to emergency paid sick leave.  

Full-time employees who meet at least one of these criteria may take up to 80 hours of paid leave. Part-time employees may take paid leave for up to their regularly scheduled hours or FTE equivalent.

  • Qualifying Reason 1, 2, or 3 (self-care) - Compensation for employees who fall under self-coverage is capped at $511 per day and an aggregate total of $5,110.
  • Qualifying Reason 4, 5, or 6 (care for others) - Compensation for employees who fall under this coverage will be at two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and an aggregate total of $2,000.

Expanded Family Medical Leave Act
FMLA coverage for employees with at least 30 days of service who are caring for a child under 18 years of age whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

  • The first two weeks of leave under this provision are unpaid, but employees may use either accrued leave or Emergency Paid Sick Leave for the first two weeks.
  • The remaining 10 weeks of FMLA must be paid – unlike other FMLA leave. That pay rate is at two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and an aggregate total of $10,000.

To review the various types of leave available to an employee based on different conditions and/or situations, refer to the Flexible Work Arrangements and Leave Options Matrix

How To Request Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family Medical Leave 
Visit hr.gatech.edu/ffcra to begin the request process for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Expanded Family Medical Leave. 

On the website, you will find a form, instructions, and next steps regarding the request process. 

Additional Support  

Visit hr.gatech.edu/ffcra to access:  

Questions related to federal emergency paid sick leave or the expanded FMLA coverage should be addressed to GTHR Benefits at 404-385-2377.

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