Information for Augusta University Employees Only


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), Teleworking during COVID-19 for Augusta University Employees

Department of Labor (DOL) - FFCRA Employee Rights Poster

If you are an essential employee, your position requires you to meet your regular work schedule and regular work commitment during emergency situations.  However, telework/flexible schedules maybe options for essential employees and for employees whose work is also needed to continue operations when approved by management.

The following chart describes the leave available to an employee based on different conditions that may apply.  As a reminder, all leave must be approved by an employee’s immediate supervisor and subject to standard policies and processes.

 

Employee is out due to… Work Schedule Options/Leave Options

(options/leave are generally used in the order listed)

Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local  quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
Employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms
Employee needs to obtain a medical diagnosis or receive care related to COVID-19 symptoms
Employee has to care for an individual who is quarantined
Voluntary Quarantine (no symptoms, able to work)
To care for son or daughter whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable
Reduced Operations (not enough work available)
Reduced Operations (no work available)
Employee’s own personal illness or injury, unrelated to COVID-19 (employee needs leave due to unrelated illness or injury or was already on leave when new forms of leave were added)
  • Sick Leave
  • FMLA (standard unpaid may be an option if eligible)
  • Annual Leave
  • Compensatory Time (if non-exempt and comp time exists)
Employee’s own personal leave plans, unrelated to COVID-19 (employee is taking leave for an event unrelated to COVID-19; annual leave had already been planned and employee will continue with plans)
  • Sick Leave
  • FMLA (standard unpaid may be an option if eligible)
  • Annual Leave
  • Compensatory Time (if non-exempt and comp time exists)

Telework

Telework options should be allowed for employees who can conduct their job duties remotely without interruption or disruption to services. VPs, deans, directors and department chairs are authorized to determine which employees under their supervision are in roles where telework is an option. Please make such a designation and immediately begin to allow telework for those employees. A record should be kept of which employees have been authorized for telework and each employee authorized for telework is expected to keep and submit to their manager weekly a log of work performed while teleworking. Leaders should keep their EVP aware of scheduling and telework in their respective colleges and departments.

 

Flexible Schedule

VPs, deans, directors and department chairs are authorized to provide flexible schedules that will reduce the number of employees physically on campus to the minimal level required at any given time to sustain service, safety and compliance. Flexible schedules should span normal service hours of the university and may also be extended to non-standard hours to support social distancing. Please keep a record of changes to employee schedules.

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Department of Labor - FFCRA Employee Rights Poster

Entitles any eligible employee (as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act) regardless of their length of service, to emergency paid sick leave if the employee , in connection with COVID-19 ,meets at least one of the specified criteria; full-time eligible employees may take up to 80 hours of paid leave. Affected part-time employees may take paid leave for up to their average number of hours worked over a two-week period.  This leave is effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  Covered employees are entitled to use this emergency paid sick leave before using any other accrued leave.

This law includes an exemption and therefore does not cover “Health Care Providers” or “Emergency Responders”.

Tier 1:  Compensation for those employees who must be quarantined or isolated and/or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (criteria 1, 2, and 3) is capped at $511 per day and an aggregate total of $5,110.

(1) subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order;

(2) advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;

(3) experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;

 

Tier 2: Compensation for those who are caring for someone else (criteria 4 and 5) is to be at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and an aggregate total of $2,000.

(4) caring for an individual who is subject to (1) or (2);

(5) *caring for a son or daughter whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable;

(6) experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

*Schools are considered open if the school offers in class, virtual (distance learning), hybrid and/or provides parents the option to choose virtual or in person.  If a parent chooses the virtual (distance learning) option, the parent will not be eligible for FFCRA (for this reason).  However, schools are considered closed if the school is physically closed but requires distance learning.

 

FFCRA Extended Family & Medical Leave Act

This provision in the new law amends the Family and Medical Leave Act such that covered leave is now available to employees with at least thirty (30) days of service who are caring for a son or daughter under 18 years of age whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19.

Affected employees are entitled to take this leave as part of their 12-week allotment under the FMLA. It does not add an additional 12 weeks onto the already existing 12 weeks of FMLA leave.

The first two weeks of leave under this provision are unpaid – as is customary under the FMLA. The employee may utilize these two weeks of unpaid leave, however, at the same time as the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave described above.

The remaining 10 weeks must be paid – unlike other leave under the FMLA. That pay is to be at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and an aggregate total of $10,000.

The employer may require employees to give as much notice as is practicable when the need for leave is foreseeable.

This law includes an exemption and therefore does not cover “Health Care Providers” or “Emergency Responders”.

*Schools are considered open if the school offers in class, virtual (distance learning), hybrid and/or provides parents the option to choose virtual or in person.  If a parent chooses the virtual (distance learning) option, the parent will not be eligible for FFCRA (for this reason).  However, schools are considered closed if the school is physically closed but requires distance learning.

 

Combined Effect of New Paid Leave Laws

Under these two new provisions combined, eligible employees are entitled to the following leave guarantees:

All eligible employees who are quarantined, isolated, or sick due to COVID-19 may receive emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) (up to two weeks) – limited to $511 per day and $5,110 total.

All eligible employees who are caring for another individual who is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19 may receive  emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) (up to two weeks) - limited to $200 per day and $2,000 total.

If a parent has a need to take extended FMLA due to a Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) the emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) will cover the first 10 days of unpaid leave under the extended FMLA (limited to be at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and total of $2,000).  After the EPSL, employees (who have been employed for at least 30 days) can then take 10 more weeks of paid leave (limited to be at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate but capped at $200 per day and an aggregate total of $10,000).

In the case of an employee who fits more than one of these categories, the leave totals are not cumulative. For example, if an employee is quarantined and is also taking care of someone else who is quarantined, the employee would still get two weeks of leave, not four.

Affected employees are also still able to use any other paid leave they have accrued.

 

Return to work - Request for an alternative work arrangement/accommodation

Please visit the following here for more information on a request for an Alternative Work Arrangement/Accommodation due to COVID-19.



Forms

All completed forms should be send to Chris Hunt, Leave Specialist at AU_HR_CONFIDENTIAL@augusta.edu or by fax at 706-721-1996.