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Employee Rights

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

April 1, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply April 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.


FAQ icon

Illness

  • If you become ill for any reason, please notify your supervisor and let them know you will be taking sick leave.
  • Not at this time. To help health care professionals focus on providing care to patients, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has recommended that employers not require doctors’ notes for employees to return to work. Once this situation has abated, we will let you know via email when doctor’s notes are again required after an absence.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and suspect you may have contracted the virus, please call your healthcare provider or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993.
  • If someone reports to you that they have been exposed, but are not exhibiting symptoms, please have them call their healthcare provider or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993.
  • If someone is unable to work or participate in class due to an unspecified illness, please tell them to call their health care provider.
  • Tell the student or employee to stay away from others if possible.

    For students, have them contact the Student Health and Wellness Center at Ext. 3259, and they will conduct an assessment by phone. If Student Health staff determine there is a likelihood of exposure, they will contact Los Angeles County Public Health, as well as provide the individual with further instructions. If you cannot reach the Student Health Office, please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993. For employees, please have them call their healthcare provider or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993.

  • Step 1 – Tell the individual to contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (888) 397-3993. The diagnosing physician should have notified the county as well.

    Step 2 – Ask the individual if you can share this information, even anonymously, with the Incident Command Team. If so, please immediately notify Michael Wilding at (661) 510-9569, Jim Schrage at (661) 510-3879, James Temple at (661) 510-6950 or Ryan Theule at (661) 714-3526. We will work with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to confirm the case.

  • The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health would officially notify the campus if a case was confirmed and had a connection to our district. If you receive a call from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reporting that a case is connected to the district, please immediately call Michael Wilding at (661) 510-9569, Jim Schrage at (661) 510-3879, James Temple at (661) 510-6950 or Ryan Theule at (661) 714-3526.


FFCRA

  • The FFCRA amends the Family and Medical Family Leave Act (FMLA) by providing FMLA Public Health Emergency Leave and provides Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave to employees for certain coronavirus, or COVID-19, related reasons. 
  • The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.
  • It depends on why you are taking leave.

    If you are taking paid leave because you are unable to work or work from home due to a need for leave because you:

    1. are subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, or
    2. have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns relate to COVID-19, or
    3. are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis...

    you will receive for each applicable hour your regular rate of pay. In these circumstances you are entitled to a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total over the entire two week paid sick leave period.

    If you are taking paid sick leave because you are:

    1. caring for an individual who is subject to federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, or
    2. caring for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, or
    3. experiencing any other substantially similar condition that may arise, as specified by the secretary of health human services...

    you are entitled to compensation at 2/3 of the greater of the amounts above. Under these circumstances, you are subject to a maximum of $200 per day, or $2,000 over the entire two week period.

    If you are taking expanded family and medical leave, you may take paid emergency sick leave for the first 10 days of that leave period, or you may substitute any accrued vacation, personal leave, or sick leave you have. For the following 10 weeks, you will be paid for leave at an amount no less than 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for the hours you would be normally scheduled to work. However, you will not receive more than $200 per day or $12,000 for the 12 weeks that include both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave when you are on leave to care for your child whose school or place of care if closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19.

  • No.

  • You are considered to have been employed for at least 30 calendar days if you were on payroll for the 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day your leave would begin. 

    For example, if you want to take leave on April 1, 2020, you would need to have been on payroll as of March 2, 2020.

  • No. Paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is in addition to other leave provided under federal, state or local law; an applicable collective bargaining agreement; or your employer’s existing company policy.

  • No. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act applies only when you are on leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons. However, you can take paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act for numerous other reasons.

  • A part-time employee is entitled to leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such a part-time employee may take paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period, and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours per day up to ten weeks after that.

    If this calculation cannot be made because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed that the employee would work upon hiring. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment.

  • No. You may take up to two weeks – or 10 days – (80 hours for a full-time employee, or for a part-time employee, the number of hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a typical two-week period) of paid sick leave for any combination of qualifying reasons. However, the total number of hours for which you receive paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.

  • You may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of 12 weeks of paid leave. You may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides for an initial two weeks of paid leave. This period thus covers the first ten workdays of expanded family and medical leave, which are otherwise unpaid under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act unless you elect to use existing vacation, personal, or medical or sick leave under your employer’s policy. After the first 10 workdays have elapsed, you will receive 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for the hours you would have been scheduled to work in the subsequent 10 weeks under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

    Please note that you can only receive the additional 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

  • No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leave exceeds 10 days. This includes only leave taken because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

  • You must provide to your employer documentation in support of your paid sick leave as specified in applicable IRS forms, instructions, and information. 

    Your employer may also require you to provide additional in support of your expanded family and medical leave taken to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19-related reasons. For example, this may include a notice of closure or unavailability from your child’s school, place of care, or child care provider, including a notice that may have been posted on a government, school, or day care website, published in a newspaper, or emailed to you from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider. Your employer must retain this notice or documentation in support of expanded family and medical leave, including while you may be taking unpaid leave that runs concurrently with paid sick leave if taken for the same reason.

    Please also note that all existing certification requirements under the FMLA remain in effect if you are taking leave for one of the existing qualifying reasons under the FMLA. For example, if you are taking leave beyond the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave because your medical condition for COVID-19-related reasons rises to the level of a serious health condition, you must continue to provide medical certifications under the FMLA if required by your employer.

  • You may work from home when your employer permits or allows you to perform work while you are at home or at a location other than your normal workplace. Work from home is work for which normal wages must be paid and is not compensated under the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA.

  • You are unable to work if your employer has work for you and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons set forth in the FFCRA prevents you from being able to perform that work, either under normal circumstances at your normal worksite or by means of working from home.

    If you and your employer agree that you will work your normal number of hours, but outside of your normally scheduled hours (for instance early in the morning or late at night), then you are able to work and leave is not necessary unless a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents you from working that schedule.

  • If your employer permits working from home – for example, allows you to perform certain tasks or work a certain number of hours from home or at a location other than your normal workplace – and you are unable to perform those tasks or work the required hours because of one of the qualifying reasons for paid sick leave, then you are entitled to take paid sick leave. 

    Similarly, if you are unable to perform those working from home tasks or work the required working from home hours because you need to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 related reasons, then you are entitled to take expanded family and medical leave. Of course, to the extent you are able to work from home while caring for your child, paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave is not available.

  • Yes, but only with your employer’s permission. Intermittent expanded family and medical leave should be permitted only when you and your employer agree upon such a schedule. For example, if your employer and you agree, you may take expanded family and medical leave on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but work Tuesdays and Thursdays, while your child is at home because your child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, for the duration of your leave. The department encourages employers and employees to collaborate to achieve flexibility. Therefore, if employers and employees agree to intermittent leave on a day-by-day basis, the department supports such voluntary arrangements.

  • No, not while your worksite is closed. If your employer closes your worksite, even for a short period of time, you are not entitled to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. However, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. This is true whether your employer closes your worksite for lack of business or because it was required to close pursuant to a federal, state or local directive. You should contact your state workforce agency or state unemployment insurance office for specific questions about your eligibility. For additional information, please refer to https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx. If your employer reopens and you resume work, you would then be eligible for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave as warranted.

  • No. If your employer reduces your work hours because it does not have work for you to perform, you may not use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for the hours that you are no longer scheduled to work. This is because you are not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if your reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

    You may, however, take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave if a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents you from working your full schedule. If you do, the amount of leave to which you are entitled is computed based on your work schedule before it was reduced.

  • No. If your employer provides you paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance. However, each state has its own unique set of rules; and DOL recently clarified additional flexibility to the states (UIPL 20-10) to extend partial unemployment benefits to workers whose hours or pay have been reduced. Therefore, individuals should contact their state workforce agency or state unemployment insurance office for specific questions about eligibility. For additional information, please refer to https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx.

  • No. If you are eligible to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, as well as paid leave that is already provided by your employer, unless your employer agrees you must choose one type of leave to take. You may not simultaneously take both, unless your employer agrees to allow you to supplement the amount you receive from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, up to your normal earnings, with preexisting leave. For example, if you are receiving 2/3 of your normal earnings from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA and your employer permits, you may use your preexisting employer-provided paid leave to get the additional 1/3 of your normal earnings so that you receive your full normal earnings for each hour.

  • Both of these new provisions use the employee definition as provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act, thus all of your U.S. (including territorial) employees who meet this definition are eligible including full-time and part-time employees, and “joint employees” working on your site temporarily and/or through a temp agency. There is one difference regarding an employee’s eligibility for paid sick leave versus expanded family and medical leave. While employees are eligible for paid sick leave regardless of length of employment, employees must have been employed for 30 calendar days in order to qualify for expanded family and medical leave.

  • Under the FFCRA, a “son or daughter” is your own child, which includes your biological, adopted, or foster child, your stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom you are standing in loco parentis – someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a child. For additional information about in loco parentis, see Fact Sheet #28B: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for birth, placement, bonding or to care for a child with a serious health condition on the basis of an “in loco parentis” relationship.

    In light of Congressional direction to interpret definitions consistently, WHD clarifies that under the FFCRA a “son or daughter” is also an adult son or daughter (i.e., one who is 18 years of age or older), who (1) has a mental or physical disability, and (2) is incapable of self-care because of that disability.

  • If you are an eligible employee, you are entitled to paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act regardless of how much leave you have taken under the FMLA. However, if your employer was covered by the FMLA prior to April 1, 2020, your eligibility for expanded family and medical leave depends on how much leave you have already taken during the 12-month period that your employer uses for FMLA leave. You may take a total of 12 workweeks for FMLA or expanded family and medical leave reasons during a 12-month period. If you have taken some, but not all, 12 workweeks of your leave under FMLA during the current 12-month period determined by your employer, you may take the remaining portion of leave available. If you have already taken 12 workweeks of FMLA leave during this 12-month period, you may not take additional expanded family and medical leave. 

    For example, assume you are eligible for preexisting FMLA leave and took two weeks of such leave in January 2020 to undergo and recover from a surgical procedure. You therefore have 10 weeks of FMLA leave remaining. Because expanded family and medical leave is a type of FMLA leave, you would be entitled to take up to 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, rather than 12 weeks. And any expanded family and medical leave you take would count against your entitlement to preexisting FMLA leave. If your employer only becomes covered under the FMLA on April 1, 2020, this analysis does not apply.

  • It depends. You may take a total of 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period under the FMLA, including the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. If you take some, but not all 12, workweeks of your expanded family and medical leave by December 31, 2020, you may take the remaining portion of FMLA leave for a serious medical condition, as long as the total time taken does not exceed 12 workweeks in the 12-month period. Please note that expanded family and medical leave is available only until Dec. 31, 2020; after that, you may only take FMLA leave.

    For example, assume you take four weeks of Expanded Family and Medical Leave in April 2020 to care for your child whose school is closed due to a COVID-19 related reason. These four weeks count against your entitlement to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period. If you are eligible for preexisting FMLA leave and need to take such leave in August 2020 because you need surgery, you would be entitled to take up to eight weeks of FMLA leave. However, you are entitled to paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act regardless of how much leave you have taken under the FMLA. Paid sick leave is not a form of FMLA leave and therefore does not count toward the 12 workweeks in the 12-month period cap. But please note that if you take paid sick leave concurrently with the first two weeks of expanded family and medical leave, which may otherwise be unpaid, then those two weeks do count towards the 12 workweeks in the 12-month period.

  • The term “health care provider,” as used to determine individuals whose advice to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 can be relied on as a qualifying reason for paid sick leave, means a licensed doctor of medicine, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider permitted to issue a certification for purposes of the FMLA.