HR update on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, April 1

Information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

For UMS employees, we recognize that during the current COVID-19 pandemic receiving the most accurate and up-to-date human resources information possible is of utmost importance. In compliance with Federal guidelines, we are providing the very latest information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (FFCRA), that took effect April 1, 2020.

For regular employees, COVID sick leave that was awarded on March 15 is still available to you through April 4, 2020. We also want to make you aware of additional benefits that may apply to you. As we hope you can appreciate, state and federal legislation and the overall COVID-19 situation is evolving very rapidly. In addition to this FFCRA notice, we plan to have additional pay and benefit guidance available to you on April 2, which will be applicable for April 5 and beyond.

Under the FFCRA, eligible employees are entitled to the following benefits:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave:

An employee is eligible for emergency paid sick leave (“EPSL”) if the employee is unable to work or to telework because the employee:

  •  is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19*
  • has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms
  • needs to obtain a medical diagnosis or receive care related to COVID-19 symptoms
  • has to care for or assist an individual who is under self-quarantine or is subject to a quarantine order for COVID-19
  • is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons

*The Maine “Stay Healthy at Home” Directive is not equivalent to a quarantine or isolation order.

Full-time employees may receive up to eighty (80) hours of EPSL. Part-time employees are eligible for a number of hours equal to the number of hours they work, on average, over a two-week period. Subject to certain maximums, EPSL is paid at the employee’s regular pay for leave taken on the basis of the employee’s own condition. For employees using EPSL to care for an individual or for childcare reasons, as described above, EPSL is paid at a rate that is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay.

Emergency Family Medical Leave:

An employee who has worked for at least thirty (30) days is eligible for up to twelve (12) weeks of Job-Protected Emergency Family Medical Leave (“EFML”) if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need to care for a dependent child under 18 years of age if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

The first 10 days of EFML are paid at two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay based on the employee’s regular work schedule, up to $200 per day as EPSL. The remaining 10 weeks of EFML will be paid at two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay based on the employee’s regular work schedule, up to $200 per day.

To document the specific leaves provided for under FFCRA, your Payroll and Benefits Teams are developing new time reporting codes for use in MaineStreet and will be entering and approving the appropriate codes for each employee who requests this particular FFCRA leave. Information and leave request forms will be available online soon at the UMS HR portal website.

For more information, please view the U.S. Department of Labor’s poster featuring details about paid leave available under the FFCRA. If you have questions, contact your Employee Benefits Center, benefits@maine.edu; 207.973.3373.