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Information for Georgia Southern University Employees

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

If your duties support essential services, you may be required to meet your regular work schedule and regular work commitment during emergency situations. However, telework/flexible schedules maybe options for employees 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 TELEWORK (if available)
FAMILIES FIRST – EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE – TIER 1 (if applicable)
• Accrued Leave
• FMLA (if applicable)
Employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms TELEWORK (if available)
FAMILIES FIRST – EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE – TIER 1 (if applicable)
• Accrued Leave
• FMLA (if applicable)
Employee needs to obtain a medical diagnosis or receive care related to COVID-19 symptoms TELEWORK (if available)
FAMILIES FIRST – EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE – TIER 1 (if applicable)
• Accrued Leave
• FMLA (if applicable)
Employee has to care for an individual who is quarantined TELEWORK (if available)
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE (if available)
• Combination of Flexible Schedule & Telework (if available)
FAMILIES FIRST – EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE – TIER 2 (if applicable)
• Accrued Leave
*Voluntary Quarantine (no symptoms, willing/able to work) TELEWORK (if available)
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE (if available)
• Combination of Flexible Schedule & Telework (if available)
• Accrued Leave
To care for son or daughter whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable TELEWORK (if available)
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE (if available)
• Combination of Flexible Schedule & Telework (if available)
FAMILIES FIRST – EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE – TIER 2 (if applicable)
FAMILIES FIRST – EXTENDED FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE (if applicable)
• Accrued Leave
Reduced Operations (not enough work available) TELEWORK (if available)
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE (if available)
• Combination of Flexible Schedule & Telework (if available)
NON-CLOSURE EMERGENCY LEAVE (Not available for employees providing essential services, those who can telework or work flex schedules, temporary employees, student employees, or rehired retirees)
Reduced Operations (no work available) TELEWORK (if available)
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE (if available)
• Combination of Flexible Schedule & Telework (if available)
NON-CLOSURE EMERGENCY LEAVE (Not available for employees providing essential services, those who can telework or work flex schedules, temporary employees, student employees, or rehired retirees)
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) • FMLA (if sick for more than three days or to care for a family member with an injury or illness unrelated to COVID-19)
• Accrued Sick Leave
• Accrued Annual Leave
• Accrued 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) • Accrued Compensatory Time (if non-exempt and comp time exists)
• Accrued Annual Leave

*As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Please note for the purpose of this leave that a voluntary quarantine or a local shelter-in-place ordinance is not considered either isolation or a quarantine.  

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 the telework code should be used to record that time in OneUSG Connect beginning April 5, 2020.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES

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.

NON-CLOSURE EMERGENCY LEAVE

The University System of Georgia (USG) has adapted its Policy on Inclement Weather to allow presidents to permit Non-Closure Emergency Leave with pay or leave without pay where the institution remains open but with reduced operations.  President Marrero is authorizing leave with pay.

This non-closure emergency leave is intended for employees who do not have work available to them or when an employee’s position is not suitable for telework, when flextime is not an option and when other solutions such as reassignment to other priority tasks are not available.  Employees can be compensated for hours not worked up to the equivalent of their regularly scheduled hours per week when there is not work for those employees to perform.

This temporary leave is effective April 5, 2020 – May 16, 2020. Temporary employees, student employees and rehired retirees are not eligible for non-closure emergency leave. Please note, if you are a 10 month employee, the provisions of this leave do not allow you to be paid during your inactive employment period.

Since this leave by its nature will not be applicable to all employees, each member of the President’s Cabinet in coordination with their respective AVP has identified the employees in their areas who may be eligible for this leave.  Employees will be notified by their management if they are eligible for this leave.

Eligibility for this leave with pay can be on a part-time basis.  For example, a college may have reduced operations, which leave staff positions without work that can be done via teleworking or flextime; however, the college can create a rotating schedule that allows each employee to work a partial schedule of 20 hours per week.  For a full-time employee, the remaining 20 hours (up to 40 in a work week) could then be counted as non-closure emergency leave with pay.

Managers have been provided documentation for entering this leave into OneUSG Connect.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA) EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) 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 will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

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; 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. Please note, if you are a 10 month employee, the provisions of this leave do not allow you to be paid during your inactive employment period.

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

Tier 1:  The pay 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: The pay 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;

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”.

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.

FORMS TO REQUEST LEAVE UNDER THIS ACT

You must use your MyGeorgiaSouthern credentials to access these forms. This serves as an electronic signature.

Once your form is submitted, please allow staff time to process the form. You will be notified via email if your leave request is approved.

Last updated: 4/8/2020