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Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Policy
Purpose: 

To outline the University’s responsibilities under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which created two new types of employee leave options related to COVID-19: (1) Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and (2) Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA).

Applies to: 

All employees (regular, temporary, full, or part-time).

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Juniper Gardens
Parsons
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 

 I. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

Eligible employees under the EPSLA: All employees (regular, temporary, full or part-time, faculty, staff or student) with active paid appointments, who are unable to work or telework based upon the qualifying criteria.

  A.   Qualifying Events for EPSLA Coverage

The employee is unable to work or telework beginning April 1, 2020 due to one of the following reasons:

1.    Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order.

2.    Employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.

3.    Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

4.    Employee is caring for an individual subject to quarantine/isolation order or has been advised to follow quarantine directives.

5.    Employee is caring for their child due to a school or daycare closure due to COVID-19.

6.    Employee is experiencing any other condition substantially similar to COVID-19, as defined by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

  B.   Amount of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

All eligible full-time employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of EPSL available to use for the qualifying reasons above. Eligible part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work. EPSL may not exceed a total of 80 hours.

For employees with varying hours such that the number of scheduled hours cannot be readily determined, employees are entitled to:

  • The average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the 6-month period ending on the date on which the employee takes leave, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type; or
  • ​If the employee has worked less than 6 months, the expected number of hours to be scheduled per day at the time of hire.

C.   Rate of Pay

EPSL is required to be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay for reasons 1-3 above for all faculty, staff (regular, temporary, full, or part-time) and student positions. Employees taking EPSL for reasons 4-6 above will also receive the employee's regular rate of pay with the University supplementing the federal compensation limits. The University reserves the right to review and possibly discontinue the supplement without advance notice prior to June 27, 2020, or before the December 31, 2020, expiration of the FFCRA. 

D.   Interaction with Other Paid Leave

Employees may use EPSL under this policy before using any other accrued paid time off for the qualifying reasons stated above. Employees on EFMLA under this policy may utilize EPSL during the first 10 days of qualifying leave.

E.   Procedure for Requesting EPSL

Employees must notify their supervisor of the need and specific reason for leave under this policy and also complete the KU COVID-19 Leave Request form. Verbal notification by the employee will be documented by the supervisor and accepted until it is possible to complete the KU COVID-19 Leave Request form with the documentation specified. Student employees will be required to complete the KU COVID-19 Leave Request form only after receiving direction from HRM Employee Relations. 

Supervisors will determine if the employee is unable to work or telework under the qualifying criteria above and will make arrangements for any necessary shift coverage during an employee’s absence. In addition to the KU COVID-19 Leave Request form an Absence Request using EPSL absence codes must be entered in HR/Pay by the payroll period deadlines. Supervisors are to determine reasonable procedures for the employee to report periodically on the employee's status for either use of additional leave or intent to return to work. 

Employees in temporary positions are only eligible for EPSL and EFMLA leave and are not eligible for the KU Non-Federal Covered leave. (Student employees are granted KU Non-Federal Covered leave, if eligible through May 16, 2020.)

The FFCRA expires on December 31, 2020. Any unused EPSL under this policy will not carry over to the next year or be paid out to employees.

F.   Procedure for Reporting EPSL Absences

Beginning April 19, 2020, all employees who are taking leave for reasons realted to COVID-19 must submit a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Absence request in HR/Pay.

       II. Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA)

Eligible employees under the EFMLA: Any employee unable to work or telework based upon the qualifying criteria and who has been employed for a period of 30 calendar days or longer with the State of Kansas/University immediately prior to the effective date of the requested leave.

​              A.   Qualifying Events for EFMLA Coverage

Eligible employees who are unable to work or telework due to a need to care for their child(ren) when the school or place of care has been closed, or the regular childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.

​              B.   Duration of Leave

Employees will have up to 12 weeks of EFMLA to use from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, for the purposes stated above. Qualifying employees must take the first two (2) weeks of leave as EPSL (if available and approved), accrued leave, or unpaid (leave without pay).

EFMLA is available from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, for the purposes stated above. This time is included in and is not in addition to the total FMLA leave entitlement of 12 weeks in a 12-month period.

​              C.   Pay During Leave

For employees with varying hours, one of two methods for computing the number of hours paid will be used:

  1. The average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the 6-month period ending on the date on which the employee takes leave, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type; or
  2.  If the employee has worked less than six months, but more than 30 days, the expected number of hours to be scheduled per day at the time of hire.

​At this time, employees taking EFMLA will receive the employee's regular rate of pay with the University supplementing the federal compensation limits. The University reserves the right to review and possibly discontinue the supplement without advance notice before December 31, 2020, expiration of the FFCRA.​

             D.   Employee Status and Benefits During EFMLA Leave

During EFMLA leave, an employee must fulfill specific responsibilities for handling the absence in HR/Pay and provide the authorized return from leave documentation as specified on the HRM website. http://humanresources.ku.edu/family-and-medical-leave.

While on approved EFMLA leave, State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) coverage will be maintained during the 12-week FMLA entitlement period. While on paid leave, the employee will pay the regular SEHP premiums (through paycheck deduction or, if the paycheck is insufficient, through personal check), and KU will pay its regular employer contribution. Any questions should be directed to HRM Benefits (benefits@ku.edu).

​              E.   Procedure for Requesting EFMLA Leave

All employees requesting EFMLA leave must:

  1. Submit the KU COVID-19 Leave Request form (including supporting documentation), to Human Resource Management within three days of an absence from work or telework activities related to the qualifying criteria above (verbal notice will otherwise be accepted until written notice can be provided); and
  2. Report the Absence in HR/Pay.

Within five (5) business days after the employee has provided written notice, HRM will complete and provide the employee with any Department of Labor (DOL) required notices.

The University exercises the discretion to require EFMLA to be consecutive or intermittently taken.

HRM is the University’s designated authority to review and approve EFMLA requests.

EFMLA designated under the FFCRA expires on December 31, 2020. Any unused leave under this policy will not carry over to the next year or be paid out to employees.

​              F.   Employee Status After EFMLA Leave

Generally, an employee who takes EFMLA leave will be able to return to the same position or a position with equivalent status, pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The University may choose to exempt certain key employees from this requirement and not return them to the same or similar position when doing so will cause substantial and grievous economic injury to business operations. Key employees will be given written notice at the time EFMLA leave is requested of their status as a key employee.

G.   Denial of EFMLA Leave

EFMLA leave can be denied by HRM ONLY when:

  • the employee does not meet the eligibility requirements;
  • the condition does not meet EFMLA-qualifying standards;
  • the time period covered under the FFCRA expires;
  • the employee has exhausted their FMLA leave; or
  • the employee has failed to provide timely advance notice.

If an employee feels that EFMLA has been denied inappropriately, the employee may discuss this with HRM.

H.   Employee Responsibilities

During EFMLA leave, an employee must update their supervisor and/or HRM regarding the employee’s status and fulfill responsibilities for reporting the absence in HR/Pay. The employee is required to notify HRM with the date the individual plans to return from leave.

I.   Additional FMLA Information

Paid and unpaid leave taken for an EFMLA approved situation will be FMLA protected and counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement (when eligible). 

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

No employee who appropriately uses EPSL or EFMLA under this policy will be discharged, disciplined, or discriminated against for work time missed due to this leave. However, employees are not protected from employment actions such as furlough, layoff, or a reduction in force while on EPSL or EFMLA. If it is determined that there is not enough work to be performed, the employer is not required to continue to pay for either program after the effective date of furlough, layoff, or reduction in force. Employees within such circumstances might be eligible for unemployment insurance.

Employees approved for University Parental Leave, may be eligible for EFMLA if qualifying.

Pursuant to requirements of the IRS, employees will be required to provide additional supporting documentation regarding childcare needs for a child older than 14.

Tenure-track faculty using EFMLA may want to consider requesting a one-year delay of the tenure review under the Interruption Of The Probationary Period (Tenure Clock) policy.

Coronavirus (COVID) KU Non-Federal Leave

Coronavirus (COVID-19) KU Non-Federal Leave eligibility is defined by the University and is not applicable to all employees and is not subject to requirements of the FFCRA. Availability of this leave is under the Chancellor’s direction and can be discontinued without advance notice.

This leave may be used to provide additional paid leave after the employee has exhausted the FFCRA leave. Eligibility for this leave is defined by the University and is not available to all employees. Staff and faculty with temporary positions are not eligible for this leave and student eligibility expires after May 16, 2020. Staff and faculty with active (paid) regular appointments may be eligible through June 27, 2020.

Use of the KU Non-Federal Leave requires an Absence Request to be submitted by the employee in HR/Pay.

Contact: 

Human Resource Management
​103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
​1246 W. Campus Road
​Lawrence, KS 66045
​785-864-4946
hrdept@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Vice Provost for Operations, Chief Human Resource Officer
Approved on: 
Friday, April 10, 2020
Effective on: 
Friday, April 10, 2020
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

"Child" means a biological, adopted, foster, or step child, a legal ward, or a dependent of a person standing in loco parentis, who is either under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

"Childcare provider" provides childcare services on a regular basis, including:

  • a center-based childcare provider;
  • ​a group home childcare provider;
  • ​a family childcare provider (one individual who provides childcare services for fewer than 24 hours per day as the sole caregiver, and in a private residence);
  • ​other licensed provider of childcare services for compensation; or
  • ​a childcare provider who is 18 years of age or older and who provides childcare services to children to who they are related (i.e., their grandchild, great grandchild, sibling (if the provider lives in a separate residence), niece or nephew) at the direction of the parent.

"School" means a facility that provides K-12 education.

​FFCRA federally defined compensation limits as referenced above:

  • ​$511 per day and $5,110 in total for EPSL reasons 1-3
  • ​$200 per day and $2,000 in total for EPSL reasons 4-6
  • ​$200 per day and $10,000 in total for 10 weeks of EFMLA
Keywords: 
FMLA, Family and Medical Leave Act, sick leave, child care, Emergency Family Medical Leave Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, COVID-19, Coronavirus
Change History: 

06/10/2020: Updated to correct formatting (e.g. typos, spacing)
05/29/2020: Updated to clarify eligibility and practices.
​04/10/2020: New policy published in the Policy Library.

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Leaves & Holidays

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