Working during COVID-19

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Updated October 15, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) establishes Emergency Paid Sick Time Off for employees who are unable to work or telework due to qualifying COVID-19 related reasons for absences between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

Unable to work or telework

An employee is considered unable to work if UW has work available and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons prevents them from being able to perform that work, either at their normal work location or through telework.

Qualifying reasons

An employee who is unable to work or telework is eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Time Off in any of the following circumstances:

  • They are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • They have been advised by a health care provider (e.g., MD, RN, ARNP, or Physician Assistant) to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
  • They are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

An employee who is unable to work or telework is eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Time Off if the employee is caring for:

  • An individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  • A child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons. A school or place of care is considered closed if the physical location is closed. This is true even if some or all instruction is being provided online or through other learning formats where a child is expected or required to complete assignments.

To the extent UW has work available and the employee is able to telework while caring for their child, Emergency Paid Sick Time Off is not available. If both the employee and the department mutually agree that the employee will work their normal number of hours, but outside of their normal work schedule (e.g., working early in the morning or late at night), then the employee is considered able to work and Emergency Paid Sick Time Off is not necessary unless a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents them from working that schedule.

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Eligible employees

Employees paid wages are eligible if the UW has work available and they meet one of the qualifying conditions that prevents them from being able to work, either at their normal work location or through telework.

As of September 16, 2020, certain positions within the medical centers, Hall Health, Rubenstein Pharmacy, and some positions within the School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy listed on this FFCRA Exempt Job Profile list are ineligible for Emergency Sick Paid Time Off and Expanded FMLA as they either meet the healthcare provider or emergency responder definitions or are critical to maintaining operations during the public health emergency. While ineligible for FFCRA, these positions have access to worker’s compensation and administrative leave for COVID-related reasons.

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Amount and pay

Employees receive two weeks (up 80 hours) of Emergency Paid Sick Time Off. This amount is prorated for part-time employees, including those in hourly paid positions.

Qualifying condition Emergency sick time off value
Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. Paid at 100% of an employee’s regular rate, not to exceed $511 per day (or $5,110 total).

Use of 8 hours per day will cover 100% of wages for anyone earning less than $132,860 or $63.87/hour.

Employee has been advised by a health care provider (e.g., MD, RN, ARNP, or Physician Assistant) to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
To care for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. Paid at 2/3 of an employee’s regular rate, not to exceed $200 per day (or $2,000 total).
To care for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.

 

It is recommended, but not required, that employees use Emergency Paid Sick Time Off first for a qualifying COVID-19-related reason.

The Emergency Paid Sick Time Off balance does not carry over into next year and any remaining balance is not available for use when the employee no longer has a qualifying COVID-19 related condition.

Research Compliance has confirmed that paid time off taken under Emergency Paid Sick Time Off is an allowable charge on a grant budget.

Top up

Employees may use their existing UW sick time off balances to “top up” to 100 percent of wages for the Emergency Paid Sick Time Off qualifying conditions. Top up entries do not reflect the amount of time an employee is absent – only the amount of sick time off used to equal the amount of wages used to “top up” above the Emergency Paid Sick Time Off amount, not to exceed 100 percent of wages. For example, for each full-day absence, the Emergency Paid Sick Time Off time off entry reflects the amount of time absent in hours; the “FFCRA Top Up Sick Time Off (hours)” represents wages only. Together, the hours entered for both Emergency Paid Sick Time Off and top up may exceed the scheduled hours in the day.

Top Up entries are made on a per pay period basis. This Top Up Calculator can be used to figure out the number of sick time off hours to enter per pay period, based on information in an employee’s Earnings and Actuals Report R0100.2. For employees interested in entering top up hours in Workday, ISC has published these instructions.

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Intermittent use

When the UW has work available, employees who telework may use Emergency Paid Sick Time Off intermittently when they are unable to work their normal number of hours due to a COVID-19 related reason. When teleworking, Emergency Paid Sick Time Off may be used in partial days to account for missed work hours.

Employees who do not telework must use Emergency Paid Sick Time Off in full-day increments unless the leave is being taken because the employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to a COVID-19 related reason.

If an employee’s job requires presence at the workplace, intermittent Emergency Paid Sick Time Off is allowed only when the employee and their department agree upon such a schedule. For example, if the employee and department agree, the employee could take Emergency Paid Sick Time Off on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but come to the workplace on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while their child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Unless the employee is teleworking, once an employee begins taking Emergency Paid Sick Time Off for their own or a family member’s COVID-19 qualifying reason, the employee should continue using this time off until either the balance is exhausted or they no longer have a qualifying reason for taking it. The intent of this requirement is to provide paid time away from work to prevent spreading the virus to others when the employee is sick or possibly sick with COVID-19, or caring for an individual who is sick or possibly sick with COVID-19.

If the employee no longer has a qualifying reason for taking Emergency Paid Sick Time Off and a balance remains, it may be used at a later time, until December 31, 2020, if another qualifying reason occurs.

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Requesting Emergency Paid Sick Time Off

Medical center employees: Employees should contact their Leave Specialist directly to request Emergency Paid Sick Time Off.

Campus employees:

  1. Submit your request through Workday, selecting the appropriate leave of absence:
    1. “LOA – General Leave Request – COVID-19 FFCRA Emergency – Self”
    2. “LOA – General Leave Request – FFCRA COVID-19 Emergency – Family”
  2. Complete and sign the FFCRA Paid Sick Time Off form FFCRA – Emergency Paid Sick Time Off Request (MS Word) and submit to Campus HR Operations by mail, email or fax.
  3. Your leave specialist will review your request and inform you of next steps. Upon approval, you will be eligible for a balance of Emergency Paid Sick Time Off:
    1. FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Time Off – Self
    2. FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Time Off – Family

For detailed instructions about how to request in Workday, please visit the Emergency Paid Sick Time Off user guide.

Employees are not eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Time Off for both themselves and their family member at the same time and the total number of hours for which employees receive paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours (prorated for part time employment).

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Interaction with furlough

Employees are not eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Time Off during a furlough period.

The FFCRA workplace poster containing employee rights under both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act is available at: hr.uw.edu/workplace-posters/.

Any of the foregoing policies may be revised in accordance with additional federal guidance and/or regulations interpreting the FFCRA.

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Changes to policy

Prior to September 16, 2020, when changes to the definition of health care provider under the FFCRA took effect, all positions within the medical centers and Hall Health and some positions within the School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy were ineligible for Emergency Paid Sick Time Off and Expanded FLMA:

  • “Clinically active” faculty — defined as all faculty who are members or associate members of UWP or CUMG (including MD’s, Advanced Practice Providers (APPs), PA’s).
  • Residents and fellows — defined as members of UWHA.
  • Senior fellows and/or senior fellow trainees in non-ACGME training programs who are credentialed as providers through GME.
  • In non-ACGME training programs who are credentialed as providers through GME.
  • All classified and professional staff in the Department of Laboratory Medicine.
  • All classified and professional staff in the medical centers.
  • All Hall Health employees.
  • All Rubenstein Pharmacy employees.

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