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Human Resources

University of Mississippi

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and
Expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA+) FAQ’s

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

What is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with a maximum of 80 hours of paid sick leave (pro-rated if part-time) for the following qualifying reasons.

  1. subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
  2. advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19,
  3. experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis,
  4. caring for an individual subject to an order described in paragraph (1) above, or self-quarantine as described in paragraph (2),
  5. caring for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, or
  6. experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

EPSL is only available through December 31, 2020, whether or not an employee elects to exhaust the leave by that time and does not rollover from one year to the next. Employees are not entitled to reimbursement for unused EPSL upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment

Who is eligible for this entitlement?

Employees, both exempt and non-exempt, full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who have worked for the University of Mississippi for at least 30 calendar days are eligible to receive EPSL.  An employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day the leave begins.

Will I be paid while take EPSL?

Yes.  Although the Act (FFCRA) only requires the University of Mississippi to provide 2/3 (67%) of regular rate of pay, qualifying University employees will receive 100% of their regular rate of pay for the hours the employee would have worked during this period

Does “quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19” have a defined meaning?

Yes. Quarantine or isolation orders include a broad range of governmental orders, including orders that advise some or all citizens to shelter in place, stay at home, quarantine, or otherwise restrict their own mobility.

How is ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ defined?

Yes. The terms “son” or “daughter” are defined as a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing ‘in loco parentis’ who is under 18 years of age.

Do I have to use any other accrued leave time before using EPSL?

No. Employees are not required to use accrued major medical or personal leave before using the emergency paid sick leave hours.

Can EPSL be taken on a Continuous or Intermittent basis?

Yes, EPSL may be taken on a continuous (full scheduled number of hours with no break) or intermittent (hourly , as needed) basis depending upon your needs.

How do I request leave as EPSL?

You will submit your request by completing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave of Absence Request form at https://hr.olemiss.edu/leaverequest/.  If providing care for someone else, you will be asked to provide the individual’s name.

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify their supervisor or department head of their need to take leave and to inform them that a request is on file with Human Resources.

How will I be notified if I am approved for EPSL?

Human Resources will provide written notification to the employee and their department regarding the determination.

How do I enter information on my timesheet?

Enter the absence due to an approved Emergency Paid Sick Leave on the timesheet as JURY.

Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA+)

What is Expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA+)?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide protected leave status to employee who are caring for their son or daughter who school or place of care is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

FMLA+ is only available through December 31, 2020, whether or not an employee elects to exhaust the leave by that time and does not rollover from one year to the next. Employees are not entitled to reimbursement for unused FMLA+ upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

How do I qualify for FMLA+?

Eligibility is based on your inability to work either on site or remotely because you are caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Who is eligible for this entitlement?

Employees, both exempt and non-exempt, full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who have worked for the University of Mississippi for at least 30 calendar days are eligible to receive FMLA+.  An employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day the leave begins.

How is ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ defined for FMLA+?

Yes. The terms “son” or “daughter” are defined as a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either under 18 years of age or is 18 years of age or older and “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”

Is the Expanded Family Medical Leave (FMLA+) a paid leave or unpaid leave of absence?

The first 80 hours (pro-rate if part-time) of Expanded Family Medical Leave is unpaid, unless the employee elects to use accrued personal leave or Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), if available. For the remaining 400 hours (pro-rated if part-time) of FMLA+, the employee will be paid at 100% of their regular rate of pay for the hours the employee would have worked during this period

Can Expanded Family Medical Leave be taken on a Continuous or Intermittent basis?

Yes, EPSL may be taken on a continuous (full scheduled number of hours with no break) or intermittent (hourly , as needed) basis depending upon childcare needs.

If taking intermittent leave, you must log time away from work due to the FMLA+ qualifying reason.   If approved, instructions will be provided on how to track the leave using the Leave Tracking Form for Expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA+). This form is used for tracking purposes only and does not replace the timesheet.  Hours documented on this form must also be entered on your timesheet.

If I already received benefits with regular Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), am I entitled to an additional 480 hours under FMLA+?

FMLA+ does not create a new right to an additional 480 hours of leave.  The maximum benefit available for both FMLA and FMLA+ combined is 480 hours.  Expanded Family and Medical Leave only creates an additional qualifying reason for taking this public health emergency leave. Employees still only eligible for 12 workweeks of FMLA leave, whatever the reason for the leave.

How do I request leave as FMLA+?

You will submit your request by completing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave of Absence Request form at https://hr.olemiss.edu/leaverequest/. You will be asked to provide your child’s name and the closed school or facility of childcare provider who is unavailable.

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify their supervisor or department head of their need to take leave and to inform them that a request is on file with Human Resources.

How will I be notified if I am approved for FMLA+?

Human Resources will provide written notification to the employee and their department regarding the determination.

How do I enter information on my timesheet?

The first 80 hours (pro-rated if part-time) of FMLA+ are unpaid unless using EPSL and accrued personal leave.

  • If unpaid, you do not enter anything on your timesheet.
  • If using EPSL,  enter the hours absent as JURY.
  • If using accrued personal leave, enter hours are VACA.

The remaining 400 hours (pro-rated if part-time) will be entered as JURY.

Is it possible for an employee to receive benefits under both EPSL and FMLA+ if they are home with a child because the school or place of care is closed, or a childcare provider is unavailable?

Yes. Employees who satisfy the eligibility requirements of both FMLA+ and EPSL are entitled to benefits under both laws only to care for a son or daughter while school or place of care is closed.

Will FMLA+ benefits continue once my school or facility opens or childcare provider becomes available?

No.  Once childcare is available you are expected to return to work and resume your normal schedule and work responsibilities.  You must immediately notify your department so they can prepare for your return and inform Human Resources so your status can be updated.

 

Leave Programs and Work Arrangements Policy Overview