The impact of COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way all of us operate. For some of you, navigating the responsibilities of work while also caring for your families or your own health has made the transition particularly difficult.
On Wednesday, April 1, new federal legislation takes effect that could bring some relief.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) may provide you and other UCF employees with additional benefits. The Act focuses on two areas: emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave. The Act is effective from April 1 through December 31, 2020 and provides limited leave benefits to eligible employees.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
Beginning April 1, UCF will provide eligible employees with Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL). The EPSL may be used if an employee is unable to work (or work remotely) for one of several COVID-19 related reasons. Eligible full-time employees may be paid for up to 80 hours of EPSL. Eligible part-time employees will receive EPSL based on the average number of hours they work within a two-week period.
Eligible UCF employees will be automatically granted EPSL and can utilize this benefit by indicating the qualifying reason on their timesheet or LAPER in coordination with their department leave practices.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA)
In addition, eligible UCF employees can apply for Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) if an employee is unable to work (or work remotely) because they are caring for their minor child, if the child’s school or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to the COVID-19 emergency.
The first ten days of emergency FMLA leave will be unpaid, but EPSL or regular accrued leave can be used during this period. After that, eligible employees will receive up to 2/3 of their regular pay for up to 10 weeks, for the number of hours that the employee would normally be scheduled to work. EFMLA claims will count towards the regular, annual FMLA limit of twelve work weeks.
Our current circumstances have forced us all to make big adjustments to our routines, including how we teach and work. We are in this together, and we hope these emergency provisions bring some help to those who need it. As a reminder, faculty, A&P, and USPS staff whose circumstances do not qualify for the FFCRA emergency leave provisions, and who are unable to work remotely during the Orange County Stay at Home Order, will be paid administrative leave from March 27 through April 9.
To learn more about UCF’s implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including whether you are eligible, what circumstances qualify for emergency leave, and what you need to do to request Emergency FMLA, please go to: hr.ucf.edu/families-first-coronavirus-response-act/.
In addition, you may review the U.S. Department of Labor information posters at:
https://hr.ucf.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/23/files/FFCRA-poster-Spanish.pdf for Spanish