STAFF UPDATE ALERT - MARCH 25, 2020

 

 

Agency and program management have been contacting Early Childhood staff regarding work duties following spring break this week.  If you haven’t received a call, please be patient, one will be coming.

 

If you need assistance during this time, please get in touch with Samie McCullough (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  so she can direct you to an agency resource to help with your need. We know this is a difficult time and some may find themselves in need of basic necessities such as food. The agency is here to help.

 

Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home.  Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.  Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions. Staff who contract COVID-19 must self-quarantine as directed by the local health department, KDHE, and CDC. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must follow the CDC's return-to-work guidelines at https: //www .cdc.gov /coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sic k/steps-when-sic k.html. The CDC recommends that individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 who have not been  tested  for the virus should remain isolated until you have had no fever for at least 72 hours,  your other symptoms have improved, and at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms  first appeared. For individuals who are tested, the CDC recommends that you stay home until you no longer have a fever, your symptoms have improved, and you have received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.  A doctor's release will be required for return to work.

 

Emergency Leave- Under the Families First Coronavirus Response  Act  (H.R.  6201), effective April 1 2020, staff who  are unable to work  or telework  due to COVID-19 may  qualify  for emergency  paid  FMLA leave or sick leave, in addition to existing accrued paid time off. Such emergency leave will be administered on a case-by-case basis  in compliance  with local,  state, and federal law. For  staff who become ill with COVID-19, unpaid FMLA leave may also apply. Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is not retroactive to leave that occured prior to April 1, 2020.

 

Staff who have been employed with SEK-CAP, Inc., for at least 30 calendar days may be eligible for paid emergency FMLA leave to care for a son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Regardless of tenure, staff may also be eligible for up to two workweeks of emergency paid sick leave if you:

  1. are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID- 19.
  2. have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID- 19.
  3. are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. are caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph  (1) or has been advised as described in paragraph (2).
  5. are caring for your son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
  6. are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

 

When taking emergency paid FMLA or sick leave as described above, staff will continue to accrue paid time off at the regular rate.

 

Q&A

  1. As an employee, how much will I be paid while taking paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA?

It depends on your normal schedule as well as why you are taking leave.

If you are taking paid sick leave because you are unable to work or telework due to a need for leave because you (1) are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or (3) are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis, you will receive for each applicable hour the greater of:

  • your regular rate of pay,
  • the federal minimum wage in effect under the FLSA, or
  • the applicable State or local minimum wage.

In these circumstances, you are entitled to a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total over the entire paid sick leave period.

If you are taking paid sick leave because you are: (1) caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; (2) caring for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; or (3) experiencing any other substantially-similar condition that may arise, as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, you are entitled to compensation at 2/3 of the greater of the amounts above.

 

Under these circumstances, you are subject to a maximum of $200 per day, or $2,000 over the entire two week period.

 

If you are taking expanded family and medical leave, you may take paid sick leave for the first ten days of that leave period, or you may substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave you have under your employer’s policy. For the following ten weeks, you will be paid for your leave at an amount no less than 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for the hours you would be normally scheduled to work. The regular rate of pay used to calculate this amount must be at or above the federal minimum wage, or the applicable state or local minimum wage. However, you will not receive more than $200 per day or $12,000 for the twelve weeks that include both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave when you are on leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

 

  1. What is my regular rate of pay for purposes of the FFCRA?

 

For purposes of the FFCRA, the regular rate of pay used to calculate your paid leave is the average of your regular rate over a period of up to six months prior to the date on which you take leave.[2] If you have not worked for your current employer for six months, the regular rate used to calculate your paid leave is the average of your regular rate of pay for each week you have worked for your current employer.

 

If you are paid with commissions, tips, or piece rates, these wages will be incorporated into the above calculation.

 

You can also compute this amount for each employee by adding all compensation that is part of the regular rate over the above period and divide that sum by all hours actually worked in the same period.

 

  1. May I take 80 hours of paid sick leave for my self-quarantine and then another amount of paid sick leave for another reason provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

 

No. You may take up to two weeks—or ten days—(80 hours for a full-time employee, or for a part-time employee, the number of hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a typical two-week period) of paid sick leave for any combination of qualifying reasons. However, the total number of hours for which you receive paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. 

 

  1. If I am home with my child because his or her school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, do I get paid sick leave, expanded family and medical leave, or both—how do they interact?

 

You may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of twelve weeks of paid leave. You may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides for an initial two weeks of paid leave. This period thus covers the first ten workdays of expanded family and medical leave, which are otherwise unpaid under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act unless the you elect to use existing vacation, personal, or medical or sick leave under your employer’s policy. After the first ten workdays have elapsed, you will receive 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for the hours you would have been scheduled to work in the subsequent ten weeks under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

 

Please note that you can only receive the additional ten weeks of expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

 

  1. Can my employer deny me paid sick leave if my employer gave me paid leave for a reason identified in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act prior to the Act going into effect?

 

No. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act imposes a new leave requirement on employers that is effective beginning on April 1, 2020.

 

  1. Is all leave under the FMLA now paid leave?

 

No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leave exceeds ten days. This includes only leave taken because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

 

  1. Are the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements retroactive?

 

No.

 

  1. How do I know whether I have “been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer” for purposes of expanded family and medical leave?

 

You are considered to have been employed by your employer for at least 30 calendar days if your employer had you on its payroll for the 30 calendar days immediately prior to the day your leave would begin. For example, if you want to take leave on April 1, 2020, you would need to have been on your employer’s payroll as of March 2, 2020.