The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides both paid leave and job protection for employees affected by COVID-19 with the following plans:
- Emergency Sick Leave (ESL) - Up to two weeks of paid leave
- Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFML) - Up to 12 weeks of leave including up to 10 weeks of pay when caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.
The FFCRA is a federal law implemented on April 1, 2020 and is set to end on December 31, 2020. Previously, MD Anderson was exempted from the FFCRA and instead offered more robust and comprehensive paid leave options. When the exemption was no longer available, MD Anderson implemented FFCRA on September 16, 2020.
Employees are eligible on their first day of employment to take up to 80 hours of ESL (prorated for part-time employees) if they are unable to work their scheduled weekly hours either on campus or remotely because of:
- A federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- Advice by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis;
- Caring for an individual subject to an order described in #1 or self-quarantine as described in #2;
- Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- Experiencing substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The amount of paid leave depends the employee's part or full-time status and the criteria met from the reasons above:
- For leave reasons 1, 2 or 3: Employees will receive full pay at their regular rate of pay up to $511 per day. This means a full-time employee can receive a maximum of $5,110 over a 2-week period.
- For leave reasons 4, 5 or 6: Employees will receive paid leave at 2/3 their regular rate of pay up to $200 per day. This means a full-time employee can receive a maximum of $2,000 over a 2-week period.
Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave including up to 10 weeks of pay (prorated for part-time employees) of expanded Family and Medical Leave (FML) if they:
- have been employed by MD Anderson (or another Texas state agency) for at least 30 days and
- are unable to work either on campus or remotely to care for their child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
- First 10 days of EFML – are unpaid. However, an employee can use:
1. Emergency Sick Leave and/or
2. Other leave accruals such as Paid Time Off, Extended Illness Bank or Vacation and Sick Leave for educational trainees.
- After first 10 days of EFML - employees can receive 2/3 of their regular pay for up to 10 weeks and up to $200 per day for a total of $10,000.
EFML provides pay and an additional opportunity to take Family Medical Leave (FML) but does not extend the amount of FML time available. This means, employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for use of EFML and/or FML. Employees who have already exhausted their FML are not able to take EFML until additional FML time is available.
STEP 1: Employee notifies their manager of their need to request leave.
- Employees are expected to give their manager as much notice as possible.
- Employees are not required to disclose the reason for their request.
STEP 2: Employee contacts the HR Leave Center at (713) 745-3652 or 5-FMLA to discuss leave options.
- The employee will be given an attestation to complete.
STEP 3: The HR Leave Center reviews the employee's eligibility and attestation.
- The HR Leave Center will contact the employee and department about the decision for leave.
STEP 4: If the leave is approved, the HR Leave Center will enter the pay codes in the time and attendance system.
- Working remotely?
- ESL is available on a continuous or intermittent basis for any of the six qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.
- EFML is available on a continuous or intermittent basis if an employee cannot work because they are caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed because of COVID-19.
- Position requires you to work on campus?
- Both ESL and EFML are available on a continuous or intermittent basis if an employee cannot work on campus or remotely because they are caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.
- These employees cannot take leave intermittently for the other five reasons related to COVID-19.
As with any leave, employees should provide their manager with as much notice as possible. When advance notice cannot be given, employees should follow the department's normal call-in procedures.
- Employees are not required to exhaust other leave accruals prior to using either plans.
- For leave related to caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19:
- A child is defined as a biological, adopted, foster child; stepchild, legal ward or a child standing in loco parentis (in place of the parent) such as a grandparent caring for their grandchild.
- A child must be under 18 years old unless the child is incapable of self-care due to mental or physical disability.
- These leave plans cannot be used if the employee chooses virtual instruction for their child when the school offers in-person instruction.
- Employees may be required to provide proof of the closed school or place of care.
- Schools or places of care are considered closed on the days the physical location is not available and children must continue to complete assignments and/or receive online instruction on a continuous or intermittent basis.
- Other leave accruals cannot be used to supplement partial pay not covered by these plans.
- As the plans expire on December 31, 2020, any unused hours will expire. Employees are not able to carryover unused time.
- Unused balances are not eligible for payout following termination of employment including death.
- Employees who are furloughed, experience a temporary layoff or reduction in work hours on or after April 1, 2020 are not eligible for ESL or EFMLA.
If the leave is because of:
- Emergency Sick Leave, excluding leave reason #5:
- On the last day of the leave, employees should contact Employee Health at 713-745-6900 for an evaluation.
- If the employee does not complete the evaluation or they are not cleared by Employee Health to return to work, the employee will need to talk with their manager about working from home until released or utilizing applicable leave accruals.
- Once Employee Health clears the employee to return to work, the employee must email the HR Leave Center on the first day of their return to avoid disruption with their paycheck.
- Extended Family Medical Leave or Emergency Sick Leave due to caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, leave reason #5:
- The employee should email the HR Leave Center on the first day of their return to avoid disruption with their paycheck.
The HR Leave Center will process the employee's return to work and update the timecard if needed.
Obtaining or using job-protected leave under false pretenses or falsifying documents is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Due to our response to COVID-19, all blood donations at MD Anderson
Blood Donor Center locations are being held by appointment only.