H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), went into effective April 1, 2020 and will apply through December 31, 2020. It provides guidance to all employers, to include school districts/educator, on specifics of the Act. In short H.R. 6201 provides eligible employees/educators, who are unable to work or telework, with a period of 80 hours of paid leave.
There are five (5) qualifying reasons that must be present in order to receive emergency paid sick leave (EPSL), as follows:
1. The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine:
3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis from a health care provider.
4. The employee is caring for an individual who Is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine order related to COVID-19; or
has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
5. The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed for a period of time, whether by order of a state or local official or authority or at the decision of the individual school or place of care, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
6. The employee has a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
The substantially similar condition may be defined at any point during the effective period, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not yet identified such a condition that would allow an employee to take EPSL. If any such condition is identified, the U.S. Department of Labor will issue guidance explaining when EPSL is available for this reason.
In summary, if the employee/educator is deemed an eligible employee (30 calendar days employed), if that employee is unable to work or telework, and if they fall into one of the categories of Qualifying Reasons listed above, then that employee/educator can use up to two weeks (80 hours, pro-rated for part-time employees) of paid leave (EPSL). The 80 hours is available to be used for any combination of the qualifying reasons, but the total number of EPSL is capped at 80 hours.
The paid leave entitlement amounts are based on the reason for the leave. If the qualifying reason falls under #1-3, the employee is entitled to receive their regular rate of pay, subject to a maximum of $511.00 per day, or $5110.00 over the entire two (2) week period. (example: if employee XYZ, earns $65 per hour, under these guidelines, they would be capped at $511.00/$5110.00 for the two week period, whereas there regular earnings would have been $520.00 and $5200.00).
If the qualifying reason falls under #4-6, the employee is entitled to receive 2/3 of the regular rate of pay subject to a maximum of $200.00 per day, or $2000.00 over the two (2) week period. (example: if employee XYZ earns $65 per hour, under these guidelines, the employee could only earn $200 per day/capped at $2000.00 for the two week period)
Please direct any educator seeking guidance from you on H.R. 6201 to contact their local school district for specifics on this rule. Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Mississippi Schools: Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year.