Families First Coronavirus Response Act - FFCRA
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, President Trump signed HR 6201 — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — into law on March 18, 2020. The law takes effect April 1 and will expire December 31, 2020.
The FFCRA provides paid leave for employees with qualifying reasons related to COVID19. There are two paid leave types.
- The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA - 2 weeks of leave, paid at 2/3 regular base rate OR full base rate, depending on reason leave is taken)
- The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA – up to an additional 10 weeks of leave at 2/3 of regular base rate)
Leave under the FFCRA will not be counted as hours worked, will not roll-over to 2021, nor will be paid out when an employee leaves the City.
All employees are eligible for EPSLA, and all employees with 30 days of employment are eligible for EFMLEA.
Note: The City of Frisco has excluded all employees in the Police, Fire, and Public Works departments. Employees who work in those departments will have a similar alternate program under the respective discretion and approval of the Chiefs and/or Director.
To be eligible, the employee also must not be able to work or telework (work-from-home).
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 (paid regular base rate);
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19 (paid regular base rate);
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis (paid regular base rate);
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2) (paid 2/3 regular base rate);
- is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19 (paid 2/3 regular base rate); or
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury (paid 2/3 regular base rate).
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19 (qualifying reason #5).
Requesting Leave under FFCRA
1. Many times, an employee’s supervisor or someone in their chain of command/department will notify Human Resources of their situation, and, if enough information is provided, the COVID Coordinator will send an email notifying the employee of how long they will need to quarantine and how to code their time. If information is unknown, the COVID Coordinator will call or email the employee to obtain additional information.
However, in the event the employee needs to notify Human Resources, for qualifying reasons #1-4 or 6, email the Covidcoordinator@friscotexas.gov and attach any supporting documentation, if applicable. Please be sure to include the following information in the email:
- Name and employee ID number;
- Position title;
- Supervisor’s name;
- The best contact number to reach employee;
- Specify who is symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19: EMPLOYEE or a MEMBER OF HOUSEHOLD;
- The date employee (or member of household, if applicable) started developing symptoms and/or tested positive for COVID-19;
- Whether employee is in a position in which they are able to do any work from home and is it their intention to work from home, subject to their manager’s approval (in other words, will the employee be missing any time while at home?);
- If needing time off due to qualifying reasons 4 and 6, employees will be eligible to receive 2/3 of their regular base rate. Include a statement in the email if the employee will want to supplement their pay with any of their accrued time. Please specify if they want to use sick only, or all time (sick, vacation, comp);
- If employee is symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19, when was the last date the employee was at work or around co-workers;
- If employee was at work within 48 hours of developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19, which co-workers, if applicable, were they within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes?
- If employee was at work within 48 hours of developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19, which co-workers, if applicable, were they around but NOT within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes?
2. For qualifying reason #5, employees should complete the EFMLA Self-Certification form and send to CovidCoordinator@friscotexas.gov.
3. The Human Resources department will make a determination on an employee’s leave request and send the approval / denial back to the employee and the employee’s manager. Please allow 2 business days to process the request.
Please note, while the FFCRA allows an employer to cap the amount of pay required under the Act, the City is not placing a maximum pay amount on EPSLA leave. However, there is a maximum aggregate pay of $10,000 for EFMLA for full-time employees ($5,000 for part-time employees).
See “Police and Fire Department Coronavirus Leave” section below.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding FFCRA
Before requesting leave time under the FFCRA, review the FFCRA Leave FAQs document below. This provides information regarding coding Kronos time and the amount of paid leave provided for FFCRA. These FAQs will also address what type of documentation employees need to submit.
Police and Fire Department Coronavirus Leave
Police and Fire Department employees are excluded from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave provided by the Act. However, an alternative program will be provided for Police and Fire Department employees from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The alternative program includes:
- 80 hours (120 hours for shift firefighters) of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (ESL) for full-time employees paid at 100% of the regular base rate for the reasons outlined below. ESL will not be counted as hours worked. Unused ESL will not roll over to 2021 and will not be paid out to employees. ESL must be approved by the department prior to use and can only be used:
- For sick reason for the employee and family member as outlined for reasons specific in the City of Frisco Sick Leave Policy; and/or
- To care for a minor son or daughter whose school or place of care for the minor has closed, or the childcare provider of the minor is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions. You may take up to 12 weeks for this purpose; however, the 12 weeks will be reduced by any FMLA you have already taken during the 12-month period prior to the leave start date;
- 400 hours (600 hours for shift firefighters) of Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFL) paid at 2/3 the regular base rate up to the maximum aggregate of $10,000 for full-time employees. Employees must be employed by the City for 30 days to be eligible for leave. EFL must be approved by the department prior to use and can only be used:
- To care for a minor son or daughter whose school or place of care for the minor has closed, or the childcare provider of the minor is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions. You may take up to 12 weeks for this purpose, however, the 12 weeks will be reduced by any FMLA you have already taken during the 12-month period prior to the leave start date.
Police or Fire department employees wanting to request leave will need to complete the Police and Fire Coronavirus Leave Request form. See Resources and Document section below.
FFRCA Resources and Documents:
- Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- EFMLA Self-Certification Form - (Fillable)
- Police and Fire Coronavirus Leave Request Form - (Fillable)
- FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Department of Labor Age and Hour Division - About FFRCA