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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Guidance

FPP F.041

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Note: The federal mandate for employers to provide this leave expired Dec. 31, 2020. However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, allowed agencies and institutions to voluntarily continue offering emergency paid sick leave, which had been required by the FFCRA, through March 31, 2021, up to the original entitlement.

The ARP further extends agencies’ and institutions’ ability to voluntarily offer emergency paid sick leave created by the FFCRA through Sept. 30, 2021. Some provisions of the FFCRA were amended by the ARP; those changes are included below.

Covered employers must provide employees up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of emergency paid sick leave, which can only be used for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The rate of pay for this leave varies depending on the reason for its use. Employees may not carry over unused emergency paid sick leave hours granted between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

Effective April 1, 2021, employers may provide employees up to an additional 10 days of emergency paid sick leave.

The leave pay should be the employee’s regular rate of pay, as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, if the employee is unable to work due to any of the following:

  • Being quarantined by order of the federal, state or local authority, or at the advice of a health care provider.
  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Being tested or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19 due either to exposure or employer request (valid only after April 1, 2021).
    – or –
  • Obtaining immunization for COVID-19 or recovering from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such immunization (valid only after April 1, 2021).

Note: The amount of pay for an employee in these circumstances is limited to a maximum of $511 per day, or a total of $5,110 for the 80 hours, or the prorated part-time equivalent.

The leave pay should be not less than two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay, as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, if the employee is unable to work due to any of the following:

  • A legitimate need to care for an individual subject to quarantine ordered by the federal, state or local authority, or at the advice of a health care provider.
  • Caring for a child under 18 whose school or child-care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
    – or –
  • Experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.

Note: The amount of pay for an employee in these circumstances is limited to a maximum of $200 per day, or a total of $2,000 for the 80 hours, or the prorated part-time equivalent.

Employees may take this leave for any combination of the reasons above up to the maximum number of hours they are entitled to.

Employers of health care providers or emergency responders may choose to exclude those employees from eligibility for the leave provided under the act.

Note: This leave is limited for all employments in the state of Texas. If an employee transfers from one agency to another or terminates and is rehired with a break in service, the employee is not entitled to any additional sick leave under this act. Any unused leave with the first employing agency can be transferred to the new employing agency until the employee has exhausted his or her full entitlement.