Leave Options During COVID-19 Emergency - Human Resources at Ohio State

COVID-19 HR RESOURCES:

Leave Options During COVID-19 Emergency

In an effort to help faculty, staff and graduate associates through this uncertain time, Ohio State is offering the leave options described below. The university and the Wexner Medical Center are not closed for business, and the intent is to first make sure all work and telework options are explored before seeking leave. The information below summarizes your options if work and telework are unavailable.

Wexner Medical Center Faculty & Staff

See OneSource for guidance on the Health System Pay Preservation Leave and Paid Pandemic Leave

Leave options for Wexner Medical Center faculty and staff information is available on OneSource.

The leave options outlined are subject to change by the university based on additional guidance it receives in the following months.

University Disaster Leave

Faculty, staff and graduate associates may be eligible for university disaster leave. An employee is eligible for university-paid disaster leave when they are able to work but the university has no onsite work or telework available for them. Consult the Disaster Leave Policy 6.28 or your  HR business partner if there are questions about eligibility.

The department or unit determines an employee’s eligibility for disaster pay in accordance with the policy. The employee is responsible for recording their time. University leadership will determine on a weekly basis whether and how disaster leave will continue.

Considerations when using disaster leave:

  • An employee is considered ineligible for disaster pay if they are offered work and refuse it.
  • Disaster leave does not replace, or substitute leave when an employee is sick with COVID-symptoms, diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in a medical quarantine.
  • Disaster leave can be used for any hours the employee cannot work or telework during the work week.

Families First Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a federal law that requires specified employers to offer a) emergency paid sick leave and b) expanded paid family and medical leave (FML). These are two separate leave options that can be used for the same qualifying reasons related to COVID-19, if eligible. The expanded FML option is only available to care for a child when care providers or schools are closed. Other considerations:

  • They are quarantined by federal, state or local government order or on the advice of a health care provider.
  • They are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • They need to care for an individual who is subject to quarantine.
  • They need to care for a child whose school or care provider is closed.
  • They are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by federal regulations.

Families First Act Supplemental Leave Calculator

Under the Families First Act, some emergency paid leave and all expanded FMLA paid leave is 2/3 of your rate of pay, capped at $200 per day. See the scenarios below on this page for examples. Unpaid Leave Policy 6.45 and Family and Medical Leave Policy 6.05 require available sick and vacation leave balances be exhausted prior to the use of unpaid medical leave and that FMLA leave run concurrent with the university’s paid leave programs.  Your existing leave balances must be used to supplement the 2/3 emergency leave to cover your full pay.  Use this calculator to provide an estimate of the vacation, sick, or comp time hours that will bring your pay up to 100% when using emergency pay + accrued leave.

In the timekeeping system, such as eLeave, you must combine your available accrued leave with the Families First emergency leaves by selecting “Emergency Paid Sick – Other + Vacation/Sick/Comp” and “Emergency Paid Childcare Extension + Vacation.” Select those leave options to request the total number of hours used, inclusive of the calculated hours shown here. The system will automatically deduct the leave hours from the correct leave category.


(for help converting an annual salary to an hourly wage, use this calculator)

Use

  • For emergency paid sick leave, employees may take up to two weeks — or 10 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 of emergency paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours.
  • Emergency paid sick leave may be taken intermittently only when used to care for a child whose school or care provider is closed.
  • An employee can elect to take emergency paid sick leave or university accrued leave in whichever order they choose for the above reasons.
  • An employee’s available accrued leave must be taken concurrently with emergency sick leave and/or expanded FMLA paid leave that pays 2/3 of their pay, to supplement and cover the employee’s full pay.
  • An employee will continue to accrue university leave while taking paid emergency sick leave or expanded paid family and medical leave (FML). Expanded paid FML only applies in situations where an employee needs to care for a child whose school or care provider is closed.
  • If an employee no longer has a qualifying reason for taking emergency paid sick leave and they still have emergency paid sick leave available, they may take the remaining emergency paid sick leave at a later time, until December 31, 2020, if another qualifying reason occurs.
  • Your son or daughters (as defined by FMLA) school or childcare provider is considered closed for the purposes of the FFCRA if the physical location is closed due to COVID-19-related reasons, and they are unable to provide in-person care or instruction to your child, even if instruction is being provided online or through another format such as “distance learning.”
  • If your son or daughters as defined by FMLA) school or childcare provider is open part time, and is providing online or “distance learning” for the other portion of the day or week, the location is considered “closed” for the times your child is expected to be utilizing online or distance learning, and is considered “open” for the time period your child is expected to be on-site.
  • Expanded Family and Medical Leave is only available when there is no suitable childcare option available. If your son or daughters school or childcare provider is open, and you choose not to have them attend, or there is another suitable childcare option available to you, you would not have a qualifying reason to take leave under the expanded Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA.
  • If your worksite has closed and you have questions about your eligibility, contact your Human Resources Business Partner or Employee and Labor Relations Senior Representative.

Exclusions

Emergency responders and health care providers may be excluded from the emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions under the Families First Act. Ohio State has determined that employees in the Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine, Public Safety and Student Health Services are considered “health care providers” or “emergency responders” under the Act and therefore, excluded from the emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions under the Families First Act.

When employees in Public Safety and Student Health Services cannot work or telework because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical treatment, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically quarantined, they will receive two weeks/10 working days of paid administrative leave in lieu of their university accrued sick time. This does not apply to Wexner Medical Center faculty and staff. Please see OneSource for guidance.

Key Employee Scenarios

These are typical examples of when an employee might need to use the leave options described above for COVID-19 when an employee cannot work or telework.

1. You have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical treatment, were diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically quarantined and cannot telework. In this scenario you are not eligible for university disaster leave, but you have other options.

  • The Families First Act allows full-time employees to take up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total. A part-time employee is eligible for this leave for the number of hours that you are normally scheduled to work over a 2-week period. You can use this leave option first or take it later in your illness. This option expires December 31, 2020. You will be able to request it via the current departmental timekeeping system.
  • You can use your university accrued sick, vacation or comp time. You can request it via the current departmental timekeeping system.
  • You can select the order that you use emergency paid sick leave under the Families First Act or your existing leave banks pursuant to the Paid Leave Programs Policy 6.27.
  • Graduate associates may request leave in accordance with the Graduate School handbook.

2. You are caring for an individual who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical treatment, diagnosed with COVID-19 or medically quarantined, and you cannot telework. You are not eligible for disaster leave, but you have other options.

  • The Families First Act allows full-time employees to take up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $200 per day, or $2,000 total. A part-time employee is eligible for this leave for the number of hours that you are normally scheduled to work over a 2-week period. You can use this leave option first or take it later. This option expires December 31, 2020. You will be able to request it via the current departmental timekeeping system.
  • You can use your university accrued sick, vacation or comp time. You can request it via the current departmental timekeeping system.
  • You can select the order that you use emergency paid sick leave under the Families First Act or your existing leave banks pursuant to the Paid Leave Programs Policy 6.27.
  • Graduate associates may request leave in accordance with the Graduate School handbook.

3. You are caring for a son or daughter (as defined by the FMLA) due to school or place of care closure or child care provider being unavailable, and you cannot telework. You are not eligible for university disaster leave, but you have other options.

  • The first 10 days of emergency FML is unpaid under the Families First Act. You must use available paid leave options for those 10 days. You can use accrued vacation, accrued comp time or the Families First Act emergency paid sick leave. The Families First Act emergency paid sick leave covers 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for those 10 days, up to a max of $200 per day or $2000 total.
  • Your available FML time under the Families First Act is reduced by any FML you have taken in the prior rolling 12 months.
  • If an employee is not eligible for the expanded paid FML, they are eligible for the additional leave option of emergency sick leave under Families First Act.
  • For the remaining 10 weeks of FML, the Families First Act allows you to receive 2/3 of your regular rate of pay, up to a max of $200 per day or $10,000 total, as long as you have been employed by Ohio State for at least 30 days.
  • Contact your leave administrator to initiate emergency FML under the Families First Act.
  • You must supplement with your university accrued vacation or comp time pursuant to the Paid Leave Programs Policy 6.27 and Family and Medical Leave Policy 6.05 for full pay. University accrued sick leave cannot be used for this scenario. You can request it via the current departmental timekeeping system.
  • Graduate associates may request leave in accordance with the Graduate School handbook.

4. You are caring for a son or daughter (as defined by the FMLA) for part of the week because school is closed for full-time in-person learning (for example: 3 days per week are virtual learning and 2 days per week are in-person learning), and you cannot telework. You are not eligible for disaster leave, but you may have other options:

  • You may be eligible for intermittent FML under the Families First Act for the 3 days per week your child is unable to attend school.
  • Contact your leave administratorto initiate emergency FML under the Families First Act.
  • If your son or daughters (as defined by FMLA) school closes all in person learning at some point in the future due to COVID-19-related reasons, you may become eligible for a continuous FML leave for childcare. You must contact your leave administrator to re-apply for a continuous leave if this becomes the case.
  • If you choose not to send your child to school when it is open, you would not have a qualifying reason for expanded FML leave under the Families First Act for the days the child otherwise would have been able to attend school (or another suitable childcare options in person).

5. You are healthy and not caring for an immediate family member or child, but you cannot telework and are not being called to campus for critical work.

  • In general, an eligible employee may be granted disaster pay in accordance with Disaster Policy 6.28. Disaster pay status is determined by their unit when they are able to work but there is no work (or telework) available for them at the university.

6. You are in a high-risk category and are required to come to campus for critical work, and you may need to take leave to reduce exposure to COVID-19. You are not eligible for university disaster leave, as that leave type is for when the university does not have available work or telework for an employee to perform. However, you may be eligible for other types of leave.

  • You should seek medical guidance from your health care provider and contact your leave administrator to inquire about accommodations and any leave options, as you may be eligible for FMLA that would run concurrently with paid leave.
  • If approved, you may take university sick, vacation or comp time in accordance with Paid Leave Programs Policy 6.27.
  • If your health care provider advises that you medically quarantine, please follow medical quarantine guidance.
  • You may also be eligible for accommodations under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to your high risk condition, including additional PPE (personal protective equipment), modified schedules, modified work location or other changes to your work environment. Please see additional information on COVID-19 Related Work Accommodations.