Update on Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) Leave Provisions


You may remember the leave programs we rolled out in the spring under legislation known as the FFCRA—the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. The FFCRA mandated two kinds of leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Expanded FMLA. While the mandated leave programs under the FFCRA expire on December 31, 2020, Albemarle County will voluntarily be keeping these programs in place until March 31, 2021, pursuant to the recently signed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes the coronavirus stimulus and relief.

Brief summaries of these programs:

Extension of Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Extension of Emergency Paid Sick Leave provides up to two weeks (max. 80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent*) of paid leave paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work for the following reasons:

  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 related to COVID-19;
  3. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. The employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

*Part-time employees will be eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

Note: Employees who have already exhausted their Emergency Paid Sick Leave balance will not be eligible for this leave in 2021. Employees who have remaining balances may use their remaining leave balances (to the maximum 80 hours/two-week equivalent) through March 31, 2021.

Emergency Expanded Family and Medical Leave

Emergency Expanded Family and Medical Leave temporarily expands the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if an employee who has worked for us for at least 30 days is unable to work for Reason #5 above (child care). This law establishes the following provisions:

  • The program provides up to 10 weeks of job-protected leave that will be paid at 2/3 your regular rate of pay after you meet a 10-workday waiting period. Leave used for Emergency Expanded FMLA will only be paid at 2/3 and will not be supplemented by any accrued leave you may have available.
  • You may meet the waiting period requirement by using Emergency Paid Sick Leave for those 10 workdays.
  • Please note: If you have used leave under the FMLA in the last 12 months, you may use any remaining time from your 12-week FMLA entitlement for Emergency Expanded FMLA. If you have already exhausted your 12 weeks of FMLA, you would not be eligible for Emergency Expanded FMLA.
  • For reasons specified above, emergency responders will not be eligible for Emergency Expanded FMLA.

For more specifics about existing benefits, please view the Temporary Emergency Leave Provisions message shared on April 2, 2020.