WKU Families First Coronavirus Response Act
A message from Tony Glisson, Director Human Resources
April 1, 2020
TO: Faculty-All, Staff-All
IMPORTANT NOTICE CONCERNING EXPANDED PAID SICK LEAVE AND FMLA
Dear WKU Employees:
While WKU proactively made the decision to keep employees who are working in a fully paid status though May 15, 2020, we are required to provide this notice to comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), signed into law on March 18, 2020. The official notice issued by the U.S. Department of Labor is attached.
The Act addresses the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency and new rules for paid sick time and paid family and medical leave, among other actions. As a covered entity, this message is intended to provide notification to all employees and to provide implementation guidance for pay and leave covered by the Act.
WKU has adjusted to the regularly changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, including remote work and other arrangements in compliance with applicable federal and state directives. As described in the campus notification on March 18, 2020, (from EVP Susan Howarth and Staff Senate Chair Mike Loftis) full-time, part-time and temporary employees unable to work because of illness or who are engaged in the care and support for a family member’s illness are continued in a fully paid status without the use of any accumulated sick or vacation leave, through May 15, 2020.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides eligible employees with paid leave benefits that are in addition to any vacation or sick leave benefits that may already be provided to you as a WKU employee. These leave benefits will apply for the period April 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The two categories of benefit enhancements under the Act are described below:
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
A full-time employee who meets any of the qualifying reasons #1 -3 listed below is eligible for 100% pay continuance for their regular rate of pay for up to 80 hours (the 80 hours is in addition to any accrued sick or vacation leave). Active part-time employees are eligible for the average hours paid over a two-week period.
Employees who meet qualifying reasons #4 or 6 are eligible for pay continuance at 2/3 the customary rate. See note below.
(NOTE: 1. “Staff” employees who accrue leave and who are affected by qualifying reasons #4 or 6, may utilize accrued sick or vacation leave in order to remain at 100% of their customary rate of pay.
2. “Faculty” employees do not accrue leave, but have paid benefits when unable to work due to illness as described in Policy 4.6302. While pay continues uninterrupted, faculty members affected by any of the qualifying criteria described below should report this by using the noted reporting form. Reporting is important to validate WKU’s compliance with the Act.)
Expanded Family and Medical Leave
An employee who is unable to work (or telework) in order to care for a dependent child whose school or care facility has been affected by the COVID-19 event (qualifying reason #5 below) is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave. The first two weeks (10 days) of such leave is to be unpaid unless the employee elects to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave as described above or uses accrued sick or vacation leave. The remaining 10 weeks of leave are paid at 2/3 of the employee’s customary pay rate. An employee may use accumulated sick or vacation leave for the remaining 1/3 of pay in order to remain in a paid status at 100% of customary pay.
*Expanded Family and Medical Leave is available to all WKU employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days.
For reporting and accounting purposes, it is important that ALL employees requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave to do so using the designated form. This documentation will be important to verify COVID-19’s impact on the WKU community and may serve as a key document in any future state or federal reimbursements.
*A leave request form is available HERE.*
Should you have questions regarding these matters please contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.