Our union signed a Letter of Agreement with the State over the weekend that establishes new guidelines for Paid Child Care Leave and an extension of Emergency Paid Sick Leave. These new provisions are in effect from February 1, 2021, through March 31, 2021.
- Paid Child Care Leave:
- Must be employed with the State for more than 30 days.
- Must be taking leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider has been closed in conjunction with a statewide public health emergency.
- Employees will be paid at their regular rate of pay for leave taken.
- The number of paid Child Care Leave hours an employee is entitled to is based on the calculation for FMLA entitlements (see FAQ below).
- Employees do not have to qualify for OFLA to utilize this leave; however, OFLA may run concurrently with Paid Child Care Leave.
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave:
- Any leave from the original bank of 80 hours that was unused by an employee may be used through March 31, 2021 for reasons stated in the Letter of Agreement.
- There is no new bank of Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
- All other provisions in the Letter of Agreement remain unchanged.
Frequently Asked Questions:
HOW MUCH LEAVE DO I GET?
Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Up to 80 hours total between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
Paid Child Care Leave: All qualified employees will receive a minimum of 40 hours per week for full-time employees (prorated for part-time). The actual amount of leave available is based on FMLA entitlements calculation (see below). Some employees, who have been employed by the State for at least twelve months, may qualify for more than 40 hours per week.
HOW ARE ENTITLEMENTS CALCULATED WHEN LOOKING AT A 12 MONTH PERIOD OF TIME?
Although Paid Child Care Leave under this Letter of Agreement is not FMLA leave, the State is using the FMLA entitlements calculation process to determine how much leave is available to employees.
Add all hours worked and any FMLA/OFLA protected leave taken within the 2020 calendar year. Divide that number by 52 weeks (weeks in a year) to calculate the average number of hours worked per week. The average workweek is then multiplied by 12 (weeks of leave)
NOTE: If the average hours worked per week are less than 40, the employee receives 480 hours of protected leave. (pro-rated for part-time employees).
Example A: A full-time employee works 2180 hours in the 12 month period.
2180/52 = 41.92 average hours per week — this is the number of paid leave hours per week available through March 31, 2021.
WHAT CAN I USE EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE FOR?
Leave may be taken if the employee:
- Is subject to federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order.
- Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- Is experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Is caring for an individual, who does not have to be a family member, who is: a. Subject to federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order; or b. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- Is caring for their child whose school is closed, place of care is closed, or child care is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.
- Is experiencing substantially similar health symptoms of COVID-19 specified by the Department of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
WHAT CAN I USE PAID CHILD CARE LEAVE FOR?
Must be taking leave to care for care of a child whose school or child care provider has been closed in conjunction with a statewide public health emergency.