Families First Coronavirus Response Act and FMLA

Congress recently enacted the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” to provide paid leave for employees, paid FMLA for Corona-related absences, and unemployment provisions. (Click HERE to download a copy of H.R. 6201)

We recognize that the current circumstances make it impractical to adopt a personnel policy at this time. As a result, we recommend that the draft memo about the new Federal legislation be sent to your school employees by email to those who are working remotely and first-class mail for all other employees. The notification to employees should include language that the district, like all other employers, is required to follow Federal law regardless of whether or not the district has adopted a policy and that this new federal law is effective April 2, 2020.

Although the ASBA offices are physically closed, our staff members are available via phone (800.482.1212) or email so please reach out to Lucas Harder or Kristen Garner if you have questions or need additional information about this legislation.

The Governor announced on Thursday that all Arkansas K-12 schools will remain closed through April 17, 2020. We are providing updated news about COVID-19 on our website so please visit us regularly, https://arsba.org.

Families First & FMLA

Due to the passage of the Families First Corona Response Act and its leave eligibility requirements surrounding the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, the following apply specifically for employees dealing with COVID-19 instead of the standard FMLA policies of 3.32 and 8.23:

Employee Eligibility
  1. Employee must have been employed with the District for at least thirty (30) days1; and
  2. The employee be:
    • Unable to work remotely;
    • Asked to self-isolate due to a diagnosis or exposure;
    • Caring for an infected family member; or
    • Caring for the employee’s child whose school is
Paid Leave

Eligible employees may receive paid leave for ten (10) days. The paid leave is used prior to the employee being charged for any employer-provided leave rather than it running concurrently as with standard FMLA leave. For each day of the initial ten (10) days, an employee shall receive the lesser of:

  • The employee’s daily rate of pay;
  • For employees who are unable to work remotely or who are self-isolated due to diagnosis or exposure, five hundred eleven dollars ($511); or
  • For employees who are caring for an ill family member or a child whose school is closed, two-thirds (2/3) of the employee’s daily rate of pay up to a maximum of two hundred dollars ($200).

Part-time employees receive a daily rate of pay that is equal to the employees’ average daily rate of pay during the most previous two (2) weeks of normal work conditions.

Job Restoration

Eligible employees have up to twelve (12) weeks of job protection and restoration.

FMLA Paperwork

At this point in time, there are no forms for COVID-19 FMLA that eligible employees are required to submit and standard FMLA paperwork is not applicable.

1 Unlike with standard FMLA, the employee is not required to have provided a minimum number of hours worked in order to qualify.