USPS Mandatory Stand-Up Talk: Taking leave during COVID-19 (4/2/20)

Effective April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with two additional types of leave. These new leave entitlements are in addition to leave you are already entitled to under the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) and any applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs).

As a postal employee, you have certain rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act recently signed into law. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through the end of the year.

Emergency Sick Leave (up to 80 hours)

Employees are eligible to use up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave based on average number of hours worked in a 2-week period. This leave is available to both career and non-career employees regardless of tenure. The reasons for which an employee may use Emergency Sick Leave include:

  • To comply with a Federal, State or local quarantine order related to COVID 19, or to care for someone who is;
  • To self-quarantine based on a health care provider’s advice, or care for someone who has been advised to self-quarantine, related to COVID-19;
  • To seek medical care related to symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms and obtain a medical diagnosis;
  • To care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons).

There are pay rate limitations associated with this leave type; please go to Blue or Light Blue to get more details.

Family Medical Leave Act Expansion

Employees may also use Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for children under 18 whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19. This entitlement is available to career and non-career employees after 30 days of employment.

  • As with other qualifying reasons, an employee who is eligible for this type of leave can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA protected leave in a calendar year. If an employee has already exhausted all 12 weeks for a different qualifying reason, no additional FMLA leave is provided under this Act.
  • The first 2 weeks of this leave are unpaid, unless an employee chooses to substitute other types of paid leave.
  • The following 10 weeks will be paid leave at 2/3 of an employee’s normal pay, but in no event more than $200 a day, or $10,000 in the aggregate.

Both leave entitlement types can be used sequentially to avoid 2 weeks of unpaid leave if employees elect to do so.
This legislation is meant to ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the COVID-19 virus. Your health and well-being are our top priority.

Additional details about the act’s provisions and other COVID-19 information can be found on the special COVID-19 pages of our internal website, Blue, and our employee website, LiteBlue. For additional questions please contact the HR Shared Service Center at 1-877-477-3273 and select Option 5.

Stay safe. Thank you for listening, and thank you for your professionalism, commitment, and for all you do for our customers, your co-workers and the Postal Service.

Related: USPS: Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs (3/31/20)

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *