Emergency Paid COVID-19 Sick Leave

The City of Williamsport Emergency Paid Sick Leave and FMLA Public Health Emergency Leave Guidelines

Effective April 1, 2020

In order to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Coronavirus Response Act”), the City has established the following temporary leave guidelines. These guidelines take effect April 1, 2020 and will expire on December 31, 2020, or as otherwise dictated by law.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

The Coronavirus Response Act has created a new form of paid sick leave called Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) for certain leave events related to COVID-19.

Eligible Employees

EPSL is immediately available for all full-time and part-time employees who meet the eligibility criteria. Exclusions apply for employees classified as health care providers and emergency responders.

Reasons for Using Leave

EPSL may be used for the following reasons:
  • To comply with a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • To care for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1) above or has been advised to self-quarantine as described in (2) above;
  • To care for the employee’s child/children if a school or place of care is closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions; or
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the designated Federal agencies.

Amount of Leave

Full-time employees are eligible for eighty (80) hours of EPSL. Part-time employees are eligible for the number of hours the employee works, on average, over a two- week period. If you are a part-time employee and have a question about your average hours, please contact HR.

Pay Provisions

EPSL will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay, as determined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), taking an average over a six-month period. For leave under reasons 1, 2, or 3 above, this rate will be the employee’s regular rate of pay, capped at $511 per day ($5,110 in the aggregate). For leave under reasons 4, 5, or 6, this rate will be two-thirds (2/3) of the employee’s regular rate of pay, capped at $200/day ($2,000 in the aggregate).

Employees using EPSL should provide reasonable notice of the need for leave. Notice may be given by way of e-mail or a telephone call to the employee’s manager). Employees using EPSL must provide the reason for leave in addition to documentation to support the request for leave.

Termination of Leave

EPSL shall cease beginning with the employee’s next scheduled work shift immediately following the termination of the need for EPSL when the employee has exhausted the EPSL entitlement, the reason for using leave ends, or upon separation of employment, whichever is sooner. EPSL will not carryover from one year to the next or be paid out upon separation for any reason.

Family and Medical Leave – Public Health Emergency

The Coronavirus Response Act has also added a new eligibility provision for employees to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) for certain qualifying reasons in connection with the current COVID-19 pandemic. While this provides for a new usage of FMLA leave, it does not provide more than twelve (12) weeks of FMLA leave in a twelve (12)-month period. Thus, FMLA leave remains subject to the same twelve (12) workweek limit, counting any amounts of FMLA leave already used in the current leave year.

Eligible Employees

An employee who has been employed for at least thirty (30) calendar days may qualify for FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave. Exclusions apply for employees classified as health care providers and emergency responders.

Reasons for Leaving

FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave can be used when an employee is unable to work (or work remotely) due to the need to care for the employee’s child, under age 18, if the child’s school or place of child care has been closed, or if the childcare provider of such child is unavailable. In each case, this must be as a result of a COVID-19 related emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority.

Other Paid Leave Policies

The first ten (10) days of FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave will be unpaid unless the employee has another form of paid leave available (vacation, sick, family sick, or compensatory time, as eligible) and elects to use that paid time to cover the unpaid 10- day period. Or, the employee may use EPSL for the first ten (10) days, if eligible.

Pay Provisions

After the first ten (10) days, eligible employees taking FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave will be entitled to pay at two-thirds (2/3) of their regular rate of pay, as determined under the FLSA, for the number of hours that the employee would normally be scheduled to work, capped at $200/day and $10,000 in the aggregate for the entire FMLA- Public Health Emergency leave period.

Termination of Leave

Paid FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave will continue until the employee has exhausted their twelve (12) workweek entitlement, the reason for using leave ends, or upon separation of employment, whichever occurs sooner.

FMLA Administation

All administrative provisions of the City’s FMLA Policy relating to such issues as notice, certification, and reinstatement apply to FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave. Requests for FMLA-Public Health Emergency leave should be directed to Human Resources Department.

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