Duval Teachers United

Families First Corona Virus Response Act & FMLA

March 30, 2020

Starting April 1, 2020, a new law related to the Covid-19, called the Families First Corona Virus Response Act will become active.  This law specifically effects our members in respect to sick leave and an expansion of FMLA.

Regarding sick leave, employers must provide employees up to two weeks of paid sick leave.  An employee can use this leave if they are unable to work or telework due to the following corona related issues.  The eligible issues are:

  1. Subject to government quarantine or isolation order related to covid-19.
  2. Been told by a medical professional to self-quarantine related covid-19.
  3. Has covid-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. Caring for a person who must isolate or quarantine due to government order or medical advice.
  5. Caring for child whose school or place of care is closed for covid-19 related reasons.
  6. Experiencing any other similar condition that is specified by US Department of Health and Human Services.

If you choose to use this leave, for reasons 1, 2 or 3 above you will receive your full rate of pay for up to two weeks.  If you choose to use this leave for reasons 4, 5 or 6, you will be paid 2/3rds of your normal pay rate up to two weeks.  Employees who wish to use emergency sick leave, must enter the proper leave request through the employee self-service portal, with appropriate documentation when necessary.  For example, if your child attends a non-DCPS school, verification of closure due to covid-19 would be required.  This could be in the form of an email or press release regarding closure.  For further questions about leave procedures you can contact payroll at 904-390-2022. 

Generally, FMLA entitles employees up to 12 weeks of leave, when ill or taking care of an immediate family member who is ill.  Due to Covid-19, FMLA benefits have been expanded for certain specific instances.  If you are unable to work or telework due to a need to care for your child who is under the age of 18 because your child’s place of care has been closed for covid-19 reasons you are entitled to this benefit.  If you have a child who is over 18, who requires special care you may also qualify.  This benefit expands FMLA to employees who have been employed for 30 days at DCPS, and allows them 12 weeks of leave to care for their child in the circumstances mentioned above.  During this leave period the first ten days may be unpaid, you may use your own sick leave, annual leave, personal leave, or the emergency leave referenced above.  After the initial ten days, the district will pay 2/3 of your salary for the remainder of the FMLA period.  You may supplement the 2/3 pay by using accrued personal, sick or annual leave, to receive a whole paycheck if you have accrued time.

This additional benefit only applies to childcare issues related to covid-19, all remaining FMLA provisions are in full force and effect. 

Please be cognizant that FMLA requires the employer to maintain any benefits that they normally pay in full.  At DCPS, DTU negotiated full payment by the employer for your INDIVIDUAL benefits.  That will continue to be paid throughout the FMLA period by DCPS.  However, if you have additional benefits being taken out of your check, such as Family insurance, long term disability or other add-ons, you should verify that you have enough in your pay check if receiving 2/3rds pay to cover any of these items to avoid a lapse in coverage.  You can verify benefit amounts coming out of your check by calling Employee Benefits at (904) 390-2887.

To apply for FMLA, there is an application that should be emailed to you from the District.  However, it can also be obtained from the extended leave office.  They can be reached by phone at 390-2065 or email humanresources@duvalschool.org.

When returning from any type of FMLA leave, make sure you alert the extended leave office of your intended return so they can make sure to approve it, so you are paid upon returning to work.  As always you can contact to DTU staff for assistance or questions on these changes.