Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was recently signed into law by President Trump. This act, effective April 1, 2020, creates the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to help protect families and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employees are eligible for the benefits defined in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provided they meet the qualifying criteria outlined in the act. UI Health employees are eligible for the benefits described here.

Questions about these leaves should be directed to your system or university HR contacts noted below.


Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act 

Employees are eligible from the first day of employment for emergency sick leave due to COVID-19. The employee must be unable to work or telework and present one of the following six qualifying reasons to use emergency paid sick leave:

Paid sick leave at regular rate of pay:

  1. Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order;
  2. Employee had been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
  3. Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;

Paid sick leave at 2/3 of regular rate of pay:

4. Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (1) or (2) above;
5. Employee is caring for a child (under 18 years of age) of such employee if school or day care has been closed, or child care provider is unavailable;
6. Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Amount of leave

  • Full-time employees are eligible for up to two weeks of leave time, based on their regular schedule over a 2-week period, up to a maximum of 80 hours.
  • Part-time employees are eligible for a number of hours equal to the number of hours the employee works, on average, over a 2-week period.
  • Intermittent leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave may only be taken intermittently if you are either a) teleworking, or b) working at your usual worksite and requesting leave to care for your own child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable because of COVID-19 related reasons. If working at your usual worksite, leave must be taken in full day increment unless requesting leave to care for your own child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable because of COVID-19 related reasons. 

Calculating leave pay

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave used for reasons 1-3 above will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay under the FLSA.
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave used for reasons 4-6 above will be paid at 2/3 the amount of the employee's regular pay.

Notice of leave request

  • Employees are required to follow departmental/university sick leave notice procedures for their intent to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
  • Employees should complete the FFCRA Leave Form and submit it to their applicable human resources (HR) office (college/unit HR office, System HR for System Office employees, or Hospital Leave Coordinator for UI Hospital and Clinics).

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act 

Employees are eligible after 30 days of employment.

To qualify for leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, the employee must be unable to work or telework because the school or daycare of the employee's child has been closed, or the care provider is unavailable to due COVID-19.

Amount of leave

  • Employees are eligible for 12 weeks of leave; the first 10 days are unpaid, with remaining 10 weeks paid at 2/3 regular rate of pay.
  • Employees may substitute paid leave for the first 10 days at their option, including but not limited to Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
  • Expanded FML time is shared with FML under the University’s existing FML policy. Both types of FML together may not exceed 12 weeks in a given leave year (the consecutive 12-month period beginning when the employee first takes FML leave).
  • Employees are not entitled to more than 12 total weeks of Expanded FML, even if the time spans two leave years.
  • Expanded FML is not available when an employee has exhausted FML leave for the current leave year.
  • Variable hour employees' leave will be calculated using the average number of hours worked per day over the prior 6 months.If the employee has not worked for 6 months, leave will be calculated using a reasonable expectation of the average number of hours per day at the time of hiring.
  • Intermittent leave: Expanded Family and Medical Leave may be taken intermittently.

Calculating Leave Pay

  • The first 10 days of leave are unpaid, OR
  • Employees may substitute accrued paid leave, including but not limited to Emergency Paid Sick Leave, for the first 10 days, at their option.
  • The remaining 10 weeks will be paid at 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay as defined by the FLSA and the number of hours the employee would otherwise normally be scheduled to work.

Notice of leave request

  • When leave is not foreseeable, requests should be made as soon as practicable and in advance of the leave if possible. If the need for leave is foreseeable, requests should be made five (5) business days in advance of the need for leave or within two (2) business days after learning of the need for leave. Employees should complete the FFCRA Leave Form and submit it to their applicable human resources (HR) office (college/unit HR office, System HR for System Office employees, or Hospital Leave Coordinator for UI Hospital and Clinics).

Forms and Resources

Additional COVID-19 Resources
Employee Certification Form
Department of Labor poster
FMLA/VESSA Usage Report for units

Resources for UI Health employees:


Questions should be directed to your system or university HR office: