Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The American Rescue Plan Act has extended this leave through September 30, 2021. The previous per employee limits reset after March 31, 2021.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), 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. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), effective April 1, 2021, extends the provisions created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) through September 30, 2021 and expands the qualifying reasons to use emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave.

Most employees are eligible for the benefits defined in the FFCRA, provided they meet the qualifying criteria outlined in the act. To ensure the continued provision of health care services to members of our community, employees who are classified as health care providers may not be eligible to receive leave under this policy. However, health care providers who are not eligible for leave under this policy are eligible for alternative leave in recognition of the essential service of health care providers.

Questions about these leaves should be directed to your system or university HR contacts noted below. If you have exhausted your FFCRA leave, contact your HR representative to learn if you may be eligible for another type of leave (either paid or unpaid).


Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act 

Employees are eligible from the first day of employment for emergency sick leave due to COVID-19. Employees who exhausted this leave prior to March 31, 2021 can be eligible again on April 1, 2021. The employee must be unable to work or telework and present one of the following nine 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;
  4. Employee is obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination (on and after April 1, 2021);
  5. Employee is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to the vaccination (on and after April 1, 2021); or
  6. Employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test or medical diagnosis for COVID-19, or the employer has requested such a test or diagnosis (on and after April 1, 2021);

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

 7. Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (1) or (2) above;
 8. 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;
 9. 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 1-6 above will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay under the FLSA.
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave used for reasons 7-9 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 due to reason #8 (through March 31, 2021) or due to one of the nine qualifying reasons (on and after April 1, 2021) allowable for Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Employees who exhausted this leave prior to March 31, 2021 may be eligible again on April 1, 2021, depending on when Family and Medical Leave was first taken.

Amount of leave

  • Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave paid at 2/3 regular rate of pay.
  • 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

  • Expanded FML 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

Employee Certification Form (for leaves 4/1/21 through 9/30/21)
Employee Certification Form (for leaves through 3/31/21)
Additional COVID-19 Resources
Department of Labor poster
FMLA/VESSA Usage Report for units

Resources for UI Health employees:

Contact UI Hospital & Health Sciences System: uihloa@uic.edu 


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