PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave

PROGRAM SUMMARY

Purpose: Starting January 1st, 2021, Employees eligible for OFLA Sick Child Leave will be able to take up to 12 weeks / 480 hours of partially paid leave to cover absences due to the need to provide child care due COVID-19. All employees with a qualifying reason will be eligible for their full 12 week entitlement regardless of past use of either EFMLA or OFLA Sick Child Leave.

The use of PSU COVID Sick Leave will not diminish the existing rights or benefits that an employee is entitled to under any other federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or current PSU Policy.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) is set to expire on 12/31/2020.

The State of Oregon has expanded and extended OFLA so that up to 12 weeks of leave taken for the above reasons would be protected under the OFLA Sick Child provision. OFLA Sick Child Leave is unpaid leave.

Pay Status: An employee approved for PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave will receive paid leave equal to 10 weeks at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $10,000. Employees approved for use PSU Child Care Leave will have their total available paid child care leave (LEX) made available in their leave balances to be used for any qualifying absence from the outset of their approved leave. Those leave balances will expire on 6/30/2021 and must be used only for qualifying leave taken through that date.

Limitations: Please note that leave taken will not be counted against an employees 12 week FMLA maximum leave unless FFCRA is extended. OFLA Sick Child Leave provides up to 12 weeks of leave in addition to other OFLA Maternity and/or Parental leave and leave taken as part of this program will be applied to those entitlements.

The PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave leave cannot be used for any absences that are not related to the need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. 
 

EMPLOYEE GROUP ELIGIBILITY

PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave Leave will share the same eligibility guidelines as OFLA Sick Child Leave. To qualify for protected leave, employees must have been employed for at least 180 calendar days immediately preceding the date the leave begins (this includes all days the employee is maintained on the payroll) and have worked an average of 25 hours a week

These new leave benefits do not apply to vendors, third party contracted workers (often referred to as independent contractors), volunteers, or persons with courtesy appointments.

Eligibility: To qualify for protected leave, employees must have been employed for at least 180 calendar days immediately preceding the date the leave begins (this includes all days the employee is maintained on the payroll) and have worked an average of 25 hours a week.

End of Availability: The earlier of 06/30/2021 or the end of the Public Health Emergency in Oregon.

PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave FAQs

If you have any additional questions that you would like us to address as part of our FAQs, please send them to leaves@pdx.edu with the subject "PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave FAQs" as the subject line.


PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave FAQs

WHAT IS PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

Eligible PSU employees with a qualifying need for child care leave will be able to take up to 12 weeks or 480 hours (prorated by FTE) of Child Care Leave between 1/1/2021 and 6/30/2021 regardless of their past usage of EFMLA or OFLA Sick Child Leave.

The use of these new leave benefits will not diminish the existing rights or benefits that an employee is entitled to under any other federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or current PSU Policy.

With respect to the PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave benefit, PSU will apply all existing leave policies when processing an PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave request, including applying paid sick leave benefits to run concurrently with the unpaid portion of the leave. However, the employee now has a new paid leave as part of their Child Care leave period, including two weeks (up to 80 hours) of PSU COVID-19 Sick Leave (L19) and pay at two-thirds of their regular rate (subject to some limits) for up to 10 weeks. Whether the leave taken as part of the PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave is also covered by OFLA Sick Child Leave or not, the employees benefits will be protected throughout.

 

WHICH EMPLOYEES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS UNDER PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave Leave will share the same eligibility guidelines as OFLA Sick Child Leave. To qualify for protected leave, employees must have been employed for at least 180 calendar days immediately preceding the date the leave begins (this includes all days the employee is maintained on the payroll) and have worked an average of 25 hours a week

 

WHAT EVENTS QUALIFY AS REASONS FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKE LEAVE UNDER PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave can be used for any absences if an employee cannot work because they must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or the child care provider is unavailable) due to reasons related to COVID-19.

 

WHAT IS THE DURATION OF LEAVE GRANTED UNDER PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

A qualifying employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave based upon a 40 hour work week. Qualifying part-time employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave based upon the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work. All eligible employees on approved PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave will have the above totals of leave available to be used between 1/1/2021 and 6/30/2021 regardless of their past use of protected leave (FMLA/OFLA/EFMLA).

 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE THE LEAVE GRANTED UNDER PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

Any leave granted as part of the PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave program will expire on the earliest of 06/30/2021 or at the end of the current public health emergency in Oregon.

 

HOW IS THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO ME FOR LEAVE - GRANTED UNDER THE PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE PROGRAM - DETERMINED?

The total PSU COVID-19 Child care Leave will be based on the employee’s FTE at the time of the request. Employees approved for PSU Child Care Leave will be granted a total of 12 weeks or 480 hours of leave (prorated by FTE) and will be provided paid leave equivalent to two-thirds of their regular rate up to a max of $10,000 in the aggregate for a 10-week period.

 

WHEN CAN I START PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

The PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave can be used to cover any qualifying leave as of 1/1/2020.

 

HOW DO I REQUEST AND USE PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

Approval for PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave will be contingent on meeting the eligibility guidelines for OFLA Sick Leave. As such employees are required to request OFLA Sick Child Leave using the PSU FMLA/OFLA Leave Request Form. Once on an approved leave, employees will need to report all OFLA Sick Child hours taken in the previous month using the FMLA/OFLA Tracking Form.

 

CAN I USE MY OWN LEAVE BALANCES CONCURRENTLY WITH THE 2/3 PAID PORTION OF PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

An employee can use their own leave balances to supplement any unpaid portion of their PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave. As consistent with PSU FMLA/OFLA administration, sick leave (paid child care leave) must be used prior to use of non-sick leave balances.

 

WHEN TAKING PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE, WILL I HAVE TO USE MY LEAVE BALANCES IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER?

When using PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave an employee’s leave balance will be applied in the same order and under the same conditions that apply to other FMLA/OFLA requests at PSU.

 

CAN THESE LEAVES BE USED INTERMITTENTLY AND IF SO IN WHAT INCREMENTS?

The PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave and concurrent use of OFLA Sick Child Leave can be used intermittently.

 

DO I HAVE TO USE PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE IF MY CHILD'S SCHOOL/DAYCARE IS CLOSED?

No. Even if your child’s school or daycare is closed, if an employee has the ability to work, including working remotely, the employee is not obligated to take either PSU COVID-19 Sick Leave or PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave. These are additional benefits provided to employees by PSU and are not mandated leave requirements.

 

CAN I USE PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE IF MY CHILD’S SCHOOL IS OPEN BUT PROVIDING VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION?

Yes. If access to the physical location where your child receives instruction or care is closed to your child on account of COVID-19, the school or child care provider is “closed” for purposes of OFLA sick child leave. This is true even if instruction is being provided online or whether, through another format such as “distance learning,” your child is still expected or required to complete assignments.

 

CAN I USE PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE IF MY CHILD’S SCHOOL OFFERS IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION BUT I DO NOT ELECT TO USE IT?

No. If the school provides parents with a choice between learning in school or remote learning, the school is not considered “closed” due to COVID-19 related reasons. The voluntary choice to remain home when school is open means the parent/employee is not eligible for OFLA Sick Child leave or the PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave.

 

HOW DO I REPORT PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

In order to make reporting less cumbersome to employees, PSU will be allowing eligible employees who have been approved for PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave to use the leave granted to cover all their qualifying child care related absences.

Employees will no longer be required to wait to use their PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave (LEX leave code) until they have taken two weeks of unpaid nor will employees need to limit their use of LEX leave code to 2/3rds of each reported absence.

Upon approval employees will be granted the total paid leave that they would be eligible for and that leave can then be used to at the employee’s discretion and with manager approval (for qualifying child care absences).

Once an employee has used all of their paid PSU COVID-19 Child Care Leave (LEX) they will be required to use their sick leave to cover their subsequent absences under OFLA Sick Child. In addition to Timesheets and Monthly Leave reporting, employees will also be required to fill out a FMLA/OFLA Leave Tracking Form each month.

 

CAN I CASH OUT MY PSU COVID-19 CHILD CARE LEAVE?

No, PSU COVID-19 Child Care leave can not be cashed out or transferred and must be used for qualifying absences between 1/1/2021 and 6/30/2021 (or the end of the Public Health Emergency, if earlier).