To: All GLS Employees
The United States Congress passed and the President signed HR6201 which affects us in several ways. Unfortunately, I forgot that the law does not take effect until April 2. Until April 2, the options for employees that cannot work remotely is to either return to work, use PTO available, or take a layoff. Due to the unfortunate announcement and email sent yesterday as well as the generally difficult circumstances, we’ll allow employees to go to -20 hours of PTO, to be paid back at their regular accrual rate in the future.
On April 2, each employee will have an additional 80 hours of Emergency Sick Leave at their regular rate of pay. This sick time will be in addition to any other PTO you have, and cannot be used to pay back any negative balance in your PTO account. The following conditions are the qualifying conditions for Emergency Sick Leave. They are slightly different than those for EFMLA, which will be explained separately. For the 80 hours of Emergency Sick Leave, at least one of the following conditions needs to be met:
(1) The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
(2) The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
(3) The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
(4) The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph (1) or has been advised as described in paragraph (2).
(5) The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
(6) The 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.
We would qualify under 1.) based on the order from the Governor that currently extends through April 13. Unless it is extended, the sick leave ends with the Stay at Home order unless you meet one of the other criteria.
The second part of the law is the Emergency Family Medical Leave act. This allows for up to 12 weeks of leave if the conditions below are met. The first 10 working days (or 2 calendar weeks) of EFMLA is UNPAID. You may use existing PTO or the Emergency Sick Leave described above during this time, but otherwise it is unpaid. You may only take the EFMLA if you are:
- unable to work (including unable to telework);
- due to a need for leave to care for a minor child of the employee;
- because the child’s school or daycare has been closed, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable due to a public health emergency.
If you qualify and elect to take this leave, you will be compensated at 2/3 of your normal pay for the last 10 weeks of leave, up to a maximum of $200/day or total payment of $10,000. The eligibility ends when the schools are back in session.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Please know that we are doing our best to communicate the information we are getting as quickly and accurately as possible, but given the rapidly changing circumstances and significant complexity of the business and government response, it is very challenging. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility in these strangest of times.