Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Effective April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
FFCRA Employee Rights (PDF)
Leave of Absences
Employees requiring a leave of absence or reduced schedule for medical reasons for themselves or for a qualifying family member, qualifying military leaves, pregnancy disability leave or for parental leave for bonding with a newborn, adopted child or foster care placement may qualify for protected leaves. Leaves of absences may be continuous or intermittent; however, if you are going to be gone for three (3) or more consecutive days, or you need intermittent leave over a period of time for the same reason, an HR representative will evaluate your FMLA eligibility and advise you on other leave options that may fit your situation.
To determine your options, please return the following to the Human Resources Office in person, by campus mail, or email your completed forms to email@example.com.
- Leave of Absence Request Form and
- Certification from your medical provider that contains the following information:
- Your name;
- When the serious health condition began;
- How long the serious health condition is expected to last;
- If the employee is the patient, whether the employee is unable to work, and the likely duration of this inability;
- If a family member is the patient, whether the family member needs care, and an estimate of the frequency and duration of the leave required to care for the family member;
- Whether the employee’s need for leave is continuous or intermittent; and
- Appropriate medical facts about the condition
Note: The U.S. Department of Labor has created the following certification forms for qualifying reasons under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees may choose to use one of the following forms as certification from your medical provider. If you elect to use one of the following forms, you must notify your HR rep so they can complete the employer portion and provide you with a copy of your job description.
Employee’s Serious Health Condition
Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave
Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave
Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Service member for Military Caregiver Leave
Once you have submitted your leave of absence request along with supporting documentation, you will receive a leave of absence approval letter. Your LOA approval letter will contain information related to your leave and any responsibilities you have while on leave. Please note that FMLA and other protected leaves are not paid, meaning you must choose to use your paid leave (sick, vacation, personal, etc.) to cover any approved absences or elect to be in a leave without pay status. Options for using paid leave will be spelled out in your approval letter.
If you have used, or are about to use, all of your accrued annual and paid leave, you may be eligible to receive leave donations from other employees through the Shared Leave Program. Please visit our shared leave page for more information regarding eligibility and how to apply.
Another option is the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML). PFML provides paid time off to care for yourself or a qualifying family member. PFML is managed by the State of Washington. To see if you qualify and to apply, please visit their website by clicking on the link above. Please note that employees applying for PFML must also notify Human Resources and apply for a leave of absence from the college and that employees cannot use employer provided paid time off at the same time as Paid Family and Medical Leave.
After your leave of absence is complete and you are ready to return to work, you will be required to provide a Return to Work (RTW) Form or letter from your provider stating you are cleared to return to work with or without restrictions (For example; reduced schedule, lifting restrictions) to the Human Resources Office. Your return will be delayed until certification is provided.
Return to work forms are also required if you request to work from home during your leave period. Keep in mind that work from home is subject to supervisor approval. The Telework Formal Agreement Form is on the HR intranet web page under General. The completed request and agreement forms must be sent to Human Resources prior to teleworking.
If your leave is extended, you may be required to provide updated documentation from your provider.
If you need an accommodation for your job duties, follow the guidelines found on the Accommodations web page.
Note: Dealing with issues that qualify for Family and/or Medical Leave can be challenging. For these and other matters, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps Washington state government employees and their family members resolve personal or work-related problems. Using your EAP does not cost you anything. More information can be found at the Washington DES website.