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Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID for Staff Members

Working in a school system during a pandemic can create a lot of questions. Here are some questions that we have already heard with answers. If you have additional questions that are not on this page, feel free to reach out to the HR Department.
What if I am required to be quarantined because of a documented exposure to a student who tested positive for COVID in my classroom?

An employee who is being required to quarantine by the District due to a confirmed exposure in the classroom will receive up to two weeks of paid district leave.  During this time, the employee will be expected to work from home, to the extent possible (providing lesson plans, grading, etc.). At the end of this period of time if the employee is well and not showing any symptoms, the employee will return back to work. 

If the employee develops symptoms and is ill, the employee will be entitled to up to two additional weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at 100% of their daily rate.  If at the end of this additional two week period the employee is still not cleared by his/her doctor to return to work, if he/she qualifies for FMLA, they would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.  If the employee is a member of the Sick Leave Bank, he/she could submit an application.

If the employee is experiencing complications from COVID and is still unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

What happens to my health insurance if I am on FMLA?

If you need to utilize leave that is available under the FMLA, your health insurance will be continued and your portion of the premiums will be deducted from your pay.  If you are in a leave without pay situation, Human Resources will contact you to determine if you will have enough of your check prorated to cover your portion of the premium requirement.

I care for my parents who are elderly. I’m worried about being in the classroom during the day and possibly exposing them to the coronavirus. What can I do?

An employee who is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider) will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at two-thirds of their daily rate of pay. 

If the employee is continuing to care for an individual (spouse, child or parent) who is still subject to quarantine based on the advice of a health care provider, at the end of this two week period, and if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) to care for the individual which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the person the employee is caring for is not their spouse, child or parent, they will not qualify for FMLA.

If the individual the employee is caring for requires additional assistance and the employee is unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

My child’s daycare is closed due to COVID. Can I use my sick leave to care for my healthy child?

Sick leave cannot be used to care for a healthy child whose child care provider is closed or unavailable or whose school is closed due to COVID.

I am currently not feeling well. I have several symptoms that could be associated with the coronavirus and I was just tested. What are my options?

Because you were just tested for COVID, you are eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave at 100% of your regular rate of pay through the Enhanced FMLA.  At the end of this period of time if the employee is well and not showing any symptoms, the employee will return back to work.

If the employee develops symptoms and is still ill at the end of this two week period, if he/she qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total)  which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.  If the employee is a member of the Sick Leave Bank, he/she could submit an application.

If the employee is experiencing complications from COVID and is still unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

I am a guest teacher for the district. I am also considered an employee who is in the high risk category. What are my options?

Guest teachers are not paid unless they work.  If a guest teacher is advised by a health care professional to isolate due to COVID, the guest teacher would not be able to work and would not be paid.  As soon as the guest teacher’s health care professional advised the guest teacher that he/she could return to work, the guest teacher would log onto Aesop to accept available jobs he/she was interested in.  If a guest teacher is unable to work due to the advice of a health care provider, that individual should contact Amie Franklin so that they can be inactivated in Aesop until they are able to resume guest teaching.

If a guest teacher were to contract the coronavirus and it was confirmed to have occurred while being exposed in a classroom, the District would reimburse the guest teacher for any jobs that were previously scheduled  in Aesop for the upcoming fourteen days.

What is FMLA and how do I know if I qualify for it?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified medical reasons for up to 12 weeks for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth; the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement; to care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave and have worked for the employer for 12 months.

What if I am required to be quarantined because of a family member who tested positive for COVID?

An employee who is being required to quarantine due to an exposure that has not been confirmed to have occurred at school will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at 100% of their daily rate.  At the end of this period of time if the employee is well and not showing any symptoms, the employee will return back to work.

If the employee develops symptoms and is still ill at the end of this two week period, if he/she qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.  If the employee is a member of the Sick Leave Bank, he/she could submit an application.

If the employee is experiencing complications from COVID and is still unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

My daughter lives with me and is expecting a baby soon. I don’t want to expose her or the baby to the coronavirus. What are my options?

An employee who is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider) will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at two-thirds of their daily rate of pay. 

If the employee is continuing to care for an individual (spouse, child or parent) who is still subject to quarantine based on the advice of a health care provider, at the end of this two week period, and if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) to care for the individual which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the person the employee is caring for is not their spouse, child or parent, they will not qualify for FMLA. 

If the individual the employee is caring for requires additional assistance and the employee is unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

In this specific situation, the FMLA would be approved as pregnancy is considered a possible high risk category.  FMLA would also be granted if there was a medical need for the employee to care for his/her daughter after the birth of the baby.  FMLA cannot be used for the employee to care for the grandchild. Healthy newborns are not considered to be in the high risk category at this time.  

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

My child has tested positive for COVID and is not able to go to his/her daycare provider. What are my options?

An employee who is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider) will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at two-thirds of their daily rate of pay.  At the end of this period of time if the individual the employee is caring for is well and not showing any symptoms, the employee will return back to work.

If the individual the employee is caring for is still ill at the end of this two week period, and if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) to care for the individual which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the individual the employee is caring for is experiencing complications from COVID and the employee is still unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and am beginning treatment. I want to be in the classroom, but my doctor does not want me to. What are my options?

An employee who is being required to quarantine due to the advice of a health care provider will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at 100% of their daily rate. 

If the employee’s health care provider still advises the employee to continue to quarantine, if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total)  which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.  If the employee is a member of the Sick Leave Bank, he/she could submit an application.

If the employee’s health care provider continues to require quarantine after the 12 weeks, the employee may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

Please reach out to Human Resources if you have any questions regarding this type of scenario.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

I am an employee who is immune-compromised and at risk for severe complications of COVID. Do I have to report to work?

An employee who is being required to quarantine due to the advice of a health care provider will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at 100% of their daily rate. 

If the employee’s health care provider still advises the employee to continue to quarantine, if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the employee’s health care provider continues to require quarantine after the 12 weeks, the employee may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

What is Enhanced FMLA and how do I know if I qualify for it?

Enhanced FMLA is a new federal law called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  It was established April 1, 2020 to help combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 and is set to expire December 31, 2020.  It also runs concurrently with your FMLA, if you qualify.

This act requires the district to provide up to two weeks of paid leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is not able to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

The act also requires the district to provide up to two weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is not able to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

If an employee has been employed with the district for at least 30 days, the act requires the district to provide up to an additional ten weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

A qualified employee may take a total of 12 work weeks of leave during a 12-month period under the FMLA, including the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Employees may elect to use either the up to 80 hours of paid leave at their regular rate of pay when they are unable to work due to their own health condition or they may choose to utilize the up to 80 hours of paid leave at two-thirds of their rate of pay to care for another individual or care for a child.  They may not use both options.

I have a family member that has tested positive for COVID and I need to care for him/her. What are my options?

An employee who is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider) will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at two-thirds of their daily rate of pay.  At the end of this period of time if the individual the employee is caring for is well and not showing any symptoms, the employee will return back to work.

If the individual the employee is caring for is still ill at the end of this two week period, and if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total) to care for the individual which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the person the employee is caring for is not their spouse, child or parent, they will not qualify for FMLA and will need to use their accrued leave.

If the individual the employee is caring for is experiencing complications from COVID and the employee is still unable to return to work, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

My child’s daycare is closed due to COVID. What are my options?

If an employee is not able to work because he or she is caring for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, the employee will be eligible for up to two weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay through the Enhanced FMLA.

After the initial two week period, if an employee has been employed for at least 30 days and the employee is still unable to return to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, the employee will be eligible for up to an additional ten weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay through the Enhanced FMLA.

After these twelve weeks, if the employee is unable to work due to the need to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable, he/she may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

I am currently not feeling well. I have several symptoms that could be associated with the coronavirus but I haven’t been tested. What should I do?

As with any illness, the district would strongly encourage you to not come to work if you are sick.  If you have several symptoms of COVID, the district strongly encourages you to get tested.  You will need to use your accrued sick leave while staying home, but as soon as you are tested for COVID, you would be eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave at 100% of your regular rate of pay through the Enhanced FMLA.  This leave would be retroactively applied and your sick leave used for this situation would be returned to you.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

My doctor considers me to be a vulnerable employee because of several medical conditions that I have that are listed as higher risk. My doctor is recommending that I self-isolate. What are my options?

An employee who is being required to quarantine due to the advice of a health care provider will be entitled to up to two weeks of paid Enhanced FMLA at 100% of their daily rate. 

If the employee’s health care provider still advises the employee to continue to quarantine, if the employee qualifies for FMLA, he/she would be granted up to 10 weeks of FMLA (12 weeks total)  which would be used concurrently with any accrued leave the employee has available.  After the leave has been exhausted, the remaining portion of FMLA would be leave without pay.

If the employee’s health care provider continues to require quarantine after the 12 weeks, the employee may request leave without pay for up to 60 days.

Please reach out to Human Resources if you have any questions regarding this type of scenario.

**Medical documentation will be required to be provided to Human Resources.

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