Paid Time Off Information During COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated 8/3/20

There are a few special time off programs for various scenarios related to COVID-19 (such as child care due to day care closure or school operating virtually, lack of work, personal illness, quarantine or care of an ill or quarantined family member). These temporary emergency measures were put in place in response to the current public health emergency.  

Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave

The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provides a bank of up to 80 hours of paid time off for COVID-19-related absences.  Part-time and temporary employees, including student employees, are eligible for a prorated amount.  EPSLA applies to faculty and staff on all campuses and in Michigan Medicine.  

This bank is in addition to the university’s COVID-19 emergency paid time off (COVID-19 PTO) bank implemented on March 13.

EPSLA time should be used before other paid time off for qualifying absences. Once EPSLA is exhausted, employees should use one of the university’s existing paid time off banks as appropriate, including sick time pay or COVID-19 PTO as needed.  

Who Is Eligible?

The following employees are eligible for EPSLA:

  • full and part-time faculty and staff 
  • temporary staff
  • student employees
  • graduate student employees (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs) 
  • postdoctoral research fellows

Employees on furlough, leave of absence or who have been laid off are not eligible for EPSLA.

What is Covered?

EPSLA time can be used for COVID-19 absences, including:

  • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • direction to quarantine
  • care for a quarantined individual whose care is the responsibility of the employee 
  • to provide child care due to day care closure or on days when a school offers only virtual instruction

What Timekeeping Code Do I Use?

Employees should report EPSLA using the “PEL” code. Those that don’t report time in a central time-keeping system will have to track use of the time locally.

When Does It Expire?

For most COVID-related scenarios, the 80-hour EPSLA bank (or prorated amount for part-time employees) is available through December 31, 2020. 

EPSLA is no longer available for employees who are unable to work remotely (temporary lack of work) now that the State of Michigan's “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order has ended.

U-M COVID-19 Paid Time Off

COVID-19 Paid Time Off (COVID-19 PTO) is a one-time bank of up to 80 hours, created on March 13 in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Part-time and temporary employees, including student employees, are eligible for a prorated amount. COVID PTO applies to faculty and staff on all campuses and in Michigan Medicine.  

Who Is Eligible?

The following employees are eligible for COVID-19 PTO:

  • full and part-time faculty and staff 
  • temporary staff
  • student employees
  • graduate student employees (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs) 
  • postdoctoral research fellows

Employees who take a temporary furlough will no longer be able to access the emergency COVID PTO bank. Employees hired after June 7, 2020 are not eligible. 

What is Covered?

COVID PTO time can be used for COVID-19 absences, including:

  • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • direction to quarantine
  • care for a quarantined family member
  • to provide child care due to day care closure or on days when a school offers only virtual instruction
  • temporary lack of work (see note about federal awards)

As of June 17, employees who are idle due to a lack of work can no longer charge that effort to a federal award. 

What Timekeeping Code Do I Use?

Employees report the time using a “RPN” code followed by the “PAN” code for tracking. Those that don’t report time in a central time-keeping system will have to track use of the time locally.

When Does It Expire?

COVID-19 PTO is available until the employee exhausts their 80 hour bank (or prorated amount for part-time employees) or the university declares the situation is no longer an emergency and the COVID PTO bank ceases.  

Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (E-FMLA)

The federal legislation also calls for an expanded paid time off benefit for employees who need to provide child care and cannot work remotely due to child care closures or on days when a school offers only virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Employees may use 80 hours (or a proportional amount for part-time and temporary staff) of paid time before accessing up to 10 additional weeks of paid time off at two-thirds the rate of pay. E-FMLA may be used intermittently with approval from the department. 

There is a 30-day service requirement and the benefit is not available to those on layoff, furlough or leave of absence.  Total FMLA time available will be coordinated with other FMLA related absences.

Employees can use EPSLA, COVID-19 PTO, short-term sick (when applicable), vacation or PTO to cover the first two weeks of absence, followed by Expanded FMLA, at which point the new timekeeping code “PFL” should be used. 

Additional information about the Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act

Who Is Eligible?

The following employees are eligible for Expanded FMLA:

  • full and part-time faculty and staff 
  • temporary staff who are actively employed
  • student employees
  • graduate student employees (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs) 
  • postdoctoral research fellows

What is Covered?

Expanded FMLA time can be used for the following COVID-19-related scenario:

  • to provide child care due to day care closure or on days when a school offers only virtual instruction

What Timekeeping Code Do I Use?

Employees use “PFL” and recommended "FML" tracking code for all FMLA-related absences

When Does It Expire?

Ability to use the 12 weeks of Expanded FMLA expires December 31, 2020. 

How Do I Request E-FMLA?

Use this form to request time off under E-FMLA.

Michigan Medicine Additional 120 Hour Bank

An additional 120 hours, special-use PTO bank is available for full-time employees who need to isolate as a result of contracting COVID-19 while providing direct care for confirmed COVID-19 patients. This special bank of time is prorated for part time and temporary employees. Employees are also eligible for the COVID-19 PTO bank of 80 paid-time off hours. Please consult with your supervisor or human resources representative if you have questions about eligibility.

Who Is Eligible?

Employees who meet the above criteria, and work at Michigan Medicine, are eligible for the additional 120 hour bank:

  • full and part-time faculty and staff 
  • temporary staff 

What is Covered?

  • personal illness and isolation as a result of contracting COVID-19 while providing direct care for confirmed COVID-19 patients

U-M COVID-19 Paid Time Off Supplement (through April 30, 2020)

The COVID PTO supplement expired April 30, 2020.

Help Determining Which Paid Time Off to Use

Use this table to help determine which paid time off bank to use and for which COVID-19-related scenario.  

Eligibility for various time off programs varies, so please consult your supervisor, human resources office or the Staff Handbook. Follow your normal process of reporting absence and requesting time off.

Time Off Information During Covid-19 Pandemic May 1-December 31, 2020
I am a U-M Employee who is: What do I do about my time? Which timecode do I use? WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE EPSLA OR COVID PTO REMAINING?
...unable to work due to a directive from a local health department or health care provider to self-quarantine Work remotely when possible. If not, use available Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Then use available COVID-19 PTO until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: PEL; COVID-19 PTO: RPN and PAN Use available Short-Term Sick, Vacation or PTO.
...unable to work due to illness Use available Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act or available COVID-19 PTO. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: PEL; COVID-19 PTO: RPN and PAN Use available Short-Term Sick, Vacation or PTO. Once the absence exceeds 10 consecutive working days or more, follow normal procedures to evaluate qualification for extended sick. Use unpaid medical leave if no other paid time available.
...providing care to a seriously ill family member Work remotely when possible. If not, use available Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Then use available COVID-19 PTO until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: PEL; COVID-19 PTO: RPN and PAN Request to use available Short-Term Sick, PTO or Vacation. Consider unpaid family care or FMLA leave for care of a family member.
…providing care to a quarantined family member Work remotely when possible. If not, use available Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Then use available COVID-19 PTO until exhausted (up to 80 hours). Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: PEL; COVID PTO: RPN and PAN Request to use available Short-Term Sick, PTO or Vacation.
...caring for child whose school or day care center has closed or is only offering remote instruction Work remotely when possible. If not, request Expanded FMLA (E-FMLA) and choose excused time without pay or paid time off for the first two weeks including time available under the Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, available COVID-19 PTO or Vacation. Use E-FMLA as needed for up to 10 weeks, paid at 2/3. E-FMLA may be supplemented with paid time off to maintain full pay. Appropriate time reporting code for first 80 hours and recommended "FML" tracking code. Expanded FMLA (PFL) once the 80 hour requirement is met and recommended "FML" tracking code. Request to use available Vacation or PTO. Consider requesting a reduction in effort or unpaid personal leave.
...I work in a healthcare setting and was directed to quarantine (or became ill with COVID-19) due to caring for a confirmed COVID-19 patient Use the new Health Care PTO Bank (up to 120 hours). Then, use available Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (up to 80 hours). Healthcare PTO Bank: PCP; Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: PEL Use Extended Sick for absences expected to last 10 business days if eligible

*Employees must be employed by the university for 30 days prior to taking the Expanded FMLA (EFMLA). First 80 hours of expanded FMLA are unpaid and run concurrently with the new Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The remaining 10 weeks are subject to 2/3 pay. Employees may supplement the first 80 hours and 1/3 unpaid time with paid time off.