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3.1.12a Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

Effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act has been amended to allow for expanded coverage for absences related to COVID-19.  This act is referred to as the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (Emergency FMLA).


In order to be eligible for the Emergency FMLA, an employee must have been on Illinois State University’s payroll for at least 30 calendar days prior to the start date of the requested leave.

Leave Entitlement

Emergency FMLA provides for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for the following reason:

An employee must be unable to work or telework (if employer approved) due to a need for leave to care for:

    • The employee’s child under the age of 18,
    • A child under the age of 18 for whom the employee has legal guardianship,
    • A child who has been placed with the employee for foster care,
    • The employee’s child who is over the age of 18 but requires assistance with activities of daily living as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act

whose school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider for the child is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

The term “public health emergency” means an emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority.

The term “childcare provider” means a provider who receives compensation for providing child care services on a regular basis, including an eligible “child care provider” (as defined in section 658P of the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858n)).

The term “school” means an elementary or secondary school as such terms are defined in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

An employee may not exceed 12 weeks of total FMLA-protected time in a 12-month period, calculated by reviewing FMLA-protected time taken in the 12 months immediately preceding a leave request.  Any previous FMLA-protected time already used in the 12 months immediately preceding the Emergency FMLA request will be used in determining the eligibility for Emergency FMLA. 


Leave Increment

Time taken for Emergency FMLA may be used on a continuous or intermittent basis.  Time taken intermittently may only be taken in full or half day increments, and only with employer agreement.

If the employee chooses to submit Emergency Paid Sick for compensation in the first two weeks of leave, the first two weeks must be taken continuously.  See policy 3.1.48 Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

Compensation During Emergency FMLA

During the first ten days of leave, Emergency FMLA will be provided on an unpaid basis.  The employee may elect to receive pay by completing one of the following:

  • Apply for Emergency Paid Sick Leave as defined by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, if available
    • Note: Emergency Paid Sick Leave can only be used on continuous basis.  See policy 3.1.48 Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
  • Reporting of currently available vacation, sick, compensatory time, or personal days (Faculty Associates only)

If neither of these options are used, the time will be unpaid. After the first ten days of leave, compensation will be calculated based on:

  • an amount not less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay (as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)))
  • the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work
    • Employees with variable working hours will have hours calculated based an average of hours schedule to work, including hours taken as leave, during the six-month period preceding the leave request
    • If the employee was not employed for six months preceding the leave, the reasonable expectation of the hours the employee would normally work will be used for the calculation
  • The reduction of pay to two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay will not reduce pay below Illinois minimum wage.

Notice of Need for Leave

Where the need for leave is foreseeable, an employee should notify Human Resources as soon as is practicable.

Notification of Leave Status and Required Documentation

Human Resources will respond to an employee’s request for FMLA-protected leave with a Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities within five business days of the initial request for leave or when Human Resources becomes aware that the employee will require leave. 

Employee must provide the name and age of the child (or children) to be cared for, the name of the school that has closed or place of care that is unavailable, and a representation that no other person will be providing care for the child during the period for which the employee is receiving family medical leave.  With respect to the employee’s inability to work or telework because of a need to provide care for a child older than fourteen during daylight hours, a statement that special circumstances exist requiring the employee to provide care.

If an employee is found to have falsified the need for leave, the employee may be denied the leave and/or may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Protection of Your Job and Benefits

An employee is entitled to continuation of insurance coverage during FMLA-protected leave on the same terms as if he or she had continued to work. 

When an employee returns from FMLA-protected leave, he or she will be restored to his or her original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms of employment.  The use of FMLA-protected leave will not cause an employee to lose any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of leave. 

Intent to Return to Work

Human Resources may require the employee on FMLA-protected leave to periodically report on the employee’s intent to return to work. 

Application Procedure 

During the unusual circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Human Resources requests that you complete the application form and send it to hrbenefits@ilstu.edu

Employees who cannot complete the electronic form should call Human Resources at (309) 438-8311 to speak with a Benefit Counselor.

Your Rights

If you have been denied leave and choose to appeal, please forward your written appeal to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources at Campus Box 1300 within fifteen days from the date of your denial.

Initiating Office:  Human Resources

Contact:  Director, Employment 438-8311

Created: 4/2020

Updated: 07/2020

2020-07-07T10:41:38.469-05:00 2020