We have received many questions from faculty wondering about whether they can take leave during Summer or Fall. AFT is committed to supporting faculty through every step of this process. Here’s what you need to know about your eligibility, as well as links to forms.
According to Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Childcare Leave Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), there are 5 reasons for leave eligibility, including:
- being required to self-quarantine as a result of experiencing illness related to Covid-19,
- caring for an individual who has Covid-19,
- being advised to quarantine as a result of possible exposure to someone with Covid-19 illness,
- experiencing symptoms similar to Covid-19,
- caring for a child whose school, preschool, or daycare is closed due to Covid-19.
In the cases of #1-4, AFT and the District have signed an MOU allowing faculty to receive full pay for at least 2 weeks while on leave. This leave does not need to be taken in full or on consecutive days. The district is able to negotiate a partial leave and one that is flexible in accommodating the faculty member’s schedule (e.g. Wednesdays off for the duration of the semester).
Up to 12 weeks paid leave to care for a child whose school is closed due to Covid
In the case of 5) caring for a child whose school is closed due to Covid-19, faculty are entitled to up to 12 weeks of emergency paid leave, earning up to 2/3rds of their regular rates/salaries (state daily cap is $200 / $12,000 for the entire 12-week period). The faculty member may earn the remaining 1/3rd (or difference between the state cap and full salary) of their pay through teaching, using banked units, and/or using sick time. Faculty are only given this leave period one time during the current year and have up to December 31st, 2020 to use this leave.
Upon the reopening of the child’s school, the faculty member becomes eligible to return to work; therefore, they are obliged to do so. The faculty member’s dean and the district should work with the faculty to ensure a return to work that poses the least disruption to the teaching of the course, including the students, faculty substitute, and faculty member returning from leave.
Should the child’s school be open when the semester begins, but face a closure after the semester starts, the faculty member is entitled to the leave benefits described above and is encouraged to apply for leave immediately.
One exception excludes faculty who have already taken 12 weeks of FMLA in the last twelve months, making them ineligible to take this emergency family leave.
The following forms are required if an employee needs to take a leave of absence due to any of the above reasons:
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave Employee Certification Form to be completed to take the above leave up to 2 (two) weeks, may need a doctor’s note for self-quarantine or documentation of school/child care closure
- Emergency Family Leave Employee Certification Form to be completed for leave of up to twelve (12) weeks to care for your child due to child care/school closure and documentation of school/child care closure needed
- District’s Guidelines to Emergency Paid Sick leave and Emergency Family Leave
- Employee Rights Federal Summary for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave
Faculty are encouraged to communicate with their AFT representatives as well as Ingrid Melgoza (Melgozai@smccd.edu) in Human Resources at SMCCCD for additional details and questions in determining their leave options and completing the required forms. Ingrid Melgoza is committed to supporting faculty in communications with their Dean, for example in securing the Dean’s signature on all forms.