Admission Offices and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The legislation temporarily updates the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. It will expire Dec. 31 unless Congress passes additional legislation.

A law firm based in Washington, DC, summarized the bill’s provisions, which, among other things:

— Apply to all public colleges and universities and all private colleges and universities with 500 or fewer faculty and staff. There are some exceptions for private colleges and universities with fewer than 50 faculty and staff that can demonstrate providing the leave is not financially viable. Additionally, any colleges and universities that employ health care providers or emergency responders may exclude those categories of employees from the leave provided by the act.

— Provides 12 weeks of job-protected leave. In order to be eligible, a faculty member or other employee need only to have been on the college or university’s payroll for 30 days (as opposed to the FMLA’s usual 12-month/1,250-hour requirement).

— Provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for faculty and staff if they are unable to work (or telework) due to certain coronavirus-related reasons.

For specific questions about how this legislation impacts you or your admission department, contact your campus human resources department and/or legal counsel.

Michael Rose is NACAC’s director of government relations. You can reach him at mrose@nacacnet.org.

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