WKU issues notice regarding extended paid sick leave

Katelyn Latture

While WKU has decided to keep employees in a fully paid status through the end of the semester, human resources issued a notice regarding expanded paid sick leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

The act, which was signed into law on March 18, addresses new rules for paid sick time and family leave in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, WKU Human Resources Director Tony Glisson said in an email to all WKU employees. 

In addition to any vacation or sick leave benefits already provided to WKU employees, the act offers expanded benefits. WKU employees must meet certain requirements within the act to obtain the added sick leave, including having been employed by WKU for at least 30 calendar days.

The qualifying criteria as listed in the email are: 

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;

  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);

  1. is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or

  2. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Full-time employees who meet criteria one through three are eligible for 100% pay “for their regular rate of pay for up to 80 hours,” in addition to any sick or vacation leave they may already have, according to the email.

Active part-time employees can expect “the average hours paid over a two-week period.” Employees meeting criteria four or six may be eligible for two-thirds pay continuance. 

People who meet criteria reason five may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave, but the first two weeks will be unpaid unless the employee claims Emergency Paid Sick Leave. The following 10 weeks, the employee will receive two-thirds pay, but they may also use vacation or sick leave for the remaining one-third of pay. 

Glisson asked employees requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave to properly file the request with a form which will be posted to the HR website when available.

Features reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected].