COVID-19 :: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT LEAVE
Hello, NPS Faculty and Staff
I have received several requests to further define leave options and to address a few other personnel- and/or contract-related topics that may be related to COVID, general illness, and/or quarantines.
I have placed this in newsletter format in the hopes you can print it or easily bookmark it rather than keeping track of it in your email inbox. There are documents linked or attached that can be downloaded. All of this information is updated and available on the NPS website. Please do not hesitate to call or email the personnel office at anytime, if you have questions.
In Personnel News...
- I have provided another reminder regarding the Families First Coronavirus Leave Act (FFCRA) including what types of leave are covered and how to apply for FFCRA leave using our form to apply for FFCRA.
- In addition to filling out the form, you will need to provide medical paperwork before we can process it. Some of you have filled out the form but not completed the other requirement, which is why it hasn't been approved... yet.
- Most of the information below applies to all personnel, but some only applies to certified staff. Most support employees cannot perform their work from home and, therefore, are not able to work from home instead of entering leave. When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask your immediate supervisor or the personnel department.
- I have included information about how to become a Kelly Education Substitute Teacher and/or a NPS Volunteer, if you want to share that with others.
- I have provided information for how to contact our Employee Assistance Program.
As always, if you have a situation, concern or question that is not listed below, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our department welcomes the opportunity to work with you on leave questions and/or any personnel-related matter.
Families First Coronavirus Leave Act (FFCRA)
- Please remember that these are federal rules/regulations and were not created by NPS.
- When 100% of leave is not covered by FFCRA, NPS will apply a portion of another accrued sick day rather than dock an employee for the remaining 34% of the absence(s).
- Employees are granted 14-days of FFCRA or up to 80 hours of employer paid leave.
What qualifies under FFCRA:
- I am subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. (100% of leave days are covered for 14 days.)
- I have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19. (100% of leave days are covered for 14 days.)
- I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and am seeking a medical diagnosis and/or test. (100% of leave days are covered for 14 days.)
- I am caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2). (66% of a leave day is covered for 14 days max)
- I am caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. (66% of a leave day is covered for 14 days.)
- I am experiencing any other substantial-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury. (66% of a leave day is covered for 14 days.)
HOW/WHEN TO TAKE LEAVE DURING THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
Below is a one-page document of when/how to take leave based on 4 common scenarios. This flyer can be enlarged and printed, if you wish. It will also be available on the NPS website.
In addition to the chart, I have received questions regarding the use of extended or multi-day sick leave by employees. These requests may be regarding a need: (1) to get closer to a retirement date, (2) to run leave simultaneously with federal Family Medical Leave, and or (3) to use one's sick leave until he/she feels safer at work.
Pattern of Sick Leave Usage
- Per Board Policy 3005 and Section 1, 1.4 of the certified contract/negotiated agreement and with concerns of COVID at the forefront of everyone's mind, please remember, "After 5 days of paid sick leave or if a pattern of usage exists that suggests possible abuse of leave, the District may require certification by a healthcare provider for continued use of paid sick leave. The form for certification is obtained from the Office of Personnel Services."
- First and foremost, we want to ensure that employees do not have a COVID-related illness impacting them or a family member. If COVID-related illness occurs, even outside of the hours of employment, it should be reported to the site administrator or the site health professional and the health department for contact tracing purposes.
- Additionally, a person may need FFCRA leave during a required quarantine.
- A failure to return to work after (5) consecutive days or after a pattern of abusing leave has been identified will result in the employee being on unpaid leave. This may also result in cause for termination.
- A pattern could include sick leave entered in Frontline well in advance of the date(s) of the absence(s), particularly if a site administrator is not aware of the situation. Again, documentation for a pattern or more than five days of absence may be requested.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- If an employee has a need for long-term leave that qualifies under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which now includes extended family medical leave for the care of children who have COVID or who do not have a care provider due to COVID, please reach out to Allie Polk in personnel. She can assist with qualifications and paperwork for FMLA.
- While on FMLA, an employee can run his/her earned leave simultaneously in order to be paid while absent from work. Again, that is the federal law regarding FMLA.
- As a reminder, FMLA is 12 weeks of federal unpaid leave unless an employee runs accrued leave simultaneously. The intent of FMLA is to guarantee an employee his/her position after 12 weeks
- FMLA packets are available to employees in the staff portal on the NPS website.
Guest Teachers and Volunteers
I Know Someone Who Wants to Substitute (Guest Teach) in NPS
- Feel free to share the Kelly Education contact information, which is also available on the NPS website.
- Email: www.kellyeducationalstaffing.us
- Phone: (405) 848-0538
- Kelly Education is the primary employer, and they do have an employment process and onboarding process they must follow. However, we have asked them to fast-track that to the extent they legally can for NPS applicants.
I Know Someone Who Wants to Volunteer in NPS
- Have them contact Paige Dolezel in Personnel Services (447-6599). Her email is listed at the end of the updates.
- They will have to complete a volunteer agreement and background check.
Employee Assistance Program
If you are experiencing increased and/or overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, sadness, addiction, trauma, and/or, unmanageable stress, please reach out to our EAP via the email address below.
- EAP emails are answered by professionals at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health. Your information and privacy are protected.
- Services will be covered by most insurance providers including HealthChoice.
- Up to 3 sessions are provided by Norman Public Schools.
- ODMHSAS will work with you and, if necessary, provide additional referrals for follow-up care.
No matter the difficult circumstances of providing educational services during a pandemic, the health and wellness of our employees does remain our priority.
NPS Employee Assistance Program Contact: NPS.EAP@odmhsas.org
NPS Personnel Services
We appreciate you reading the entire, lengthy update, and we hope it was helpful. Again, please don't hesitate to reach out for further assistance.
Associate Superintendent, CHRO, Title IX Administrator
Holly Nevels, email@example.com
Shelley Nashert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki Newman, email@example.com
Certified, Support, Workers Comp, Volunteers and Unemployment Specialists
Sharla Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Folks, email@example.com
Paige Dolezel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave, Insurance, and Employee Benefits Specialist
Allie Polk, email@example.com