Student Employee COVID-19 Leave
Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
UW System Administration recently amended the interim UW System COVID-19 Leave Policy to include student employees. The opportunities to use COVID-19 Leave are limited by the factors outlined in the UW System policy. Any student employee who has missed time from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic since August 1, 2020, is encouraged to read the policy to see if they qualify.
The time span for when a student employee might be eligible for COVID-19 Leave is August 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. That means that student employees who missed work time since August 1, 2020, due to the criteria outlined in the UW System policy may apply for COVID-19 Leave. It also means that a student employee who might miss work from now through December 31, 2020, for reasons as described in the policy, may apply for COVID-19 Leave.
The total amount of COVID-19 Leave a student employee is eligible for is prorated to the amount of hours the student typically works in a two-week pay period, up to a maximum of 80 hours.
To apply for COVID-19 Leave, a student employee should complete the Student FFCRA Leave Request Form and email it to the HR Business Partner or PREP assigned to the UWM school, college, or division, for which they work. If unsure of who to contact, please ask the office of the dean or division head, of the school, college, or division, for which you work, to provide you with the right contact. Please also submit any questions to your HR Business Partner or PREP.
Student Employee COVID-19 Leave Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible for the leave?
All employees are eligible for two weeks of emergency paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Student employees are not exempted from the leave.
- How much leave does an eligible employee receive?
A student employee is entitled to two weeks of paid sick leave. The number of hours per week is based on the student’s normal work schedule based on their work over the past 6 months, or over the duration of employment if employed less than 6 months. It is also acceptable to use the hours per week identified in the student’s appointment letter, or the hours per week identified in the job posting, position description or job requisition. The goal of any method should be the good faith estimation of the hours a student would be expected to work if not for their qualifying reason for leave.
- For what reasons can a student employee use the leave?
A student employee for whom work is available, and who is unable to perform assigned duties or work remotely, may use COVID-19 Leave for the following reasons:
- Diagnoses of COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis.
- Care of an individual who has a diagnosis of COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis.
- Subject to a quarantine order, or advised to self-quarantine.
- Care of an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine.
- Child/elder care due to school/day care closures, or;
- Any employee experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
- Is a student employee eligible to use the leave if a campus closes?
The Department of Labor’s administrative guidance states that if there is no work for an employee to perform, they are not entitled to the paid sick leave under FFCRA. The Department uses a “but for” test to answer such questions. “But for the employee suffering from one of the qualifying conditions for the leave, would the employee be working for the employer?” If the campus is closed, then the student wouldn’t be working, regardless of whether they were suffering from one of the qualifying conditions.
- Is a student eligible to use the leave if they haven’t been assigned any hours?
The emergency sick leave is a personal entitlement which the employee can use to be paid when unable to work during assigned hours because of one of the qualifying conditions. If the employee is not assigned any hours, then there are no hours against which the leave could be applied. An employee’s schedule must not be changed because they are suffering from one of the qualifying conditions, but may vary based on other external factors. The decision about how many hours an employee should be scheduled should be made independently of their eligibility for the COVID-19 leave.
- How can a student apply for the leave?
A student who wishes to claim COVID-19 Leave should fill out the form provided by their institution.
- Are student employees eligible for eFMLA Leave?
If a student has been employed for 30 days and otherwise meets the eligibility criteria for eFMLA leave, then yes, they are entitled to eFMLA leave under the same conditions as any other employee.
- How do institutions notify Shared Services about the amount of leave available for their student employees and how is the use of that leave communicated to Shared Services?
Templates have been provided to campuses to complete for both the initial load of eligible student COVID-19 leave hours and the amount of hours to be paid in any given pay period.
- How will the student and the institution know what the remaining available balance for the student is?
A query has been created for campuses to run which will give them this data.
- Will students enter their leave time on a timesheet?
No, the student leave entry functions are only available to administrator.
- If an employee has a child enrolled at a school which has given parents a choice about whether to have their child attend in person or remotely, and the employee chooses to have their child attend remotely, is the employee eligible for eFMLA leave?
The DOL has determined that parents in this situation would not be eligible for eFMLA leave. HR Directors can consult your assigned legal counsel in the Office of General Counsel for further advice on this topic.
Student Health Insurance
UWM students looking for health insurance may inquire at the Norris Health Center.
Norris Health Center
3351 N. Downer Ave.
On campus jobs for UWM students can be found at the Career Planning and Resource Center.
Career Planning and Resource Center
Mellencamp Hall, Room 128
2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
The UWM Graduate School has resources for graduate assistants.
Mitchell Hall, Room 261
3203 N. Downer Ave.
UWM Student Employment Manual
You may download the UWM Student Employment Manual here.