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March 15, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Provides Additional Emergency Leave for Federal Employees

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. Among other things, the Act provides emergency paid sick leave to federal employees, to be used between March 11, 2021 and September 30, 2021, for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.
Home » News » American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Provides Additional Emergency Leave for Federal Employees

Mon, 03/15/2021

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. Among other things, the Act provides emergency paid sick leave to federal employees, to be used between March 11, 2021 and September 30, 2021, for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. The Act provides that full-time employees are entitled to use up to 600 hours of emergency leave and that emergency leave will be paid at the same hourly rate as other leave payments. Part-time employees, employees with uncommon tours of duty, and seasonal employees are entitled to use the proportional equivalent of 600 hours of emergency paid leave. However, leave may not be provided if it would result in payments of greater than $2,800 in the aggregate (or the proportional equivalent for a part-time employee) for any biweekly pay period. Significantly, paid leave under the Act is to be provided in addition to any other leave already provided to the employee and cannot be used concurrently with any other paid leave.

In addition to individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, those who are required or have been advised to quarantine for reasons related to COVID-19, or those who are caring for such an individual, federal employees are eligible for emergency paid leave to care for a child whose school requires or makes optional virtual or hybrid in-person and virtual learning instruction models, as well as to obtain immunization related to COVID-19 and to recover from injury, disability, illness, or condition related to the immunization. Emergency paid leave is also available for federal employees to care for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years of age or older and incapable of self-care and whose place of care is closed or whose direct care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, regardless of whether another individual is available to care for that family member.

For more information about workers’ rights during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit MSE’s Coronavirus Information page at https://www.mselaborlaw.com/resources/coronavirus-information. For general information about the workplace rights of federal employees, visit MSE’s Federal Employee resource page at https://www.mselaborlaw.com/resources/federal-employees.

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