What accommodations or assistance will be given to employees with child care issues due to a COVID-19 related school closure?

Loudoun County Public Schools has announced a 100% distance learning to begin the 2020-21 school year. Three options are available to employees experiencing child care issues as a result of the closing of Loudoun County Public Schools or their private daycare provider. These options include:

  • Use of Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) 
    • Unscheduled Leave: If the employee is caring for a son or daughter due to the school or place of care of the child closing, or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions, employee is entitled to use EPSL. EPSL will cover first 80 hours (full-time employees working 40+ hours per week) or two weeks (part-time) based on the number of hours worked, on average, over a 2 week period, for out of the office due to the closure. All employees regardless of employee type (regular, temporary, or unclassified) are eligible from day one of employment, with the exception of healthcare providers and emergency responders. 
    • Family and Medical Leave: Employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days, with the exception of healthcare providers and emergency responders, are eligible for FMLA if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable due to a public health emergency.  The first two work weeks are unpaid; however, the employee may elect to use EPSL as stated above, or their accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave. After the first two work weeks, pay shall be calculated based on: (I) an amount that is not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay and (II) the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work. The employee may elect to supplement EFML pay with accrued leave up to, but not exceeding, 100% of the employee’s normal base pay.
  • Telework (at the option of the Department Director where telework is appropriate)
  • K-6 Distance Learning Child Care
    The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) is offering all-day child care for children, grades K-6 to help our employees who work while their children are enrolled in distance learning.

Employees should consult with their department leadership to determine the mutually agreeable solution. In accordance with policy, telework requires approval of the department director. Please note, under existing County policy telework is not ordinarily authorized for the purposes of dependent care. However, the County Administrator has temporarily lifted this restriction as an emergency measure due to business necessity.

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1. Are face coverings required in the workplace?
2. What should I do if I come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing symptoms?
3. What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and what benefits am I entitled to under this new law?
4. What are the County’s policies on the use of sick leave or telework for employees who are diagnosed with or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19?
5. Can management send an employee home if the employee comes to work sick or displaying obvious cold or flu symptoms? If so, will the employee be required to use paid accrued leave?
6. Can management require an employee to provide a doctor’s note “clearing” the employee to return to work?
7. When can I return to work if I am feeling sick?
8. What should I do if I am concerned that my co-worker may be contagious or is caring for or lives with someone who is contagious?
9. What happens if an employee is sick and does not have any accrued sick leave?
10. Can an employee telework instead of using sick leave?
11. Will an employee with the COVID-19 virus be covered by Family Medical Leave?
12. What if the employee was exposed to the COVID-19 virus at work as a result of his/her job duties? Will the employee’s exposure to illness and/or subsequent illness be covered by Workers’ Compensation?
13. What if an employee needs time off to care for a sick relative with the COVID-19 virus?
14. What accommodations or assistance will be given to employees with child care issues due to a COVID-19 related school closure?
15. I am signed up to go to a conference and I’ve already made travel plans. Since the County has cancelled non-essential travel, what should I do?
16. Does our County medical insurance plan offer any options for virtual care?
17. I am very worried and fearful about COVID-19 and the potential impacts to me and my family. What resources does the County have available to assist employees with dealing with stress?
18. If I or a family member is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus and are also covered under the Cigna health plan, how will the COVID-19 testing be covered?
19. What is the quarantine period for people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
20. I have a question that is not addressed in this FAQ. Who should I direct my inquiry to?