The American Rescue Plan Act

Effective April 1, 2021: The following information replaces the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provided FFCRA leave benefits through March 31, 2021. If you are an HR Liaison and still need access to the former EPSL and/or EFMLA forms and information for FFCRA, please contact our HR Liaison Administrator.
Updated April 16, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), passed in late December 2020, permitted employers to voluntarily extend paid leave benefits previously mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), originally effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. FFCRA required certain employers including Texas A&M University System members to provide two forms of paid leave to assist employees impacted by COVID-19: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA). In accordance with the CAA, Texas A&M voluntarily continued providing FFCRA leave benefits through March 31, 2021.

NOTICE The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 once again permitted employers to voluntarily provide employees impacted by COVID-19 with paid leave benefits. In accordance with the ARPA, Texas A&M employees need to be aware that:
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) is extended through September 30, 2021
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) benefits expired March 31, 2021; however, leave afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) remains available for eligible employees.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the ARPA

EPSL under the ARPA provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave beginning April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 to employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties due to one of nine qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.  Employees are now entitled to a new bank of EPSL hours beginning April 1, 2021.

At Texas A&M University, employees will first submit their request for EPSL using the EPSL Request Form. This form will be used to document all necessary information. Once the EPSL is approved, an EPSL entry will need to be submitted in Workday. Note that EPSL will route to both the manager and Absence Partner for review and approval in Workday.


Frequently Asked Questions

All employees, including employees who do not currently earn leave, are eligible from their first day of employment. This includes temporary/casual and student employees.

EPSL is provided if an employee is unable to work onsite or remotely for one or more the following reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19. A self-imposed quarantine without medical advice does not qualify.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual (not specifically limited to family members) subject to or advised to quarantine or self-isolate.
  5. The employee is caring for the employee's child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of the State.
  7. The employee is getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
  8. The employee is recovering from adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine
  9. The employee is awaiting the results of a COVID diagnosis or test after having close contact with a person with COVID-19 or at the employer’s request
Full-time employees (those who are regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week) are entitled to up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to paid leave for the number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a two-week period.

The ARPA restarted the bank of hours available for EPSL. This means employees who exhausted EPSL during the previous eligibility year (4/1/2020 to 3/31/2021) are now entitled to an additional 80 hours of paid time off beginning April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.

A part-time employee is entitled to leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee's schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such a part-time employee may take emergency paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period.

If this calculation cannot be made because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed that the employee would work upon hiring. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment.

Texas A&M will pay employees at their regular rate of pay based on the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work.

Yes, lEmergency Paid Sick Leave can be taken on an intermittent basis. If an employee is unable to work their normal schedule of hours due to one of the nine qualifying reasons, they may take emergency sick leave in less than full-day increments.

Example: John Doe regularly works 8 hours per day, but he is only be able to telework for 5 hours per day due to one of the qualifying reasons. John would then be paid his regular salary for the 5 hours he teleworked and paid 3 hours of emergency paid sick leave.

No. Employees do not have to use other paid leaves before they use emergency paid sick leave. The employee may, however, choose to use other paid leave available prior to or instead of the EPSL.

Employees must submit the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) under ARPA Request Form and the Employee Statement Supporting EPSL. No other supporting documentation is required

In addition to the signed Employee Statement Supporting EPSL, the employee is required to provide one of the following forms of written documentation to accompany your request:

  • Note/letter from medical provider
  • Email from entity requiring quarantine or isolation
  • Notification of close contact or test result
No. Employees will automatically receive two hours of EPSL to get the COVID-19 vaccine once they complete the request form and statement supporting EPSL. For the purposes of EPSL, vaccination cards should not be submitted as proof of vaccination (and should not be stored in the employee’s sick leave file).
No, multiple reasons can be marked on one form as long as all required documentation is provided.
If required documentation is not available and this form has not been submitted and approved by your HR Liaison, then another form of leave will need to be used. Once required documentation is received, your HR Liaison can correct the previous leave type to EPSL. This will restore any leave taken for a qualifying reason.
You can complete this form and submit it with required documentation to your HR Liaison. Once the form and documentation are approved, your HR Liaison can correct the previous leave type to EPSL for any qualifying leave used from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021.