The COVID-19 Relief Bill includes a $570-million “Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund” provides up to 15 weeks of additional paid leave due to pandemic-related reasons such as:
- A medical diagnosis for COVID-19
- Subject to a federal, state, or local COVID-19 quarantine order
- Caring for an individual who has a COVID-19 diagnosis or is subject to a federal, state, or local COVID-19 quarantine order
- Caring for a child whose school, or child care facility, is closed due to COVID-19, and/or engaging in virtual learning due to COVID-19
Designed for federal workers who have exhausted all of their paid sick leave, the additional paid leave begins with enactment of the relief bill and is scheduled to end on September 30th, 2021.
However, there are a number of facts you need to know:
- To be eligible, federal workers first would have to use any sick leave available to them
- The additional paid leave is not retroactive
- It cannot be used concurrently with any other form of paid leave
- Paid leave provided under the COVID-19 relief bill will reduce the total service used to calculate federal retirement benefits
Other key provisions in the bill include a $300 per week federal boost to unemployment benefits through September 6th plus tax relief credits for laid-off workers.