Emergency Paid Leave

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R.1319) allows emergency paid leave for certain COVID-19-related qualifying circumstances.

To use emergency leave:
  • Employees must be unable to work
  • Leave must be used during scheduled work hours
  • Employees do not have to exhaust other leave
  • May request retroactively back to March 11, 2021
  • Leave eligibility will expire September 30, 2021
Qualifying circumstances include when Employees are:
  • Subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order
  • Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
  • Caring for an individual who is subject to such an order or has been so advised
  • Experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable
  • Experiencing any other substantially similar condition
  • Caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years or older
  • Obtaining immunization (up to Agency discretion) or is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to such immunization
Emergency paid leave is paid at the same hourly rate as other paid leave.
  • For most employees, the hourly leave payment is equal to the employee’s hourly adjusted rate of basic rate (including any applicable locality payment, special rate supplement, or the equivalent)
The total amount of emergency paid leave cannot exceed $2800 for a full time employee (bi-weekly pay)
  • If your adjusted basic pay is greater than $35 or your biweekly pay includes premium pays such as law enforcement availability pay, Sunday premium, etc., you will need other paid leave to cover the difference (for example, if your adjusted basic pay is $70 an hour, only 40 hours of emergency paid sick leave would be covered)
  • The total amount of leave allowed is up to 600 hours (prorated for part-time)
Select this link to access a document that will help you calculate how to apply Biweekly Limit on Emergency Paid Leave (EPL). **If unable to view, right click and download the link to your computer.**

The document includes all of the below categories.
Categories for Emergency Paid Leave are:
Regular Full-Time Employee Whose Leave Payment Equals the Employee's Hourly Adjusted Rate of Basic Pay
Regular Full-Time or Part-Time Employee Whose Leave Payment Equals the Employee's Hourly Adjusted Rate of Basic Pay
Employee with Uncommon Tour of Duty (in 48 Contiguous States)
Employee receiving Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) in 48 Contiguous States
Regular Full-time or part-Time Employee (Outside Contiguous States) – Receives a Cost-of-Living Allowance or Post Differential

Any emergency paid leave reduces the total amount of creditable service used to calculate any Federal civilian retirement annuity benefit.
Responsibility for determining eligibility and time sheet reporting is at the Agency level.
The payment of emergency paid leave is subject to fund availability, if money is exhausted from the fund, employees must apply other paid leave or paid time off as available.

For more information, check out the OPM Emergency Paid Leave website
Page Updated May 21, 2021