Federal News Network:
Employees at the Social Security Administration say the agency hasn’t yet made emergency paid sick leave available to them, despite a congressionally-mandated implementation date and assurances from its payroll provider that its customers can, in fact, access these new benefits.
Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), all federal employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave if they meet certain coronavirus-related circumstances. Congress included emergency paid sick leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the president signed into law March 18.
Under the law, employees had access to the emergency paid sick leave starting April 1, and the benefits are available through Dec. 31, 2020.
But SSA employees and the unions that represent them say the agency hasn’t explained when they’ll be able to formally request and use emergency paid sick leave benefits under the new law.
“We are working with our payroll provider on implementation of this new legislation and the associated leave balance,” an SSA spokesman wrote in an email to Federal News Network. “In the meantime, employees may continue to take personal leave or request advanced leave when necessary. Additionally, the leave from this legislation may be applied retroactively or used for future needs.” ...