Western

AFL - CIO

Branch 2184

Wayne County, MI

Vice President's Report

March / April 2021

Emergency Federal Employee Leave

 

      Effective March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (Act) was signed into law by President Biden. This Act provides employees with up to 600 hours of paid Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL). This leave is available to employees beginning on March 12, 2021, and continuing through September 30, 2021—or until the funding established in the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund (Fund) for reimbursement is exhausted. The leave is available to eligible letter carriers who are unable to work due to one of eight qualifying reasons listed below.

 

Emergency Federal Employee LeaveQualifying Reasons Leave Eligibility

 

      A letter carrier is entitled to take EFEL related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work because the employee:

 

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID19.
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to selfquarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  3. is caring for an individual who is subject to such an order as in (1) or has been so advised as in (2).
  4. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  5. is caring for the employee’s son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model, requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning instruction models, or if the child care provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
  6. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition.
  7. is caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years of age or older and incapable of self-care, without regard to whether another individual other than the employee is available to care for such family member, if the place of care for such family member is closed or the direct care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
  8. is obtaining immunization (vaccination) related to COVID-19 or is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to such immunization.

 

      Please fill out a PS form 3971 completely and supply the required documentation that fall up under 1 of the 8 qualifying reasons for the EFEL leave that may apply to your specific qualifying reason. If for any reason management denies your request, please get authorized union time to meet with your steward so an appropriate and timely grievance can be filed.

 

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)

 

      We are living in uncertain times with a more than one year going pandemic. One day you are living healthy and happy, and the next day you are sad or fighting for your life with Covid-19. Covid 19 has taken a toll on the world leaving many people feeling lonely, helpless and hopeless. We as letter carriers are affected by the many challenges that

Covid 19 has left us to deal with. From working long hours, limited staffing and no time for our families, Covid-19 has caused different forms of stress that we don’t normally deal with.

      When all else fails, our outlet is the employee assistance program (EAP). It is completely confidential, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. EAP is here for you, with a variety of ways to connect with a licensed counselor. You can connect online at EAP4YOU.com, through video, by live chat or text message and by telephone 1-800-327-7341. The first session is on the clock. See your supervisor or steward to request EAP.

 

-- Jacqueline McGregory

Vice President