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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

2015 Paid Leave Analysis Grants Program Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on June 15, 2015 that $1.25 million will be made available to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The department's Women's Bureau will administer the funding opportunity. The Funding Opportunity Announcement outlines the grant priorities, evaluation factors, and application guidance for up to 10 competitive grants. Set out below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the 2015 Paid Leave Analysis Grants Program.

1. Does this grant program fund paid family and medical leave programs?

No. This grant program funds certain types of research and analysis needed to explore, develop, implement and/or improve paid family and medical leave programs at the State and municipal levels, as well as in U.S. Territories and Possessions and federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribes.

2. What types of research and analysis are funded?

The research and analysis activities must fall into at least one of the following five categories:

  • Statistical analysis, such as cost-benefit and actuarial studies;
  • Feasibility studies;
  • Economic-impact analyses;
  • Financing, eligibility and benefit modeling;
  • Education, outreach and marketing analyses for implementation purposes.

3. Will applicants that propose to conduct more than one type of research and analysis have an advantage?

Grantees will be selected based on the extent to which their application:

  • Presents a clear description of the research and analysis activities they intend to conduct and identifies the anticipated deliverables from such activities;
  • Explains how such activities and deliverables will advance their efforts to explore, develop, implement and/or improve a paid family and medical leave program within their jurisdiction; and
  • Outlines a solid financial infrastructure that demonstrates proper resource management.

4. Does this grant program fund research and analysis on paid sick leave programs?

No. This program funds certain types of research and analysis related to paid family and medical leave programs.

5. Is this opportunity limited to research and analysis on a paid version of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or its individual provisions?

No. The Announcement states: "Grants issued through this program must be used to conduct research and analysis activities that advance the grantee's efforts to explore, develop, implement and/or improve a paid family and medical leave program on behalf of individuals working for employers within its jurisdiction." Such research and analysis does not need to concern a paid version of the FMLA or its individual provisions.

The research and analysis activities must fall into at least one of the following five categories:

  • Statistical analysis, such as cost-benefit and actuarial studies;
  • Feasibility studies;
  • Economic-impact analyses;
  • Financing, eligibility and benefit modeling;
  • Education, outreach and marketing analyses for implementation purposes.

6. Would a proposal to study a paid leave program that covers the applicant's government employees, but not other employees within the applicant's jurisdiction, be eligible for this grant?

Yes. The Announcement states: "Grants issued through this program must be used to conduct research and analysis activities that advance the grantee's efforts to explore, develop, implement and/or improve a paid family and medical leave program on behalf of individuals working for employers within its jurisdiction." Such research and analysis is not limited to programs that apply to all employees within an applicant's jurisdiction.

7. Is a grantee required to enact a paid family and medical leave program as a condition of this grant?

No. This grant program funds certain categories of research and analysis activities. It does not require grantees to enact a paid family and medical leave program, and receipt of funds under this grant program is not contingent upon a potential grantee's agreement to do so.

8. What is the maximum amount of grant funding an applicant may apply for?

An applicant may apply for up to $250,000.

9. Are States that received grants under the 2014 Paid Leave Analysis grant program eligible for this new grant?

Yes.

10. Is a government entity that already has a paid family and medical leave program eligible for this grant?

Yes. This grant program funds research and analysis needed to explore, develop, implement and/or improve paid family and medical leave programs at the State and municipal levels, as well as in U.S. Territories and Possessions and federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribes.

11. Is it possible for both a State-level government entity and a local-level government entity located within that State to receive a grant?

Yes. For the purposes of this grant program, each jurisdiction will be regarded as separate and distinct from jurisdictions at other levels of government that it may geographically encompass or be encompassed by. Thus, for example, an award to a State-level government entity to conduct research and analysis on behalf of the State would not preclude an award to a city-level government entity, located within the State, to conduct research and analysis on behalf of the city.

Example: If the City Council of Burlington, Vermont applies for this grant on behalf of the City of Burlington, we will consider that application as a city government-level application on behalf of the City of Burlington, and not as a state government-level application on behalf of the State of Vermont. An award to the Vermont Governor's Office to conduct research and analysis on behalf of the State of Vermont would not preclude an award to the City Council of Burlington to conduct research and analysis on behalf of the City of Burlington.

Note, however, that we will not award multiple grants on behalf of a single jurisdiction at a particular level of government. If more than one eligible entity submits an application on behalf of a single jurisdiction at a particular level of government, we will consider each eligible application, but only the highest-scoring of those applications will be eligible for an award on behalf of that jurisdiction. Eligible entities are therefore strongly encouraged to communicate and coordinate with their various branches, departments, and organizational units to prepare a single application on behalf of their jurisdiction.

Example: The Vermont Department of Labor and the Vermont Governor's Office are both interested in applying for this grant on behalf of the State of Vermont (that is, the funding would be used for research and analysis of a state-wide paid family and medical leave program). If each of these government entities applies separately, we will consider each application. However, only the higher scoring of these two applications would be eligible for an award on behalf of the State of Vermont.

12. Are academic institutions or non-governmental organizations eligible for this grant?

The Announcement states: "Eligible applicants are government entities from any of the following levels of government:

  • State Government;
  • County Government;
  • City or Township Government;
  • U.S. Territory or Possession;
  • Federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribal Government."*

Thus, the applicant must be a government entity. However, applicants may design their studies in any number of ways. These designs may include collaborations with academic institutions and/or non-governmental organizations.

*Note that, in addition to being a government entity, the jurisdictions of County, City and Township applicants must have an estimated population of at least 100,000 residents, and the jurisdictions of Indian/Native American Tribe applicants must have an estimated population of at least 50,000 residents.

13. Is the District of Columbia eligible for this grant?

Yes. For the purposes of this grant program, the District of Columbia will be considered a State.

14. Are U.S. Territories and Possessions eligible for this grant?

Yes.

15. Are Indian/Native American Tribes eligible for this grant?

Federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribes with populations of at least 50,000 residents are eligible for this grant.

16. How will the reviewers determine whether an applicant's jurisdiction meets the minimum estimated population eligibility requirement?

For the purposes of this grant program, estimated populations will be determined by reference to specified U.S. Government data.

The estimated population of City and Township Governments will be determined by reference to the U.S. Census Bureau publication, Vintage 2014 Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2014 Population: April 14, 2010 to July 1, 2014, published May 2015, available at http://census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2014/index.html.

The estimated population of County Governments will be determined by reference to the U.S. Census Bureau publication, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014, published March 2015, available at http://www.census.gov/popest/data/counties/totals/2014/CO-EST2014-01.html.

The estimated population of federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribal Governments will be determined by reference to the U.S. Department of the Interior publication, 2013 American Indian Population and Labor Force Report, published January 2014, available at http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc1-024782.pdf.

No other sources of data will be used to determine the estimated size of an applicant's population.

17. Are grantees required to share information gathered from their activities carried out under the grant?

Applicants must commit to sharing any knowledge and promising practices gleaned from their research and analysis with non-participating jurisdictions at forthcoming events.

18. What application materials are required?

Applications submitted in response to this Announcement must consist of four separate and distinct parts:

  1. Form SF-424 ("Application for Federal Assistance");
  2. Project Budget;
  3. Project Narrative; and
  4. Attachments to the Project Narrative.

19. When are applications due?

Applications are due on July 15, 2015, by 4:00:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This is a firm deadline. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

20. Can we forward required application information separately from our official application submission?

Information should not be forwarded outside of the official application submission. Information received outside of the official application submission will not be included in or considered during the review process.

21. Where can I learn more about this grant program, including funded activities, applicant eligibility, application requirements, and selection criteria?

DOL's Employment and Training Administration, along with the Women's Bureau, will host a Prospective Applicant WebEx webinar on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions during the webinar. Interested prospective applicants must register for the webinar in advance of the event, by clicking on the following link: https://dol.webex.com/dol/onstage/g.php?MTID=e42ec175275fe6ea2a5fab43598fc12b2.

Participation is encouraged but it is not mandatory.

22. Where can I find answers to general FAQs about federal grant applications?

DOL's Employment and Training Administration has a webpage that contains helpful information about application submission and responsiveness requirements. This webpage is available at: http://www.doleta.gov/grants/Nonresponsive_Improvements_FAQs.cfm.

In addition, the Grants.gov website provides many useful resources for federal grant applicants — including registration instructions, application tracking, applicant tools and tips, and FAQs. These resources are available at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html.