Policies & Contracts

529 - Temporary Policy on Pay and Leave Time Related to COVID-19

Subject: Temporary Policy on Pay and Leave Time Related to COVID-19

Section: U529

Date: March 19, 2020


Purpose:

The spread of the coronavirus has disrupted daily life for every member of our campus community and required each of us to dramatically adapt to ensure the University continues its essential work, while also protecting our families, our colleagues, our community, and ourselves. As such, this policy will provide eligible staff employees, based in the United States, with paid time off if they are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19 during the 2019-2020 academic year, including the inability to work remotely, personal illness, and/or the need to quarantine or provide for family care.

who is governed by this policy:

This policy applies to all U.S. based staff employees– both benefits and non-benefits eligible employees, including temporary and seasonal employees and those who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Policy statement:

All eligible U.S. based employees may, with written approval from their supervisor, take up to 6 weeks leave, based upon regularly scheduled hours, of additional paid time off (at the straight time rate, if applicable) that can be used for reasons related to COVID-19 during the current fiscal year, including the inability to work remotely, personal illness and the need to quarantine or provide family care. This leave may be taken in single day increments or, if approved, as a block leave.   

Leave Related to COVID-19 may be used if the employee cannot work (or cannot work from home) because of the following reasons:

  • The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • The employee is seeking a medical diagnosis because the employee is experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
  • The employee needs to care for their child if the child’s school or child care location has been closed, or if the child care provider of the child is unavailable due to COVID-19
  • The employee’s work location has either ceased operations due to COVID-19 or scaled back operations and is temporarily unable to provide the employee with work

While it is recommended that any employee experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 be in touch with their healthcare provider, those staff employees who are presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are unable to perform work remotely will be eligible for use of the leave. Testing for COVID-19 and/or physician documentation is not required for use of the COVID-19 bank hours. 

Essential employees, as determined by the individual department, may be required to report to work as their presence is essential to the safety of the University and surrounding community. Employees must provide written notice to their supervisor of the need for COVID-19 Leave as soon as practicable and receive prior written approval for the leave. Employees must follow any department call-off procedure. Supervisors may request supporting documentation for absences of more than three days, however use of this leave will not be delayed if supporting documentation has not been received. Employees must record each time this leave is taken in the appropriate time off calendar.

Depending on the reason(s) for and duration of the leave, FMLA may run concurrent with COVID-19 Leave. If FMLA leave is applicable, additional paperwork may be required.

roles and responsibilities:

Governed Party Roles and Responsibilities 
Employee The Employee is responsible for timely requesting COVID-Leave and any additional necessary documentation to their supervisor, HR Partner and Leave Administration.
Supervisor The Supervisor is responsible for setting time off request procedures, ensuring they are followed, staying in regular contact with the employee on leave as appropriate, and entering and approving the time off calendar.
HR Partner The HR Partner is responsible to act as a liaison to ensure employees and Leave Administration have all the necessary information, and to complete the required return to work business process in Workday. 



key contacts:

Name Email Extension
Center of Expertise - Benefits: Leave Administration leaveadministration@uchicago.edu 2-9634
Administrative updates: March 27, 2020