D.10 Temporary COVID-19 Leave Policy

Policy No. D. 10.00

Date of Issue January 3, 2022, revised February 1, 2023


Temporary Nature and Policy’s Purpose
Due to the nature and the scope of the current COVID-19 outbreak, including the omicron variant, the university has decided to reinstate a limited, temporary paid-leave policy for eligible employees, all as provided for herein (the “COVID Leave”). The prior temporary policy effective March 23, 2020 expired as of March 31, 2021. This COVID Leave policy shall become effective on January 3, 2022 and shall continue in force until May 11, 2023. For the avoidance of doubt, this policy shall automatically terminate at 11:59 p.m. on May 11, 2023.


Employee Eligibility
To be eligible for COVID Leave, an employee must: (1) have worked for the university for a total of at least six months; and (2) have worked at least 625 hours over the previous six months as of the start of the leave.


Reasons for Leave
For the period that this policy is in effect, COVID Leave will be available to employees for only the following reasons: (i) to care for themselves or a family member (as defined herein) when their healthcare provider has certified that any such person has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, or (ii) to comply with the directive of a healthcare provider to self-isolate. For the avoidance of doubt, the five days of COVID Leave cannot be used for any other reasons.


Length of Leave
The maximum amount of COVID Leave is five (working) days. Any COVID Leave that has commenced prior to this policy’s termination date will be permitted to continue until expiration. For example, someone who was on COVID Leave as of May 12 will be allowed to continue the leave, but someone who took two days of COVID Leave that ended on May 1 would not be eligible for three additional days out of the office.


Notice and Certification
Employees requesting COVID Leave are required to provide:
  1. Notification to Human Resources of their desire to take COVID Leave;
  2. A completed Certification of Healthcare Provider form, which is available from Human Resources, within 5 calendar days, which certification only needs to certify that they or a family member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus or are displaying symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus or have been directed to self-quarantine; in the case of a governmental authority’s order to isolate or quarantine, just a copy of the order or a published summary thereof needs to be attached to the certification form; and
  3. When requested by Human Resources, documentation reasonably necessary to establish and/or verify that this policy’s conditions have been meet.


Compensation During Leave
COVID Leave is paid leave, akin to sick time. Specifically, during the COVID Leave, an employee will be paid his or her normal rate of pay. This paid leave will be supplemental to any other paid time off that an employee may have (e.g., sick time, vacation, and personal days). For example, if an employee tests positive for the COVID-19 virus and needs more than five days to recover, the employee will get paid for the first five days pursuant to this policy as COVID Leave; he or she may thereafter use any available sick time, vacation or personal days to cover the remaining time. For the avoidance of doubt, all unused COVID-19 Leave days will automatically expire on May 11, 2023.


Benefits During Leave
Contributions for group health benefits during the COVID Leave will continue on the same terms as they were prior to the commencement of leave. Length of service as of the COVID Leave date will remain intact. Benefits such as vacation will continue to accrue in accordance with applicable policies while on COVID Leave. Contributions to the university’s 403(b) plan will continue to be made in accordance with the plan documents during any period of COVID Leave.


Job Reinstatement
It is the university’s intention that employees will be reinstated to the same position held at the time of the COVID Leave or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. The right to reinstatement does not supersede any employment actions that would have taken place in spite of the leave. So, for example, if the position held by the employee when the leave began no longer exists due to economic conditions or other changes related to the public health emergency, the employee will not be reinstated.

An employee seeking to return to work from a COVID Leave must submit an acceptable release from a healthcare provider certifying that he or she can perform the essential functions of his or her job as those functions relate to the employee's reason for taking the leave in the first instance.


Relationship to FMLA
COVID Leave will count toward (i.e., run concurrently with) an employee’s 12-week leave entitlement under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The total amount of leave available under the FMLA remains 12 weeks. So, for example, if someone was to take eight weeks of leave to recover from the COVID-19 virus, five days would be paid leave and the remaining would be unpaid leave. The employee would have fully exhausted his or her COVID Leave time under this policy and eight of his or her 12 weeks of leave under the university’s FMLA policy.


“Family Member” includes the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent (but not a parent “in-law”). A “son” or ”daughter” is any child under 26 who is the biological child of the employee, who is adopted by the employee, or whom the employee supervises on a day-to-day basis and for whom the employee is financially responsible. A ”son” or “daughter” is also a child over 26 who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. A “parent” is any individual who assumed day-to-day and financial responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child.

“Healthcare Provider” is any doctor of medicine or osteopathy, podiatrist, optometrist, and nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife performing within the scope of their practice as defined under state law.