4/13/20 | 7:30 am | Managers: Additional context – What you need to know about employees taking leave related to COVID-19

In light of implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is understandable that we are all trying to determine how best to manage for operations and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our workforce. Some questions have come forward about leave options, inclusive of what is available to our workforce and what considerations were made.

Background:

  • It is essential that we deliver on our mission to serve the public health, continue research efforts and sustain educational endeavors.
  • We want to ensure continuity for the roles that directly support these missions including those on the front line of defense against this virus, as well as those who are supporting them.
  • Based on our present circumstances, and for the wellbeing of our workforce as a whole, it is imperative that we minimize risk to those serving on the front line.  This has resulted in us asking those who can work from home to do so.
  • In these scenarios, employees are being paid for their time and effort.

Options:

  • For those whose work is not required to be conducted on campus, several resources have been made available to maximize effectiveness while working remotely.  Human Resources and IMS have partnered to provide webinars, guides and time to assist with this.
  • In these cases, you should be reviewing the available resources and, if need be, working with your respective HR partner to assess options.  If you do not know who your HR partner is, please contact HRPartners@uthscsa.edu.
  • For those who are unable to work from home or on campus performing their regular duties, we suggest supervisors and leaders work with their departmental leadership and their respective HR partner to repurpose the efforts of these employees to work activities that can be performed from home or activities needed on campus in the defense against this virus.
  • For those who are unable to perform any type of work from home or on campus, benefits are presently available to us above and beyond what the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides.  The act provides 2/3 pay at capped dollar amounts.

Recap of what benefits are available:

  • For employees who are ill, under mandatory quarantine or unable to work due to child care needs, we have temporarily extended the definition for use of sick leave to align with the federal act (FFCRA) and will cover these scenarios with the employee’s available sick leave.
  • Some employees who have child care needs and have duties that can be completed at home do so through alternative work arrangements such as flex schedules.
  • For employees who cannot work from home and cannot repurpose their efforts, we have temporarily extended the use of sick leave for such situations.
  • With the provision of allowable usage of sick leave and follow up support using emergency leave as appropriate, this currently allows employees to have full pay, retain their personal and vacation leave balances as well as their employee benefits.

We are pleased to be able to offer these additional resource options during this time. Please refer to the COVID-19 site for updates. With the fluidity of the situation, we will be assessing our organizational conditions. And with the ongoing pandemic situation, we will continuously evaluate what options are available to us. Thank you for your leadership and support during these extraordinary conditions. We are all having to flex and rise to the occasion to ensure a path forward for our institution and our community at large.

Article Categories: Human Resources