Staff COVID-19 Leaves Policy

Introduction

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Critical Support Personnel (CSP) are generally expected to report to campus if campus presence is requested by the University. Other employees are expected to telework if their job responsibilities can be performed remotely as approved by their supervisor. Due to varying needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the following leaves may be available to employees, whether at the worksite or working remotely.

 

COVID-19 Health Leave

During the COVID-19 pandemic, if employees must be absent from work due to their own illness related to COVID-19, they may apply for a COVID-19 Health Leave if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They have a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or any other COVID-19 symptoms identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are seeking a medical diagnosis of COVID-19.
  2. They have known exposure to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are exhibiting a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or any other COVID-19 symptoms identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. They have been advised to self-isolate or quarantine by a health care provider based on the health care provider's belief that they have COVID-19, that they may have COVID-19, or that they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Employees may be eligible to apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI) with appropriate documentation from a health care provider while on a COVID-19 Health Leave. Employees may also choose to use accrued sick pay, donated sick pay, or vacation pay in coordination with SDI for all or part of the leave. Medical documentation will be required for this leave.

 

COVID-19 Care Leave

During the COVID-19 pandemic, if employees must be absent from work

  1. to care for a qualified individual(1) who depends on care from the employee, AND
  2. that the qualified individual(1) for whom the employee is providing care either a) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of the health care provider's belief that the individual has COVID-19; b) may have COVID-19 due to known exposure or symptoms; c) is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19; or d) is subject to a Federal, State, or local isolation or quarantine order related to COVID-19,

then employees have the following options:

  1. Request to work remotely, with supervisor approval, if their job responsibilities can be performed through telework, as determined by the University. Employees may telework, even if the individual that needs care is present in the remote work location, so long as employees satisfactorily perform their job duties and work an agreed-upon schedule (either their normal work schedule or an alternate work schedule as approved by their supervisor).
  2. Employees may apply for a COVID-19 Care Leave if their job responsibilities cannot be performed through telework, they cannot reasonably perform telework while also providing care, or they are not permitted to telework by their supervisor.

Employees may be eligible to apply for Paid Family Leave (PFL) while on a COVID-19 Care Leave with appropriate documentation from a health care provider. Employees may also choose to use accrued sick pay, donated sick pay, or vacation pay in coordination with PFL for all or part of the leave. Medical documentation will be required for this leave.

 

COVID-19 Child Care Leave

During the COVID-19 pandemic, if employees must be absent from work

  1. to care for a child whose school or place of care has been physically closed for reasons related to COVID-19 OR to care for a child because their childcare provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19; AND
  2. there is no other suitable person available to care for their child during the period of absence,

then employees have the following options:

  1. Request to work remotely, with supervisor approval, if their job responsibilities can be performed through telework as determined by the University. Employees may telework even if their children are present in the remote work location, so long as employees are satisfactorily fulfilling their job duties and work an agreed-upon schedule (either their normal work schedule or an alternate work schedule approved by their supervisor).
  2. Employees may apply for a COVID-19 Child Care Leave if their job responsibilities cannot be performed through telework, they cannot reasonably perform telework while also providing childcare, or they are not permitted to telework by their supervisor.

Employees may be eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance while on an unpaid COVID-19 Child Care Leave. Employees may also choose to use accrued sick pay, donated sick pay, or vacation pay for all or part of the leave.

 

COVID-19 Distance Leave

During the COVID-19 pandemic, if employees must be absent from work

  1. due to being subject to a Federal, State, or local isolation or quarantine order related to COVID-19; OR
  2. because the University has directed the employee not to report to the workplace for a COVID-19 related reason, including that the employee is not currently assigned as a CSP,

then employees have the following options:

  1. Request to telework, with supervisor approval, if their job responsibilities can be performed through telework as determined by the University.
  2. Employees may apply for a COVID-19 Distance Leave if their job responsibilities cannot be performed through telework, they cannot reasonably perform telework or they are not permitted to telework by their supervisor.

Employees may be eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance while on an unpaid COVID-19 Distance Leave. Employees may also choose to use accrued sick pay, donated sick pay, or vacation pay for all or part of the leave.

 

Additional Information

COVID-19 related leaves are generally unpaid and will be granted for the necessary period of time up to a maximum of six (6) months (documentation may be required) for all COVID-19 related leaves. Any such leave will run concurrently with any other leaves to which the employee is otherwise entitled under applicable law (e.g., Family and Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, Sick Leave) or University policy.

During an approved COVID-19 leave, the University will continue most (although some exceptions apply) University-sponsored health insurance and welfare plans under the same terms and conditions that applied before the leave commenced. To continue coverage under health and/or welfare benefit plans, employees will be required to continue to pay their insurance premium contributions during the leave period (including premium payments for dependent coverage) that they would be required to make absent the leave. However, during any unpaid portion of the leave, the University may advance premium payments that an employee would otherwise be required to make to maintain such coverage, subject to and with the employee's agreement that on return to work, or upon separation of employment, the employee will be responsible to repay all such premium payments over a scheduled period of time.

Pepperdine University will make every effort to return employees on a COVID-19 Leave to their previous position at the end of their requested leave. However, reinstatement is not guaranteed except as may be otherwise required by law. Consistent with applicable law, the University reserves the right to recall employees from a COVID-19 Leave in order to maintain business continuity.

The above Leave policy will expire December 31, 2020, unless extended, or otherwise amended, by the University.

(1) Qualified individuals are an employee's child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law.

 

Resources

COVID-19 Leave Request Form

COVID-19 Leave Flowchart

Staff COVID Leave Pay Chart


Approved by UMC on June 18, 2020