Time Away for Faculty, Staff, and Student Workers for COVID-19
University Emergency Paid Leave
What It Is
The University provides emergency paid leave when employees and student workers:
- Are unable to work or work remotely due to COVID-related illness
- Need to quarantine or isolate because of exposure to COVID-19
- Must care for someone who is ill with COVID-19
- Must care for a child whose school or childcare is closed or unavailable or help with the relocation of a college-age child due to COVID-19 (or if a student worker must take time off to relocate)
- Need time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine
- Have an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine and need time off to recover or who need to care for a family member who has a reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine
Employees: Up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time employees) for eligible employees. In any given week during the emergency, the employee may use up to the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work.
Student workers: Eligible student workers can take paid emergency leave equal to the number of hours they work on average over a two-week period. So a student who works an average of 15 hours a week would qualify for up to 30 hours of paid leave.
How to Request Leave
Employees: Inform your supervisors and request time off in the My Time tab in MyU. Click on the Request Time Off button. Under "Filter by Type" and "Absence Name," choose "Excused Paid." Under "Reason," choose "Emergency Pandemic."
Students: Inform your supervisor. Either the student worker, their supervisor, or the unit time/absence administrator should enter leave hours equal to the normal schedule on the time sheet.
- Navigate to MyU > My Time > Submit Timesheet.
- Report daily time.
- Using the drop-down menu, update the Time Reporting Code (TRC) to Emergency Pandemic Hourly.
- Click Submit.
Benefits, including the employee health plan, will continue for employees while on Emergency Paid Leave related to COVID-19. UPlan Medical Plan participants using Medica will have COVID-19 tests covered. If you are ill due to COVID-19 for an extended period and have short-term disability insurance, contact UNUM.
If you have questions about COVID-related leaves or eligibility, please contact your unit's HR representative, or email or call the OHR Contact Center at email@example.com, 612-624-8647, or 800-756-2363.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have an immunocompromised employee. Do I need to get additional medical documentation to approve the employee working remotely?
The University of Minnesota’s Work. With Flexibility. Operational Guidelines is a helpful resource to navigate scenarios like this. In short, an employee with medical concerns may request a flexible work arrangement as an accommodation. Please see the The Job Accommodation Process: A Guide for Supervisors for more information regarding how to talk to employees about potential accommodations. Supervisors are also encouraged to contact their local HR representative or the Disability Resource Center if there are additional questions.
What types of releases and returns to work are required?
The University is not requiring a doctor’s note before departure from the workplace, for use of sick leave or medical leave, or for proof of ability to return to work. This is a unique situation, and the University is focused on keeping our employees and student workers safe.
What should I do if employees who have been quarantined/isolated and have applied for worker's compensation?
What about staff who have used up their sick and vacation time?
What happens if I am Labor Represented or Civil Service and run out of sick time?
Eligible employees who become ill with COVID-19 are covered under the Emergency Paid Leave through 2023 with up to 80 hours of paid leave for full-time staff and those working part-time will receive paid leave hours proportionate to the time they work. Beyond that time, you can use employee-elected short-term disability insurance.
What if I am a Faculty member or P&A and need to be out for a period of time due to sickness?
Eligible employees who become ill with COVID-19 are covered under the Emergency Paid Leave in 2023 with up to 80 hours of paid leave for full-time faculty and staff and those working part-time will receive paid leave hours proportionate to the time they work. Beyond that time, you may be eligible for Academic Disability.
Can emergency leave be entered intermittently?
Yes. The employee and supervisor will need to discuss using a consecutive leave versus an intermittent leave, similar to Family Medical Leave. Supervisors can consult with their local HR staff if they need additional information on leaves.
Can employees donate sick leave?
There is not a sick time donation program available at this time.
I see that if I'm sick for more than eight days, and I'm enrolled in the short-term disability plan, I should call UNUM. Does time in quarantine count toward the eight days?
Eligible employees who become ill with COVID-19 are covered under the Emergency Paid Leave in 2023 with up to 80 hours of paid leave for full-time staff and adjusted down based on the percentage of time worked. Beyond that time, you can use your available sick leave and your employee-elected short-term disability insurance.