Original Issuance Date: March 17, 2020

Revision 1: March 31, 2020

Revision 2: April 21, 2020

Expiration Date: December 31, 2020

1.     Interim Policy Purpose

This is an emergency policy implementing leave provisions and workplace flexibility options during the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizing the health and safety of the UW System community. This emergency policyis intended to meet and exceed the UW System’s obligations under the federal and should be read asconsistent with that law.

This policy establishes standards for the continued pay and leave usage for UW System employees duringthe COVID-19 pandemic. To minimize the spread of the virus, many employees have been directed not to report to the workplace to facilitate social distancing. Many employees are able to perform their assigned duties remotely where possible and appropriate. Core operations must continue in this situation. Some employees will be required to perform their assigned duties on-site to maintain operations. Some employees cannot perform their assigned duties remotely; if these employees cannot perform their assigned duties, they may be directed to stay home. Employees may be reassigned to other duties as necessary based on operational need and capacity. The overarching goal is to keep our communities and institutions safe and healthy, while enabling as much of our mission-related activities to continue as possible.

2.     Related System Administrative Policies

This policy is in addition to the following leave policies in the UW System Administrative Policy 1200 series, including but not limited to:

3.     Scope

This policy applies to the following UW System employees: Faculty, Academic Staff, University Staff, Limited Appointees, Employees-In-Training, Graduate Assistants (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants and Program Assistants), and Temporary Employees.

Student hourly employees are not included in this policy. UW-Madison employees are not included in this policy.

4.     Definitions

Emergency Responder: An emergency responder is an employee who is necessary for the provision of transport, care, health care, comfort, and nutrition of such patients, or whose services are otherwise needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to military or national guard, law enforcement officers, correctional institution personnel, fire fighters, emergency medical services personnel, physicians, nurses, public health personnel, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, public works personnel, and persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency as well as individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility. This also includes any individual that the highest official of a state or territory, including the District of Columbia, determines is an emergency responder

Health Care Provider:A health care provider is anyone employed at any doctor’s office, hospital, health care center, clinic, post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, local health department or agency, nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider, any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, employer, or entity. This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions. This definition includes any individual employed by an entity that contracts with any of the above institutions, employers, or entities institutions to provide services or to maintain the operation of the facility. This also includes anyone employed by any entity that provides medical services, produces medical products, or is otherwise involved in the making of COVID-19 related medical equipment, tests, drugs, vaccines, diagnostic vehicles, or treatments. This also includes any individual that the highest official of a state or territory, including the District of Columbia, determines is a health care provider necessary for that state’s or territory’s or the District of Columbia’s response to COVID-19.

5.     Interim Policy Statement

This policy provides the following:

A. COVID-19 Leave

  1. Up to 272 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) shall be made available to employees unable to perform their assigned duties for the period of March 17, 2020 (3/17/20) through May 1, 2020 (5/1/20).  For hourly part-time employees, the amount of available leave is based on their average hours for a two-week period over the last six months, or over the duration of employment if employed less than six months.  This leave category expires on May 1, 2020 (5/1/2020).
  2. Up to 80 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) shall be made available to employees unable to perform their assigned duties for the period of May 2, 2020 (5/2/20) through December 31, 2020 (12/31/20). For hourly part-time employees, the amount of available leave is based on their average hours for a two-week period over the last six months, or over the duration of employment if employed less than six months. Any hours claimed under section 5 (A) (I) of this policy between the dates of April 1, 2020 (4/1/20) and May 1, 2020 (5/1/20) are counted against the hours available under this section 5 (A) (II). If less than 80 hours of COVID-19 Leave have been claimed by an employee between April 1, 2020 and May, 1, 2020, then the balance of the 80 hours remain available to the employee under this section. This leave category expires on December 31, 2020 (12/31/2020).

B. COVID-19 Leave Use

  1. Employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to use COVID-19 leave. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the inability to work remotely (telecommute or telework).
    • Diagnoses of COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis
    • Care of an immediate family member who has a diagnosis of COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis.
    • Care of an immediate family member subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine.
    • Child/elder care due to school/day care closures, or;
    • Any employee experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the US Secretary of the Treasury and the US Secretary of Labor.
  2. In instances where employees are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the type of work they perform (meaning the work cannot be performed remotely) but are assigned other duties that CAN be performed remotely, they cannot refuse a reassignment of duties in order to take COVID-19 leave.
  3. Employees may use COVID-19 leave prior to using any other accrued leave categories.
  4. COVID-19 leave use, including a determination that an employee is unable to perform their assigned duties, is subject to approval by the Chancellor or their designee(s) for campuses or the System President or their designee(s) for the Central Administration, that includes UW System Administration, UW Shared Services, and UW Extended Campus.
  5. Use of COVID-19 leave is only available to be claimed during the time period covering the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This policy expires on December 31, 2020.
  6. There is no entitlement to the COVID-19 leave after December 31, 2020.
  7. COVID-19 leave does not accrue, and may not be rolled-over or combined into other types of leave.
  8. Employees who are health care providers and emergency responders may be excluded from eligibility for COVID-19 Leave under this policy as determined by the Chancellor or their designee(s) for campuses or the System President or their designee(s) for the Central Administration, that includes UW System Administration, UW Shared Services, and UW Extended Campus.
  9. Hours claimed for COVID-19 leave on or after April 1, 2020 count against the 12 weeks of leave available under University of Wisconsin System Interim Policy 1200- Interim 03, FMLA Expansion.

6.     Supplemental Documents

H.R. 6201 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Families First Coronavirus Response Act