COVID-19 Expanded Leave

Posted March 23, 2020

Stetson University has been proactive in establishing a safe and certain working environment for its staff. As the president previously announced, staff will be paid throughout this tumultuous and unprecedented semester, and the university recently approved many staff to work off campus, remotely, for some or all of their job responsibilities. Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment not only for the students who are still residing on campus, but also for the faculty and staff who are here providing services to those students and one another. We are monitoring on-going guidance from the Florida Department of Health and our Governor’s Office along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you so much for keeping our students and your colleagues continuing health and success top of mind.

Continuing our commitments to one another, the university is announcing a series of temporary measures to assist staff members impacted by the current situation. The first is an expansion of work leave policy for those affected by COVID-19 illness and child care responsibilities.

Effective immediately, Stetson will provide 75 hours (80 hours if that is your normal, two-week hourly work commitment) of COVID-19-related leave for full-time staff in addition to sick and vacation time. Part-time staff will receive the same benefit but with a total number of hours that is proportional to the average work hours. These hours are to be used if a staff member is unable to work, even remotely, for the following reasons:

  • A staff member is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order regarding COVID-19.
  • A staff member has been advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 and has medical documentation.
  • A staff member has medically documented symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A staff member is caring for an individual subject to the qualifying events listed above and has medical documentation to that effect.
  • A staff member is caring for a minor child because the child’s school or place of care has closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions and alternative child care options cannot be secured.

We also realize that prior to some of the COVID-19 qualifying events above, there may be a time of uncertainty regarding potential work-limiting illness. With that in mind, we are including an additional level of approved leave. If a staff member is feeling ill, Stetson will provide an additional two days of paid leave so the individual can determine if the symptoms are COVID-19 related.  Once the individual receives a medical diagnosis confirming the virus, they can access the 75 hours described above.

In the event that this additional COVID-19-related paid leave is exhausted, a staff member may use sick or vacation time, as appropriate to the situation and with the typical approvals required.  Human Resources will work with a staff member who does not have any sick or vacation time on a case-by-case basis. This additional COVID-19-related leave will be available for the rest of the spring semester and will then be re-evaluated.

Stetson will allow employees who have been employed for at least 30 days to use FMLA when an employee is unable to work or telework and must care for a minor child because the child’s school or place of care has closed or because the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency regarding COVID-19.

All scheduling and leave arrangements must be coordinated in conjunction with the vice presidents/athletics director/Dean of Stetson Law, department head, and Human Resources. Non-COVID-related illness and regular vacation time should be reported per Stetson’s regular policies. COVID-19-related leave will be recorded through the Banner time entry process.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: If I am asked to self-quarantine by Stetson, a health care provider, or federal, state, or local health authorities, does COVID-19-related leave apply to me?

A: Yes. The university created the program specifically for this situation and for other related COVID-19-specific circumstances.

Q: I have been approved to work remotely and I am able to coordinate my child or other care arrangements and still accomplish my job duties. Do I have to take COVID-19-related leave?

A: No. As long as you are approved for remote work and are completing your assignments during regular work hours, you are assumed to be continuing your responsibilities. The leave is designed for circumstances where COVID-19 related illness or child-care responsibilities mean that you can’t work.

Q: My child’s school or place of care is closed. Can I take COVID-19-related leave?

A: It depends. Your vice presidents/athletics director/Dean of Stetson Law and department head will first determine if there are work-from-home options that will also enable to you provide appropriate care to your minor child. If no options are available, COVID-19-related leave will be available.

Q: Do I have to have medical documentation if I am requesting COVID-19-related leave for COVID-19 illness?

A: Yes

Q: What if I need additional leave after I have exhausted the COVID-19-related leave?

A: With your vice presidents/athletic director/Dean of Stetson Law’s approval, you may utilize accrued sick or vacation time as appropriate.

Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development