Personnel Policy Guidance and Resources for Philippines Typhoon Relief

DEANS, DIRECTORS, DEPARTMENT CHAIRS and ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS

Re: Personnel Policy Guidance and Resources for Philippines Typhoon Relief

Dear Colleagues:

In response to the tragic consequences of the typhoon in the Philippines and our concerns about employees who may be affected by or responding to the disaster, we are issuing guidelines on options that are available to departments and employees in the event that leave and/or other support services are required.

Leave Policies
Administrative leave with pay is available during natural disasters or other emergencies under PPSM Absence from Work Policy, section F.1 Administrative Leave for Emergencies. In consultation with Campus Human Resources, Organization Heads may approve administrative leave with pay to address situations where employees are affected or are responding to disasters. With regard to the Philippines Typhoon, administrative leave with pay may be provided for:

  • Employees who are members of UC-sponsored response teams sent to assist with the relief efforts based on their special skills and training, such as nurses, search and rescue personnel, hydraulics experts, and others with expertise in disaster relief work. (Employees involved with University-sponsored relief efforts are covered by the University’s workers’ compensation insurance as long as an employee’s supervisor approves the employee’s participation in the emergency relief activity.)
  • Employees who are involved with official relief efforts sponsored by agencies such as FEMA, the Red Cross and other sanctioned organizations, subject to prior approval of their supervisor.
  • Employees who were traveling in the area at the time of the disaster and became stranded.

As relief efforts will be ongoing for some time, the amount of paid leave that is granted is wholly dependent upon the particular circumstances of each employee, taking into account the type of relief work being performed and the department’s operational considerations.

For employees who wish to participate in the Philippines relief efforts with agencies that have requested assistance, prior approval from management and the central Human Resource Office (contact information below) must be obtained before granting administrative leave with pay.

When administrative leave with pay is not appropriate, departments have the discretion to allow employees to use their accrued vacation, compensatory time off, leave without pay or other applicable policies. Examples are noted below:

  • Employees who on their own initiative wish to volunteer to assist with relief work. In instances of employee-initiated relief efforts, these employees should be made aware of their potential liability when they are on leave without pay.
  • For employees who need to assist or care for family and friends directly affected by the disaster, applicable policies or collective bargaining agreements govern the use of sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave and family and medical leave.

UCLA Catastrophic Leave Program 
The Catastrophic Leave Program is available to provide assistance to staff employees covered by PPSM Absence from Work Policy, section F.1 Administrative Leave for Emergencies who are affected by the disaster and who may have special skills to  participate in the relief efforts but do not have sufficient paid leave to cover absences. The program allows an employee to donate accrued vacation credits to another employee when the recipient employee does not have sufficient vacation balances or other paid leave credits and is:

  • Needed to assist family who have been directly affected by the typhoon in the Philippines or;
  • An employee with special skills (e.g., medical personnel, scientific and technical personnel, environmental health and safety personnel) who is a member of a University-sponsored response team organized on a University-wide or local basis to assist with relief efforts associated with a state-declared or federally-declared disaster or;
  • An employee who wishes to participate in emergency response efforts with agencies that have requested assistance (e.g., FEMA, the Red Cross).

UCLA campus guidelines for the Catastrophic Leave Program will be applied in determining the methods for donating and tracking vacation credits. Supervisors and managers need to submit employee requests to the appropriate offices, i.e. Campus Human Resources, Health System Human Resources, or Academic Personnel (see contact information below). The Catastrophic Leave Donor Form and the Recipient Application Request are available in Related Information. 

403(b) Plan — Emergency Loans and Hardship Withdrawals
The University offers several options for emergency loans for employees in need of financial assistance. Employees who participate in UC's 403(b) Plan may borrow their own funds for emergency needs or, if ineligible for a loan, they may be able to take a hardship withdrawal. For loans and hardship withdrawals, plan participants should call Fidelity at 1-800-558-9182.

Employee Assistance Program
Dealing with emergencies such as the typhoon in the Philippines can take a serious toll on all of us. Professionals at the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center are available to help employees deal with the impact of these circumstances. The Center can be reached at (310) 794-0245.

If you or your staff have questions regarding the Catastrophic Leave Program, please contact Manager Lazetta Smith in Campus Human Resources at lazetta@chr.ucla.edu or Director Maure Gardner in Health System Human Resources at mgardner@mednet.ucla.edu. For academic-related policy questions, contact Associate Director Esther Hamil in the Academic Personnel Office at ehamil@conet.ucla.edu.

Sincerely,

 

Carole Goldberg
Vice Chancellor
Academic Personnel 
Lubbe Levin
Associate Vice Chancellor
Campus Human Resources
Mark A. Speare
Chief Human Resources Officer
Health Sciences