COVID-19 FAQs

RESOURCES:

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. IF AN EMPLOYEE HAS APPOINTMENTS WITH MORE THAN ONE DEPARTMENT, HOW SHOULD PAL, EPSL, AND EFML BE HANDLED?

PAL, EPSL, and EFML should be split between the departments according to the appointment percentage worked by the employee in each department. The departments must work together to coordinate correct processing of COVID-19-related leaves.

2. FOR PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEES, DO PAL, EPSL AND EFML COUNT TOWARD COMPLETION OF THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD?

No, hours spent on paid or unpaid leave do not count toward successful completion of the probationary period. If an employee’s probationary period end date needs to be extended, please make sure to consult with your ELR Consultant prior to implementing the extension.

 3. HOW DO PAL, EPSL AND EFML IMPACT AN EMPLOYEE’S HOLIDAY PAY?

If a holiday falls during an employee's PAL, EPSL, and/or EFML, the employee would receive holiday pay instead of the respective paid leave for that day. For example, if an employee who is eligible for holiday pay is on PAL around Memorial Day (Monday, May 25), the employee would receive holiday pay on May 25, but would receive paid administrative leave on Friday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 26.

For more information on holiday pay, refer to PPSM-2.210: Absence from Work Section III.H.1 for policy-covered employees. Refer to the applicable collective bargaining agreement for represented employees.

4. HOW DO PAL, EPSL AND EFML IMPACT AN EMPLOYEE’S UC RETIREMENT?

As with paid vacation and sick leave, paid leaves such as PAL, EPSL, and EFML are treated the same as regular pay for UCRP and Savings Choice purposes. All retirement benefits (including UCRP Service Credit, HAPC, and employee and employer contributions to the DC Plan) accrue the same for paid leaves as they do for regular wages.

5. WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE WANTS TO STAY HOME AND SELFISOLATE BECAUSE HE OR SHE IS AFRAID TO COME TO WORK?

Effective March 20, 2020, the campus began operating similarly to the manner in which it does during the winter closure. Most on-campus operations are being conducted remotely, and only those operations determined to be essential are continuing onsite. Employees are encouraged to work remotely if they are approved to do so by the department and it is operationally feasible.

Employees who are experiencing anxiety over coming to work should be provided with contact information for the Staff & Faculty Counseling Center (310-794-0245), which can provide emotional support and resource referrals.

Employees who have a medical condition or disability and need to request a COVID-19-related job accommodation should be referred to Employee Disability Management Services (EDMS) to facilitate the job accommodation process. Contact EDMS at
[email protected].

Departments are encouraged to contact CHR Employee & Labor Relations if questions arise.

6. WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO EMPLOYEES WHO CANNOT WORK REMOTELY; FOR WHOM THERE IS NO AVAILABLE WORK; OR WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR OR HAVE EXHAUSTED PAL, EPSL AND/OR EFML?

If employees are unable to work remotely or do not have available work, they must talk to their supervisors to find out whether they can be redeployed to other assignments. Departments should explore potential reassignment opportunities within the organization. Departments may also contact Michael Yates, Manager, Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning, at [email protected] to find out if reassignment opportunities exist elsewhere on campus. If employees refuse a job reassignment, they may be placed on leave without pay (LWOP).

7. CAN AN EMPLOYEE BE REASSIGNED WORK THAT DIFFERS FROM HIS OR HER REGULAR JOB? 

The University requires an employee’s supervisor to analyze whether the employee can work on site or remotely in any capacity. This means that an employee may be reassigned to complete work within the employee’s classification, but that differs from the employee’s regular job assignments. If an employee is reassigned to perform work on campus, the employee should report to work.

Departments are encouraged to identify employees for whom there is no work available and refer them to the UCLA Talent Match Program so that CHR Employment Consultants can assist them in identifying reassignment job opportunities.

8. IF AN EMPLOYEE IS ON ERIT, HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE EMPLOYEE’S ELIGIBILITY FOR PAL, EPSL AND/OR EFML?

Employees on ERIT are eligible for PAL, EPSL and EFML at percentages commensurate with their ERIT appointment percentages. For example, if a full-time employee is on ERIT at 80%, the employee would be eligible for PAL, EPSL, and EFML commensurate with an 80% appointment.

9. CAN “CHILD CARE” BE INTERPRETED TO INCLUDE “HOMESCHOOLING” FOR PURPOSES OF UC EXPANDED PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE (PAL), EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE (EPSL) AND EXPANDED FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE (EFML)?

Eligible employees may use PAL, EPSL (under reason #5) and/or EFML if they are unable to work or telework because they are caring for their child whose school or place of care has closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. If the physical location where the employee’s child received instruction or care is now closed, the school or place of care is “closed” for purposes of EPSL and EFML. This is true even if some or all of the instruction is being provided online or via distance learning. If the employee cannot work or telework because their child needs assistance with remote learning, such assistance could constitute caring for their child under EPSL reason #5 or EFML. If employees request leave for this reason, they should be provided with the UC Employee Request for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family & Medical Leave (EFML). The form requires the employee to confirm that no other suitable person is available to care for the employee’s child during the period of leave. Employees must satisfy EPSL/EFML eligibility requirements in order to take these leaves. (Health care providers and emergency responders are not eligible to take EPSL under reasons #4 or 5, and are not eligible to take EFML.)  

10. CAN DEPARTMENTS INQUIRE ABOUT AN EMPLOYEE’S REASON FOR REQUESTING PAL?

Yes, departments may inquire for which of the reasons specified in the March 16, 2020 Executive Order the employee is requesting PAL. Employees must receive approval from their supervisor and/or department in order to take PAL.

11. IF AN EMPLOYEE REQUESTS PAL FOR COVID-19-RELATED ILLNESS, WILL THE EMPLOYEE BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION?

In order to refrain from overtaxing the health care system at this time, employees will generally not be asked to submit medical documentation when requesting PAL due to COVID-19-related illness. However, an employee who has exhibited a pattern of excessive or atypical absenteeism may be required to provide medical documentation on a case-by-case basis. Departments should consult CHR Employee & Labor Relations for guidance on whether it is advisable to request a medical note.

Note that when requesting EPSL or EFML, employees must complete the UC Employee Request for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family & Medical Leave (EFML).

12. ARE EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO SHOW PROOF THAT THEIR CHILD’S SCHOOL OR DAY CARE IS CLOSED IN ORDER TO RECEIVE PAL?

No; the school closures are well publicized. Given the emergency situation we are in, we do not want to burden parents with submitting proof that their children’s schools and day care centers are closed. Departments should simply ask employees to provide the name of their child’s school or day care center. If there are questions regarding the legitimacy of an employee’s use of PAL, please contact your Employee Relations Consultant.

Note that when requesting EPSL or EFML, employees must complete the UC Employee Request for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family & Medical Leave (EFML).

13. CAN EMPLOYEES USE SICK LEAVE IF THEY NEED TO TAKE TIME OFF FOR CHILD CARE REASONS DUE TO COVID-19?

For the period July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, policy-covered and exclusively represented staff employees may use accrued sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to a need to care for their children who are not attending school (or who cannot be at their places of care or with their child providers) because of COVID-19 precautions.

14. CAN EFML BE TAKEN TO CARE FOR A PARENT?

No; EFML may only be taken to care for a child. An employee may be eligible to care for a parent under EPSL if the parent is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order; or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.

AFSCME JOB REDEPLOYMENT

15. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE REDEPLOYED?

The UCLA Redeployment Program was specifically implemented for AFSCME (SX) employees who wish to voluntarily be considered for redeployment to UCLA Health. UCLA Health is seeking Senior Custodians and some Dining employees who are interested in redeployment opportunities at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Westwood) and at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. If employees in these classifications would like to be considered for redeployment to UCLA Health, please contact Mary Sipple at [email protected] to learn more about opportunities and the redeployment process.

UCLA TALENT MATCH

16. WHAT IS TALENT MATCH?

UCLA Talent Match is a job reassignment initiative managed by UCLA Campus Human Resources (CHR) that was developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Talent Match pairs job opportunities on campus and at UCLA Health with employees for whom there is insufficient work in their home departments. Department managers and supervisors can identify both impacted employees and available job opportunities by completing the Impacted Staff & Department Job Opportunities Form and forwarding it to CHR. Employees who are interested in participating in the program should discuss it with their supervisors.

17. ARE THE JOBS AVAILABLE THROUGH TALENT MATCH PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY?

Talent Match assignments are temporary and will last as long as the employee’s home department does not have enough work for the employee and the extra support is needed by the other department.

18. ARE ALL EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN TALENT MATCH?

Yes. Active Career, Contract, Limited, and Per Diem employees are eligible to participate if there is not enough available work in their home departments. Students should be directed to the online platform Handshake.

For Limited employees, hours worked while on reassignment count toward their 1,000-hour maximum.

19. CAN REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES BE REASSIGNED TO JOBS OUTSIDE OF THEIR BARGAINING UNITS?

Represented employees will generally be reassigned to jobs within their same bargaining unit and job classification, and which involve duties similar to that performed in their home department.

There is a possible exception for Teamsters (CX) employees to be reassigned to non-CX clerical and/or administrative jobs. The Talent Match team will determine whether such exceptions can be made.

MISCELLANEOUS

20. HOW SHOULD UNEMPLOYMENT QUESTIONS BE HANDLED?

Employees in Limited, Contract, Per Diem, and Casual/Restricted (Student) positions who are not working, or whose hours have been reduced, may be eligible for unemployment benefits and may file a claim with the Employment Development Department (EDD). Please note that unemployment benefits eligibility is determined by the EDD, and not by the University.

21. HOW CAN AN EMPLOYEE FILE AN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIM?

Unemployment claims can be filed online or by phone:

To file a claim online (recommended), go to UI Online.

To file a claim by phone, contact the EDD at 1-800-300-5616.

22. FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE UNABLE TO TAKE TIME OFF DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, IS UCLA PROVIDING ADDITIONAL TIME WITHIN WHICH TO BRING THEIR ACCRUAL BALANCES BELOW THE MAXIMUM?

President Drake approved an exception to PPSM-2.210 (Absence from Work) to allow policy-covered staff employees additional time to take vacation leave in order to bring their vacation accrual balances below the maximum, through June 30, 2021. During this period, employees will continue to accrue vacation leave. Departments are encouraged to work with employees to bring their balances below the maximum by June 30, 2021.

Employees who are near the vacation accrual limit may wish to consider donating vacation hours through the Campus Catastrophic Leave Program.

23. HOW SHOULD WORK-STUDY AWARDS BE HANDLED?

If a work-study student is actively working, the student will continue to use available work-study funds. If a student is not working, the student will be paid the rest of his or her work-study award until it has been exhausted.

24. WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE REQUESTS A COVID-19-RELATED ACCOMMODATION?

If an employee requests an accommodation (other than a COVID-19-related leave) in order to perform his or her job, the University must engage in the disability interactive process with the employee. Contact Employee Disability Management Services (EDMS) at [email protected].

25. DOES THE UNIVERSITY CONTINUE TO SUBSIDIZE BENEFITS PREMIUMS FOR PARTIAL-YEAR CAREER EMPLOYEES DURING SCHEDULED FURLOUGH PERIODS?

For Partial-Year Career employees who work in departments which implement furloughs annually, the University will continue to pay its portion of benefits premiums during the scheduled furlough periods.

COVID-19 ILLNESS AND REPORTING

26. WHAT IS THE REPORTING PROCESS IF AN INDIVIDUAL HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

If a faculty, staff, student, or third-party contractor/guest invited to the campus (“Invited Third Party”) reports to you that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been diagnosed as a presumptive case of COVID-19, and the individual has been present on UCLA property (outside the Health System facilities) 48 hours prior to or during the symptomatic period, follow the instructions below.

1. Initiate the UCLA COVID-19 reporting process per the email template below.

Subject line: “Confidential Report of Potential Covid-19 Incident”

Body: (1) Name of exposed employee and employee’s supervisor or name of exposed Invited Third Party and UCLA contact, (2) location on campus where individual last worked or visited and the date, (3) nature of incident (e.g., hospitalized for symptoms and under review for confirmation, awaiting test results, etc.), (4) contact number of the exposed employee, and (5) actions taken (e.g., referred to UCLA COVID Call Center, advised not to return to work until cleared, notified EH&S of potential Cal/OSHA reporting due to hospitalization, etc.).

IMPORTANT: Please send all emails with individual identifiers with “Confidential” written in the subject in email. Minimize notifications to any other individuals to ensure individual privacy protections. Campus officials will handle additional notifications or other needed actions.

2. Send the email notification to the appropriate campus authorities, as follows:

   a. Staff and Faculty

      i. Promptly email the UCLA COVID Call Center at [email protected].

      ii. If the staff or faculty member was exposed and/or infected during the course of work-related duties, direct the person to call the UCLA COVID Call Center at (310) 267-3300, which will provide an individualized assessment by a nurse, recommendations for testing, quarantine instructions, and a return to work date/guidance.

      iii. If the exposure was work-related and the individual was admitted into the hospital overnight for in-patient treatment beyond observation, call the EH&S Serious Injury Hotline at (310) 825-9797 within the 8-hour Cal/OSHA reporting timeframe.

      iv. Off-Hour Reporting: If the UCLA COVID Call Center is closed, direct the person to do the following:

         1. Do not go to work or report to campus until the individual has received instructions on the return to work date from the UCLA COVID Call Center.

         2. Call and leave a message at the UCLA COVID Call Center so that a nurse can contact the individual on the following business day.

         3. Direct the individual to notify his/her supervisor that he/she is not cleared for work. The supervisor should alert the Director or Dean of the Department that an individual was not cleared for work.

         4. Contact their primary care physician for advice, or go to urgent care or the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center Emergency Department (RRUCLAMC ED) if symptoms require urgent medical care.

   b. Students

      i. Direct the student to call the ASHE COVID-19 Hotline at (310) 206-6217. This hotline provides individualized assessment and instructions. Through this consultation, UCLA medical professionals will make recommendations for testing, isolation, and quarantine.

   c. Invited Third Parties

      i. Email the UCLA Exposure Management Team as soon as possible at [email protected] for purposes of case investigation of any UCLA affiliates who may have been exposed.

      ii. Direct the person to contact their primary care physician for advice, or go to urgent care or their local Emergency Department if symptoms require urgent medical care.

      iii. Direct the person to notify their UCLA contact that they are not cleared for work or other activities on UCLA property.

For further information, please refer to the Standard Operating Procedure for Responding to COVID-19 Cases on the UCLA Campus.

27. WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE DEVELOPS COVID-19-LIKE SYMPTOMS BUT HAS NOT ACTUALLY BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19?

There are many illnesses whose symptoms mimic those of COVID-19, including the cold and flu. The employee should be advised to stay at home and contact his or her primary care physician to obtain further instructions. Employees with COVID-19-like symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) should not be permitted to return to work without a doctor’s release. If you have questions, contact the UCLA Infectious Diseases Hotline at 310-267-3300.

TELECOMMUTING

28. WILL EMPLOYEES BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES SUCH AS INTERNET USAGE AND ELECTRICITY?

No, UCLA will not reimburse expenses to allow employees to work from home. Supply of lighting, internet, electrical service, furniture, and appropriate surrounding physical conditions are the responsibility of the employee. Temporary Telecommuting Agreements must be executed for employees who have been authorized to work remotely.

29. ARE STUDENT EMPLOYEES PERMITTED TO TELECOMMUTE?

If the department determines that it is operationally feasible, student employees may be permitted to telecommute. Temporary Telecommuting Agreements must be executed for student employees who have been authorized to work remotely.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

30. WHAT IS CURRENT THE PROCESS FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS?

UCPD and the HRPOC have resumed LiveScan fingerprinting appointments. LiveScan appointments offered through Athletics have been temporarily suspended. Universal Background Screening (UBS) is available, although processing times may be longer than usual. If approval is obtained to hire an employee into a critical position, the offer letter must contain contingency language advising the individual that his or her employment is “contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check via Universal Background Screening and/or LiveScan fingerprinting.”

CAMPUS CATASTROPHIC LEAVE PROGRAM

31. IF AN EMPLOYEE HAS EXHAUSTED (OR IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR) COVID-19-RELATED LEAVES AND HAS EXHAUSTED VACATION, SICK, AND CTO ACCRUALS, CAN THE EMPLOYEE APPLY FOR CATASTROPHIC LEAVE?

Catastrophic Leave is not intended to be used simply when leaves and accruals have been exhausted. Rather, it is a program that permits temporary salary and benefits continuation for a staff employee who accrues vacation and who has exhausted all paid leave accruals in order to address circumstances such as the employee’s own catastrophic illness or injury, to care for a catastrophically ill or injured family member, to deal with the death of a family member, or to address a catastrophic casualty loss suffered due to a terrorist attack, fire, or natural disaster. For more information on eligibility, visit: Campus Catastrophic Leave Program.

32. ARE REPRESENTED EMPLOYEES PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CATASTROPHIC LEAVE PROGRAM?

Certain collective bargaining agreements permit employee participation. Represented employees should refer to their respective collective bargaining agreements to determine whether they allow for such participation.

33. ARE ACADEMIC PERSONNEL PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain academic personnel who accrue vacation leave are permitted to donate vacation accruals to specified campus staff recipients or the Campus Catastrophic Leave Central Bank. However, these academic personnel are not eligible to receive donated Catastrophic Leave hours.

34. HOW MANY CATASTROPHIC LEAVE HOURS MAY AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVE FROM THE CENTRAL BANK?

The number of hours an employee may receive depends on the availability of hours in the Bank. During the COVID-19 pandemic, donations from the Bank will be limited to 40 hours in order to extend the benefit to as many employees as possible.

35. HOW MANY VACATION HOURS ARE EMPLOYEES PERMITTED TO DONATE?

The Program normally allows employees to donate the lesser of 50% of their vacation balance or 80 hours, in a 12-month period. During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees will be permitted to donate as many vacation hours as they wish, provided that they maintain a balance of at least 80 hours in their own banks.

RESOURCES

36. IS THE STAFF & FACULTY CENTER (SFCC) OPEN?

Yes. Counselors at the Staff & Faculty Counseling Center are available by phone to provide confidential counseling services. Contact SFCC at (310) 794-0245.

37. IS EMPLOYEE DISABILITY MANAGEMENT SERVICES (EDMS) OPEN?

Yes. Disability Management Consultants are available to facilitate the job accommodation process and to respond to requests for accommodation. Email [email protected] to request contact from a consultant or complete a Request for Reasonable Accommodation.