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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)-Related Leave for Postdoctoral Scholars and Graduate Student employees

The Office of the President has issued guidance regarding COVID-19 related administrative leave use by academic employees.  The guidance for supervisors is available at the campus COVID-19-Related Leave for Academic Appointees page. 

This paid administrative leave is available to salaried and hourly postdoctoral scholars and graduate student employees.  As indicated in the guidance, Paid Administrative Leave may be taken only when at least one of the following circumstances are met: 

  • When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member; or
  • When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely; or
  • When an employee is unable to work because a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.

If an employee themselves is ill or is caring for an ill family member, medical and sick leave under applicable university policy and collective bargaining agreements are also available in addition to the administrative leave program. 

Administrative leave should only be requested when the employee is unable to perform any work.  Alternate duties may be assigned and reasonable flexibility should be applied given the ever-changing situation.  Employees should consult with their supervisor or department chair regarding appropriate alternate duties.  

President Napolitano has stated that the use of paid administrative leave must not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services.  Delivery of instruction and UC Health clinical services are essential university service and thus every effort must be made to ensure their continuation.  The campus is working diligently to facilitate remote instruction. 

The Office of the President has allowed an extension of APM and collective bargaining agreement leave policies to allow leave that is normally available only for one’s own illness to to extend to cover a family member’s COVID-19 illness.

The COVID-19-Related Leave for Academic Appointees letter contains provisions specific to Postdoctoral Scholars-Paid Direct, Reader/Tutor hours, Work Study awards, by-agreement flat rate payment, and requirements for leave tracking. 

Additional Details

  • Employees may still use accrued sick, vacation or paid time off in order to address their own illness or the serious medical condition of a family member.
  • The 128-hour allotment may be used consecutively in one block or incrementally.
  • The paid administrative leave may be used prior to usage of accrued leave.
  • The allocation for employees with less than full time appointments (e.g., student employees) shall be prorated based on appointment percentage.
  • Subject to the University’s ongoing operational needs, the paid administrative leave provided pursuant to the Executive Order must be used during the period from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 for the reasons stated in the covered categories only. All hours must be used by December 31, 2020, or any remaining hours in the allotment expire.

Requesting Paid Administrative Leave

The employee should complete the Emergency Administrative Leave form (PDF), and submit it to their immediate supervisor. The request will be reviewed by the employee’s immediate supervisor who shall be responsible for determining whether to grant the administrative leave.

The employee will be contacted by the department and/or service channel leave administrator to assure FML designations are in place, if applicable, and to coordinate administrative leave and other applicable medical or personal leave as prescribed by the APM and/or collective bargaining agreement. If administrative leave is exhausted, the employee may be eligible to use accrued vacation, PTO or sick leave. Following approval, the department is required to submit a case to the service channel for leave to be entered into UCPath.

Determining Whether to Grant Administrative Leave

In making the determination whether to grant the leave, supervisors must take into account the operational needs of the University with special consideration given to the critical importance of maintaining the continuity of medical center operations. Supervisors are responsible for determining whether their employees may work remotely, whether they are performing essential functions and requiring employees to be at work on campus.

Essential functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical services delivered by UC Davis Health
  • Patient and animal care
  • Critical campus infrastructure
  • Diagnostic laboratories
  • Critical ongoing research
  • Delivering ongoing instruction

When a supervisor denies a request to use this emergency leave, the supervisor should inform the employee the basis for the denial and inform Employee & Labor Relations of the employee’s name, job title, and reason for denial.

Reporting Paid Leave

  • Davis Campus: The Time Reporting System (TRS) is updated for reporting approved COVID-19 related Emergency Administrative Leave (EAL). Visit the Time Reporting System (TRS) webpage for information.
  • UC Davis Health (Medical Center, Schools of Health): Employees on approved COVID-19 Emergency Administrative Leave (EAL) should record their time and attendance in Ecotime. View Ecotime Guide (.pdf)
  • Manual Leave Report: Departments must submit a case to manually report approved COVID-19 related Emergency Administrative Leave (EAL) to the appropriate Service Channel for employees unable to use a campus time reporting system.