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COVID-19 Work & Leave Scenarios For full-time and part-time staff

This summary is intended to serve as guidance through the expanded telework status that will continue until further notice.

The university’s operating status is “open,” and staff are expected to telework or, only where physical presence is required, work on campus for part or all of their duties. We understand that other developments prompted by COVID-19 may create difficulties for staff to meet work obligations during their typical hours. This guidance presents alternatives for staff and their supervisors to consider when these circumstances arise. 

If you have any questions about these scenarios or have other situations you would like HR to address, please contact us at hrpayrollhelp@american.edu

Staff member has childcare responsibilities due to school or childcare center closings or has responsibility for the oversight and well-being of other family members such as elderly parents. In this scenario, all family members are in good health. 

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows: 

  • Telework: The staff member is able to work either because the family member(s) does not require close supervision or because there is additional help at home. In this case, the staff member would telework from home. 
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual 
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual 
  • Bright Horizons: The staff member needs help to care for their family member(s) and is able to secure assistance on their own or through the university-sponsored Bright Horizons’ emergency back-up care benefit (available to full-time staff only). Bright Horizons is offered as a resource to staff and the university does not require using the service.
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework and Bright Horizons are not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor to consider either adjusting their schedules for the days they will work (e.g., Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.  
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual 
    • Biweekly – report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed” 
  • Administrative Leave: In the rare instances where none of the above options are possible, the staff member will need to discuss the situation with their supervisor. The supervisor will confer with their department head/HR representative, and upon confirmation of department head/HR representative, pay will continue through April 24th and the time will be reported as administrative leave.   
    • Monthly – report time not worked as administrative leave on the monthly leave report 
    • Biweekly – if not working their full regular schedule, the staff member should record time not worked as administrative leave with a note that says “COVID-19 schedule”; when signing the time sheet, the supervisor should add a note that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed” 

Staff member is caring for a spouse, child, or other family member who is ill with COVID-19 or was exposed to COVID-19 and is in quarantine.   

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows: 

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations as soon as possible to inform the university of the situation. This information will be used to help individuals who may have been exposed to a diagnosed faculty and staff member to take necessary precautions. As the university takes these steps, we will protect the privacy of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and will limit the sharing of personal information to the greatest extent possible. Individuals who are diagnosed can be assured that they will face no adverse employment action for coming forward. We are sensitive to the challenges that will be faced by faculty and staff who may be diagnosed with COVID-19, and are committed to supporting these community members if that occurs. 
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work either because the family member does not need much assistance or because there is additional help at home. In this case, the staff member would telework from home. 
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual 
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual 
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework is not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g., Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.  
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual 
    • Biweekly – report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed” 
  • FMLA/Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member should notify their department head/HR Representative of their situation. The staff member must notify HR Employee Relations of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Staff are eligible to apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Pay will continue through April 24th and will be reported as FMLA leave (if FMLA leave is applied for) or administrative leave (if the family member does not meet FMLA eligibility requirements). 
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section 
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section  

NOTE: These instructions are for COVID-19 related FMLA leaves only. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid (unless sick or annual leave is used) and will be reported and administered in accordance with the normal process. 

Staff member was exposed to COVID-19 and is in self-quarantine.

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations:The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations as soon as possible to inform the university of the situation.
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work because they are not suffering any ill effects from exposure to the virus. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Flex Days/Time: If a schedule change is needed due to self-quarantine, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g., Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • FMLA/Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member should notify their department head/HR representative of their situation. Staff are eligible to apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Pay will continue through April 24th and time ill be reported as FMLA leave (if FMLA leave is applied for) or administrative leave (if FMLA leave is not applied for).
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section

NOTE: These instructions are for COVID-19 related FMLA leaves only. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid (unless sick or annual leave is used) and will be reported and administered in accordance with the normal process.

Staff member is ill with COVID-19.

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations as soon as possible to inform the university of the situation.
  • Sick Leave: If the staff member is not well enough to work, the staff member can use accrued sick leave for up to two weeks. Donations from the leave pool are available if not enough sick leave is available.
    • Monthly – report sick leave and add a note on the report that says “COVID-19”
    • Biweekly – report sick leave and add a note that says “COVID-19”
  • FMLA/Short Term Disability Leave: If the illness is anticipated to extend beyond two weeks, eligible full-time staff should apply for Short Term Disability (STD) and/or Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an STD or FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Time will be reported as STD or FMLA leave, based on the leave approval.
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave (or STD leave if approved) and include “COVID-19” in the comment section; sick leave will continue to be applied if not yet exhausted
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave (or STD leave if approved) and include “COVID-19” in the comment section; sick leave will continue to be applied if not yet exhausted

Staff member has identified as higher risk per CDC guidelines. A staff member who identifies as higher risk whose position is designated as “Physical Presence Required” may decide to continue report to work, however, they are not required to. 

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member should contact Employee Relations soon as possible to inform the university of the situation.
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work because they are feeling well and are teleworking because they are higher risk. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Bright Horizons: The staff member needs help to care for their family member(s) and is able to secure assistance on their own or through the university-sponsored Bright Horizons’ emergency back-up care benefit (available to full-time staff only). Bright Horizons is offered as a resource to staff and the university does not require using the service.
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework and Bright Horizons are not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g., Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member will need to discuss the situation with their supervisor. Their supervisor will confer with their department head/HR representative and upon confirmation of department head/HR representative, pay will continue through April 24th and the time will be reported as administrative leave.
    • Monthly – report time not worked as administrative leave on the monthly leave report
    • Biweekly - if not working their full regular schedule, the staff member should record time not worked as administrative leave with a note that says “COVID-19 schedule”; when signing the time sheet, the supervisor should add a note that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”

Report COVID-19 Diagnosis

Faculty or Staff

If you or a family member have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you are required to work on-site but are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, notify Employee Relations.

Email Employee Relations