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

This summary serves as guidance for work and leave scenarios in connection with the return to campus in fall 2021.

In August 2021, the university implemented a hybrid work environment where some staff positions require a full-physical presence while others work some days on campus and the balance from a remote location in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.

We understand that developments prompted by COVID-19 can create additional challenges for staff to meet their work obligations during typical hours. Therefore, this guidance covers alternatives, leave options, and time sheet procedures for staff and supervisors to utilize when these circumstances arise.

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

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:

  • Self-Report: The staff member is required to report symptoms or self-quarantine status on the AU Forward Portal as soon as possible to inform the university of the situation, as outlined in the Health and Safety Directive: Self Screening and Reporting.
  • Follow the steps outlined in the Health and Safety Directive: Requirements Following COVID-19 Exposure, Positive Test, or Suspected Infection to determine testing and quarantining protocols.
  • Remote Work: With the supervisor’s approval, the staff member may work from home if they are not suffering any ill effects from exposure to the virus and their position is designated in hybrid modality.
    • Time sheet guidance - complete leave report or time sheet as usual; no leave required for those days.
  • 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.
    • Time sheet guidance - complete leave report or time sheet as usual; no leave required for those days.
  • If position duties cannot be performed remotely and staff hold positions designated as full presence, the staff member should notify their department head/HR representative of their situation.
    • Time sheet guidance - report sick leave or sick leave donation as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section.

Staff member is ill with COVID-19.

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

  • Self-Report: The staff member is required to report a COVID diagnosis on the AU Forward Portal as soon as possible to inform the university of the situation, as outlined in the Health and Safety Directive: Self Screening and Reporting.
  • Follow the steps outlined in the Health and Safety Directive: Requirements Following COVID-19 Exposure, Positive Test, or Suspected Infection to determine testing and quarantining protocols.
  • 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.
    • Time sheet guidance- report sick leave or sick leave donation and add a note on the report that says “COVID-19.”
  • FMLA/Short Term Medical Leave: If the illness is anticipated to extend beyond two weeks, eligible full-time staff should apply for Short Term Medical Leave (STML) and/or unpaid job protection in the form of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an STML or FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Time will be reported as STML or FMLA leave, based on the leave approval.
    • Time sheet guidance – report FMLA leave (or STML leave if approved) and include “COVID-19” in the comment section.

Family member/unvaccinated child is ill, exposed to COVID-19 and quarantined, or K-12 schools close.

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

  • Explore Bright Horizons for school closings: Register for caregiving benefits under theBright Horizons plan to include in-center or home care giving at subsidized rates.
  • Remote Work: The staff member is able to work from their home either because the family member does not need much assistance or because there is additional help at home. In this case, with supervisor advance approval, the staff member could work remotely.
    • Time sheet guidance - complete leave report or time sheet as usual 
  • Flex Days/Time: If remote work 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 while allowing them to serve their job functions.
    • Time sheet guidance – complete leave or time sheet report as usual. Hours worked should total regular weekly hours.
  • Sick Leave: If the staff member is caring for a sick family member, they can use accrued sick leave for up to two weeks. Donations from the leave pool are available if not enough sick leave is available.
    • Time sheet guidance - report sick leave or sick leave donation and add a note on the report that says “COVID-19.”
  • FMLA: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, or for situations that involve caregiving in excess of 2 weeks, the staff member should notify their department head/HR Representative of their situation. Staff are eligible to apply for unpaid job protection in the form of Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781.
    • Time sheet guidance – report FMLA leave as applicable and include “COVID-19” in the comment section.

NOTE: These instructions are for COVID-19 related FMLA leave only. All other FMLA leaves will be reported and administered in accordance with the normal process.