COVID-19 - UCR Staff Q & A
The UCR Covid-19 Staff Q & A is a resource for UCR staff to get information and policy updates regarding the campus impact from the COVID-19 including: Paid Administrative Leave, Telecommuting/Parking and Students and Other Part-Time Employees. We have prepared two sets of Questions and Answers for employees as it relates to COVID-19 – UC Systemwide (UCnet) and UCR Supplemental Q & A. For a printable version of this page, please click here.
- Important changes to UC benefits programs for relief during the pandemic – 6.02.20
- UC Regents approve loans and withdrawals from UC Retirement Savings Program plans for those impacted by COVID-19 – 6.02.20
- COVID-19 Related Leaves and Job Protections Guidance for Policy-Covered and Represented Staff Employees - 4th issuance - 5.15.20
- COVID-19 Related Leaves and Job Protections Guidance for Policy-Covered and Represented Staff Employees - 3rd issuance - 5.04.20
- COVID-19 Related Leaves and Job Protections Guidance for Policy-Covered and Represented Staff Employees - 2nd issuance 4.27.20
- COVID-Related Paid Administrative Leave Guidance - 4.24.20
UC Systemwide (UCnet) Q & A
Q & A provided by UCnet
- What steps should be taken if an employee becomes ill with fever, cough or other concerning symptoms?
- Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) entitle an employee to take leave to avoid contracting COVID-19?
- Should UC require an employee who is out sick (not due to COVID-19) to provide a health care provider’s note?
- May UC prohibit an employee from coming to work if the employee is known to have contracted COVID-19 themselves, or to have had close contact with someone who has?
- Do the same leave policies apply to represented and non-represented employees?
- What signs and symptoms may indicate that an employee has become ill with COVID-19?
- What additional steps should be taken if an employee is suspected to be ill with COVID-19 at work?
- May UC require an employee who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 and directed to remain quarantined or practice social distancing, or an employee who contracted COVID-19, to provide a certification from a health care provider before returning to work?
- Must UC grant leave to an employee who is sick with COVID-19?
- Must UC allow employees who are parents or caregivers time off from work to care for sick family members?
- Does the foregoing advice, with regard to leave, also apply to academic employees?
For additional information from systemwide UC, please visit UCNet – Questions/Answers Related to the Coronavirus 2019 Outbreak.
UCR Supplemental Questions/Answers Related to Employees
1. As of 4/02/2020 – is the UCR campus closed?
Update: The Riverside County Public Health Officer has issued a revised public health order, extending the current physical closure of the UC Riverside campus for all but essential personnel supporting critical university functions through June 19, 2020.
“Closed” in this context means all offices, units or departments will not have staff on campus unless they are essential personnel, and many staff may be working remotely. In addition, all on-campus events are cancelled until further notice. All in-person, non-essential gatherings on campus are suspended until further notice.
Paid Administrative Leave
2. As of March 16, what paid leave provisions are available to employees?
The University has modified the special paid administrative leave policies. The initial UCR COVID-19 Staff Guidelines were issued on March 12, 2019, but have been revised in accordance with the Executive Order issued by President Napolitano on March 16. These new guidelines are attached and include the following key changes:
- A single allocation of up to 128 hours (16 days) vs. 112 hours (14 days).
- Part-time employees receive paid leave based on their appointment percentage if they work a fixed schedule (i.e., 50% employee can receive up to 64 hours of paid administrative leave). Part-time students that have a variable schedule are eligible based on the formula noted below under Student and Other Part-Time Employees.
- Must be used by 12/31/20.
- Paid administrative leave can be used in hour increments, as well as full day increments, and does not need to be consecutive days.
3. Under what circumstances can employees use the paid leave provision?
This particular leave may only be used for the following reasons all of which relate to COVID-19:
- When the employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to work for COVID-19 related reasons and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely.
- When an employee is unable to work because of a COVID-19 related school or daycare closure that requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent. (regardless of whether the child is sick or not).
- When an employee has been ordered to “shelter in place” and is not able to work remotely.
4. Is the 128 hours paid leave provision work days or calendar days?
5. For full-time exempt employees, can paid administrative leave be taken in less than full-day increments?
For exempt employees, use of Paid Administrative Leave is in full-day increments; a day is defined as the regular time that an appointee would have worked on that day regardless of the actual number of hours worked per day. For such exempt employees, there will be up to 16 days on which the Paid Administrative Leave would occur.
6. Must the 128 hours paid leave be taken in a single instance (consecutive) or can it be broken up?
Paid administrative leave can be used in hour increments (non-exempt or part-time exempt), as well as full-day increments (full-time exempt employees), and does not need to be consecutive days.
7. Do employees have to deplete their sick, CTO, and vacation accruals prior to using the paid administrative leave provision?
Given the campus closure there is no need to use other leave accruals before using the paid administrative leave provision.
8. What are the options for employees who are reaching their maximum vacation accrual?
To address this situation, please review UCR Local Procedure 2.210 – Maximum Vacation Accrual.
9. Can employees request catastrophic leave if they have depleted their paid administrative leave provisions?
Yes, provided all of their sick and vacation accruals have also been depleted. For additional information please review the UCR Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Guidelines.
10. How does an employee request paid administrative leave?
Employees who need to use this paid administrative leave shall request it from their immediate supervisor who shall be responsible for determining whether to grant the administrative leave.
11. How do I document and track Paid Administrative Leave?
The UCR Time and Attendance system (TARS) has been modified to accept new take codes to accommodate the up to 16 days or 128 hours Paid Administrative Leave taken due to the COVID-19 issue. Previous guidance was to select the TARS “Administrative - Paid” take code for employees on their timesheets. We now determined that the current code was insufficient and did not meet all requirements, therefore a new code have since been modified to specifically address the COVID-19 16 days/128 hours paid administrative leave option granted by the university. The changes to TARS are listed below:
- New Admin Codes for Biweekly and Monthly timesheets labeled “Administrative – Paid Special”
- The code is listed under the Sick Leave column for Monthly
- The code is listed under the Sick Leave time/leave type dropdown for biweekly
- The 16 day (128 hour) balance is reduced whenever there is an entry of one or more hours in one day
Employees should select this option for all days where administrative leave was taken per campus guidance.
Questions regarding the Paid Administrative Leave should be sent to email@example.com.
Questions or issues regarding TARS & Paid Administrative time entries should be sent to Timesheetfeedback@ucr.edu.
12. If an employee is eligible for shift differential and due to COVID 19 the employee took administrative leave, would their administrative leave hours also be eligible for shift differential?
Yes, the employee’s administrative leave hours would be eligible for shift differential pay. As stated in Section III.E.1 of PPSM 30 – Compensation: “The shift differential will be included in payments for all types of paid leave, provided that the employee would have been expected to work that shift were the employee not on paid leave.”
13. Would holiday pay get added to administrative leave?
No. If an employee’s administrative leave takes place during a holiday, the employee would receive holiday pay instead of paid administrative leave for that day. For example, if an employee is on COVID-19 administrative leave around Cesar Chavez Day, the employee would receive administrative pay on March 26 and 30 but holiday pay on March 27.
14. How do I know if an employee I supervise is a good candidate for telecommuting?
To assess whether remote work is operationally feasible, refer to the Assessing the Feasibility of Remote Work during the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Guidelines.
15. Do employees need to complete the UCR Telecommuting Agreement if they are approved?
No, due to the unique circumstances, workload constraints and the sense of urgency of the situation, completing the form is not necessary
16. Is there any guidance available to assist the campus with technology and telecommuting?
The following must be true in order for a staff member to use the “Remote Desktop Connection” application to remote into a device on campus:
- The campus device must currently be powered ON
- The user must know the name OR IP address of the device
- The campus device must be configured to allow Remote Desktop Connection OR the device must operate on a managed desktop (managed by ITS)*
- The user must connect to a campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) on their home device
- The user must have the “Remote Desktop Connection” application installed on their home device
If the above criteria are not met, the employee will be unable to remote into their workstation computer.
*ITS has updated its systems so that all managed desktops are currently configured for Remote Desktop Connection.
Please also note that staff will not need the ability to remote into a workstation if they have taken their campus laptop or desktop home. In this event, they will need to connect to their home internet and a campus VPN (see instructions above) in order to access secured campus resources, such as files and applications that must be accessed via the UCR network.
Please review the Clarification on Remote Work Options for Staff.
Resources to help staff work remotely, including instructions on remote desktop connection and VPN connection, can be found at https://keepworking.ucr.edu/.
If you require additional technical support for remote work outside of the resources provided on the Keep Working site, please submit a remote work support ticket. Instructions can be found here.
17. Must employees who are telecommuting continue to pay for their monthly parking pass?
Parking permit payroll deductions are charged in arrears. Meaning, for those who are paid monthly, the deduction on the 1st of the month is for the previous month’s parking. For those paid bi-weekly, the parking deductions are for the previous month’s parking. We are following our normal policies for parking permit refunds. Since we are already 2 weeks into the month of March, no refunds will be issued for March and the March parking charges will be on the April checks.
We will be suspending all April payroll parking charges. There is no longer a need to cut your permit in half and email the picture. Please keep your current parking permit so you may use it when the campus reopens.
How Parking Deductions are Taken Out of Your Paycheck 3/2/2020 3/18/2020 and 4/1/2020 4/1/2020 4/1/2020
4/15/2020 and 5/13/2020
Student and Other Part-Time Employees
18. What are TAs, Graduate Research Assistants and Undergraduate Student Employees eligible for?
- TAs and Graduate Research Assistants are eligible for the same policy considerations, including the option for up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave (if they qualify). Graduate Research Assistants should consult with their supervisor/PI on their eligibility for paid administrative leave, as we expect there will be on-campus research work for them as campus research work will not be restricted. TAs should consult with their supervisor particularly how they can fulfill their role when courses are not being taught in person. UCR will provide more details for TAs prior to the start of Spring quarter. We understand that some TAs and Graduate Assistants may have more than one supervisor, for separate appointments, and therefore they will need to check with each appropriate supervisor.
- Undergraduate Student Employees are eligible for the same policy considerations, including the option of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave, if they qualify. Some undergraduate student employees may have their duties impacted by the campus actions relative to in-person class meetings, and UCR will work to provide additional guidance for these individuals prior to the start of spring quarter.
19. How is the paid administrative leave calculated for student or other part-time employees, including per diem employees?
The total amount of paid administrative leave available to a full-time employee is 16 days or 128 hours. On a one time and non-precedent setting basis, the University will determine the pro rata entitlement to paid administrative leave (under Executive Order 3/16/2020) for per diem and variable percentage appointees covered by other appointment types pursuant to a formula based on the actual time worked in accordance with the table below reflecting a two (2) month period.
Pay Cycles Pay Period Covering: Bi-Weekly January 12, 2020 through January 25, 2020
January 26, 2020 through February 8, 2020
February 9, 2020 through February 22, 2020
February 23, 2020 through March 7, 2020
Monthly January 1, 2020 through January 31, 2020
February 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020
Lookback hours added together = LH
Total full-time Hours = FH – this can vary by pay period but is typically 320 hours for 4 bi-weekly periods
Add up LH
Determine FH for relevant pay period
LH/FH = Percent time
128 * % time = Allotment
20. Are Federal Work Study Student Employees eligible for Pay Continuation?
Yes, through June 14, 2020 only if they are still working and still have remaining Federal Work Study funds.
21. How do Federal Work Study Student Employees indicate they are using Pay Continuation in TARS?
There is a new pay continuation TARS code for Federal Work Study student employees. The new leave code is "ADMFWS – Administrative – Fed Work-Study Pay" and is located under the Sick Leave options for biweekly employees. These employees should use this TARS code if they are still working and still have remaining Federal Work Study funds. Only employees on Federal Work Study will have this code available to them for Pay Continuation up until June 14, 2020.