One of our highest priorities in responding to COVID-19 has been creating as much flexibility as possible for faculty and staff to continue the important work of the University while balancing challenges presented by the pandemic.
As you remember, in March we created a policy granting up to 160 hours of paid emergency administrative leave for employees in response to COVID-19. Under the policy, all employees, including student, part-time and temporary workers, may take paid emergency leave for self-quarantine, quarantine or care of an immediate family member, childcare resulting from school closures, or other scenarios related to COVID-19.
Our policy was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides additional options for paid leave related to COVID-19, is also set to expire on Dec. 31, and Congress has not yet extended it.
Given the ongoing uncertainties related to the pandemic, we have decided to extend our emergency administrative leave policy through June 30, 2021. The emergency leave pool will remain at 160 hours; in other words, if you have already used a portion of the leave, your remaining "balance" will simply carry over into 2021. We hope this extension creates additional peace of mind as we continue to navigate our COVID-19 world.
As a reminder, flexible work schedules are our first line of defense. Supervisors are expected to create as much flexibility as possible for employees to do their jobs, for example through alternative work schedules or work sites. If those are not possible, our emergency paid leave policy applies. Employees who have exhausted the 160-hour limit may use other leave options if necessary, including vacation leave, sick leave or crisis leave.
Finally, employees wishing to donate to the university's crisis leave bank may contact their campus human resources office.
An updated FAQ regarding our leave options is available here.
Thank you again for all that you do to serve our 52,000 students and the State of Nebraska.
President, University of Nebraska