On May 20, 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 141 easing certain restrictions on travel, business operations, and mass gatherings, moving the State to into Phase 2 of the State reopening plan. On May 22, 2020, the UNC System Office issued updated employee work/leave guidance to be effective June 1, 2020 and until further revised or rescinded.
All components of employee work and leave guidance previously announced for the period May 9, 2020 through May 22, 2020 remain in place through May 31, 2020, including the awarding of ½ hour of compensatory time for each hour of work required to performed on campus by designated mandatory employees.
Please note that, per the Governor’s Order and updated UNC System guidance, “Phase 2 of the State reopening plan does not envision a large-scale return to on-site work for State employees at this time.” For the period beginning June 1, 2020, we will continue employee teleworking arrangements, to the extent possible, and only employees designated as mandatory and required to perform work on campus to maintain essential operations will be permitted on campus. However, universities may modify the mandatory designations of employees and require additional employees to work on-site, as necessary, based on evolving on-campus operational needs.
All requests from departments to designate additional employees as mandatory and return them to on-campus work, require approval of the Chancellor through the respective Divisional Vice Chancellors. Any approved plan to designate additional employees as mandatory will give special consideration to employees who are determined to be “high risk” for experiencing complications from contracting COVID-19. In addition, all on campus work will strictly follow all return to on-site work safety guidelines established by the State, to ensure the safety of all employees and the community. Detailed safety guidelines and a process for evaluating employee “high risk” factors will be communicated separately.
New Pay and Leave Provisions Effective June 1, 2020:
1. Paid administrative leave will continue for permanent university employees under certain circumstances but will be paid at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay, rather than 100 percent. Employees may apply accrued compensatory time, vacation leave, bonus leave, or sick leave to make up the difference between the 2/3 paid administrative leave and 100 percent of their regular pay. Accrued compensatory time must be used before other forms of leave.
The 2/3 paid administrative leave is available to:
- Permanent employees who are not specifically designated as mandatory to maintain on-campus operations and who cannot perform work remotely.
- Permanent employees who cannot work because they have elder care needs due to COVID-19-related facilities closings. The 2/3 paid administrative leave will apply for this purpose for a maximum of 12 weeks, in line with leave provided for child care facility closures under the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
- Permanent employees who cannot work because they have child care needs due to COVID-19-related school or child care facility closures. Paid administrative leave is available for this purpose only after leave available under FFCRA has been exhausted. Please apply for FFCRA leave here.
- Active temporary employees may be eligible for leave under FFCRA but are not eligible for paid administrative leave.
2. Mandatory employees will no longer receive compensatory time, in addition to regular pay, for hours of work required to be performed on campus.
3. Beginning June 1, 2020 and through December 31, 2020, employees may use accrued vacation leave, bonus leave, and sick leave interchangeably, regardless of the reason for the employee’s absence from work. Accrued compensatory time must be used before other forms of leave.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to adapt to changing conditions and communicate changes to you with as much notice as possible. Please direct any questions you may have to the Office of Human Resources and watch closely for additional information, including updates on time and leave reporting for June payroll.