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Work Options for Return to Campus Plan

Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations

In response to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 03.31.21.02, the University System of Georgia has provided guidance on procedures to record time and absences related to COVID-19 vaccinations. In an effort to encourage more USG employees to receive the vaccine, the USG will allow faculty and staff (those who normally accrue sick leave) to use “Non-Closure Emergency Leave” as of March 31, 2021 for the purpose of COVID-19 vaccinations. Individuals will be compensated for this time without deducting from vacation or sick leave balances up to the amounts noted below.

Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

  • Faculty and staff may take up to eight (8) hours of Non-Closure Emergency Leave for the purpose of receiving a vaccine. If receiving a two-dose vaccine, this is a total of up to 8 hours across both doses

After receiving COVID-19 vaccine

  • Faculty and staff who experience vaccine side effects that prevent them from performing duties of employment may take up to sixteen (16) hours of Non-Closure Emergency Leave rather than using sick leave. If receiving a two-dose vaccine, this is a total of up to 16 hours across both doses

How to track this time

  • Faculty and staff should inform their supervisors of time taken for these purposes and provide proof of vaccination. Supervisors should NOT retain a copy of proof of vaccination.
  • Supervisors of individuals paid bi-weekly should use the code “00NHP – Non-Closure Emergency Hourly Paid” to track this on timesheets. This is the same tracking process that was used for non-closure leave over the past year.
  • Supervisors of individuals paid monthly should use the code “00NSP – Non-Closure Emergency Salary Paid” to track this on timesheets. This is the same tracking process that was used for non-closure leave over the past year.
  • We will not require medical documentation for leave taken as a result of vaccine side effects if it is taken within the first several days after being vaccinated.

Additional questions and retroactive sick/vacation leave updates

  • Individuals who have already used their own sick and/or vacation leave to receive a vaccine and/or for vaccine side effects since March 31st can retroactively cancel:
    • up to 8 hours of any leave taken since March 31st to receive a vaccine and
    • up to 16 hours of any leave taken since March 31st for vaccine side effects.
    • For biweekly-paid individuals, supervisors should retroactively add the “00NHP – Non-Closure Emergency Hourly Paid” code to the respective timesheets instead of sick/vacation leave.
    • For monthly-paid individuals, supervisors should retroactively add the “00NSP – Non-Closure Emergency Salary Paid” code to the respective timesheets instead of sick/vacation leave.
  • If supervisors have questions about the information above, please contact hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu.

The following chart describes options available to an employee based on different conditions that may apply. As a reminder, all leave must be approved by an employee’s immediate supervisor and subject to standard policies and processes.

Employee is out or unable to return to campus as scheduled in the Initial Return to Campus Plan due to… Work Schedule Options/Leave Options
(options/leave are generally used in the order listed)
Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local  quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 •Accrued Leave
•FMLA (if applicable)
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
Employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms •Accrued Leave
•FMLA (if applicable)
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
Employee needs to obtain a medical diagnosis or receive care related to COVID-19 symptoms •Accrued Leave
•FMLA (if applicable)
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
Employee has to care for an individual who is quarantined •Accrued Leave
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
To care for son or daughter whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable •Accrued Leave
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
To care for an at-risk family/household member•Return to work with CDC safety measures in place
•FMLA (if applicable)
•TELEWORK/FLEXTIME REQUEST (if eligible and approved)
Employee’s own personal illness or injury, unrelated to COVID-19 (employee needs leave due to unrelated illness or injury or was already on leave when new forms of leave were added) • FMLA (if sick for more than three days or to care for a family member with an injury or illness unrelated to COVID-19)
• Accrued Sick Leave
• Accrued Annual Leave
• Accrued Compensatory Time (if non-exempt and comp time exists)
Employee’s own personal leave plans, unrelated to COVID-19 (employee is taking leave for an event unrelated to COVID-19; annual leave had already been planned and employee will continue with plans) • Accrued Compensatory Time (if non-exempt and comp time exists)
• Accrued Annual Leave

Employees deemed at-risk by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Employees who are in an at-risk category as defined by the Centers for Disease Control may request a temporary accommodation under the American’s With Disabilities Act.   In order to request an accommodation, complete the ADA Accommodation Request Form and submit it to hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu.  Employees are not required to disclose medical information to supervisors.  This information is maintained within Human Resources.

Employees with at-risk household or family members

Employees concerned about contact with an at-risk household or family member are not generally covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but may have other options available. The employee should first have a discussion with their supervisor about what is being done to mitigate the risks in the workplace through appropriate social distancing measures and other CDC guidance for workplace safety.  Employees who are a caregiver to a family member may qualify for Family Medical Leave/Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave. Contact Human Resources to request the use of this leave. For information on being a caregiver under FML, click HERE.

If a position is eligible for a Telework/Flextime Agreement, the employee may request to utilize this option. Under existing policy, telework is not guaranteed for any employee and approval of an agreement does not imply approval of subsequent requests. As we move toward expanded in-person instruction and services for Spring semester, there is an expectation that employees return to campus to support student success and engagement, while maintaining CDC guidelines. Managers should continue to evaluate and consider the current business benefit, if any, for telework before entering into or renewing an agreement with an employee. To begin the process of reviewing the availability of this option, the employee should complete the Telework/Flextime Request Form and submit it to hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu. Agreements are reviewed for renewal in 90-day increments.

Guidance for Parents of School-Aged Children

The University recognizes the unique circumstances of parents of school-aged children. We are monitoring the situation closely and University leadership meets regularly with leadership of the local school systems to stay abreast of plans.

Some school systems impacting our employees are offering a choice of in-person instruction or virtual education. As such, choosing to keep your children at home for virtual education is generally not covered under any protected leave.

Employees opting for virtual education for their children when the school is open for in-person instruction, may be eligible for a telework or flextime agreement. As a reminder, telework is not a substitute for childcare and it is reasonable for the institution to ask for evidence of appropriate child care during working hours. The employee should be fully engaged in work during work hours. Telework and flextime is an employee privilege, not an employee right. Also, not all positions are eligible for telework or flextime. Please review the telework policy to understand the requirements of this arrangement.

There are no changes being made to the telework request and approval process at this time. As we move toward expanded in-person instruction and services for Spring semester, there is an expectation that employees return to campus to support student success and engagement. Under existing policy, telework is not guaranteed for any employee and approval of an agreement does not imply approval of subsequent requests. Agreements are reviewed for renewal in 90-day increments. Managers should continue to evaluate and consider the current business benefit, if any, for telework before entering into or renewing an agreement with an employee.  

In school systems that are not offering in-person instruction, employees may qualify for telework or flextime. Not all positions are eligible for telework or flextime. Please review the telework policy to understand the requirements of this arrangement.

Employees with children in schools not offering in-person instruction may also qualify for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Some employees are working together with their neighbors and each other to establish a shared responsibility of providing instruction and assistance to children learning virtually. In these situations, it minimizes exposure to a much smaller group and allows employees to minimize the time that work schedules and locations are disrupted.

Check HERE for more information on the Telework/ Flextime Request Process.

Last updated: 4/8/2021