The University of Nebraska is offering all employees access to emergency paid administrative leave for issues related to COVID-19.
Announced in a March 14 email from Ted Carter, president of the NU system, the policy offers up to 80 hours of administrative paid leave in the event of self-quarantine, quarantine or care of an immediate family member, childcare resulting from school closures, or related scenarios. Use of the leave is subject to supervisor approval.
“I want to stress the university remains open and that flexible work arrangements remain our first line of defense,” Carter said in the message. “We expect supervisors to create as much flexibility as possible for their team members to continue to do their work, whether working remotely, working during non-business hours or other approaches.”
While university leaders continues to strongly encourage the use of alternate work arrangements and telecommute options, Carter said the emergency leave policy was developed because not every campus job can be performed from home.
“My hope is that the option of emergency administrative leave gives you additional peace of mind as you care for your families, protect your health and continue to deliver on the vital mission of the University of Nebraska” Carter said. “Our bottom line is that no employee should find themselves at a disadvantage because of this global pandemic.”
The policy is temporary and reserved for use during the current pandemic. Carter said the program and other leave policies will be reevaluated as needed in the weeks to come.
If employees require more than 80 hours, the university also offers a flexible alternative worksite option, as well as crisis, sick and vacation leave options. Absences will not count against the Family Medical Leave Act time earned by employees.