Pandemic Sick Leave Policy

Purpose

To be used as part of the Bates Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan to ensure that all employees who accrue leave (and new employees who accrue leave going forward) have access to paid time off specifically for COVID-19 absences.  A COVID-19 absence is defined as: 1) the employee is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC (Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following: (a) Fever; (b) Chills; (c) Repeated shaking with chills; (d) Muscle pain; (e) Headache; (g) Sore throat; (h) New loss of taste or smell) and needs to stay home for testing and possible self-isolation; 2) the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; 3) the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 related reasons; or 4) the employee is the primary caregiver for an individual who is subject to (2) above.

Amount of Bank

The initial Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Bank will be 15 days/120 hours (prorated for part-time employees) that will be available to all eligible employees as a new type of leave. Bank will be available starting July  1, 2020, in advance of students and employees returning to campus. As circumstances warrant, the Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Bank may be renewed to 15 days at the beginning of future academic years.

Process

Employees who experience a COVID-19 absence will submit a Request for Pandemic Paid Sick Leave form to Human Resources. If the employee experiences COVID-19 related symptoms they will be required to contact a health professional (PCP, Tele-Doc, Urgent Care) to request to be tested. If the test is negative the employee’s absences would revert from that point forward to regular paid-time off policies until well enough to return to work (employee may be required to submit a health care provider certification for three or more consecutive days absent). If the test is positive the employee will be granted additional Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Bank time until such time as employee is cleared to return to work (subject to limitations below).

If an employee has been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case and has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, the employee will submit a Request for Pandemic Paid Sick Leave and list the date of exposure. The employee will then return 14 calendar days from the date of exposure assuming they are not exhibiting any symptoms or when released by a health care provider.

If Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Bank is exhausted and the employee remains absent, then regular paid time off will be used for remainder of the 30-day elimination period prior to beginning short-term-disability (STD). If the employee does not have sufficient paid time off to bridge the 30-day elimination period, then the employee will receive an additional allowance of Pandemic Paid Sick Leave to complete the 30-day elimination period. If an employee has not yet been employed for six months and is not eligible for STD, then the maximum Pandemic Leave payments will end after 30 days or when all existing leave has been used, whichever is later.

All Pandemic Sick Leave hours will be entered by Human Resources.