COVID-19 FAQ

As guidance continues to evolve in response to COVID–19 and the ongoing public health crisis impacting our community, these FAQs have been developed to assist staff and non-academic student employees, from front line workers to management, navigate the complexities of different leaves and benefits through the University.

Instructions for Navigating the Document and Additional Questions

Before reviewing the campus-specific guidance below, all supervisors, managers, and staff should read the University of California summary of COVID–19 related leaves and job protection. If you have additional questions beyond those posed in the UCOP guidance document, please review the supplemental frequently asked questions below.


  1. What is UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)?
  2. What are the effective dates of the UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)?

  1. What is UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)?
    1. Under the University’s Executive Order dated March 16, 2020, all staff, academic and student employees were eligible for up to 128 hours of PAL, available to use effective March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. For part-time employees who hold positions with a fixed percentage of time, the number of hours available were prorated in proportion to their percent of appointment, employees who hold positions with a variable percentage of time, were subject to a lookback calculation; however, eligibility for PAL did not mean that all employees were granted the leave.
    2. As of June 30, 2021, the PAL program has ended and is no longer available
  2. What are the effective dates of the UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)?
    1. The dates that PAL can be used are between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The President’s Executive Order, revised on November 12, 2020, extended the period of time to use PAL. All hours must be used by June 30, 2021, or the allotment shall expire as of this date. All other terms and conditions of the use of PAL remain in place.
    2. As of June 30, 2021, the PAL program has ended and is no longer available

In recognition of the many challenges UC employees continue to face, the University has decided to offer all University staff employees, including exclusively represented employees, a new 2021 allotment of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21). Employees are able to take EPSL21 between March 29, 2021 and September 30, 2021. If an employee took any leave without pay between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021 for one or more of the EPSL qualifying reasons but was not paid as described in FAQ #2, the employee may request that the University allow them to retroactively use EPSL21.

Full-time employees may take up to eighty (80) hours of EPSL21, while those who are part-time may take up to the two-week equivalent. As before, employees will receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL21. Although the law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL, the University has once again decided not to apply these caps. This additional EPSL is more generous than the federal law governing EPSL would require, and more generous than the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave signed into law by Governor Newsom on March 19, 2021.

  1. What is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  2. For what reasons could an employee take Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  3. Who is eligible for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  4. When is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) effective?
  5. How do I request to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  6. What amount of pay will eligible employees receive during Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  7. An employee used their own accruals (sick, vacation, or CTO) to cover time off in January 2021 and now wants to use EPSL21 to cover those days, reimbursing their personal accruals. Is that possible?
  8. Can employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) if they get sick from side effects of the SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine?
  9. Will employees using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) continue to accrue service credit for purposes of UCRP and continue to accrue vacation and sick leave, if applicable?
  10. Does Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) need to be taken in one continuous block of time or can it be used intermittently?
  11. When can an employee who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (Reason 2) elect Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  12. If an employee is unable to work or telework as they are caring for an individual who is either subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (Reason 4), is the employee eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  13. Can an employee take 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for their own self-quarantine and then another amount of EPSL21 for another qualifying reason?

  1. What is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law, which gives employers the option to offer their employees Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) in 2021. Effective March 29, 2021, the University is providing up to 80 hours of EPSL for full-time employees and the two-week equivalent for part-time employees. The EPSL21 that the University is offering in 2021 is more generous than federal law would require and more generous than California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
  2. For what reasons could an employee take Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. The University’s 2021 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) is available to employees who are unable to work or telework for the reasons below:
    • Reason 1: The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID 19.
    • Reason 2: The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
    • Reason 3:
      1. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis from a health care provider;
      2. The employee has been exposed to COVID-19 and is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19;
      3. The University has requested that the employee obtain a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19, and the employee is seeking or awaiting those results;
      4. The employee is obtaining immunization related to COVID-19 if it exceeds the four (4) hours of paid release time that the University provides; or
      5. The employee is recovering from an injury, disability, illness, or condition related to obtaining immunization related to COVID-19.
    • Reason 4: The employee is caring for an individual who is either subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
    • Reason 5: The employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care has closed (or whose child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
    • Reason 6: The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  3. Who is eligible for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. All policy-covered and represented staff employees are eligible for EPSL21, regardless of their length of employment at the University or appointment type. This includes non-academic student employees. Although health care workers and emergency responders were not eligible to take EPSL for Reasons 4 or 5 in 2020, they are eligible to take EPSL21 for any reason listed in FAQ #2 in 2021.
  4. When is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) effective?
    1. Employees are able to take EPSL21 between March 29, 2021 and September 30, 2021. If an employee took any unpaid leave between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021 for one or more of the EPSL qualifying reasons, the employee may request that the University allow them to retroactively use EPSL21.
    2. Any employee who is using their EPSL21 in a block of absences which are in progress on or prior to September 30, 2021, must be permitted to finish taking the amount of EPSL that they are entitled to receive until their allotment is exhausted or their qualifying reason ends.
  5. How do I request to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. Employees are required to complete a 2021 EPSL Request Form and submit this to their supervisor. The supervisor must email the form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu for processing.
  6. What amount of pay will eligible employees receive during Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. Employees will receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL21. Although the law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL21, the University has decided not to apply these caps.
  7. An employee used their own accruals (sick, vacation, or CTO) to cover time off in January 2021 and now wants to use EPSL21 to cover those days, reimbursing their personal accruals. Is that possible?
    1. No. EPSL21 may only be used retroactively between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021 to cover unpaid time off taken for a qualifying EPSL21 reason. If an employee used personal accruals to remain on paid status during their days off, those personal accruals will not be reimbursed.
  8. Can employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) if they get sick from side effects of the SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine?
    1. Yes. If an employee who has EPSL21 (Reason 3(e)) available gets the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine and gets sick from side effects of the vaccine and is unable to work for that reason, the employee would be able to use EPSL21 for that time. If an employee has exhausted EPSL21 or opts not to use them, the employee would be able to use accrued sick leave, vacation leave, and/or paid time off (PTO).
  9. Will employees using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) continue to accrue service credit for purposes of UCRP and continue to accrue vacation and sick leave, if applicable?
    1. Yes, employees using EPSL21 will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave, as well as service credit for purposes of UCRP, as they normally would while on pay status.
  10. Does Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) need to be taken in one continuous block of time or can it be used intermittently?
    1. EPSL21 may always be taken as a block leave. Whether it can be used intermittently depends on whether the employee is teleworking or working onsite, and it may also depend on the reason for which the employee is taking EPSL:
      1. Non-exempt employees who are teleworking may take EPSL21 as a block leave or intermittently in increments of at least one hour.
      2. Exempt employees who are teleworking may take EPSL21 as a block leave or intermittently in whole day increments only.
      3. Employees working onsite may take EPSL21 for any reason as a block leave. Employees working onsite may only take EPSL21 intermittently for childcare under EPSL Reason 5. When taking EPSL21 intermittently for Reason 5, non-exempt employees may take EPSL21 in increments of at least one hour, and exempt employees may take EPSL21 in whole day increments. For public health reasons, employees working onsite who are taking EPSL for Reasons 1-4 or 6 must continue using EPSL21 until the employee either uses the full amount of EPSL21 or no longer has a qualifying reason for using EPSL21.
  11. When can an employee who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (Reason 2) elect Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. Advice to self-quarantine may be based on the health care provider’s belief that the employee has COVID-19, may have COVID-19, or is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The implementation guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Labor provide that, “[S]elf-quarantining must prevent the employee from working. An employee who is self-quarantining is able to telework, and therefore may not take paid sick leave for this reason, if (a) his or her employer has work for the employee to perform; (b) the employer permits the employee to perform that work from the location where the employee is self-quarantining; and (c) there are no extenuating circumstances, such as serious COVID-19 symptoms, that prevent the employee from performing that work.”
  12. If an employee is unable to work or telework as they are caring for an individual who is either subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (Reason 4), is the employee eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. The implementation guidelines issued by the U.S Department of Labor provide that this qualifying reason applies only if “but for a need to care for an individual, the employee would be able to perform work for his or her employer….” The employee will need to identify their relationship to that individual and submit their request using the2021 EPSL Request Form to their supervisor. The supervisor must email the form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu.
  13. Can an employee take 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for their own self-quarantine and then another amount of EPSL21 for another qualifying reason?
    1. No. The total number of hours for which an employee can take EPSL21 is capped at 80 hours for full-time employees and the two-week equivalent for part-time employees.
  1. What do I do if my employee reports possible exposure to COVID-19?
  2. Can I still approve overtime for my employees?
  3. My employee wants to work from home, but I’m running out of things for them to do. What next?
  4. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using administrative leave with pay?
  5. Are employees in their probationary period eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  6. If a probationary employee uses Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21), does that automatically extend their probationary period?
  7. How do I find more information about the timeline to return to in-person work?
  8. My employee does not have any paid leave entitlements (including vacation or sick leave) left and is unable to work because of child care issues. What do I do?
  9. Is there a process for temporary or permanent layoff actions?

  1. What do I do if my employee reports possible exposure to COVID-19?
    1. Managers should review the Manager Procedures for COVID Incidences website to determine appropriate next steps.
  2. Can I still approve overtime for my employees?
    1. Yes. Work with your employee to determine the need to work overtime and provide approval beforehand.
  3. My employee wants to work from home, but I’m running out of things for them to do. What next?
    1. Please contact your Employee Relations Analyst or visit the Redeployment website to review options.
  4. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using administrative leave with pay?
    1. Yes, you can inquire which of the criteria is met for the purposes of using the appropriate leave with pay entitlement.
  5. Are employees in their probationary period eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. Yes. As long as the individual employee meets the requirements for the different types of entitlements under the specified criteria, the employee is eligible for EPSL21.
  6. If a probationary employee uses Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21), does that automatically extend their probationary period?
    1. No. An employee’s use of EPSL21 does not automatically extend the probationary period. However, if the employee has not taken on the full scope of their job duties or has not worked during their probationary period, because of COVID–19 issues, you may want to extend the probationary period. Please contact your Employee Relations Analyst to discuss.
  7. How do I find more information about the timeline to return to in-person work?
    1. The University has a website describing the resumption of on-site operations as well as the campus’ resiliency roadmap. This website is updated regularly with the most recent information obtained from higher education best practices during COVID-19 as well as state and county restrictions.
  8. My employee does not have any paid leave entitlements (including vacation or sick leave) left and is unable to work because of child care issues. What do I do?
    1. Supervisors and managers have a significant amount of flexibility based upon operational need and whether your employee is exempt or non-exempt. Policy-covered employees and most represented staff can explore whether the Employee Reduction in Time program may assist with balancing work and child care responsibilities. Employees can also request a personal leave of absence without pay if no other options are available. Upon approval from the supervisor or manager, employees should contact their Leave of Absence Coordinator.
    2. For exempt employees, supervisors and managers have discretion in determining the normal working hours and may adjust schedules to accommodate employees. Because exempt employees are paid at a fixed rate, supervisors and managers need to monitor the quality of the work product versus the quantity of time worked to ensure that operational needs are met.
    3. For non-exempt employees, supervisors and managers can work with individual employees to adjust schedules outside of normal working hours to accommodate child care and workload. If your non-exempt employee is represented, please contact your Employee Relations Analyst to determine the best path forward to create flexible or alternative schedules in compliance with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
  9. Is there a process for temporary or permanent layoff actions?
    1. Please contact your Employee Relations Analyst to discuss options for addressing potential layoff action(s).
  1. I am an employee who is immunocompromised. There is work available for me to do through my current job or a reassignment, but I am fearful about coming to work. What are my options?
  2. I heard there was going to be a redeployment program on campus. Can I have more information?
  3. As a career employee, I’d like to donate some of my Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) to other employees who need additional time off. Can I do that through the Catastrophic Leave Program
  4. I want to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) because I am unable to work or telework due to a lack of childcare as a result of COVID-19. How can I determine whether I am eligible for paid leave?
  5. My childcare or child’s school is closed and I continue to have childcare responsibilities. I have exhausted my COVID-19 paid leave entitlements. What are my options?
  6. Some schools are operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis. The school is open each day, but students alternate between days attending school in person and days participating in remote learning. The school only permits students to attend school on their assigned in-person attendance days. May eligible employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for Reason 5 in these circumstances?
  7. Some schools are giving parents a choice between having their children attend in person or participate in a remote learning program. If an employee elects remote learning for their child, can that employee use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for Reason 5 while their child is at home?

  1. I am an employee who is immunocompromised. There is work available for me to do through my current job or a reassignment, but I am fearful about coming to work. What are my options?
    1. If you have a qualifying COVID-19 related reason you may be eligible to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21). After that time, absent medical certification which precludes you from performing any work for the University, if there is work for you to do, you need to complete the work, whether remote or on site. The University has established safety protocols to ensure that its employees’ working conditions are safe and that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided, if needed, based on the duties the employee has been assigned to perform. Employees who provide medical documentation precluding them from performing their assigned job duties may contact their Leave of Absence Coordinator, and/or engage in an Interactive Process with the Disability Management Office.
  2. I heard there was going to be a redeployment program on campus. Can I have more information?
    1. Currently, the campus has a formal UC Santa Cruz Redeployment Program active through Decembr 31, 2021. Please see Staff HR’s website for more information.
  3. As a career employee, I’d like to donate some of my Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) to other employees who need additional time off. Can I do that through the Catastrophic Leave Program?
    1. No. The catastrophic leave program is a very specific program designed to assist employees in very specific circumstances. At this time, the campus is not expanding the catastrophic leave program to include distribution or donation of unused other entitlements or federal entitlements (EPSL21).
  4. Will there be retirement incentives for career staff to retire this year (2021)?
    1. At this time, we do not know whether the University of California will provide any retirement incentives for this calendar year.
  5. I want to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) because I am unable to work or telework due to a lack of childcare as a result of COVID-19. How can I determine whether I am eligible for paid leave?
    1. An employee who is unable to work or telework because they are caring for their child whose school or place of care has closed (or whose child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 reasons is eligible to take EPSL21 (Reason 5).
  6. My childcare or child’s school is closed and I continue to have childcare responsibilities. I have exhausted my paid COVID-19 leave entitlements. What are my options
    1. Employees may use their sick leave accruals through June 30, 2021 to cover any work absences related to childcare responsibilities. Once all of your accruals are exhausted, you should explore with your manager whether you can use an alternative or modified schedule outside of typical working hours to accomplish your work. You can also review whether the Employee Reduction in Time program may help balance your home and work responsibilities. You can also request a personal leave of absence without pay if no other options are available. Once you have received approval from your supervisor to take a personal leave, you should contact your Leave of Absence Coordinator.
  7. Some schools are operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis. The school is open each day, but students alternate between days attending school in person and days participating in remote learning. The school only permits students to attend school on their assigned in-person attendance days. May eligible employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for Reason 5 in these circumstances?
    1. Yes, an eligible employee may use EPSL21 for Reason 5 on days when the school does not permit their child to attend school in person if the employee is unable to work or telework for that reason. The school is effectively “closed” to the employee’s child on days that the child cannot attend in person. An eligible employee may take EPSL21 on each of their child’s remote learning days. As an example, an eligible employee may take EPSL21 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays if the school does not permit their child to attend school in person on those days.
  8. Some schools are giving parents a choice between having their children attend in person or participate in a remote learning program. If an employee elects remote learning for their child, can that employee use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) for Reason 5 while their child is at home?
    1. No. An employee is not eligible to use EPSL21 for Reason 5 under these circumstances because the child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID-19 reasons; it is open for the employee’s child to attend. If an employee’s child is home because the employee has chosen for the child to remain home, the employee is not entitled to EPSL21 for Reason 5.
  1. I am a Per Diem employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  2. I am a limited employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?

  1. I am a Per Diem employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL21 as a per diem staff member.
  2. I am a limited employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL21 as a limited staff member.
  1. Am I guaranteed the ability to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  2. I am a non-academic student employee. Am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
  3. How many hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) am I eligible for?
  4. How is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) applied if I do not know my schedule?
  5. If I am released from my student position, am I eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

  1. Am I guaranteed the ability to use the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. No. Although you may be eligible for EPSL21 your appointment may also be ended by your supervisor at their sole discretion. If your supervisor allows your appointment to continue through calendar year 2021, you may use your leave entitlements through September 30, 2021, if you are 1) scheduled to work and can not work remotely, 2) meet the eligibility criteria for such paid leaves and 3) have continuation of employment with your department.
  2. I am a non-academic student employee. Am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL21 so long as you meet one of the EPSL21 criteria. Employees are required to complete a 2021 EPSL Request Form and submit this to their supervisor. The supervisor must email the form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu for processing.
  3. How many hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) am I eligible for?
    1. The number of hours you are eligible for will be determined using a six (6) month lookback period to determine your average hours over a typical biweekly pay period. The number of hours you have available is visible at the bottom of your time record in the Time-Off Balances tab within CruzPay.
  4. How is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) applied if I do not know my schedule?
    1. Once the number of EPSL21 hours are determined, it can be applied based on your normal work schedule to supplement the hours you would have worked or were scheduled to work.
  5. If I am released from my student position, am I eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
    1. Yes. Please visit the Employment Development Department site for comprehensive information on how to file a claim.

Employees

      1. If I meet the criteria for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21), how do I report this in CruzPay?
        1. CruzPay will be updated to include paycodes called COVID-EPSL21-SELF and COVID-EPSL21-FAMILY, which should be used to report time for EPSL21 leave entitlements. Until CruzPay is updated, employees should report EPSL21 as Admin Leave with Pay, and include a comment “COVID-EPSL21-Self” or “COVID-EPSL21-Family.”
        2. COVID-EPSL21-SELF should be used for eligibility reasons 1-3.
        3. COVID-EPSL21-FAMILY should be used for eligibility reasons 4, 5 or 6.
      2. Do employees need to contact their supervisor to obtain approval for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
        1. Employees are required to complete the EPSL21 form and submit it to their supervisor for processing. Supervisors are expected to approve the form and immediately route it to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu. Employees should follow regular and established call out procedures (if your unit has them) to notify individual supervisors about the EPSL21 request and state the criteria met for the leave.
      3. If I am an employee with a fixed percent of time, and I have a temporary change in my percent time, how is my Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) allotment calculated?
        1. Your hours would be calculated based upon your fixed percent at the time you begin using your EPSL21. If your temporary percent of time changes during the period in which you are using your paid leave entitlements, your hours may be adjusted
      4. How will I track how many Emergency Paid Sick Leave 21 (EPSL21) hours I have used?
        1. CruzPay will be programmed with employee’s allotment for EPSL21, but until then employees should report EPSL21 as Admin Leave with Pay, and include a comment “EPSL21-Self” or “EPSL21-Family.” Employees should be aware that they should not take more than their allotment. If an employee records time that exceeds their allotment, they may have to utilize their own accruals or take leave with no pay, resulting in a possible overpayment. Time records will be reconciled at a later date.

Managers/Supervisors

    1. Can I see my employees leave bank totals?
      1. CruzPay has been programmed to include the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) hours that employees are eligible to use. The number of hours employees have available for EPSL21 will be made visible in the employee's time record in the Time-Off Balances tab.
    2. How do exempt employees record their time if they are unable to work a full day?
      1. Exempt employees continue to record their time in full day absences only. If an exempt employee is unable to work and is absent for a full day, and has a COVID-19 related absence, they may record the use of EPSL21 in whole day increments.
    3. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
      1. Yes, you can inquire which of the criteria is met for using EPSL21. Employees seeking to use EPSL21 must complete the EPSL21 form and submit it to their supervisor for processing.
    4. Do I have to approve leave or time off for employees requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21)?
      1. Yes. All employees, including essential workers like health care workers and emergency responders, must have the option to take EPSL21 leave if they are unable to work or telework due to any of the qualifying criteria.
    5. Some of my employees have compensatory time off (CTO). Can I encourage staff to use their CTO in addition to the other types of leaves provided for by the University for a COVID-19 related reason?
      1. Supervisors and managers can encourage employees to use their CTO time beyond the leave entitlements provided by the University as long as CTO use does not interfere with continued University operations.
  1. How is my health insurance plan responding to COVID-19
  2. How can I access non-urgent health care services
  3. How can I access urgent health care services?
  4. How can I refill my prescription?
  5. During the coronavirus epidemic, can you go to the emergency room?
  6. Where can I go to access behavioral health services, for example: counseling, psychological services, substance abuse services.
  7. I am feeling stressed by these events. Where can I find help?
  8. I am on Paid Administrative Leave.  What effect does this have on my UC health coverage?
  9. I am on Unpaid Leave. What effect does this have on my UC health coverage?
  10. I have been Hospitalized due to COVID-19 and I have the UC Plus Hospital Indemnity Plan.  How do I start a claim with UC Plus Group Hospital Indemnity Plan? What do I need to do?
  11. How do I reach the staff of the Benefits Office
  12. What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
  13. I need to file for disability, what do I do?
  14. I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. What do I do?.
  15. What changes can I make to my flexible spending account?
  16. Are there any additional resource pages I can use?
  17. What is the status of my University of California Retirement Plan?
  18. What information on my UCPath dashboard should I be aware of, as it relates to my Benefits?

  1. How is my health insurance plan responding to COVID-19?
    1. Please find updated health insurance plan information here.
  2. How can I access non-urgent health care services?
    1. It is recommended to call your doctor before accessing care and to stay away from Urgent Care service centers. UC health plans are offering Telemedicine options which can be helpful in many events.
      NOTE: Remote care requires a smart device (computer, laptop, tablet or phone connected to internet/wi-fi) and registration.
  3. How can I access urgent health care services?
    1. It is recommended to call your doctor before accessing care and to stay away from Urgent Care service centers unless/until directed.  UC health plans are offering Telemedicine options which can be helpful in many events.
      NOTE: Remote care requires a smart device (computer, laptop, tablet or phone connected to internet/wi-fi) and registration
  4. How can I refill my prescription?
    1. Contact your pharmacy first. Pharmacies are remaining open as essential service providers.  Many pharmacies are offering home delivery services, mail order options or store pick-up options.
  5. During the coronavirus epidemic, can you go to the emergency room?
    1. Yes, when experiencing a life-threatening emergency, proceed to the nearest Emergency Room for treatment.
  6. Where can I go to access behavioral health services, for example: counseling, psychological services, substance abuse services.
    1. UCSC Employee Assistance Program  (EAP) offers confidential virtual visit options.
    2. Your UC medical plan offers Behavioral Health benefits bundled with your medical plan coverage and remote care options are available.
      NOTE: Remote care requires a smart device (computer, laptop, tablet or phone connected to internet/wi-fi) and registration.
    3. Visit the COVID-19 Employee assistance FAQ page.
    4. Visit Live and Work Well and use company code UCSC to browse virtual therapists.
    5. Enhanced EAP Benefits Webinars August 6th and 27th
  7. I am feeling stressed by these events. Where can I find help?
    1. Social and emotional counseling is available.  Many tools for coping with COVID-19 event are available.
  8. I am on Paid Administrative Leave.  What effect does this have on my UC health coverage?
    1. UC health and welfare benefits continue while on active pay status.  See more information .
  9. I am on Unpaid Leave. What effect does this have on my UC health coverage?
    1. The UC Leave Without Pay factsheet can help describe effects for each health and welfare plan.
  10. I have been Hospitalized due to COVID-19 and I have the UC Plus Hospital Indemnity Plan.  How do I start a claim with UC Plus Group Hospital Indemnity Plan? What do I need to do?
    1. Have your doctor fill out a Physician's Statement form and submit a claim online.
  11. How do I reach the staff of the Benefits Office?
    1. E-mail is the best way to reach Benefits Office staff. See individual links at the Benefits site OR  email to a distribution email to all staff members: benefits@ucsc.edu.
  12. What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
    1. Faculty and staff members should contact their provider for additional instructions about seeking care.
    2. Students should call Student Health Services, or their primary health care provider, prior to arriving at the medical office. This will allow for provision of information regarding your illness and to plan for your visit to the clinic, if necessary. Additional Student Health Services information devoted to COVID-19.
  13. I need to file for disability, what do I do?
    1. Contact your supervisor and your Leave of Absence Coordinator  and follow these steps.
  14. I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. What do I do?
    1. Students: please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that we can be aware and coordinate care if needed.This should be referred to the EOc website. This should be referred to the EOc website.
    2. Faculty and Staff: If you worked on campus following an exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or have tested positive yourself, please let the campus know by emailing oes@ucsc.edu.
  15. What changes can I make to my flexible spending account?
    1. Visit the updated COVID-19 FSA page.
  16. Are there any additional resource pages I can use?
    1. Visit the COVID-19 Risk management page.
  17. What is the status of my University of California Retirement Plan?
    1. To learn about the long-term stability of the Retirement plan please go here.
    2. Please watch a recent webinar presentation, "Navigating Market Volatility" from UCOP and Fidelity.
  18. What information on my UCPath dashboard should I be aware of, as it relates to my Benefits?
    1. Please use the following link: Take charge of your benefits on UCPath.
  1. What is the latest information regarding leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?
  2. How will background checks be conducted during the shelter-in-place order?

  1. What is the latest information regarding leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?
    1. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) just released a poster outlining the FFCRA's paid leave requirements. This information is posted on our Required Labor Law Notices page.
  2. How will background checks be conducted during the shelter-in-place order?
    1. Effective immediately, and until further notice, Campus Mail Services is not providing LiveScan services for campus.  

      Instead, all background checks will be conducted via HireRight. HireRight is used only for candidates who currently reside outside of California, who cannot undergo a CA DOJ LiveScan. However, due to operational changes resulting from COVID-19, we will extend the use of HireRight to all background checks. This includes job candidates, student employees, volunteers, and compensation actions for current staff. 

      Individuals who are cleared to work using HireRight during this temporary suspension of fingerprinting services due to COVID-19 will need to be LiveScanned when fingerprinting is available again on campus. 

      The process for initiating a HireRight background check is different from LiveScan.

      Hiring managers will receive instructions on how to proceed with the HireRight process from SHR when they are notified that their candidate has accepted their conditional offer of employment. TA will be the SHR unit in touch for staff hires, Compensation for employee action requests, and Operations for student hires. 

      The process involves the hiring manager 1) opening a PO in the amount of $75 and 2) forwarding information to backgrnd@ucsc.edu: PO#, name of hire, personal email address of hire, and RMS job#, and the hiring manager’s name. Staff HR (BAPPR) will initiate the background check in the HireRight system, and HireRight will notify the candidate via email with instructions on how to proceed. 

      Hiring managers will be notified of updates on the status of the background check via email. 

      For this temporary period, Staff HR (BAPPR) will track which new employees will need to be LiveScanned when fingerprinting services become available again, and will notify hiring managers and employees when appropriate. 

      If you have any questions about this temporary change in the background check process, please email backgrnd@ucsc.edu.

  1. Will instructor-led trainings continue while we are working remotely?
  2. Will training be live or recorded?
  3. Can I complete my compliance training during this time?
  4. What topic areas are popular at this time?
  5. Are customized trainings still available to meet my department’s needs?
  6. How can I arrange a training for my group?
  7. What other online resources are available?

In these difficult and rapidly changing times, we invite your questions and look forward to supporting you. Here is a list of most frequently asked questions:

  1. Will instructor-led trainings continue while we are working remotely?
    1. Yes. Learning & Development at UC Santa Cruz actively supports PPSM 50. "Non-probationary career employees are eligible for up to 80 hours (non-exempt) or 10 workdays (exempt) release time (prorated based on appointment) per calendar year for professional development, which should be career-ladder related."

      During this time of Social Distancing and remote work, we feel that professional development and personal growth are more important than ever in maintaining the excellence of our staff, growing our skills and meeting the mission of our campus.

      Our upcoming classes will be published by the end of March. You can register online at the UC Learning Center, and the Zoom link will then be shared with registered participants just prior to the class.
  2. Will training be live or recorded?
    1. Both. There will be a variety of formats, all accessible through our UCSC learning center and Zoom. 
  3. Can I complete my compliance training during this time?
    1. Yes. As always, your compliance training will be available through the UC Learning Center. Log into the UC Learning Center and click on “Required Training”. If you change the filter to “Required” you will be able to see if you have trainings waiting. Remember, by law, we all need to be current in the three UC mandated areas: Sexual Violence / Sexual Harassment Prevention, Cyber Security, and Ethical Values and Conduct. If you have additional questions about compliance training please direct them to LearningCenter@ucsc.edu.
  4. What topic areas are popular at this time?
    1. You can request trainings related to resilience, developing remote work skills, supporting business continuity and personal growth, to name a few. Here are some current options for you to choose from:
      • Power of Positivity
      • Resilience: Navigating the Unexpected With Grace
      • Maintaining Teams in a Time of Social Distance
      • How to Understand and Develop Emotional Intelligence
      • Avoiding Burnout
      • Excel Series
    2. You’ll also find numerous scheduled courses available to you. Our next offerings flyer will be posted by the end of March, and will have the times and descriptions for all of our spring courses.
    3. In addition, Learning & Development’s hosted trainings bring outside expertise to our UC learners. Descriptions, dates and registration links will be provided on our web site by the end of March. A sample of these offerings includes:
      • Managing Conflict in the Workplace
      • Understanding and Speaking Up to Bias
      • Leading Change with Cultural Humility at Work
      • Embodying Personal Leadership in Challenging Times
      • Mental Health First Aid
    4. Visit learn.ucsc.edu for dates and topics.
  5. Are customized trainings still available to meet my department’s needs?
    1. Yes. If your team has needs not covered by our scheduled offerings, we will develop them for you.  To inquire about the process, contact us. We will work with you to assess your needs and facilitate training.
  6. How can I arrange a training for my group?
    1. Please contact us to provide us with your training requests and preferred time frames.
  7. What other online resources are available?
    1. Academic Impressions provides a series of hosted live and recorded webcasts.  Watch for information on viewing party dates for relevant topics, and take the opportunity to connect as a team.
    2. UC offers access to Gartner Research and their writing on Pandemic PreparationBusiness Continuity, best practices for Remote Work, and more. Use your UCSC email to register.
    3. My UC Career is an online development portal available to all UC employees seeking to advance their career. 

If you still have unanswered questions, let us know!

  1. Is Talent Acquisition (TA) fully operational?
  2. How has Position Management been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis?
  3. I have selected candidates to interview for my recruitment. How do I interview them?
  4. One of my candidates does not have a computer. How do I interview them?
  5. During the Covid-19 crisis, will new employees be attending Onboarding in Scotts Valley?
  6. Will the bi-monthly Benefits Orientation be suspended?
  7. Can my selected candidate work remotely?
  8. Are background checks still required, and is the procedure the same?
  9. How will Action Hires (current employees transferring to a new position) sign their official paperwork?
  10. When will hiring managers be trained on TAM?
  11. How can the campus keep up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 Staff HR related news?

  1. Is Talent Acquisition (TA) fully operational?
    1. Yes. Although TA is working remotely, it is business as usual (with a few adjustments).
  2. New - How has Position Management been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis?
    1. As of May 12, 2021, additional position management activities related to the Covid-19 crisis are no longer required.
  3. I have selected candidates to interview for my recruitment. How do I interview them?
    1. All candidates (until further notice) should be interviewed via Zoom.
  4. One of my candidates does not have a computer. How do I interview them?
    1. Interviewing candidates via phone works just fine.
  5. During the Covid-19 crisis, will new employees be attending Onboarding in Scotts Valley?
    1. No, not in Scotts Valley. TA implemented a fully remote process beginning 03/23/2020. Onboarding takes place via ZOOM on Mondays and Thursdays at 9:00 am. Our TA Admins will notify selected candidates with instructions for the onboarding process.
  6. Will the bi-monthly Benefits Orientation be suspended?
    1. The Benefits Orientation is being offered once a month via ZOOM. The Benefits team will reach out to all new and returning employees to provide important benefits information and ensure employees are able to sign up for an orientation if desired. Please see the Benefits Orientation site for current information.
  7. Can my selected candidate work remotely?
    1. That is up to the hiring managers in conjunction with their departments/units. If it is possible for the candidate to work remotely and they can be trained remotely, then it is recommended the candidate work remotely. If it is not possible, the candidate can work onsite in alignment with current location guidelines. Check with your unit on this.
  8. Are background checks still required, and is the procedure the same?
    1. Background checks are still required for all hires accepting a critical position. Live Scan was previously on hold, and an online background check process was used instead (HireRight). As of March 2021, the Live Scan process is being utilized again. For additional information, please refer to the Business Administration website.
  9. How will Action Hires (current employees transferring to a new position) sign their official paperwork?
    1. Action Hires will sign their paperwork via Docusign. Our TA Admins will reach out to them and make necessary arrangements.
  10. When will hiring managers be trained on TAM?
    1. TA offers ongoing Recruitment Traning for Hiring Manager. You can visit the Recruitment Training site for more information.
  11. How can the campus keep up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 Staff HR related news?
    1. Refer to the following link: Information on Covid-19
  1. Who pays for the UC expanded paid administrative leave, emergency paid sick leave, and emergency family medical leave provided to employees?
  2. If I have been released from my job because I hold a casual/restricted student, limited, contract, per diem or by agreement appointment or my hours have been reduced, and I have exhausted all of the paid leave entitlements available to me, am I eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
  3. UPDATED: 11/24/20 I plan on traveling over Thanksgiving or winter closure. The California Department Public Health recommends that I self-quarantine for 14 days after I return home. Can I use paid leave to self-quarantine?
  4. UPDATED: 11/24/20 Governor Gavin Newson issued a limited stay at home order preventing non-essential travel between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. If I work on campus or at University owned, operated, or controlled facility between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., can I continue to come to work and do I need a note?
  5. I have more questions, who do I contact?

  1. Who pays for the UC expanded paid administrative leave, emergency paid sick leave, and emergency family medical leave provided to employees?
    1. There are no additional funds being provided to the campus to pay for these leaves. Therefore, the campus is responsible to cover all costs related to these leaves.
  2. If I have been released from my job because I hold a casual/restricted student, limited, contract, per diem or by agreement appointment or my hours have been reduced, and I have exhausted all of the paid leave entitlements available to me, am I eligible to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
    1. Yes. Please visit the Employment Development Department site for comprehensive information on how to file a claim.
  3. UPDATED: 11/24/20 I plan on traveling over Thanksgiving or winter closure. The California Department Public Health recommends that I self-quarantine for 14 days after I return home. Can I use paid leave to self quarantine?
    1. If you are voluntarily traveling over the holidays or anytime and you work on-site, you may choose to self-quarantine; however, the University does not require you to self-quarantine. If you choose to self-quarantine, you can use your vacation time or compensatory time off (CTO) to cover the days you are absent from work. If you meet one of the qualifying reasons to use UC paid administrative leave, such as requiring child care or contracting COVID, you may use the paid administrative leave to cover your absences. As a reminder, after January 1, 2021, EPSL and EFML are no longer available for use as these federal programs expired on December 31, 2020.
  4. UPDATED: 11/24/20 Governor Gavin Newson issued a limited stay at home order preventing non-essential travel between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. If I work on campus or at University owned, operated, or controlled facility between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., can I continue to come to work and do I need a note?
    1. If you work on-site between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. you can continue to come to work as scheduled. University employees are considered essential workers. No note is required to continue working as scheduled.
  5. I have more questions, who do I contact?
    1. If you have employee-specific questions, please contact your Employee Relations Analyst. If you have general questions, please email your question to covid–19-questions-group@ucsc.edu.

Definitions and types of leaves referenced in this FAQ

  1. UC Executive Order (EO), March 16, 2020: Grants up to 128 hours of UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave for all employees due to COVID–19 related reasons as defined in executive order.
    1. Executive order in English
    2. Aquí está la Orden Ejecutiva en español
  2. UCOP FAQ Guidance document April 6, 2020, revised on April 13, 2020, further revised on April 27, 2020, May 4, 2020, October 12, 2020 and further revised on March 31, 2021.