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.

Update: Effective October 1, 2022, the University has extended the use of EPSL21 and EPSL22 from September 30, 2022 to December 31, 2022. New employees hired during this frame will be eligible for an EPSL22 allotment based on their appointment percentage. Please see below for further information.


In recognition of the many challenges UC employees continue to face, the University has provided an allotment of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) in 2021 and 2022 (now called EPSL 2021 and EPSL22). Employees hired on or after January 1, 2022 and before December 31, 2022, will be allotted up to 80 hours of EPSL22 depending on percentage of time and date of hire; employees hired before September 30, 2021 may have up to a potential total of 160 available hours (EPSL21 and EPSL22 combined) depending on percentage of time and date of hire and may use available EPSL21 and EPSL22 hours through December 31, 2022. Employees will receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL21 and EPSL22. Although state law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL, the University has once again decided not to apply these caps. The University 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 in 2021 and 2022.

Eligibility for retroactive use of 2021 EPSL

UC employees who did not exhaust their EPSL21 entitlement are eligible to retroactively use EPSL21 if they took an eligible leave between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021, and for one or more of the five qualifying reasons found on the Request Form for Retroactive Use of 2021 EPSL applies to the leave.

An employee may request to retroactively use their EPSL21 entitlement orally or in writing by completing the Request Form for Retroactive Use of 2021 EPSL. The form also includes additional information regarding the retroactive use of EPSL21. Employees must submit requests for retroactive EPSL21 by December 6, 2022.

 

  1. What is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  2. For what reasons could an employee take Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  3. Who is eligible for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)? Revised as of 3/29/2022
  4. When is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) effective? Revised as of 3/29/2022
  5. How do I request to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  6. What amount of pay will eligible employees receive during Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  7. Can employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) if they get sick from side effects of the SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine or booster?
  8. Will employees using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) continue to accrue service credit for purposes of UCRP and continue to accrue vacation and sick leave, if applicable?
  9. Does Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) need to be taken in one continuous block of time or can it be used intermittently?
  10. 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 (EPSL22)?
  11. 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 (EPSL22)?
  12. Can an employee take 160 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) for their own self-quarantine and then another amount of EPSL22 for another qualifying reason?

  1. What is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. Prior to 2022, in recognition of the many challenges UC employees continue to face with COVID-19, the University provided an allotment of 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21) in 2021 for full-employees (and part-time equivalent) hired on or before September 30, 2021. As COVID-19 continued to impact employees into 2022, effective February 19, 2022 through December 31, 2022, the University is providing an additional allotment of up to 80 hours of 2022 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) for full-time employees and the two-week equivalent for part-time employees. The University will permit employees to use EPSL22 retroactively to January 1, 2022. EPSL22 also provides eligible employees until December 31, 2022 to use any remaining hours from their EPSL21 entitlement. The University’s EPSL21 and EPSL22 programs are more generous than California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave under California Labor Code section 248.6.
  2. For what reasons could an employee take Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. The University’s 2022 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) is available to employees who are unable to work or telework for the reasons below:
    • Reason 1 (Quarantine or Isolation Period: The employee unable to work or telework and is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or a local public health officer with jurisdiction over the workplace.
    • Reason 2 (Isolate or Self-Quarantine):The employee is unable to work or telework because the employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine due to COVID-19.
    • Reason 3 (Testing, Diagnosis, and/or Vaccination):
      1. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
      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 attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19;
      5. The employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster.
    • Reason 4 (Caring for a Family Member): The employee is unable to work or telework because they are caring for a family member who is either subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 (as defined by an order or guidance of the California Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local public health officer with jurisdiction over the workplace) or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.
    • Reason 5 (Closure of School/Child Care): The employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is caring for their child whose school, place of care, or child care provider is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
    • Reason 6 (Positive Test):The employee is unable to work or telework because the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or because the employee is caring for a family member who tests positive for COVID-19.
  3. Who is eligible for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. All employees are eligible for EPSL22 if one or more of the six qualifying reasons apply. Employees hired on or before September 30, 2021 who did not exhaust their EPSL21 entitlement are also eligible to use any remaining EPSL21 entitlement during the EPSL2022 period if one or more of the six qualifying reasons apply. 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 and EPSL22 for any reason listed in FAQ #2.
  4. When is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) effective?
    1. Employees are able to take EPSL22 beginning February 19, 2022 through December 31, 2022. Employees who did not exhaust their EPSL21 entitlement are also eligible to use any remaining EPSL21 hours through December 31, 2022. If an employee took any leave between January 1, 2022 and February 18, 2022 for one or more of the EPSL qualifying reasons, the employee may request that the University allow them to retroactively use EPSL22 as follows:
      1. If an employee took leave between January 1, 2022 and February 18, 2022 for one or more of the qualifying reasons but was not paid their regular rate of pay during that leave, the University will provide them with a retroactive payment using their EPSL22 entitlement upon the employee’s request submitted through the EPSL22 form. The number of hours of leave corresponding to the amount of the retroactive payment will be deducted from the appointee’s EPSL22 entitlement.
      2. If an employee used any paid leave between January 1, 2022 and February 18, 2022 for one or more of the qualifying reasons, the University will allow them to retroactively use EPSL22 for that leave and credit their leave banks for the time previously debited upon the employee’s request submitted by their supervisor on the EPSL22 Request Form. The decision to restore used time is the appointee’s decision.
    2. If an employee has a block EPSL leave in progress on December 31, 2022, the employee will be allowed to finish that block leave using any remaining 2021 or 2022 EPSL entitlement.
  5. How do I request to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. Employees are required to complete a 2022 EPSL Request Form and submit this to their supervisor. The supervisor must email the form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu for processing. Incomplete forms will be returned and supervisors will be notified of the need to resubmit a completed form before it can be processed.
  6. What amount of pay will eligible employees receive during Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22)?
    1. Employees will receive their regular rate of pay during EPSL21 and EPSL22. Although the law allows employers to place caps on pay for EPSL21 and EPSL22, the University has decided not to apply these caps.
  7. Can employees use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) if they get sick from side effects of the SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine or booster?
    1. Yes. If an employee who has EPSL22 (Reason 3(e)) available gets the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine or booster and gets sick from side effects of the vaccine or booster and is unable to work for that reason, the employee would be able to use EPSL22 for that time. An employee may also use EPSL22, reason 3(e) if they are caring for a family member who is experiencing side effects of the SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine or booster. If an employee has exhausted EPSL22 or opts not to use them, the employee would be able to use accrued sick leave, vacation leave and comp time off (CTO).
  8. Will employees using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) continue to accrue service credit for purposes of UCRP and continue to accrue vacation and sick leave, if applicable?
    1. Yes, employees using EPSL21 and/or EPSL22 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.
  9. Does Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) need to be taken in one continuous block of time or can it be used intermittently?
    1. EPSL21 and EPSL22 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 and EPSL22 as a block leave or intermittently in increments of at least one hour.
      2. Exempt employees who are teleworking may take EPSL21 and EPSL22 as a block leave or intermittently in whole day increments only.
      3. Employees working onsite may take EPSL21 and EPSL22 for any reason as a block leave. Employees working onsite may only take EPSL21 and EPSL22 intermittently for childcare under EPSL Reason 5. When taking EPSL21 and EPSL22 intermittently for Reason 5, non-exempt employees may take EPSL21 and EPSL22 in increments of at least one hour, and exempt employees may take EPSL21 and EPSL22 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 and EPSL22 until the employee either uses the full amount of EPSL21 and EPSL22 or no longer has a qualifying reason for using EPSL21 and EPSL22.
  10. 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 (EPSL22)?
    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.”
  11. 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 (EPSL22)?
    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 the 2022 EPSL Request Form to their supervisor. The supervisor must email the form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu.
  12. Can an employee take 160 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) for their own self-quarantine and then another amount of EPSL22 for another qualifying reason?
    1. No. The total number of hours for which an employee can take EPSL21 and EPSL22 is capped at 160 hours for full-time employees and the two-week equivalent for part-time employees. However, an employee can use portions of their EPSL in blocks for different reasons.
  1. Can I still approve overtime for my employees?
  2. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using any type of leave with pay entitlements?
  3. Are employees in their probationary period eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  4. If a probationary employee uses Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22), does that automatically extend their probationary period?
  5. 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. 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.
  2. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using any type of leave with pay entitlements?
    1. Yes, you can inquire which of the criteria is met for the purposes of using the appropriate leave with pay entitlement.
  3. Are employees in their probationary period eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. Yes. For new employees, as long as the individual employee meets the requirements for the different types of entitlements under the specified criteria, the employee is eligible for EPSL22.
  4. If a probationary employee uses Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22), does that automatically extend their probationary period?
    1. No. An employee’s use of EPSL22 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.
  5. 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. 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.
  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. 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?
  3. I want to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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 (EPSL22) 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 (EPSL22). 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. As a career employee, I’d like to donate some of my Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) 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 (EPSL22).
  3. I want to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22) 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 EPSL22 (Reason 5).
  4. 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, vacation accruals, compensatory time off (CTO) through December 31, 2022, 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 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.
  5. 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 (EPSL22) for Reason 5 while their child is at home?
    1. No. An employee is not eligible to use EPSL22 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 EPSL22 for Reason 5.
  1. I am a Per Diem employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
  2. I am a limited employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?

  1. I am a Per Diem employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL22 as a per diem staff member.
  2. I am a limited employee, am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL22)?
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL22 as a limited staff member.
  1. Am I guaranteed the ability to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22)?
  2. I am a non-academic student employee. Am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22)?
  3. How many hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) am I eligible for?
  4. How is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) 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 and EPSL22)?
    1. No. Although you may be eligible for EPSL21 and/or EPSL22 your appointment may also be ended by your supervisor at their sole discretion. You may use your leave entitlements through December 31, 2022, 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 and EPSL22)?
    1. Yes, you are eligible for EPSL21 and/or EPSL22 so long as you meet one of the EPSL criteria. Employees are required to complete a request form for retroactive use of EPSL21 and/or 2022 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 and EPSL22) am I eligible for?
    1. If hired prior to 2/7/22, the number of hours you are eligible for is determined using a six (6) month lookback period to determine your average hours over a typical biweekly pay period.
    2. If hired on 2/7/22 or later, the number of hours you are eligible for is determined using the job FTE % multiplied by 80.
    3. The number of hours you have available is visible at the bottom of your time record in the Time-Off Balances - CruzPay tab within CruzPay.
  4. How is Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) applied if I do not know my schedule?
    1. Once the number of EPSL21 and/or EPSL22 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


Managers/Supervisors

    1. Can I see my employees leave bank totals?
      1. CruzPay has been programmed to include the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22) hours that employees are eligible to use. The number of hours employees have available for EPSL21 and EPSL22 is visible in the employee's time record in the Time-Off Balances - CruzPay 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 or telework and is absent for a full day, and has a COVID-19 related absence, they may record the use of EPSL22 in whole day increments.
    3. Can I ask what my employee’s criteria is for using Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL21 and EPSL22)?
      1. Yes, you can inquire which of the criteria is met for using EPSL21 and EPSL22. Employees seeking to use EPSL21 and/or EPSL22 must complete therequest form for retroactive use of EPSL21 and/or the EPSL22 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 EPSL22 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 should I do?
  15. Are there any additional resource pages I can use?
  16. What is the status of my University of California Retirement Plan?
  17. 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 pandemic, 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.
  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.
    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. Are there any additional resource pages I can use?
    1. Visit the COVID-19 Risk management page.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.

Background Check Procedures

Hiring Managers, Staff, SMG, Students and Volunteers will be contacted via email from one of the following units: Talent Acquisition, Staff HR, Operations Background Team, SHR Background Team and Live Scan Services. Hiring Managers, Staff, SMG, Students and Volunteers will be provided with a link to schedule a LiveScan appointment.

Information about what the Applicant needs to bring to be LiveScan fingerprinted, either on or off-campus, will be contained in the email confirming their appointment. Please see more information below if the applicant is out of state.

Employees residing Out of State and International

Background checks for out of state and international will be conducted via our outside vendor. The outside vendor is used only for candidates who currently reside outside of California and therefore cannot undergo a CA DOJ Live Scan. This includes academics, staff candidates, student employees, volunteers, SMG employees (hired through the Vice Chancellor's office) and actions conducted by SHR compensation for current staff.

However, individuals who are cleared to work using the outside vendor will need to be Live Scanned via DOJ upon their arrival into the State of California either on or off campus.

The process for initiating a background check from our outside vendor is different from LiveScan Services.

Hiring managers will receive instructions on how to proceed with the outside vendor process from SHR teams once they are notified that their candidate has accepted their conditional offer of employment. Talent Acquisition will be the SHR unit in touch for staff hires, Compensation for employee action requests and Operations for student hires. For Supervisors of volunteers, academics and SMG hires, please contact the Background Check Team for instructions.

*** Please note that in some cases there may be an increase in the cost due to unknown factors such as varying state fees. This will not be known until you have received your invoice as there is not a way for the extra state fees to be determined until the completion of the background check.

International fees vary depending on the country. Please contact the SHR Background Check Team for these additional fee estimates.

During the process, the hiring manager will need to open a PO/PA in the amount of $75 and forward the following information to backgrnd@ucsc.edu: PO or PA#, legal name of person applying, their personal email address, the UCPath position#, the job title code and the hiring manager’s name and email address.

Staff HR (BAPPR-Admin) will initiate the background check from the outside vendor’s system. The outside vendor will notify the candidate via an email invitation with instructions on how to proceed.

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

  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 hybrid 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 page is kept updated and flyers are sent out monthly. You can register online at the UC Learning Center. Zoom links will then be shared with registered participants prior to the class.
  2. Will training be live or recorded?
    1. There are a variety of formats available, all accessible through our UCSC learning center.
    2. Linkedin Learning is currently offered free of charge to all UCSC Staff, Students and Faculty, when using a UCSC email address. There are over 10,000 offerings of varying subjects and length. Find Linked Learning courses in alignment with the UC’s Core Competencies.
  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 the red “Required Training” Tile. If you change the filter to “Required” you will be able to see if you have training waiting. Remember, by law, we all need to be current in the three UC mandated areas: Sexual Violence / Sexual Harassment Prevention (2 year renewal), Cyber Security (1 year renewal), and Ethical Values and Conduct (only taken once). 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 training related to resilience, developing remote work skills, supporting business continuity and personal growth, to name a few. Check out our Upcoming Classes page for information and registration. Here are some current options for you to choose from:
      • ABCs of Supervising Others
      • Hybrid Management Courses
      • Introduction to Google, parts 1 & 2
      • Professional Writing (Focus on email)
      • Psychological Safety
      • Wellness and Work
    2. You’ll also find numerous scheduled courses available to you. Our offerings flyers are sent out monthly, and will link to the times and descriptions for all of our workshops and courses.
    3. In addition, Learning & Development’s hosted training 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
      • UCSC Budget Series 1-4
    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 schedule 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. LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com)
    3. 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.
    4. 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. 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 except in those cases when the future incumbent(s) will be required to work onsite, in which case in person interviews may take place in alignment with current location guidelines.
  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 FAQ.
  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 Training for Hiring Managers. 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

These FAQs relate solely to the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy (the “Policy”). For general information about COVID-19, the COVID-19 vaccine, news and related resources, please visit the Student Health Center page here and select the corresponding buttons.

  1. How do I upload proof of vaccination?
  2. If I was vaccinated for COVID-19 through the Student Health Center, do I need to upload proof of vaccination?
  3. How do I request a medical/disability or religious exception or pregnancy deferral?
  4. How will I know if my medical/disability or religious exception request or pregnancy deferral request has been approved?
  5. What happens if my exception or deferral request is denied?
  6. What are Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs)?
  7. Are employees required to wear a mask while working on site?
  8. Are employees required to complete the daily symptom checks?
  9. If an employee is working remotely 100% time, are they required to be vaccinated?
  10. What is the asymptomatic testing program?
  11. What if an employee refuses to be compliant with up-to-date vaccinations and has not been approved for an exception or deferral?
  12. How will managers be notified if their employees are non-compliant with the policy?
  13. As a manager, what action am I expected to take for employees that are non-compliant with the Policy?
  14. I was recently hired at UC Santa Cruz, do I need to comply with the vaccination policy?
  15. I am obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or booster through UC Santa Cruz or through another facility (primary care physician, public health clinic, vaccine fair, local pharmacy, etc.). Will I be paid for the time it takes to receive the vaccine?
  16. As a non-exempt employee, how do I report the release time for the vaccine or booster on my time record if I do not have EPSL hours to use?
  17. As a non-exempt employee, how do I report using EPSL-qualifying time for the vaccine on my time record?

  1. How do I upload proof of vaccination?
    1. Employees should visit the Student Health Center Health e-Messenger to upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  2. If I was vaccinated for COVID-19 through the Student Health Center, do I need to upload proof of vaccination?
    1. No, vaccination information has already been stored to Health e-Messenger.
  3. How do I request a medical/disability or religious exception or pregnancy deferral?
    1. Employees can visit the Slug Strong website for more information on how to request a medical/disability or religious exception, or pregnancy deferral. Information and the forms are also available in the Policy itself.
  4. How will I know if my medical/disability or religious exception request or pregnancy deferral request has been approved?
    1. Individuals will be notified by either the Religious Exception Group or by the campus Disability Coordinator, who are responsible for reviewing the requests. Questions on the status may be directed to SHRHelp@ucsc.edu.
  5. What happens if my exception or deferral request is denied?
    1. Employees will be notified by the University if their exception or deferral request is denied.
  6. What are Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs)?
    1. NPIs are methods, other than vaccines, to help prevent and/or slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. NPIs include: wearing approved face coverings, completing the daily symptom checker, regular asymptomatic testing, avoiding crowded situations, staying home when sick, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals when possible.

      There are currently no NPIs in effect.

  7. Are employees required to wear a mask while working on site?
    1. Effective April 10, 2022, masks will not be required for most indoor settings at UC Santa Cruz facilities, but their use will still be strongly recommended. Masks will still be required on campus public transportation, in the Early Education Services centers, and in clinical settings, such as the Student Health Center and at indoor COVID-19 testing sites.While not required, indoor masking remains strongly recommended by campus leadership and local public health officials regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. We also support those who wish to continue masking, such as those who are immunocompromised or otherwise concerned about their health while on campus.
  8. Are employees required to complete the daily symptom checks?
    1. Our current symptom check protocols can be found here.
  9. If an employee is working remotely 100% time, are they required to be vaccinated?
    1. Employees who work 100% remotely AND will not be physically present at a University location or at in-person activities representing a University program for work, research, or education/training related purposes, are not Covered Individuals under the Policy and are therefore not subject to the vaccine requirement.

      Employees who work remotely but are required to attend in-person activities representing a program on behalf of the University at any location are considered covered individuals and would be subject to the Vaccine Policy.

      However, remote work is based on the business need of the unit and can be rescinded at any time. If an employee is expected to return to the worksite, even only occasionally, they are expected to comply with the Policy prior to accessing a University location or program.

  10. What is the asymptomatic testing program?
    1. For up to date information regarding testing, please visit the Student Health Center here.
  11. What if an employee refuses to be compliant with up-to-date vaccinations and has not been approved for an exception or deferral?
    1. Employees will be provided with three (3) notices of non-compliance and an opportunity to become compliant with the Policy. Employees who remain non-compliant will be subject to progressive discipline. With the exception of Senate Faculty, who are disciplined in accordance with CAPM 002.015 (Faculty Conduct and the Administration of Discipline), employees will receive a Letter of Final Warning, Letter of Censure, or a Memo of Expectations, as applicable. If the employee continues to be non-compliant with the Policy, they will be issued a Notice of Intent to Terminate.
  12. How will managers be notified if their employees are non-compliant with the policy?
    1. Managers, (including department chairs and college provosts, for academic appointees), will receive an email notification that their employee received a notice of non-compliance for each employee that they supervise who is not compliant with the Policy.
  13. As a manager, what action am I expected to take for employees that are non-compliant with the Policy?
    1. You need to direct your non-compliant employees to become compliant per Policy. You should provide them with information and assistance, as appropriate. If you have further questions about your role in managing non-compliance, please contact SHRHelp@ucsc.edu.
  14. I was recently hired at UC Santa Cruz, do I need to comply with the vaccination policy?
    1. All covered individuals are required to be compliant with the Policy. As a newly hired employee, you must become compliant with the Policy by: (1) providing proof of vaccination or (2) obtaining an approved exception (medical/disability or sincerely held religious belief) or pregnancy deferral within eight (8) weeks of your hire date.
  15. I am obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or booster through UC Santa Cruz or through another facility (primary care physician, public health clinic, vaccine fair, local pharmacy, etc.). Will I be paid for the time it takes to receive the vaccine?
    1. Yes. UC Santa Cruz will try to schedule your vaccine during your work time on campus. For non-exempt staff and academic employees, if your vaccine or booster is scheduled during your working time, you may use up to four (4) hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave ‘22 (EPSL) (for staff) or Emergency Paid Sick Leave ‘22 (EPSL for Academics), or will be given up to four (4) hours of paid release time during your shift to obtain the vaccine or booster. Exempt employees who receive a vaccine or booster during their workday will be paid for a full day of work.
  16. As a non-exempt employee, how do I report the release time for the vaccine or booster on my time record if I do not have EPSL hours to use?
    1. Non-exempt employees receiving release time can record up to four (4) hours as time worked on their time record and make a note in the “notes'' section indicating “COVID Vaccine”.
  17. As a non-exempt employee, how do I report using EPSL-qualifying time for the vaccine on my time record?
    1. Non-exempt staff employees using their EPSL to receive their vaccine or booster should record “EPSL” on their time sheets. Staff employees using EPSL should also submit their request for time off using the EPSL Request Form to covid-epsl-group@ucsc.edu.
  1. I have more questions, who do I contact?

  1. 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. Original Issuance: May 10, 2021, Second Issuance: October 6, 2021, Third Issuance: February 22, 2022, Fourth Issuance and September 30, 2022, Fifth Issuance.