COVID-19: CHRO email to faculty and staff on December 1, 2020

Subject: UO announces COVID-19 personal day and extends emergency sick leave


Dear Colleagues,

Collectively, we continue to advance the University of Oregon mission by delivering exceptional teaching, research, and service. Even during the ongoing pandemic that continues to impact us all, we move forward. Now more than ever it is important to both take sick leave when you need to use it and to remind ourselves that it is important to find opportunities to refresh, recharge, and take care of oneself and each other in the current pandemic.

To support these goals, university leadership is extending two paid leave resources. First, the university will be providing a COVID-19 personal day to eligible employees to be used in the month of December 2020. Given the continuing pandemic the university will also be extending UO emergency sick leave to June 30, 2021 to ensure this important temporary leave protection continues should you need to care for yourself or others.

The COVID-19 personal day applies to this year only and must be used by December 31, 2020. An overview is provided below with more information, including eligibility criteria, available on the HR website.

  • The personal day is available to all UO employees in active pay status and is prorated based on FTE (8 hours for a full work day and prorated hours for the day based on the employee’s FTE), similar to the special day of leave (historically referred to as the “governor’s special day of leave”).
  • Employees obtain supervisor approval for the personal day by following the same process used for other time off requests and the leave should be applied to a single work day.
  • If unused by December 31, the day will expire. The day of leave does not carry forward or add to existing paid leave accruals.

Additionally, UO emergency sick leave remains available until June 30, 2021. At the beginning of the pandemic, the university provided faculty and staff with paid sick leave designated for use in response to COVID-related absences. The emergency sick leave was set to end on December 31. However, remaining balances will continue to be available until June 30, 2021 in light of the impact the pandemic continues to have on our community. Current balances will carry forward through the end of the fiscal year. All other provisions of the UO emergency sick leave remain in effect and are outlined on the HR website.

As we transition in the months ahead from fall term into winter, please take time to recharge and find renewed energy as we collectively work to see the university through this challenging time. I share President Schill’s optimism for the future of our institution and I attribute that to you and the inspiring work I hear about and witness every day across the university. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep us moving forward.

Best regards,

Mark Schmelz
Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President