COVID-19: Employee Leave Options

Human Resources is assembling guidance and resources to help employees navigate leave options as the university operates under modified operations in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). More information will be published as it becomes available.
Last updated April 28, 2020 at 4:45 p..m.


The university recognizes the impact that COVID-19 may have on an employee's ability to work for various reasons including:

  • The need to care for children impacted by school and daycare closures.
  • The need to take time off due to personal illness.
  • The need to care for an ill family member/dependent.

The first course of action is to explore flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible schedules, where possible. Because flexible work arrangements are not always appropriate or viable due to personal and operational realities, we want to highlight the university’s leave programs available during the UO COVID-19 response, which includes a new UO emergency sick leave program and an expansion of FMLA and OFLA due to school closures.

UO Emergency Sick Leave Program

We are temporarily implementing a new UO emergency sick leave program to be utilized while the university responds to the COVID-19 outbreak. The program is based on the new federal “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” (H.R. 6201). It provides employees with access to additional paid leave and provides broader benefits than the federal law requires.

The UO emergency sick leave benefit covers two weeks of work and is effective March 20, 2020 for SEIU employees and March 23, 2020 for all other employee groups. The leave will be available for employees to use until December 31, 2020. The basic provisions of this leave include:

  • Full-time employees receive 80 hours of additional paid sick leave.
  • Part-time employees receive enough pro-rated, additional sick leave to cover two weeks of work.
  • May be applied to cover things such as care of children during school or daycare closures due to public health emergency, as well as various health related reasons (personal illness or the illness of a dependent requiring care). This leave may be used for a broader range of purposes than the federal program permits.
  • Will be paid at the employee’s full rate of pay for all covered purposes unlike the federal program.
  • May be used in addition to other employee leaves available through existing collective bargaining agreements and university policies.
  • May be used before other paid leaves are applied.

Employee Eligibility

Emergency sick leave applies to all employee groups – student employees, graduate employees, classified employees, officers of administration, and faculty. This includes the following employees:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • 9-month appointments
  • Student employees
  • Graduate employees
  • Temporary employees who work a regular schedule (see guidance below)
  • Post-retirement appointments (see guidance below)

New hires are eligible to utilize UO emergency paid sick leave immediately upon hire.

Temporary Employees and Retirees in Post-Retirement Appointments: Eligibility Requirements
Temporary non-regular and post-retirement employees who have a regular, on-going schedule are eligible for UO emergency paid sick leave. Those who work at special events that have been canceled and therefore have not been on payroll for at least 30 days are not eligible.

For example, a temporary non-regular employee who is scheduled to work 15 hours each week is eligible for up to 30 hours of prorated emergency paid sick leave. A temporary non-regular employee who is scheduled to work only the Spring football game is not eligible.

Reporting Process

UO emergency sick leave can be applied through the usual time reporting process for your unit or department. There is no separate approval process required. Please contact your supervisor or your unit’s or department’s payroll administrator for further assistance and additional guidance.

Leave Options

Leave options are based on employee group. Select the employee group for your position to review your leave options during the time the university is responding to COVID-19.


Please refer to this web resource often as more guidance and resources may be added. HR will continue to update and enhance this webpage as circumstances evolve and additional information becomes available.