COVID-19 HR Information

As a result of the  COVID-19 pandemic, there have been updates to work and leave provisions, health benefits, and other HR items. Please consult this webpage for the most up-to-date information. 

Page updated Feb. 11, 2022.

COVID-19 Vaccine Work Provisions

Permanent and temporary employees may use a limited amount of paid work time to receive their dose of the COVD-19 vaccine, with prior supervisor approval.

Reference the limitations and guidance below:

  • Up to two hours of paid time worked granted (and two additional hours if a second dose is required).

  • Up to two hours of paid time worked granted for the COVID-19 vaccine booster.    

  • Requests beyond two hours of paid time worked for a vaccine requires justification and will be subject to the approval of the associate vice chancellor of human resources.

  • This paid work time does not affect available COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave. 

  • No entry is needed in Kronos.

  • Employees do not need to clock in/out for time to go get vaccinated.

Please note: Employees who are on other pre-approved leave (e.g. FMLA, child care, vacation leave, parental leave) are not eligible to use paid time worked to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine during their leave of absence.

Vaccination reactions

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave may be used if a permanent employee experiences a reaction to their vaccination, either on the day of the vaccination or the following day. Employees must use their accrued personal leave for reactions that are experienced beyond the day after vaccination. Reference the COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) section below for more information.

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)

As of Jan. 13, 2022, through the end of the public health emergency permanent employees may receive PAL for specific eligible conditions.

Eligible conditions:

  • Vaccine adverse reactions: The employee experiences a reaction to their COVID-19 vaccination that prevents them from returning to work, either on the day of the vaccination or on the following day. 

    • For continuing adverse reactions experienced beyond the day after vaccination, employees must use their own accrued personal leave.

  • Quarantine or isolation: The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or has been advised to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official, and the employee cannot telework during the quarantine/isolation period. Please consult with the Benefits Office if you have any questions. 

    • In cases such as being exposed to someone who tested positive, employees do not need to quarantine if fully vaccinated and they are not symptomatic. In that situation, employees would not qualify for PAL. Please review the Niner Nation Cares website for more information on define vaccination status at UNC Charlotte.

Non-eligible conditions:

Starting Jan. 13, 2022, the following reasons are not considered eligible for PAL:

  • Employees must use personal leave (subject to supervisor approval) for possible exposures/symptoms that to not result in ordered or advised quarantine or isolation. 

Allocation:

Under the eligible conditions above, COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave is allocated as described below:

  • The employee may receive up to 80 hours of COVID-19 paid administrative leave for the absences prior to using any accrued personal leave and paid time off.

  • Once this 80 hours has been exhausted, the employee must use their accrued personal leave and paid time off for the absences.

  • Once the employee has exhausted their accrued personal leave and paid time off, then the employee may consult with the Benefits Office at Benefits@uncc.edu or 704-687-8134 for further guidance on their situation.

Special Notes: 

  • Use of this COVID-19 PAL for the eligible reasons listed above is cumulative from March 16, 2020, through the end of the public health emergency. If an employee used FFCRA emergency paid sick leave in 2020 for any of those reasons then those hours must be deducted from any remaining COVID-19 PAL available through this section.

Application for PAL:

Complete the Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) Request Form to apply.

COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank

UNC Charlotte created a “leave bank” so employees can donate leave to colleagues who cannot work due to an eligible COVID-19-related reason and have exhausted their available leave.  

As of July 1, 2021, The COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank has been suspended and will be re-evaluated as needed.

Interchangeability of Leave

The provision that allowed for the interchangeability of leave ended on Dec. 31, 2021.

Community Service Leave (CSL)

CSL in K-12 schools

Through Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 246 effective Jan. 12, state employees are allowed to use volunteer days with advance supervisor approval to work in North Carolina K-12 public schools as substitute teachers, cafeteria staff and bus drivers in order to help combat staff shortages due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases. 

As a result, the Office of State Human Resources has extended the following time-limited exceptions to the Community Service Leave Policy: 

  1. State employees are eligible to use community service leave for time spent training to be a substitute teacher, substitute teacher’s assistant, or other substitute staff at a school or school district.

  2. State employees are eligible to use community service leave for activity in the schools (with the exclusion of any time spent in religious activities), regardless of whether they receive pay for the activity.

Eligible time period for exceptions: Thursday, Jan. 12 through Friday, April 15. Please review the list of websites that explain each school district’s substitute program.

Governor Cooper Extends Policy and Provides More Volunteer Hours for State Employees to Provide Support in Schools

Governor Roy Cooper Feb. 9 announced an extension of the policy that allows state employees to use volunteer days to help combat staff shortages in K-12 school districts across the state due to COVID-19. The extension, through April 15, provides an additional 24 hours of Community Service Leave for state employees with supervisor approval to work in North Carolina schools as substitute teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff and other needed roles – in addition to the standard 24 hours of volunteer leave provided annually.

How to account for this leave in Kronos

Employees must submit a time off request in Kronos and select COMSVC as the leave type. 

Requests should include all of the following information in the comments section:

  1. School district

  2. Service role in schools: (substitute teachers, bus drivers, and/or cafeteria staff)

  3. Indicate time used for: (training or service activity)

  4. Contact Krissy.Kaylor@uncc.edu if requesting the additional 24 hours to use for CSL in K-12 schools.  

*Supervisors should not approve requests that are missing this information. Reject the request and have the employee enter all three (3) items.*

Questions about this policy exception should be referred to Krissy Kaylor in the Benefits Office at krissy.kaylor@uncc.edu or 7-0649. Questions about reflecting in Kronos may be referred to Donna Cochran, the Kronos System Administrator at KronosTime@uncc.edu or 7-6110.

Expanded Community Service Leave

Because of the pandemic, the UNC System Office has allowed for several modifications to CSL, including COVID-19 related service activity and tutoring and mentoring. 

Tutoring and Mentoring: During the state of emergency and when a school mandates or offers virtual classes, employees may choose the 36-hour tutoring and mentoring option under CSL as part of a formal standardized program or a non-conventional tutoring/mentoring arrangement. For example, tutoring sessions may be carried out in a virtual and/or in-person environment, performed as part of a remote student cohort, or could include activities with an employee’s own child(ren). These provisions expand the policy definition of “at-risk” students to include those that, by virtue of their circumstances, are more likely than others to fail academically, particularly in a virtual academic environment, and who require temporary or ongoing support to succeed academically.

Complete the Community Service Leave (CSL) for Literacy, Tutoring, Mentoring Request Form to request this option for 2021.  

State Health Plan 

COVID-19 Update for Employees:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine continues to be covered at 100% by the Plan. While there is no member cost, the State Health Plan is paying for the administration of the vaccine, so it is important that employees present their ID card. The vaccine is currently being paid for by the federal government. 
  • Testing:
    • The Plan is waiving the cost associated with the testing of COVID-19 regardless of site of service (where you receive the test). This waiver as directed by the CARES Act is currently in place until the end of the CARES Act. The waiver includes associated deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. (Testing and treatment at an out-of-network provider may incur non-reimbursable charges.)
    • Coverage for At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Tests (Members Enrolled in the 70/30, 80/20 PPO Plans & HDHP) - Per the President's Executive Order, At-Home Rapid COVID-19 tests will be covered 100% effective January 15, 2022. The State Health Plan (Plan) will offer this coverage to Plan members enrolled in the 80/20 and 70/30 PPO Plans as well as the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) via the pharmacy benefit. There is a limit of 8 At-Home Rapid tests per 30 days. This does not apply to tests purchased prior to January 15, 2022. Visit visit the State Health Plan’s website for options.
  • As a reminder, many providers offer telehealth or virtual visits. The applicable copay for a Primary Care Provider (PCP) office visit will apply. 
  • The COVID treatment cost-share waiver expired June 30, 2021; therefore, treatment or services related to COVID-19 are subject to the applicable cost-share amounts. 

Please visit the State Health Plan’s website for more information regarding COVID-19 benefits.

Flexible Spending Account Update -Temporary Relief for COVID-19

On Dec. 27, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This Act provides additional temporary relief to Health Flexible Spending Accounts and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Reference the provisions the State of North Carolina is temporarily adding to your plan.

At-Home COVID-19 Tests Now FSA Eligible

The Health Care Flexible Spending Account allows you to spend pre-tax funds on eligible expenses such as over-the-counter medicine, out-of-pocket medical expenses, PPE (through 2022), and now, at-home COVID-19 tests.

sample list of eligible items can be found in the FSA section of ncflex.org

Questions? 

Contact the Benefits Office at Benefits@uncc.edu.