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 Oct. 5, 2021.

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 July 1, 2021, 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 order: The employee is subject to a quarantine order or has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider or public health official, and the institution determines that the employee cannot telework during the quarantine 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 (two weeks after completion of your vaccination protocol) and they are not symptomatic. In that situation, employees would not qualify for PAL

Non-eligible conditions:

Starting July 1, the following reasons are not considered eligible for PAL:

  • Absences due to isolation orders or non-quarantine possible exposures or symptoms. Employees must use personal leave.

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 in the fall.

Interchangeability of Leave

The interchangeability of leave has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021. Employees may use accrued sick leave, vacation leave, and bonus leave interchangeably because of potential ongoing COVID-19 pandemic issues. 

Please note, this provision does not allow interchangeability of leave usage in regard to the leave options provided in state policy for retirement, transfer, or separation. For example, as an employee approaches their retirement date, they cannot use sick leave as terminal leave, but they can use their vacation leave in accordance with state OSHR vacation policy. 

Expanded Community Service Leave (CSL)

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. 

The following changes are in effect as of July 1, 2021:

  • COVID-19 Related Service Activity: Employees were granted up to 80 hours of Expanded Community Service Leave (CSL) for service with non-profit organizations on COVID-19-related volunteer activities, effective Jan. 1, 2021. This expanded CSL ends June 30, 2021, and any unused portion of the 80 hours is forfeited. These hours are accounted for separately from an employee’s regular annual allotment of 24 (or 36) hours community service leave.

  • 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.

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. 
  • 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 October 18, 2021. The waiver includes associated deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. (Testing and treatment at an out-of-network provider may incur non-reimbursable charges.)
  • As a reminder, many providers offer tele-health 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 December 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.