Dear UWM Faculty and Staff,
It’s April Fools’ Day and I am delighted to share some good news that is no joke. Our lives will be impacted by COVID-19 for a prolonged period and thus, UW System is extending COVID-19 leave with an additional 272 hours. UW System is also extending the vacation carryover deadline for this fiscal year.
The interim policy took effect yesterday (March 31). It implements leave provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizing the health and safety of our people.
Under the policy, faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited appointees, employees-in-training, graduate assistants (teaching assistants, research assistants and program assistants, and temporary employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic may use up to 272 hours (prorated based on percentage of appointment) of COVID-19 leave for the period of March 31 through May 1, 2020. This is in addition to the 80 hours that were provided for March 17-30. This will cover employees who are:
- unable to work remotely (telecommute or telework);
- diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis;
- caring for an immediate family member who has a diagnosis of COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis;
- caring for an immediate family member subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine; or
- caring for children or elders due to school/care closures.
Further guidance and FAQs from our HR team are under development and will be available soon. Questions may be sent to email@example.com.
Employees may enter COVID-19 leave in HRS as they would other types of paid leave and should contact their unit’s payroll coordinator with any questions. It is important to note that COVID-19 leave will become unavailable after May 1, 2020. For that reason, it is helpful to use COVID-19 leave now instead of vacation, sick leave, or another type of paid leave. Information about leave bank processing guidelines is available here.
The carryover deadline for unused vacation has been removed this year given the reality that many people canceled planned vacations to respond to the pandemic. See below for more details and additional important coronavirus-related updates.
I also encourage you to tune into WUWM 89.7 FM tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. or thereafter for a special edition of the UWM Today show about how we are managing the COVID-19 crisis. Vice Chancellor of University Relations Tom Luljak interviewed me, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen, and Chief Student Affairs Officer Kelly Haag.
Until my next update, please take good care of yourself and loved ones.
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee