The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa announced Monday it will provide up to 80 hours of paid leave to employees affected by COVID-19 or related complications. The program aims to replace federal benefits that expired Dec. 31.
“We have implemented this program to protect the campus community from the spread of the coronavirus while acknowledging that balancing work and our personal lives is an important part of the University’s mission,” Stuart Bell, the university’s president, said in a press release. “We want to assist our outstanding faculty, staff and student workers when they need time for illness or to care for their children during this unprecedented pandemic.”
All full-time, part-time, on-call, temporary and student workers are eligible for the program. The 80 hours of paid leave will be prorated for employees who work less than full-time. The pay rate for COVID-19 leave days is two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate. Employees can supplement the remaining one-third with accrued sick leave, annual leave or compensatory time they have available.
To qualify, an employee must be diagnosed with COVID-19 and subject to a quarantine or isolation order; have COVID-19 symptoms awaiting a medical diagnosis or testing confirmation; receive an order to quarantine or isolate because of close contact with an infected individual or as directed by a case manager with the UA COVID-19 Support Program; experience side effects within two weeks of a COVID-19 vaccination; or care for children under the age of 18 whose school, place of care or childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19 precautions.
The program does not replace the university’s existing leave benefits.