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Public Health Emergency Leave

William & Mary Guidelines
Public Health Emergency Leave - DHRM Policy 4.52
Effective January 10, 2022 (Subject to Change)

Introduction

The state’s Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) policy permits eligible employees to attend to the medical needs of themselves and immediate family members by providing up to 40 hours of paid leave per leave year due to positive cases of COVID-19.

Eligibility

All staff (operational and professional), faculty (including adjuncts), and hourly employees are eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL).

Amount of Leave

Full-time employees are eligible to receive up to 40 hours of PHEL.  The PHEL allotment is prorated for employees working than less full-time.  For example, an employee whose normal schedule is to work 20 hours per week is eligible for 20 hours.

Employees who are otherwise eligible to use PHEL may do so with agency approval and through the submission of medical documentation in accordance with the following criteria:

  • PHEL may be used to attend to an employee’s own illness due to a confirmed positive COVID-19 test from a medical provider. The employee’s return to the workplace must comport with the CDC’s recommendations.
  • PHEL may be used to provide home care to an immediate family member who has contracted COVID-19 through a confirmed positive test from a medical provider.
  • Up to 8 hours of the 40 hours of PHEL may be used to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster or to recover from side-effects resulting from obtaining the vaccine. Documentation of the vaccination/booster injection will suffice for access to the PHEL used for this purpose.
  • Once the allotment of PHEL is used, employees may use appropriate and available leave balances (Traditional or VSDP Sick Leave, Family-Personal Leave, Annual Leave, Compensatory Leave, Overtime Leave, Recognition Leave) or Leave without Pay.

How to Request PHEL

To request PHEL due to an employee’s own or an immediate family member’s positive test result for COVID-19 based on the above criteria, the employee needs to complete and sign the request form located here.  After completing the form, the employee needs to provide medical documentation to the Office at Human Resources by either sending it to AskHR@wm.edu, faxing it to (757) 221-7724, or dropping it off at Bell Hall.  Once Human Resources confirms eligibility for use of PHEL, the leave will be added to the employee’s leave balances in Banner.  The employee may then utilize the leave when submitting his/her timesheet.  For 9-month faculty who do not normally complete a timesheet, HR will notify their chair of the approval to use PHEL.  The use of PHEL is in addition to the requirement that employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are required to isolate as a close contact will report their status for case management purposes using ReportCOVID.

To request PHEL to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and/or recover from its side-effects, the employee should send a request to his/her supervisor.  The supervisor then sends the request to AskHR@wm.edu with the subject line of “PHEL Request - Vaccine”.  The supervisor should include the employee’s name and Banner identification number with the request.  Once Human Resources confirms eligibility for use of PHEL, the leave will be added to the employee’s leave balances in Banner.  The employee may then utilize the leave when submitting his/her timesheet.  For 9-month faculty who do not normally complete a timesheet, HR will notify their chair of the approval to use PHEL.

Modifications to Public Health Emergency Policy 4.52: 

Employees who are positive for COVID-19 but asymptomatic may telework for the isolation period (per CDC’s guidance) provided the position’s duties are suited for telework.

Wage Employees:
Agencies must provide paid PHEL leave to wage and adjunct faculty for the COVID-19 circumstances noted above prorated according to the average hours normally worked in their position over a one-week period. Hours of paid leave awarded to wage or adjunct faculty must be counted toward the 1500 hour maximum threshold and included in Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting. Agencies may record PHEL as worked time in timekeeping systems. It should be documented that the time recorded as “worked” is actually charged to PHEL. (Agencies may need to report on PHEL usage.)

Maximum number of PHEL hours:

Full-time, salaried employees: up to 40 hours for the current leave year beginning 1/10/22.
Part-time, salaried employees: pro-rated based on their f.t.e. status. (50% salaried employee would be granted up to 20 hours per leave year.)
Wage employees: pro-rated according to the average hours they would normally work in their position for a one-week period.
Wage or adjunct employees who are not currently working for the university are not eligible to use PHEL (e.g., seasonal, adjunct faculty who are not teaching for a semester)

 

Any questions about PHEL should be sent to AskHR@wm.edu.