TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama will offer employees more help after a federal benefit that expired at the start of the new year was not renewed.
“Our employees are very important to us. They’re the lifeblood of the University,” said UA Vice President of Finance and Operations Matthew Fajack.
Fajack says the school is giving faculty and staff COVID-19 leave time to replace a benefit that ended when the CARES Act expired to start 2021. It helps those people affected by coronavirus related illness and complications by allowing them up to 80 hours of paid leave for certain qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.
“Whether they have COVID themselves or they’re taking care of someone with COVID, they’re having to quarantine because of close contact or probably the biggest challenge for our faculty and staff are having to take care of children when their schools are closed or they’re doing online school,” Fajack continued.
All full-time, part-time, temporary or contingent on-call faculty, staff and student workers who are unable to work or tele-work because of a qualifying reason related to COVID-19 are eligible no matter how long they’ve been on the job.
“These are unprecedented times so we wanted to give them some conditional comfort they will be able to manage their work life balance,” Fajack added.
He went on to say on average employees who need time off due to coronavirus used about 64 hours of sick time. Qualifying reasons for employees include:
- Diagnosed COVID-19 subject to a quarantine or isolation order
- COVID-19 symptoms awaiting a medical diagnosis or testing confirmation
- An order to quarantine or isolate because of close contact with an infected individual or directed by a case manager with the UA COVID-19 Support Program
- Side effects experienced within two weeks of a COVID-19 vaccination
- Caring for children under the age of 18 whose school, place of care or childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19 precautions.
Employees or their supervisor should call the UA COVID-19 Hotline, 205-348-CV19, as soon as possible if experiencing symptoms, diagnosed with the illness or been in close contact with an infected individual. Employees should not call the hotline for leave issues related to childcare.
Employees who request 2021 COVID Leave should submit the 2021 COVID Leave Request Form. The employee’s myBama username and password is required to access the request form. HR may request additional supporting documents, if necessary.