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COVID-19 Leave Bank and COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 17, 2020 – June 30, 2021 (This time period may be extended if needed.)

POLICY

COVID-19 Leave Bank

Effective August 17, 2020, Vanderbilt University provided all full-time benefits-eligible staff members access to a bank of up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) of pay to:

  • enable staff who have been authorized to work on-campus to quarantine off-campus, or if diagnosed with COVID-19 illness, to isolate and recover off-campus;
  • enable staff working remotely who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness and are symptomatic to isolate and recover. Staff who are working remotely and who are quarantining or isolating but asymptomatic and able to perform their work should continue their normal remote work (and are not eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank).
  • enable all staff, whether working remotely or on-campus to obtain a COVID vaccination, or to recover from side effects following a COVID vaccination (max. of two days total: one per vaccination).

Payment for the COVID-19 Paid Leave will be through Vanderbilt payroll on regular payroll dates. The amount of the benefit will be based upon current salary rate and determined by standard hours/full time equivalent of the position.  The COVID-19 Leave Bank is not paid when employees leave the employment of Vanderbilt and is not reinstated if the employee is rehired.

Staff who have a balance of Legacy Sick time must exhaust their Legacy Sick leave before utilizing the COVID-19 Leave Bank, unless they are taking COVID-19 vaccination leave as described below.

COVID-19 Vaccination Leave

Employees are encouraged to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health authorities, and in consultation with their health care provider.  When possible, employees should receive the vaccination during nonworking hours.

A staff member who is eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank may draw upon it to obtain a vaccination, or to recover from side effects following a vaccination (max. of one day per vaccination). A staff member who is not otherwise eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank, or who has exhausted their COVID-19 Leave Bank, will be eligible for (a) up to 3 hours of Paid Administrative Leave for each vaccine appointment (max. of 2) and (b) up to one day of Paid Administrative Leave for each vaccine dose to recover from side effects of the vaccination that make the staff member unable to work. 

If an employee requests time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, when possible, that request must be made no later than three scheduled work days prior to the date of scheduled vaccination.  A leader must review and approve/deny the request away from work promptly. If approved, employees will work with their leader to schedule an appropriate time to leave work for their vaccination. The leader may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent for vaccination, when needed. If an employee requests time off the day a vaccination is made available, every effort will be made to allow the employee the opportunity to receive the vaccination. 

DEFINITIONS:

  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
  • Quarantine time period is typically 10-14 days from date of last exposure to a COVID-19 positive person but can vary based on the facts of the individual case.
  • Isolation separates people who are COVID-19 positive away from people who are not infected.
  • Isolation period for a COVID-19 positive individual with symptoms is typically 10 days from the onset of symptoms.  A symptomatic positive must be fever free and show signs of symptom improvement for at least 3 days prior to their end of their isolation period.  As a result, a symptomatic positive individual’s isolation may extend beyond 10 days.
  • Isolation period for COVID-19 positive individual with no symptoms is 10 days from test date.
  • Quarantine and isolation periods are determined by Student Health, Occupational Health, and medical providers for each individual based on CDC guidance and the health circumstances of each individual.

ELIGIBILITY

The COVID-19 Leave Bank is available to all full-time benefits-eligible staff as outlined below. The staff member must contact Occupational Health immediately regarding COVID-19 symptoms, positive COVID-19 tests, or quarantine orders. Eligible staff members who meet the following criteria will qualify for the COVID-19 Leave Bank:

  • A staff member who is diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, and is unable to work remotely;
  • A staff member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, has been tested and is awaiting test results in quarantine at home;
  • A staff member who has been advised by Occupational Health, the University PHCCC, a local health authority or their medical provider to quarantine due to concerns related to possible COVID-19 exposure, and is unable to work remotely;
  • A staff member who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 and is unable to work remotely;
  • A staff member who is advised by a household member’s medical provider to quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 and is unable to work remotely;
  • A staff member who is obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination or recovering from side effects following a COVID-19 vaccination.

A staff member who is not eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank or who has exhausted their COVID-19 Leave Bank will be eligible for (a) up to 3 hours of Paid Administrative Leave for up to two vaccination appointments and (b) up to one day of Paid Administrative Leave for recovery from side effects per vaccination dose which make the staff member unable to work. 

PROCESS

Staff members eligible for COVID-19 Leave Bank (other than for vaccination leave)

  1. Notify your leader of your absence and intention to utilize the COVID-19 Leave Bank.
  2. Submit documentation: In order to be approved to use the COVID-19 Leave Bank for purposes other than vaccination, staff must provide documentation supporting their request. Documentation may take the form of a doctor’s note, other similar medical documentation, Occupational Health or PHCCC notification to HR or the employee’s attestation via webform, which automatically routes the attestation to HR. Documentation may be sent to the FMLA team by fax (615-343-4142) or email (fmlaprocessing@vanderbilt.edu).
  3. Record time: Employees who are eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank should record that time as such in Oracle: non-exempt staff will use the COVID-19 Leave absence type to record those hours on their time card, and exempt staff will use the COVID-19 Leave absence type to record their absence in their “time and absences.” Depending on the reason(s) for and duration of the leave, FMLA may run concurrently with COVID-19 Paid Leave. 

Staff member COVID-19 vaccination leave

  1. Employee Request: Employees should request from their supervisor the time off they need to receive the vaccination.  The request, when possible, must be made no later than three scheduled work days prior to the scheduled vaccination.  If an employee requests time off the day a vaccination is made available, every effort will be made to allow the employee the opportunity to receive the vaccination. Supporting documentation of vaccination is not required and should not be submitted.
  2. Supervisor: Supervisors and employees will determine a reasonable arrangement that supports the operation of the work unit.
  3. Recording time in Oracle: Employees who are eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank should record that time as such in Oracle: non-exempt staff will use the COVID-19 Leave absence type to record those hours on their time card, and exempt staff will use the COVID-19 Leave absence type to record their absence in their “time and absences.” Employees who are not eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Bank, or who have exhausted their COVID-19 Leave Bank, should record that time as Paid Administrative Leave. 

RELATED RESOURCES

Family Medical Leave Act  Note that all existing certification requirements under the FMLA remain in effect if a staff member takes leave for one of the existing qualifying reasons under the FMLA.  For example, if a staff member takes leave beyond the two weeks of COVID-19 Paid Leave due to a medical condition for COVID-19-related reasons that rises to the level of a serious health condition, the staff member must continue to provide medical certifications under the FMLA.

Short-Term Disability  Note that in the case of illness, short-term disability is available to staff after two weeks.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Legacy Sick Leave