Leave Process for Employees Related to COVID-19

Managers: If an employee informs you that they have contracted or have symptoms of COVID-19

  • Employees who have contracted COVID-19 should contact University Human Resources (UHR) Leave Administration at [email protected] to discuss time off and/or request a paid special leave as soon as possible. A symptomatic staff member may work remotely without taking sick or leave time if their manager approves. 
  • Inform the employee that they should not report to work, or if the employee has reported to work, to leave work, and contact UHR and their medical provider
  • Contact UHR Leave Administration at [email protected] or 401-441-4765 to report the employee’s situation and to discuss time off and/or request a paid special leave as soon as possible. Employees will be required to complete a contact tracing form that will be sent, from UHR, to their Brown email address.
  • UHR Leave Administration will work directly with the employee to obtain the necessary documentation. Employees will need to submit documentation directly to the Leave Administration team. If documentation is not provided, special leave will not be granted.
  •  Managers and supervisors should not be collecting any COVID-19 related medical documentation nor will any COVID-19 related medical documentation be shared with managers/supervisors.
  • Employees are required to follow the self isolation guidelines below:
    • The University now requires that community members who test positive for COVID-19 self-isolate for a period of five (5) days. The 5-day period applies regardless of previous infection, vaccination or booster status, and the presence or absence of symptoms.
    • To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms OR your asymptomatic positive test date (whichever is earlier).
    • Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or positive test result.
    • On day 5 you can take a rapid antigen test and if the result is negative and you have no symptoms or improving symptoms, you are released from isolation.
    • If the day 5 test is positive, you must continue to isolate until you have a negative result on a rapid test AND have no or improving symptoms OR reach day 10 (whichever is sooner).
    • If you are able to end isolation on day 5, it is important to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days, even at home.
  • Employees that continue to test positive on day 5 will be required to contact their medical provider for guidance on next steps. The employee must provide a medical note to UHR via fax to 401-863-2830 or securely email a copy to [email protected].
    • Leave Administration will confirm with the employee’s manager and HRBP that sufficient documentation to return to work has been received and will provide the date in which the employee is cleared to return to work.
    • If a release to return email, sent by Leave Administration, is not received, managers should send the employee home and inform them to contact [email protected].

Manager: If an employee informs you of exposure to COVID-19

If an employee has informed you that they have been exposed to COVID-19 as a result of a communication from the RIDOH, documentation from a healthcare provider, or has a household member in need of quarantine, take the following steps immediately:

  • Provide the employee with the CDC guidance for exposure to COVID-19:
    • Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
    • Individuals that are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines — this includes people who are not vaccinated — should  stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered day 0; Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible; If a release to return email sent by Leave Administration is not received, managers should send the employee home and inform them to contact [email protected]; Leave Administration will confirm with the employee’s manager and HRBP that sufficient documentation to return to work has been received and will provide the date in which the employee is cleared to return to work; Inform the employee to contact UHR Leave Administration at [email protected] to discuss time off or request a paid special leave as soon as possible. Leave Administration will work directly with the employee to obtain the necessary documentation. Employees will need to submit documentation directly to the leave administration team. Managers and supervisors should not be collecting any COVID-19 related documentation nor will any COVID-19 related documentation be shared with one’s manager/supervisor.

Business Process for Special Leave

Special Leave of Absence

Special Leave of Absence Eligibility Criteria:

  • An employee who is not sick and needs to provide care for a dependent or a household member in need of quarantine
  • An employee who is not sick and in need of quarantine
  • An employee who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, has been diagnosed, or required to care for a sick dependent or member of their household who needs medical treatment

A University Human Resources (UHR) Leave administrators will determine an employee's eligibility for special leave based upon the information and documentation provided. UHR will email the employee, manager, and HRBP to inform them of the decision. Special Leave may only be requested once to care for a household member in quarantine or self-isolation as described above. Special leave is effective as of the date in which symptoms began or the date of positive test result and is administered in a continuous manner. 

Important Note: Hourly employees must submit time by entering REGULAR HOURS during the Paid Special Leave period (not to exceed 10 business days but based on period of isolation). If an employee entered sick or vacation time off during the approved special leave period, the department is responsible for having this time off credited back to the employee.

Helpful Reminders

  • In absence of an employee being told to quarantine or testing positive for COVID-19, an employee may use their accrued sick/vacation time off to remain paid. If documentation is produced indicating quarantine or positive test results, paid special leave may be reinstated retroactively. Leave Administration will inform the employee, manager, and HR Business Partner as to how the time out of work should be documented.
  • To protect the privacy rights and the health and safety of every employee, no electronic or communication should be shared with others when an employee has contracted COVID-19.
  • All email communications should be sent secure using Virtru and should not include any personal identifying information.
  • In accordance with state guidance, employees should maintain a daily journal of contact with other colleagues, visitors, students, or other members of the University community to submit to their healthcare provider if they contract COVID-19.

Workplace Logistics

Immediately upon being notified, supervisors should inform their property manager (FM or other) and EHS, so appropriate facility cleaning and disinfecting can be coordinated. The identity of anyone testing positive must be kept confidential. No personal identifying information can be shared, only that there is a positive case in an office, floor, or building so that preparations can be made to clean the facility as recommended by CDC. If the closing of spaces is necessary, critical access can be handled on a case-by-case basis with assistance from EHS.