Policy Updates in Response to COVID-19: Sick Leave and Remote Work Arrangements

This is to announce two policy adjustments we are making as a component of the University’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak; both are effective immediately.

Paid Sick Leave

Effective March 11, we will be assigning all staff two weeks (10 working days) of paid sick leave above and beyond accumulated time, up to the policy threshold of 120 total days. This pertains to all part-time (pro-rated) and full-time staff, as well as temporary employees, post-docs and student workers.

In accordance with the Staff Handbook, paid sick leave can be used for health reasons, family and dependent care obligations, and other conditions that have a bearing on physical and mental welfare. Paid sick leave may also be taken if care of a dependent family member is necessary due to the closure of a school or care facility.

Remote Work Arrangements

Second, we are asking that supervisors provide maximal flexibility in accommodating remote work arrangements for nonessential staff with assignments and circumstances that allow for remote work. This includes, but is not limited to, accommodations for staff practicing mandatory social distancing, staff 60 and older and those with underlying medical conditions that may put them at high risk for complications.

Essential staff/personnel are defined as individuals officially designated as critical to the operations of a particular unit, such that their presence is required regardless of an emergency situation and/or closure. If you are unsure whether or not you are considered essential staff/personnel, please contact your manager or department administrator.

Please note: Section IV. Work and Family of the University's Remote Location Agreement should be waived, as needed, if the agreement is in place. Staff should be provided the flexibility of working remotely if necessary to care for their family or dependents. The Remote Work Agreement is not required, and this is an opportunity to offer additional flexibility if and when needed.

Both of these policy adjustments are made with an abiding interest in the health and safety of the University community. We want to encourage all staff to take good care of themselves and their families and refrain from coming to work while ill.

Pitt IT has provided IT resources to support remote work.

Additional Information

As this situation unfolds, please refer to emergency.pitt.edu/covid19 as the definitive source of information for Pitt’s response to the outbreak. In addition, encourage your staff and faculty to sign up for emergency notification alerts. The University’s Emergency Notification Service will be used to communicate with subscribers through voice, text and email messages, as deemed appropriate in the event of an emergency.

Faculty will find important information about classroom and research continuation during this period of heightened concerns about COVID-19 on the Office of the Provost website, including information about continuity of instruction in the event of high student/faculty absenteeism or changes to normal campus operations. Additional questions should be directed to the faculty members’ chairs or deans.

If you have immediate, urgent questions about workplace environment, policies or other HR-related matters, please contact us. Otherwise, please stay tuned to emergency.pitt.edu/covid19 for the latest information.