FAQs About COVID-19 & Paid Administrative Leave

Below is a collection of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the Paid Administrative Leave that has been granted by UC. Please click here for a form that you can use to document any assignment you believe to be unsafe. Continue to report any COVID-19 related concerns to UPTE.

Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)

  • Under what conditions can I use the 128 hours of PAL that President Napolitano approved?
    • When you are unable to work because you or a family member has a COVID-19 related illness.
    • When you are unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to work for COVID-19 related reasons and it is not operationally feasible for you to work remotely.
    • When you are unable to work because of a COVID-19 related school or daycare closure that requires you to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for you to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.
    • When you have not been designated as performing essential functions, have been ordered to “shelter in place” and are not able to work remotely such as during campus closure
  • Can I use the PAL before my sick, vacation, or PTO accruals?
    • Yes
  • Do I have to use all 128-hours consecutively?
    • No. The bank of hours does expire December 31, 2020.
  • What if the campus closure exceeds 16 work days?
    • UPTE is demanding that the University continue members on payroll until such time that the campuses reopen. This is under negotiation with the Office of the President and is not resolved. You would still be able to use sick, vacation, or PTO accruals if the PAL was exhausted.
  • How much PAL do part-time staff get?
    • The allocation for career employees with less than full time appointments and those with fixed schedules shall be prorated based on appointment percentage.
    • Per Diem and Limited hours will be prorated based on hours worked over a two month time period as described in the below chart. For example if an employee worked 10, 16, 31 and 22 hours during the following Bi-Weekly periods, that would add up to 79 hours out of a possible 320 hours. 79/320=.25 or 25%. So, this person would be eligible for 25% of the 128 hours of paid admin time, 32 hours.


         Pay Cycles 

Pay Period Covering:

Bi-Weekly January 12, 2020 through January 25, 2020

January 26, 2020 through February 8, 2020

February 9, 2020 through February 22, 2020

February 23, 2020 through March 7, 2020

Monthly January 1, 2020 through January 31, 2020

February 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020


  • How does Paid Admin Leave affect my ability to collect unemployment if my hours are reduced?
    • While you are receiving an income from the University – including PAL – you are not eligible for unemployment. However, if your income is reduced, you may be eligible for under employment. Contact California’s Employment Development Department for information on eligibility and how to apply (link https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm)
  • Can healthcare workers whose hours are cut due to reduction in non-emergency procedures use the PAL?
    • Yes, you can use them for any reduction in your regularly scheduled hours caused by COVID-19.
  • Do I need a doctor’s note if I have been told to report to work but am sick?
    • Some locations are requiring doctor’s notes. Our UPTE contract states they cannot request a note until after three days of sick leave usage.
  • Do I need a doctor’s note if I have been told to report to work but am immunocompromised or above the age of 65?
    • UC may require your doctor to determine if you are unsafe to work and would need to write you a note. If reasonable accommodations – such as telecommuting –  are available the University is required to make a reasonable effort to accommodate. Otherwise, you will be placed on PAL.

Changes in work & work location

  • How is it determined who is essential and has to continue physically coming to campus or medical centers?
    • The State of California has deemed a number of types of workers as essential or exempt from the shelter-in-place order. UC management is free to use its judgement to determine which of these workers needs to continue working in order to maintain public health, essential campus operations, and remote operations.
    • Essential functions include, but are not limited to:
      • Clinical services
      • Patient and animal care
      • Critical campus infrastructure
      • Diagnostic laboratories
      • Critical ongoing research
      • On-site support for distance learning technology
      • For a complete listing of all workers deemed essential by the state of California:
  • What If I’ve been told I have to come to work but I don’t think my work is urgent enough to be worth the risk of spreading the virus?
    • Just because your job title is considered essential doesn’t mean that your particular position needs to come to work. Share your concerns with your supervisor. If they disagree, contact UPTE at coronavirus@upte-cwa.org and we will help advise whether or not your work can be stopped or done remotely.
  • What happens if my campus has closed?
    • For employees who can telecommute, you should be set up to work from home.
    • If you cannot work from home, you will be able to utilize the 128 hours of paid administrative leave related to Covid 19 that was provided by the president.
  • Can I telecommute if I work for the medical center?
    • The Office of the President has directed the medical centers to allow as many employees to telecommute as is feasible.
  • What if my supervisor says I cannot telecommute but I feel that my work can be performed remotely?
    • Share your concerns with your supervisor. Contact UPTE at coronavirus@upte-cwa.org and we will help advocate for you to work from home if it is feasible.
  • What if I provide direct patient care?
    • If you provide direct patient care, you can be considered by both the medical center and the state essential personnel and asked to come to work.
    • Some departments are finding creative ways for members to still provide care while staying such as telemedicine if you don’t need to be physically present.
    • We have also proposed in departments rotating schedules if reduced staffing is an option to allow less days of working directly with patients. Members would utilize the Paid Administrative Leave when hours are reduced.