Responding to Staffing Related to COVID‑19
The following are responses to common scenarios that managers may experience relating to COVID-19. These responses are to ensure consistency throughout the department.
An employee is requesting information relating to the Department’s efforts to address
Provide the employee a link to the CDCRNet Coronavirus Updates page, or the external COVID-19 Updates page.
The Inside CDCR article “CalHR Issues Novel Coronavirus Guidelines for State Staff” article will also feature updates.
An employee communicates that their dependent’s school, program, or facility is closed due to COVID-19 and requests time off.
Employees shall be able to use leave credits of all types available, including sick leave, to care for children as a result of school closure that officials determine are necessary to protect public health.
An employee communicates a request to telework for one day and/or multiple days.
If the request is related to a Reasonable Accommodation based on work restrictions or limitations provided by the employee’s physician, engage in the interactive process and notify the employee’s Return to Work Coordinator immediately.
If the request is not related to a Reasonable Accommodation then first determine if a telework agreement is on file before approving or denying.
- If there is a telework agreement on file, you may consider the request under the terms of the telework agreement and policy.
- If there is no telework agreement on file, you should approve or deny the request consistent with the applicable Bargaining Unit contract. You may be able to approve a portion of the request.
- For additional information relating to telework, consult the CDCR Telework FAQs.
An employee communicates that they or their dependent is sick but has not specifically identified that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
If the employee identified that the leave is for an approved Family and Medical Rights Act (FMLA) on file, the request must follow the process for approving FMLA time off. If there is no FMLA on file, the employee may elect to use leave credits. You may also ask for medical substantiation in accordance with the applicable Bargaining Unit contract, and should consider sending the employee FMLA and EAP information if the employee is off work for more than three days.
An employee communicates that they or their dependent has been quarantined or self-monitoring as ordered by a local public health department for the suspicion or confirmation of contracting COVID-19.
An employee who is subject to quarantine or self-monitoring as ordered by a local public health department will be provided up to 14 days of Administrative Time Off (ATO).
An employee who has been subject to quarantine or self-monitoring as ordered by a local public health department and tests positive for COVID-19 or otherwise becomes ill shall be able to use leave credits of all types available no sooner than 14 days after the quarantine or self-monitoring began.
An employee who chooses to travel to a high-risk country or via cruise ship after the CDC has posted its warning, and upon returning to the United States becomes subject to quarantine, will not be provided ATO and the employee should contact their local Personnel Office regarding leave options.
Employees exposed to someone (such as in a household) confirmed to have COVID-19 should consult with their local public health department about any possible actions to take based on individual circumstances.
Employees caring for a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19 shall use leave credits of all types available to care for the sick family member(s).
Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are caring for a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19, may be eligible for FMLA or California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Employees can work with their local Personnel Office to determine if they meet eligibility requirements. If the employee is eligible, they will need to obtain certification from their health care provider.
Follow the usual process for requesting an FMLA packet to be sent to the employee.
An employee communicates that they are requesting time off due to other personnel being sick in the office or workplace.
Consider and review the leave request as a discretionary request. You may approve or deny the use of their leave credits based on operational and staffing needs. When considering this request, you should consult the applicable Bargaining Unit contract.
An employee communicates that they do not want to be in the office until management addresses office personnel who are sick.
Inform the employee that the Department is addressing the matter through a variety of methods including, but not limited to:
- Supplying additional hand sanitizing stations throughout
- Scheduling additional cleanings of the office area
- Providing information from the California Department of Public Health Consider and review the leave request as a discretionary request.
An employee’s household member was found positive for COVID-19. Employee self-quarantines for 14 days; or,
An employee reports they were tested and confirmed positive for COVID-19. They stay home. What can/should the supervisor or PIO share with staff or the press?
If an employee, or a household member or recent close contact of an employee, has tested positive for COVID-19, the local public health department will conduct an assessment of possible exposure and will provide direction, such as a contact investigation. CDCR and CCHCS will work openly and collaboratively with public health experts in all aspects of COVID-19 response.
The Public Health department will assess possible exposure and provide direction, such as a contact investigation, which is the interviewing of a person known to have a particular disease to detect exposure to others and to determine the need for subsequent screening for the disease of interest.
Under medical privacy laws, CDCR and CCHCS will not release any employee names, classifications, gender, or location of their employment.