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Public Health:
H1N1 (Swine) Flu Information

Staff Leave

What type of leaves are available?

  • All currently available forms of illness leave may be considered for use in the event of an influenza outbreak or pandemic. There are no special leave policies related to an influenza outbreak or pandemic.
  • By policy an employee is ordinarily entitled to use sick leave with pay for the following reasons:
    • When the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the job due to injury or illness or performance of duty is prevented by sickness, injury, pregnancy and confinement, or exposure to contagious diseases that require quarantine or isolation.
    • Additionally, an employee may use leave to care for an immediate family member with an injury or illness.

What if a staff member is ill and does not have sufficient paid leave?

  • It is very important that you do not return to work until your symptoms have subsided and you are well enough to return to your regular work duties.
  • If an employee does not have paid sick leave or vacation time to cover the absence, leave without pay can be granted to cover the absence. Who qualifies as "family" when sick leave is determined?
  • For sick leave purposes, immediate family member is defined as the employee’s spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, corresponding in-laws and step-relatives, and other relative residing in the employee's home.

What if the school district or day care is closed and I have no one to watch my children?

  • Promptly notify the supervisor of the reason for the absence. You will need to keep your supervisor informed of your absence and anticipated return to work date.
  • Your supervisor may require some record of the school district or day care being closed.
  • You will be able to take off work by using appropriate, available leave.

Do I need to notify my supervisor that I cannot come to work?

  • As with any other illness/injury situation, a staff member must promptly notify the supervisor or department official of the reason for the absence. The staff member also must keep the supervisor or department official informed of his/her condition or situation if the absence continues for more than one day.
  • If you are unable to contact your supervisor because you are incapacitated or caring for an incapacitated family member, ask another family member or a friend to contact your supervisor. If this is not possible, contact your supervisor as soon as possible.

What if I need to be away from work for more than a few days to care for my child(ren) or spouse?

  • You may be able to telecommute. Check with your supervisor to determine if your job duties are such that your work could be done from home in the short term.
  • You can use sick leave, vacation leave, personal holiday/personal business days, or unpaid leave to cover the time you are out. Notify your supervisor of any time you will be out of work.

What is the policy on telecommuting?

  • This may be possible with some jobs. Others are not suited for telecommuting due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home. The decision will be made by the supervisor or manager.
  • Managers and supervisors may approve ad hoc telecommuting arrangements if the work can be fully and satisfactorily performed off-site.

If I become sick at work, can my supervisor require that I leave work?

  • Yes. Those who become ill with the symptoms of influenza should immediately minimize contact with others to avoid transmission of the disease.
  • It's best to encourage employees to take sick leave and seek appropriate medical advice. Before sending an employee home, supervisors should consult with the appropriate Human Resources staff.

What if I'm not sick, but do not want to come to work for fear of becoming ill.

  • You may request to take vacation leave. However, your supervisor is not required to grant your leave request if your department is short on staff.

What about pre-approved vacation?

  • The employer has the authority to cancel any pre-approved vacation leave requests, especially in circumstances where there are serious staff shortages as a result of illness.
  • Your vacation also could be cancelled if your job is considered an essential position.

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