With COVID cases continuing to rise, questions about taking leave resurface

Over the past week, the number of COVID-19 cases throughout Florida has continued to rise rapidly. While there is hopeful news that nearly 250,000 more Floridians received vaccinations last week, UF has seen an uptick in cases among both employees and students as well.

Questions about taking leave associated with COVID-19 have resurfaced in recent days too. Below are some answers to commonly asked questions.

How should I handle taking leave if I am withheld because I tested positive?
You should use your personally accrued leave. If you exhaust all of your personally accrued leave, you may be eligible to apply for additional leave through the university’s leave donation program that was established at the beginning of the pandemic.

Can I apply for paid family leave if I am out for more than ten days?
Paid family leave is only available for major life events and only after 80 hours of sick leave have been used. Unless your situation meets this requirement, you do not qualify for paid family leave.

I have the ability to work from home, but my supervisor will not allow me to do so. Can I be required to use leave?
Employees can be required to use leave, and supervisors are also not obligated to allow someone to work from home. It is expected that employees who are ill take sick leave.

Should I apply for FMLA leave each time I am withheld?
If your health condition meets the definition of a serious health condition under FMLA, as documented through a certification by a health care provider, then it may be appropriate; however, being withheld from work with no symptoms would not qualify.

I am vaccinated but am currently withheld from campus. Why? What should I do?
If you are a fully vaccinated contact of someone who has tested positive and are currently withheld from campus, please call UF Health Screen, Test & Protect at (352) 273-9790 to inform the team of your vaccination status. They can help return you to work safely.

UF and Olympics Track and Field Coach Mike Holloway says put your fears aside and go get the vaccine

Did you know Mike Holloway, UF track and Field head coach for the past 20 years, is also currently leading the U.S. Olympic track and field team? Before leaving for Tokyo, Coach Holloway shared his experience of getting the COVID-19 vaccine and provided some words of reassurance for those who might be hesitant.