1. Should I come in to work?
All agencies are open and performing normal operations. Employees should plan to come to work as usual unless they have already been provided specific direction to do otherwise. As social distancing is implemenAs of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all non-essential state employees shall work from home. This means that if you are still working in a state facility and have the ability to work remotely, you must do so. This also means that access to state facilities will be limited to those identified by their supervisors or leadership as requiring access.
If you are unable to work due to illness, quarantine, or daycare issues due to the school closure you may use available leave balances, subject to the specific situation and operational needs, or state paid administrative leave if you have no leave or have exhausted your leave balances. As of March 25, 2020, non-essential employees who are unable to telework are also eligible for state paid administrative leave. Please read on for more information.
2. What is the purpose of this leave?
The state recognizes that employees who do not earn paid leave (LTEs) or those with limited or no available accrued paid leave may have no choice but to work, even if ill, due to the economic impact of staying home. It also recognizes that many state employees may face childcare challenges in light of the school closings resulting from the emergency. Given the Safer at Home Order, this leave also supports non-essential employees who are unable to telework effective March 25, 2020.
This leave is intended to help minimize the impact of the current public health emergency for eligible permanent, project, appointed and limited term employees prevented or prohibited from reporting to work and unable to telework for the purpose of self or family care in relation to the pandemic, including but not limited to: self or directed quarantine, self or directed-isolation, care of an immediate family member, or child care issues due to school/day care closures.
3. How are LTEs eligible for this leave?
Under Wisconsin Administrative Code, limited term employees (LTEs) are paid only for hours worked. However, the Governor has suspended ER 10.02(4), Wis. Adm. Code for the duration of the declared emergency.
4. Why is the leave limited by eligibility requirements?
5. What are "exceptional circumstances of need"?
Most state employees earn paid leave to cover absences from work. State paid administrative leave was initially intended to ensure that employees who cannot use paid leave to cover absences related to the public health emergency are not forced to choose between staying at home without pay or coming to work while potentially ill. As of March 25, 2020, eligibility is extended to non-essential employees who are unable to telework.
The leave may also be extended to any employee in an exceptional circumstance of need. Please contact your local human resources representative for additional assistance.
The state recognizes that there may be circumstances where it may be reasonable and appropriate to extend eligibility for paid administrative leave to employees who do not meet one of the other eligibility criteria.
For example: an employee has enough accrued sick leave and also has intermittent leave approved under FMLA to attend cancer treatments. The employee plans on using the sick leave to cover the planned absences for treatment. Forcing the employee to cover unanticipated but necessary absences related to the public health emergency by using sick leave, in this case, may cause undue hardship to the employee while also increasing public health risks.
6. How do I record this leave in STAR?
job aid is available to employees to explain exactly how the process works. A
separate job aid is available to supervisors to explain how to see and review the leave as well as how to enter the leave if needed on behalf of the employee.
7. Will I need to provide medical verification to be eligible for this leave?
Employees may be required to provide written documentation from their health care provider or a public health official regarding their illness or requirement to quarantine or self-isolate. Employees may also be required to provide a letter from a public health official indicating that they have completed any required monitoring, isolation or quarantine period as well as provide medical documentation releasing them to full duty prior to returning to work.
There is no documentation required from employees who are using the leave for childcare purposes, or for non-essential employees unable to telework.
8. Will this leave affect my benefits?
Permanent and project employees (classified and unclassified) will earn continuous service, WRS contributions (by both the employee and employer) and creditable service, annual leave, and sick leave will all continue to accrue while on paid administrative leave.
For limited term employees (LTEs), the leave will count as qualifying hours for initial WRS eligibility or creditable service for LTEs who are already WRS-eligible.
9. Will I be eligible for unemployment when on this leave?
Employees receiving paid leave are still receiving pay. Thus, generally speaking, such employees will not be considered "unemployed," and therefore ineligible for unemployment.
10. What is my rate of pay when on this leave?
Employees will receive the same rate of pay as when paid for using sick leave. Specifically, employees will receive their base rate of pay plus any add-ons earned while in pay status. This means add-ons that are only provided for “work status” hours will not be included.
11. Will this leave count towards overtime?
No. Employees can earn overtime only after working more than 40 hours in a work week or 80 hours in a pay period.
12. Why do I have to use my other leave before using state paid administrative leave if I’m sick or have childcare issues when people who are directed not to work don’t have to?
State employees earn a variety of leave types to cover absences from employment due to illness or other personal reasons. The paid administrative leave is designed as a safety net for those who do not earn leave or may not have enough leave available. With the Governor’s Safer at Home Order, state agencies are working to limit the number of employees in the workplace to the absolute minimum. The administrative leave policy was modified to ensure that employees who are directed to stay home and who are unable to telework do not have to use personal leave.
13. Do I have to use my comp time before I'm able to use this leave?
Comp time will also have to be used before the state paid administrative leave can be accessed. However, non-essential employees who are unable to telework are not required to use comp time prior to using state paid administrative leave.
14. How will the paid administrative leave work while I continue to earn sick leave in pay status?
For those employees who are eligible, available leave must be entered before the paid administrative leave is applied. For example, the employee planned to use 80 hours of paid administrative leave in the pay period in which they were quarantined. The employee earned 5 hours of sick leave in the previous pay period. The five hours of sick leave will be entered first which means the employee will only use 75 hours of the paid administrative leave instead of the planned 80.
15. Will I be able to carry over or cash out this leave?
This leave will expire when the Governor's emergency order expires. It may not be carried over or cashed out.
16. I am a limited term employee (LTE). Will using this leave count toward the LTE hours limit?
This leave will count towards the 1,039 hour per year limit for LTEs.
17. I am a LTE and a permanent employee. Can I use the leave for both positions?
Employees who are eligilbe for the leave are able to use a maximum of up to 80 hours regardless of the number of appointments they hold or whether those appointments are in a single agency or multiple agencies.
18. am a part-time employee, but I regularly am asked to work over my actual FTE or schedule. How much leave can I access if I am eligiblee and request to use the leave?
Eligible full-time employees are able to access up to 80 hours. This will be prorated by PeopleSoft (STAR HCM) for part-time employees based on the average number of hours worked each pay period of the past 6 months. Periods of inactivity (when the LTE was not active) will be excluded for the calculation to avoid underestimating the proration.
19. I am a Trades (or craftsworker) employee, am I eligible for this leave and does it matter which vacation package I selected for the year?
This leave is available to all Trades employees regardless of the vacation package selected for calendar year 2020. The eligibility criteria are the same as for all other employees.
20. I heard that the federal government is developing some sort of paid leave program. How will that impact state employees?
The State will proceed with this paid administrative leave provision to ensure our workforce is prepared for school closures, self-quarantining, self-isolation, and staying home as directed. Since the action is at the federal level, the State is assessing the requirements and impacts to state employees and will send additional communication soon.
21. Who should I talk to if I have additional questions?
Additional questions can be referred to your supervisor or local human resources representative.
22. Am I required to use my full annual vacation leave balance or just what I have earned so far this year?
Employees are required to exhaust all leave balances, which would include the full amount of annual vacation, regardless of what has been "earned".
23. I have been directed not to report to work and can telework but would rather not. Can I use this leave to cover my absence?
If you are able to telework, you cannot use this leave. You may request to use personal leave time you have (vacation, personal holiday, sabbatical, comp time) if you don’t want to telework. You will need approval to take personal time off if you are capable of teleworking, unless you are sick or unable to work due to childcare. Otherwise, you will be expected to perform your duties as assigned.
24. Do I have to use my other paid leave before I use the state paid administrative leave if I have been told I cannot report to work and am unable to telecommute?
If you work in a building, typically an office building, which is closed to the public and you were told not to report to the building, you do not have to use your other paid leave if you are unable to telecommute. You are eligible to use state paid administrative leave.
25. work at a facility where all employees are deemed essential, can I use the state paid administrative leave?
Yes, if you meet all of the following:
- You have exhausted all personal leave, including vacation, personal holiday, sick leave, and compensatory time off; and
- The reason for the leave is for any purpose for self or family care in relation to the pandemic, including but not limited to self-quarantine, self-isolation, sent home with flu-like symptoms, care of an immediate family member, and child care due to school/day care closures; and
- Operational necessities allow your absence.
Page Last Updated on 5-12-2020