Guidance for Employees


Given the University’s rapidly evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these temporary telecommuting guidelines are meant to facilitate telecommuting for employees where possible. The Chancellor has directed managers and supervisors to prioritize telecommuting and other alternate work arrangements in order to reduce the amount of work performed on-site at UCSF facilities during this timeframe, where possible.

While HR encourages the use of the telecommuting agreement template, to expedite telecommuting where possible and decrease administrative efforts in facilitating it, management may permit telecommuting without use of the agreement during UCSF’s response to COVID-19 as long as clear work and communication expectations are set and enforced between supervisors and employees.

Please note that telecommuting is not limited to certain employee classifications; instead the decision should be made based on the work performed and the feasibility of performing that work off-site. In addition, during this timeframe, telecommuting is permissible for all scheduled workdays, assuming it is feasible to do so.

Supervisors should have verbal discussions with employees regarding their expectations and then follow up by email to document those discussions. Communication patterns between supervisors and employees should be clearly stated and maintained. 

Expectations for telecommuting employees:

  • Adhere to your regular schedule and discuss changes to your schedule in advance with your supervisor.
  • If you are not able to work on a given day, please alert your supervisors.
  • Hourly employees are expected to record their hours worked in HBS as usual.
  • Review the Remote Work Resources site and confirm that your remote work set-up complies with UCSF requirements. This is particularly important for employees who do not have a UCSF-supplied laptop.

Employee Volunteering or Redeployment

It is critical that UCSF Health continues to operate and provide care to patients during the COVID-19 emergency situation. There are new roles and functions that have been created in response to COVID-19, as well as gaps in staffing due to school closures, illness, etc. There is an urgent need for available faculty and staff to be redeployed to fill the staffing needs in UCSF Health. Please consult with your direct supervisor if you are interested in redeployment or volunteering for roles/shifts outside of your department.

  • For eligible UCSF Health employees: Visit the COVID Workforce Platform. Please review the Employee FAQs which includes instructions on how to sign-up and other frequently asked questions. Note: The platform currently can only be accessed by Health employees.
  • For eligible Campus employees: If you are interested in redeployment, contact your direct supervisor, who will take the next steps.

Employees who are temporarily redeployed or volunteering must first be cleared by Occupational Health for the following:

  • No physical required
  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • TDaP
  • Flu or declination
  • TB – Evidence of clear PPD or chest x-ray within the last 12 months.If no evidence available, then a TB test will be placed and read within 48-72 hours. For those who are going to continue working in the Health System beyond two weeks, a second TB test would be required within the two-week timeframe (unless there is evidence of a clear chest x-ray within the last 12 months)
  • Hep B or Declination – Only those who come into contact with blood or bodily fluid exposure, including those who clean bathrooms or patient rooms or ORs. Typically only clinical staff who provide direct patient care or Hospitality.

Employees can partner with UCSF Occupational Health to obtain clearance, which may include employees providing proof of recent vaccinations. Occupational Health appointments are on a drop-in basis. They are open Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., (closed noon – 1 p.m.) until April 3.

If you or your staff have additional questions, contact the COVID-19 Labor Team at [email protected].

Leaves of Absence

University of California Leave Policy

UC President Janet Napolitano issued an Executive Order on March 16, 2020 providing for all employees (including limited and per diem appointments) to receive a bank of 128 hours of paid administrative leave (pro-rated based on appointment percentage) to be used in the following COVID-19 circumstances:

  • Employee is unable to work due to own or family member’s COVID-19 illness
  • Employee is unable to work or telecommute and has been told not to come to work due to COVID-19 (includes self-isolation)
  • Non-patient care employee is unable to work or telecommute due to shelter in place order
  • Employee is unable to work or telecommute due to school or dependent care closures

These hours may be used intermittently and must be used by December 31, 2020 or will expire.

Employees may request use of these hours as they would other paid time away from work, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services, including clinical services. The source of funds that normally supports the employee will support the employee during a paid administrative leave.

Given the shortfall of workers in some critical areas, we will continue to need direct patient care staff as well as essential staff to support the infrastructure during this emergency.  As such, we will redeploy staff to perform other needed roles and appreciate everyone’s help in filling critical gaps.

Nothing in this order precludes an employee from also being eligible to use accrued leave or other protected time off.

We are working to operationalize this Executive Order which includes establishing a bank of hours accessible within HBS.

Please consult with your manager or HR for further guidance.

Vacation/PTO Maximum Grace Period Exception

In response to the COVID-19 situation, UCSF is instituting an organization-wide grace period for Vacation Leave/PTO accrual maximums effective April 2020. Employees that are close to their Vacation Leave/PTO accrual maximum will not need to submit individual requests. Employees will continue to accrue for future accrual cycles above their maximum without losing hours for the next 4 months.

For questions, contact:

Emergency Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program

UCSF has developed an Emergency Catastrophic Leave Donation Program (EVCLSP) to support faculty, non-faculty academics, and staff employees across all of UCSF (Campus and Health) that are unable to work due to COVID-19 impacts. Eligibility to receive donations requires exhaustion of Vacation, Sick Leave, PTO, Extended Sick/Illness Leave, Compensatory Time Off, and COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave.

Eligible donors may elect to donate to the temporary emergency bank for staff affected by COVID or they may donate to a specific person under the existing VCLSP program. The maximum donation an employee may make to these two programs is forty (40) hours in a twelve-month calendar period. Eligible recipient employees can receive up to 16 hours of Emergency Catastrophic Leave. Please review the UCSF COVID-19 Emergency Voluntary Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program Guidelines for the details on how to donate or initiate a request for Emergency Catastrophic Leave.


Returning to Work After Potential COVID-19 Exposure

For guidelines for assessing whether an employee should return to work following potential COVID-19 exposure, please visit the UCSF Health COVID-19 Clinical Resources page.