A representation of the Coronavirus


Employee Resources

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   FAQ: DLA Workplace Flexibilities   
 

 

Introduction

The purpose of this resource is to share information and policy guidance with the DLA community as it relates to the impact of COVID-19 on DLA operations, personnel, and resources.

DLA has a critical mission to support the Military Services, Combatant Commands, and other Federal agencies; that includes supporting our nation’s response to COVID-19. The key to our success is our people, and while we will respond professionally and swiftly to mission requirements related to COVID-19, we will also take necessary steps to protect and inform our workforce.

As an employer, DLA will follow DoD policies and guidelines in taking any actions to address or mitigate the threat posed by COVID-19. This includes disseminating official information by appropriate public or military health authorities, leveraging workplace policies and flexibilities designed to protect our workforce, and activating “continuity of operations” plans should it become necessary.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates to this online resource as developments emerge. We encourage you to visit the page frequently. Other reliable sources of information include the CDCDoD Spotlight pageJohns Hopkins tracking map, or the World Health Organization.

DLA Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Events like COVID-19 can create stress and anxiety. The EAP offers guidance and counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 866-580-9046 for assistance. Click here for more information.

Update your contact information.  Do your part to ensure your supervisor can reach you with important updates. Review team rosters and ensure your contact information is current and accurate in the DLA AtHoc Mass Notification System. Consider including your personal cellphone for voice and text, and home phone and email in case it becomes necessary to send notifications after duty hours. Click here for instructions for updating AtHoc (DLA CAC-protected link).
 

 

Telework

(Updated 08/17/20) Telework Guidance for DLA Employees:

Effective April 1, 2020, DLA reduced ONSITE operations to emergency and mission-essential/critical personnel only, i.e., meaning only those employees who must be physically present to perform such functions. These mission-essential functions include: onsite functions in support of COVID-19 operations and other contingency operations; onsite operations necessary to preserve and protect life, health, and safety of personnel and installations; onsite activities necessary to maintain command and control of DLA operations that cannot be performed remotely through telework; onsite operations supporting Service industrial activities, including receipt, storage, and issue of material through distribution centers and forward industrial retail supply, storage, and distribution which require physical onsite activity; essential disposition services in direct support of COVID-19, contingency operations and other direct functions directly supporting warfighter mission-essential functions; and other activities necessitating onsite presence to support continuity of mission-essential functions.  Non-mission-essential functions and activities that require onsite physical presence (e.g., audit inventories, classroom training, etc.) will be deferred until normal mission operations resume.  Mission-essential and non-mission-essential activities that can be accomplished through telework will continue.

Those identified personnel who must report onsite to perform those mission-essential functions have been advised accordingly. Telework-ready personnel not required to be onsite are required to telework or request appropriate leave.

Telework Protocols for DLA Employees:

DLA employees are instructed to follow the protocol outlined below while teleworking during the COVID-19 emergency:
While operating in an emergency status due to COVID-19 precautions, employees who are teleworking on a regular/recurring or situational basis are expected to maintain communication with their supervisors. Employees must:

  • Provide reliable contact information to their supervisor (email, phone number).
  • Be available for a daily check-in with their supervisor. This check-in can occur via Skype, work email, phone call, etc. If unavailable upon being contacted by a supervisor, employees should respond within one hour.
  • For daily check-ins with their supervisor, employees should be prepared to discuss:  
o Status of workload requirements
o Sufficiency of workload
o Any changes to the operating status of DLA or of employee’s specific worksite
o Any connectivity or other IT issues
o Any annual or sick leave requests
o Potential need to return to the office for any reason


Supervisors of Teleworking Employees must:

  • Ensure employee contact information is readily available.
  • Establish a daily check in with employees utilizing the most reliable method/resource identified above.
  • Be prepared for workload and workload change discussions, operating status of both DLA and telework site, connectivity or other IT issues and the impact to employee workload, leave discussions, and the potential need for employees to return to the work site.

DLA Human Resources has developed Guidelines for Teleworking and Virtual Meetings for agency employees to follow while teleworking during the coronavirus pandemic and into the future.

General Telework Information for DLA Employees:

Employees in a telework status are subject to recall for mission-related reasons and should be postured to return to duty within one day of notification. Teleworking employees should maintain regular contact with their supervisors to discuss status and impact on customer support functions and receive any further guidance and work assignments.

DLA Human Resources maintains a telework webpage (DLA Common Access Card required) that includes links to existing policy and guidance related to telework.

DLA Information Operations (J6) has compiled a collection of steps to take and best practices to make prolonged teleworking as productive as possible. See the IT Readiness resource (DLA Common Access Card required) for more information.

See below section RECONSTITUTION GUIDANCE AND FRAMEWORK for guidance on telework during reconstitution phases.
 

 

Leave Flexibilities

(Updated 04/08/20) Weather and Safety Leave Guidance for DLA Employees:

Effective April 1, 2020, non-telework-ready employees who are not required to be onsite are not permitted to report to the work location and will be placed on weather and safety administrative leave, or may request other leave, as appropriate.

Employees on weather and safety administrative leave are subject to recall for mission-related reasons and should be postured to return to duty within one day of notification.

Employees on weather and safety leave should maintain regular contact with their supervisors to discuss status and impact on customer support functions and receive any further guidance and work assignments.

DLA employees are instructed to follow the protocol outlined below while in a weather and safety leave status during the COVID-19 emergency.

Employees
in a Weather and Safety Leave status must:

  • Provide reliable contact information to their supervisor (phone number or email address).
  • Respond to their supervisor as soon as possible and generally within two hours of contact.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of recall to duty status due to mission reasons. Supervisors will normally provide a one-day notice in the event this becomes necessary.
  • Expect to check-in with their supervisor at least twice a week for the duration of the time they are on administrative leave.
  • Provide their supervisor regular updates on their current leave status and request an alternate leave status if appropriate (e.g., sick leave if ill or annual leave for travel as appropriate).
     

Supervisors of Employees in a Weather and Safety Leave status must:

  • Request reliable contact information (phone number or email address) from employees on weather and safety leave.
  • Initiate contact with employees on weather and safety leave at least twice per week, or daily if necessary.
  • Notify employees of recall to duty status at least one day prior to the reporting date, if possible.
  • Request regular updates on employees’ current leave status to determine if administrative leave remains applicable or if some other leave category applies (i.e., sick leave if employee becomes ill or annual leave for travel as appropriate).
     

Sick Leave Guidelines for DLA Employees:

If an employee (telework-ready or not) is diagnosed as being infected, or likely has been infected, with COVID-19, use of weather and safety leave would be inappropriate. Accrued or advanced sick leave would normally be used to cover such a period of illness.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorizes employees paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.  These provisions apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Under the FFCRA, a federal employee qualifies for emergency paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) because the employee:

  1. is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order or self-quarantine; or
  5. is caring for a child under (18 years of age) whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.


Emergency paid sick leave is an additional type of sick leave and does not impact an employee’s regular sick leave balance.  All DLA employees are eligible by request for:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds (2/3) the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

In addition to the additional leave allowances outlined above, employees on intermittent or temporary appointments of less than one year and part-time employees without a regular tour of duty are covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions.  DLA has very few employees covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions.

Full details on this new leave category, including eligibility and documentation requirements are available in the DLA Families First Coronavirus Response Act Guidance.

Additional Leave Categories/Flexibilities

If the employee exhausts available sick leave or emergency paid sick leave available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), he/she may use accrued annual leave, request advanced sick or annual leave, request donated leave under the DLA Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) (DLA Common Access Card required), or use any earned compensatory time off or credit hours. In addition, an employee may invoke his or her entitlement of up to 12 weeks to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for a serious health condition. An employee may substitute accrued annual leave and sick leave, as appropriate, for unpaid leave under FMLA.

 

Cloth Face Coverings

(Updated 04/14/20) The following guidance on cloth face coverings applies to all DLA installations and facilities, in accordance with Force Health Protection Supplement 7, issued April 8, 2020. To the extent practical, all individuals will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (does not extend to Service members’ personal residence on a military installation). This applies to military personnel, DoD civilian employees, family members, DoD contractors, and any other individuals visiting DoD property, installations or facilities.

DLA will procure the appropriate masks for its personnel who are required to physically report to DLA worksites and whose duties do not allow them to maintain the six foot social distancing requirement.  However, it may take time to procure and deliver these face coverings to our workforce.  In the interim, DLA members are permitted and encouraged to bring and wear “homemade” cloth face coverings while at DLA worksites. These homemade cloth face mask coverings must comply with the following guidelines:
 

  • A cloth face covering shall extend above the nose without interfering with eyewear, and below the chin to cover the mouth and nostrils completely.
  • It shall fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face and be secured (e.g., by being tied in place or with ear-loops).
  • Should include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Should allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Face coverings should not have inappropriate or offensive words or images, nor should they have any reference to active participation in political activities.
  • Upon request, individuals will lower face coverings at security checkpoints to allow their identities to be verified.
  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 or anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Cloth face coverings shall be laundered regularly (without damage to or change to shape) to maintain good hygiene.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be used as a substitute for social distancing.
  • When changing masks, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and wash your hands immediately after.
  • Please note: Medical PPE such as N-95 respirators or surgical masks will not be issued for this purpose.
  • For Military members, face masks must:
    • Be made in subdued, neutral colors and conform to the uniform
    • Adhere to the five elements of military professional standards: neatness, cleanliness, safety, uniformity and military image.
    • Local commanders can approve exceptions to this requirement, as needed
    • Service members must not attempt to cut up clothing materials such as army combat uniforms to use for face masks as these may have been treated with chemicals 
    • Service members should replace items that have become soiled, damaged, or difficult to breathe through.
    • Service members must also refer to and abide by their respective Service’s guidelines.
       

Any exceptions to the requirement to wear face masks, for reasons such as impracticality, health, or other bases, may be tentatively approved by supervisors with final approval by commanders. Exception approval should be documented in writing, kept by the supervisor and a copy provided to the recipient. As always, DLA will comply with applicable labor obligations, to the extent such obligations do not conflict with our ability to conduct operations during this emergency.
 

The CDC has guidance on use and instructions for homemade face coverings (including no-sew options using common household items).

 

Reconstitution GUIDANCE AND FRAMEWORK

(Updated 11/12/2020) The DLA Reconstitution Guidance and Framework is based on the joint Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) memorandum that provides planning guidance for agencies to return their workforce to standard operations as public health conditions and other factors permit. The DLA guidance outlines a three-phase approach based on a set of public health criteria codified in the White House-issued Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. Returning employees to DLA sites under the reconstitution guidance starts with state and regional assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic for those areas, but also the operating status of schools, daycares, and public transportation availability.  Each state or region is to satisfy gating criteria to progress in phases.

Data-driven gating criteria must be applied and satisfied before proceeding to the next phase in the DLA COVID-19 Reconstitution Guidance and Framework. To progress in phase, the duty location area (50-mile radius) should meet the state/region and DLA gating criteria for 14 days. Gating criteria include a two-week (14-day) period with: stay-at-home orders lifted; downward trend of influenza-like illnesses; downward trend of COVID-like syndromic cases; downward trend of documented or positive cases as percent of total tests; local hospital ability to meet medical care demand; and local DoD Health Protection Conditions (HPCONs) and installation guidance align/support change in gates.

A host activity may revert to an earlier phase if COVID-19 cases rebound. If a stay-at-home order is re-issued or cases steadily increase over a seven-day period, an activity will determine whether to move back to a prior phase, issue maximum telework guidance, and continue to permit mission-essential personnel whose primary duties are not subject to telework to report for duty.    

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mission-essential employees have reported to the worksite to accomplish DLA customer requirements. During Phase 1, employees designated as mission essential and teleworking may begin reporting to the duty location using staging and staggered work arrangements.  In addition, organizations may begin returning to the duty location employees who are not eligible for telework or eligible but not on a telework agreement (generally those on weather and safety leave who are not high-risk), and employees in positions that require access to classified materials. Phase 2 may include the return of those who do not self-identify as high-risk using staging and staggered work arrangements.  In Phase 3, all employees return to normal reporting schedules including those who self-identify as being high-risk for COVID-19 or care for a family member who is high-risk.

 

Official Travel

(Updated 08/17/20) In response to the COVID-19 situation, and in accordance with Defense Department guidance, the following general guidance applies to all DLA military members and civilian employees:

  • “Stop movement” for military personnel in place since April is still in effect, however, conditions to resume unrestricted travel rest on two overarching factors:
  1. State and/or regional criteria based on the White House's Opening Up America Again guidelines, and
  2. Installation-level criteria based on conditions in and surrounding DoD installations, facilities, and locations.
  3. Commands will use information to make a determination on travel on the DoD COVID-19 Travel Information App (DoD Common Access Card required).
  • In the absence of conditions supporting unrestricted travel, “stop movement” applies to:
  • Civilian personnel and dependent family members on government-funded travel.
  • Permanent change of station (PCS) and temporary duty (TDY) travel.
  • Onboarding of new civilian employees except within the local commuting area or when relocation to the new commuting area is not government-funded.
     

Exceptions may be approved for mission-essential, humanitarian reasons and extreme hardship.

The following general exemptions apply. Individuals in one of these situations should discuss their circumstances with their supervisors.

  • Travel by patients and medical providers for medical treatment for DoD personnel/family members is authorized.
  • Travelers already in travel status may continue to final destination. Travel for purposes of retirement/separation is exempt.
     

Complete details of travel restrictions and exceptions to these restrictions can be found on the DLA Travel Services COVID-19 page (DLA Common Access Card required).

 

Personal Travel

(Updated 08/17/20) Military personnel: The Secretary of Defense has provided guidance that exempts authorized leave for all Service members from his May 22, 2020 memorandum “Transition to Conditions-Based Phased Approach to COVID 19 Personnel Movement and Travel Restrictions.”  This means leave outside the local area no longer requires an “exception to policy.” However, the SECDEF memo establishes certain requirements before such leave is approved.

Within DLA, service members may take leave outside the local area with approval from the MSC Commanders/Deputy, or O6 commander, or the DLA J3 for all DLA Headquarters military personnel. Military personnel will request leave using their standard leave process but supervisors will not approve the leave until approval from the appropriate approval authority noted above is received.  (There is no requirement to modify service leave systems.)

Commanders/Supervisors must complete the following while considering approval of service member leave:

  • Conduct a risk assessment and travel itinerary for all service members requesting leave.  A service member should not travel if they show any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 
  • Review the guidance set forth in Force Heath Protection Guidance (Supplement 12), dated Aug. 6, 2020.
  • Establish a means of communications throughout the leave period and the post travel process to ensure the safety of all traveling Service Members.
     

Civilian personnel: DLA civilian personnel are strongly urged to minimize personal travel and to follow travel guidelines set forth by the CDC while adhering to policies outlined in Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12).

DLA is issuing this guidance to ensure all employees understand individual requirements and the risk of traveling during this global pandemic. DLA Security and Emergency Services officials recommend employees planning personal travel overseas consult with their local Antiterrorism Officer (ATO). A travel-threat briefing may be required for certain high-threat areas. Employees with a top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance may have additional requirements for travel and should consult their local security officer.

 

Military Personnel

(Updated 04/22/20) Military service members assigned to the Defense Logistics Agency should refer to the Military Personnel COVID-19 Guidance document for military-specific guidance on the following topics: international and CONUS-to-CONUS Stop Movement, family member concurrent travel, COVID-19 impacts on military pay and entitlements, and special leave accrual.

Military guidance changes frequently, and DLA Human Resources (J1) will update this guidance as necessary.

 

 

DEFINITIONS

COVID-19 Terminology

  • Quarantine - Separates and restricts movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease, but do not yet show symptoms.
     
  • Isolation – Similar to quarantine except it applies to people who are already exhibiting symptoms.
     
  • Incubation period – Time from exposure to an infection to the onset of symptoms.
     
  • Epidemic – A rapid increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in a given area's population.
     
  • Pandemic – An epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, and affects a large number of people.
     
  • Endemic – Endemic means ongoing transmission or spread of an illness within a certain population or region.
     
  • Outbreak – Carries the same definition as epidemic, but it is often used for a more limited geographic area.
     
  • Self-observation means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
     
  • Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing.
     
  • Self-monitoring with delegated supervision means, for certain occupational groups (e.g., some healthcare or laboratory personnel, airline crew members), self-monitoring with oversight by the appropriate occupational health or infection control program in coordination with the health department of jurisdiction.
     
  • Self-monitoring with public health supervision means public health authorities assume the responsibility for oversight of self-monitoring for certain groups of people.
     
  • Active monitoring means that the state or local public health authority assumes responsibility for establishing regular communication with potentially exposed people to assess for the presence of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
     
  • Close contact is defined as:
    a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case.
    – or –
    b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
     
  • Public health orders are legally enforceable directives issued under the authority of a relevant federal, state, or local entity.
     
  • Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
     
  • Telework-Ready –  Employee has a current telework agreement; has appropriate equipment and an internet connection; and has sufficient productive work assignments to do from their alternate worksite (i.e. home).