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).
General Leave Guidance for DLA Employees:
DLA offers numerous leave and workplace flexibilities to assist employees and their families impacted by public health emergencies.
DLA may authorize weather and safety (administrative) leave in certain situations when an asymptomatic employee (i.e., healthy, not displaying symptoms) is subject to quarantine under the direction of public health authorities due to a significant risk of exposure to COVID-19. This determination is based on the significant safety risks for other employees and the general public that would be incurred if the employee were allowed to perform work at the employee’s normal worksite. Employees on personal travel who visit an area with a known quarantine requirement should consider deferring or canceling their travel, as weather and safety leave may not be granted during the quarantine period, depending on the circumstances.
Weather and safety leave may be granted only if an employee is not able to safely perform work at an approved location. Therefore, an employee who is not telework-ready could be granted weather and safety leave for quarantine periods based on potential exposure. However, in the case of telework-ready employees, the employee’s home is generally an approved location. Therefore, the employee would generally be expected to perform telework at home as long as the employee is asymptomatic. If a telework-ready employee in these circumstances needs time off for personal reasons, then the employee would be expected to take other personal leave or other paid or unpaid time off (e.g., annual leave or sick leave to care for a family member).
As of March 13, 2020, employees not eligible for telework who self-identify as being at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19, including older adults and individuals who have chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or compromised immune systems, and pregnant women may request weather and safety leave. Supervisors do not need to require certification by a medical professional and may accept self-identification by employees that they are in one of these populations. In considering requests for weather and safety leave, supervisors must consider the mission-critical nature of the employees’ work.
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.
If the employee exhausts available sick leave, 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.
Effective immediately, and through May 11, 2020, all military leaves and passes/liberty are limited to the local area. In DLA, the local area is defined as military personnel are on a 3-hour recall. DLA leaders and supervisors must review all currently approved military leaves and passes/liberty to ensure they are within the established local area. If the leave, pass/liberty is not within the local area then leaders and supervisors will deny/cancel the request and inform the service member. Supervisors must contact service members currently on leave outside the local area to ensure self-quarantine for 14-days and situational telework is accomplished when they return to the local area.
For additional information on leave for employees impacted by COVID-19, refer to the DLA FAQ on COVID-19 Workplace Flexibilities. In addition, employees should consult with their servicing DLA Human Resources Office regarding these policies and programs, since many of these matters are addressed in the agency internal policies and/or collective bargaining agreements.