A representation of the Coronavirus


Employee Resources

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   FAQ: DLA Workplace Flexibilities   
 

Purpose

The purpose of this resource is to share information and policy guidance with the DLA community as it relates to the actual or potential 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.

 

Potential Impact to DLA Operations

DLA is already providing support to the U.S. response to COVID-19 in the areas of materiel support, planning, and acquisition, and will continue to be a vital part of the worldwide logistics response. However, DLA is also a global enterprise, with resources and people around the world, both within and outside the Continental United States. As such, we are tracking the virus and its impact to military operations and locations, as well as how communities are responding to the threat.

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.

 

Telework

(Updated 03/23/20)

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.

General Telework Guidance for DLA Employees

DLA uses telework, among other things, to promote continuity of operations by allowing employees to continue their work at an approved alternative worksite. Telework is a critical tool during emergency situations.

Telework can help ensure essential DLA functions continue during emergency situations, including preventing the spread of COVID-19. Telework can be used to help slow the spread of disease by keeping face-to-face contact to a minimum (often referred to as "social distancing") while maintaining operations as close to normal as possible.

As of March 16, 2020, all telework-ready DLA civilian employees are authorized to situationally telework until further notice.  Employees should contact their supervisors to discuss their intent to situationally telework, to include impact on mission essential functions, and continue making daily supervisory contact to receive any further guidance and work assignments. Military members should consult with their supervisors to determine their status, to include potentially teleworking. Employees eligible for telework but not on an approved agreement are encouraged to sign up for a situational telework agreement. Subject to supervisory discretion, DLA Human Resources is granting exceptions to policy for certain eligibility requirements in order to maximize our telework-ready workforce.

Telework-ready means the employee is on an active telework agreement (either regular/recurring or situational) and has the necessary equipment and work to do from their alternate worksite (i.e. home). Teleworking employees may be subject to recall to the duty site if they perform mission-essential functions requiring onsite presence.

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.

 

Leave Flexibilities

(Updated 03/23/20)

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.

Official Travel

(Updated 03/20/20) 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 effective March 16, 2020, through May 11, 2020.
  • Civilian personnel and dependent family members on government-funded travel, also subject to stop movement for same duration.
  • Applies to both permanent change of station (PCS) and temporary duty (TDY) travel.
  • New civilian employees may onboard only within the local commuting area.
  • Military members only authorized local leave (must be within three-hour radius for recall purposes).


Exceptions may be approved for 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, including returning to home station if in a TDY status as of March 13, 2020.
  • Travel for purposes of retirement/separation is exempt.

 

Personal Travel

DLA is issuing this guidance to ensure all employees understand COVID-19, the quarantine requirements, and risk of traveling to areas of sustained or widespread community transmission. Employees traveling unofficially (or personally) to an area with sustained or widespread community transmission must receive a travel-threat briefing from their local Antiterrorism Officer (ATO). Employees with a top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) clearance have additional requirements for travel and should consult their local security officer.

Employees should review the CDC and Department of State’s websites for travel alerts and warnings for countries with an elevated threat before traveling and follow CDC precaution instructions. The State Department’s site also has information on embassies and consulates; entry, exit, and visa requirements; local laws and special circumstances; and health and medical facilities for every country.

The Department of State also encourages enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before traveling. This allows you to receive important information from the embassy and to be contacted in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Enrollment can also help family or friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

 

Additional Information

As this is rapidly evolving, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and update the DLA COVID-19 website as developments emerge. We encourage you to visit the page frequently. Other reliable sources of information include the CDC, DoD Spotlight page, Johns Hopkins tracking map, or the World Health Organization.

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).

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.
 

 

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).