Consistent with our prior message waiving deadlines associated with excess leave usage (outlined below), the Commonwealth is continuing to take steps designed to maximize employees’ ability to access existing leave benefits during the current coronavirus pandemic. As such, we wanted to notify you that we will be taking the following additional steps with regard to employee leave eligibility, effective immediately.
Paid Leave Usage for Employees with Less than 30 Days of Service
The vast majority of union-covered Commonwealth employees are not eligible to use paid Annual, Sick and/or Combined leaves (as appropriate) during their first thirty (30) calendar days of employment. Effective immediately, the Commonwealth is waiving this requirement which will enable otherwise eligible employees with less than 30 days of service to utilize Annual, Sick and/or Combined leaves (as appropriate).
Anticipation of Annual/Combined/Sick Leaves by Employees with Less Than One Year of Service
Similarly, the vast majority of union-covered Commonwealth employees are not eligible to anticipate Annual, Sick and/or Combined Leaves (as appropriate) until after they have completed one (1) year of service since their last date of hire. Effective immediately, otherwise eligible employees who have less than one (1) year of service since their last date of hire may anticipate Annual, Sick and/or Combined leave (as appropriate) to which they will become entitled during the current calendar year. Any employee who is permitted to anticipate such leave and who subsequently terminates employment shall reimburse the Employer for leave used but not earned (consistent with how we’ve always handled those who are able to anticipate leave).
Please note that the use of Annual and/or Combined leave (as appropriate) will continue to require prior approval subject to management’s need to maintain operations.
Due to the unique nature of the coronavirus pandemic, and inasmuch as the relaxation of these eligibility requirements impact employee decision-making regarding leave usage during this crisis, it was important to communicate these actions as soon as possible. As such, email notifications describing the above-referenced steps are being sent to affected employees in the near future.
It is anticipated that we may need to make further adjustments effecting employees’ ability to utilize leave for absences related to the coronavirus pandemic as this unique situation continues to develop. To the extent that such additional steps prove to be necessary, either myself or my staff will be in touch with you again regarding details. We appreciate your continued cooperation and understanding during the present crisis, and we will continue to communicate with you regarding policy decision effecting employees in the days and weeks ahead.