Approval process for accessing COVID-19-related paid administrative leave

checklist-1622517King County has entered into Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) with many of its unions to provide employees who meet specific eligibility requirements (see below) and workers with non-standard full-time schedules with up to 80 additional hours of paid leave for COVID-19-related illnesses and reasons.

This leave is prorated for part-time workers and is not available to interns and short-term temporary employees (STTs). The Office of Labor Relations (OLR) is currently finalizing negotiations with the remaining unions, and the list will be updated as agreements are finalized. This leave is also available to non-represented employees.

Please be advised that employees must receive supervisor approval in order to take this leave. Supervisors will make decisions based on the eligibility criteria (see below), operational needs and business continuity, and employee designations as First Responders and Mission-Critical.

As previously communicated, First Responders “have the highest duty to report to work as directed in emergency conditions,” and Mission-Critical Employees “must be available to perform their duties as determined by their agency management,” per King County’s Temporary Leave and Telecommuting Policy. First Responders and Mission-Critical Employees are expected to continue to report to work in person or telework per existing arrangements. Departments can change employee designations as needed and must inform employees accordingly. This is as important as ever during our COVID-19 response.

Eligibility Criteria for Paid Administrative Leave

  1. Employees who are sick with COVID-19 or taking care of eligible family members with COVID-19
  2. Employees who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms and must stay home
  3. Employees who are not high risk but are directed by a Health Officer or qualified medical professional to quarantine because of potential exposure to COVID-19 and who cannot telecommute
  4. Employees who are home because their child’s school or childcare is closed and who are unable to work or telecommute
  5. Employees who fall into CDC high risk categories* who cannot telecommute and do not want to come into the workplace

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of “high risk” include:

    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease