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Coronavirus Workplace Programs and Policies

The Human Resources Office has developed and revised policies and programs in response to the rapidly evolving impact of the coronavirus pandemic. For more details and information, please follow the links below.

COVID-19 Information

Pay, Work and Leave Policies

  • Pandemic Recovery TeamThe Pandemic Recovery Team allows employees to support short term assignments identified for the pandemic relief efforts. UC Merced employees interested in participating should consult with their supervisor to enroll in the program by using the Job Exchange Pandemic Recovery Team Bank Staff Intake form. 
  • Job Exchange Bank: The Job Exchange Bank is a program for represented and non-represented UC Merced staff. Designed to identify staff who have additional capacity and match them with departments and units that can use their abilities for tasks, assignments or projects. Departments that need staff support can complete this form . Departments that have staff available for redeployment can complete this form .
  • Salary Actions Paused: In accordance with directives from the UC Office of the President, all in-process and new salary-related actions (including salary adjustments pursuant to reclassifications, equity requests and stipends) are paused through June 30, 2021.  The university also will pause all existing stipends from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
  • Position Control: As of June 8, 2020, UC Merced has placed a six-month hold on all new and backfill hires, including limited and contract hires. The university also has halted all recruitments, if no offer has been extended, even if some or all the candidates have been interviewed.
  • Maximum Vacation Accruals: On June 29, UC President Napolitano approved a temporary increase to a four-month extension for eligible staff, effective retroactively from June 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. 
  • Leave Assistance: Extended Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
  • Temporary Change to Absence from Work Policy: The UC Office of the President approved a temporary change in UC’s Absence from Work policy to provide additional relief for parents balancing work and child care responsibilities. Effective July 1 through December 31, 2020, eligible staff may use their accrued sick leave if they are unable to work or telework because their children are not able to physically attend their school or place of care due to COVID-19 precautions.
    • The following bargaining units are eligible to participate in the temporary change to use of sick leave: UPTE – HX/RX/TX; Teamsters – CX/KM; AFSCME – EX/SX; CNA – NX.  
  • Catastrophic Leave Bank: We already had a catastrophic leave program in which employees could donate to an individual. We now have a Catastrophic Leave Bank where an individual can donate to the general employee population. More information:

Employee Assistance

  • Conflict Resolution Coaching: This program offers a private partner for UC Merced employees to encourage and inspire change and action in times of challenge and conflict. Go here for more information.
  • Federal Qualified Disaster-Relief Payment: The program, known as QDP, provides payments for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by designated employees after March 13 in connection with their essential, on-site work for the university. Developed for UC Merced in partnership with Human Resources, Travel Management, and Treasury and Disbursements . For more information, email Travel Management at
  • Enhanced telehealth options and benefits
  • Allowable changes in medical plans, health and dependent care due to COVID.
  • Employee Assistance Program: EAP has enhanced resources related to the pandemic. Live webinars are free for staff.

Managing Working Remotely

  • Telecommute Resources: What do you need to get organized, gather tools and stay connected while working from home. This checklist is a great place to start.
  • "Keep Calm and Remote On": Online workshops for sharing experiences of working remotely and building a supportive community. More information.