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Leave of Absence Options in Response to COVID-19

The following information has been compiled in an effort to help employees and managers navigate options for work or leave options available in response to COVID-19. This guidance is established to assist employees that may be temporarily unable to work as a result of COVID-19 illness or quarantine.


Remote Work During Quarantine/Illness (all employee categories)

In all situations (for all categories of employees including student and temporary employees), if an employee is unable to work on campus due to illness or quarantine for COVID-19 but they feel well enough to work, supervisors are encouraged to explore creative ways to support these situations through remote work. If any employee is working remotely, even while in quarantine or isolation, they should continue to record hours worked as they normally would. Some considerations for creative remote work include:

  • Create/update departmental standard operating procedures (SOPs) 
  • Update any departmental templates to meet branding guidelines 
  • Update materials; flyers, manuals, processes, databases, lists
  • Design layouts for print publications 
  • Explore and complete online training (ISU or external) or attend online professional development 
  • Develop training for your department or department’s customers.
  • Create online content (Promotional Videos, Instructional “How To” Videos, Online Resources, FAQs, etc.)
  • Increase social media presence
  • Create electronic backup data 
  • Do some virtual networking by reaching out to peers or mentors and set up video conferencing meetings
  • Research industry updates and analyze new trends 


To discuss a particular role and some possible options for remote work, contact Human Resources at (208) 282-2517 or


Paid Leave Options (Benefit-Eligible Employees Only)

In addition to reasons for using annual leave or sick leave for a leave of absence as outlined in ISUPP 3070, Leave of Absence Policy for Faculty & Staff, benefit-eligible employees may use their regularly accrued vacation leave, sick leave, and/or compensatory time, if applicable, if they:

  • Are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; 
  • Are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • Are caring for an individual subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • Are caring for an individual that has been advised by a health care provider to self quarantine because of COVID-19; or,
  • Are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.


  • are unable to work, telecommute or be reassigned.


Donating and Using Shared Leave (Benefit-Eligible Employees Only)

ISU faculty and staff may donate accrued vacation and/or sick leave to another benefits eligible employee to be used as sick leave, in accordance with the State of Idaho’s Leave Donations Policy


To donate/receive shared leave hours:

  1. The donating employee must maintain a minimum of 80 hours of vacation/sick time balances accrued in order to donate hours.
  2. The donating employee will not exceed 80 hours of transferred leave in the current fiscal year.


To receive donated leave, employees must 

  1. Be eligible to accrue sick leave.
  2. first exhaust all of their accrued vacation and sick leave balances. 
  3. Be suffering from a serious health condition; have a family member with a serious health condition; death and funeral in the family necessitating the employee’s absence from work; or other reasons provided by the Statewide Coronavirus Policy related to the use of sick leave; and
  4. The receiving employee may receive a maximum of 160 hours in donations in the current fiscal year.  


Employees may use donated sick leave in accordance with the reasons outlined in the previous section of this guidance if they are unable to work, telecommute, or be reassigned. Employees in need of shared leave hours, or those interested in donating vacation/sick hours may contact the HR Office at 208-282-2517 or for assistance in completing the ISU Shared Leave Donation form via DocuSign.


Leave Without Pay

In addition to Leave Without Pay options as outlined in ISUPP 3070, Leave of Absence Policy for Faculty and Staff, employees may choose to utilize a Leave Without Pay in combination with other leave of absence options.


FMLA and ADA Considerations

Employees and managers should consult with the HR Office and/or Disability Services in considering leave of absence options under the FMLA and/or ADA as well as when accommodating disabilities with alternative work arrangements