Leave Arrangements

The University has refined policies for work arrangements, leave and pay during reduced on-campus staffing implemented in response to COVID-19.

AWA's, Special Leave and Pay Guidance

Brown has reviewed its workplace policies to support the safety of its employees, as well as to address their needs to care for others affected by the coronavirus, during the current period of reductions in staffing on campus to reduce exposure to COVID-19. This page outlines the policies currently in effect.

Personnel designated as essential should report to work, and whether this is in-person or remotely will be based on work plans developed by department leaders. These work assignments remain in effect until further notice. 

For essential personnel who are required to work on-site, their department — in consultation with University Human Resources — will determine applicable policies for leave of absences (i.e., medical, personal) and/or time off (i.e., vacation, sick) based on operational needs of the individual department. 

University policies are subject to change and may be modified as more information on public health conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic becomes available.

Alternative Work Assignments (AWA)

Employees who can telecommute are expected to do so. These arrangements should be finalized with your supervisor. To confirm Alternative Work Assignments (AWA) approval, an employee can rely on their supervisor’s communication that they can telecommute. Policy guidelines for approving AWA’s have been relaxed to allow work on a remote basis while employees also provide childcare and eldercare. To learn more, please read the University’s Alternative Work Assignments policy. For additional guidelines on remote work, employees may visit access the self-directed learning module "Redefining the Way We Work" in Workday (authentication required).

Leaves of Absence

Special Leave of Absence

Brown University will provide paid Special Leave for up to 14 days (or 10 business days) for the following situations related to COVID-19:

  • An employee who is not sick and needs to provide care for a dependent or a household member in need of quarantine that is mandated by a public health agency due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
  • An employee who is not sick and in need of quarantine that is mandated by a public health agency or by Brown’s contact tracing team, due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
  • An employee who has been diagnosed, or is required to care for a sick dependent or member of their household who needs medical treatment.1

In accordance to guidelines for illness and recovery time periods from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Paid Special Leave at Brown may only be requested once by employees, and the time is to be used in a consecutive manner. 

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/RI Parental Family Medical Leave (RIPFML)

Special Leave may be applied as part of FMLA/RIPFML. Employees who are sick and in need of treatment may be eligible for leave under FMLA/RIPFML for up to 13 weeks. Employees may request this leave of absence when they meet the eligibility requirements for a leave under FMLA/RIPFML (12 months worked and 1250 hours worked in 1 year). Employees may also request this leave of absence if they are required to care for a spouse, child, or parent who is sick and in need of treatment. FMLA/RIPFML is unpaid leave time but employees may use accrued sick and/or vacation time to remain paid.

Personal Leave of Absence

Special Leave may be applied as part of a Personal Leave of Absence. The University has expanded its criteria and purpose of Personal Leave to provide support for employees in need of time out of work as a result of COVID-19. The expansions to a Personal Leave are outlined below:

  • Benefits will continue at the active employee rate for the duration of the approved personal leave.
  • Employees may use accrued sick/vacation time off to remain paid.

Sick Time

The University has expanded its criteria and purpose of Sick Time to support employees as a result of COVID-19. The expansions to Sick Time are outlined below:

  • After Paid Special Leave time has been used, sick time may be used to care for a sick dependent or a sick member of their household.1
  • After Paid Special Leave time has been used, sick time may be used to care for a dependent in quarantine or a household member in quarantine.1

Workers’ Compensation Leave

Employees who must isolate as a result of performing their job duties may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. These claims will be processed in accordance to existing procedures and in compliance to state workers’ compensation laws.

Chart: Pay and Leave Guidelines for COVID-19

The following chart is intended to provide additional guidance on pay and leave for employees who are sick, in quarantine, or must care for dependents or other household members who are sick or in quarantine.

The chart also addresses situations where an employee must remain both away from work and where no option exists for an alternative work arrangement (AWA) – either because an alternative work arrangement is not possible or the employee is sick.2 Where a particular situation is supported by more than one pay and leave option, multiple options are indicated where applicable.

Note: The chart applies to staff who are eligible for overtime and for staff who are not required to submit time entry for pay for hours worked. Employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement should also refer to their respective collective bargaining agreements for additional information on paid time-off benefits or eligibility for leave provisions.

  Leave Guidelines for COVID-19 Time Off Guidelines for COVID-19    

Special Leave (paid 10 business days)

Medical Leaves of Absence
Personal Leave of Absence** Vacation
time off
Sick time off
Self Isolation
Quarantine mandated by a public health agency or by Brown  
Quarantine for an underlying medical condition that increases risk to self or others    
Employee is not sick and does not want to report to work to avoid exposure from others    
Employee’s Own Illness
Employee’s Own Illness (COVID-19)***  
Dependent Care
Child’s school closed due to COVID-19    
To care for a dependent or household member who is ill or in quarantine due to COVID-19

Questions about particular situations should be addressed to University Human Resources to [email protected].

Employee must meet eligibility criteria under FMLA/RIPFML. A leave of absence is unpaid leave but employees may use sick/vacation time off concurrently.

This matrix in this document does not address employees who are already on an approved alternative work or telecommuting arrangement and these employees shall continue to be paid. Employees who are not on an AWA and are capable of working from home should do so effective March 16, 2020, until further notice. Employees on a telecommuting work assignment should discuss with their supervisor an alternative work arrangement in accordance with University policies.

** Personal leaves of absence are subject to approval at the University’s discretion.

*** Employees who have exhausted or are not eligible for FMLA/RIPFML may be eligible for leave as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Last updated January 6, 2021. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.