UCSD Sick Time Rights
The following memorandum is in response to SDHSA’s concerns regarding sick time and COVID-19. This memorandum provides information regarding the following: (1) California’s directive to employers; (2) University of California’s employee extended paid sick time coverage as a result of COVID-19; (3)) 2018-2021 MOU sick time policy; (4) UC Health Care plans and benefits relating to COVID-19; and (5) state benefits to apply for in case you are continuing to be effected.
- CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MANDATES THE UNIVERSITY FOLLOW SICK LEAVE POLICIES.
On March 7, 2020, the California Department of Public Health published a memorandum applicable to schools including the University which provides that the University must “[e]nsure sick leave policies allow faculty and staff to stay home if they have symptoms of respiratory infection.”
2. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA WILL PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL FOURTEEN DAYS PAID BEYOND ACCRUED SICK LEAVE. FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19.
On March 9, 2020, the University of California Office of the President published a letter in response to COVID-19 and states that employees unable to work due to their own or a family members illness, employees should use available leave balances, and if no leave balances the University will provide 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence. 
Employees unable to come to work due to public health or University-required quarantine or self-isolation measure may work remotely if operationally feasible, if not feasible, employees should use available leave balances, and if no leave balances the University will provide 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence. 
UCSD’s Human Resources Employee Relations team has set up a number to call for questions – (858) 534-4115.
3. 2018-2021 MOU SICK LEAVE POLICY
For each individual house staff seeking information regarding on how to calculate accrued balances, the current 2018-2021 MOU provides for sick leave accrual at the rate of one working day per month for full time employees, for an accrual of twelve (12) days earned per year. In addition, house staff may use up to thirty (30) days of sick leave in any calendar year when required to provide care because of the illness of the House Officer’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild. In-laws and step-relatives in the relationships listed also are covered. This provision also covers other related persons residing in the House Officer’s household.
Further the MOU provides for leave in the case of work-incurred disability which arguably applies to contracting Corona Virus from your work related duties, house staff may receive “temporary disability payments under the Workers’ Compensation Act” and “shall be granted a leave without pay for all or part of the period during which temporary disability payments are received.”
4. HEALTHCARE / MEDICAL INSURANCE PLANS
Testing is free. To ensure that the cost of health care will not be an obstacle to testing and treatment of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara have directed California health plans to waive costs for screening and testing of the disease.
UC’s health care plans are providing continuous updates on the virus and information on house staff continued health care benefits. For details about your health plan’s response, visit your plan’s website at the hyperlinks below:
- Anthem: What you need to know about the coronavirus
- Health Net: Important updates: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Kaiser: Novel coronavirus/COVID-19
- UnitedHealthcare: Important information for members from UnitedHealthcare on COVID-19
5. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR WORKERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
The Labor Department compiled a list of additional benefits and resources for employees that need assistance due to COVID-19. 
6. LINKS FOR UP TO DATE UC INFORMATION
Further, more information can be found on the University of California website on the latest news regarding how the University is reacting to COVID-19. https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/coronavirus. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/Pages/Coronavirus-update.aspx
7. THE SDHSA
SDHSA will continue to keep all house staff abreast of any information regarding this critical issue. Please contact SDHSA if you or any other house staff has issues or needs help filing for and/or requesting time off or sick leave pay.
COVID-19 – SDHSA UPDATE
March 24, 2020
SDHSA continues to track the conditions of our fellow House Staff due to COVID-19. We continue to encourage House Staff to reach out to SDHSA to find out how to get involved with our hospital community.
SDHSA continually strives to improve the working conditions of our members regardless of their status as union members. COVID-19 is a pandemic that will test the limits of our already strained healthcare system.
ACGME released a statement on March 18, 2020 that ACGME has suspended accredited-related activities including:
- Self-Study activities, including the submission of Self-Study Summaries
- All accreditation site visits
- All Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program site visits
- Resident/Fellow and Faculty Surveys
However, work hour requirements remain unchanged during this crisis.
The ACGME Common Program Requirements Section VI Work Hour Requirements will remain unchanged. Safety of patients and residents/fellows is the ACGME’s highest priority, and it is vital all residents and fellows receive adequate rest between clinical duties. Violations of the work hours limitations have been associated with an increase in medical errors, which might lead to lapses in infection control. At a time when adherence to infection control procedures becomes an important safety issue, slips in this area could increase risks for both patients and residents/fellows.
ACGME has not sufficiently addressed the increased need to provide protections to House Staff working on the frontlines. Therefore, SDHSA continues to work on a local level for immediate measures that promote safe and healthy working conditions for House Staff so we will be able to continue to serve the community effectively.
SDHSA continues to make demands and address critical issues. SDHSA is currently working to address the following concerns:
- UCSD hospitals are meeting House Staff needs by supplying the necessary personal protective equipment.
- UCSD not limit or discourage House Staff from using their available sick leave during COVID-19 due to exposure, quarantine, or family illness.
- UCSD not limit or discourage House Staff from using their available personal and/or vacation time.
- Enforcement of additional administrative leave for COVID-19 exposure quarantine and/or illness and for anyone who is the caretaker of a person with COVID-19 illness.
- Strict adherence to safety protocol when administering help to COVID-19 patients.
- Ensure House Staff are working within the scope of their practice to maximize physician capacity in this time of crisis.
- Ensure that emergency childcare services and/or stipend are available for House Staff affected by emergency school closure decisions.
- Provide additional protections for high risk House Staff, such as an N95 mask to use at all times, regardless of direct contact with patients under investigation (PUI) or COVID-19 confirmed patients.
- Address concerns over extension of residency training based on changes in rotation or missed time due to COVID-19.
- Waive requirement for House Staff to obtain healthcare provider’s note.
We continue to monitor UCOP/The Regents, ACGME, and UCSD for updates and policy changes.
Board of Directors for the SDHSA