HR Guidance for Exposure to COVID-19 and Leave Time

This guidance was produced by Ramsey County Human Resources in collaboration with Public Health (April 13, 2020).

If you have a question that is not covered in this guide, please contact your HR Generalist or your supervisor. If you need assistance with the filling out the emergency paid leave request form or if you have completed the form, please return the form to ContactHR@ramseycounty.us

Situations

All situations include CDC guidelines and the process and actions to take for both benefit-earning and non-benefit-earning employees. All Ramsey County employees are deemed essential. Employees cannot take leave as a result of Governor Walz’s stay-at-home order issued through May 4.

You are subject to a federal, state or local quarantine order.

For benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Unpaid leave.

You have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

For benefit-earning employees - ​If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you: 

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Unpaid leave.

CDC guidelines - A health care provider may direct you to self-quarantine because you are high-risk or because of other concerns such as you have been in close contact with or have a high-risk exposure to someone with COVID-19.

Follow the health care provider’s orders to quarantine and do not physically return to your workspace until your health care provider clears you to do so.​

You are experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis from a health care provider.

For benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive their regular rate of pay, capped at $5,110 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Unpaid leave.

CDC guidelines - You should isolate at home until health care provider approves your return to work (if tested); Or, if you were directed to care for yourself at home, you may discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since the fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath).
  • And at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.​

You are caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine as described above

For benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, capped at $2,000 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a two-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, capped at $2,000 (over two weeks).

To apply for EPSLA, complete a request form.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Unpaid leave.

CDC guidelines - If you have close contact with the individual, quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms by:

  • Checking your temperature twice a day.
  • Staying away from people who are high-risk.

If you develop symptoms, you should isolate at home until health care provider approves return to work (if tested); or, if employee was directed to care for themselves at home, they may discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since the fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath).
  • And at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.​

You are caring for your child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

For benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options may apply to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours, followed by up to 400 hours of Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) leave.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a 12-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, capped at $2,000 (over two weeks); or $12,000 (over 12 weeks).
    • Employees must have been employed for 30 days to be eligible for EFMLEA; except that employees at RSCO, ADC, JDC, ECC, ME, RCCF, LOR, RCCC and Detox are not eligible for EFMLEA.
    • To apply for EPSLA/EFMLEA, complete a request form and give it to your supervisor.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options may apply to you:

Federal leave benefits

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).
    • Duration of leave:
      • Full-time: Up to 80 hours, followed by up to 400 hours of Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) leave.
      • Part-time: Average hours worked over a 12-week period.
    • Calculation of pay: Employees receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, capped at $2,000 (over two weeks); or $12,000 (over 12 weeks).
    • Employees must have been employed for 30 days to be eligible for EFMLEA; except that employees at RSCO, ADC, JDC, ECC, ME, RCCF, LOR, RCCC and Detox are not eligible for EFMLEA.
    • To apply for EPSLA/EFMLEA, complete a request form and give it to your supervisor.

County leave benefits

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

CDC guidelines - As an employee of Ramsey County, you may be able to obtain free childcare through their school districts for school-age children, ages 5+; or may be able to obtain care through a local YMCA for children under five. (Emergency workers have priority.) Employees looking for resources can email COVIDChildcareNeeds@ramseycounty.us with questions or visit the state’s website at https://mn.gov/childcare/

FFCRA allows for employers to exempt emergency and healthcare providers from both EPSLA and EFMLEA. Ramsey County has chosen to exempt emergency and healthcare workers from this provision - EFMLEA - only. (EPSLA is available). This includes all employees who work at the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office (RCSO), Adult Detention Center (ADC), Juvenile Detention Center (JDC), Emergency Communication Center (ECC), Medical Examiner (ME), Ramsey County Correctional Facility (RCCF), Lake Owasso Residence (LOR), Ramsey County Care Center (RCCC) and DETOX.

You learn that you have been exposed to confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 at work by a client or co-worker.

For benefit-earning employees - This information may be shared with you from the Department of Health, or your supervisor or manager. 

**If you are exposed to COVID-19 as a result of work activities, please file a "first report of injury” via RamseyNet, or contact your department’s benefits representative. Notify your supervisor and follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. If self-quarantine is needed, work remotely if you can. If you cannot, you may use the following leave options:

  • See #2 or #3 above.

If approved for workers' compensation, you may receive benefits for loss of wages and medical expenses.

**Please note that a person’s medical diagnosis is confidential and should not be shared with co-workers unless the person with a COVID-19 diagnosis shares that information voluntarily. If supervisors learn of this information, they will consult with Public Health and follow CDC guidelines to notify other staff members of possible exposure and the need to quarantine.

***Employees should not discriminate or harass other employees or members of the public if they learn or suspect that someone has COVID-19.

For non-benefit-earning employees - This information may be shared with you from the Department of Health, or your supervisor or manager.

**If you are exposed to COVID-19 as a result of work activities, please file a "first report of injury” via RamseyNet, or contact your department’s benefits representative. Notify your supervisor and follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. If self-quarantine is needed, work remotely if you can. If you cannot, you may use the following leave options:

  • See #2 or #3 above.

If approved for workers' compensation, you may receive benefits for loss of wages and medical expenses.

**Please note that a person’s medical diagnosis is confidential and should not be shared with co-workers unless the person with a COVID-19 diagnosis shares that information voluntarily. If supervisors learn of this information, they will consult with Public Health and follow CDC guidelines to notify other staff members of possible exposure and the need to quarantine.

***Employees should not discriminate or harass other employees or members of the public if they learn or suspect that someone has COVID-19.

CDC guidelines - If you are asked to quarantine, see #2 above.

If you are not directed to quarantine, work from home if possible and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If you cannot work from home, and you are asymptomatic, you can work, but you MUST:

  • Monitor your temperature before coming to work.
  • Wear a face mask at all times.
  • Social distance (maintain six feet between you and another individual, where possible).

Do not:

  • Stay at work if you become sick.
  • Share headsets or other objects used near face.
  • Congregate in the break room or other workspaces.
  • If you become symptomatic, refer to #3 above.​

You live with a household member with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 and will need to follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine

For benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

  • See #4 if you are taking care of the individual; or #2 if you are asked to quarantine by a health care provider.
  • If neither of those apply, then use the following:

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave Advance up to 80 hours total (sick, vacation)​.
  • Unpaid leave.

For non-benefit-earning employees - If you are not able to work from home, the following leave options are available to you:

  • See #4 if you are taking care of the individual; or #2 if you are asked to quarantine by a health care provider.
  • If neither of those apply, then use the following leave:

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total, prorated).
  • Unpaid leave.

CDC guidelines - If you are asked to quarantine by your health care provider, see #2 above.

If you are not directed to quarantine and you cannot work from home and monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the last exposure, you can work, but you must:

  • Monitor your temperature before coming to work.
  • Wear a face mask at all times.
  • Social distance (maintain six feet between you and another individual, where possible).

Do not:

  • Stay at work if you become sick.
  • Share headsets or other objects used near face.
  • Congregate in the break room or other workspaces.
  • If you become symptomatic, refer to #3 above.​

You have been possibly exposed to COVID-19 due to travel or exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and will need to follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine

For benefit-earning employees - Notify your supervisor to discuss options to do your work remotely. Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine. If work from home is not possible, you may have the following leave options available to you:

Federal leave benefits:

  • See #2 or #3 or #4 where applicable. If the federal leave benefits do not apply, then use your county benefits.
  • If federal leave applies, submit the request form.

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours total (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave​.

For non-benefit-earning employees - Notify your supervisor to discuss options to do your work remotely. Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine. If work from home is not possible, you may have the following leave options available to you:

Federal leave benefits:

  • • See #2 or #3 or #4 where applicable. If the federal leave benefits do not apply, then use your county benefits.
  • If federal leave applies, submit the request form to your supervisor.

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours).
  • Time Reporting Code: 361.
  • Unpaid leave​

CDC guidelines

  • International travel: Employee should quarantine at home for 14 days after returning home regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not.
  • Cruises: If you returned from a cruise, you must quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
  • Domestic travel: If you are able to work from home, you may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days especially if you took care of someone with COVID-19, spent time traveling with someone who has COVID-19 or acquired COVID-19 within a few days of returning home. Please inform your supervisor.
  • If symptomatic, please refer to #3.​

If asymptomatic, employee should quarantine at home for 14 days after last exposure. If symptomatic, employee should isolate until health care provider approves return to work, or if employee was directed to care for themselves at home, they may discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since the fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath).
  • And at least seven days have passed since symptoms first disappeared.​

You are defined by the CDC as being high-risk for COVID-19 or live with someone who is high risk for COVID-19

For benefits-earning employees - If your health care provider has ordered you to quarantine, see #2. Otherwise, notify your supervisor. If you can work remotely and it has been approved by your supervisor, you are encouraged to work remotely.

If work from home is not an option, you may use the following leave:

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours total (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave.

If you can accomplish some of your work remotely, you can use partial leave time to cover the hours you are unable to work.​

For non-benefits-earning employees - If your health care provider has ordered you to quarantine, see #2. Otherwise, notify your supervisor. If you can work remotely and it has been approved by your supervisor, you are encouraged to work remotely.

If work from home is not an option, you may use the following leave:

County leave benefits:

  • PEPEL leave (up to 80 hours total).
  • Unpaid leave.

If you can accomplish some of your work remotely, you can use partial leave time to cover the hours you are unable to work.​

CDC guidelines - The CDC identifies high risk individuals as:

  • Individuals over 60.
  • Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, asthma or HIV.
  • Individuals who are immune weakened.
  • Pregnant women​.

You don’t want to come to work because you are afraid of catching COVID-19, but you do not fall into the high-risk category defined by the CDC.

For benefits-earning employees - If work from home is not an option, you may use the following leave:

County leave benefits:

  • Accrued leave balances (sick, vacation, floating holiday, floating holiday reserve, comp time).
  • Leave advance up to 80 hours total (sick, vacation).
  • Unpaid leave​.

If you can work remotely and it has been approved by your supervisor, employees are encouraged to work remotely.

For non-benefits-earning employees - If you can work remotely and it has been approved by your supervisor, employees are encouraged to work remotely. If this is not possible in your position, discuss with your supervisor the options available to you. Any time not worked will be unpaid.

CDC guidelines - You are encouraged to take precautions which minimizes their risk of infection such as social distancing (staying six feet part from others where possible), hand washing, and cleaning of your workspaces. Employees may also wear cloth face masks in jobs where PPE is not normally provided. Consult with your supervisor if you have concerns.