University Personnel

Information About Coronavirus Related Leaves of Absence

Both the CSU and the federal government are providing expanded leave programs out of consideration for the impacts of coronavirus on employees. As of August 2020, there are three distinct leave provisions.

The three COVID-19 leave programs discussed here are:

  1. Coronavirus Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL), which is a CSU program available through December 31, 2020, at which time remaining hours will expire.
  2. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which is federal legislation that created the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). FFCRA leave is available through December 31, 2020, at which time remaining hours will expire. [See FFCRA “Your Rights” Poster]
  3. Voluntary Reduction in Time Base for Full Time Faculty, per the CFA-CSU MOU dated June 5, 2020. The University, at the sole discretion of the appropriate administrator, may grant a request from a Tenure-line faculty member, a Lecturer with a full-time three-year appointment, a full-time Counselor, or a full-time Librarian for a temporary reduction in time base for the 2020-2021 academic year.

To compare these leaves and their benefits, please see this comparison chart.

The information provided below is intended as a guide and summary. These leave programs have specific eligibility provisions and their intersections are complex. Please reach out to your Appropriate Administrator and coordinate with University Personnel as you assess your leave options.

Which Type of Leave Applies?

  1. Do you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 (seeking or sought a diagnosis)?
  2. Are you required to be at home with a child(ren) or dependent(s) due to a school or childcare [campus] closure due to COVID-19 and are you unable to work remotely in conjunction with the childcare commitment, notwithstanding a highly flexible telework schedule?
  3. Are you caring for a qualified family member or another qualified individual who is subject to a quarantine or advised to self-quarantine related to COVID-19 and as a result of caring for that person are you unable to work or telework?

If you fall into any of these categories, the following leave options may be available to you:

CPAL: Up to 256 hours, depending on time base, at regular rate of pay. (Exempt employees, including faculty, must take leave in full-day increments; therefore, CPAL may not be a practical option for many faculty, depending on load and schedule.)


FFCRA-EPSLA: Depending on time base, up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave at regular rate of pay.


Voluntary Reduction in Time Base: Full-time faculty may reduce a maximum of 8 WTUs each quarter and full-time counselors and librarians may request work hours reduced by up to 16 hours per week; salaries and CalPERS service credit accrual are adjusted accordingly. For more information, see CFA-CSU MOU dated June 5, 2020.


FFCRA-EFMLA: Up to 12 weeks (480 hours). (For the first 80 hours pay must come from accrued sick leave or other PTO; the subsequent 10 weeks are paid at regular rate of pay).

  • The requirement for FFCRA-EFMLA is that as a result of caring for a child(ren) due to a school or childcare [campus] closure, due to COVID, you are unable to work or telework in spite of highly flexible arrangements.
  • FFCRA-EFMLA provides for pay at a reduced, 2/3 rate; however, Chancellor White authorized pay at the regular rate of pay as defined by FLSA.
  • FFCRA excludes first responders and health care workers from eligibility for leave for the reason of caring for a family member with COVID-19 or due to childcare needs; per the Chancellor’s Office, at CSU, health care workers include everyone assigned to work at campus student health centers and/or counseling and psychological services.


FERP or PRTB: The Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) and Pre-Retirement Reduction in Time Base (PRTB) are available to tenure track faculty who are age-eligible (generally between the ages of 55 and 65). See the CSU-CFA CBA Articles 29 and 30, respectively.

* The determination as to whether it is operationally feasible to work remotely/telecommute is made by CSUMB and more specifically, your Department.

How to Request Leave due to Coronavirus

  1. Review the criteria and eligibility for the different types of leave available.
  2. Complete and submit the appropriate leave request form. Your Chair/Dean, working with University Personnel, will contact you to engage in the consultative process and/or to process your leave request.
  3. Consult with University Personnel if you have questions about eligibility, the approval process, or use of leave.
  4. Complete the required forms.

Please note:

  • Supervisors (including Deans/Chairs) and employees are encouraged to be collaborative and make flexible telework arrangements when possible (e.g., permit asynchronous classes, performance of administrative duties at non-traditional hours, etc.). Faculty are considered essential employees so a flexible telework assignment is expected during this pandemic.
  • Whenever possible (e.g., except in the case of onset of illness), request leave and receive approval from appropriate administrator in advance, similar to when using planned sick leave or vacation.
  • If you elect to take a Voluntary Reduction in Time Base, be sure that you understand the CalPERS implications.
  • Be sure that you understand in advance how to record/input your leave, if necessary.