New Guidelines for Employees Vulnerable to COVID-19 and Special Leave Options

July 14, 2020 - 9:13am

Due to new guidelines from the California State University system and the Centers for Disease Control, Cal Poly Humboldt has developed new guidelines on returning to work on campus for employees who are 65+ years old or who have underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19. There are also multiple CSU and federal leave options for certain employees impacted by the pandemic.

Return to Work for Employees Age 65+ and Those Vulnerable to COVID-19

  • These employees are allowed to work on campus if they are deemed essential, while also following the same COVID-19 restrictions/guidelines that apply to all other employees.  Employees are highly encouraged to review public health guidance on COVID-19, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on those who are at increased risk for severe illness.

  • Employees who have concerns about returning to campus and/or identify a need for an accommodation should first contact Scott Kasper at or call (707) 826-5176 to request reasonable accommodations before returning to campus. Supervisors should not offer accommodations without the employee first self-identifying a need for or requesting an accommodation.

  • In addition to following the directions in campus postings and related general campus safety guidelines, employees may be asked to help identify COVID-19 risks related to their position and associated tasks and then follow all resulting risk mitigation strategies.  


COVID-19-Related Leave Options

In response to COVID-19, multiple leave options have been enacted to help employees who are affected by the pandemic. The language and provisions differ slightly, but the intent of the programs are the same—to provide paid leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons. The following is a summary of leave options available. For a more comprehensive comparison of options, please see the CPAL, TLP, NTWL and FFCRA Chart

  • Coronavirus Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL): Under new CSU provisions, most state-side employees, including student employees, are eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 256 hours of COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL) that can be used for COVID-19-related absences. 

  • Temporary Leave Program (TLP): TLP is a CSU program that covers wages for most state-side employees who are 65 years or older and/or have an underlying health condition, who cannot work on campus  due to COVID-19-related reasons, and for whom working remotely is not operationally feasible.

  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): The FFCRA enacted both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide paid time to employees unable to work (or work remotely) for specified reasons due to COVID-19. Learn more about the FFCRA

CPAL, TLP, and FFCRA offer distinct leave options. They are separate programs and are mutually exclusive. The intent is to use CPAL before FFCRA, but it is not a mandate.  

Compare CPAL, TLP, and FFCRA.

Employees must use their vacation time and sick leave to cover any absences once they have exhausted their available COVID-19-related leave. After they have used all available leave, the employee must return to work if directed to do so by their appropriate administrator. Progressive discipline may be used if the employee does not return to work.

If you work for an Auxiliary (Sponsored Programs Foundation, University Center, or Associated Students) and have any questions regarding leave options, please contact your appropriate administrator or your administrative office. You may also contact Benefit Manager Ariel Aaron at with any questions as well.

For general questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Human Resources at and (707) 826-3626.

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