All University of California employees, including student workers, are now eligible for up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave to help them address any challenges they may face due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an executive order released by UC President Janet Napolitano on Monday. 

The executive order includes student workers. Sophia Lovell / Daily Nexus

The order mandates that the paid leave hours be used only in specific circumstances, which include if employees are subject to shelter-in-place orders, or if family members or themselves are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. The order also applies to employees who must stay home to care for a child or dependent who can no longer attend child care or school. 

“I have concluded that critical steps must be taken to limit the exposure of members of our community to the disease within our community, to care for those who have fallen ill or otherwise been exposed, and to assure the continued functioning of critical operations, including most particularly the health systems that we will rely on to meet the challenge posed by COVID-19,” Napolitano wrote in the order.

The order, which went into effect on Monday, will be in place until Dec. 31, 2020. 

According to UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang, the paid leave can be used at any time, “including intermittently, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave, at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university service.”

The executive order, which supersedes a previous emergency leave policy set in place on March 9, will also include part-time workers, although their hours will be distributed “according to the percent of the appointment.”

“The University of California holds as its highest priority the health, safety and wellbeing of its students, faculty, clinicians, administrators and employees, and all other members of its communities,” Napolitano wrote in the order. 

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