USC extends paid administrative leave, offers additional employee accommodations

USC will extend paid administrative leave through May 13 for University staff facing cut hours or who are unable to work from home, according to a communitywide email sent by Senior Vice President of Human Resources Felicia Washington Wednesday. This is a one-month extension from USC’s previous announcement in late March that said paid leave would last through April 12.

“We continue to be grateful to our staff, faculty, healthcare workers, and students for all you’re doing to keep USC and our community strong during this unprecedented time,” the email read. “We are thinking of all of you and hope you and your families are safe and healthy.”

USC noted that there are specific stipulations in place for Keck Medicine employees’ use of paid administrative leave but has not yet made these requirements clear.

Nonmedical essential workers will receive face coverings in accordance with new guidelines from Los Angeles County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommend wearing a clean face covering when in the presence of people outside one’s household. The announcement follows an executive order from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday mandating that employees and patrons at essential businesses wear face coverings beginning Friday.

Other accommodations for employees include extending the deadline to request reimbursements from flexible spending accounts to pay for health care costs not covered by insurance from March 30 to May 1. Staff members can also take out loans and access funds from their retirement plans with no penalty.

Child care services at both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses will remain open, and families no longer requiring child care will not be charged tuition, the email stated. The child care centers have implemented social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols.

The University has also suspended staff pay deductions for parking permits for the months of April and May, and both employees and students will receive parking permit refunds prorated from March 16. Neither employees nor students need to take action to receive reimbursements. Employees working at UPC will not be charged to use any of the campus parking structures. Staff no longer using their subsidized transit passes can contact USC Transportation to cancel payments beginning in May.

“We value each one of you, and we miss seeing you in person,” the email read. “It is our hope that we will soon be back on campus together, a stronger and more cohesive team that has overcome the unimaginable.”

Staff are encouraged to browse the frequently asked questions page for employees on the USC’s coronavirus website or to reach out to Washington or human resources partners directly with any concerns.