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Thursday, June 13, 2024

“Nonessential” UF employees who cannot work remotely will be given 10 days of paid leave – but what happens after is unclear.

UF is reducing its on-campus personnel to “essential” employees only in accordance with Alachua County’s emergency order to shelter in place after concerns from COVID-19. On Tuesday, there were 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alachua County. The change was announced Tuesday morning by UF Human Resources and goes into effect today.

Essential employees are encouraged to practice social distancing while working on campus, according to the email. Nonessential employees have been instructed to work from home and may be eligible for the paid sick leave if they are unable to work from home. This includes certain faculty and staff, hourly workers, postdoctoral and graduate assistants.

It is unclear what positions have been determined essential, and by whom. UF spokesperson Steve Orlando wrote in a text message that UF will provide more information in the next few days, and that the university intends to follow Family Medical Leave Act guidelines.

The act ensures that eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a one year period, according to UF’s Family Medical Leave Act webpage. Employees must have worked at the university for at least 1,250 hours over a year before taking leave.

The UF Vice President for Human Resources, Jodi Gentry, and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Charles E. Lane, declined to comment. 

Two UF employees, one from the College of Journalism and Communications and another from the College of Veterinary Medicine, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last week, according to UF’s report.

A graduate assistant from the College of Medicine and an undergraduate student from the College of Business were also reported Monday. As of Tuesday afternoon, UF has reported 14 total positive cases of coronavirus.

Contact Hannah Phillips at Follow her on Twitter @haphillips96.   

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