Carnegie Mellon University

COVID-19 and Time Away from Work

CMU remains committed to supporting the CMU community as we come back from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the university approved several pandemic relief time off and leave programs for use during the pandemic. Jurisdictional COVID time off requirements impacting CMU are no longer in place and, with the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the national emergency on May 11, 2023, the following programs were discontinued as of June 30, 2023:

  • Staff Full or Partial Furlough / Faculty Personal Leave (COVID-19) — Unpaid or Partial Pay: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carnegie Mellon University Benefit Plan was amended to allow an employee who was furloughed or on leave to continue to be an eligible employee under the Plan with the university funding the cost of these programs for the duration of the furlough or leave.
  • Emergency Time Off
  • COVID-19 Time Off
  • Unearned (Negative) PTO Exception: Allowed PTO-eligible staff members to take up to 10 days (instead of the five days allowed by the Paid Time Off Policy) of unearned PTO for COVID-19-related absences if they have depleted all other types of time off.
  • Intermittent Family Medical Leave Exception: Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Office of Human Resources had approved a temporary adjustment to Intermittent Family Medical Leave (FML) administration that allowed employees to take Intermittent FML related to the birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care as unpaid time off even if they had a Paid Time Off balance.

If you experience a non-work-related illness or disability that causes you to miss work or makes it difficult to do your job, you may access university resources such as disability leave or an accommodation plan. Visit the Illness or Disability page for additional information.

Temporary Exception to PTO Policy

The temporary exception to the university’s Paid Time Off Policy regarding the transfer of a staff member’s PTO bank into their Reserve Sick Day bank ended on December 31, 2022. Affected PTO not used by a staff member's PTO anniversary date after December 31, 2022 will be transferred to the staff member’s bank of RSD after that PTO anniversary date. The excess PTO simply gets moved to the bank of RSD, which can be accessed while on short-term disability.