News Item Details

Public Health Emergency Leave Update

News from April 7, 2021

The City of Philadelphia’s Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) law went into effect on March 29, 2021 and will be effective for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with this law, temporary employees who have worked for the University of Pennsylvania for at least 90 days and who are unable to work when they were scheduled to do so for one of the reasons listed below may use up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid PHEL for their absence. The amount of PHEL that is available to a temporary employee is intended to be consistent with the number of hours the employee regularly works during a two-week period.

PHEL can be used for any of the following reasons related to COVID-19:

  1. The employee needs to do any of the following for themselves or to care for a family member who is doing any of the following:
    1. Self-isolating due to a COVID-19 diagnosis;
    2. Self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID-19;
    3. Seeking or obtaining medical diagnosis, care or treatment while experiencing symptoms of an illness related to COVID-19; or
    4. Self-isolating based on a determination by a public official or public health authority having jurisdiction, a health care provider or an employer that the individual’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the individual’s exposure to COVID-19 or because the individual is exhibiting symptoms that might jeopardize the health of others, regardless of whether the individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  2. The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care for the child has been closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19; and
  3. The employee is obtaining vaccination related to COVID-19 as well as recovering from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such vaccination.

PHEL time is in addition to sick time pursuant to the Temporary Staff on Penn's Payroll (Extra Persons) policy. PHEL time is in effect from March 29, 2021, through one week following the end of the public health emergency as determined by the applicable federal, state or local authority.

Eligible temporary employees should follow the same process as they do when requesting sick time under the Philadelphia Sick Leave Ordinance. Instead of choosing sick leave in Workday, they will select PHEL Sick when requesting time off related to COVID-19. This time off will then be routed to their manager and/or timekeeper for approval.

Information about other COVID-19-related time off is available on the COVID-19 Sick Time and Leave Guidance page.