Skip Navigation

Smith College A Culture of Care

COVID-Related Leaves & Accommodations

COVID-Related Leaves & Accommodations

Information about the college’s leave policies, flexible work arrangements and ADA accommodations is as follows:

Employees at Higher Risk of Severe Illness

Employees who are considered “high risk” for contracting the virus, as detailed by the CDC, may be eligible for a leave of absence, flexible work arrangements or ADA accommodations. Employees taking leave under these laws are entitled to job restoration and cannot be subject to retaliation. State and federal leave provisions apply for the serious illness of an eligible employee or family member and require medical certification. These state and federal provisions do not allow the employee time off from work solely for COVID-19 exposure concerns.

In keeping with college policy, managers must notify Human Resources if an employee is requesting time off that may qualify for FML or is absent from work for personal illness for ten or more days, or when the need is known in advance. The application process for a medical leave is detailed in the Employee Handbook.


Advanced Sick Leave

If the employee is approved for a medical leave due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, and they have used all of their paid time off, they will be eligible for an advance on future sick-time accruals. The college may advance up to 240 hours (30 days) of paid sick leave to a full-time employee, or a prorated amount for a part-time employee. A request for advanced sick leave will only be granted for approved medical leaves. The college will not advance sick leave to an employee when it is known (or reasonably expected) that the employee will not return to work, e.g., when the employee has applied for long-term disability.

Advanced leave may be paid back by accruing earned sick leave or by refund upon separation. Advanced sick leave may be liquidated by subsequently earned sick leave or by a refund upon separation. However, if the employee dies, retires, separates or resigns because of disability, the requirement to repay does not apply. The college will make the determination as to whether an employee has separated or resigned because of disability.