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*All leave referenced in updated provisions is pro-rated for part-time employees.

Management may approve eligible employees to use up to 80 hours of Expanded Community Service Leave (CSL) to work with non-profit organizations on COVID-19 volunteer activities. Such activities may include sewing masks for health care workers, organizing food drives, or donating blood. These hours are accounted for separately from an employee’s regular CSL (Option A) allotment. The Expanded CSL provision is an extension of the traditional Community Service Leave policy and includes the same program requirements but is specifically for COVID-19 related activities. Please visit the NC Disaster Assistance web page to learn how you can help. 

Eligible employees may to use up to 24 of the 80 hours of the Expanded COVID-19 Community Service Leave (CSL) that was issued on Aug. 1, 2020 for volunteer activities in October and November in order to serve in roles needed by their County Boards of Elections during Early Voting (Oct. 15-31) and on Election Day (Nov. 3).  

For early voting, a poll worker volunteer can work in any county and does not have to be registered to vote; on Election Day, poll worker volunteers must be registered to vote in their county of residence and can only work the polls in that county. 

Needs vary by county, but County Boards of Elections are actively recruiting and training volunteers.  Advance training also be required; however, advanced training is not covered by this CSL leave. To learn about local needs, employees can visit Democracy Heroes or contact their County Board directly through the State Board of Elections website.   

CSL cannot be used for electioneering or campaigning for political parties, candidates, or nonprofit organizations involved in election activities. Any employees interested in these types of activities during work hours must request and be approved for vacation leave.  

Because compensation of poll workers is mandated, state employees who are needed by the County Board of Elections to perform elections tasks will be permitted to accept compensation from the Board while using CSL. 

Please remember that CSL can only be applied to volunteer hours that occur within the employee’s normal work schedule. If an employee works a longer day at the polling station, only the hours that occurred within the employee’s regular work schedule are eligible for CSL. 

Supervisor approval is required for employees to use this special CSL and participants will need to provide proof of time worked at the polls. For more information, see also OSHR’s FAQ page.

Separate from the 80 hours of Expanded COVID-19 CSL leave mentioned above, OSHR has expanded the activities eligible for the child involvement aspects of the usual CSL program and has provided additional CSL leave for this purpose through Dec. 31, 2020.  

OSHR “reset” the balances for annual CSL allotments for all eligible employees.  As of Aug. 17, employees have 24 hrs. of regular CSL – Option A or a new 36-hour optional program for participation in literacy, tutoring, and mentoring programs available through the end of the calendar year.   

The 24 hours (CSL – Option A) can be used for each year for regular volunteer activities and child involvement as outlined in the original Community Service Leave policy. Child involvement includes: 

  • Meeting with a teacher or administrator concerning the employee’s child 
  • Attending any function sponsored by the school in which the employee’s child is participating (This provision shall only be used with non-athletic programs that are a part of, or supplement to, the school’s academic or artistic programs.) 

The alternative 36 hours of CSL can be used for participation in literacy, tutoring, and mentoring programs, but provides more flexibility allowing employees to assist their children with virtual learning needs. Employees may choose to use either the 24-hour program or the 36-hour program and cannot use both 

In addition, OSHR has provided certain expansion of allowable activities through the remainder of the calendar year to provide more flexibility to employees in use of CSL. 

  • If the employee is opting to use the 36-hour CSL, the hours per week used may vary week to week. Normally, this is assumed to be one hour per week throughout a school academic year, but greater flexibility has been provided so that hours can be used by the end of the year.
  • Tutoring and mentoring shall be in a formal standardized program or may include non-conventional tutoring/mentoring arrangements to include plans and activities in a virtual academic setting.
  • The tutoring session may be carried out virtually and/or in-person. This may include students as a part of a cohort or may include an employee’s own child(ren).
  • The definition is expanded for “at-risk” students who, by virtue of their circumstances, are more likely than others to fail academically, to include those who require temporary or ongoing support to succeed academically.
  • The definition of “school” is expanded to include an organization that is authorized to operate under the laws of the State of North Carolina (an elementary, middle or high school) to include recognition of the current virtual academic setting. 
  • Like other types of non-emergency leave, CSL must be requested in advance and may not be used without the supervisor’s approval.  
  • The supervisor may require that the leave be taken at a time other than the one requested, based on operational needs, and/or may require acceptable proof that any leave taken is within the purposes of this policy. 
  • Notify your supervisor that you want to take CSL and request the time off in advance. 
  • Once your request is approved, work with your TIM Administrator to enter the CSL hours in the Time Information Management (TIM) System using the correct CSL pay code.
  • For Expanded CSL for Election Poll Working, the employee should provide proof of time worked at the polls to their supervisor.
  • The supervisor will need to email the employee’s proof of time worked at the polls to the employee’s TIM Administrator and the Benefits & Leave Administration Unit in the Office of Human Resources (email to leave@unc.edu).
  • The Benefits & Leave Administration Unit will report the hours taken and in what county to the Office of State Human Resources.  

Should you have any questions regarding traditional CSL or these new CSL provisions, you may call the Benefits & Leave Administration unit at (919) 962-3071 or email us at leave@unc.edu.  

 

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