by | Dec 21, 2020 | Updates

During the 2020 Court Recess period (Recess) only, i.e. December 28, 29, 30 and 31, all nonjudicial employees shall be entitled to three (3) hours of paid leave, without charge to accruals, for purposes of undergoing a “PCR” or “antigen” (viral) COVID-19 diagnostic test. A COVID-19 antibody test is not a diagnostic test and therefore, paid leave is not available for purposes of obtaining an antibody test.

Employees Required to Report all Four Recess Days

Employees required to work (whether in-person or remotely) all four (4) days of the Recess, shall be provided with three (3) hours of release time on any one of the four (4) days, as operational needs may permit.


◦Similar to the manner in which leave to vote during the early voting period is handled, employees scheduled to work all four (4) Recess days must submit a request for leave, in writing, to their supervisor by the end of the day on Thursday, December 24, 2020 in order to facilitate scheduling.

◦Requests for leave shall be granted based on the operational needs of the court or office. Unless otherwise mutually agreed, employees can be required to take this paid leave at the beginning or end of their regular shift.

◦Conflicts among employees in the same title requesting leave for the purpose of COVID-19 diagnostic testing should be resolved in the same manner as conflicts among employees in scheduling annual leave.

Employees Charging Accruals (or taking a leave without pay) During the Recess

Employees that are not required to report all four days of the (4) Recess, i.e. that are charging their accruals or have elected to take a leave without pay on at least one (1) of the four (4) Recess days, are eligible for three (3) hours of paid leave (on a day they are charging accruals or have elected to take a leave without pay).

Documentation Required to Substantiate Use of Paid Leave for Testing

Like other types of paid leave, e.g. cancer screening, blood donation, etc., satisfactory documentation will be required to obtain this leave benefit.

Accordingly, employees shall be required to provide documentation indicating the type of test administered and the date on which it was administered.  All other information, including but not limited to the test result, e.g. positive or negative, the employee’s health history, preexisting conditions, medications prescribed, height, weight, etc. should not be requested nor provided.  If provided, this information must be redacted, and the documentation retained similarly to other medical records.  However, under existing Policy, an employee who tests positive for COVID is required to promptly notify their supervisor and/or local HR Administrator of same, and follow all protocols set forth in the May 15, 2020 Memorandum, Coronavirus – Courthouse Procedures.  Accordingly, the limited purpose of this documentation is to substantiate that diagnostic testing was conducted on the date the employee was provided with leave.

In order to ensure that timecards are timely updated and signed off on by the close of the relevant pay period, documentation substantiating the use of paid leave must be provided no later than Wednesday, January 6th*

Employees released from work for purposes of undergoing a COVID diagnostic test during the Recess that fail to timely submit this documentation shall have their timecards adjusted to reflect a charge to their accruals for their absence on the date they were released, e.g. AL, CT or PTP, as may be applicable.  In the case of employees charging their accruals (or taking a leave without pay), the failure to timely substantiate that testing was conducted on such date will result in the charge to accruals (or leave without pay) remaining on the timecard.

Employees that timely substantiate that they underwent the necessary diagnostic test on a Recess date for which they were provided with release time or charged their accruals/took a leave without pay, will have their time cards adjusted to reflect excused leave for three (3) hours on such date.

* In the event documentation is provided after the close of the pay period, the employee’s timecard will require an historical edit which means that any restoration of accruals and/or payment due to the employee will be delayed.


Questions regarding paid leave to undergo COVID-19 diagnostic testing during the Recess should be directed to your supervisor or local HR Administrator.