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Dear UNC School of Medicine faculty and staff,

The School of Medicine is working alongside our partners at UNC Health and across the University to help end this pandemic. The work of our clinicians and those supporting their efforts is essential to combating COVID-19 and caring for the health of patients and populations.  Our researchers likewise provide vital support to our mission, whether in exploring important issues related to COVID-19 or other questions related to human health and welfare. A multitude of others provide critical support for our clinical and research missions through their work in IT, facilities, support services, administration, and in various other functional areas.

You may have read recently about a new federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Act provides for expanded family and medical leave and emergency paid sick leave for certain employees at covered workplaces, which includes public employers, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Act contains several exemptions, including one for employers of health care providers and emergency responders, since their work is crucial in helping fight this disease, caring for our patients and in supporting our colleagues.

We wanted you to be aware that leave benefits under the Act will not be available to School of Medicine employees under this exemption because their skills and services are needed to fulfill our mission at this critical time, from the front lines, to the back office, and everywhere in between.  Please be assured that all other existing benefits for which you qualify will remain available to you, including regular Family and Medical Leave Act leave and the administrative leave described in communications from the Chancellor and UNC System Office.

Employees should continue to direct leave requests to their supervisors, who have been advised to accommodate requests in an equitable manner that optimizes the work of the School while providing as much support as possible for each employee.  For further questions or guidance regarding leave requests, employees may contact the appropriate chair, Human Resources or dean’s office leader.

This communication does not apply to the Departments of Biomedical Engineering or Nutrition, which are part of other schools in the University.


Julie Byerley, MD, MPH
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
UNC School of Medicine

Harvey Lineberry, PhD, MBA
Associate Dean for Human Resources
UNC School of Medicine

Cristy Page, MD, MPH
Executive Dean
UNC School of Medicine