Temporary Paid Administrative Leave Update (CPAL)

Sent: April 6, 2020
From: Joanne Wright, Senior Associate Vice President, University Personnel

The Chancellor’s Office (CO) has recently updated and clarified the CSU COVID-19 Temporary Paid Administrative Leave (CPAL) policy enacted in response to the pandemic. The paid administrative leave available under this policy has been increased from 16 days (128 hours) to 32 days (256 hours) and employee eligibility has been expanded. CPAL is in effect from March 23 through December 31, 2020, for eligible employees unable to work due to COVID-19-related reasons. The policy allows employees to use this paid time under CPAL before using other accrued leave balances or any other paid leave which might be available.


Employees eligible for CPAL include the following:

  • All employees with a timebase (part-time or full time) including exempt and non-exempt employees. This excludes hourly/intermittent employees, special consultants, retired annuitants, auxiliary/foundation employees, and temporary faculty employed solely to teach summer session, extension, and/or intersession, with no appointments during  the regular terms (e.g. fall and spring semester; or fall, winter, and spring quarters) within the academic year.
  • All academic student employees (Unit 11)
  • All non-represented student assistants

There is no waiting period to become eligible for this leave allotment, and new employees hired after the effective date are also eligible.


  • All hours must be used by close of business on December 31, 2020, at which time the remaining allotted hours will expire;
  • The hours may be used at any time during this designated period, including intermittently as permissible, either before or after the use of any accrued leave or other paid leave, at the request of the employee, in consultation with the supervisor and leave manager, provided that such use shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services;
  • The number of hours of paid administrative leave for employees who work less than full-time shall be prorated according to the percent or timebase of the appointment.


CPAL may be used only if the employee is unable to work, on campus or remotely, for the following purposes:

  • When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness;
  • When an employee is unable to work due to the COVID-19-related illness of a family member whom the employee would normally be allowed to use sick leave for;
  • When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed by their healthcare provider not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons;
    • Note: This includes when an employee is exhibiting signs of illness and has verified with their appropriate administrator that they may not come to the worksite for COVID-related reasons. This further includes when an employee is exhibiting signs of illness and is aware of potential exposure and/or there has been a COVID-19 related diagnosis at the worksite. Under all these circumstances, it is appropriate for the employee to quarantine and utilize this leave if remote work is unavailable.
  • When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed by their supervisor that it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely;
  • When an employee is unable to work due to a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure and the employee is required to be at home with a child(ren) or dependent(s), and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.

Employees requesting paid leave under CPAL must submit a Paid Administrative Leave Form and must self-certify on the form that the need for leave is valid.

Interaction with other leave programs

CPAL does not supersede paid leave provisions providing indefinite leave for employees who have underlying chronic medical conditions and/or who are 65 years or older and unable to work remotely. CPAL also does not supersede Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), federal legislation which became effective April 1, 2020. 

Employees may be eligible to use accrued leave credits (vacation, sick leave, CTO, or personal holiday) to supplement leave provided under CPAL. Those employees not eligible for CPAL may use their accrued leave credits. 

The CSU Family Medical Leave policy will apply to employees meeting the definition of a serious medical condition for themselves or immediate family members. If an exempt employee is covered under California State University Family Medical Leave (CSU FML), leave may be tracked by hours rather than in full day increments.


Employees on CPAL will be paid at their “regular rate of pay.” This includes pay the employee is receiving currently which could include base pay, shift differential, stipends, allowances, etc.


If you have questions regarding CPAL and/or other leaves, contact: