Health Care and Employee Leave Resources

Health Care Resources

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If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including respiratory or flulike symptoms such as fever and/or cough:

PEBA Insurance Coverage: Prescriptions and Testing

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) wants to make sure that its State Health Plan members, including its older members and those with underlying health conditions, have an adequate supply of their medication during this time. Typically, you can refill your medication when 25 to 35 percent of your current prescription is remaining.

If you are concerned about your supply of medications due to COVID-19, you can contact your pharmacist to obtain an additional 30-day supply outside of the normal refill procedures. Please note that regulations pertaining to dispensing controlled substances still apply. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmacies may be waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medication. Check with your network pharmacy to see if this service is being offered. You can find a network pharmacy by logging in to your Express Scripts account.

If your network pharmacy does not have your medication available, you may also contact Express Scripts at 855-612-3128 to request a supply of your prescription be filled by Express Scripts Home Delivery and mailed to you.

COVID-19 Tests

The State Health Plan will cover testing to diagnose COVID-19 at no member cost when prescribed according to guidelines set by public health authorities. Any services associated with treatment will be covered following normal Plan provisions.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) COVID-19 Resources


Clinicians are available 24/7/365 at 800-633-3353, where our EAP vendor is offering virtual, telephonic and face-to-face appointments. 

Due to COVID-19 and the various effects in each area of the world, face-to-face availability will be determined based on location.

Articles, Webinars and More

There are many resources about COVID-19 available now through the Work-Life Portal. To access:

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To help support you further, an online seminar "Keep Calm and Carry-on – Maintaining Your Composure Amidst the Pandemic Panic" will be available starting Saturday, March 21. The seminar will cover: 

  • Strategies to tackle feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Practical techniques for working from home
  • Ways to address signs of panic in the workplace
  • Supporting your children
  • When to reach out for further help and support

Employee Leave

Reporting Leave During COVID-19 Event (ITAMS)

Our university is committed to limiting the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe. As directed by the Governor of South Carolina, the campus has been closed through the end of the semester and President Caslen has directed non-essential employees not to report to campus and to work remotely whenever possible.

Employees who submit weekly time sheets (Non-Exempt Employees) in positions that earn leave (i.e FTE, RGP and time-limited) should report time in the following manner:

  • All time actually worked should be reported in the normal manner, using ITAMS code: WORKED-Hours Worked.
  • Time not worked as a result of the campus closure and the social distancing directive should be reported using the following COVID codes:
    • During the COVID-19 event, all leave earning employees are authorized to use available sick leave to cover time not worked, even if they are not diagnosed with the virus.
      • Employees who use Sick Leave should use code: “S/L COVID S/L COVID Illness”
    • Employees may also elect to use compensatory time, annual leave or leave without pay depending on their preference and available balances.
      • Employees who use compensatory time should use code: “COMP-TAKEN Comp Time Taken”
      • Employees who use annual leave should use code: “A/L COVID A/L COVID Illness”
      • Employees who use leave without pay should use code: “LWOP COVID Unpaid Leave COVID Illness”
    • Employees who are caring for a family member who is ill may use code: “FSL COVID S/L-Family COVID Illness”
  • Leave hours taken during the closure that are in no way related to COVID, Emergency Leave or EFMLA, should be tracked in ITAMS as normal under the appropriate code for the type of leave taken.
    • A/L Annual Leave Taken
    • S/L Personal Sick Leave Taken
    • S/L Family Sick Leave Family
    • LWOP-PERSONL Unpaid Personal Lv

Employees who report time on bi-monthly basis (Exempt Employees) and are in positions that earn leave (i.e. FTE, RGP, and time-limited) are to report time not worked as a result of the campus closure and the social distancing directive using the COVID codes in the manner described above for Non-Exempt employees. Leave hours taken during the closure that are in no way related to COVID, EPSL, or EFMLA, should be tracked in ITAMS as normal under the appropriate code for the type of leave taken.

If you have questions, please contact the USC Upstate Human Resources Office at HR@USCUPSTATE.EDU

Guidelines for the Use of Sick Leave

Our university is committed to limiting the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe. As directed by the Governor of South Carolina the campus has been closed and President Caslen has directed employees to work remotely. This is new territory for many of us and we appreciate all that you are doing to promote social distancing and ensure that your employees are observing the guidance provided by President Caslen.

We have received additional information from the State of South Carolina regarding the use of Sick Leave during this period of closure. Please share this information with your supervisors and managers.

Employees who earn leave are authorized to use sick leave:

  • If they are sick,
  • If they fall into CDC defined higher risk or special populations,
  • If they are otherwise affected by social distancing directives related to COVID-19

This means that leave earning employees are authorized to use sick leave, annual leave, or compensatory time to cover their absence from campus if they are not engaged in telecommuting and their supervisor determines that their presence at work is not required.

Sick leave may be advanced to leave earning employees under the same criteria.

  • HR 1.06 Sick Leave allows the advancement of up to 15 days of sick leave with the approval of the Vice President for Human Resources or their designee.
  • During the COVID-19 event, approval will be expedited. Based on new guidance, documentation from a licensed health care provider will not be required for advancement of sick leave directly connected to the COVID-19 event.
  • All advanced leave will be repaid as the employee earns future sick leave.

We encourage departments to be flexible and creative as they consider options for allowing employees to work remotely. In some cases, it might be appropriate to allow for a combination of both working time and leave time to account for all normally scheduled working hours.

Guidelines for Supervisors of Student Workers

Apply Guidance to Both Graduates and Undergraduates

All of the guidelines apply to both graduate and undergraduate workers.

Students Working During Closure

The university is allowing current student employees to continue working where possible. However, similar to faculty and staff, whenever possible, work is to be performed remotely.

Federal Work Study Students

The above guidelines regarding students working during closure also apply to Federal Work Study students.

Permitted On-Campus Work

In very limited circumstances, departments may identify mission critical student jobs that must continue to be provided on-campus. These should be exceptional situations and should adhere to the guidance provided by Student Health Services [pdf].

Limit to Hours Worked Per Week

Students are advised to limit their hours worked to no more than their average hours worked per week prior to the closure and should not exceed 20 hours per week. For students who are continuing to work in multiple jobs, the hours worked in each job should be accurately reflected in ITAMS.

Appropriate Tasks for Students Working Remotely

If possible, ask students to continue performing similar work to what they do when working on campus. If this is not possible, be creative in providing the students some tasks such as documenting business processes or preparing desks manuals for what they do on a daily basis. Also, consider providing them development tasks to do such as watching informational videos, reading or researching topics, drafting proposals, or other such work that will continue to develop their knowledge and skills.

Ensuring Students Get Paid

Nothing has changed with this process. For hourly student employees, simply ensure the student enters their time worked in ITAMS and that you approve the time by the published deadlines. For salaried student employees, no entry into ITAMS is required for them to be paid.

Information for Graduate and Research Assistants

Additional information for Graduate Assistants is available from the Graduate School.

Additional information for Research Assistants is available from the Office of Research.

Leave Donation

Faculty and staff may donate leave to the Leave Transfer Pool [pdf] so that employees who are experiencing personal emergencies and do not have enough leave to cover their absence from work may request leave from the pool.

Employees who earn annual leave may donate up to one-half of the annual leave and one-half of the sick leave they are eligible to earn in a calendar year, as long as they keep at least 15 days of sick leave in their account.

If an employee would like to donate leave to the Leave Transfer Pool, please have them complete the Leave Donation Request Form [pdf] and return it to the Benefits Office of the Division of Human Resources. Should you have any questions, please contact the Benefits Office at

Please share this information with employees in your area.


Balancing Childcare and Work

During the fall semester many K-12 schools will be operating on modified schedules, after school programs may be limited, and day-care providers will be operating under stricter guidelines. We know that this will create additional challenges for our employees who have school age or pre-school children. The following information is provided to assist employees who need to balance childcare and work.

Coordinate With Your Supervisor

Discuss your situation with your supervisor. Your supervisor may be able to provide you with additional flexibility in your work hours or location. Please be aware that your supervisor must also take into consideration the needs of the university and the requirements of your job. They may not be able to approve every request.

Review Your Options

In order to accommodate your childcare responsibilities you may want to consider the following options and review them with your supervisor who will need to approve any changes to your work schedule or requests for leave.

  • Modify your work schedule, either by adjusting your hours or working for some or all of your time from home.
  • Use available leave; with supervisor approval employees may use accrued time off for related absences (compensatory time, annual leave, or sick leave, as applicable) to cover time during which they are unable to work.
  • If other options have been exhausted you may need to consider going on leave without pay.