May I use sick leave for exposure to a communicable disease during any flu or pandemic influenza situation?
The use of sick leave for exposure to a communicable disease would be limited to circumstances where exposure alone would jeopardize the health of others and would arise in cases of serious communicable disease. The flu can encompass many variations of influenza, and even a pandemic influenza does not automatically meet the criteria of a serious communicable disease for sick leave purposes. Determinations of a serious communicable disease are made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In other words, even a pandemic influenza would not meet the threshold of a serious communicable disease for sick leave purposes until the CDC has declared that exposure alone is enough to jeopardize the health of others. The use of sick leave for exposure to a communicable disease should be used only in very limited circumstances, and agencies should not grant sick leave for this purpose until they receive guidance from the appropriate officials. Employees should consult with their agency human resources office to determine how their agency policy applies to their situation.