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Attendance and Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy

Mar 20, 2020
Attendance and Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy image

March 20, 2020

Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy


General Chairman

Union Pacific is vital to the nation.  We are an essential transportation company that serves businesses and municipalities throughout this country.  We transport food, chemicals that clean our water supply, medical supplies, and basic essentials along with consumer goods that are critically needed during this historical situation.  During this stressful time, the country needs us to continue to transport these essential products.  Our ability to serve the public will in large measure affect the nation's ability to meet the challenges and quickly recover from this unprecedented time.

While we must remember the nation is relying on us to do our jobs, Union Pacific does not want anyone to come to work ill.  The following Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy is in place to alleviate continued employment and some financial concerns.

If you or an immediate household member or a coworker with whom you have had direct contact tests positive for COVID-19 or has been told by a healthcare professional / Health Department to quarantine for any amount of time as a result of potential exposure (must be documented), please call the Nurse Hotline at 402-544-7011 (Fitness for Duty line) or your local OHN to obtain a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA).  Further, you must alert your supervisor.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of COVID-19, perhaps from unknown community contact, likewise please call the Nurse Hotline (above) to obtain a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) by completing a phone interview "intake" questionnaire administered by the Nurse.  If the Nurse determines the symptoms and circumstances are consistent with possible COVID-19 exposure and instructs you to quarantine the following governs:

Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy

Employees placed on quarantine by Union Pacific's Health and Medical Services (HMS) as a result of exposure to COVID-19 will be paid at the basic daily rate of the employee's assigned class of service less applicable Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and Supplemental Sickness benefits.  Employees are required to follow appropriate CDC Guidelines for self-protection and avoid COVID-19 "hot spots" or experiences (for example: cruises, conventions, large gatherings, etc.) that increase the chance of exposure.  This temporary leave pay is only applicable to exposure to the virus occurring while at work at Union Pacific.  Union Pacific will pay employees for up to fourteen (14) days - the CDC's general guideline for quarantine. HMS will provide instructions to the affected employee regarding the quarantine and the claims payment process. Union Pacific will continue to evaluate the need for this policy and may modify and/or terminate the temporary pay policy at any time and without advance notice.

The process for compensation is as follows:

1) HMS (including Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs), as needed) initiates MLOA for employee placed on quarantine.

2) HMS advises Leave Administration of the MLOA

3) HMS provides instructions to employee and forwards or copies Timekeeping (not medical notes, but MLOA designation)

4) Timekeeping communicates with CMS to "turn-off" auto call for Operating employees.

For further information regarding third party benefits, employees should contact:

Supplemental Sickness Benefit Plans Covering

Shop Craft, Signal and Maintenance of Way Employees

The Hartford 1-800-205-7651


Supplemental Sickness Benefit Plan for Railroad Yardmaster Employees

Trustmark 1-800-504-9052


Railroad Retirement Board Benefits: Employee should call Local RRB Office

RRB Sickness or Unemployment Benefits(following RRB prescribed qualification period)

·    Employees with less than 10 years - receive up to 130 days of sickness benefit.

·     Employees with more than 10 years - receive the initial 130 days plus an additional 65 days of extended benefits

Should you need more than the instructed quarantine period to recover from your illness use your unused Vacation, Personal Leave Days, sick or other paid time off granted to you in your CBA.

Attendance Policy

Union Pacific's Attendance Policy will be temporarily relaxed to ensure no one that is ill or quarantined by a physician, State / County Health Department or Union Pacific's Health and Medical Service will not be assessed "points."   These situations will be handled via the MLOA process effectively suspending the accumulation of points.  Further, based on a lag in obtaining documentation or due to call volumes and a delay in returning calls, if points are accumulated they will be removed after the fact as timely as possible by authorized Department designated personnel if the above processes are followed and documented.

Please note, Union Pacific seeks to ensure everyone is doing their part.  If an employee chooses to ignore CDC guidelines and elects to increase the chance of exposure to themselves and coworkers by participating in international travel (after March 23, 2020), cruises, or large group gatherings, you will not qualify for the Quarantine Temporary Leave Pay Policy.

Requested Assistance

Please remind your members of the CDC and the World Health Organization recommendations regarding personal protection techniques.  

Finally, please remind your members to frequently check the COVID-19 site on the UP page for up to date information on the pandemic.

By working together and following preventative practices and, most important, by showing consideration for others, we can all help protect the health of the Union Pacific family and move the freight the country relies upon.


Rod Doerr

VP Labor Relations

Union Pacific Railroad