Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL)


Virginia reactivated Public Health Emergency Leave effective September 1, 2021.

Eligible employees can use PHEL to:

  • Self-isolate due to their positive test results for COVID-19 (if symptomatic).
  • Provide care to an immediate family member that is self-isolating due to a positive test result for COVID-19.

Mason employees also have an allotted 8 hours of PHEL to get the vaccine and recover from any side effects.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic can telework for the isolation period (per CDC guidance), provided their duties are suitable for telework.

PHEL Balance

  • Employees who did not use PHEL during the 2021 leave year can use up to 80 hours of PHEL. Leave is prorated for benefited part-time employees and non-benefited part-time employees.
  • Employees who used PHEL during the 2021 leave year can use the remaining balance.
  • Employees who exhausted their 2021 PHEL balance during the current leave year are not eligible for PHEL. 

Requesting PHEL

Eligible employees must:

The HR Benefits Liaison will review the test results, check the employee’s PHEL balance and notify the employee if the leave is authorized as PHEL. If the leave is authorized, the employee must submit a paper timesheet by the end of the pay period. The HR Benefits Liaison will only confirm PHEL balances for employees who request PHEL and submit positive COVID-19 test results.

The PHEL Summary offers additional information.  If you have further questions, contact the HR Benefits Liaison.