Recent updated CDC guidance, COP remains an option

On September 16, 2022, you may remember receiving the below email at work from CBP regarding an update to guidance for those employees who get exposed to or test positive for COVID-19.

In the email, they explained that if someone is exposed (regardless of vaccination status) and they don’t have symptoms or a positive test, the employee continues to come to work unless they start showing symptoms or test positive. Weather and safety leave is no longer an option.

However, if someone tests positive, the agency wrote, “Sick Leave (SL) is the appropriate duty status, but other personal leave can be substituted for SL (annual, earned compensatory time, LWOP, etc.),” incorrectly implying that continuation of pay (COP) is no longer an option.

Unsurprisingly, they left out useful information, which is just another example of different offices within CBP failing to communicate with each other. We flagged this for CBP HRM, and as expected, they do not plan on sending out a clarification email, so it once again falls on the NBPC to make sure the workforce is properly informed.

To be clear, COP remains an option for employees, even though it’s not listed in that table.

If you test positive with an at-home test, immediately schedule a follow-up PCR test at a mobile lab or get an appointment with your doctor so you can be tested via a test that DOL will accept. If you wait too long, you might test negative via that test after previously testing positive with an at-home test, which means you won’t be able to use COP. Once you have a positive PCR test or a medical report from your doctor, fill out a CA-1 on ECOMP.

Check out a post from earlier this year for instructions on how to submit a CA-1 via ECOMP.