Gov. Charlie Baker, joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, announces new travel restrictions related to COVID-19 during a State House press conference on July 24. (Photo courtesy Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

The Baker-Polito administration has issued its human resources policy regarding state employees who travel to non-low-risk states under the COVID-19 travel order.

The policy is explained in a memo dated Aug. 4 from the Human Resources Division to state agency heads and managers.

Under the policy, those employees who travel out of state and are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine may be eligible for COVID-19 emergency paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, which requires employers to provide up to 10 days of additional paid sick leave if an employee must quarantine as a result of a federal, state or local government order.

The policy requires managers to inquire as to whether employees intend to travel to restricted states before granting vacation leave, and requires employees to provide notice if they intend to travel to non-low-risk states.

The policy states that vacation leave can be denied if an extended absence from the workplace is not consistent with the agency’s operational needs, or the vacation leave may be granted contingent on having the employee pre-schedule an appropriate COVID-19 test to take place within 72 house of the employee’s scheduled return to the workplace.

The MMA is advising municipal officials to confer with labor counsel regarding this issue.

Link to U.S. Department of Labor’s guidance on paid leave under the FFCRA