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COVID Cost Recovery FAQs

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Why are you asking us to track labor and expenses related to COVID?

We are tracking this data for several purposes including:

  • Reporting to OP / State (CAL OES) for budget planning purposes
  • Reporting to UCLA Management to assist in financial decision-making
  • Reporting to External Agencies (i.e. FEMA, CARES Act, private foundations) to submit for potential reimbursement

What costs will be reimbursed?

Although the Cost Recovery Team has a general idea of the types of expenses that may be reimbursed (hence the detailed tracking) and we hope to make the institution "whole", there is no list of guaranteed reimbursements at this time. The Cost Recovery Team will continue to update the campus community as more information becomes available.

Why is labor being tracked differently than non-labor?

Labor costs are not required to be recorded in the GL as COVID. Labor cost will instead be determined based on hours and effort, converted into cost based on employee's hourly rate. A web form will be utilized to ensure consistency across the campus and allow the Cost Recovery Team to pull in additional data elements from UCPath (e.g. salary) as required for reimbursement/reporting.

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Academic Labor

Are academic labor costs being captured differently than other labor costs?

Academic labor costs are being captured in percentage of effort per day (instead of number of hours for staff), in line with the mechanism normally used for research labor tracking.

Effort % should be reported as a percent (whole number) and not a decimal.  Please also leave out the percent sign %. For example, if you worked 30.5 percent of the day, enter 30.5, not .33 and not 30.5%.

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Academic Remote Teaching Preparation

Should we track Academic effort for remote instruction preparation due to COVID?  

No. On 5/11/20, UCLA leadership decided against tracking this effort when weighed against the chance for potential reimbursement. Click here for more details.

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Admin Remote Teaching Prep Work

Can we include the admin costs related to moving classes remotely?

Yes - include those labor costs in the "Remote Teaching Prep" category (see Labor Category Definitions for more information); tag non-labor costs using COVID in the GL.

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Contracts & Grants Expenses

Should we includes labor and non-labor expenses that are being charged to contracts and grants?

For non-labor expenses, please include the "COVID" project field in the GL to track. For labor expenses, please do not include in the monthly labor report submission.

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COVID Admin Leave

Should COVID-Related Admin Leave be included in the monthly labor report submissions to the Cost Recovery Team?

COVID-Related Admin Leave is a separate process done in UCPath utilizing the "earn codes" and therefore feeding to the UCLA General Ledger (GL). Refer to recent guidance provided by management; additional guidance is expected at a later date.

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COVID-related Research Activity

Should COVID related research activity/effort be included?

Yes, research activity/effort should be included but only if it is not being charged to a grant.

What type of activity that is not charged to a grant should be charged?   

  • Research ramp down (includes stopping research and/or moving it to another location such as their home; use ‘Research Ramp down Prep/Execution’ labor category)
  • Remote research preparation (use ‘Remote Research Prep’ labor category)
  • Research ramp up (use ‘Other: Additional remote costs’ labor category and add “Research Ramp Up” in the comments field)
  • Researcher inactive time (use ‘Other: Additional remote costs’ labor category and add “Researcher Inactive Time due to Emergency” in the comments field)

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Essential Staff Non-COVID Related 

If employees are essential and continue to work on campus but are not doing any COVID-related work (and their activities don't fall into the formal labor categories), should we track their time as COVID?

No - if an employee is doing their normal job but happens to be on campus through the closure, do not track their hours as COVID. If they are doing work that is COVID-related and/or falls into any of the labor categories that we've provided, please track accordingly.

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Labor Tracking

What type of data is required for labor tracking?

The Labor Tracking Template includes all elements of data that the Cost Recovery Team requires from the Organizational Financial Leads each month. The Cost Recovery Team will use these elements to pull additional data from UCPath as needed for reporting/reimbursement. Examples of data elements include: First/Last Name, Employee ID, Job Title, Activity Type / Work Performed (aka Labor Categories), Location Where Work Performed, Regular versus Overtime Hours each day, Pay Type (e.g. Non-exempt, part-time), and a Raw Regular Hourly Rate.

Who is my Organizational Financial Lead?

APB has selected School Assistant Deans and some CFOs. For non-Academic units, it is the lead financial officer. These people are responsible for annual budget conference package submissions and the monthly required COVID financial report for OP / CALS-OES. If you have questions about who your organizational financial lead is, please contact

Reporting labor hours and effort

Staff: report time in a minimum of 15-minute increments; Example: if staff spent 33 minutes on COVID labor, report it as 30 minutes.
Academic: report effort % of actual work effort per day; Example: if faculty devoted 6% to COVID labor, report 6% and not the closest increment.

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Medical Center Participation

Is the Medical Center data included in this project?

No - the Medical Center (hospitals) is following a similar but separate process for collecting and reporting COVID costs. Our Campus Cost Recovery Team is working closely with the Medical Center team to ensure we are aligned and we are not duplicating tracking for shared or recharged costs.

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Non-Extraordinary Costs

Should we track both extraordinary costs and normal COVID costs? Do we need to differentiate?

Yes - include all costs related to COVID. Differentiation between extraordinary and ordinary is not necessary at this time although may be required for certain categories at a later date.

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Other Research Expenses

If employees are working on projects related to COVID that are not being charged to any grant/award, should we track this activity as coded?

Yes - please track this in the "Other" category with an added narrative in the comments. We may add another category in the future depending on the volume of data in this field.

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Position Number

Why do I need to include 'position number' in the monthly labor report? Doesn't the team have access to that information through the 'UID'?

Position number is required because all employees have one UID but many have multiple position numbers associated to the UID that are tied to various salary and benefit rates; in order to ensure we are pulling the right financial information for that employee’s specific position at the time of the COVID- related work, we need the position number.  Please refer to the UCLA Position List link at the top of the COVID Labor Submissions page.

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Should we tag recharges in the system with the Project code "COVID"?

Yes - tag recharges with the Project code "COVID".

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Redirected Medical Employees

If one of our employees is being redirected to the Medical Center to work, how should we track that activity?

For the purpose of the COVID Cost Recovery Project, do not include these labor hours in your submission to the Cost Recovery Team. The Medical Center is reporting separately for many purposes (e.g. FEMA reimbursement) and will be capturing those costs in their data. The Campus Cost Recovery Team will be working closely with the Medical Center team to ensure we are capturing all costs without double-counting.

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Replacement Costs

How do we treat replacement costs? For example, if a faculty steps in to teach on behalf of an ill faculty member, should I track that replacement faculty member's salary in a certain way?

No action needs to be taken for the replacement employee. For the sick employee, we expect that the department will utilize the "COVID Admin Leave" earn code, so the COVID-related "cost" will be tracked there (and we would not want to double count it by also flagging it on the replacement faculty member's salary).

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Retroactive Data

Will we need to track cost data retroactively? If so, for how far back?

Yes - all data must be captured from January 20th (emergency declaration date) to the present. For past non-labor expenses, please process NPEARs in the system. For past labor expenses, Organizational Financial Leads will include all historical adjustments in their submission.

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When is the first submission of labor costs due?

There is a current process to capture both labor and non-labor data being completed by the Organizational Financial Leads each month. That process will continue for one more month. The first required submission of labor data to the Cost Recovery Team through the web form will be May 15th (for Jan-April data).

Who should submit labor cost data each month?

An Organizational Financial Lead has been designated at each organization, and that person will be responsible for distributing information about how your organization will collect and submit data each month. 

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Will the timekeeping systems be updated to accommodate tracking of these various data elements for labor cost tracking?

For non-working employees, all timekeeping systems (and UCPath) have been updated to accommodate tracking of COVID Admin Leave.
For working employees, whether timekeeping systems are updated to capture COVID-related work will depend on the organization and technical limitations of each timekeeping system. More information will be provided to each organization by the Organizational Financial Leads.

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