Coronavirus Update for Staff
March 25, 2020
Cabinet and members of the emergency planning group continue to monitor external and on-campus developments by the hour. The processes I’ve outlined for you here will be in place until further notice, as informed by public health orders, k-12 school closures, and other federal, state, and local guidance. These processes are subject to change on an ongoing basis as we continue to respond to new information.
- Remote Work Agreements – we are extending the option for remote work for staff in positions where work can be completed off-campus. We are encouraging supervisors to be as flexible as possible in approving remote work while still ensuring continuity of required services. Remote work agreements can be combined with scheduled time on campus. For offices that need ongoing coverage, team members can alternate days working remotely and on campus. It’s been a useful exercise to experiment with remote work for a week or so, and offices are figuring out how to make it work. Let’s build on what we’ve learned and continue to share ideas and solutions with one another. If you’ve already completed a Remote Work Agreement form, there is no need to submit another form for this extension.
- Paid Emergency Leave – we are also extending the availability of paid emergency leave beyond this week for staff who are unable to work (either on campus or remotely) for a qualified reason related to COVID-19. Full-time staff are eligible for a total of two weeks paid leave, which can be used as continuous leave or to supplement the need for a reduced work schedule. If additional leave time beyond two weeks is required, full-time staff may request the use of any of their available accrued leave time.
Paid emergency leave is also available for part-time staff regularly scheduled at 20 or more hours per week. As part-time staff do not accrue leave time, we are expanding their paid emergency leave to up to four weeks.
We believe these processes will provide good options for most of our staff to effectively balance work and personal responsibilities. There will be a few unique staff positions where work is not available for one or more weeks due to our current campus status. Supervisors will be reaching out to staff in these positions to discuss available options. For example, full-time staff may elect to use accrued vacation or flex time during weeks they are not scheduled due to work not being available. Staff may also apply for expanded unemployment insurance benefits as proposed by the Senate today. I will be working directly with staff and supervisors to work through these individual situations. Regardless of pay status we will continue to cover all health benefits for full-time staff during any temporary reduction.
Many of you have asked about options for student employees. Career Center staff will be sending guidance by the end of this week to include options for some students to work remotely, and ongoing eligibility for income replacement for students who are not able to work due to our current campus status.
Remote Work Agreement and Application for Emergency Leave forms may be downloaded below. Please note these forms must be completed electronically by staff and supervisors and will only be accepted via email. Instructions are included in each form.
To confirm your work schedule and work location for the coming weeks based on the processes I’ve outlined here, start with your direct supervisor. Supervisors should consult with their cabinet member for further direction. Cabinet members will know when additional guidance from HR is necessary.
Many of our situations are unique and will require open communication with supervisors and others on campus. We are grateful for your patience, grace and flexibility as we navigate these uncertain times together. In times like these the Westminster Community reveals its true colors of compassion, respect and collaboration and it’s inspiring to see everyone together with our student’s success top of mind.
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