Spring 2021 Staff Return to Campus, Telework and Leave Guidelines

Overview

Maintaining a campus culture of collaboration, one-on-one support, and continued student engagement is essential for the residential liberal arts experience. Delivering this experience requires many employees to be present on campus and all departments staffed during working hours as we reopen in January 2021 and welcome about half of our students.

With the use of technology and appropriate managerial oversight, some employees may be eligible to continue working remotely (or teleworking) for part of the workweek. In these cases, remote work arrangements may be approved as long as departmental needs, productivity standards, and quality of services to members of the campus community are met.

While the college is committed to supporting all of its employees during difficult times, supporting students must take precedence.

Supervisory approval, and sign-off by the vice president, is necessary to telework or work from home. Any approved telework arrangement may be revoked at any time for any reason.

Supervisors

When considering whether or not employees return to campus, work remotely, or how often they can do so, supervisors are expected to be deliberative, objective, equitable and fair. They must also follow all applicable college policies. Supervisors may weigh  many factors including the need for in-person presence for quality student or department support, the demonstrated effectiveness of an employee’s remote job performance, the possibility of rotating department in-person requirements, and other relevant department-specific factors. Supervisors may also consider limiting frequent telework to employees with a lot of experience or denying telework to employees who are under performance improvement plans.

In evaluating the overall functionality of their area, supervisors can also ask employees to continue working remotely.

Employees

If you wish to telework, you must complete The Staff Telework Assessment Tool. Additional resources can be found here.

Below are some guidelines for using sick, vacation or personal leave time for employees who can not return to campus when advised by their supervisor and have not been approved for working remotely.

Unable to Return Due to Personal Illness

Employees who are sick with COVID-19, should follow their physician’s guidance and only return to work when advised to do so by their doctor. Employees may use accrued sick leave, personal leave or vacation time. Please contact the Office of People & Culture to receive FMLA forms and further information to document the need for Family & Medical Leave.

Those at Higher Risk/Vulnerable

According to the CDC, people with certain conditions may have higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infection. The CDC’s list of such conditions may be found here  If an employee is unable to return to work on campus because they are in the vulnerable/high risk category, they must provide medical support to seek a medical accommodation if feasible for their position. If an employee is  living with an individual who is in a vulnerable/high risk category, they will need to use either personal leave, sick leave or vacation time. Please contact the Office of People & Culture to receive the appropriate documents to verify your need to remain off campus due to a high risk situation. Medical certification is necessary.

Unable to Return Due to Personal Responsibilities

Employees who are unable to return to campus due to personal responsibilities (such as childcare), will need to use personal, vacation or sick leave.

Once their vacation and sick leave is exhausted, if they are still unable to return to work, employees should consult with their supervisor to discuss options. If there are no options for work available, the employee’s absence would be considered a voluntary resignation.

Fearful of Coming to Work on Campus

The college is putting in new processes to protect the health and safety of our community and will abide by the recommendations of all public health authorities. We understand that despite these measures, some may remain fearful. If a fearful employee has been diagnosed with an underlying condition such as anxiety and has a medical certification, FMLA leave may apply. Please contact the Office of People & Culture in this case.

The college’s EAP provider, ESPYR, also offers a wide range of services and can be accessed by calling: 800 869-0276.