COVID-19 Human Resources
COVID-19 Human Resources
Human Resources FAQ
Communicating Presumptive/Positive COVID-19 Tests
As the University continues its response to COVID-19 across Connecticut and beyond, Human Resources has developed an initial set of questions and answers for employees, managers, and colleagues upon the presumption or confirmation of a case of COVID-19.
You should immediately notify your manager, director, or department head of your circumstances and be prepared to provide your manager with the date you first began to have symptoms of COVID-19, when you last were physically at work, and anyone at work with whom you had direct contact.
Additionally, you may also contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199. The Call Center staff will assist you with any other medical concerns and can supplement information provided by your primary care physician and any other member of the medical community who has provided you guidance.
The manager should first ask if the employee has contacted their physician, the date the employee first began to have symptoms that resulted in a presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, and the last time the employee was in the workplace. A list of additional required questions is located below. The manager should then notify HR of the employee’s situation or diagnosis of COVID-19 and the information gathered from the employee. The manager must contact HR by emailing HR for Storrs/Regional campuses at email@example.com. OR at UConn Health by emailing HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu.
The manager should ALSO do the following:
- Inform the ill employee to stay in contact with the manager to ensure when the ill employee has been cleared by a physician to resume any and all job functions, either by telecommuting or in the workplace.
- Determine if contact with the employee in the workplace occurred within the past 14 days or if there was a close contact in the workplace under CDC guidelines defined as—
- a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time
– or –
- b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
- The manager must inform employees who have been identified as having been in close contact with the ill employee that an employee has been identified as presumptive or confirmed with COVID-19 and that they have been identified as an individual for whom there was sufficient contact to warrant notification. To the extent possible, this notification should be done by phone, but if this is not possible an email is sufficient.
IMPORTANT: At no time should the identity of the co-worker ever be disclosed to any other co-workers; this information should remain confidential and only known to the manager and HR, unless the ill employee voluntarily discloses their status to co-workers.
- The manager should inform the close-contact-employees that they are to go home and self-isolate or, if the employees being notified are already telecommuting, that they must not come to the workplace and self-isolate for a fourteen (14) day period from the date of the last known contact with the ill co-worker. A suggestion can be made to direct the employee to their primary care physician for further guidance or to also contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199 for additional guidance.
- If the employee feels they are well enough to continue their telecommuting duties, they should discuss that with their manager and their healthcare provider. No employee who is ill is expected to continue working.
You should stay at home under the care of your primary care physician for the length of time recommended by your physician. No employee should return to work until at least 72 hours have passed since the last symptoms have cleared and you have been assessed by your provider and cleared to return to work.
Your manager will be required to inform other employees who could have been in close contact with you that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. At no time will your identity be disclosed to any co-workers by your manager; that information will remain confidential and only the knowledge of the manager and HR. You may voluntarily share your information with whomever you choose.
Please follow all the protocol mentioned in questions above. Additionally, please contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199. The Call Center staff will assist you with any other medical concerns and can supplement information provided by your primary care physician and any other member of the medical community who has provided your guidance. They will also ask you to contact 1) your Dean or Department Head and 2) if a faculty member at UConn Storrs or another regional campus, they will ask you to contact Student Health Services in Storrs at 860-486-8987 so that determinations can be made regarding student contact.
After understanding the protocols noted in earlier FAQs above, an individual can always voluntarily choose to notify their co-workers their diagnosis. This is an individual decision. Managers will be required to notify co-workers with whom an ill employee may have had close contact with that a fellow co-worker is ill without revealing the ill employee’s identity, even if it is already known.
The notification to students and their families is being managed in Storrs and the regionals by Student Health Services. If a faculty or staff member has a concern about a student exposure, they should contact the Student Health and Wellness Advice Nurse at 860-486-4700, who will then reach out to the student or faculty member.
A Department Head, Dean, or PI will work with a faculty member to determine next steps once a physician has cleared any ill employee to resume normal work functions either remotely or when the times come, to return to the classroom or lab.
This approach will also be the case for a graduate assistant, post-doctoral scholar, lecturer or any other employee.
If you are an employee who becomes aware of a vendor who has visited the workplace and has been diagnosed as either presumptive or confirmed with COVI-19, please contact your manager immediately. All managers who are notified should first contact HR by emailing HR for Storrs/Regional campuses at firstname.lastname@example.org OR at UConn Health by emailing HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu. Once a determination is made whether a University employees came into close contact with the vendor as defined by the CDC, the manager will notify all co-workers that they may have come into close contact of a vendor or individual in the workplace who has been diagnosed as presumptive or confirmed with COVID-19 following the protocol outlined in FAQs above.
The ill employee should first contact their physician or healthcare provider and inform them they are not feeling well. They should then contact their manager. Additionally, the ill employee may contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199. The Call Center staff will assist you with any other medical concerns and can supplement information provided by your primary care physician and any other member of the medical community who has provided your guidance.
Your manager will follow the appropriate steps as outlined in #2 above, which must include contacting HR by emailing HR for Storrs/Regional campuses at email@example.com OR at UConn Health by emailing HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu.
If they are later diagnosed with presumptive or confirmed COVID-19, please refer to the FAQs above for further guidance.
Employees who, in general, are worried about contracting COVID-19 are encouraged to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their faces, and maintain social distance.
Employees who are concerned may also contact the Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program is a free and confidential service for employees and their dependents. Employees of UConn Health, please call (860) 679-2877. Employees located at Storrs or a regional campus, please call (860) 486-1307. All employees should call (860) 679-2877 outside of business hours.
Employees who are concerned may contact the Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program is a free and confidential service for employees and their dependents. Employees of UConn Health, please call (860) 679-2877. Employees located at Storrs or a regional campus, please call (860) 486-1307. All employees should call (860) 679-2877 outside of business hours.
Illness, Quarantine, Monitoring
Well employees are expected to work unless:
- The employee has traveled to a Level 3 country in the last 14 days;
- The employee has cared for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your household during the last 14 days;
An individual who resides with the employee has been to a Level 3 country in the last 14 days.
- A physician has recommended that an employee remain home due to potential exposure;
- The University sent the employee home due to potential exposure.
Employees who meet the criteria above must self-isolate, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Employees in these circumstances should discuss the telecommuting options with their manager and continue to work from home, if possible.
The University encourages employee in this situation to seek advice from their personal healthcare professional or contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health: 860-679-3199.
If your household member is either asymptomatic or symptomatic and has returned from a Level 3 country in the last 14 days, you must remain at home for the full 14 day period.
If you have cared for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your household for the last 14 days, you must remain at home for the full 14-day period.
Employees with household members who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 but are undiagnosed or awaiting test results should remain home. Employees should telecommute, if possible, with manager permission.
Employees who have the capacity to work remotely during quarantine should telecommute (with their manager’s approval) and should speak with their manager regarding further guidance.
If an employee does not have the capacity or approval to work from home, then the employee should contact HR.
Employees who feel unwell should immediately separate from others, inform their manager of their illness, and go home. Employees who are concerned about their symptoms should immediately contact their primary health care provider. Employees who have recovered from an illness should contact their manager when ready to return to work.
Employees are also encouraged to contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199 with questions.
Not necessarily – we must rely on guidance from health care providers, because most situations in the workplace require unique responses.
Employees who are unwell or who start to feel unwell at work should stay at home or go home immediately, respectively. The most important thing employees can do is monitor their health and remain home when unwell.
If there is a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, managers should contact Facilities Operations for next steps on cleaning. Health care providers will determine the extent of necessary quarantine.
Employees are encouraged to remain home through the duration of an illness, whether it is the common cold, flu, or COVID-19. For all absences due to illness (including COVID), employees are expected to follow the necessary processing protocols up to and including physician certification.
Employees recovering from COVID-19 should return to work after being free of a fever for 72 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications; other symptoms (cough and shortness and breath) have improved; and at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared (additional details about returning to work, including the possible need for a facemask, are noted below).
Return to Work Criteria for Healthcare Personnel (HCP) with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19
Use one of the below strategies to determine when healthcare personnel (HCP) may return to work in healthcare settings
- Test-based strategy. Exclude from work until
- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
- Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized molecular assay for COVID-19 from at least two consecutive nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens). See Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
- Non-test-based strategy. Exclude from work until
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
If HCP were never tested for COVID-19 but have an alternate diagnosis (e.g., tested positive for influenza), criteria for return to work should be based on that diagnosis.
Return to Work Practices and Work Restrictions for HCP
After returning to work, HCP should:
- Wear a facemask at all times while in the healthcare facility until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer
- Be restricted from contact with severely immunocompromised patients (e.g., transplant, hematology-oncology) until 14 days after illness onset
- Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette in CDC’s interim infection control guidance (e.g., cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles)
- Self-monitor for symptoms, and seek re-evaluation from occupational health if respiratory symptoms recur or worsen
CDC guidelines recommend self-monitoring at home only when a household member has recently returned from a Level 3 country OR if the household member has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19. Otherwise, employees may have the option to care for their immediate family member, as appropriate within guidelines; employees may also go to work, if unable or unapproved to telecommute, without restriction.
The University is not requiring a doctor’s note to return to work after quarantine for individuals who remain asymptomatic.
Being a “secondary contact” does not require you to be quarantined under current CDC guidelines. You would only be required to quarantine if you are in close contact with someone diagnosed with a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 (e.g., a household member or someone recently returned from a Level 3 country). Employees should continue to monitor for symptoms. If you notice that you have symptoms, contact your primary health care provider, then your manager and, if advised, stay home.
The University has suspended all domestic and international, university-sponsored travel outside of the state by faculty and staff until further notice.
If you believe an exception should be made for your planned travel, please make a request in writing to the appropriate operational leadership office to whom you report, meaning the President (for units that report directly to the President’s office), Provost, Executive Vice President for Administration/CFO, or the CEO of UConn Health. Each request will be evaluated and a response will be provided.
Employees who commute from out-of-state and feel well should continue to do so and report to work. Employees, with manager approval, may also telecommute, if possible.
Per CDC guidelines, employees who visit areas with COVID-19 outbreaks, but not Level 3 destinations, are instructed to monitor for symptoms. Employees should continue to work, either on campus or remotely; working remotely requires manager approval and must ensure continuity of critical University operations.
All personal international travel is strongly discouraged by the University and the U.S. Department of State. Personal domestic travel remains a personal choice but an abundance of caution concerning your health is suggested.
All travelers returning from international travel must fill out this form before their return. This is both for those on University-sponsored and personal travel. If needed, HR will notify employees of next steps. It is important to provide personal contact information where you may be reached.
The CDC currently requires anyone coming from Level 3 destinations to be quarantined for 14 days.
At this time, there are no federal restrictions on travelers returning from other locations.
If you develop any symptoms, you should stay away from work and reach out to your primary health care provider.
Yes, you are expected to complete this form upon return and come to work or telecommute at the direction of your manager. There are no other restrictions on return at this time.
Working on Campus or Remotely (Telecommuting)
All employees should continue their regular work schedules, but managers should instruct employees to telecommute, where possible. At times, telecommuting employees may need to return to the workplace to ensure essential functions are accomplished; employees may do so voluntarily or at the direction of their manager. Employees may only telecommute with manager approval.
Employees instructed to telecommute should receive a letter from their manager (sending a copy to Human Resources). Human Resources has created template letters for Storrs/Regional and UConn Health employees. In addition, Information Technology Services has provided a wide range of resources, including an IT Guide to Telecommuting, to help facilitate the transition to working online. Other assistance and information about ITS support hours is also available.
Employees who perform functions that cannot be accomplished remotely or whose presence in the workplace ensures continuity of operations should report to work.
In certain instances, managers may use “rotational” schedules for areas that are not conducive to telecommuting. Employees should contact their manager about potential rotating schedules.
Some employees perform functions that cannot be accomplished remotely or whose presence in the workplace ensures continuity of operations and, therefore, these employees are unable to telecommute. Such employees may request (via their manager) to use their appropriate leave accruals if they wish to stay out of the workplace entirely. Approval is subject to management discretion based on operational needs.
The University encourages employees to consult with their physicians about steps they can take to protect their health while in the workplace. Employees may share physician recommendations with their manager for approval. It is important to note that, due to the essential functions of the University, managers may be unable to accommodate all physician recommendations.
Employees from the Stamford Campus should contact their manager about the possibility of telecommuting. If telecommuting is not an option, employees will be paid while the campus is closed, in accordance with standard practices and collective bargaining agreements.
Managers may permit Special Payroll employees to telecommute, if appropriate. As with all employees who are telecommuting, managers should have clear expectations and expected deliverables for special payroll employees.
With manager approval, probationary employees may telecommute, if appropriate. In addition, managers may consider extending the probationary period. As with all employees who are telecommuting, managers should have clear expectations and expected deliverables for probationary employees.
In consultation with their manager, employees may use a flex schedule.
Managers and employees should have a discussion to confirm that the employee can perform their duties remotely. Managers should set clear expectations and monitor employee deliverables.
Managers should provide telecommuting employees with a formal letter or email. HR has created template letters for Storrs/Regional and UConn Health employees. Copies of the letters should be sent to the appropriate HR general email inbox, as indicated on the letter.
The University currently recommends that employees telecommute until further notice. Therefore, the end-date on telecommuting forms may be “to be determined” or “until further notice.”
Employees may continue to take vacation, as approved by their manager, and use sick time to attend medical appointments. This time should be coded appropriately on employee timecards.
If you are on an H-1B visa sponsored by UConn, and your personal residence is within normal commuting distance from your UConn workstation, then you are free to telecommute from your personal residence during this time. If you are planning to work from a location other than your personal residence; or if your personal residence or other remote workstation is further than normal commuting distance from your UConn workstation, please contact Lesley Salafia at the Office of the General Counsel at Lesley.Salafia@uconn.edu immediately.
Pay and Leave for Time Reporters (Excludes Special Payroll)
Leave status varies by employee type and union affiliation. In general, employees who are ill should stay home and pay will be determined in accordance with collective bargaining contracts or policy.
Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 may qualify for FMLA, and employees should contact HR for further details.
If an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the University reserves the right to make retroactive pay and leave adjustments once more is known about this situation and its impact to UConn.
Current pay practices and overtime rules are in effect for all employees. Unionized employees may refer to applicable union contracts.
Employees who are asymptomatic after 14 days should return to work, either on the work site or remotely. It is important to note that the 14 days of leave are calendar days. Employees will be paid for normal workdays/hours over that 14-day span. In addition, while the 14 days may be used intermittently, the intermittence may only occur during the 14-day window. In other words, employees are not able to stretch out the 14 days of leave over the course of a month or longer.
Employees are encouraged to use the 14 days to ensure personal obligations are addressed in anticipation of returning to work in person or remotely.
Employees who remain ill after 14 days should contact Human Resources.
Employees on a paid leave will receive regular pay for normal/regularly scheduled hours over that 14 calendar day span, which – for most employees – is a maximum of 10 work days. While the leave can be taken intermittently over the 14-day period (if, for example, an employee only has childcare needs 2 days a week), the leave must take place within the 14-day span. In other words, employees cannot use intermittent leave beyond 14 calendar days.
Employees (or their household member) who receive a negative test for COVID-19 or whose symptoms resolve, in accordance with CDC guidelines, may be taken off of paid leave and able to return to work before the end of the 14-day period. Employees who remain sick following a negative test for COVID-19 will be converted to sick leave for the remainder of their illness.
Guidance on returning to work is available in the “As an employee, when am I able to return to work following a diagnosis of presumptive or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?” FAQ.
Some of the scenarios where an employee would need to use accrued time include:
- Pre-scheduled vacation or medical appointments while working on campus or remotely.
- Out sick (or caring for an immediate family member) due to non-COVID related illness.
- Your physician recommends that you remain at home due to an underlying medical condition and you are unable to telecommute.
- You are concerned about being in the workplace and are unable to telecommute (management approval required). Refer to the “I do not feel safe at work from COVID-19, what should I do?” FAQ.
For additional scenarios, Storrs and Regional employees can visit the Payroll website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For UConn Health employees, contact the Employee Resource Center at HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu.
No, under current state and federal guidance.
Employees who are sent home by the University will be placed on up to 14 days of paid leave.
Employees who are instructed to stay home by their primary care physician will be placed on up to 14 days of paid leave, after providing appropriate documentation (see additional FAQ on documentation).
Employees who don’t feel well should stay home and call their primary care physician and/or the COVID Call Center (860-679-3199) for advice. If advised to remain at home, employees should contact their manager and HR.
No. Employees who are able to telecommute should continue to do so unless their symptoms prevent them from working. Under those circumstances, employees should contact their manager and HR.
HR will accept a note or letter from a medical provider as a form of documentation. For employees who have contacted the COVID Call Center (or seen a UConn Health physician) and were sent home, an email with such information is acceptable. Employees who are unable to acquire such documentation from a medical provider, may provide the name and contact information of their physician. Human Resources may contact the medical provider directly.
No. However, it’s important to note that managers may deny or delay requests for childcare leave to ensure continuity of operations.
No. Based upon the current guidance, eligible employees are entitled to one 14 calendar day period of paid leave commencing on the date the need for its use begins.
Code your timesheet as approved paid leave (refer to Payroll Guidance issued for specific codes) from when the symptoms started. If you continue to have symptoms after the 14 days of paid leave have expired, code sick time, then other accrued time (i.e., vacation, compensatory, or personal time). Please also submit appropriate medical documentation.
Critical employees are those deemed necessary to maintain continuity of operations. In most cases, critical employees must report to work to perform their duties, which may include university leadership; public safety; emergency management; education and research; health and medical; critical infrastructure; financial, economic, and business; information technology and communications; agriculture; and environment.
It is at the discretion of managers and departments to determine whether an employee is critical and must report to work.
Non-critical employees must continue to work remotely, if possible.
Managers may use a process of soliciting volunteers or developing rotational programs in order to address critical functions during this unprecedented time. If managers or departments have any questions, they should contact Human Resources.
Employees who are working on a rotational basis on campus, and are unable to telecommute while home, will continue to be paid.
Special payroll employees will only be paid for hours worked.
At this time, no
Child or Dependent Care
There are several options for employees who must care for children due to school or daycare closings.
- Employees may seek assistance from an employee’s network of friends and family.
- Employees – with permission from their manager – may telecommute. During this COVID-19 crisis, the University is waiving requirements that children not be present while employees telecommute.
- At this time, employees may also use accrued time (vacation, personal, compensatory) with manager approval.
- All employees may contact 211 for available resources across Connecticut.
- Healthcare workers may also contact 860-756-0864 for resources.
No. The provision allows for a parent to be at home with children. If the spouses wish to split the time within the 14-day period, they may do so. Note that splitting the time does not increase the duration of the 14-day period.
No. Paid leave does not apply in this situation, as the purpose is to afford employees the ability to be at home with individuals who are not able to provide self-care.
FMLA continues to be charged because the employee is unable to work due to an FMLA qualifying reason that occurred before the school was closed.
No. Employees should discuss the possibility of telecommuting or using a flex schedule while remaining at home. Employees may also request using accruals (vacation, compensatory time) through their manager. Employees are also encourage to contact 211 for childcare resources.
Some employees, depending on their duties and campus, may qualify for paid lead of up to 14 days. Employees at UConn Health may also be able to use the expanded Child Care Center resources, including subsidized enrollment costs.
First, employees should review the resources available in the “What do I do if my child’s school or daycare closes?” FAQ. Employees should also work with their manager to determine if flex scheduling or a rotational schedule can be established.
In addition, some employees, depending on their duties and campus, may qualify for paid lead of up to 14 days. Employees at UConn Health may also be able to use the expanded Child Care Center resources, including subsidized enrollment costs.
Employees with direct deposit will be paid as usual.
In consideration of the steps being taken by the University in support of public health, employees that receive pay checks will have their pay check mailed to the “HOME” address listed in Core-CT.
Paychecks will NOT be issued to departments for distribution, nor will employees be able to claim their paychecks in Payroll.
Employees can update their home address in the “Personal Information” section on the home page in Core-CT at ess.uconn.edu.
Questions can be referred to Sharon.email@example.com or contact the Payroll Main Office at (860)486-2423.
Payroll has developed a comprehensive guide for completing timesheets, based on an employee’s circumstances: https://payroll.uconn.edu/covid-19/.
Payroll guidance for UConn Health employees will be shared soon.
Student Employees (Storrs/Regionals)
Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation, and the financial hardship the lack of ability to work places on students, the University is allowing supervisors the option to continue to pay students their regularly scheduled hours from Saturday, March 14 through April 5th. This is consistent with the US Department of Education’s guidance on paying Federal Work Study participants for the same reasons.
Starting April 6th, departments should return to standard practice in paying student labor for hours worked. The University will continue to payout Federal Work Study, in alignment with earlier guidance.
Students and supervisors would continue to follow the same process for time submission and approval by utilizing Core-CT. However, Payroll will be following up separately with directions on which Time Reporting and Override Reason Codes to use for remote work.
For March 14 through April 5, supervisors should only be approving hours for students based on their regularly scheduled hours and if the student is unable to work. Students should not be paid for hours on days they were not scheduled to work (e.g. student approved for time off during Spring Break should not be paid for this timeframe). If your students do not utilize a set work schedule, and typical work hours are variable, we suggest utilizing the average number of hours worked per week through the semester thus far to input for hours worked.
Beginning April 6th, supervisors should only approve actual hours worked.
We also suggest that supervisors be mindful of the optional nature of students working during this time. While it is up to your department to determine the extent to which student labor will be utilized through April 5, be aware that some students may not be live in close proximity to campus, or may have concerns coming to campus when they have previously been instructed not to do so.
Should your department wish to consider employment alternatives, such as remote work, please contact Nathan Fuerst, VP for Enrollment, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible students who completed 680 hours of employment with the University may utilize their accrued sick time for certain prescribed reasons as noted in the University’s policy. Sick leave may not be used to extend the pay of a student who is not working, and must be in lieu of scheduled hours. For example, if a student employee is scheduled to work 3 hours remotely on 4/8/20 but becomes ill, they may use 3 hours of their accrued sick time in lieu of the 3 hours they were scheduled to work.
If you have additional questions, please contact email@example.com.
Important COVID-19 Updates
On March 12, a University-wide message indicated that employees on the Storrs, Law, and regional campuses who are able to telecommute should plan to work from home, with the approval of their supervisor, until at least Monday, April 6. Additionally, critical operations continued at UConn Health in support of patient care, while some employees were allowed to telecommute.
On March 20, the governor issued an executive order directing as many employees as possible statewide to remain at home. That order remains in effect, meaning the University will not resume normal operations on April 6. It is likely to remain in effect until April 30 or later.
You will be notified later this month with further information. UConn employees who are telecommuting under the guidance, direction and approval of managers should plan to continue to do so until further notice.
Health and Safety: The health and safety of our campus community and our state is the University’s paramount concern. As such, the only employees who should remain on any UConn campus should be those employees deemed critical to our operations.
Any other employees who need to be on campus for any period of time must do so only at the direction of their manager and for only a limited time while practicing social distancing. In some cases, a face mask will be required to be worn – please review all daily guidance from UConn and UConn Health.
As cases become confirmed or presumptive among our workforce, Facilities is made aware and is cleaning known work spaces. The University, through its managers, is taking additional steps to notify co-workers who may have been in close contact with ill employees (without revealing
Additionally, FAQs are included on the HR section of the UConn Coronavirus website to assist employees.
In an effort to minimize the spread of the virus, UConn intends to balance our needs and the needs of our employees statewide while being committed to our critical operations supporting academics, research and patient care as we work through the implications of this public health crisis.
We are asking all managers to develop creative and flexible solutions that allow telecommuting employees the opportunity to balance other personal needs while still satisfactorily accomplishing work. We are developing rotational programs for our colleagues who need to report to campuses to address critical operations. Employees with specific childcare needs should work with their managers first and then contact Human Resources for additional information.
We may deploy employees who are currently telecommuting to positions that are critical in the weeks ahead, including deployment to specific campuses.
Pay and Lack of Work: All full-time and part-time employees (including post-doctoral research associates) on regular payroll who are actively at work, telecommuting, or working on a rotational basis are being paid for a full pay period. If telecommuting work becomes intermittent while actively at work, please work with your manager to address additional and needed functions that will allow work during a pay period to continue.
All full-time and part-time employees (including post-doctoral research associates) on regular payroll who cannot work a full pay period due to lack of work will continue to be paid until April 30, 2020. The same would apply to regular payroll employees paid on sponsored projects.
Graduate Assistants who cannot work a full pay period due to lack of work will continue to be paid until April 30, 2020 or a date determined by any applicable collective bargaining agreement or protocol.
Special Payroll employees who are able to continue working will be paid in accordance with their employment agreement; if work cannot be performed, Special Payroll employees will be notified by the manager of their separation of employment. For additional information on sponsored program funding, FAQs will be available soon via the Office of the Vice President for Research and Human Resources.
Dear Supervisors of Students,
We are writing with guidance on payment of Student Labor for April 6 and beyond. As we have faced the COVID-19 crisis, we have been guided first and foremost by the need to protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff, and also by the desire to avoid creating undue financial hardship for students.
Our initial guidance, issued between March 14 and April 5, was that departments may elect to pay student employees, even though they may not be able to work hours.
Since the time of the prior guidance, the decision was made to finish the term remotely, and the university has established mechanisms to assist all students facing financial hardship, not just those in student labor positions. Below are two of the larger initiatives that have been established:
- Prorated Refunds for Room, Board and Other Fees
- Financial Hardship Appeals through Student Financial Aid Services, and the Students First Fund, through the Dean of Students Office.
With these initiatives now in place, and others coming soon, starting on April 6, we are providing guidance for departments to return to standard practice in paying student labor for hours worked. The university will continue to payout Federal Work Study, in alignment with the March 14 to April 5 guidance.
Should your department wish to consider employment alternatives, such as remote work, or have previously made arrangements with your employees outside of this guidance, please contact Nathan Fuerst, VP for Enrollment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review FAQ’s for additional details on both the initial guidance through April 5, and this latest guidance beginning on April 6.
Please encourage students facing financial hardship to make use of the financial hardship resources above, or contact financial aid directly at email@example.com.
It’s important to take care of your mind, spirit, and body during times of stress and uncertainty. HR has gather resources (see below) to provide employees and their families with information and tools for working remotely, and taking care of holistic health and well-being. In addition, UConn’s Department of Extension has prepared a COVID-19 Resources website.
- Associate Dean and Professor Lucy Gilson on Working Remotely
- Working Remotely During COVID-19: Your Mental Health & Well-Being
- Activities for Kids
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for phone and virtual appointments. The EAP is a free and confidential service for employees and their dependents. Employees of UConn Health, please call (860) 679-2877. Employees located at Storrs or a regional campus, please call (860) 486-1307. All employees should call (860) 679-2877 outside of business hours.
- Coronavirus: Helping Yourself and Others resources are available on the EAP website.
Resources for those experiencing an increase in anxiety, or overall concerns over their well-being can be found at Mental Health America.
It’s important to remain active, and the following resources may be helpful to keep employees and their families on the move.
Additional, free resources are available from the following organizations and services, but sign-up is required:
Employees with questions may contact Vicki Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UConn Office of Student Financial Aid Services – Student Employment
Division of Enrollment Planning and Management
We write today to provide additional guidance to student supervisors to help you determine options for your student employees who are not on Federal Work Study.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation, and the financial hardship that the lack of ability to work places on students, the University is allowing supervisors the option to continue to pay students their regularly scheduled hours from Saturday, March 14 until Sunday, April 5.
This is consistent with the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on paying Federal Work Study participants for the same reasons.
How will time worked be logged in Core-CT?
Students and supervisors would continue to follow the same process for time submission and approval by utilizing Core-CT. However, Payroll will be following up separately with directions on which Time Reporting and Override Reason Codes to use. Guidance will also be forthcoming to departments that utilize alternative time reporting systems, such as HuskyTime.
How many hours should be inputted for hours worked?
Supervisors should only be approving hours for students based on their regularly scheduled hours and if the student is unable to work. Students should not be paid for hours on days they were not scheduled to work (e.g. student approved for time off during Spring Break should not be paid for this timeframe). This guidance only applies between Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, April 5.
If your students do not utilize a set work schedule, and typical work hours are variable, we suggest utilizing the average number of hours worked per week through the semester thus far to input for hours worked.
Are students required to work?
We also suggest that supervisors be mindful of the optional nature of students working during this time. While it is up to your department to determine the extent to which student labor will be utilized through April 5, be aware that some students may not be physically proximate to campus, or may have concerns coming to campus when they have previously been instructed not to be present on campus.
Are student employees allowed to work remotely?
Some departments have asked whether remote work for student labor will be allowed. Again, this will be left to individual departments to determine. We ask that departments use proper judgment for work duties that require access to secure institutional information systems, sensitive information, etc., as this may not be suitable for remote work for student labor.
Can students utilize sick leave during this time?
As a reminder, student workers are afforded the ability to utilize accrued sick leave, under Public Act 11-52. During this time, should a student employee wish to utilize accrued sick leave, they may work with their supervisor to do so.
Student Employment asks that you convey this information to your student employees in your department. If you have additional questions, please contact email@example.com.
Message from Christopher Delello, Chief Human Resources Officer
The University is reviewing telecommuting and COVID-19 guidance released by the State Of Connecticut late on Friday afternoon for certain segments in the workplace, but not all, across Connecticut. As a result, more information will be forthcoming in areas where the University is remaining open and where certain buildings have been closed to all operations (not just when the building is locked).
In the interim, our students, patients and each other, as colleagues, will continue to need our support. Some operations will change, now and in the days ahead, and we are all working to understand, without criticism, what those needs will be and how we can best support them.
Many managers are finalizing what their remote work plans will be and must be implemented, if not already, on an informal basis. The manager’s decision is in place until otherwise communicated - in other words, guidance from managers may evolve over the weeks ahead as more becomes
known. However, we ask all managers to work with their employees to understand needs, how their work will change, how work can transition to remote work, if at all, and explore creative work from home arrangements and even flex time at home based on family needs. Again, more guidance is being issued by the state to inform UConn and UConn Health how to navigate and make our own decisions regarding secondary contact, childcare issues and employees in the workplace navigating new exposures.
First and foremost, UConn and UCH managers are directly responsible for determining who is eligible to telecommute and who is unable to telecommute and must provide for a continuity of operation during these difficult and urgent times. This communication outlines, in summary format, key considerations and processes that may be different than previous situations where telecommuting was considered and with prior knowledge of the policies at UConn, UConn Health and the state’s Telework program applicable to employees who are members of classified unions.
We know and understand that suddenly switching employees to remote work in a day or two notice without advance communication and processes in place is challenging and stressful for managers and employees alike. We ask for all of us to respect one another, rely on managers’ guidance and decisions and employee input and work through these difficult moments together as colleagues and with flexibility. During these moments before and after remote work implementation (or not where it is not possible), consider what was learned and whether remote work can be leveraged on an ongoing basis in new and creative ways working with the University and with the partnership of our unions now and in the future.
During these unprecedented times, we ask all of us to take care of our students, our patients, our family and loved ones and each other with patience and flexibility. There is much we do not yet know about this public health situation and many actions to date have been taken out of an abundance of caution or are needed to address the current continuity plans. Please know your managers, departments and the University is doing its best to support you and we know many questions are still unanswered. So many of you are showing the persistency and respect for one another that makes UConn a stronger place – thank you.
1. Informality – Until further notice, all telecommuting forms and guidelines previously known to us are not in use. Effective immediately, no telecommuting forms are required and HR approval of telecommuting or alternate work arrangements are not required with the caveat that 1) the total number of hours required from the role are worked in a work week and continuity of operations are continuing without a decrease in performance requirements AND 2) a manager and business unit must be in agreement with all telecommuting approvals at the department and organizational level before they begin.
2. Telecommuting Letters – HR has crafted telecommuting letters for Storrs/Regional employees and UConn Health employees. We ask all managers to complete a letter for every employee with whom you have developed a remote work arrangement – even if the arrangement is underway. No telecommuting forms are required and no HR approval is necessary, regardless of any previous communications, to the effect a remote work arrangement at this time and until further notice.
3. Key Considerations – When determining if work can be done remotely now and in the days ahead:
- Evaluate department and team priorities.
- Consider collaborator or consultant impact.
- You, as a manger, are responsible for your own remote work plan and duties of your staff.
- Review ITS’s guidance for technology and internet connectivity.
- Identify the team member’s need for equipment and internet capabilities – for example, will they need a scanner, printer or other technology to carry out primary functions of their job?
- Compile the cell phone, home numbers and addresses and how and with whom this information will be shared to maintain privacy.
- Determine how schedules and availability will be known to colleagues and constituents.
- Determine the preferred group communication method and collaboration tools your employees need.
- Determine how frequently you as a supervisor will connect with your team members – trust works both ways.
- Discuss how time and performance will be managed once remote work begins. Focus first on output and completion of deliverables when evaluating performance.
- Can you include alternating or rotating schedules so that team members can share on-site responsibilities, even when all members would not have to be on site each day.
- Experiment with different schedules – if it does not work one week, try something different the following week.
- Everyone should be clear on duration, agreed upon schedules, work deliverables, communication approach and expectations.-
More FAQs about telecommuting will continue in the days ahead and will be placed on the University’s Coronavirus website. In addition, Payroll and Student Employment FAQs have been added to the existing HR FAQs, which were updated and re-organized today.
Over the next several weeks UConn will be incurring unusual expenses attributable to Coronavirus. It is important that departments add additional identifiers to Travel, e-docs, Requisitions, and Purchase Orders for these expenses directly associated with the prevention of COVID-19. Some of the types of expenses that we would consider to be unusual:
- Non-refundable Travel Costs because of Coronavirus
- Purchasing of equipment to work remotely (Computers, cables, iPads, etc.)
- Purchase of office and research supplies as a result of Coronavirus
- Purchase of additional cleaning materials to clean offices, bathrooms, doors, etc.
- Additional services needed from UConn vendors for facility services and housekeeping
This list is not all inclusive and ask yourself if the expense you are incurring is a normal expense or because of the current situation with Coronavirus.
Please follow these instructions when coding your expenses:
In Concur, add the following identifier COVID19 to this field:
In Husky Buy, add the following identifier COVID19 to this field:
Kuali Financial Systems:
In KFS, add the following identifier COVID19 to this field:
For items purchased and already posted to KFS:
If you have already purchased an item or service related to COVID-19 and it has posted to KFS, please complete an IAA (Intra-Account Adjustment) edoc to update the Project field.
Need additional help? We are here to help you:
Kuali Financial Systems - KFS
Lori-Anne Hansen – Associate Controller
Nancy Patrylak – Procurement Manager
Concur – Travel
Dan Warren – Director
Information Technology Services has worked with the campus community to develop a set of technology resources for telecommuting and other assistance, including an IT Guide to Telecommuting provides step-by-step instruction to access the many resources available to employees of UConn Storrs, the regional campuses and School of Law when working remotely.
While many tasks can only be accomplished on campus, others can be achieved remotely, including accessing email, hosting and attending virtual meetings, moving files to OneDrive for sharing and collaborating, and other services. We encourage everyone to review the materials before starting their telecommuting period.
The information is part of the ITS Information Technology Knowledge Base, a searchable resource containing answers to scores of IT questions.
The ITS support center will maintain limited staffing on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 6, but many questions can be answered through the online services.
Guidance for Managers, Supervisors and Employees at the Storrs, Regional Campuses and UConn Health:
Effective Saturday, March 14, employees on the Storrs, Regional and Law School campuses, who are able to telecommute, should plan to work from home. All telecommuting requires the approval of an employee’s manager. Employees should anticipate telecommuting until at least Monday, April 6. If extended, the University will communicate so.
It is the University’s goal to maintain operations with as few people on our campuses as possible. Employees may not telecommute without their manager’s approval, but managers should work with their employees to maximize telecommuting. Employees who cannot telecommute must report to work as scheduled.
UConn Health leadership will distribute a separate communication to UConn Health employees with guidance related to the President’s communication from last night.
The following information applies to employees on all campuses.
Employees who are well are expected to work (either at their worksite or via telecommuting), even if they have been in contact with or are caring for someone in their household who is ill with a condition other than a confirmed case of COVID-19. However, we suggest employees take typical preventative measures normal to all caregivers. Well employees who are not already on an approved leave to care for an immediate family member are expected to work unless:
- The employee has traveled to a Level 2 or Level 3 country in the last 14 days;
- The employee has cared for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
- An individual who resides with the employee has been to a Level 2 or Level 3 country in the last 14 days.
Employees who have the capacity to work remotely in these situations above should telecommute (with their manager’s approval) and should speak with their manager regarding further guidance.
If an employee in one of these situations above does not have the capacity or approval to work from home, then the employee would qualify for paid leave for the duration of the 14-day period.
Illness in the Workplace:
Employees who have symptoms of respiratory illness or other illnesses should stay at home until they are free from a fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing or symptom-altering medications. A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and above. Employees with concerns or questions about their illness or need advice about whether to come to work should call their personal health physician to manage their situation properly and should, per existing University protocol, notify their manager of the need to be absent or unable to work due to illness. For absences due to illness, employees are expected to follow the necessary processing protocols up to and including physician certification.
Workers at Higher Risk:
The University urges employees who are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions to consult with their physicians about steps they can take to protect their health. Employees may share physician recommendations with their manager for approval. It is important to note that, due to the essential functions of the University, managers may be unable to accommodate all physician recommendations.
If an employee can perform their duties remotely, the employee may request to telecommute at the discretion and determination of the manager. If an employee cannot accomplish their duties remotely, the employee may request (via their manager) to use their appropriate leave accruals if they wish to stay out of the workplace entirely. Approval is subject to management discretion based on operational needs.
Specific individual questions in this area of concern should be routed to the two HR email sites as noted below.
Employees and Continuity of Operations:
UConn and UConn Health combined are a continuously operating residential university and health care center and employees provide services for all aspects of residential life, patient care, campus health and safety, critical research, the protection of physical and intellectual assets and the continuity and resumption of academic programs and other operations. We are continuing to review staffing to ensure the core missions of the institution continue in the event of increased employee absences.
Pay practices currently in place for employees not quarantined remain unchanged and are subject to collective bargaining agreements and University policy. The highest priority for the University is the health of our community, and no employee who is ill should come to work. If an employee has a case of COVID-19, and has an issue with leave time, the employee should contact Human Resources. The University reserves the right to make retroactive pay or leave adjustments, once more is known about this situation and its impact to UConn.
HR teams at UConn Health and Storrs are meeting daily to address manager and employee concerns and develop responses for all inquiries received. We highly recommend that all managers and employees contact HR using the information below:
Please refer to the University’s FAQs on a daily basis.
Please contact your primary care provider with medical questions. Individuals may also visit the two University website for Storrs & the Regional Campuses and UConn Health.