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CSU Human Resources FAQs answer common questions for faculty, staff and student employees about the impacts of COVID-19 on leave, work arrangements and other concerns.

Information for supervisors

If an employee reports to you that they are not feeling well and may have COVID-19, you and the employee should follow the established leave process for your department.

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This guide provides supervisors with university direction regarding addressing concerns about colleagues who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Encourage your employee to call (do not go in person unless their condition requires emergency or immediate medical attention) their health care provider or seek medical advice through telemedicine services.

Most individuals will not be tested for COVID-19 due to health care providers reserving the tests for the most serious cases of hospitalized individuals and for health care providers. Supervisors should not require either evidence of a test result or diagnosis or a doctor’s note for when your employee may resume working.

Most employees are working remotely and should already be limiting their contact with others. If an employee is not feeling well, they should follow the advice of their medical provider. If the employee is assigned to essential, in-person duties that must be performed on a university campus, they should not come to work and supervisors should assign those tasks to others who can perform them.

To facilitate working from home, supervisors are directed to allow employees to take home computers, computer monitors, keyboards, docking stations and other items when feasible and helpful to the employee for performing their university tasks.

Employees are expected to be responsible for these items and use them for university business.

Some software will not be available off campus, and IT support is NOT expected to make house calls to set up home stations.

Computers also can be purchased through Surplus Property but this will need to be arranged through your local IT support team. Equipment from Surplus Property does NOT come with an operating system pre-installed. IT support will need to first install and configure Windows prior to these computers being used.

This is an optional form that may help departments and units track equipment being used remotely.

The state has extended the classified performance cycle timeline and final evaluations now must be completed by June 30. The same deadline will apply administrative professional staff evaluations.

See this memo from Human Resources for guidance on coding employee leave, and this additional guidance.

Please see the FAQs under “Student employees.”

Working remotely

To facilitate working from home, supervisors are directed to allow employees to take home computers, computer monitors, keyboards, docking stations and other items when feasible and helpful to the employee for performing their university tasks.

Employees are expected to be responsible for these items and use them for university business.

Some software will not be available off campus, and IT support is NOT expected to make house calls to set up home stations.

Computers also can be purchased through Surplus Property but this will need to be arranged through your local IT support team. Equipment from Surplus Property does NOT come with an operating system pre-installed. IT support will need to first install and configure Windows prior to these computers being used.

Computers also can be purchased through Surplus Property but this will need to be arranged through your local IT support team. Equipment from Surplus Property does NOT come with an operating system pre-installed. IT support will need to first install and configure Windows prior to these computers being used.

There are several things you can do to help guarantee a positive transition to remote work. Some key considerations include:

Prepare your workspace – both physical and virtual

Staff can find great tips for working remotely through the Central IT resource “Keep Working,” developed for the university’s COVID-19 response. This resource will help you remote into your desktop, set up virtual meetings, connect securely to the internet, and forward your phone, among other tips.

Faculty and instructors can maximize effectiveness of online course delivery with these tips on the “Keep Teaching” page.

You also will want to:

  • Identify a good place to work. Fine the best space possible to support your day with good ergonomics, comfortable furniture and proper lighting
  • Minimize distraction and disruption to the extent possible
  • Stay connected with your team
  • Communicate often to keep everyone ‘in the loop’
  • Collaborate using technology – use digital events or a virtual huddle as you would in person meetings

Make certain you are clear on expectations of your leadership team, including:

  • How do I know what to prioritize each day?
  • How can I best convey the day’s accomplishments?
  • What are timekeeping, scheduling and break expectations?

Manage your time and wellbeing

  • Share your availability and note any changes to normal hours
  • Don’t forget to take breaks
  • Get a breath of fresh air, even if it is just stepping outside for a minute or two
  • Remember to balance your personal needs with work needs – technology can make it too easy to always be connected
  • Check in with yourself and others – how are you feeling day to day? Loneliness is a normal response to such a sudden change to remote work and we have resources to help.

You may use accrued annual leave or compensatory time while you work remotely or perform essential in-person functions at a university campus.

Concerns about remote work during COVID-19

As CSU moves to on-line and virtual services, faculty and staff are expected to actively work from their remote sites in accordance to schedules and work plans provided by their supervisors.

Wherever possible, we encourage employees to engage in work activities that can be performed remotely, such as professional development, training, policy and Standard Operating Procedures development, etc. Talk to your supervisor about any ideas you have that are not your usual work but would still advance your work or university functions.

We have asked all supervisors to identify employees whose job duties are essential-in-person, and all those identified this way have been conditionally approved to keep working on campus while the Emergency Preparedness Team reviews supervisor lists.

These faculty and staff members who do meet criteria for essential-in-person employees will be permitted to continue to report to work in person and provided with documentation to allow them to get to campus during shelter-in-place and park on campus without ticketing. We remind those of you whose job duties are identified as essential-in-person to please follow all public health best practices while you are at work. You should not come to work if you become symptomatic.

If you receive a communication that you are not considered an essential-in-person employee, please work with your supervisor to determine what work you may be able to do remotely and refer to other sections of these FAQs.

We are working with leaders at all levels of the University to brainstorm solutions for all our valued employees—including you. We are also working as quickly as possible to understand what income replacement benefits may already be or may become available from our state and federal government. Please understand that this is a massive task and it may take some time to work through the many questions and layers involved.

Currently, the university is committed to meeting payroll obligations for all employees.

  • Hourly employees will receive paychecks in the amount equal of your two-week earnings to date this semester. Your supervisor will submit time on your behalf.
  • Salaried employees will receive their usual checks.
  • All compensation in this circumstance within TimeClock Plus should be recorded as Admin Leave Pandemic. In the event we receive either Federal or State resources to support CSU during this time, we need to appropriately document the costs incurred. Supervisors will record and approve time for both hourly and salaried employees who are unable to work remotely.

If this situation changes, the action must be approved by the Chancellor and Board of Governors and comply with federal and state law. At this time, we do face payroll challenges for some employees funded through contracts, grants, or fee-for-service revenue sources. The University is working quickly and diligently to find solutions to these challenges. We will communicate further as soon as we have answers.

If you suspect that you have been exposed to or are suffering from COVID-19, please notify your supervisor, call your healthcare provider to consult with them, and do not come to work. All employees are entitled to up to 30 days of paid administrative leave for COVID-19 related illness. Work with your supervisor to ensure your time within TimeClock Plus is recorded as “Admin Leave.”

If you have a non-Covid-19 related health concern, your time should be recorded as sick leave. You may use annual or compensatory time if you do not have sick leave available. Those taking leave should accurately record their appropriate status via the university’s TimeClock Plus system.

Those who wish to take accrued leave may take it. Please make sure you have your supervisor’s approval to take annual or compensatory leave and follow all procedures you would generally follow in order to take accrued leave.

We know this information may be another stressor during an already stressful and confusing time. Please know that CSU is still here for you, as your university and your community. We are deeply grateful for your hard work and dedication. We also urge you to take advantage of our mental health resources in the Employee Assistance Program should you need support.

If you have more questions or concerns about how the university is handling the COVID-19 situation, please consult our safety site. If your question is not answered there, send it in here. And if you have specific questions about your employment situation, reach out to your supervisor or to HR professionals in your college or unit.

Navigating work interruptions

You may use accrued leave to care for ill family members.

Employees asked to self-isolate can use accrued leave if they are not able to telework, or telework if they are not ill. If an employee is unable to come to a campus to perform essential in-person functions during this period. Supervisors should understand that it may take several days for an employee to obtain confirmation about whether or not they have been exposed to COVID-19.

Comply with your department’s protocols for reporting absences, typically by notifying your direct supervisor.

The university also will be monitoring absenteeism rates by reviewing leave in TimeClock Plus to help determine the impact and scope of COVID-19 impact.

The university will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

Employees who are working remotely should avoid contact with others and seek advice from their medical provider.

Employees who would typically report to a campus to perform essential in-person duties and who have acute respiratory symptoms should stay home. They should call their medical provider for advice about when they can return to work. This is typically until they no longer have a fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines such as cough suppressants.

The university will not require medical documentation related to the absence from an in-person function or from remote work hours.

The university will authorize leave without pay for employees who are unable to work because they are ill and may have COVID-19 or who are caring for someone who is ill and don’t have paid time to cover their absence.

CSU also has several income replacement programs available to employees, including short-term disability benefit plans, the Leave Bank  program and the Emergency Hardship Loan Fund.

State classified employees may be granted administrative leave.

Access to CSU offices, workspace

If you are not someone who must report to work on a campus for and you are working remotely, you are not prohibited from coming to a campus, but you must limit your time on a campus as much as possible. It is permissible to come to a campus for brief periods of time. For example, you may come to your office or workspace to pick up a file, book or office supplies, or to record a lecture.

All employees are directed follow clear safety protocols while on university property:

  • Do not prop open building outside doors, section or wing doors, or your office door. Because our buildings are mostly vacant at this time, there is justified concern about theft and other crimes of opportunity.
  • Follow public-health-advised social distancing practices. Do not congregate with other faculty and staff who also have been granted access. Stay at least six feet way from each other.
  • Avoid as much as possible touching surfaces in the building. If cleaning wipes are available, wipe down equipment before and after use.
  • Wash your hands as soon as possible when you enter a building and again before you leave a building.
  • Minimize as much as possible the time you spend in a building to support the university’s efforts to slow the spread of illness and exposure.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms or you know you have had close contact with (you are sharing a home with, a caretaker for, etc.) someone who has COVID-19, please do not come to a campus. Instead, contact your department head for assistance in determining alternatives for accomplishing what you need to accomplish.

These individuals have been delegated by their Vice President, Dean or Department Heads as those who need access to a campus to perform essential duties that cannot be performed remotely. That includes those performing critical services and functions such as essential research, services to support students still on campus, maintenance and cleaning, IT support and other tasks.

The University has reviewed the orders from both Larimer County and Governor Polis asking residents to shelter in place and stay home.

The orders are consistent with President McConnell’s directive that all employees should work remotely or virtually unless they are assigned to perform certain essential, in-person functions. There are no changes to University operations and protocols, including research and academic instruction continuity, currently in place.

Students and families may continue to move out of residence halls and apartments, practicing social distancing. More information is available at https://housing.colostate.edu/.

See these FAQs for more information

Student employees

FAQs for Student Employee Supervisors
April 10, 2020

The university has made a commitment to pay all student employees who are willing and available to work through the end of the academic year, specifically who were not able to transition to remote work. This does not include students who voluntarily left their university job when classes moved online and no longer wanted to work for CSU. These payments will be made on the regular pay schedule for weeks beginning on March 23, through the week of May 15.

What if I have not communicated anything to my student employee?

You will want to communicate with your student employees ASAP. You have two options. First, you can start your student employee doing remote work. Second, if you do not have remote work available, you will need to compensate the student employee in an amount equal to their average weekly earnings (calculated using the pay periods worked between January 4 and March 13). Remember, if your student employee is working remotely but it is less than their weekly average hours, you need to supplement the difference using the “Admin Leave-Pandemic” pay code option.

What if I explicitly offered remote work to my student employee and they declined that option OR the student voluntarily left their position when classes went online?

If you explicitly offered remote work to your student employee and they declined that option, the student employee is not eligible for any compensation. Our primary goal is for students to continue working remotely. If you offered that option and your student employee said no, they are not eligible for any compensation. However, please be student-centered, and make appropriate determinations. For example, if your student employee declined the remote work option because they do not have internet at home, then you should err on the side of continuing to compensate the student. Consider the distinction between refusing remote work by choice and refusing remote work by circumstance.

If students voluntarily left their position and no longer wanted to work for the university, they do not need to be compensated.

What if I have already told my student employee that they would not be needed for the rest of the semester because of COVID?

You will want to communicate with your student employees ASAP. Ultimately, you need to provide them with remote work options or compensate them, which may include reinstating their employment status if you have taken any Oracle actions.

You have two options. First, you can start your student employee doing remote work. Second, if you do not have remote work available, you will need to compensate the student employee in an amount equal to their average weekly earnings (calculated using the pay periods worked between January 4 and March 13). Remember, if your student employee is working remotely but it is less than their weekly average hours, you need to supplement the difference using the “Admin Leave-Pandemic” pay code option.

What is my student employee’s average weekly hours are more than they are currently working remotely?

You will need to compensate them for the difference. For example, if your student employee is working remotely for five hours per week, but their average weekly earnings (calculated using the pay periods worked between January 4 and March 13) equate to 15 hours a week, you need to pay an additional 10 hours per week using the “Admin Leave-Pandemic” job  code option and select the project code “Insufficient Work From Home.”

Are there any distinctions if my employee is a Work Study student?

No, the same rules apply for work study students. Work study contributions your unit receives will not be impacted.

 What if I have an employee that is uncomfortable receiving this money without working, and I don’t have any remote work available?

The employer can offer a remote work assignment at any time until May 15. In other words, as a unit’s needs shift, a student employee can be asked to resume remote work. If remote work continue to be unavailable, a student could certainly seek another job or volunteer.

What if I have in-person essential work available for my student employee, but they are not comfortable working in-person, and no remote work options exists?

The student’s health and comfort should be the primary concern, and if they are not comfortable working in an in-person essential role, you should compensate them.

What should I do if my student employee is successfully working either remotely or in person as an essential employee?

Nothing, you should continue to pay and report hours as normal. Remember, if your student employee is now working less than their weekly average hours, you need to supplement the difference using the “Admin Leave-Pandemic” job code option in TimeClock Plus.

This notice states to pay students from March 23 – May 15, but I did not pay my student employee for a few weeks before that, what should I do?

If you were not paying your student employee for any time to March 23 because of COVID-19 (for example, you did not have remote work available or you communicated the student employee was no longer needed), you should initiate back pay for this time period. The university previously authorized student employees to be paid for this time period.

How do I calculate the average weekly hours for my student employee?

Instructions for calculating the average weekly hours were included in an email message from HR Payroll on March 30.

The university has made a commitment to pay student employees who are available and willing to work through the end of the academic year, specifically those who were not able to transition to remote work. This does not included students who voluntarily resigned from their job when the university’s classes moved to online instruction and no longer wanted to work for the university.

You will be paid on your regular pay schedule for weeks beginning on March 23, through the week of May 15. Please see these FAQs for more information.

You can, if your supervisor identifies tasks for you to do from home. The university is encouraging supervisors to facilitate remote work for as many employees as possible.

Please connect with your direct supervisor to ensure you will receive payments on your regular pay schedule for March 23 through the week of May 15.

You will be receiving supplemental pay from your department or unit to make up for the difference in hours. For example, if you averaged 12 hours a week between January 4 and March 13, but you are now only obtaining 3 hours a week by working remote, you will receive supplemental pay for the difference. Please contact your direct supervisor for more information.

No, the same rules apply for work study students.

Students who want to work and are available to do so may also check with the Career Center to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a career educator to help find other university part-time work. You can also find all available part-time roles on Handshake through www.career.colostate.edu or through the RamWeb portal.

If you have further questions, please first connect with your direct supervisor. The Career Center and Human Resources are also available to assist you.