» Coronavirus - Frequently Asked Questions by Essential Employees

General


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How do I know if my position is essential?

Your supervisor will advise you, consistent with the Coronavirus Staff and Administrator Protocols available on the HR homepage.

Are essential staff required to service students in-person? Or are we able to service them remotely?

Certain essential staff may be required to service students in-person.  This could include, but not be limited to, facilities repairs, counseling services, and student health.  In all times appropriate social distancing safeguards will be observed.  Other services may be performed remotely and will be provided in a virtual platform.  If you are unsure, please speak with your supervisor.

Health and Safety


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I’m an essential employee required to work on campus and have an underlying health concern that makes me uncomfortable to come to campus. What should I do?

Please contact Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources for assessment and additional guidance.

I’m an essential employee required to work on campus. However, I am concerned about reporting to work because a household member has an underlying health concern or is in an older population?

Please contact Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources for assessment and additional guidance.

I am required to come into work as an essential employee but feel like it would be a risk to myself or my family to do so. What should I do?

You should work with your supervisor to identify alternatives, if any.  In addition, you and your supervisor should work with Employee Relations to assess further.

The CDC is recommending that we keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) distance with others. How will this be enforced if I am an essential employee and will continue to work on campus during the closure, but my work environment doesn't allow for this?

We encourage social distancing as much as possible, and all essential areas are reviewing their engagement protocols.  Some situations, though, may require closer proximity.  All precautions should be taken.  Please encourage sanitization, personal hygiene, and protective devices (for example, surgical masks) as needed to reduce anxiety.  If individuals are feeling ill, supervisors should evaluate if they need to work from home or take a sick day.  Please see the CDC’s guidelines for keeping a safe workplace environment during this Coronavirus pandemic.

I am an essential employee and am worried that my co-worker is ill and potentially spreading the disease. What should I do?

Please be respectful, and please speak with your supervisor and share your concerns.  Your supervisor can ascertain further and/or consult with Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources for additional guidance.

I am an essential employee and need to be on-campus. I have childcare challenges, could I bring my child to work for a few hours until my care arrangements are confirmed for the day?

Regrettably, no.  Children should not accompany you to work.  Please work with you supervisor to identify what alternative can be made. 

Employment and Pay


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As an essential employee, can I be fired or disciplined for not coming into work if I feel unsafe to do so?

It is hard to answer that question without knowing more.  You and your supervisor should work with Employee Relations to assess.

Will I get paid more now that I am considered an essential employee?

No.  The nature of your job has not changed.  “Essential” is a designation assigned to functions that cannot be effectively performed remotely.  Most essential personnel are performing services that are part of their daily portfolio.  Some essential personnel may be temporarily reassigned duties.  In both cases, additional pay is not tied to “essential” designation.