Green phase of COVID recovery

What if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?

Contact your supervisor and do not report to work until you have been cleared to do so. Individuals who are well but who have a sick family member at home or roommate should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions. Some period of self-quarantine will be required dependent upon the specific situation. Available paid leave (sick, vacation, and/or floating holidays) may be used during this time, or employees may choose to take this time unpaid if work cannot be performed remotely.

I heard the state has new guidance on self-quarantine after vacation. What does that mean for me?

If you have traveled, or plan to travel, to an area where there are high amounts of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended that you stay at home for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. 

Employees who have traveled to one of the following states, will need to self-quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days before they may return to work. Available paid leave (vacation and/or floating holidays) may be used during this time, or employees may choose to take this time unpaid if work cannot be performed remotely.

THE QUARANTINE IS RECOMMENDED AFTER TRAVEL TO THE FOLLOWING STATES (AS OF 10/16/2020):

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What safety guidelines are required if I'm on campus?

Specific safety guidelines will be provided to returning employees, in accordance with state regulations. All individuals on campus are required to wear masks and follow appropriate CDC social distancing procedures at all times.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As parts of the college reopen in accordance with state and local regulations, we recognize there are varied reasons that some members of the community might not be able to return immediately or without accommodations. If you believe you cannot return safely to work when contacted by the college you are asked to complete the Request to Not Return to Work.

Now that we know the semester starts August 17, can we all return to campus?

No. As stated above, the county is still in the Green phase with restrictions. The college anticipates beginning to recall full-time 12-month staff as needed as we prepare for students to return.

How can I get permission to return to campus?

Talk with your supervisor who will consult with your divisional vice president. Remote work is recommended unless there is a business reason for staff to return to campus. The air conditioning in most academic and administrative buildings will be running for four hours per day, generally between 8am – noon. If you have received permission to return to campus, please plan to do so during that window and coordinate with others who may in the same area. Social distancing (6’ or more), masks, and adherence to safety guidelines is required at all times.

Will my pay end on June 30?

Not necessarily.

I have not been asked to return to work yet and I am unable to work from home. What now?

Full-time staff who cannot work remotely and are not yet needed in their regular assigned area will be offered an alternate work assignment.

What if I don't want to work in the job to which I have been reassigned?

Staff may decline alternate work arrangements and move to a non-paid status (FURLOUGH) OR elect to use available paid leave (vacation and floating holidays). Once leave time is exhausted, employees would move to a non-paid status.

If I'm working remotely now, can I keep doing that?

We encourage staff to talk with their departmental leadership about the continued possibility of remote work with the understanding that it works better in some areas than others. Supervisors should confirm their employees have what they need to continue to successfully complete work from home. With supervisor approval, employees are permitted to move department equipment and resources from campus to their homes. If additional technology is needed beyond what exists in the department, supervisors should reach out to LIS to ascertain if this can be procured; however, every effort should be made to utilize existing resources first. The college will not be supporting costs for internet or phone service.

If I am not working on campus or remotely, can I apply for unemployment compensation?

Yes.

Does the modified staffing category still apply?

No.  After July 1, employees will be paid for time worked and/or they can utilize their leave. 

If you are a nonexempt employee and working less than full time, you may use leave time to supplement your pay. Once leave is exhausted, only hours worked would be paid. Alternatively, you may choose to only be paid for hours worked and retain your available leave.

If you are an exempt employee working less than full time remotely, your pay may be reduced proportionally, OR you may choose to use leave to maintain your current salary.

If I am furloughed or in a non-working status, how will the July 4 holiday be treated?

You will be paid for the holiday according to college policy.

If I am furloughed or in a non-working status, what happens to my benefits?

Staff will remain benefits eligible and benefits will be maintained. Employees may reimburse the college for the employee share of benefit co-premiums through payroll deduction upon their return.

I haven't been able to use all my vacation time. Can I roll it over into the new fiscal year?

Unfortunately, vacation time cannot be rolled over. It creates a financial liability for the college and can only be used during the fiscal year in which it is earned (July 1 through June 30).

 

Yellow Phase of COVID recovery

Now that the county is in yellow, when will the Children’s Center reopen?

A plan for reopening the Children’s Center is under review in coordination with the college and the Children’s Center Advisory Board. Staff are working closely with various state entities regarding new protocols and with the CDC regulations regarding childcare entities. It is anticipated that a timeline will be shared with families and the community in early June.

Now that the county is in yellow, can I come back to work?

No. Only those employees identified by their senior officer should report to work on campus on a regular basis.

What if I have a project that requires me to be on campus?

Requests to work on campus projects will need to be submitted to supervisors, who will consult with divisional vice presidents. 

What safety guidelines are required if I’m on campus?

Specific safety guidelines will be provided to returning employees, in accordance with state regulations. All individuals on campus are required to wear masks and follow appropriate CDC social distancing procedures at all times.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As parts of the college reopen in accordance with state and local regulations, we recognize there are varied reasons that some members of the community might not be able to return immediately or without accommodations. If you believe you cannot return safely to work when contacted by the college you are asked to complete the Request to Not Return to Work.

If I’m still not needed on campus and cannot do my job remotely, will I still be paid through June 30? 

Full and part-time employees will continue to be paid as previously communicated through June 30 or whenever their regular work schedule ends. For example, some staff work on a 10-month basis and finish after commencement. In that case, they would not be paid through June 30 because they would not normally be working at that time. Employees with specific questions are encouraged to reach out to their supervisor for specific guidance.

Employees should check the payroll guidelines for questions on how to report time. As a reminder, nonexempt employees should continue to submit timesheets according to the established payroll schedule according to their regularly budgeted work schedule. Supervisors will continue to approve timesheets in the regular manner. Payroll deadlines remain unchanged.

It is important that employees use the correct codes to indicate whether they are working remotely, not working and/or working on campus. The college needs this data in order to accurately capture costs related to COVID-19 and to ensure that staff are paid correctly.

Town Meeting

Is there a recording of the meeting available?

The employee meeting recording is posted in the Campus Documents section of the Gateway.

If all students aren’t allowed back on campus, what happens to athletic programs? 

This is not yet known. The college’s response will be in compliance with both the Centennial Conference and the NCAA. 

Has the college decided to have only two classes in residence? 

During the Town Meeting, first years and sophomores were used only as an example if we were required to reduce the on-campus population. These decisions have not been made. The number of students on campus will be in accordance with state and federal regulations.

Regarding the different scenarios shared during the meeting, when will we know if personnel actions are required? 

The college will communicate with employees no less than 30 days prior to any personnel action which may be required. This may include layoffs, furloughs or changes in work responsibilities. Please note that decisions will be based upon a number of variables including state and federal regulations and instructional and residential plans for the fall semester.

What is a furlough? What is a layoff?

A furlough is a short-term, temporary unpaid leave of absence. Employees on furlough will remain on the college’s benefit plans. A layoff or reduction in force is generally long term and often a permanent separation of employment.

If my job is affected, how will I be notified?

Employees will be notified of any change in status first by phone call and then in writing.

If my job is affected, what happens to my benefits?

Furloughed staff will remain benefits eligible and benefits will be maintained. Employees may pay benefit co-premiums to the college by check or make up the employee contributions upon their return.

If I’m partially or fully furloughed, can I get unemployment?

Employees would be eligible to apply. The determination of unemployment compensation benefits is made by the state, not the college. 

Should leave be used before applying for unemployment?

Employees who are working on campus or working remotely, fewer hours than their regular schedule, may elect to use leave before applying for unemployment if they desire.

If I’m fully furloughed and then called back, do I still have all of my leave time available?

Determinations about leave accruals during a furlough have not been made. Factors such as length of furlough may be considered.

Will I receive a salary/pay reduction?

The college will only proceed with a salary reduction in addition to the suspension of the college’s 403(b) contributions if the budget deficit requires the additional action.

Will the college give employees the choice of taking a salary reduction or having the college’s contribution to 403(b) stopped?

No. Simply put, retirement plans are subject to a number of requirements under federal law and cannot be given to some and not others.

If the freeze on the retirement 403(b) employer contributions occurs, is that for everyone?

Yes. If a change were made to retirement contributions for any period of time, it would be for faculty and staff alike.
If there are salary reductions, does this apply to everyone?

Yes. Senior officers have already taken a reduction of 10% to their pay. Any further reductions, if enacted, would be applied equally to faculty and staff.

If there are salary reductions, can I change my benefit elections?

Yes, to some extent. Retirement contributions can be changed outside of the open enrollment period. Healthcare co-premiums would be adjusted accordingly if an employee’s pay were reduced and they moved into a different salary contribution range. The tiered co-premium structure can be found here.

If there are salary reductions or if I am furloughed, can I make changes to my Flexible Spending Account Elections?

According to recent IRS guidance, employees may add a dependent care flexible spending account when day care reopens as a life status change. To add a dependent care flexible spending account in the future when things reopen, please complete and return a life status change event form to HR Services within 31 days of the center reopening.

The college continues to monitor updates from the IRS and will share information as it becomes available. 

If I’m working remotely now, can I keep doing that even if campus completely reopens?

When the college is no longer in a Modified Staffing Arrangement, we encourage staff to talk with their departmental leadership about the continued possibility of remote work with the understating that it works better in some areas than others.

What if I cannot safely return to work?

Employees who may be unable to return to work on campus due to a health risk of their own or of a family member with whom they reside, will be asked to notify the college. An online reporting process is under development and will be linked here when available. If necessary, additional documentation may be required from a health care provider. The college will work with individuals to find suitable accommodations. 
 

Staffing During Modified Operation Schedule

I’m confused about this statement from the email on March 16, 2020: All full-time and part-time employees (who are scheduled to work and not already planning to be on leave) will receive their regular pay through March 31 and will not be required to take paid leave during this time.

If leave (not related to school closure and COVID-19) had been scheduled and approved, employee leave balances will be reduced accordingly.

Sick leave balances will not be reduced for those employees who were unable to work Monday (3/16) due to childcare issues or COVID-19 concerns, even if they notified the college prior to the campus announcement.

Between now and March 31, staff who are not scheduled to work do not need to call in each day.

Part-time employees will be paid based on the average hours worked this semester prior to spring break.

Hours compensated during this time for nonexempt employees who are not currently working on campus or working remotely are not considered as hours worked for the purposes of calculating overtime.

How do I know if I am approved to work remotely?

Employees who are able to work remotely should be in contact with their supervisors to discuss specific job responsibilities. Supervisors will be in touch with their senior officers to request approval for employees to begin working remotely as soon as feasible.

What if I am a full-time employee not able to work remotely because of child care?

Please talk to your supervisor to determine whether some remote work might be possible. We encourage creativity and flexibility as we work together through this unprecedented time.

If you are not able to work full time, you will need to use your available paid leave in the following order unless you are actually ill: vacation, floating holiday, sick. Once your available paid leave has been exhausted, the college will continue to pay your regular earnings through June 30 or until we resume normal operations.

What if I am a full- or part-time employee whose job responsibilities cannot be done remotely?

If you are not able to work remotely, and you are not required to work on campus, you will need to use your available paid leave in the following order unless you are actually ill: vacation, floating holiday, sick. Once your available paid leave has been exhausted, the college will continue to pay your regular earnings until we resume normal operations.

What if I am required to work on campus for only part of my regular schedule and my job responsibilities cannot be done remotely?

You will receive premium pay for the hours you are required to work on campus and you will need to use your available paid leave in the following order unless you are actually ill: vacation, floating holiday, sick. Once your available paid leave has been exhausted, the college will continue to pay your regular earnings for hours you do not work plus premium pay for hours worked on campus, until we resume normal operations.

Details on how to report these hours are included in the payroll guidelines.

What if I am required to work on campus and I work more than 40 hours in one workweek?

The Department of Labor permits hours worked and paid at a premium rate to be credited toward overtime compensation due (i.e., hours to be compensated at time and one-half). The college will compensate employees in accordance with this standard.

Nonexempt employees required to work on campus will receive premium pay for all hours worked on campus. The premium pay rate is one and one-half times the regular hourly rate, therefore hours over 40 in one workweek would already be compensated as overtime.

Can I still use my scheduled vacation?

Yes. As always, please coordinate with your supervisor according to departmental procedure.

I had sick leave scheduled to take my child (parent, self, spouse) for a non-urgent appointment or procedure and I want to cancel. Will I still be charged for that sick leave?

No. Please work with your supervisor according to established departmental procedure to cancel the scheduled leave.

Why do some people get to work on campus? Can I do that too?

Some staff will be required to work on campus to support core services for our students who have been approved to remain in residence. These departments include facilities, dining, DPS, the Wellness Center and Residence Life.

Some departments with larger staff groups asked for volunteers and selected staff to work based on seniority within the department. Since we are not sure how long the college will remain in a modified staffing arrangement, there may be potential for others to work on campus at a later date.

Only those employees identified by their senior officer should report to work on campus on a regular basis.

I came to campus for a short-term need. Will I get premium pay?

No. We understand that staff may need to ask their supervisors for permission to come to campus for short-term needs like picking up or dropping off the mail. Only nonexempt staff who are required to work on campus to support core services for our students who have been approved to remain in residence will receive premium pay.

Why doesn’t call-in pay apply?

The modified staffing arrangement provides for premium pay in certain circumstances, all of which would have been covered by the call-in policy. In other words, employees are getting paid in the same way, but only have to use one code to record their hours worked.

How do I report my time to make sure I get paid correctly?

Details for nonexempt staff are included in the payroll guidelines.

I’m a coach, but not full time. Can I work? How do I get paid?

Coaches will continue to receive their regular pay, at the previously arranged intervals, for working remotely with our student-athletes.

I am considered a casual employee, but I worked pretty regularly before this happened. Will I still be paid?

Casual staff will be paid for hours worked, if available and approved by their supervisor. We regret that there are not as many opportunities for casual staff at this time.

Unemployment benefits are determined at the state level and may be available. To begin the process of filing, please click here.

Will any of my benefits change if I’m not working my regular job?

No.

Is campus closed?

No. The campus is operating in a modified staffing arrangement. This is not considered an emergency shutdown.

How will I know when to come back to work?

You will be notified via campus email and Red Alert. You can check for updates and keep up with the information we provide on the COVID-19 Dashboard.

I don’t have direct deposit. How will I get paid?

The process of preparing and mailing checks during this modified staffing arrangement will cause delay. Employees not enrolled in direct deposit are encouraged to reconsider and enroll using this form.

Do I still have to complete my performance appraisal (or those of my staff) before the end of the month?

No. Performance appraisal deadlines have been extended until June 1. Of course, we encourage you to continue to work on them in Totara during this time.

I was thinking about retiring soon. Do I need to wait?

We encourage you to talk to your supervisor about your plans. The regular employment life cycle will proceed during this time and resignations and retirements can be processed remotely. We even have a new online exit interview option. If you have specific questions, please contact Human Resource Services at hrservices@dickinson.edu.

I have a vacancy in the department and planned to hire someone on April 1. How should I proceed?

During this modified staffing arrangement, new hires will be paused. If you would like to discuss a specific request, please contact your senior officer who will reach out to Human Resource Services.

Staff Questions

If I am approved to work remotely, can I have a laptop? Can I forward my office phone? Can I get a stipend to cover my expenses?

Office phones can be forwarded. Remote work will need to be performed with resources currently available.

Can I use sick leave beginning April 1?

Yes. If you are following medical advice to isolate at home, you may use available leave. Please contact Human Resource Services for additional information.

I have heard that there will be mass layoffs. Is this true?

Our employees make Dickinson the exceptional college that it is. This is an extremely challenging time and we are committed to maintaining our current workforce.

How do I know it’s safe to come to work if the campus is reopened in a few weeks?

The college is taking all appropriate steps to clean our buildings. We all share in the personal responsibility of following the CDC guidelines of social distancing and handwashing.

I have a vacation planned for May/June. Am I going to be able to take it?

None of us know what this situation might look like when summer comes. The college will make every effort to accommodate plans which were already made. If you have not already planned and paid for travel, you might want to consider waiting and/or purchasing trip insurance.

We understand this is a stressful time. Employees are reminded of the Employee Assistance resources. As this situation unfolds, we will continue to update these Q&As. If you have a concern that has not been addressed, please email employeequestions@dickinson.edu.

What technology resources are available to me during this time?

LIS has set up an Emergency Technology Resources page with various guidance on working remotely. Also, Faculty are also encourage to review the resources found in the AD - Teaching Continuity Moodle course.