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Frequently asked Questions

There have been many reports, both internal and external about the impact of COVID-19 on employment. The following frequently asked questions address the most common issues that have arisen. Please send additional questions to corona.virus@umassd.edu.

 

My job sometimes requires me to attend large-scale external events. Am I required to attend?

No. Although it is anticipated that most large-scale internal and external events will be canceled, no faculty or staff member will be required to attend a large-scale event.

 

I am not “essential personnel” pursuant to my collective bargaining agreement; why am I being asked to report to work?

The campus remains open. However, to decrease the risk of spreading the virus, the campus is limiting the number of staff members on campus, thereby reducing close-contact interactions. Staff members who continue to report to campus should continue to employ social distancing practices by avoiding direct or close contact (within six feet) with others.

 

I have been directed by my healthcare provider to self-quarantine; what should I do?

Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider; inform Human Resources; and record your time as sick (or sick leave bank). If you exhaust your available sick (or sick leave bank) time, HR will work with you to ensure that your salary is not impacted.

 

I have a family member who is sick (or has been directed by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine). Can I stay home to care for him/her?

Yes. If you are already working remotely, continue to so as your family responsibilities permit. Use sick leave (or sick leave bank) for those periods in which you are not working. If you exhaust your available sick (or sick leave bank) time, HR will work with you to ensure that your salary is not impacted. However, you should be careful to not expose yourself to the virus and carefully monitor your health. Refer to CDC guidelines for additional information.


I am working remotely. How should I record my time?
You should record your time as regular (REG).

 

My job does not allow me to work remotely, but with so-few students on campus, I am not needed. Should I stay at home?
The campus remains open; although you may feel that your job is not needed, you may be able to assist in other areas.

 

My child’s school is closed. Can I stay at home?
Yes. Family and childcare responsibilities are paramount. If you are already working remotely, you may continue to do so as your family responsibilities permit. If you are not working remotely and need to stay home for family or childcare reasons, contact Human Resources about the appropriate use of paid leave.
 

I am in a high-risk category, but cannot work remotely. Can I stay at home?
Yes. If you are concerned about your health you should stay at home. Contact Human Resources about the appropriate use of paid leave.


I have flu-like symptoms, should I stay home?
Yes. Call your healthcare provider, and let your supervisor and HR know.


I have recently returned from international or domestic travel. What should I do?
Refer to the CDC guidelines. Travelers from Level 3 countries, most of Europe, or certain hot-spot areas in the U.S. will need to work from home or otherwise self-quarantine for fourteen days.


I have a family member who recently returned from international or domestic travel. What should I do?
At this time, the CDC does not recommend any specific steps for family members of asymptomatic travelers.


I have undergraduate student employees who normally work in my area; what should I tell them?
Consistent with the overall goal of decreasing the spread of the coronavirus, undergraduate student employees who are either living on campus (because they have been approved through Housing and Residential Education) or who otherwise have approval to work on campus may continue to work and submit hours. However, undergraduate student employees who, for any reason, cannot work will not be paid.


Can an undergraduate student employee work remotely?
Although many undergraduate jobs are not appropriate for remote work arrangements, there is no prohibition against such arrangements. Undergraduate student employees must have prior approval and, as they are non-exempt employees, their work and work hours must be carefully monitored by their supervisor.


I have international student employees who can normally work more than twenty hours per week during “Spring break.” Has “Spring break” been officially been extended through March 20?
Yes. Spring break has officially been extended through March 20.


What about graduate student employees, like research assistants, teaching assistants, studio assistants, clinical assistants, and graduate assistants?
Consistent with the overall goal of decreasing the risk of spreading the virus, graduate student employees who can get to campus or otherwise work from home may continue to work. Graduate student employees should work with their faculty supervisor to make appropriate arrangements necessary to continue their work.


I have a temporary (non-benefited) employee in my area. Can he/she work remotely?
Yes. The guidance concerning remote work arrangements is not restricted to benefited staff.


I am a temporary (non-benefited) staff member. What should I do if I am sick or need to stay home to care for a family member?
Stay home. As a temporary (non-benefited) staff member, you have sick leave pursuant to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law. If you exhaust your available sick (or sick leave bank) time, HR will work with you to ensure that your salary is not impacted.

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