Employee Information Regarding COVID-19
As UBalt adheres to State and USM guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, the below links provide information on teleworking, timekeeping, and resources. As we continue to respond to this ever-changing situation, updates pertaining to employee information will be posted here.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- FFCRA Extended through June 30, 2021
- FFCRA Fact Sheet
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave & FML Expansion Request Form
- Department of Labor (DOL) Poster
Tools for Managers
Access to campus will be greatly restricted for the fall semester. Employees and supervisors are expected to explore options that support effective telework and online education without coming to campus for the safety of the UBalt community. To be approved, any request must be specific and be absolutely necessary to support the work and operation of the University.
Before an employee may access campus, a “Request for On-Campus Work” must be submitted and approved. The form should be completed by a supervisor or department head and routed through the Provost or CFO/VP for Admin & Finance. This form is the only mechanism to be approved to come to campus. This process applies to individuals who were previously approved to perform work on campus during the summer.
Building access will be restricted through deactivation of the Bee Card. Employees must be approved to come to work through the campus access process and have a negative COVID test before the Bee Card will allow access.
- This applies to all staff, faculty and students.
- This applies for anyone who wishes to enter a campus facility or be on campus for any period of time.
The University System of Maryland (USM) issued guidance requiring COVID testing for students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall.
Employees are required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 14 days before they are permitted on campus. This applies to all employees. Test results are to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources (HR) in order for access to campus to be granted. In case of a positive test, HR will provide guidance on when an employee may return to campus. Employees should send proof of their negative COVID test result to HR at firstname.lastname@example.org. This newly created email account will have limited confidential access to protect employee privacy.
At this time, repeat testing is not required. This may change as state and community conditions warrant. Employees may be required in the future to submit to periodic testing in order to access campus.
Where to get tested:Baltimore City and the surrounding counties each have their own web pages detailing testing sites. A list of the relevant links can be found here: http://www.ubalt.edu/about-ub/pandemic-planning/covid-testing.cfm. Many sites offer appointments or indicate appointments preferred but allow walk-ins. Some of the area car emission sites (VEIP) have been converted to drive through COVID testing locations. An employee may choose where to receive a COVID test. An employee may test in Baltimore City, or may also test in one of the surrounding counties, whichever is more convenient. The sites coordinated through the State, City and County health departments offer free testing. Some of the private clinics and pharmacies offer testing but may require a co-pay. UBalt will not cover the cost of the co-pay.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
What happens if someone is confirmed to have COVID?
If an employee who has been working on campus or visited campus tests positive for COVID, they should inform HR through email@example.com. The University will do an assessment of risk for other individuals on campus and any needs for special cleaning based on the employee’s work schedule and space(s) accessed on campus. In addition, the health department will contact the employee to conduct contact tracing. For more information about contact tracing, visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing.
Please note, individual test results are considered confidential medical records and will not be shared. The University will not share the name of any employee who has tested positive.
How will I know if one of my coworkers has the virus?
The University will do an initial assessment of risk for other individuals on campus. This includes reviewing the location and movement of the employee to determine if any co-worker had close contact and is at risk. In addition, you may be contacted by a health department contact tracer in the event that you were exposed to an individual who tested positive. Individual test results will be considered confidential medical records and will not be shared.
If I feel sick, what should I do? How will I be paid for the rest of the day?
If you feel sick, notify your supervisor, and do not report to work. If you are already at work and you begin to feel sick, notify your supervisor and go home immediately. Consult with your health care provider for advice. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, your health care provider will advise you when it is safe to return to work. You may use accrued sick leave or you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the appropriate leave code.
What other measures will the university require of employees to limit the potential for the spread of the virus?
The University will continue to restrict campus access for the safety of the UBalt community. All classes will be online and employees continue to telework as much as possible. In addition, UBalt requires that all employees follow the CDC’s guidance for reducing the spread of the virus. Face coverings are required while on campus, physical distancing of 6 feet or more should be maintained, and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
Do I have to wear a face mask or face covering when I return to work/campus?
All employees are required to wear face coverings while on campus when indoors and in public areas. UBalt will provide cloth facemasks for employees approved to work on campus. Facilities Management will continue to provide daily single-use masks for facilities staff. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.
Exceptions to required daily mask/face covering wear may include:
- Time spent in a single-occupancy office alone, with a closed door; or
- Eating or drinking, while practicing physical distancing;
What are the consequences if I refuse to wear a mask?
All employees are expected to fully comply with the safety protocols. Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Employees with a medical, religious, or disability-related reason for not wearing a mask should contact HR at email@example.com for guidance.
How should a supervisor handle an employee who refuses to comply with safety protocols, including wearing a mask and appropriate social distancing?
Managers should approach the first instance of non-compliance as an opportunity to re-educate the employee on the safety practices. When an employee fails to follow one or more safety practices, first have a conversation with the employee about the importance of doing their part in keeping themselves and others safe. If, during this conversation, the employee indicates there is a medical, religious, or disability-related reason for not wearing the mask, please direct them to HR at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Continued non-compliance may be considered insubordination which may require disciplinary action. Consult with David Elliott, Employee Relations Specialist, to discuss the next steps.
Are employees allowed to use elevators?
Please use the stairs whenever possible. The elevators in the Angelos Law Center have signage to designate appropriate distancing. If you are not able to maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from others when using the elevator, wait until the next elevator arrives.
Will buildings remain locked?
At this time, the buildings remain locked and Bee Cards have been deactivated for campus building access. Only those individuals who have been approved to be on campus and submitted the required documentation of a negative COVID test will be able to access using their Bee Card.
If an employee has underlying health issues, can they be required to come to work?
The CDC has identified a number of health issues that can cause greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Those include chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and obesity. Employees over 65 may also be at greater risk. The University has developed a modified ADA Accommodation Request process for use during the COVID pandemic. For more information, see the ADA COVID Fact Sheet. Or submit a Request for ADA Accommodation form.
Pay and Leave
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
In April, Congress passed the FFCRA to provide paid leave and job protection to employees impacted by the Coronavirus. The FFCRA included two types of leave provisions:
Emergency Paid Sick Leave for up to 80 hours of paid leave in case an employee needs to quarantine, to seek a medical diagnosis, to care for an individual who needs to quarantine, or to provide child care if the child’s school or day care is closed due to COVID.
Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) added child care as a qualifying event for FMLA. EFMLA provides up to 12 weeks of leave for employees whose child’s school is closed due to COVID. Employees who do not have accrued leave available receive 2/3 pay up to $200 / day. EFMLA can be taken intermittently rather than continuously.
These provisions apply to both on-campus and telework employees. For more information on the FFCRA, please see the Fact Sheet available on the HR web page.If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.
1. Is the University closed?
No, the University is not closed. Beginning March 23, all classes will move to online education for a period of at least two weeks. Employees who are able to telework are expected to do so. Supervisors will work with their employees to determine appropriate remote work, work schedules, and technology needs in order for employees to accomplish this work. A temporary telework agreement is required. OTS has prepared a resource page for Remote Work.
2. Can I come to campus?
Starting Monday, March 16, campus buildings are restricted to employees only (including contractual and student employees). Starting March 23, campus buildings will be closed. Employees will not be able to access campus buildings until further notice.
3. What if an employee cannot telework or the portion of the job that can be done remotely is less than full-time?
Supervisors should work with employees to determine how much of their work can be done remotely. Some employees will be teleworking full-time. Other employees may only be able to do a portion of their work remotely. Employees who telework less than their scheduled hours should report regular work hours for the time worked and Administrative Leave (SAL) for the remainder of their schedule. Non-essential employees who cannot work remotely will be granted Administrative leave.
4. What positions are designated as Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus?
Because campus buildings will be closed, the designation of Essential for Pandemic Circumstances – On Campus will be used for a very small group of employees. It is expected this list will be limited to UBPD and a small number of Facilities positions. Departments will communicate directly to those employees. Non-exempt employees with this designation who are required to come to campus during this period will receive their normal pay for time worked plus Administrative Leave pay for the same number of hours.
5. What happens if an employee who has been designated as “essential for pandemic circumstances” refuses to come to work?
Essential employees who do not report as directed should be directed to use accrued leave and depending on the circumstances could be subject to disciplinary action.
6. Are student employees permitted to work when the campus moves to fully online classes?
Yes, remotely. During the week of March 16, students may work on campus or may transition to telework. This will be dependent on the student’s department and role. Starting March 23, students who are able to complete their work remotely may continue to work. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. To determine how an employee will be paid, see question 9.
7. If an employee is designated for telework, do they have to work during this period?
Yes. Because the campus remains operational, employees designated to telework are expected to do so. During this period of telework for emergency conditions, the restriction to telework while providing dependent care is lifted. Employees may telework while providing care for dependents to the extent possible. This may require alternative work schedules in order to accomplish required tasks.
Employees may be assigned to telework less than their standard hours due to the work they are able to perform remotely. In that case, employees would record work hours for the time worked and Administrative Leave (SAL) for the remainder of their standard schedule.
8. What if an employee designated to telework becomes ill or otherwise cannot perform their assigned telework?
An employee designated to telework who is unable to do so will be required to use accrued leave in accordance with standard university policies. These employees must inform their supervisor of such.
9. How will employees be paid?
Pay for employees will be dependent upon the category of employee and whether or not telework is available based on the work performed. Details for each category of employee are listed below.
1. Regular instructional faculty: Instructional faculty will telework and should continue to record duty days on their timesheet. If a faculty member becomes ill and cannot perform their responsibilities, they must inform their supervisor.
2. Regular exempt staff, non-exempt staff, librarians, and non-instructional faculty: employees in positions able to telework are expected to telework. Some positions may not be appropriate for full-time telework or able to telework at all. Employees should record work hours as appropriate for work performed. Employees unable to telework or who telework less than full-time should record administrative leave (SAL) for time not worked.
3. Contingent II employees: employees in positions able to telework are expected to do so. Some positions may not be appropriate for full-time telework or able to telework at all. Employees should record work hours as appropriate for work performed. Employees unable to telework or who telework less than full-time should record administrative leave (SAL) for time not worked.
4. Adjunct faculty: adjuncts will continue to teach, with face-to-face classes moving online. Adjunct faculty will continue to be paid in the usual manner. The adjunct payroll originally scheduled for pay period ending March 31 (15-week classes) has been moved up to pay period ending March 17. An adjunct who becomes ill and cannot teach their class must inform their department chair / program director.
5. Graduate Assistants: GAs are paid via tuition benefits and stipend. GAs who can telework should do so. GAs who cannot telework will continue to receive their stipend. No special recording of time is required.
6. Contingent I employees: employees in positions able to telework are expected to do so. Employees should record hours worked in the usual manner. C1 employees who have sick leave may use their sick leave hours to continue in paid status during this period of time even if they are not sick. This is a temporary change to the sick leave policy. If an employee does not have paid leave available or has exhausted all of their paid leave, the University is committed to keeping employees whole. Supervisors may record work time on the timesheet for the regularly scheduled hours of a C1 employee. We ask that the supervisor add a comment on the timesheet indicating which hours were given as an accommodation during this time.
7. College Work Study (CWS): student employees who are able to telework should do so. If a CWS teleworks, the timesheet should reflect actual hours worked. CWS who have sick leave available on their timesheet may use their sick leave hours to continue in paid status even if they are not sick. This is a temporary change to the sick leave policy. If an employee does not have paid leave available or has exhausted all of their paid leave, the University is committed to keeping employees whole. Supervisors may record work time on the timesheet for the regularly scheduled hours of a CWS employee. Supervisors must ensure that the hours worked do not exceed the award amount. This is a temporary change to Department of Ed restrictions on paying CWS for time not worked. We ask that the supervisor add a comment on the timesheet indicating which hours were given as an accommodation during this time.
8. Student Assistants: student employees who are able to telework should do so. If a student employee teleworks, the timesheet should reflect actual hours worked. Student Assistants who have sick leave available on their timesheet may use their sick leave hours to continue in paid status even if they are not sick. This is a temporary change to the sick leave policy. If an employee does not have paid leave available or has exhausted all of their paid leave, the University is committed to keeping employees whole. Supervisors may record work time on the timesheet for the regularly scheduled hours of a student assistant. We ask that the supervisor add a comment on the timesheet indicating which hours were given as an accommodation during this time.
10. Do timesheets still need to be completed?
Yes, timesheets will still need to be completed and approved. Employees that are working remotely will need to complete their timesheets with the usual supervisor approval. The timesheets of employees that are not working at all will need to be completed by their supervisors. In order for payroll to be processed remotely, the timesheets deadlines will be advanced one day, i.e., timesheets usually due on Wednesdays are now due on Tuesdays.