Human Resource Manual Temporary Remote Working

Policy No.: 8-14 This policy applies to:
Policy Name: Temporary Remote Working Non-exempt staff
Effective Date: 03/16/2020 Exempt staff
Revised:   Faculty

This policy is to address the university’s need to temporarily, provide a flexible, safe, and productive response to the evolving coronavirus situation while maintaining the highest level of service to our students and our community. We are requiring that all employees that are not essential, on-campus personnel to work from home.

The university’s regular work day will remain the same when working remotely. Employees are required to respond to their supervisor in a timely manner as if they were on campus. Employees are expected to coordinate and collaborate with your coworkers as usual.

Your supervisor will establish communication protocols for your department. The university will be flexible and ask that our employees understand that workloads and work hours may need to be adjusted during this unprecedented situation in order to maintain our service to our students.

Employees assignments may need to be adjusted to better suit the evolving needs of the university. Employees will need to be flexible as their skills may be needed in new and creative ways or other areas of the university that they have not previously supported. This adjustment is in line with the “other duties as assigned” statement included in all university job descriptions.

To help employees maintain their performance while working remotely, we advise our employees to:

·        Employees should choose a working space that enables them to focus on work.

·        Employees will need to have a working phone and/or internet available.

·        Employees will be available and attentive to their job duties during working hours.

·        Adhere to break and attendance schedules agreed upon with their supervisor.

·        Work with their supervisor to ensure their schedules coincide with those of their team members for as long as is necessary to complete their job duties effectively.

·        Employees and supervisors should determine the current short-term and long-term goals. Employees and supervisors should frequently meet online to discuss progress and results.

If you are deemed to be essential on-campus personnel, your supervisor will notify you of your status. If you are deemed to be essential on-campus personnel and have an underlying health condition that potential exposure to COVID-19 may be a concern, contact Heather Blanchard at hdblanch@loyno.edu or 504.864.7896. 


Remote Working Tips

·        Communicate more, not less - Communicate early and often. Utilize multiple platforms for communication, i.e. Google Chat, Video Calls, Hangouts Meetings, Zoom Videoconferencing, text, phone calls. Find the best methods to collaborate and stay in touch with your team. You’re not alone, reach out and engage with your coworkers. Utilize face-to-face apps to better connect with your team where possible.

·        Communicate expectations to anyone else who is home with you. Be clear, but flexible, in what it expected while you work remotely. Talk about your availability, need to focus on your work, schedule, etc.

·        Set up your workspace – if possible have a dedicated space in your home for work – so it feels like going to work when you enter that space.

·        Set a regular schedule, include a routine for starting and ending your work day just like you would on-campus. Working remotely can make it easy to lose track of what time it is throughout the day. Get up and get dressed comfortably to help transition to an “I’m at work” mindset at home.

·        Schedule your breaks and take them. Stop for lunch and step away from your work area so you can come back refreshed. Make your lunch the night before or in the morning, as if you were leaving for work.

·        Plan your day and your work to take advantage of how you work best to manage your work flow.

·        Determine what helps you stay focused in your remote work environment. For example, do you prefer music or white noise in the background or do you prefer to work in silence? Do you need natural light from a window or a different kind of light? Do you need voices in the background? Leave the TV on low volume in another room or away from where it is in your line of sight.

·        Take time to care for yourself – sometimes it’s hard to step away from work at the end of the day. Step outside and take a walk if possible.

If you and/or your supervisor have questions or concerns about working remotely, please contact Heather Blanchard at 504-864-7896. 


Essential On-Campus Personnel FAQ’s

Regular Timekeeping, Pay and Leave Policies

Except where the university communicates adjustments, regular timekeeping, pay and leave policies apply during this modified operation period.

Requests for Reasonable Accommodations

Department heads and supervisors should refer employee requests for reasonable accommodation to Human Resources which will follow the University policy 2-4, Employees with Disabilities. Please remember employees requesting accommodation may not use the specific term “accommodation” or may simply provide information simply indicating that they are having difficulty performing their job duties. You will still need to refer the employee to Heather Blanchard in Human Resources. If there is any question that the employee may require an accommodation, consult with Human Resources. Information related to accommodation requests, medical conditions, and/or disability-related issues, including information relating to potential COVID-19 diagnoses or quarantines, must be kept confidential per University policy.

Non-Discrimination

Department heads and supervisors are reminded not to discriminate on any unlawful basis, including in the assignment of work, decisions regarding working remotely, disciplinary matters, scheduling, or other terms and conditions of employment. Though through this time there may be a heightened risk from COVID-19 to certain populations, such as older persons and person with underlying medical conditions, department heads and supervisors should not assume that any class of employees or any employee in particular is any less capable of performing work under the current circumstances. 

Prohibited Medical Inquiries and Opinions

Under applicable law, supervisors and department heads generally cannot inquire about employees’ medical conditions, diagnoses or treatment. This includes instructing employees to seek medical care or requiring employees to monitor their temperature for fever. However, department heads and supervisors may ask employees about symptoms of COVID-19 because of the direct threat it poses to the workplace. If you believe an employee is exhibiting such symptoms, contact Human Resources immediately. Supervisors and department heads must refrain from offering medical opinions. Information regarding COVID-19 and the university’s emergency response official sources and posted on the Loyola coronavirus information page and will be provided in official communications. 

Refusal to Work Due to COVID-19

If an individual refuses to report to work, department heads and supervisors should contact Human Resources. The University will attempt to determine the reason for the individual’s refusal to work. If the individual or family member has been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, the university will follow the process in place at this time. If the employee indicates a need for a potential accommodation, please refer the employee to Human Resources.

If the employee’s refusal to work is made on a different basis, the university will attempt to determine if there is a health and safety issue or other legitimate concern that may need to be addressed.  In the event that the university determines that there is no imminent danger that needs to be addressed, the employee may be required to report to work, may be permitted to use available and appropriate paid time off, or may be granted unpaid leave at the university’s discretion. If an employee is required to report to work and does not do so, then department heads and supervisors should consult with Human Resources to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

Sick Leave & COVID-19

If an employee informs a department head or supervisor that they have been exposed to and/or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been quarantined, the employee must be directed not to come to work and to immediately contact their health care provider.  Then the department head or supervisor must immediately contact Heather Blanchard or Rachel Dirmann in Human Resources. Sick time will be applicable to such absences and employees should be directed to follow regular sick time protocols, which will include providing a medical certification before returning to work.

If an employee reports that they are not feeling well for other reasons, they should be directed to follow regular sick time protocols for contacting their supervisor and not to come to work until they are well.

For employees who have to miss work as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis (whether the person diagnosed is the employee or a family member), or other serious medical condition, leave under the Family and Medical Leave policy (“FMLA leave”) may be available.  Please contact Heather Blanchard in Human Resources in these circumstances, or if an employee inquires about FMLA leave.

Exposure to COVID-19 at Work

If a department head or supervisor is informed by an employee that the employee believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 at work, please immediately contact Heather Blanchard in Human Resources at 504-864-7896.  If an employee begins to experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at work, they must be directed to leave work immediately and seek medical care. Contact Heather Blanchard in Human Resources as soon as possible.