Important Pay and Time Off Considerations Related to the Coronavirus
March 23, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Brandeis University is committed to the health and safety of our students, our employees, our families and the broader community. As President Liebowitz, Provost Lynch and Executive Vice President Uretsky mentioned in an earlier message today, we are determined to do our best to ensure that changes to our operations caused by the coronavirus will not impact our existing commitments to pay and continue existing benefits for our employees. At this time, therefore, we will honor existing commitments for our benefits-eligible* faculty and staff for the foreseeable future. This will include staff paid from grants, in compliance with federal guidance. These policies will be revisited as the situation evolves.
We encourage managers to contact the Office of Human Resources for assistance in working through the impact of COVID-19 on non-benefits-eligible staff of the University, and for faculty, how they can satisfy the terms of their appointment. In some cases, these employees may be eligible for statutory-provided benefits. We recognize that these events are affecting our community in new ways that will likely require a review of many on a case-by-case basis. We are also closely monitoring new legislation that has been introduced by the Federal Government that may impact the benefits that we offer our employees related to the coronavirus.
The length of this crisis is difficult to predict at this point, as are the economic ramifications and the impact on our campus operations. There may come a point where we need to reassess these commitments considering the length of time of the crisis or significantly changing circumstances, but our hope and plan is to weather this crisis together as a united community.
With the Governor's order of a closure of all non-essential businesses effective Tuesday March 24, the University will reduce its operations to essential services to support distance learning, provision of meals for students on campus, or other essential student support functions, as well as research animal care, and safe operation of critical equipment. As we move most employees to work remotely, a limited number of employees will be notified that they must work on site. Some staff may need to take on different responsibilities as we experience service reductions in limited areas of the campus. If you have not been told to report to work on site and do not have a remote work from home plan approved by your supervisor, please contact your supervisor immediately. In the meanwhile, while you wait for a work from home assignment you should spend your designated work time on professional development activities that relate to your work at the University. The University will continue to monitor and update its policies, depending on new information provided by local, state and federal officials.
Managers and staff should continue to review job assignments, department operations and work expectations so our staff can continue to stay productive, engaged, and paid.
To provide additional support to our benefits-eligible employees who may be impacted by the coronavirus, we are implementing new time off procedures to supplement existing policies. Specifically:
- If you are healthy and able to work, but no alternative work or assignments are available, the University will provide emergency paid time off through April 17.
- If you have been directed by a doctor or state/federal agency to self-quarantine or self-isolate or are caring for a qualified dependent who is self-quarantining or self-isolating, you will have 10 work days of paid time. This paid time will be provided up-front and before the use of any accrued and unused time-off. If you feel well enough to work remotely and telework is available to you, this does not prohibit you from working.
- Offering eligible employees the option of using 10 additional work days of unaccrued (borrowed) sick time in cases where all other time has been exhausted.
Please continue to visit the Brandeis COVID-19 website for up-to-date information and guidance. To help manage stress and anxiety related to COVID-19, please visit the CDC website Coping with Stress or the Brandeis Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (username 'brandeis university' and password 'guest') or by phone: 800-828-6025.
We realize that you may have questions or need guidance with this information and we encourage staff and managers to reach out to the Office of Human Resources for assistance: 781-736-4474 or email@example.com.
These are unprecedented times and we are grateful for the incredible work of our faculty and staff. Your resilience and support to ensure that Brandeis is successful in carrying out its mission, while protecting our students, faculty and staff, has been truly impressive and heartwarming.
My best regards to everyone,
Vice President of Human Resources
* Benefits-eligible staff, benefits-eligible part-time faculty, and benefits-eligible Post-Doctoral Associates. Other faculty are eligible for time off under the terms of their appointment.