USCB Coronavirus (COVID-19)
May 8, 2020 UPDATE
Remote work to continue
Gov. Henry McMaster announced Friday, May 1 that the statewide “Work-or-Home” order was lifted, and voluntary status would resume on Monday, May 4. We are currently working on a plan that would allow for a safe return of employees, allowing flexibility for those with family responsibilities, health vulnerabilities and other concerns. While this plan is being developed and executed, we will continue the strategy of remote work assignments for personnel whose presence on campus is not essential.
All USCB employees received a survey that will help inform our planning. The university's highest priority is the health and safety of our employees, therefore our return must be carefully coordinated with that goal in mind. We ask that employees submit feedback through the survey, and continue to coordinating with their departments and supervisors.
Keep Working: Remote Working Tools and Strategies
How do I know if I am supposed to come to work?
USCB is limiting operations on each campus to employees performing essential services only until further notice. Employees are instructed to continue remotely if feasible. Employees working remotely should maintain a complete log of times worked and what work was performed. Also, continue to submit time and leave appropriately via ITAMS.
How do I report my time?
In some cases, it might be appropriate to allow for a combination of both working time and leave time, annual, sick or leave without pay to account for normally scheduled working hours. An employee should not record remote working time for periods when they are not performing some type of authorized work. The requirement to record applicable leave applies to both Exempt and Non-Exempt employees.
It is important that the work done by employees remotely is monitored by the supervisor and the work takes place during the employee’s normally scheduled hours, unless other arrangements have been approved. Any requests for overtime or compensatory time must be approved by the supervisor in advance. Departments may institute other requirements before allowing employees to work remotely, such as higher-level approval by a department head.
Agencies should think creatively about telecommuting and ask managers to identify projects that may be outside employee’s normal job duties, but serve the agency’s mission and can be performed at home. If staff are not essential to keeping offices open and continuing to provide services and telecommuting is not possible for the employee, leave-accruing employees may use sick leave and any other form of accrued leave.
As a reminder, employees may not be compensated for time not worked. All employees that are not in the workplace must either be telecommuting, using accrued or advanced leave, or in an unpaid leave status.
Employees who submit weekly time sheets (Non-Exempt Employees) in positions that earn leave (i.e FTE, RGP and time-limited) should report time in the following manner:
- All time actually worked should be reported in the normal manner, using ITAMS code: WORKED-Hours Worked.
- Time not worked as a result of the campus closure and the social distancing directive
should be reported using the following COVID codes:
- During the COVID-19 event, all leave earning employees are authorized to use available sick leave to cover time
not worked, even if they are not diagnosed with the virus.
- Employees who use Sick Leave should use code: “S/L COVID S/L COVID Illness”
- Employees may also elect to use compensatory time, annual leave or leave without pay
depending on their preference and available balances. Earned compensatory time should be used first.
- Employees who use compensatory time should use code: “COMP-TAKEN Comp Time Taken”
- Employees who use annual leave should use code: “A/L COVID A/L COVID Illness”
- Employees who use leave without pay should use code: “LWOP COVID Unpaid Leave COVID Illness”
- Employees who are caring for a family member who is ill may use code: “FSL COVID S/L-Family COVID Illness”
- During the COVID-19 event, all leave earning employees are authorized to use available sick leave to cover time not worked, even if they are not diagnosed with the virus.
Employees who report time on bi-monthly basis (Exempt Employees) and are in positions that earn leave (i.e. FTE, RGP, and time-limited) are to report time not worked using the COVID codes in the manner described above for Non-Exempt employees.
Employees with essential duties that do not support remote work may continue to work on campus or stay home but take earned leave or unpaid leave without consequences. Employees that are unsure about their situation are encouraged to contact their immediate supervisor to clarify their status.
All supervisors should use the Health Status Form to evaluate and document an employee’s clearance to continue to work on campus. If an employee answers yes to any of the questions on the Health Status Form, the employee will not be allowed to enter any USCB building. Supervisors will contact the employee and work to establish an alternative/remote work assignment if feasible. Completed forms must be submitted to USCB HR for inclusion in personnel files.
If essential duties can only be completed on campus and the employee is authorized to come in instead of taking leave, please follow CDC protocol to help reduce exposure—frequent handwashing, social distancing, sanitizing, etc.
All employees – Essential or Non-Essential that are in the “High-Risk Groups” are directed to stay off-campus.
How do I know if I am in a “High-Risk Group”?
The CDC has determined certain populations are at higher risk of complications from coronavirus (COVID-19). The High-Risk Group includes (but is not limited to) older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions or immunity disorders. Please visit the CDC to learn if you are part of the High-Risk Group.
How do I report my time?
What about the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
Columbia HR has provided a memo that introduces this new benefit as well as a flyer published by the Department of Labor with details about the additional paid sick leave and expanded FMLA benefits available to employees through the FFCRA.
More information will be shared soon with employees regarding how to access and use the additional paid sick leave and FMLA benefits through our ITAMS reporting system.
The USCB HR employees are working remotely but are available to assist you with questions you have about paid leave available through FFCRA. Please review the information linked above and reach out to USCB HR via email at HR@uscb.edu if you have questions. If you prefer to talk to a USCB HR staff member by phone, please provide your name and a phone number where you can be reached in your email and someone will return a call to you as soon as possible.
What if I run out of accrued sick leave?
For leave earning employees who do not have available sick leave, sick leave may be advanced. HR 1.06, Sick Leave, allows the advancement of up to 15 days of sick leave with the approval of the Vice President for Human Resources or their designee. During the COVID-19 event, approval will be expedited. Documentation from a licensed health care provider will not be required. All advanced leave will be repaid as the employee earns future sick leave. Certain employees who meet required criteria may be eligible for leave from the university leave pool.
Employees who desire to apply for an advancement of sick leave should contact USCB HR at HR@uscb.edu.
If an employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family tests positive for the COVID19 virus, the employee is eligible to apply for sick days from the leave pool in accordance with HR Leave Transfer Policy 1.10.
Temporary employees are not eligible for leave with pay for absences from work. To the extent possible, departments should be flexible and creative as they consider options for allowing employees to work remotely to maintain operations and services. Please communicate these expectations to your managers.
Employees without earned leave time and not working on campus or approved to work remotely by their supervisor must enter LWOP – COVID for unpaid leave.
Temporary Staff – Only hours actually worked on campus or remotely should be reported as hours worked via ITAMS.
What about Paychecks?
The Controller’s Office will still be processing payroll on time each pay period during the University closure. Therefore, it is essential that hourly employees and their supervisors continue to submit and approve their hours timely with ITAMS.
Supervisors should be flexible to assist any employees that may not have online access to ensure timeliness of reporting. The deadline for submitting hours to be paid on the March 31st payroll is Monday, March 23rd. We will continue to send out reminders each period for the duration of the University closure. Please monitor your email as you are able.
Employees not already signed up for payroll direct deposit should do so immediately via PeopleSoft Employee Self Service under the Payroll title to avoid a delay in receiving your paycheck. Those not enrolled in Direct Deposit for payroll will have their paper paycheck mailed to your current mailing address on file. Please email HR@uscb.edu to verify your current mailing address. Your check will not be mailed until you verify this information which will cause a delay in receipt of your paper paycheck.
Will leave time during this emergency be forgiven as in the past with weather closures?
No decision has been made at this time (as of March 20th). This FAQ will be updated when the status changes.
Where do I go for Updated Information