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Coronavirus Information

Coronavirus Information and Resources

Campus Messages

Supporting Employees and Business Continuity

Posted on: Monday, March 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM

Dear Employees:

As we navigate the uncertainty of coronavirus, we are planning for continuity of business and administrative functions. Colleges are expected to be open, providing continuity of operations, including support services to our students even as many may be remote from campus. Residence Halls are open and some students have elected to remain here. However, we understand the difficulty that employees and their families will face in the wake of school and child-care closures. We also want to take responsible steps to promote social distancing practices and reduce the density of employees on our staff.

Effective immediately, employees may submit to their supervisor or department head a request to work, temporarily, from an off-site location. We recognize not every position will lend itself to this type of arrangement.  In addition, this temporary request is subject to revision, suspension or revocation based on future guidance by the College or the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) and/or SUNY.

Making this request

An employee should initiate a conversation with their supervisor, if they wish to and believe they can perform their duties from an alternate work location. Employees can make this request for reasons related to managing the COVID-19 virus, which may include the closure of schools or child-care facilities.  

Underlying Health Conditions or Compromised Immunity:

Employees seeking temporary off-site work arrangements due to their own or a family member’s underlying health condition or compromised immunity, should consult with their health care provider about whether there are special measures necessary to support their well-being.  If those recommendations impact your ability to meet your obligation or work schedule, please complete the ADA accommodation form. Benefits staff will contact employees who submit the form and they will work with you, supervisors and department leadership to help identify appropriate processes and support measures.

I’m a supervisor, how do I support this program?

  • Supervisors should be confident that the employee’s off-site work location is adequately conducive to complete the core duties assigned under this temporary arrangement. The work would be performed during the normal operating hours of the college (unless otherwise specified) and the employee must be available for work-related communication via on-line or by phone as provided by the supervisor.
  • Register for planning support from HRDI!  We are also pleased to offer a few workshops to help departments plan. All workshops will be delivered via WebEex. Monday, March 16, from  2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, from  10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., and Wednesday, March 18, from  2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Still have questions? Any Vice President or department leader who has questions or concerns about designing or assigning off-site work should contact Jodi Papa at papaj@newpaltz.edu. Vice Presidents or divisional leaders will approve or deny requests made under this temporary program.  

What should I do when planning with an employee?

  • Document a specific work schedule, including workdays and hours supported by the temporary arrangement.
  • A clear list or articulation of assignments, projects and/or task to be completed under this temporary arrangement.
  • Clearly identify when employees are expected to participate in department meetings, conference calls, or supervisory meetings through web or phone.
  • Ensure that any employee whose work includes confidential or secure information are provided college-issued equipment and access to the college VPN for secure data transmittal during the temporary off-site arrangement. Employees must report any suspected breech of information immediately.
  • Ensure that forward facing offices have adequate staffing to continue to meet needs that can’t be met through on-line or phone interaction. Consider rotating schedules for employees to provide flexibility where possible.

To be observed during the temporary off-site arrangement

Employees who wish to be relieved of responsibility for work on a particular day or days will advise their supervisor per protocols established in the department and charge vacation and/or personal leave (if applicable).

Employees who are unable to work due to illness will charge sick leave (or family sick leave if caring for a sick family member) and will report their absences to their supervisor as per protocols established by the department. Supervisors should complete a notification form which will notify Benefits if an employee has been absent more than 3 days.

Employees may be reasonably expected to provide their own equipment, including phone and internet service, if that is necessary to complete the temporary off-site arrangement. 

Employees will be responsible for the safety and security of all College property, such as computers, printers, fax machines and other equipment loaned to an employee while it is not on University premises.

Message originally distributed via: Campus Update