Alternative Operations Plan for Nonessential Employees
COVID-19 – Updated Tuesday, March 17, 2020
The University of New Orleans, as a first priority, is committed to protecting the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff at our university. Our continued monitoring of the spread of the COVID-19 virus makes clear that proactive guidance to our community members is essential. Recognizing the uniqueness of our university, we aim to provide guidance that is both effective and flexible. Until further notice, access to campus will be restricted and only essential University employees in areas such as Public Safety, Housing, Dining,and Facilities should report to work on campus. A number of campus buildings will be closed until further notice, but remote operations are continuing to the greatest extent possible. Remember, we still have students on campus and we must continue to support them. Given the fluidity of the current crisis, considerable discretion shall be exercised as to the most appropriate immediate actions to be taken.
Guidance for Employee Teleworking
This guidance is for mandatory telework arrangements employed, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. As a business necessity, all employees whose presence on campus is considered nonessential (full-time faculty and staff) are now required to work and conduct business off-campus at their home or other appropriate locations. Employees are required to designate an alternate workplace appropriate for the completion of their job duties. This may include the employee’s home or other private and isolated workspaces. Teleworking is at the direction and discretion of the University. Employees must immediately return to their regular work location when directed by the University.
The following sections provide guidance to teleworking employees and supervisors of teleworking employees:
Instructions for Notifying Human Resources
- Supervisors must notify Human Resources if their employees will telework or take appropriate leave. Please email Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating their intentions;
- All requests should identify the alternate location used for teleworking.
Hours of Work and Leave
- The teleworking employee is expected to maintain their same work schedule, the same level of availability, levels of production, and quality of work as though the employee was still working at the primary worksite.
- Teleworking may not be used solely for child or adult care or to perform other personal business during work hours, or for any purpose for which leave should be requested. If an employee is tending to a dependent child or adult and not performing official duties, the employee must take leave as appropriate.
- Should circumstances arise whereby an employee cannot work at the alternate work location, i.e., loss of electricity, home emergencies, etc., the employee must contact their supervisor and they may be required to report to the primary work location or a different designated and approved alternate work location, or appropriate leave may be granted.
- Teleworking may not be used in place of annual, sick, Family Medical Leave, or any other type of leave. Requests to use leave must be approved in following University policy and departmental guidelines.
- Employees may work compensatory time/overtime only with supervisory approval under University policies. Employees who work unapproved overtime/compensatory time are subject to disciplinary action.
Responsibilities of Teleworking Supervisors
Supervisors whose employees are teleworking shall be responsible for the following:
- Establish expectations for and monitoring of employee performance;
- Ensure that the employee has the appropriate equipment to telework;
- Establish how the teleworker will maintain regular contact with office coworkers and supervisors;
- Determine how the department will handle restricted access materials, security issues, and taking electronic or paper records from the primary workplace;
- Ensure that practices are consistent and compliant with state and University procedure and state and federal law in the use of technology;
- Ensure that individual work schedules and reporting for non-exempt employees comply with FLSA regulations and University procedure.
Responsibilities of Teleworkers
Employees who telework shall follow all guidelines of this procedure when working in the alternate work location.
- Consistently meet all performance expectations and standards set forth and agreed upon by their supervisor;
- Maintain satisfactory evaluations, attendance, and conduct;
- Follow all agreed-upon regulations concerning communication and reporting expectations;
- Follow all agreed-upon regulations concerning working hours, maintenance of equipment, and workplace safety and incident reporting.
Guidance for Employees Unable to Telework
Employees who are ill for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 are required to take off work using normal sick leave procedures. The use of compensatory and annual leave upon exhaustion of sick leave may be granted upon request to the Human Resources Department.
The following guidance is for full-time and part-time classified and unclassified employees who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 crisis. This guidance applies through April 30, 2020, unless extended by State Civil Service.
Exemption - Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Governor's Proclamation No. 43 JBE 2020, Section 4, emergency responders including law enforcement officers are excluded from receiving paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion. Therefore, the following guidance does not apply to essential University Police Department personnel.
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became effective on April 1, 2020. It creates two new types of paid leave directly related to the COVID-19 crisis: (1) Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and (2) Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion (EFMLA).
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
Eligibility - Employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, separate and apart from any accrued sick leave balance they may carry, for any of the following reasons:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID19 or an individual who has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for his child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition that may arise, as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. No such specification has been made yet.
FMLA Expansion (EFMLA)
Eligibility - An employee must be employed for at least 30 calendar days to be eligible for the expansion of FMLA. If an employee is unable to work or telework because the employee needs to care for a son or daughter under age 18 due to a school/daycare closing or a place of care becoming unavailable due to reasons related to COVID-19, the employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave assuming the employee provides required documentation.
Duration of Leave - EFMLA is not additional leave on top of the 12 weeks already available under the original Family and Medical Leave Act. Rather, it is the same 12-week allotment, but with the expansion being in terms of who can take leave, for what purposes leave may be taken, and pay. If an employee has already taken FMLA leave before April 1, 2020, only the balance of the leave is available for EFMLA purposes. Also, EFMLA expires on December 31, 2020, so the FMLA expansion is limited in duration.
Paid Leave – EFMLA provides paid leave for weeks three through twelve of the EFMLA absence.
Interaction between Emergency Family Medical Leave Act Expansion, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and the Civil Service Rules
First 10 Work Days of Leave - The first 10 work days during which an employee utilizes EFMLA may be, at the employee's option:
- Or the employee may use EPSL;
- Or the employee may elect to delay use of EPSL and use accrued leave;
- Or the employee may use EPSL and supplement it with accrued vacation leave (or sick leave as long as permissible under Civil Service Chapter 27) to make oneself whole.
If you have questions, please contact the UNO Human Resources Department at email@example.com.