Are there any reductions to the university workforce?
Regrettably, yes, there is a workforce reduction policy that includes reduced schedules, furloughs and layoffs. See more information in the April 20 message to faculty and staff. Please know that we will offer support to everyone affected by these policies to help them navigate the process of applying for assistance. We will do all that we can to bring back furloughed employees as quickly and fully as possible, and to keep the number of people affected by these changes to an absolute minimum.
How is the university addressing the safety of its employees and contractors whose physical presence is required on campus to deliver essential services?
The health and safety of the campus community and our partners remains our highest priority as we continue to deliver essential services associated with our mission of teaching, research and patient care. In all of our continued operations, the university is following the guidance of public health officials and our own infectious disease experts at the School of Medicine. Operational units that are still delivering services on campus are utilizing safety protocols for their employees specific to the pandemic, and these are regularly reviewed and modified when new information or guidance is available.
Supplemental safety efforts have been implemented by the university and our contractors, which include job-site symptom pre-screening and reporting systems, social distancing, the use of additional personal protective equipment as applicable, and robust response protocols. We encourage employees and contractors in non-medical settings to wear fabric face masks when out in public, per CDC recommendations.
Contractors are required to have written safety protocols in place to address the safety of their employees and the campus community while working on campus. We expect our contractors to actively monitor their operations on a regular basis to ensure they are complying with these protocols and applicable orders and guidance from local jurisdictions and public health officials.
Do employees need to be screened before returning to work?
We are no longer using travel history to determine whether individuals are restricted from coming to campus. Our focus has shifted to monitoring symptoms and diagnoses. See COVID-19 restrictions and screening for campus access.
Under what scenarios is an employee eligible to use the 10 days of special paid time off for circumstances related to COVID-19?
- You self-quarantine or are quarantined by a public health agency.
- You were diagnosed as having COVID-19.
- You are caring for an eligible family member who is self-quarantined or has COVID-19.
- You have children who are sent home due to school closings.
- You are returning from travel to an area of risk. Refer to the university’s interim travel policies. However, given its important role in delivering health care services to the region, the School of Medicine will distribute a separate policy regarding travel and vacation.
- Your manager is concerned about your health and tells you to take time off.
What steps should an employee take for scenarios related to COVID-19?
Follow the appropriate steps for COVID-19 restrictions and screening for campus access.
Employees who must be out due to COVID-19 related circumstances are asked to take the following work-related steps:
- Notify your manager of your situation and discuss with them options for working remotely if appropriate.
- Record your absence in HRMS. Should you exhaust the 10 days of special time off due to COVID-19 circumstances, you will then have access to your current time off balances, under applicable university time off policies. Where it applies, pay from workers compensation will be applied first.
- If you are required to quarantine, before returning to work on campus follow the appropriate steps for COVID-19 restrictions and screening for campus access.
If I need to be out due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, how should I record my leave?
All full-time faculty and staff are eligible for up to 10 work days of special paid time off to be used in the case of quarantine, self-quarantine, illness or family care needs related to COVID-19 exposure or other related scenarios. This is a special one-time bank of paid time off for use during the current pandemic, called “HR Approved Time Off” in HRMS. Part-time employees will also be eligible for this benefit on a prorated basis. When exhausted, employees will be able to use regular time off policies available to them.
What happens if an employee has a dependent who is at home with a pre-existing health condition that makes them more vulnerable to communicable diseases and needs to be a caregiver?
They should discuss their situation with their supervisor and ask if they can work remotely. Managers are encouraged to have employees work remotely wherever possible considering the nature of your work and departmental business needs. Refer to the university’s telecommuting policy, then discuss with your supervisor. Review childcare options. Contact UNUM, as FMLA may apply.
What information does an employee need to provide to the university/their manager provide prior to returning to work if self-quarantined or quarantined?
Employees should follow the appropriate steps for COVID-19 restrictions and screening for campus access.
If an employee is sick and does not have sick time available, what should they do?
Employees will have access to up to 10 days of special pay for COVID-19 related scenarios. After the special bank is exhausted, regular time off policies apply. Under the provisions of the university’s communicable diseases policy, employees can be advanced sick and vacation time from future accruals.
Can an employee work from home if they are quarantined?
Employees who are self-quarantined or quarantined should contact their manager to discuss the option of telecommuting.
What are the expectations of employees when they telecommute?
If approved, employees will be asked to follow the university’s telecommuting policy and be paid regular pay for any hours worked. If you are a bi-weekly employee, overtime may apply for hours worked over 40 hours in a work week, and you should seek prior approval from your supervisor before doing so.
Telecommuting must be approved in advance by your departmental management and may end at any time. Management may define what is considered to be essential services to be performed on campus.
Please note that:
- When you telecommute, all normal workplace policies apply.
- Your work schedule is the same, unless you have agreed to a different schedule with your manager.
- Computer use and data security policies and practices must be followed.
For new employees:
At this time, we are requiring the following:
- Before your start date, HR will send you a Washington University health services* form. You will be asked to complete and gather immunization records and return these to Washington University health services*.
- Washington University health services* will confirm with management that the new employee is cleared to start.
- HR will schedule you for a Washington University health services* appointment.
- Your I-9 will continue to be initiated electronically (supporting documents must still be viewed in-person by currently authorized individuals).
- Background checks will continue to be done online and the current drug screen process will be followed.
- New employee orientation will be held on the regular schedule in accordance with university event parameters (reducing onsite participants in combination with Zoom).
* Employees located on the Danforth Campus: Habif Health and Wellness Center. Employees located at the School of Medicine: Occupational Health.
- Danforth Campus students and employees, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Medical Campus students and employees, email email@example.com.
Are there resources available for telecommuting employees?
Visit Information Technology’s Telecommuting During COVID-19 page for useful tips and resources.
I have a question about parking. Where can I find that information?
The Parking and Transportation Services team has been working through a variety of options to meet the needs of the university community during this challenging and unprecedented time. Check the Parking and Transportation page for the latest information and updates.
Are university events canceled?
We are following guidance from St. Louis City and County leaders who have placed limits on the number of people who may gather in one space. Many events have been canceled or postponed. Contact event organizers or check the university calendar for updates on specific events.
Are the libraries open?
Most library locations will remain open with limited hours and access through Friday, March 20, and then will be closed through at least April 30. Note: The Becker Medical Library and Brown School Library are not adhering to this schedule. For more information, visit the Libraries website.
What counseling and support resources are available?
We understand some community members may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation or have concerns about friends and family living in areas currently experiencing the outbreak. Here are some available resources:
- Faculty and staff may contact the university’s employee assistance program, Work-Life Solutions.
- Support for individuals affected by bias is also available, and any member of the community can report a bias incident or related concerns.
- Please see a message about health and well-being from Kirk Dougher, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Support and Wellness.