Will UTA continue to telework when the summer/fall semester begins?
To the extent possible, without lessening the ability to provide services to our students, employees, and visitors, supervisors are encouraged to permit employees to continue to telework. Many employees and departments have been able to successfully telework during the Spring semester. However, this has also been facilitated by no on campus courses occurring and limited services being provided to the remaining students on campus. With on campus classes starting back up and students returning to campus, many employees will no longer be able to telework on a full time basis, but will need to return to campus. Supervisors should work with employees on a case-by-case basis to determine the ability to telework.
I have health concerns or am part of a high-risk group. Will I be required to return to campus?
UTA is a Community that Cares and taking care of our vulnerable populations is a high priority. As a state agency with a fiduciary duty over public funds, UTA is also severely limited in paying employees who are not working. The CDC has determined that individuals in certain demographic populations and/or those with certain medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness related to COVID-19. Those groups/conditions may include:
- Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
- People with HIV
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney disease being
- treated with dialysis
- Severe obesity
- Being immunocompromised
Employees who have been instructed to return to work at UTA facilities and have concerns about doing so because of potential higher risk from illness related to COVID-19 should discuss their concerns with their supervisor (it is not necessary to share specific medical information) and options available to support the work needing to be done while supporting the health and safety of the employee. Supervisors should work with employees who feel unsafe returning to campus, whether due to health-related reasons or for any other reason, to determine if there are ways to alleviate safety concerns by working remotely, office restructuring, schedule rotations, etc. Special consideration should be given to employees who are part of a high risk group, have child care needs, or family members in the home who are part of a high risk group. The Office of Human Resources can also provide support in facilitating conversations with supervisors and employees to determine needs and options without going through an official request for accommodations.
If a successful outcome is not achieved the concern should be elevated to the unit head.
My supervisor states that due to the requirements of my position I’m unable to continue to work remotely, but I have a health concern. What should I do?
As discussed in the FAQ above, supervisors should work with all employees to the extent possible to provide a safe workspace, which may include on a case-by-case basis continuing telework arrangements, office restructuring, schedule rotations, etc. If agreeable arrangements cannot be made the issue should then be submitted to the unit head for review and decision. If an acceptable arrangement still cannot be reached and the employee believes they need an accommodation based on a disability, the employee should contact the Office of Human Resources to request a workplace accommodation through HR’s ADA process. Medical documentation should never be shared with a supervisor, but only with HR.
In the event a supervisor is not able to accommodate an employee’s position, and/or the employee does not qualify for an ADA accommodation, the employee should speak with HR regarding leave options, including Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave & Emergency Family and Medical Leave (FFCRA), sick leave, vacation, and furlough.
I have a family member who is in a high-risk group and I’m concerned that reporting to campus may endanger them.
Supervisors are encouraged to provide accommodations through continued telework when available, create opportunities to support rotating schedules, or extended hours of work where possible. If employees remain concerned they should speak with HR regarding leave options, including Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave & Emergency Family and Medical Leave (FFCRA), sick leave, vacation, and furlough.
If my position allows me to continue to work remotely, but I don’t have the necessary tools (computer, software, etc.), what am I supposed to do?
This concern should be discussed with your supervisor, who can determine resources that may be temporarily provided for you to perform your work from home. Purchases should not include equipment and resources that are limited in functionality for only home use, but rather will also be functional for use at UTA when the equipment/resources are returned to UTA. Employees may not keep equipment/resources at home when no longer being used for teleworking and must return all equipment/resources to UTA. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has provided support and options to work remotely, but will not provide home wireless services.
If I am directed by my supervisor to forward my work phone to my cell phone, will I get paid for using my personal cell for work?
No. The ability to answer and receive calls is a requirement for teleworking, depending on the position. If you are not on campus and not forwarding your work phone, make sure you update your UTA voicemail. Please contact OIT in order to setup a TEAMS phone for business calls.
Will the administration understand if our efficiency rate goes down? And if it does, will our jobs be safe?
We appreciate the additional efforts our faculty have made to ensure that, despite these trying circumstances, our students receive the best education possible. We are grateful for our hardworking staff and their assistance in supporting our education mission and providing support to our university community. While we recognize that the COVID-19 disruption had an impact on productivity as adjustments were made for the spring 2020 semester, we do not expect a decrease in productivity when our campus is re-opened. Please communicate with your supervisor specific concerns about work assignments while teleworking.
What if I have childcare issues that prevent me from reporting to on-campus work when requested?
Employees should discuss with their supervisor regarding availability to report for on-campus work, including for childcare. It is encouraged that employees who are asked to return to support on-campus operations talk with their childcare provider to look at options that may be available, including UTA-provided documentation to support your return to campus need. When no childcare options are available then, during this COVID-19 response time, supervisors are encouraged to provide accommodations through continued telework when work is available, create opportunities to support rotating schedules, or extended hours of work where possible. If this is unavailable then employees may take advantage of leave under the FFCRA. Refer to https://resources.uta.edu/coronavirus/emergency-leave.php.
It is important that employees do not bring their children or other family members to the workplace to respect the health and safety of co-workers. This approach is critical to being able to maintain social distancing at all times. Departments are setting limitations based on the number of employees required to be on-campus so employee guests should be only in emergency situations.
If I begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19 may I work from home while I am under self-isolation?
Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should notify their supervisor and not report to UTA until symptom free for 72 hours. Please coordinate your self-isolation period with your supervisor. If you are unable to work from home, other options while you are away include: Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave & Emergency Family and Medical Leave (FFCRA); utilize your sick, vacation, and compensatory time available; or furlough.
What should an employee do if they suspect a co-worker of being ill and reporting to on-campus work?
Employees who suspect an employee is ill should kindly encourage the employee to go home as soon as possible and ask them to notify their supervisor. Employees should not assume a diagnosis of any sort but merely inform one another of safe practices in “staying home” when not feeling well. Any concerns should be reported directly to your supervisor even if the employee is not in your department. Your supervisor should contact HR if the employee reports outside of their department or if within the same department and request the employee to go home until confirmation from a medical provider is obtained that a return to work is possible or at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and the employee has obtained a note from a medical professional clearing return to work or class.
I enjoy working from home and am very productive. May I continue working remotely?
Talk to your supervisor to see if this type of arrangement will be feasible once UTA’s campus re-opens.
If I am working remotely what are my hours of work?
You should adhere to your normal work schedule, as if you were in the office, unless instructed otherwise by your supervisor.
Will my compensation and benefits be impacted while I work remotely?
Can I change my total hours of work while I work remotely?
While I am working remotely, am I eligible to earn overtime or comp time?
As we are on a normal operations approach, current overtime and compensatory procedures must be followed. The employee must obtain prior approval, from an employee’s department head/supervisor, before overtime may be worked. The department head / supervisor should ensure overtime is preapproved, well documented and reflected correctly on the employee’s timesheet.
Once I return to campus, can I work remotely in the event that my children’s school closes because of the Coronavirus concerns?
Yes – During these challenging times, you may work from home if your supervisor has approved.
What if I am hurt while I am working remotely?
An employee working remotely who sustains a work-related injury must notify the supervisor immediately and complete all requested documents regarding the injury.
If I work remotely, are there any rules for using UTA equipment?
Data security is very important at UTA. Consequently,
- The employee must abide by all University policies and guidelines for standards and ethics and strictly adhere to policies regarding the use of state property, including the use of servers and firewalls for data protection.
- Employee is responsible for ensuring the safety and integrity of data and software used at the remote site.
- The equipment is to be used only for business purposes.
- Employee must run current anti-virus software at all times.
- The employee agrees to prevent unauthorized viewing or use of all information resources by non-employees.
- A password protected screen saver must be used at all times on the remote computer.
- The employee is required to use a surge protector to protect university-owned computer equipment from electrical spikes.
- When equipment is used at a remote workplace, the employee is financially responsible for that equipment if it is lost, stolen or damaged because of that employee's negligence, misuse or abuse.
- Property removal procedures must be followed.
- If a problem arises relating to the telephone or Internet Service Provider, the employee will contact and obtain support from their service provider. Payment for repairs is the responsibility of the subscriber of the service.
- Employees are required to follow all information security rules, copyright laws and manufacturer licensing agreements of The University of Texas at Arlington.
Software may not be duplicated except as allowed under law or licensing agreements.
I am a student worker, can I work remotely?
Yes, if your supervisor has approved and has work to assign.
- See the UTA Remote site for more details and tips on working remotely.