Interim COVID-19 Employee Work Assignment Policy
Effective Date: March 2020 – Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the University
Expiration Date: Determined by UTA President, Interim President or Administrator-in-charge
I. Interim Policy Purpose
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented emergency situation in the UTA employee work environment. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, and under federal, state, or local orders, individuals have been directed not to report to the workplace unless their work is considered essential. Many UTA employees have job responsibilities that can be performed remotely, where possible and appropriate. However, essential UTA business functions continue and some employees are required or are able to perform assigned duties on-campus under numerous safety precautions and social distancing requirements.
The goal of this policy is to keep the UTA community and university safe while enabling employee productivity and completion of as much of our mission-related activities as possible. This policy also serves to help reduce the impact of financial hardships employees may experience because of the COVID-19 pandemic, through these assignments.
This is an emergency policy implementing workplace and work assignment flexibility options for all employees during the COVID-19 pandemic including those that are full or part-time, benefits eligible, or hourly personnel.
III. Interim Work Assignment Policy Statement
All employee supervisors will make the following flexibility efforts for employee work assignments subject to all University, federal, state, or CDC safety requirements:
- Enable employees to perform their normal job duties remotely. See also Telecommuting FAQs for job requirements and UTA Remote for remote access solutions.
- Employees should continue to be compensated from their original cost center or project funding source.
- If it is not feasible for an employee to perform normal job duties, temporarily adjust job duties to ones that can be performed remotely.
- Be creative and flexible when considering remote job assignments. For example, assignments may include professional development, self-guided learning activities for new techniques or software familiarity, literature reviews, data analysis, or cross training in other functional areas to help alleviate other assignments of other employees. When considering temporary work assignments, the activities must remain beneficial to the university or project (if applicable) with greater than typical latitude and leniency given.
- If additional costs are incurred due to remote or altered job assignments, due to COVID 19, please identify and coordinate with the unit head in accordance with the Business Affairs Cost Center Process.
- If a supervisor cannot identify alternative work assignments, they should discuss alternatives or other options with their unit head (Chair, Dean, or VP as appropriate). If related to a sponsored project, the Principal Investigator (PI) can discuss with the Vice President for Research.
IV. Employee Pay and Leave Options
Effective April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by providing employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The highlights of this act include paid family and medical leave (EFMLA) and paid sick time (ESPL) to eligible employees. For more information, visit the Department of Labor website or contact Leave Services. For additional information on leave options, please consult the COVID-19 Employee Work and Leave Procedure.
V. Student Employee Continuity
All student employees may additionally be impacted in their progress to degree if their employment or compensation is disrupted. Student employee continuity is essential to the mission of the university and therefore the University has implemented an emergency COVID-19 Student Employee Continuity Procedure.
If a student employee (benefits eligible or hourly) is either precluded from performing their job duties due to necessary care of others or themselves related to COVID-19 or if no suitable remote work assignments can be made in accordance with section III and IV of this work assignment policy, departments should follow the Student Employee Continuity Procedure.