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COVID-19 Update to Supervisors of Staff

Guidance on Time Sheets and Work and Leave Options

Dear Supervisors,

Please find below, guidance for how to help people in different situations figure out their options, and how to fill out their time sheets or leave reports in each instance.

COVID-19 Work and Leave Scenarios for Full-Time and Part-Time Staff

This summary is intended to serve as guidance through the Extended Telework Status through April 5th. Additional guidance will be provided if this period is extended.

The Office of Human Resources has developed guidance for the different circumstances that employees may be in based on work and leave situations that may arise during the University’s current Extended Telework status. The University’s operating status is “Open” and staff are expected to telework or, only where physical presence is required, work on campus for part or all of their duties. We understand that other developments prompted by COVID-19 may create difficulties for some employees in meeting work obligations during their typical hours. This guidance presents alternatives for employees and their mangers to consider when these circumstances arise. Staff are asked to do their best to meet their work commitments, but we understand that in some cases it may not be possible to meet all commitments. If you have any questions about these scenarios or have other situations you would like HR to address, please contact us at HRPayrollhelp@american.edu. We know how hard everyone is working to navigate these difficult times and we hope everyone remains safe.

Scenario 1 – Family care situation (not health-related)

In this scenario, a staff member has childcare responsibilities due to school or childcare center closings or has responsibility for the oversight and well-being of other family members such as elderly parents. In this scenario, all family members are in good health.

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Telework: The staff member is able to work either because the family member(s) does not require close supervision or because there is additional help at home. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Bright Horizons: The staff member needs help to care for their family member(s) and is able to secure assistance on their own or through the University-sponsored Bright Horizons’ emergency back-up care benefit (available to full-time staff only). The University does not require that staff members secure assistance from Bright Horizons and offers the service only as a support to staff members who would like to use it.
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework and Bright Horizons are not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g. Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – Report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on timesheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • Administrative Leave: In the rare instances where none of the above options are possible, the staff member will need to discuss the situation with their supervisor. Their supervisor will confer with their department head/HR representative and upon confirmation of department head/HR representative, pay will continue through April 5th and the time will be reported as administrative leave.
    • Monthly – report time not worked as administrative leave on the monthly leave report
    • Biweekly – if not working their full regular schedule, the staff member should record time not worked as administrative leave with a note that says “COVID-19 schedule”. When signing the time sheet, the supervisor should add a note that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”

Scenario 2 – Family care situation (family member is ill or was exposed to COVID-19 and is quarantined)

In this scenario, a staff member is caring for a spouse, child, or other family member who is ill (with COVID-19) or was exposed to the COVID-19 and is in quarantine.

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations at employeerelations@american.edu as soon as possible to inform the University of the situation. This information will be used to help individuals who may have been exposed to a diagnosed faculty and staff member to take necessary precautions. As the university takes these steps, we will protect the privacy of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and will limit the sharing of personal information to the greatest extent possible. Individuals who are diagnosed can be assured that they will face no adverse employment action for coming forward. We are sensitive to the challenges that will be faced by those faculty and staff who may be diagnosed with COVID-19, and we are committed to supporting these community members if that occurs.
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work either because the family member(s) does not need much assistance or because there is additional help at home. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework is not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g. Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – Report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • FMLA/Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member should notify their department head/HR Representative of their situation. The staff member must notify HR Employee Relations at employeerelations@american.edu of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Staff are eligible to apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Pay will continue through April 5th and will be reported as FMLA leave (if FMLA leave is applied for) or administrative leave (if the family member does not meet FMLA eligibility requirements).
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section
    • NOTE: These instructions are for COVID-19 related FMLA leaves only. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid (unless sick or annual leave is used) and will be reported and administered in accordance with the normal process.

Scenario 3 – Staff member is in self-quarantine but not ill

In this scenario, a staff member was exposed to COVID-19 and is in self-quarantine.

For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations at employeerelations@american.edu as soon as possible to inform the University of the situation.
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work either because they are not suffering any ill effects from exposure to the virus. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Flex Days/Time: If a schedule change is needed due to self-quarantine, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g. Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – Report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • FMLA/Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member should notify their department head/HR representative of their situation. Staff are eligible to apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate an FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Pay will continue through April 5th and time will be reported as FMLA leave (if FMLA leave is applied for) or administrative leave (if FMLA leave is not applied for).
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave or administrative leave, as applicable, and include “COVID-19” in the comment section
    • NOTE: These instructions are for COVID-19 related FMLA leaves only. All other FMLA leaves are unpaid (unless sick or annual leave is used) and will be reported and administered in accordance with the normal process.

Scenario 4 – Staff member is ill with COVID-19

In this scenario, a staff member is ill with COVID-19. For this situation, the hierarchy of work or leave possibilities are as follows:

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member is required to contact Employee Relations at employeerelations@american.edu as soon as possible to inform the University of the situation.
  • Sick Leave: If the staff member is not well enough to work, the staff member can use accrued sick leave for up to two weeks. Donations from the leave pool are available if not enough sick leave is available.
    • Monthly – report sick leave and add a note on the report that says “COVID-19”
    • Biweekly – report sick leave and add a note that says “COVID-19”
  • FMLA/Short Term Disability Leave: If the illness is anticipated to extend beyond two weeks, eligible full-time staff should apply for Short Term Disability and/or Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). Staff can initiate a STD or FMLA claim by contacting Prudential at 877-367-7781. Time will be reported as STD or FMLA leave, based on the leave approval.
    • Monthly – report FMLA leave (or STD leave if approved) and include “COVID-19” in the comment section; sick leave will continue to be applied if not yet exhausted
    • Biweekly – report FMLA leave (or STD leave if approved) and include “COVID-19” in the comment section; sick leave will continue to be applied if not yet exhausted

Scenario 5 – Employee Self-Identifies as High Risk and is designated as “Physical Presence Required”

In this scenario, a staff member has identified as high risk per CDC guidelines. A staff member who identifies as high risk whose position is designated as “Physical Presence Required” may decide to continue report to work, however, they are not required to.

  • Contact Employee Relations: The staff member should contact Employee Relations at employeerelations@american.edu as soon as possible to inform the University of the situation.
  • Telework: The staff member is able to work because they are feeling well and are teleworking because they are high-risk. In this case, the staff member would telework from home.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – complete time sheet as usual
  • Bright Horizons: The staff member needs help to care for their family member(s) and is able to secure assistance on their own or through the University-sponsored Bright Horizons’ emergency back-up care benefit (available to full-time staff only). The University does not require that staff members secure assistance from Bright Horizons and offers the service only as a support to staff members who would like to use it.
  • Flex Days/Time: If telework and Bright Horizons are not feasible, staff should consult with their supervisor on the potential to either adjust the schedule for the days they will work (e.g. Saturday and/or Sunday in place of weekdays) or come up with an alternate schedule of hours that will better fit the staff member’s current needs.
    • Monthly – complete leave report as usual
    • Biweekly – Report time per agreed upon schedule (hours worked should total regular weekly hours); supervisor should add note on time sheet that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”
  • Administrative Leave: If none of the above-mentioned options are possible, the staff member will need to discuss the situation with their supervisor. Their supervisor will confer with their department head/HR representative and upon confirmation of department head/HR representative, pay will continue through April 5th and the time will be reported as administrative leave.
    • Monthly – report time not worked as administrative leave on the monthly leave report
    • Biweekly - if not working their full regular schedule, the staff member should record time not worked as administrative leave with a note that says “COVID-19 schedule”. When signing the time sheet, the supervisor should add a note that says “COVID-19 schedule confirmed”