HFC Guidance for Remote Work and Emergency Leave Time During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Colleagues,

I promised you more guidance on using Emergency Leave Time and on working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.  That guidance is detailed below, and is attached as a PDF file – Click Here for PDF.  It is also linked in the employee information and absence sections of our Winter 2020 Operations website

I thank LaDonna Holley and Lori Gonko for their expertise and collaboration in developing this guidance.  I encourage all of you to review this information carefully. 

Thanks for your continued teamwork.

Russ

GUIDANCE FOR PROCESSING OF COVID-19 EMERGENCY LEAVE TIME (ELT) AND REMOTE WORKING FOR MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES – 3/19/2020

Emergency Leave Time and remote work opportunities are being implemented during this COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible, yet consistent application, frequent communication, and clarity of expectations are important during this time to help reduce employee concerns and to make operational transition easier for managers. 

Emergency Leave Time and remote work opportunities will be available while the COVID-19 crisis remains an issue.

Tracking Emergency Leave Time:

  1. Employees who wish to use Emergency Leave Time (ELT) are required to provide their manager with a formal request.  For compliance purposes, employees are required to complete an electronic ELT form indicating a category for their request.  This form is automatically transmitted to Human Resources. Please be aware that there may be an obligation on the College to report COVID-19-related symptoms to a public health agency. 

You can access the ELT form here.

For purposes of accurate application of time, employees are also required to complete an absence form or record ELT on their timecard.  Absence reports and timecards should be sent to Payroll in accordance with standard procedures.  Categories for Emergency Leave Time include:

  • Own illness (symptoms or confirmed COVID-19),
  • Caring for a family member’s illness,
  • Caring for children who are not able to attend P-12 schools or childcare facilities,
  • Own individual increased vulnerability to the virus,
  • The increased vulnerability of a family member who the employee is in regular contact with.
  1. Employees should use the new code ELT when documenting Emergency Leave Time on timecards or absence reports.
  2. Employees should provide at least 24 hours’ notice, except in cases of emergency to request days they plan/need to use ELT so managers can plan for operations.  
  3. Employees may use a minimum of 1-hour increments or full shift hours, based on their regular scheduled profile hours.  For example, an employee scheduled to work 5 hours for the day will be allowed to use 5 hours of ELT.
  4. Employees working remotely who need to use ELT must follow the same guidelines outlined above.
  5. If an employee exhausts their allotted ELT, additional time off will be deducted from their current sick, personal, or vacation banks. 
  6. Employees who do not have available time to deduct after the exhaustion of the ELT will not be paid, and the current attendance/absence policy will apply.
  7. Department Managers may require employees who report to work ill, to go home.  The employee will use their ELT or sick time.

Remote Work – Manager Guidelines:

  1. Managers will determine, based on current job responsibilities, which positions are needed and approved to work remotely.  Before authorizing remote work, managers must confirm that the employee has the necessary resources to work remotely (computer, internet, phone, etc.).  Employees cannot self-designate to work remotely. 
  2. The manager and the employee should establish standard work hours or an agreed upon remote work schedule in advance of the employee receiving an assignment to work remotely.
  3. The manager and/or employee may end a remote work arrangement at any time.  Managers should have a clear, written rationale when discontinuing pre-approved remote work.  It is understood that all employees will resume normal work hours and return to on-site work once the college reverts to normal operation.
  4. Managers should establish and maintain regular communication intervals with employees working remotely.
  5. Managers should communicate with employees regularly to give work assignments and/or to review completed work, just as if the employees were on campus.
  6. Managers should maintain consistency in their decision making with regard to remote work, and in cases where consistency is not feasible, should communicate and document the rationale.

Remote Work – Employee* Guidelines:

  1. Employees should establish a remote work environment that is conducive to productive work and have the necessary resources to work remotely (computer, internet, phone, etc.).
  2. Employees must remain accessible for virtual/telephone meetings during scheduled working hours. 
  3. Employees should provide the manager with work plans and written progress summaries via an agreed-upon method and schedule. This information will be used to support performance evaluation.
  4. Employees should let supervisor know when additional assignments are needed to fill work hours.
  5. All overtime or additional hours must be preapproved by the supervisor.
  6. Employees should take scheduled breaks and a lunch time as they normally would if working on College property.
  7. Employees should report any job-related incidents or accidents occurring during remote work to their supervisor, following the same incident/accident procedures that exist on campus.
  8. Employees accept responsibility for costs incurred related to residential insurance, personal technology equipment, internet access, personal telephone usage costs, and utility costs. 
  9. All College policies and applicable statues and regulations continue to apply to employees working remotely. 
  10. Employees must ensure information is stored according to HFC’s Computer Systems Acceptable Use Policy. Employees must safeguard records and papers for their return to the office.

*The above employee guidelines do not apply to full-time or adjunct faculty teaching online courses.  The guidelines do apply to all other employees working remotely.

Questions:

If there are any questions or concerns about emergency leave time or remote work, employees should first work with their direct manager on a resolution.  If the manager is unable to provide a resolution, further questions and concerns should be directed to the appropriate Vice President.

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