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Oakland University

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(248) 370-2100

Oakland University

(location map)
(248) 370-2100

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Employment Information

As Oakland University's Emergency Response Team (ERT), we are committed to sharing the most up-to-date, relevant information regarding OU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check this page frequently as facts and information is changing rapidly.

University Employment
Faculty and Staff
COVID-19 Work Guidelines

For information regarding employment services related to the COVID-19 pandemic, view the Families First Coronavirus Response Act information sheet.

Do the 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave apply to temporary and casual employees?

Yes. Part time employees, however, are only eligible for the number of hours of emergency paid sick leave that they work on average over a two-week period.

Are we all coming back to work or will we continue to work remotely if we are able?

A University representative will contact each employee when he or she is either required or permitted to return to work on campus. In the meantime, employees who are able to work remotely should continue to do so until further notice.

What happens if I have not and cannot work remotely?

During this time, employees may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA), please contact benefits@oakland.edu for assistance.

As of June 1, 2020, University employees who are not working remotely or on campus must use EPSL and/or EFMLA (if eligible), accrued personal, or leave time until they return to work or their leave balances are exhauste

d.

Can I use a few hours a day if the 80 hours of COVID-19 leave if needed on an intermittent basis? ? How would I go about that?

Yes, if you are planning to use COVID 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave on a periodic intermittent basis due school closure, day care closure or not having a suitable person to care for your child, you need to submit supporting documentation to your supervisor (please see the documentation necessary for that reason, noted below) and report those hours on payroll.

How long will work from home be an option?

In light of the various state and local executive orders, it is not clear when all University employees will be allowed to bring all of its employees back to campus. In addition, the University has not yet determined whether some employees may be allowed to continue working remotely even after the University is allowed to bring all of its employees back to campus.

If I am asked for documentation for my time off under the COVID 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave what do I need?

An employee must provide his or her employer documentation in support of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. Such documentation must include a signed statement containing the following information:

  1. The employee’s name
  2. The date(s) for which leave is requested
  3. The COVID–19 qualifying reason for leave
  4. A statement representing that the employee is unable to work or telework because of the COVID–19 qualifying reason.

An employee must provide additional documentation depending on the COVID–19 qualifying reason for leave. An employee requesting paid sick leave related to quarantine/isolation must provide the name of the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order to which the employee is subject. An employee requesting paid sick leave related to self-quarantine must provide the name of the health care provider who advised him or her to self-quarantine for COVID–19 related reasons.

An employee requesting paid sick leave to care for a qualifying individual must provide either

  1. The government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order to which the individual is subject or
  2. The name of the health care provider who advised the individual to self-quarantine, depending on the precise reason for the request.

An employee requesting to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to care for his or her child must provide the following information:

  1. The name of the child being cared for
  2. The name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that closed or became unavailable due to COVID–19 reasons; and
  3. A statement representing that no other suitable person is available to care for the child during the period of requested leave.

Can supervisors ask employees the reason for their absences?

Yes, supervisors may ask employees the reason for their absence. A supervisor may ask an employee if they are experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms, but the supervisor must maintain all information about employee illnesses as a confidential medical record.

What should department heads do if they become aware someone on campus is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Send the employee home and notify the Graham Health Center immediately at (248) 370-2341 or jansen@oakland.edu. Any confirmed cases will be followed up through the Oakland County Health Division.

What do I do if I suspect that I have been contaminated with COVID 19?

Graham Health Center’s website has all the information you need for this situation. Check the website for up-to-date information.

Who do I notify if I have been diagnosed with COVID19?

If someone tests positive, the Oakland County Health Department will interview the patient and notify the contacts as indicated. Also, contact the Nancy Jansen Director of the OU Graham Health Center at 248-370-4375, e-mail: jansen@oakland.edu.

Leaves from Work

The following information addresses COVID-19 leaves, which will have no impact on time-off accruals. Employees with questions or concerns regarding this information should contact University Human Resources at uhr@oakland.edu.

Monthly Employees (APs, Clerical, AA, Deans, Executives, SOM Faculty)

  • The COVID-19 category will not apply to current FMLA leaves or sick time accruals.
  • Employees with non-COVID-19 related illnesses will continue to follow current sick leave/FMLA policies (e.g. maternity leaves, surgery).
  • Any questions/concerns regarding COVID-19 related illnesses should be directed to Graham Health Center.
  • A doctor's note is not required for COVID-19 related activities.

Bi-Weekly Employees

  • It will be the responsibility of supervisors to track COVID-19 vs. sick time reporting. Supervisors should record COVID-19 related absences under the COVID-19 category.
  • The COVID-19 category will not apply to current FMLA leaves or sick time accruals.
  • Any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 related illnesses should be directed to Graham Health Center
  • A doctor's note is not required for COVID-19 related activities.

Full/Part-Time Faculty

Faculty will be compensated as normal through this semester. Faculty should contact their department chair and follow established sick time processes as necessary.

Leaves Reporting

How should an employee report leave time on the monthly leave report for COVID-19 situations?

Monthly Employees should use the COVID-19 leave code on their Leave Report or Time Sheet in SAIL and in the comments field enter one of the five reasons below to record time not worked due to the Coronavirus.

Supervisors of Full-Time Bi-weekly Employees should use the COVID-19 (SI9) code in UltraTime and in the message field enter one of the following 5 reasons for time not worked due to the Coronavirus.

Five Reasons for Time Not Worked

  1. Child care – Use for time away from work due to child care issues as a result of K-12 or daycare closure
  2. Elder care – Use for time away from work to care for parents or other older adult dependents with high risk factors for COVID-19
  3. COVID-19 Absence – Use for time away from work due to COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure
    • COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician for you or a member of your household
    • COVID-19 symptoms for you or a member of your household
    • If you or a member of your household had exposure to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis
  4. COVID-19 High Risk – Use for time away from work due to increased COVID-19 risk factors for yourself or a member of your household
  5. Other – Use for time away from work for reasons other than those listed above. Please provide additional details in the comment.
Benefits and Services
  • Blue Cross is providing updated information to its health care plan members regarding a wide array of COVID-19 related information and services online.
  • Priority Health is offering its health care plan members a wide array of COVID-19 related information and services online.
  • Benefits-eligible OU employees, their spouses or domestic partners, their dependent children and their parents or parents-in-law can take advantage of the Unum Employee Assistance Program, which provides access to licensed professional counselors and work/life specialists, web access to a broad array of informative and support resources, and 24/7 phone support services. Employees interested in learning more should visit unum.com/lifebalance or call (800) 854-1446.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) holders can now seek reimbursement for over-the-counter drugs and medicines without a note of medical necessity or prescription from a physician. Expenses incurred after December 31, 2019, qualify. To learn more, visit the BASIC website.
  • The CARES Act allows employees to access retirement plan funds with favorable tax implications through December 31, 2020. Prior to making any decisions regarding retirement funds, the University strongly encourages employees to discuss their options with a tax preparer, financial advisor or representatives of TIAA and Fidelity.
Students

Can students work remotely?

Student employees are not permitted to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 work arrangement.  Supervisors must complete the appropriate Remote Student Employment - Exception Request Form if you are seeking an exception.  All requests will be reviewed by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs & Diversity.  You will be notified if you are granted an exception and your student employee is permitted to work remotely. Winter semester request forms are valid December 28, 2020 through April 25, 2021. If your student employee needs VPN access to accomplish their job duties (e.g. Banner, Argos, Percussion, and shared drive access), the supervisor must complete the appropriate VPN request form:

As a student employee, am I eligible for sick pay related to COVID-19?

You may be eligible. Refer to H.R.6201. If you have any questions, please email uhr@oakland.edu.

Will student employees who are out of work until this COVID-19 is controlled be able to apply for unemployment?

Yes, you need to apply with the local unemployment office, which determines who is eligible for unemployment benefits.

How many hours can student employees work during this time?

Student employees may work 25 hours per week through the end of the Winter 2020 semester. International students however can only work up to 20 hours per week.

Temporary and Casual

Will I be able to work remotely?

Yes, you will have the option to work remotely or make other work accommodations with approval of your supervisor.

Am I eligible for sick pay related to COVID-19?

You may be eligible. Refer to H.R.6201. If you have any questions, please email uhr@oakland.edu.

If I am out of work due to COVID-19, will I be able to apply for unemployment?

Yes, you need to apply with the local unemployment office, which determines who is eligible for unemployment benefits.

New Hires

For New Employees

As a new faculty member, how do I complete my I-9?

Contact Emily Block at (248) 370-3486 or at emilyblock@oakland.edu to set up an appointment.

Are there any changes being made to faculty searches?

To limit on-site interactions, the use of video conferencing to conduct interviews should be used. The expectation is that the interview schedule will remain largely the same.

For Hiring Supervisors

Are staff positions still being processed?

Staff requisitions are still being processed and applicants are still being sent to the hiring supervisors as they apply. Continue to work with the Employment Services Office on your open positions.

What are applicants being told?

An announcement has been added to our job site indicating: "We appreciate your patience as we strive to minimize any effects of the COVID-19 emergency. While operations will continue, it is possible that delays may occur in recruitment and selection processes on campus."

How should new staff employees process their new hire paperwork?

Each new employee should work with the Employment Services Office to complete their paperwork. University Human Resources staff remain able to process paperwork and work with employees to set up accounts and emails. Confirmation that hiring processes are complete may be sent by email or phone, and new employees will receive information regarding next steps at this point.

How should new casual/temporary employees process their new hire paperwork?

New hires needing to submit paperwork should contact Employment Services at (248) 370-3480 or email to uhr@oakland.edu to arrange a drop off time.

Remote Work
General Information
  • Anything currently accessible off campus will not change, including Google Suite applications and email, SAIL, MySAIL, Moodle, E-Space etc.
  • Faculty teaching in Moodle or using Google Meet or WebEx do not need to use a VPN.
  • For work that needs to be completed utilizing VPN – such as access to shared drives, Banner Admin, ARGOS, or other systems currently not accessible off campus – users need to connect to vpn.oakland.edu. While capacity has been expanded to 2,500 concurrent sessions, faculty and staff are advised to use VPN connections only when necessary.
  • Running MS Access, ODBC connections will have to be done through VPN and remotely connect to your computer at work.
  • Software – whether free or not – that has not been vetted through UTS and the Office of Legal Affairs cannot be used. For example, signing up for Zoom or other software requiring the user to initiate a work session is not approved.
  • OU Desktop computers can be taken home with supervisor approval if no laptops are available. Supervisors are responsible for tracking OU equipment.
  • Personal computers can be used with VPN to remote into an OU workstation if done in accordance with Remote Work guidelines.
  • Please see www.oakland.edu/uts/securityinfo and discuss Policy #860 Data Management and Information Security and Policy #890 Use of University Information Technology Resources with your manager.
  • More information about remote work can be found at https://kb.oakland.edu/uts/remote_work.
FAQs

What if a "remote worker" doesn't have a laptop/computer?

Work with your supervisor to determine your options. Desktop computers may be taken home or laptops may be available for loan.

I don't have internet at home, can I still stay home?

Yes, if you have a condition that falls under the communication sent out. OU's COVID-19 information page will be identifying options for WIFI access. www.oakland.edu/coronavirus/ under Current Classes and Instruction. Check with local providers to see what options are available for short term access.
Technical Information

Can I run MS Access ODBC database off campus through OU's VPN?

You can run MS Access ODBC database by connecting to OU's VPN then remote desktop connecting to your work computer. The UTS web section provides additional information.

Can I have my work phone forwarded to my home phone or cell phone?

No. OU's phone capacity cannot support off campus forwarding.

Can I have my voicemail sent to my email?

Yes, send an email to uts@oakland.edu with your name, phone number and email you want voicemail forwarded to and it will be provisioned.

Can I hide my personal phone number when calling students?

Yes. Faculty and staff wanting to mask their personal phone when calling students can use the *67 feature.

Who can connect to the campus VPN?

By default, all Oakland University Faculty and Staff have a VPN account. See the UTS web section for additional details.

Can students connect to the campus VPN?

Access to the campus VPN is limited to Oakland University faculty and staff. Student employees will not be able to utilize the campus VPN in order to work remotely. Students who have been told to access course software via VPN may continue to do so. See the UTS web section for any additional details.

What systems do I need the campus VPN to access?

You should use the campus VPN to access Banner Admin Pages, Argos, university shared drives and Ultratime. You would also need to use the VPN to remotely connect to your work computer that is still located on the Oakland University network if you are running Microsoft Access with ODBC. See the UTS web section for additional details.

Do I need anything installed on my computer in order to connect to the campus VPN?

Yes, you do need to have the VPN client installed on your computer in order to access the campus VPN. See the UTS web section for additional details.

Can I install the VPN client on my computer?

Please work with your local DTS support personnel or one of the many University help desks in order to install the VPN client onto your computer. If these areas are unable to help, review these instructions. See the UTS web section for additional details.

Should I stay connected to the campus VPN all day?

We recommend that you should disconnect from the campus VPN when you are no longer accessing services that require the campus VPN. Supervisors are advised that VPN usage cannot be used as a tool to monitor employees. See the UTS web section for additional details.

What should I do if I am experiencing issues connecting to the campus VPN?

We recommend that you should contact your local DTS support personnel or one of the many University help desks first in order to resolve your issues. If they are unable to resolve your issue, please submit a ticket to UTS by emailing uts@oakland.edu with details about your issue. See the UTS web section for additional details.

Travel Information
  • The university is suspending all university-sponsored domestic and international air travel effective immediately until further notice.
  • A faculty or staff member who believes that they have an important business reason to travel by air can request a waiver through the appropriate vice president. But, please be advised that such waivers will be rare.
  • The university strongly advises to avoid personal travel to areas with documented cases of the COVID-19 virus. If you do travel, you might be required to be quarantined.
  • Faculty and staff with questions about reimbursement for canceled University sponsored travel should review the Travel Reimbursement FAQ document.
  • What are the protocols for faculty and staff who have recently traveled?
    Refer to the Graham Health Center web section or contact Nancy Jansen at (248) 370-2341 or at jansen@oakland.edu.
Strongly discouraged destinations for personal travel

(Based on Centers for Disease Control and U.S. State Department recommendations)

The University strongly discourages all campus community members from proceeding with personal travel plans to any area affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Those planning to return to campus from these areas are advised that the University is implementing an honor system for reporting such travel to Graham Health Center (GHC). This includes a mandatory health screening at GHC prior to taking part in any other campus activity and engaging in voluntary quarantine and/or self-isolation as deemed necessary by a primary care physician or GHC.

Additional international travel resources

The University strongly recommends review of travel.state.gov information and registering trips with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.