Coronavirus Workplace Guidelines

As the University continues to monitor the local, national and worldwide incidence of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, faculty and staff members are asked to review the following workplace guidelines. It is likely this information will change as the situation evolves and more becomes known. Questions may be directed to hr@rosalindfranklin.edu.

RFUMS’s priorities in setting these workplace guidelines are to:

  • Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease;
  • Sustain academic programs and operational continuity;
  • Encourage an ethos of fairness, open communications and concern for the wellbeing of our faculty and staff.

Most Important Actions to Take Now

  1. All faculty and staff are urged to take basic preventive measures (the 3 C’s) to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID-19.
  2. Those who can increase their preparedness to work remotely (more than they already do, or entirely, and possibly for a protracted period of time if it becomes necessary) should do so now by taking the following actions: save important documents to Google drives, ensure Duo is set up to home/mobile devices, and make sure your profile in Helixnet is completed (so that you can reset your own password, if needed.)
  3. As a reminder, if you are travelling internationally for personal reasons, please notify RFUMS via the Student Travel Registration Form which is on InSite. This applies to all students, staff, and faculty. It allows RFU to provide the most up-to-date information to you regarding your area of travel.

Workplace Policies (as of 3/12/2020, subject to change)

  • Well Employees: Faculty and staff who are well are expected at work as usual, even if they have been in contact with or caring for someone who is ill with an ordinary respiratory illness (in which case, typical preventive measures are recommended for them as care givers). Well employees are expected at work unless they have been:
    • caring for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, in which case they are required to self-isolate;
    • in a CDC Level 3 area of concern;
    • advised to refrain from attending work by RFUMS or public health officials.
  • Sick Employees: Faculty and staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness must stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees celsius taken by an oral thermometer. Those with concerns or questions about their illness or seeking advice about whether to come to work are invited to email hr@rosalindfranklin.edu. Per policy, employees should notify their supervisors and submit a request through ADP for any sick time taken.
  • Paid Sick Time:RFUMS provides significant paid sick time for all benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Sick time may be used to provide care to immediate family members.
  • Reporting Sick Time:Staff members who are out sick are asked to request the time off through ADP Workforce Now. Remember, time can be entered through your mobile device or an at home computer.
  • Return to Work:In general, written medical clearance will not be required for return to work. This is being done to avoid overtaxing health care resources.
  • Workers at Higher Risk:Employees who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. These may include requesting a temporary change in job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected.

    If an employee at risk for complications from COVID-19 and their physician agree that increased social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact Human Resources (hr@rosalindfranklin.edu) to formally request a temporary change. Human Resources will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and attempt to appropriately address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining RFUMS’s operations. A doctor’s note may be required.

    Except for employees who formally request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID-19 infection.
  • Preparing for Increased Telework/Remote Work: Employees who can work effectively from home by telecommuting should make sure now that they are prepared for the possibility of teleworking more days per week than they do presently, or entirely, and possibly for a protracted period. This may entail moving important documents to Google drive and understanding how to forward your work phone to a cell phone device to ensure business continuity. It is also recommend that you ensure the Duo authentication is set up to your home/mobile device rather than your office phone, and that you complete your Helixnet profile in case you need to reset your password. ITS can provide guidance if necessary.

    If public health conditions worsen, and/or RFUMS institutes stronger social distancing measures (for example, by reducing the density of faculty and staff in a work space), some employees may be asked, given the option, or required to telecommute.
  • Essential Employees:As a 24/7 residential university, RFUMS rarely closes. Many employees must work on campus to provide services that are essential to residential life, campus health and safety, critical research, the protection of physical and intellectual assets, or the continuity or resumption of academic programs and operations. Additional measures and policies to support these employees are being considered.

Additional Workplace Guidance for Managers

  • Managers and supervisors, including faculty who supervise staff, must not pressure others to come to work if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill dependents. Conversely, if employees are well, they should not be pressured to stay away from work for reasons such as their ethnic or racial background, home address, having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19) or recent travel to unaffected As described above, there is a need to stay away from work because of caring for someone confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Given RFUMS’s interest in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all, managers and supervisors (with the support and involvement of HR as needed) should ask employees who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to go home and stay home until 24 hours after they are free of symptoms. In these instances, paid sick time will be used. Please cooperate with managers who are taking on this uncomfortable responsibility for the wellbeing of all.
  • A “doctor’s note” or documentation of dependent care responsibilities will not be required from employees when using sick time, except in very rare cases where abuse of paid sick/dependent care time is suspected. It is assumed that RFUMS employees are honest and trustworthy in their dealings with each other and the University.

Potential Additional Guideline Changes

If public health conditions worsen, RFUMS’s workplace guidelines may be further amended. This would be done to address the effects of more widespread illness or absences, more frequent needs for self-isolation or quarantine, disruption of care arrangements or RFUMS’s priorities for pay continuity. Faculty and staff will be notified as necessary of such changes and should also check this page for updates.

Update Your Contacts

Employees with computer/internet access are asked to make sure that personal and emergency contact information is up-to-date in ADP Workforce Now. Go to MYSELF>MY INFORMATION>PROFILE.

Also make sure you are registered to receive text message alerts through the E2Campus alert system. Click here to sign-up: https://rosalindfranklin.omnilert.net/subscriber.php