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OHR COVID-19 special updates

OHR COVID-19 FAQs

The official source for information and updates is the President’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page found at https://www.nova.edu/coronavirus/index.html.  

 Q. Will NSU be implementing employee furloughs or reduced work schedules?

A. Deans and Vice Presidents may decide if and when they need to reduce the number of employees or work hours because of a decrease in available work, unavailability of telework, etc. There is no university-wide directive for the implementation of furloughs or reduced work schedules.  

Q. What is a furlough?

 A. A furlough is a non-duty, non-paid employee status intended to be temporary in duration with the expectation that the furloughed employee will be able to return to work, as business needs warrant.

Q. Does NSU have a policy on this?

 A. Yes, the University’s Reduce Hours and Furlough Policy is found at https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/leave-policies.html#discretionary

Q. What happens to my health insurance and other benefits while on furlough or a reduced hours schedule?

 A. If you currently are enrolled in an ICUBA health insurance or voluntary benefit plan:

NSU will maintain your health insurance coverage (medical, dental and vision) and voluntary benefits (GAP, AFLAC, pet insurance, voluntary life insurance and LegalShield) during your furlough period, and NSU will advance your portion of the employee premium contr You remain responsible for payment of the employee share of the premium contribution. After you return to work, OHR will schedule periodic payroll deductions for the employee share of the premium cost. At that time, you will receive an email from OHR detailing the amount and timing of the deduction(s).

For a complete explanation of continued benefits, see https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/leave-policies.html#discretionary

Q. What other benefits does a furloughed or reduced hours employee have under the policy?

A. During a furlough, an employee keeps:

  • NSU employee status
  • NSU email account
  • Sharklink access
  • Access to Learning & Development Programs from OHR and the Alvin Sherman Library

(including LinkedIn Learning account)

  • Continuation of tuition waiver benefit through the current semester and extended for you only (not dependents) in any semester beginning during the furlough period
  • Ability to apply for other NSU positions as an internal candidate. All full-time, part-time and temporary positions are posted on nsu.com. You remain eligible for recall to your position even while working in a temporary position
  • No break-in-service for calculation of seniority
  • Priority right to return to their position (though not necessarily the same hours or schedule) when and if there is a need to continue the position

 Q. What happens to my vacation, personal and sick time-off during a furlough or reduced hours schedule?

 A. Accrued available vacation and personal time-off will be utilized to maintain an employee’s paid status for as long as possible. After exhausting vacation and personal time, an employee will convert to unpaid status with the benefits described above.

Q. Do I accrue additional paid time-off while on furlough?

 A. No, because paid time-off (vacation, personal and sick) is calculated based on hours in paid status, and a furlough is unpaid status.

Q. May I receive unemployment benefits while on a furlough or reduced hours schedule?

 A. An employee may be eligible for unemployment benefits under these circumstances. Contact the local unemployment office for information on eligibility and applying for unemployment benefits at http://www.floridajobs.org/

Q. May I work in another position while on furlough?

A. An employee may take another university position (including other full-time, part-time or temporary positions) or work outside of NSU during the furlough period. NSU will provide the employee when possible with five days advance notice of recall to work so s/he may discontinue the alternate employment.

Q: I was informed that I am a critical employee who must report to work on-campus. What do I get paid?

A. NSU remains open and fully operational. Accordingly, employees on campus or in an office environment or who telework from home receive their regular pay following NSU’s regular payday schedule.

 

Q: I am an hourly (non-exempt) employee who is approved for telework.  How do I clock-in and clock-out in Kronos?

A. SharkTime can only be used within the NSU network. After connecting to the NSU network via Shark VPN, you may connect to SharkTime as usual. If you do not see a shortcut on your Desktop, navigate to https://sharklink.nova.edu/ and click on SharkTime in the Applications ribbon. 

 

Q: I am teleworking now, and I don’t want to drive to campus to pick up my paper paycheck. What can I do?

A. Sign up for direct deposit and your paycheck will be automatically deposited into your bank account without delay.  Please follow this link to sign up for this free service on the Payroll web page.   

 

Q: I’m a managing director, am I still able to extend a job offer?

A. Yes. You may make job offers for previously approved positions. Please contact your Central OHR Business Partner for the “how to” on job offer requirements and language.

 

 Q: Am I able to withdraw a job offer that I recently extended?

A. Yes. If you are uncertain how the COVID-19 disruption will affect your college/unit’s budget and operations, then you may withdraw a job offer. Please contact your Central OHR Business Partner to discuss this option.   

 

Q: I have a new employee that will be starting next week, can I delay the hire?

A. Yes. You can and should delay or postpone the start date for a new hire if you are uncertain how the COVID-19 disruption will affect your college/unit’s budget and operations. Please contact your Central OHR Business Partner to discuss the matter.  

 

Q: I have a new hire in a critical position that I need to start immediately as a teleworker.  Can I extend the probationary period so I have the time to evaluate his skills when he begins working in our office space?

A. Yes. You are encouraged to extend the probationary period for new or recent hires for an additional 90 calendar days (for a total of 180 calendar days). Please advise your college/unit HR Contact of the extension.  

PREVENTING ILLNESS AT WORK

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 that include cough, fever and shortness of breath, please isolate yourself, do not come to work, and seek medical attention by contacting a medical professional. Inform the medical professional of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility.

As with all contagious illnesses, limit the potential for exposure to other people and do not come to work

 

If you are required to self-quarantine due to actual exposure or a potential exposure incident, please inform your supervisor and HR Contact of your absence with the date your 14-day self-quarantine begins and ends. During the self-isolation period, it may be possible for you to work remotely. The University’s policy on telework is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/Telework%20Policy.html.  Please note that not all individuals or positions are appropriate for assignment to telework. You may ask your supervisor about the availability of this option.   I meet with students (and/or employees, patients, customers etc.) frequently as part of my job. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

 

As with other forms of influenza or contagious disease such as the common cold, practice “social distancing” by maintaining a reasonable distance between you and the other person.  Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Offer the person a tissue (have a box handy on your desk or at your work area) and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they need to cough or sneeze. After the person leaves, use an anti-bacterial wipe to clean your workstation and any area that the person may have touched.  If appropriate, suggest that the meeting be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or conduct the business by email, phone or Skype.

 

Yes, you may consider sending an employee home if they are showing symptoms of illness. Some symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, and shortness of breath) also are exhibited in other types of illness. Please do not conclude that an employee has COVID-19 based simply on your own observation; rather politely advise the employee to take a sick day. Please contact your Central OHR Business Partner for assistance with your communication to the employee.  

 

As NSU employees self-isolate and/or are directed to self-quarantine, this should be reported to the Office of Human Resources so that we better understand the needs of NSU employees during this time. In addition, this allows the Office of Human Resources to advance sick time when warranted, consistent with the modifications to the sick leave policy. Employees are encouraged to report their own isolation or quarantine, or HR Contacts and supervisors may also report the information. Report self-isolation or quarantine here.

Bringing a child to work during this COVID-19 disruption is generally ill advised and prohibited in most areas. Requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Dean or Vice President in consultation with OHR. During the disruption period, employees may utilize up to 5 days of paid time-off (applied in the following order: available personal leave first, then vacation, then sick leave) to provide childcare in the event of a daycare or school closure.

With supervisory approval, you may leave work, but you must use your own vacation or personal time-off to cover the absence – sick leave is not available for use in this circumstance. If your supervisor considers you to be an essential employee or your department is short on staff, s/he will require you to complete the workday.

No. You may request a vacation day or personal day if available, but if you are an essential employee or your department is short on staff, you will be required to report to work.

PAY, TIME-OFF, LEAVE BENEFITS & TELEWORK

Regular full-time and part-time employees may utilize available sick leave and other accrued time-off (vacation and personal days) to cover their absence. Employees working less than 19.2 hours per week and temporary employees do not receive any paid time-off benefits or pay for time not worked.        

President Hanbury has authorized modifications to NSU’s sick leave policy advancing employees up to 10 days of paid sick leave to cover the period of self-quarantine. See an explanation of the sick leave policy modifications at https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/SickLeave_COVID-19_Disruption.html

 

Yes.  Your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved vacation request, especially when necessary to ensure the continuity of academic programing, student support, patient care or business services.

Yes. President Hanbury has authorized modifications to NSU’s sick leave policy advancing employees up to 5 days of paid sick leave to ensure that all regular full-time and part-time employees have a minimum balance of 5 days paid time-off. Up to 5 days of paid time-off (applied in the following order: available personal leave first, then vacation, then sick leave) may be used to allow a parent to remain home with their child while making alternate childcare arrangements. An explanation of the sick leave policy modifications is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/SickLeave_COVID-19_Disruption.html

Temporary employees and employees working less than 19.2 hours per week do not receive any paid time-off benefits or pay for time not worked.

President Hanbury has authorized modifications to NSU’s sick leave policy advancing employees up to 5 days of paid sick leave to ensure that all regular full-time and part-time employees have a minimum balance of 5 days paid time-off. This paid time-off (sick, vacation and personal leave days) may be used to allow a parent to remain home with their child is ill. Your supervisor may approve you for telework if you are able to engage in productive accountable work activities while at home. An explanation of the sick leave policy modifications is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/SickLeave_COVID-19_Disruption.html and the telework policy at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/Telework%20Policy.html

Temporary employees and employees working less than 19.2 hours per week do not receive any paid time-off benefits or pay for time not worked.        

It may be possible for you to work remotely. The University’s policy on telework is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/Telework%20Policy.html.  Please note that not all individuals or positions are appropriate for assignment to telework. You may ask your supervisor about the availability of this option.  

If you have a chronic medical condition that may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disability Act, please contact OHR’s ADA Coordinator Ronenia Jenkins at rjenkins@nova.edu to discuss telework as a disability accommodation. It may be possible for you to work remotely. The University’s policy on telework is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/Telework%20Policy.html.  Please note that not all individuals or positions are appropriate for assignment to telework. You may ask your supervisor about the availability of this option.  

Enrollees in NSU’s ICUBA health insurance plan have access to Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Teledoc virtual doctor’s office. Your Teledoc physician is able to order prescriptions and issue doctor’s notes verifying the medical necessity for an employee’s absence.  Information on accessing Teledoc services is found at https://www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/Teladoc_2020.html

Yes. Temporary telework assignments (90 calendar days or less) require the approval of your supervisor and Dean or Vice President. Not all positions or individuals are suited for telework due to job duties that cannot be performed off-site or the operating requirements of the college/unit. An explanation of the telework policy is found at https://www.nova.edu/hr/policies/Telework%20Policy.html.

Yes. You may be asked to work more hours or a different schedule than normal particularly if your college/unit is short staffed due to higher than usual absenteeism. If necessary, your supervisor will try to provide as much advance notice as possible of the schedule change.   

HEALTHCARE COVERAGE & EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

NSU Health Clinics (including the Employee Health Clinic) do not provide COVID-19 screening or testing. Faculty and staff experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms are advised to isolate themselves and contact a medical professional for evaluation. 

Teledoc’s virtual physician office visit is available for those employees covered by NSU’s ICUBA health care plan. Please visit the Office of Human Resources webpage at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/Teladoc_2020.html for information on accessing Teledoc services.

Yes, testing for COVID-19 is covered at 100% (with no co-pay or deductible required), and necessary follow-up treatment will be covered under the benefits of the Blue/Blue Shield plan in which you are enrolled. 

NSU provides resources to help all employees through its Aetna Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides confidential counseling services at no cost to all employees and student-employees – you do not have to be enrolled in NSU’s health insurance plan to access EAP benefits. Information about the EAP’s 24/7, 365 days a year services is found at

https://www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/forms/2018/behavioral_summ1.pdf     

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