Updated: April 28, 2020

STAFF FAQS AND INFORMATION

Considerations for Fall 2020

 

Employee Information

University work locations will continue to operate but only to provide life sustaining operations until at least April 30, 2020, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Administrative leave due to COVID-19 will be extended through Friday, April 10, 2020.

Employees who are reporting to work or are telecommuting should continue to do so.

Below is more detailed information for impacted employees. This applies to AFSCME, SCUPA, SPFPA, POA, SEIU 668, OPEIU, and nonrepresented employees.

Employees Who Are Working or Telecommuting

For employees who are currently working or telecommuting, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides up to 10 days of paid sick leave and up to 10 work weeks of paid and 2 work weeks of unpaid expanded family and medical leave for eligible employees based on the type of qualifying event.  This additional leave may be at a reduced rate of pay.  These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

More information about the FFCRA is available .

Employee FAQs with respect to the FFCRA are available.

If you have questions, or wish to request paid leave under the FFCRA, please submit your request via email to COVID19LeaveRequest@passhe.edu.

FAQs for Employees Who Are Not Working or Not Telecommuting

Administrative leave due to COVID-19 will be extended through Friday, April 10, 2020.  Beginning on April 11, 2020, employees who are not working or not telecommuting will be required to use their own leave in accordance with direction from the Governor’s Office of Administration.

Universities are committed to supporting employees who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to support the operational needs of universities.  Therefore, those employees, who are not working or who are unable to telecommute, may request to use any of the paid or unpaid leave types listed below for which they are eligible and with supervisory approval, as needed:

  • Accrued and anticipated annual leave
  • Compensatory leave
  • Holiday leave earned from working on a holiday
  • Accrued and anticipated sick leave
  • Accrued and anticipated personal leave
  • Approved leave without pay with benefits

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, State System leave policies prohibiting employees from using paid leave during their first thirty (30) calendar days of employment and prohibiting employees with less than one (1) year of service from using anticipated leave are BOTH SUSPENDED temporarily for those employees who are not working or who are unable to telecommute.  

For those employees who have carryover leave that was set to expire on April 10, 2020, that leave would ordinarily either convert to sick leave or be forfeited.  The State System will be removing the requirement to use excess carryover leave during this state of emergency. Employees will not lose this excess leave and will not have it converted to sick leave at this time. Once the state of emergency is over, the State System will reinstate the policy with at least 60-days notice.

Employees who are not working or who are unable to telecommute are not eligible for the FFCRA leave mentioned below.

If you choose not to use, or are not eligible for, any paid leave benefits, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.  Please contact uchelp@pa.gov.  Refer to the COVID website for more information.

1. Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated annual leave or my accrued and/or anticipated personal leave if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?

  • Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or who are telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave. 
  • Employees may use their accrued or anticipated annual or personal leave to which they may become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year. 
  • For new employees, the rules that normally prohibit employees with less than one (1) year of service from anticipating annual leave during their first year of employment are temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. Therefore, employees with less than one (1) year of employment may anticipate annual or personal leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.

2. Can my supervisor deny the use of accrued or anticipated annual or personal leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

No.

3. Can I use accrued compensatory leave (aka “Comp Leave”) if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?

  • Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave.
  • Employees may use their accrued compensatory leave; however, compensatory leave cannot be anticipated.

4. Can my supervisor deny the use of compensatory leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

 No

5. Can my supervisor deny the use of compensatory leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

 
  • Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus and who cannot telecommute must use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are reporting to work or telecommuting should continue to do so and are not required to use leave. 
  • Normally, the use of sick leave is only appropriate when you are sick or injured. However, the rules associated with sick leave use have been temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. This temporary suspension is only in effect during the COVID-19 emergency. 
  • Employees may use accrued and anticipated sick leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.  
  • For new employees, the rules that normally prohibit employees with less than one (1) year of service from anticipating sick leave during their first year of employment are temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. Therefore, employees with less than one (1) year of employment may anticipate sick leave to which they would become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.  

6. If I use sick leave because I am sick or injured for any reason including sickness due to COVID-19, do I still need a note from my doctor?

The rules associated with sick leave use, including the rule requiring employees to provide a doctor’s note for any sick absence of three (3) or more consecutive workdays, have been temporarily suspended for absences due to COVID-19. This temporary suspension is only in effect during the COVID-19 emergency.

7. Can my supervisor deny the use of sick leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?

 No

8.  Can I use approved leave without pay (LWOP) instead of using all my paid leave during this time?

Approved LWOP may be used with supervisory approval. However, LWOP must be used in increments equal to at least one full pay period.  You may begin LWOP in the middle of a pay period provided the LWOP extends through the end of the next pay period.

 

9. Can I use a combination of LWOP and paid leave during this time?

Yes. However, LWOP must be used in increments equal to at least one full pay period.

10. Am I still responsible to pay the employee health care contribution if I use LWOP?

If you are on LWOP for more than one (1) full pay period, you will receive a bill from the Pennsylvania Employee Benefits Trust Fund (PEBTF) or the State System for the required employee contribution/payment.

11. Will I earn leave or seniority while on unpaid leave?

No, you do not earn leave or seniority credit while on unpaid leave.

12. If I am currently on administrative leave due to work not being available can I apply for FFCRA leave?

 No, you only qualify to utilize FFCRA leave if there is work available that you are unable to perform.

 

Additional FAQs

As an AFSCME or SCUPA bargaining unit employee am I permitted to work from home?

Yes.  There is a system-wide Procedure/Standard outlining the telecommuting and alternate work site procedures. If your position is deemed essential for the purposes of working remotely (i.e. from home) you will be notified by your manager.

What types of travel restrictions can be placed on employees and students?

 

West Chester University has prohibited international and out-of-state travel for University purposes and directed that employees shall only virtually participate in externally hosted meetings, conferences, trainings, or community events. Currently, in-person participation of such meetings is prohibited.

  If I am deemed non-essential and I cannot work from home, will I continue to be paid?

Please refer to updated information above.

Can I file for unemployment at this time?

 

During your ten (10) days of administrative leave you remain employed and are compensated for your regular hours (either 37.5 or 40 hours per week). Eligibility for unemployment is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation. We cannot advise about unemployment compensation questions.

What is social distancing and what are social distancing best practices?    

Most often, the spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts, when you are physically within 6 feet of someone. It is important for everyone to practice social distancing and employees should follow CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidance.

Do I have to come to work during this pandemic?

Essential employees as identified by their chain-of-command should report to work on campus unless directed otherwise.

West Chester University is not closed. We have implemented a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and may activate or place on administrative leave other essential employees specific to this pandemic situation in accordance with the COOP.

Questions about your role as an essential employee should be directed to your chain-of-command.

I have a compromised immune system, I am listed as essential, and I have to report to campus. Can I request to work from home?

Please contact the Office of Human Resources. You may be asked to provide a doctor’s note and provide information regarding any work-related restrictions.  This documentation will need to be reviewed in accordance with the employee’s assigned duties.

If an employee self-quarantines at their home, can they use sick leave since the advice is to not seek medical attention because the doctor’s offices may be overwhelmed?

Yes. Please notify your chain-of-command if you are self-quarantining due to illness or a potential exposure. Your leave may be covered as part of the Office Closure Policy, Management Directive 530.17 .

If I am sick and cannot come to work, do I need to provide a doctor’s note to return to work once I am healthy?

The State System is waiving the 3-day requirement as of 3/13/2020 for COVID-19 related illnesses. Prior to you return to work, you should speak with your supervisor or manager.

How will paper paychecks be distributed?

Effective with the March 27, 2020 payday, paper paychecks will be mailed from the Office of the Chancellor directly to the employee’s address on file. Direct deposit statements will be held at the Office of the Chancellor until normal operations resume.    

Zoom Support

Users looking for just in time Zoom support should dial 610.436.3350 to reach the IS&T HelpDesk and press option 4 to speak to a technician during LIVE synchronous sessions. Coverage extends from 8:00am-8:00pm for Monday-Thursday, and Friday 8:00am-4:00pm.

For additional information about Zoom including how recent security settings impact hosts and participants visit the Zoom support page.

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