Faculty and Staff
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
- Am I expected to report to work?
- Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated annual leave, accrued and/or anticipated personal leave, or accrued and/or anticipated sick leave if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?
- Can I use accrued compensatory leave (aka “Comp Leave”) if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?
- 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?
- Can my supervisor deny the use of accrued or anticipated annual leave, personal leave, or sick leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?
- Can I use approved leave without pay (LWOP) instead of using all of my paid leave during this time?
- Can I use a combination of LWOP and paid leave during this time?
- Am I still responsible to pay the employee health care contribution if I use LWOP?
- Will I earn leave or seniority while on unpaid leave?
- If I am currently on administrative leave due to work not being available can I apply for FFCRA leave?
- Should I avoid campus?
- How can I get my campus mail?
- How will employees, who are not able to work remotely, be paid?
- What should I do if I’m sick?
- What should I do if I need an accommodation due to my own serious health condition or that of a member of my household?
- I have personal and/or annual leave carryover that must be used by April, but I can’t take time off right now due to my responsibility to assist in the COVID-19 response. What are my options to avoid losing my carryover leave?
- My colleague or supervisor is showing signs of illness and is still at work. What should I do?
- I am concerned about getting sick from others around me at work. What should I do?
- Greenstein/Mash memorandum
Am I expected to report to work?
On April 1, Governor Tom Wolf extended his stay-at-home order to all 12.8 million people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The amended “stay at home” order remains in effect through April 30. On a practical level, this means:
- University personnel who provide life-sustaining services are permitted to continue their work, so long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Essential and non-essential employees, who have been working remotely, are asked to continue doing so through the end of April.
- For those who are not working remotely, I can report that administrative leave has been extended by the Governor and the Chancellor until April 10.
Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated annual leave, accrued and/or anticipated personal leave, or accrued and/or anticipated sick leave if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?
- Yes. Beginning April 11, 2020, employees who are not required to be on campus full-time and who cannot telecommute can choose to use their own leave for their absence. Employees who are actively engaged in full-time work should continue to do so and are not required to use paid leave.
- Employees may use their accrued or anticipated annual, personal, or sick leave to which they may become entitled in the 2020 leave calendar year.
- 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 during the COVID-19 emergency. This temporary suspension is only in effect during this period.
- 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 during the COVID-19 emergency. 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.
Can I use accrued compensatory leave (aka “Comp Leave”) if there is no work available for me due to COVID-19?
Yes. Beginning April 11, 2020, Employees may use their accrued compensatory leave; however, compensatory leave cannot be anticipated. Use of paid leave is voluntary.
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?No. 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.Back to top
Can my supervisor deny the use of accrued or anticipated annual leave, personal leave, or sick leave related to lack of work during COVID-19?
Can I use approved leave without pay (LWOP) instead of using all of my paid leave during this time?
- Yes, approved LWOP may be used. LWOP must be used in increments equal to at least one full pay period, however you may begin LWOP in the middle of a pay period provided the LWOP extends through the end of the next pay period.
- Employees who are working reduced hours may use LWOP on a day by day basis to cover the remainder of the week/pay period.
- For example, an employee who is working two days per week can use three days of LWOP to cover the remainder of the week.
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 (with the exception of employees working reduced hours as noted in #5).Back to top
Am I still responsible to pay the employee health care contribution if I use LWOP?
Yes. 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.
Will I earn leave or seniority while on unpaid leave?
No, you will not earn leave or seniority credit while on unpaid leave. Eligibility for our Marauder Milestones (years of service) program will not be negatively impacted.
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 and you meet the eligibility criteria as identified here.Back to top
Should I avoid campus?
For your safety and the safety of others, we are strongly urging you not to come to campus.
Based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisories, the best way to prevent illness from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed. CDC advice is to put distance between us and other people to keep COVID-19 from spreading in our community.
The administration is reiterating the CDC position - asking all Millersville employees, unless otherwise notified, to stay home and away from campus. We do understand if you need to make a quick trip to your office to set up your technology for remote access, pick up supplies or materials, textbooks, etc. We strongly urge you to work remotely.
How can I get my campus mail?
Essential departments who have to pick up mail, (admissions, finance, student accounts, Advancement) can have limited access to the mail room. We suggest no more than one pick-up per day per department. Mail can be picked up in Boyer Building 8:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. You can also call 717-871-7008.
How will employees, who are not able to work remotely, be paid?
Paid administrative leave will be extended through Wednesday, April 1, 2020. This means that employees will be eligible for different amounts of administrative leave depending on when they were placed on leave. Additional questions should be directed to your supervisor.
What should I do if I’m sick?
If you are feeling unwell or showing any signs of illness do not come to work. You may use your accrued sick, annual, personal, or compensatory time to cover your absence, just as you normally would.
What should I do if I need an accommodation due to my own serious health condition or that of a member of my household?
If you are at a higher risk of having complications associated with coronavirus, or reside with an individual who is at higher risk, and wish to seek alternative work arrangements or some other accommodation contact Human Resources, 717-871-4950 or email@example.com, to start the process. HR will then work with you and your supervisor to determine reasonable accommodations through the ADA interactive process.
I have personal and/or annual leave carryover that must be used by April, but I can’t take time off right now due to my responsibility to assist in the COVID-19 response. What are my options to avoid losing my carryover leave?
The deadline to use annual and/or personal leave carryover has been extended indefinitely. When a new deadline for use is set employees will receive 60 days’ notice in order to allow time to use their carryover leave.
My colleague or supervisor is showing signs of illness and is still at work. What should I do?
Notify your supervisor, follow your chain of command, or notify HR, 717-871-4950 or firstname.lastname@example.org, that the person is sick. Do not question the individual about their illness or seek out any information about their recent travels.
I am concerned about getting sick from others around me at work. What should I do?
The best way to minimize your risk is to follow the CDC’s guidelines for prevention:
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes and other frequently touched items.
- Avoid close contact.
Dear Faculty Colleagues-
Our higher education community is highly connective and collaborative, which how it should be. But it presents unique challenges when public health issues—such as Coronavirus (COVID-19)—arise that require more social distancing and intentional separation of those who are most at risk. That being said, our collaborative nature is also our strength as we work together to provide a high-quality educational experience for our students while safeguarding their health, safety, and welfare.
We want to thank everyone for working together to quickly respond to this evolving situation—specifically our faculty, chairs, deans, and provosts who have been collaborating at a new level to meet the needs of our students in the final months of this semester.
Below is guidance that we offer as you work through solutions that work best for your campus’s needs:
Instructional and Service Modalities
In considering alternatives to face-to-face instruction, it is imperative that we maintain our commitment to students and ensure appropriate academic rigor toward completion of course objectives. In doing so, we must also understand that both faculty and students might need to familiarize themselves with new platforms or might have issues related to access and use. For face-to-face courses that migrate to online platforms, we understand that in-person courses don’t automatically translate to an online or other modality, so it is important for all these reasons that we provide support for and patience with our students and faculty during this time. Faculty who employ alternatives to face-to-face instruction must also be available for online office hours.
For those universities that move courses to alternative modalities, please provide a short but reasonable period of time during which faculty and students can prepare before classes resume using the alternative modalities. The length of the preparation period would be based on and incorporated in the faculty member’s plan for delivering the course objectives within the remaining time in the semester. Faculty employing non face-to-face modalities of instruction (e.g. online, by ZOOM, or by email) must provide their chairs and deans an explanation of how the course will be completed.
Each campus is empowered to work with their APSCUF chapter to address any possible policy implications related to the alternative modalities for the semester. Courses that shift to an online modality would not be subject to university curricular policies for approval of online delivery for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester (Article 41 of the collective bargaining agreement would not apply to these courses).
For those that are continuing with face-to-face sessions, we urge a liberal attendance policy so that students who self-quarantine are not penalized for missing class. Also, we urge you to work with any affected students to provide opportunities for them to complete the course objectives given their situation.
For non-instructional faculty who provide services to students (e.g., counseling/advising) we encourage you to maintain your accessibly to students through phone and video (ZOOM/Skype) sessions. This will be important as students face additional pressures and stressors associated with Coronavirus and the potential changes to normal academic rhythms.
Impact on Faculty Professional Development
It is important that during this time of flux, we ensure any steps we take to provide continuity of service to our students enhance our faculty’s professional development and encourage exploration of new teaching modalities. Below are items for your consideration:
Where faculty move from face-to-face to another modality, they will use their best efforts to adapt to and engage in the new modality. At the same time, it will remain within the discretion of the faculty member whether or not to include student evaluations in performance reviews so as not to discourage innovation; nor should faculty be penalized for not submitting these evaluations. Peer evaluations should be completed to the greatest degree possible. Should it not be possible to complete a peer evaluation, department chairs and evaluation committees must provide the faculty member with a letter stating this fact.
For scholarship and service opportunities, below is an example notation to be included in evaluation documents:
“Due to the COVID-19 virus in the Spring of 2020, faculty member X moved a face-to-face class to fully online instruction on short-notice for the last N weeks of the semester. Additionally, the faculty member was unable to travel to conferences to present already accepted paper(s) and was not able to meet with certain committees/service groups due to meeting cancellations. Reviewers are reminded to include consideration of these exceptional circumstances in the review of faculty member X’s work.”
Off-Campus Experiential Learning
Where possible, we recommend that all internships, clinicals, and student teaching placements continue unless/until the host organization changes operations such that they cannot continue in some form. In the event that students cannot continue these experiential learning activities, universities will seek to provide alternative learning opportunities that will fulfill course objectives by the end of the Spring semester or as soon as possible thereafter.
In all of these efforts, we encourage university leadership and faculty leadership to work collaboratively to resolve any potential collective bargaining issues that might arise as new challenges emerge during this semester—seeking guidance from the Office of the Chancellor and State APSCUF along the way.
We encourage everyone to embrace the highest possible degree of patience, flexibility, and agility in the face of future uncertainty to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students, many of whom might undergo family hardships due to the circumstances. We also recognize that not every possible challenge can be identified in advance, but we remain committed to cooperation and mutual agreement as our preferred method for addressing these issues as they arise.
Thank you for all you are doing during this difficult time.
Dan Greenstein Ken Mash
Chancellor APSCUF President