Guidance for Employees

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Flexible Work Arrangements and Telecommuting

The number of employees physically on campus has been minimized to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Division vice presidents designate which employees are approved for on-campus work. Any decision to change the College’s staffing levels will be decided by College leadership and communicated to all faculty and staff.

Managers and staff should continue to work together to identify flexible work arrangements, where applicable), that allow for continuity of operations, including:

  • Telework: Whittier College strongly encourages teleworking to allow eligible staff to work remotely. Employees must have a signed Telecommuting Agreement on file with Human Resources prior to beginning the telework or rotational schedule. Please contact Human Resources for additional information and guidance.
  • Rotational Staff Schedules: Some departments may require rotational work schedules to meet minimum staffing requirements. This arrangement allows managers to limit the number of staff on site at any one time. For example, in a department with 10 staff, a manager could decide to rotate weekly/daily coverage with 5 staff on-site and 5 staff teleworking.

Managers should work with their division vice presidents and their staff to determine which arrangements are most appropriate to ensure the continued operations of the department.

In-Person Meetings

Even when conducting permitted campus activities, in-person meetings are strongly discouraged in favor of virtual meetings. If in-person meetings are essential, they must be held in rooms large enough to maintain physical distancing such that all participants can easily maintain at least six-foot distance from one another at all practicable times and all participants must wear face coverings

Leaves of Absence for COVID-19 Diagnosis, Exposure, or Vaccination

Whittier College is considered a covered employer under the California 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave guidance. This provides employees up to 80 hours of supplemental COVID-19 related sick leave retroactively from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.



An employee may use the supplemental paid sick leave if you are unable to work or telework for any of the following reasons:

  • Caring for yourself due to quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 or if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis.   
  • Caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation period, or caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19.
  • To attend a vaccine appointment or to recover from vaccine-related symptoms.

To record use of Supplemental COVID-19 Sick pay, employees should utilize or mark the appropriate COVID-19 sick pay leave category on their electronic biweekly timesheet or fillable monthly payroll report. Monthly payroll reports for part- and full-time employees can also be found in the Payroll Resources channel on my.whittier.edu. Employees who used their regular sick leave to receive paid time off for one of the above COVID-19 eligible reasons and wish to have a correction made to their sick leave accruals should contact the HR and/or Payroll Office for necessary adjustments. 

Please see additional information regarding State benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.
 

Faculty

The College’s faculty leave policies as described in the Faculty Handbook will apply. Please notify the Dean of Faculty to request leave. Faculty may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) to care for a child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner with a serious illness/health condition, or the employee's serious illness/health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her duties. Details regarding salary and benefits must be cleared through Human Resources.

Staff

The College’s applicable leaves as described in the Employee Handbook will apply. Employees in need of extended time away, such as a Leave of Absence, should contact Human Resources to determine eligibility for applicable Leaves such as Family Medical leave (FMLA). Leaves are typically unpaid job-protected time off. Pay can often be supplemented through state programs such as Paid Family Leave, if caring for an eligible ill family member, or State Disability Insurance for an employee’s own illness or injury. For additional details on supplemental pay contact Human Resources and/or visit the EDD website to view Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance eligibility details.

Staff Sick Leave for COVID-19 Related Reasons

  • The College provides paid sick leave time to employees as described in the Employee Handbook.
  • The College allows use of an employee’s accrued sick time for reasons related to COVID-19:
    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) paid sick leave when an employee is unable to work (telework), the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or to care for a child (under 18 years) whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19
  • There is no supplemental or separate COVID-19 sick leave apart from an employee’s accrued sick time. Questions relating to use of sick time and eligibility for government programs should be directed to Human Resources

Work and Course Coverage

If it is necessary to arrange coverage for teaching while ill or caring for someone else, faculty must notify the Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean of Faculty, and their Department Chair. The Dean will coordinate course coverage and student notification as necessary.

If it is necessary to arrange coverage of staff work while ill or caring for someone else, employees must contact Human Resources. Human Resources will coordinate with your Supervisor.

Travel Restrictions & Reimbursement

According to CDC guidance, travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. 

All non-essential college-related travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time. This applies to all community members—students, faculty, and staff. We encourage employees to explore creative options for alternative research, work, and collaboration.

We also strongly discourage non-essential personal travel, both international and domestic. Please consult CDC recommendations for any essential travel.

Whittier College allows for reimbursement of cancellation or change fees with a valid reason. The COVID-19 pandemic meets this requirement. Employees who had pre-pandemic travel reservations for approved College business are eligible for reimbursement.