Guidance for Employees

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COVID-19 Safety: Workers’ Rights in California

Whittier College complies with Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards to protect employees from COVID-19 in the workplace. The LA County Department of Public Health provides a summary of employee rights.

Flexible Work Arrangements and Telecommuting

Division Vice Presidents in collaboration with Human Resources will communicate with supervisors to determine optimal return to campus work arrangements, that may include:

  • Telework: Whittier College offers teleworking to allow eligible staff to work remotely. Please consult with your supervisor regarding eligibility for remote work. 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 supervisors to limit the number of staff on-site at any one time. For example, in a department with 10 staff, a supervisor could decide to rotate weekly/daily coverage with five staff on-site and five staff teleworking.

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 a 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.

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.