As we work together during these unprecedented times, we need all employees to be aware of several items regarding benefits and payroll. Please take a few minutes and read through the information below so that you are well prepared for the weeks ahead.
Some of you may be very anxious about the impact of Governor Whitmer's decision to close K-12 schools in Michigan until April 5; on the issue of employees staying home due to K-12 closures, the details in the “Payment for Wages for Faculty and Staff” section may be helpful. Know that your wellness is our top priority; we are doing everything we can to reduce the burden of this situation on you and your family.
Both CVS and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) have asked us to share notices regarding coverage for COVID-19 medical services along with important information regarding prescription refills. Please read the CVS notice and the BCBS notice.
Most importantly, employees with BCBS coverage are being asked to sign up for the BCBS Online Medical Service that Hope’s plan supports. Please take some time to learn about the service and set up your account. This is being asked so that when individuals experience mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms or other medical issues unrelated to the virus, we are not overloading our medical community (E.R., urgent care, and physician offices) with non-severe cases. You are able to use BCBS Online Medical Service as often as you need, and when you use it, you will be speaking in person with licensed physicians and nurses. It is important to enroll now, prior to your becoming ill.
- If you become ill with COVID-19 and require hospitalization or a 14-day quarantine, you do not need to request FMLA paperwork or have your physician complete the form. We are waiving FMLA requirements for this illness.
- For anyone else who had planned surgeries/maternity leaves etc., please continue to follow the normal Disability/FMLA process.
It is very important the college keep track of numbers of those ill with COVID-19 or those asked to self-quarantine.
- If you have been asked to quarantine by a medical professional or health department, please notify HR at email@example.com.
- If you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms, make sure you stay home until cleared or confirmation can occur (if possible). In either case, please notify HR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a benefit change while you are away from campus, please continue to follow the normal Benefit Changes process, which will alert email@example.com.
If you have not previously signed up for direct deposit of your paycheck, now is the time! Please log in to your plus.hope.edu account and do this right away. The HR team is confident that we can process direct deposits from our homes; however, printing checks can be done only in the office. If we are unable to work on campus, needing to print paychecks will delay the payroll process for everyone.
If you approve student and hourly timecards, and you are away from campus, please remember to approve your timecards. Remember that students are turning timecards in this Friday, March 13, for approval next week and hourly staff the following Friday, March 20, for the following week.
Hourly employees, don’t forget to submit your hours if you are working off site!
PAYMENT FOR WAGES FOR FACULTY AND STAFF
The following applies to all full- and part-time regularly scheduled employees. ("Regularly scheduled" describes all employees who are not temporary.)
- In the rare event that Hope College is required to close campus and/or shift all employees to remote operations, employees will receive full pay.
- If the employee has an immediate family member who is symptom-free but has been asked to quarantine, the employee should work remotely if possible until release from quarantine occurs, and will receive full pay. You do not need to report this to HR but work with your supervisor on details.
- If an employee’s child has a school or childcare closure and no alternate care is available, the employee should coordinate with their supervisor for the ability to work remotely or a reduced schedule. Full pay will be received, and this does not need to be reported to HR.
- If an employee has an immediate family member at home who appears to have COVID-19 symptoms, the employee should stay home, working from home if possible, until diagnosis is confirmed (if possible), and will receive full pay. Please remember to notify HR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If an employee is ordered to be quarantined, the employee will receive full pay. Please remember to notify HR at email@example.com.
- If an employee is sick with COVID-19 symptoms, the employee should stay home until advised to return to work, and will receive full-pay. Please remember to notify HR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specifically for hourly-paid full-time and part-time staff: In situations 1–3, please report your regular hours on your timecard. You do not need to use sick, personal, floating holiday or vacation time. In situations 4–6, report your hours using sick and personal hours first. You do not need to use vacation time or your floating holiday. Once sick and personal time are exhausted, continue to report the hours as sick hours. Your balances will be allowed to run into the negative. This specific process of tracking hours is critical for insurance purposes. You will receive your full pay.
Additional work situations requiring individual manager approval
If an employee’s work has been greatly reduced due to the smaller on-campus population, upon manager approval they may be sent home with normal pay, either working reduced hours or no hours. Otherwise, all employees are expected to report to work. Prior to considering reduced hours, employees and supervisors should think creatively about how they can support the work of colleagues outside of their own department, for the good of our students and the campus community. As different needs for the institution emerge, employees will have opportunities to temporarily step into different roles to fill gaps and help sustain the Hope experience for our students. Please contact email@example.com with ideas or opportunities to support the efforts of other departments.
Other situations that arise that are not mentioned here are being handled on a case-by-case basis with manager approval.
Please note this new travel restriction for Hope employees and students: All college-sponsored international travel is suspended until at least April 13. All non-essential college-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until at least April 13. This includes new travel as well as currently booked trips scheduled to occur before April 13. Essential travel is defined as travel that is absolutely necessary to fulfill the current priorities of the college, can only be completed by the traveler’s physical presence, and does not introduce significant potential for an unacceptable health hazard. The details for any college-sponsored domestic travel being considered prior to April 13 should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org ;for approval.
These restrictions do not apply to personal travel. However, you are strongly encouraged to anticipate potential travel issues that could include delays and require self-quarantine upon return. Be aware that, as the outbreak develops, Hope’s travel restrictions may change. The Steering Committee plans to revisit the issue of travel frequently, so watch for updates in Campus Health emails.
Student employees may continue working on campus if requested by their supervisor. However, prior to doing so, the supervisor must submit the following information to email@example.com:
- Student name
- Student email address
- Hours to be worked
- Housing location (on-campus address or off-campus)
The supervisor will be notified once all the necessary information has been received, at which time the student may resume working. The same restrictions and guidelines regarding hours worked per week will still apply and the student should continue to report hours worked on their timecard in the normal manner.
For Federal Work Study students who are unable to work, we will be averaging their hours from the past four payrolls and will continue to pay their work-awarded wages as advised by Financial Aid. Supervisors will not be required to approve a timecard for the students. We will be communicating this information directly to the eligible students.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US!
The primary goal of Hope College and the HR team is to make sure you are well cared for during this time, and that you continue to receive your full pay and benefits. This will allow you to focus on your well-being and that of your family. YOU are our most valuable resource! Please take all the necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe during this time!
Anderson-Werkman Center100 East 8th StreetSuite 210Holland, MI 49423