Guidelines for staff employees

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Institutions throughout the country are working to appropriately respond to the challenges we face with COVID-19.  Bryant is no different.  Many in the Bryant community have inquired about working from home – or not coming to work – and what our approach will be in these situations.  Bryant, until situations dictate, will remain open but develop a flexible plan to both take care of people’s needs and to minimize health risks. 

For those with the ability to work from home, work-from-home priority will be given to people who fall into these general categories:

  • People who are at high risk due to compromised immune systems or have compromising upper respiratory issues;
  • People who, due to a COVID-19-related school closing, cannot work due to lack of alternative childcare.  As communities across the region work to curb the spread of COVID-19, several are opting to close schools for varying periods of time. We realize that these unexpected closures could create childcare issues for some of you;
  • People whose immediate household includes people who are at high risk due to compromised immune systems or have compromising upper respiratory issues, e.g. elderly parents living with you;
  • People who are asymptomatic but in self-quarantine.

Please note that contrary to what we often allow, because of COVID-19’s unique health dangers and in the interest of the health and safety of our employees and their families, we will not permit employees to bring their children to work with them during this period.  Also, it is our expectation that if you have been approved to work from home, you work from your home and not from some alternative location.  Finally, those employees who do continue to work on campus will be expected to practice good workplace hygiene, including washing their hands frequently, maintaining appropriate distance from others, and working in limited groups.

The Provost and each Divisional Vice President has the authority to review all work-from-home requests even if they do not fall within the priority cases above within their Divisions and to utilize their discretion in this area, coordinating these decisions with our Human Resources team. Rotational work-from-home arrangements may be implemented for periods of time to lessen the risk here at Bryant.  Because this COVID-19 situation could be a lengthy period, we ask everyone to deal with needs and working from home in a two-week format as we incrementally decide how to respond.  These policies and procedures could change based on future facts.

Other important points:

  • All employees who are experiencing a sore throat, fever of any severity, or cold symptoms need to stay at home until they have been asymptomatic for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. These people must check in with Health Services by phone or email before returning to campus;
  • Some people may be too ill to work (i.e. normal “call outs”), due to a serious medical condition under FMLA, or who have tested positive for COVID-19. These people would receive sick pay under normal guidelines.
  • We recognize that some people who have a need to stay at home as outlined above simply cannot work from home due to the nature of their jobs. Please see below for pay considerations.  

We’ve reviewed our time-off guidelines for employees and have decided to relax them in certain ways to support those impacted by these circumstances. In the case of a COVID-19-related school closing where a Bryant employee cannot work due to lack of alternative childcare or they have other good reason to remain off campus as outlined above, please note the following:

  • If your job enables you to work from home, you’ll be permitted to do so;
  • You may use vacation time, personal time you have been awarded, or sick time in order to receive pay for your time out of the office;
  • If you don’t have any paid time available, you’ll be permitted to borrow from your next anniversary year of vacation or sick time (up to one year’s eligibility);
  • On a case-by-case basis, you may be permitted to take unpaid time off; 
  • If you’re not currently set up to work from home but believe you could do so from your personal computer or laptop, you should discuss this with your manager. We’ll consider these requests case by case.

Finally, any time you’re out of the office for a COVID-19-related school closing or other related situation will not be held against your attendance or dependability record. If you are out for this reason, please make sure that your manager is aware.

We’re hopeful that these changes will help get our employees through this challenging time a bit more easily.

Please direct any questions or concerns to your supervisor. 

Thank you.