August 15, 2020

2020 Holiday Calendar Updates

A message from the Office of Human Resources:

 

Dear Colleagues:

In addition to the recent commemoration of Juneteenth, there have been a few other changes to the 2020 UMW holidays. The updated calendar can be viewed here and the changes are summarized below:

  • Due to the changes in the academic calendar necessitated by COVID-19, Sept. 7, 2020 (Labor Day), will now be a work day. This holiday has been moved to Tuesday, Nov. 24, the week of Thanksgiving.
  • The Commonwealth has added Election Day 2020 (Nov. 3) to the state holiday calendar. UMW will be open on Election Day and has moved this holiday to Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, so we will be off the entire week of Thanksgiving. UMW urges all employees to exercise their right to vote and expects managers to be flexible in allowing employees the time to do so.

Other news:

  • After careful reconsideration, the Cabinet has decided to reinstate the Tuition Waiver Program for employees taking UMW classes! Please follow the link provided to view the policy and access the request form. Tuition waiver request forms should be returned to Denise Frye, dfrye@umw.edu, before classes start.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we all work to navigate the changes and challenges 2020 continues to bring.

Thank you,

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington

Furlough reminders

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, furlough days were due to be requested and approved in MyTime by Friday, July 10. Supervisors: Please make sure you have approved all requested furlough days in MyTime in order for them to be populated in employee timesheets. Below are several reminders regarding furlough days:

  • Furlough days cannot be taken the day before, after or on the day of a UMW holiday (see pay period dates below, updated based on revised UMW holiday calendar).
  • When on furlough, employees are to perform no work; this includes emails, meetings or phone calls. This is very important, and supervisors should have no expectation for employees to perform work on furlough days.
  • In order to manage service expectations, please ensure you have an “away” message programmed for emails. This message should indicate that you will not be checking or responding to emails until you return to work, and give your return date.
  • If, due to business needs, you end up having to work on a previously scheduled furlough day, the furlough leave will need to be canceled for that day and rescheduled for a later date.
    • Due to stringent payroll deadlines and manual adjustments Payroll must make, furlough days will be identified by Payroll at the beginning of each furlough eligible pay period.
    • If there are any adjustments needed to furlough days/hours at the end of the pay period, Payroll must be notified.
    • Necessary adjustments will be made on a future pay date.
  • During weeks in which furlough days are taken, please ensure your work hours do not exceed 40 for the week.This applies to Exempt employees as well as Non-Exempt.

 

  • Furlough Days are based on salary:

Below $30,000                                    0 days
$30,000-$39,999                                5 days
$40,000-$49,999                                7 days
$50,000-$74,999                                8 days
$75,000-$99,999                                9 days
$100,000-$124,999                         10 days
$125,000-$149,999                         12 days
$150,000 and above                        15 days

  • Pay Periods During Which Furlough Days May Be Scheduled:
7/10-7/24 12/1-12/09*
8/10-8/24 12/10-12/17*
9/10-9/24 1/5-1/9/2021*
9/25-10/9 2/10-2/24/2021
10/25-11/9 3/10-3/24/2021
11/10-11/19*

 

*These pay periods have fewer furlough days available due to UMW holiday breaks. Furlough days cannot be taken the day before, after, or on the day of a UMW holiday.

Please refer to the June 2 furlough guidance email, and the attached Furlough FAQs document if you have additional questions.

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington

CommonHealth Announces Free WW Wellness Program with Oprah

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

CommonHealth, the Virginia Employee Wellness Program, has just announced a free wellness opportunity for Virginia employees.

The WW (formerly Weight Watchers) series is available to ALL EMPLOYEES (you do not have to be a WW member).

The live series is presented on Saturdays. They will also be available on demand.

Register here.

 

 

 

 

Q&A Addressed Employee Concerns

Faculty and staff tuned in yesterday afternoon for a Q&A session livestreamed on Zoom. During the hourlong video chat, Chief of Staff Jeff McClurken, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair and Executive Director of Human Resources Beth Williams answered an array of questions about their respective areas.

“I just wanted to say thank you for all you’ve done,” McClurken said at the start of the session. He pointed to moving pieces – state budget calls, fall enrollment figures, government health orders and SCHEV suggestions – that will inform future decisions.

Grades are in, and face-to-face education is still the plan for the fall, McClurken said, reminding participants of President Paino’s task force designed to wade through the uncertainty and decipher how the details of in-person learning might play out.

“We know our students want to be here,” said Landphair, who stressed that UMW’s academic mission and its responsibility to maintain safety on campus are inextricable. Departments like dining, athletics and housing, she said, are already drafting plans for multiple scenarios in the fall.

The past few weeks have revealed the strengths of our community, said Landphair, who shared examples of parents’ positive feedback on University-issued communications.

Mikhalevsky praised faculty. “You all have done an absolutely incredible job and we have the data to prove that,” she said, referencing an upcoming open forum for faculty members.

Williams echoed that positivity, adding that she has found it “inspiring” to be part of the UMW workforce, with employees who have been “adaptable and flexible,” during this time of turmoil due to COVID-19. She issued reminders about the May 15 open enrollment deadline for health benefits; Employee Appreciation Day on Monday, May 11; and ongoing open Staff Advisory Council chats on Thursdays at 11.

Q&A participants raised questions about the ability to revamp course descriptions as circumstances become more clear, the status of funding for travel and its impact on tenure-track faculty, and how furlough and salary-reduction situations could play out if they become necessary. Other inquiries delved into current enrollment numbers, where branding efforts stand and the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) .

The panelists addressed questions to the best of their ability. McClurken’s response to the question about PPE could have been applied to many inquiries. “I promise you, we are exploring the options,” he said. “I absolutely understand your concern, and we will bring that info to you as soon as we have it.”

Learn more by viewing the May 6, 2020, Q&A session on YouTube.

Employee Leave Options

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

To: All Staff and Faculty

The UMW community has done an amazing job responding to the challenges we’ve faced as a result of the coronavirus.  Over a short period of time, the majority of our workforce transitioned to telework and has since been finding new and creative ways to serve our students and provide excellent institutional support.

This is a reminder that, even while teleworking, there may be times when taking leave becomes necessary.  Below are some guidelines regarding leave types that are available and their appropriate usage:

Regular leave (sick, vacation, annual leave, etc.)

  • Use your regular leave for your own illness (non-COVID-19) or if you just need to take some well-deserved time off (use your department’s usual approval process).

 

State and Federal leave options are available for different COVID-19 scenarios:

Virginia Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) – applies to all employees including wage and adjunct positions

Under the Virginia’s revised State Public Health Emergency Leave policy you may be eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) if you:

  • Are an essential, on-campus employee and have been required by public health officials to self-monitor during the incubation period
  • Are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are caring for someone who has been diagnosed
  • Are in a job that is not conducive to telework and no other work arrangements can be made.  Every effort is being made to keep employees in a working status.
  • Are unable to work onsite due to high risk category or underlying health condition.

Leave hours available:

Full-time employees are eligible for up to 160 hours;

Wage employees are eligible for up to the maximum normally worked in a four-week period

Process for supervisors to request this leave on the employee’s behalf:

1)      Complete the online MyTime Supervisor Form for each employee, indicating the total number of PHEL hours

2)      Once approved, you will key into MyTime the total number of PHEL hours for the pay period.   A special leave code is added to the timesheet.

Please contact Denise Frye at dfrye@umw.edu with any questions about PHEL.

 

New Federal Leave: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)  

Click here to view the federal FFCRA poster.

Overview:  Additional paid leave for full time and part time (including wage) employees and expanded family and medical leave for specified COVID-19 issues that affect you and your family members. This is in addition to the State Public Health Emergency Leave described above.

Effective Date:  04/01/2020 to 12/31/2020

Two Components:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act 

If you are unable to work or telework for the following reasons, you will be provided with two weeks of paid sick leave for full-time and pro-rated for part-time employees:

  1. To self-isolate due to diagnoses with positive COVID-19;
  2. To obtain a medical diagnosis/care for symptoms of COVID-19; or
  3. To comply with recommendation of health care provider that you need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns

If you are unable to work or telework for the following reasons; you will be provided with two weeks of paid leave that will pay 2/3 of your regular pay up to $200 for full-time and pro-rated for part-time employees:

  1. To care for an individual who is quarantined or advised to self-isolate;
  2. To care for a child if the school or child care provider has been closed or the provider is not available due to COVID-19;
  3. Who are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As a reminder, Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) participants WHO ARE ILL with COVID-19 symptoms must file a short term disability claim by calling Reed Group at 1-877-928-7021. DO NOT file a claim simply because you have been exposed but have no symptoms or are self-isolating.

 

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA)

Paid leave time for the last 10 weeks of the Family Medical Leave Act Period at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay; maximum pay is $200 per day. (previous periods of 2020 FMLA usage is included).

This leave may be used intermittently and when returning to work from the emergency period you still have your job protections thein the same manner as FMLA affords you.

To be eligible:

  1. You must have worked for at least 30 calendar days.
  2. You are unable to work, including telework, due to the need to care for your child under age 18 because school or your child care provider is closed or the provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 (documentation is required).

Please contact Denise Frye at dfrye@umw.edu for more information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

 

Thank you for all you’re doing to keep UMW moving forward while keeping yourselves and your families safe.

Sincerely,

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources

Tuition Assistance Programs

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

As President Paino stated in his recent email, UMW is facing unprecedented financial challenges due to COVID-19, and we must make difficult decisions in order to ensure we are able to continue to serve our students.

As a part of the larger effort to reduce expenses and prepare for the coming impact to revenue, UMW has decided to suspend the Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement programs for the academic year, beginning with summer classes. This is a difficult decision for us as an educational institution, and we appreciate your understanding as we make these hard choices. We are hopeful the University will be in a position to restore these programs in the next academic year.

Thank you for your continued hard work and flexibility as we navigate these challenging times together.

Thank you,

Beth Williams
Office of Human Resources

Employee Appreciation Day, May 11

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

The 2020 UMW holiday calendar designates May 11 as Employee Appreciation Day; this has not changed, we still have the day off!

Traditionally, this day is intended to give faculty and staff a break after Commencement. Although there’s no graduation ceremony this spring, UMW employees have been working tirelessly responding to COVID-19 and continuing to do great work under very challenging circumstances. We want to show our gratitude with this well-deserved break on Monday, May 11.

Thank you for all you do, and enjoy your time off to rest, relax and recharge.

 

Best wishes, and Be Well!

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources

2020 Open Enrollment for health benefits and flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

Starting Friday, May 1, it’s Open Enrollment!  This is your window each year to enroll in a health plan and/or a flexible reimbursement account (FSA), change your health plan, add or remove family members or waive state health coverage.

Changes to your premiums, health benefits and FSAs will take effect on July 1, 2020.

Plans Offered Administrator Available
COVA Care Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Statewide and elsewhere
COVA HealthAware Aetna Statewide and elsewhere
COVA HDHP Anthem Statewide and elsewhere
Kaiser Permanente HMO Kaiser Permanente Regional, primarily in Northern Virginia
Optima Health Vantage HMO Optima Health Regional, in Hampton Roads
TRICARE Supplement Selman & Company Statewide and elsewhere for employees or their spouses who are military retirees

 

Need help making decisions?  ALEX, your online benefits counselor, is on the job again!  ALEX can assist you in reviewing your health plan options, do the math based on your input, and recommend a plan for you.

See the Spotlight newsletter, which was mailed to your home address. Or you can visit the Open Enrollment page for more information.

Make your elections on EmployeeDirect or complete, sign and mail an enrollment form.

The deadline to enroll or make changes is Friday, May 15, 2020.

Questions?  Contact your Benefits Administrator or send an email toopenenrollment@dhrm.virginia.gov

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UMW Administration, Faculty & Staff Featured in FLS Article on Remote Work

Members of the UMW community, including Associate Provost for Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness Debra Schleef, Executive Director of Human Resources Beth Williams, Associate Payroll Manager Leslie Petrey and Provost Nina Mikhalevsky were interviewed for a recent article in The Free Lance-Star: “Outbreak sends many Fredericksburg area residents home to work.”

Debra Schleef, associate provost of Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness

Debra Schleef, associate provost of Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness

Debra Schleef, a sociology professor at the University of Mary Washington, learned early on that the coronavirus would soon enough require staff and faculty to remotely work and teach from home.

It prompted Schleef, who also works in the provost’s office, to pull together a collection of paper and electronic files she’d need to work from home with the other three folks in the office.

She was a bit ahead of the game, already having a laptop that uses an internet connection so that makes it “not too different from sitting in front of my computer at work.” Read more.

Coronavirus Information for Staff and Faculty

To: All Staff and Faculty

From: Beth Williams, Executive Director of Human Resources

With the constantly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the health, safety and well-being of  UMW staff, faculty and students is our primary concern, and we want to ensure we are providing timely and accurate information, support and resources. This message is intended to reiterate important information provided in prior campus-wide emails, and provide additional information of particular concern to UMW employees.

Things to do now:

  • Read all the University email updates and stay informed with accurate information. The University’s Coronavirus Information page is a reliable resource.
  • Continue to practice frequent handwashing and respiratory etiquette, as detailed on the Coronavirus FAQ page.
  • Managers should ensure that any employees who are able to telework are prepared to do so. Review your part of the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and ensure your team knows who is designated as essential personnel.
  • If you are sick, please stay home, to care for your own health as well as to avoid spreading the illness to others.  Follow your department procedures for notifying your supervisor that you are staying home (or leaving work) and report your time off in MyTime.
  • Use your health insurance to seek medical care.  All the Commonwealth medical plans offer options for online doctor visits, which can be a good option for some, as it minimizes exposure.
  • The coronavirus situation may cause heightened anxiety levels; if you would like assistance coping with anxiety, or need other emotional support, the Commonwealth’s health insurance plans offer individual counseling sessions through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). Covered employees and their dependents qualify for up to four sessions at no charge. Confidential assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Simply call the number below that corresponds to your health plan and you will speak to an EAP specialist who will assess your concerns and coordinate the appropriate assistance. This benefit is always available through your health plan.


COVA Care and COVA HDHP

Anthem
Member Services: 1-855-223-9277

EAP Brochure

EAP Website

(Select Member Login, then enter “Commonwealth of Virginia” as the company)

 

COVA HealthAware

Aetna – www.covahealthaware.com
Member Services:  1-888-238-6232

www.mylifevalues.com

(Username and Password:  COVA)

 

Kaiser Permanente HMO

Member Services:  1-866-517-7042
www.achlevesolutions.net/kaiser

EAP Brochure

 

  • Employees covered under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), whose illness lasts longer than seven calendar days, may be eligible for short-term-disability. To apply, you may call the Reed Group directly at 1-877-928-7021 or apply online at www.reedgroup.com/vsdp-claims.
  • Employees who are quarantined but not sick, and for whom telework is not an option, should use annual or family/personal leave rather than sick leave.
  • Leave share donations are an option for Non-VSDP classified and AP Faculty employees who have exhausted their leave.  VSDP employees are not eligible for leave share donations except to care for an ill family member (must meet the requirements for FMLA).

 

In the event of a disruption to University operations or a shutdown:

  • Managers and Supervisors:  Encourage employees to adhere to the guidance provided in emails and on the Coronavirus FAQ page.   Support your staff members’ decisions to go home when feeling sick or work from home. Respect the privacy of employees by not seeking information from them about their medical conditions. As necessary, HR will provide more supervisory guidance.
  • Nonessential Staff: Talk with your supervisors about working at home remotely. Refer to the telework page on the HR website.
  • Designated Essential Staff: Talk to your supervisors regarding expectations, work assignments, and various relevant operational contingencies.  Be prepared for the possibility that your schedule may need to be modified, including any leave you have requested.
  • Faculty: A separate memo from the Provost was distributed Sunday evening, March 8, and can be found on the University’s Coronavirus Information page.
  • If the University shuts down, UMW will follow the state’s emergency closing policy: http://web1.dhrm.virginia.gov/itech/hrpolicy/pol1_35.html.  Under this policy, full-time employees will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

Support the members of our community:

In keeping with ASPIRE, we are committed to a working and learning environment that supports the wellbeing of all faculty, staff and students free from harassment, discrimination and unfair bias. Faculty, staff, and students who have questions or concerns are encouraged to report a bias incident or contact Terri Arthur tlockhar@umw.edu or Sabrina Johnson sjohnson@umw.edu directly.

We will send updates as things progress.

For questions about benefits or time off, please visit the Human Resources Website; if you don’t find what you need, contact the HR Department.