October 1, 2020

Flexible Workplace: Support for K-12 Parents

A message from the Office of Human Resources. 

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 has presented challenges for the workforce since early spring; UMW staff and faculty have kept the university running without missing a beat, and that has taken enormous effort and dedication. The past months have required all of us to be creative and flexible in our approach to how work gets done, and we’ve learned a lot so far! Everyone has done an outstanding job of adapting to telework or hybrid arrangements. We continue to be challenged to find new ways of working and communicating.

Now that the new school year has begun, there is an even greater need for flexibility in the workplace. K-12 schools have resumed in a primarily virtual format, which means many parents and caregivers will be required to supervise their children’s schooling while also performing their own job duties. UMW values its workforce and we recognize how challenging it is for families to ensure their children’s needs are met while also striving to meet the demands of their jobs.

It’s important to support those in our workforce who are serving the dual role of UMW employee and school teacher for children at home. With this in mind, we encourage you and your manager to collaborate and think flexibly about how your work is best performed, how the job is structured, how the work of the team is organized, and what kind of changes may be made to support you and your colleagues at this time, while maintaining effective departmental operations.

Some options may include:

  • Use of Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and personal leave for either initial positioning of your children for learning success (first few weeks of the school year), or daily support of your children’s learning
  • Schedule changes to days worked, including, as applicable, evening and weekend work
  • Schedule changes to hours worked, for example, working from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and then from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Restructured jobs to support telework or weekend hours
  • Reorganized team operations and work schedules
  • School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave (SCSL) may be used by employees with students engaging in virtual learning this fall. The policy permits up to 16 hours per leave year for employees to assist in the education of their child, step-child, or child for which the employee has legal custody. Any SCSL hours already used since January 10th must be deducted from the 16 hour allotment

If you need help coping with the additional stress of home-based schooling, the EAP can help – it’s confidential, free and available 24/7.

Managers and supervisors are encouraged to contact Human Resources with questions or for additional guidance.

Listed below are links to telework resources for employees and supervisors; many of these may already be familiar as they were distributed several months ago, but I encourage you to revisit the links of interest to you.

 

Telework Resources for Supervisors:

Teleworking: Guidance and Assistance for Supervisors and Managers
Tips:  Managing Remote Employees
Teleworking Learning Tools – March 31, 2020
Leading Virtual Meetings– Microcourse from DDI and  Dr. Steven G. Rogelberg
COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders– Gallup
15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered – Harvard Business Review

Telework Resources for Employees:

15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered– Harvard Business Review
Telework Fundamentals – Employee Training  
Teleworking Learning Tools – March 31, 2020
DHRM-WC – Safety Tips for Teleworkers – COV Learning Center course to help educate teleworkers on typical safety hazards encountered while working from an alternative work location.

 

Thank you,

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington
540-654-1294
bwilli22@umw.edu

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.

 

 

 

 

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

April is National Financial Literacy Month

In an effort to keep some sense of normalcy, as well as some financial education for our employees, VRS is offering some online courses for employees during the month of April – https://adminfinance.umw.edu/hr/files/2020/04/VRS-Financial-Literacy-Month.pdf.  Also ICMA-RC at https://www.varetirement.org/hybrid/education/defined-contributions.html (you can check with your Provider for their webinar schedules) are offering online courses and pre-recorded webinars for your use. April is considered National Financial Literacy Month and what better time to take a financial check-up to see how we are all doing.

 

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

.

VRS Defined Contribution Plans/Virtual Appointments

For Hybrid Retirement Participants, 457 Deferred Compensation Plan Participants and ORPHE – DCP Participants

Interested in a phone appointment or virtual meeting with the Financial Advisor?

Click here to register for a Virtual Appointment