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Faculty and Staff

Will I receive a merit increase next year?

Regrettably, no. The University will freeze salaries for FY 21 at their June 30, 2020 levels for faculty and staff.

 

Will the University hire for open faculty and staff positions?

Effective April 9, 2020, all hiring has been frozen subject to a review by a committee comprised of the President, EVP & COO and EVP & Provost, in consultation with Academic Deans and VPs.

 

Are performance reviews required this year?

Yes. Employees and managers should have performance conversations using the same process as in prior years where possible.  Given the University’s modified operating status, the performance review timeline has been extended. Click here to find out how to have a performance discussion if you cannot use UR Talent Web or Zoom.

 

Are vacation accrual policies changing as a result of COVID-19?

No. The policy remains the same, which currently allows all employees to roll over their maximum annual accrual plus 5 days. You can find the chart here.  Any time accrued over this amount will not be rolled over.  Even though you are not able to travel during this time we encourage to use your vacation time to refresh and take care of yourself.

 

Will the additional 15 days of paid leave allocated for COVID-19 related situations be added to an employee's vacation balance if not used?

No, this leave is a one-time benefit available to employees with COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation or family care need and cannot be used for any other type of leave. There is a special leave category an employee must use to receive this leave.

 

Will my retirement contributions be impacted by the salary freeze?

Your contributions will continue according to your direction. If you are eligible, the University will continue to contribute 5% of salary and match up to an additional 5% according to our policy.

 

Will my health insurance premiums be impacted by the salary freeze?

No. Health insurance premiums are determined separately.

 

My position has changed, can my manager submit an updated position description for review to see if it should be reclassified after July 1, 2020?

Any changes to job descriptions should be sent to Human Resources, though we do not plan to reclassify positions during FY 21 as the University works through the COVID-19 crisis.

 

What if my supervisor reduces my work hours for business purposes?

See the University’s Interim Policies for more information about pay and reduced work schedules.

Will my benefits change or be discontinued if my work schedule is modified?

No, your benefits will remain in place during the University’s modified operational status.

 

Will my health insurance pay for COVID-19 related treatments?

Through May 31, 2020, Cigna will waive customers’ out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing-related visits with in-network providers, whether at a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, emergency room, or by virtual care options such as talking with a doctor or clinician 24/7 by phone, tablet, or computer. More information about enhanced Cigna coverage can be found here. They have established a Coronavirus Resource Center to assist members.

What if I am unable to come to work?

Follow your normal departmental procedures for informing your supervisor.  See the University’s Interim Policies for more information.

 

Do I need a note from my doctor when I return to work?

No. Supervisors should actively encourage sick employees to stay home, but should not require employees who are sick to provide a doctor’s note. Health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way. 

What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of the situation?

The University of Richmond provides resources to help all faculty and staff and eligible dependents cope with these types of life events through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Call 877-622-4327 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee. Additionally, employees enrolled in one of our Cigna medical plans can schedule time to speak with a counselor in the privacy of their home through the Cigna Virtual Care option. URWELL Employee is also offering weekly self-care offerings during the University’s modified operating status here.

What should I do if I have an existing health condition that makes me more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19?

The CDC has issued guidance indicating that certain populations are at higher risk of experiencing complications with COVID-19.  If you are in a higher risk group, you can seek temporary modifications (such as a change in schedule, telecommuting, duties, or other accommodation) by following our procedures for requesting an accommodation.

 

Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitle an employee to take leave to avoid contracting coronavirus?

No. The FMLA entitle employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purpose of avoiding exposure to the coronavirus is not protected under the FMLA.

However, supervisors should notify Human Resources if an employee is expected to be or has been out for more than three days. Human Resources will send FMLA forms to the employee.

What is the University doing and what can I do to keep safe?

Visit the Interim Policies page to learn more about the University's modified operating status and other steps.

May I bring my child to the office since local schools are closed?

No, bringing children to campus due to school or child care closures is not allowed. See the University’s Interim Policies for information about using leave time or telecommuting.

 

Can I work remotely?

While the health, safety, and contributions of all staff members are equally valued, the reality is that not all work can be performed remotely.  Certain jobs or aspects of a job must be performed on campus.  Other jobs or aspects of jobs can be performed remotely. Individual supervisors and departments will work with employees to determine who will perform their jobs remotely and who will be required to be on campus.  See the University’s Interim Policies for more information.

 

Is it possible to get hand sanitizer for my area?

Departments are responsible for supplying their own hand sanitizer should they wish to do so. The CDC is recommending hand sanitizer be an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol should soap and water not be available. Hand sanitizer stands are located in dining locations and high traffic areas.

Can hand sanitizer stands be added to my building?

At this time, we are not able to add additional hand sanitizer stands due to supply chain limitations. Hand sanitizer stands are currently located in dining locations and high traffic area locations across campus. Hand sanitizer is recommended when soap and water are not available. We would encourage everyone to focus on taking the time to wash their hands. Hand washing instructional signage is in the process of being placed in all public restrooms.

Can my area receive disinfecting wipes for surfaces?

Individual departments are able to supply disinfecting surface wipes should they wish to do so. A list can be found here of household cleaning products pre-approved by the EPA for fighting COVID-19. University Facilities is currently working on placing disinfecting surface wipe stands in high traffic academic buildings for users to wipe down shared keyboards, shared desks, etc. in public areas.

What kind of cleaning measures are being taken?

University Facilities is making the cleaning of high touch areas the priority and has established defined cycles for disinfecting. Facilities continues to closely monitor the situation and follow recommendations from the CDC for higher education settings.

Do I need to use VPN to do my work?

Most online resources provided by the University of Richmond can be accessed without the need for a VPN (Virtual Private Network). For example, you can access your @richmond email, Box, Blackboard, BannerWeb, library resources, and many other UR applications without a VPN.

Use of the VPN is only required for the following University applications: BannerForms, OnBase, ROADS, and Cascade.

Information Services has developed knowledge base articles to help navigate which systems do and do not require VPN for remote access:

How do I report my time worked (hourly employees)?

If a non-exempt employee is on a reduced work schedule, enter the difference between the total hours of normal biweekly schedule and the total hours actually worked on campus or remotely as Balance of Schedule Hours (BOS) hours.

Employees who report hours via time clocks on campus can enter hours on the time clocks as usual. Supervisors will log the Balance of Scheduled Hours for them.

For more information on hourly time entry, click here.

Full and part-time employees who accrue leave (>1,000 hours per year) may receive up to 15 days of additional paid leave to be used for COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation, or family care need. This is a one-time allowance of additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Employees absent due to a COVID-19 related situation will select the Special Paid Leave (SPL) earn code to report this time.

 

How do I report my leave (monthly employees)?

Employees are expected to report leave on their BannerWeb Leave Report as normal. A new leave code has been created for reporting during the COVID-19 event. Employees may receive up to 15 days of additional paid leave to be used for COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation, or family care need. This is a one-time allowance of additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 crisis. If you are absent due to a COVID-19 related situation, you can select the Special Paid Leave code on your Leave Report to report those days.

For all information on leave codes, click here.

Does the University have resources for working remotely?

Yes. Information Services has provided a Work Remotely Checklist with an overview of recommended steps for a successful remote work experience. Please review it to make sure you have all the necessary hardware, software, and internet access.

Human Resources’ Talent and Organizational Effectiveness team will provide weekly resources for employees and managers on how to effectively work remotely and successfully navigate change. You can sign-up for our weekly email, and all of the resources will be catalogued on the URHR website as well as in UR Talent Web for you to access at any time.

What are my transportation options?

On Saturday, March 21st and Sunday, March 22nd, the Weekend Connector will operate from 2:05pm to 845pm with the last shuttle leaving campus at 8:05pm. This will be the last weekend service until further notice.

The Evening Circuit will continue to operate on a modified schedule for students, faculty and Staff. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 4:05pm to 8:45pm. The last shuttle will leave campus at 8:05pm returning to campus at 8:45pm. All other transportation routes are suspended.

You can find information on changes to GRTC bus routes here: http://ridegrtc.com/news-initiatives/news-updates/grtc-and-covid-19-coronavirus .

 

Can I continue to employ students and, if so, under what conditions?
  • All student employment for the remainder of the spring semester must be approved and must be deemed necessary for the critical needs of the University during this period of remote instruction. Anyone wishing to employ a student who works remotely must submit the remote job request form.
  • With the exception of positions like Resident Assistants, students should not be working in person, even if they live in the Richmond area, as we continue to de-densify the campus.
  • In no case should a student be asked to volunteer to work without pay, or to work now for payment at a future date.
  • To help offset potential lost income, Federal Work Study (FWS) and University Work Program (UWP) students who earned hours in the spring and who were in an active position in March will receive a one-time payment.
    • The amount of the payment is based on the student’s work history – the number of hours worked and pay rates for their various FWS and UWP positions on campus during the first part of the spring term.
    • The payment will go out no later than April 6, 2020 and will be mailed to the student’s permanent address if they do not have direct deposit set up.
    • Students who receive the one-time payment are not required to work for UR after March 21, and they do not have to return funds if they work other jobs wherever they are living.

 

Can we send employees home, and under what circumstances?

Yes. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if employees have symptoms consistent with either COVID-19 or the seasonal flu during a pandemic outbreak, you can require them to stay home or to return home after they arrive at work.