Dear NEOMED Community:
Yesterday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that beginning at the conclusion of the school day on Monday, March 16, all K-12 schools will close to students through Friday, April 3.
The uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 has forced all communities to implement practices that will slow the spread of the disease. And as the Governor, as well as the CDC, continue to provide guidelines, we will follow those that directly relate to our University and we will also find creative ways to optimize the learning, teaching and working continuity of the NEOMED community.
While necessary, we recognize that this recent executive order may create some accommodation hardships for those who have school age children. Therefore, we have temporarily expanded work from home opportunities and suspended strict definitions for the use of sick leave, for all NEOMED employees ― particularly, those who need time to make adjustments for childcare.
Beginning Monday, March 16 and continuing through Friday, March 20, the following work from home options will be available to all non-essential personnel (defined as those who must be onsite by the department leadership):
- Anyone can use paid (vacation or sick leave) or protected unpaid leave such as Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if approved by Human Resources on a case by case basis; or,
- All non-essential employees whose work can be completed remotely may do so with supervisor’s permission; or
- All employees who qualify to work remotely, and work in teams, may also participate in every other day workshare, allowing one to work from home with the permission of the supervisor; or
- For Classified Civil Service and other Unclassified Hourly staff whose work does not lend itself to working remotely, an opportunity is available, with the supervisor’s permission, to work on a “process and quality improvement project” which will positively impact their regular work assignment when they return to the campus. Engaging in this process during the week away from campus, if appropriately approved, will be considered working remotely for this week. Employees who are allowed to engage in this alternate remote work assignment will be required to check in three times per day with supervisor and deliver a formal written summary of the process and quality improvement project.
Classified Civil Service personnel who decide to take the “unpaid leave” option, are advised that such time off does not count toward their retention points calculation. Any questions about retention points should be directed to the Department of Human Resources via email firstname.lastname@example.org or 330.325.6729.
Employees who have no paid time off available and are not able to work remotely should contact their supervisor or the Department of Human Resources to discuss all available options.
NEOMED leadership hopes you will find these expanded options beneficial as you determine ways to meet the needs of your families. The University may extend the work from home option to reduce the financial burden on the families of our faculty and staff and will work with department leaders on a case by case basis as necessary.
As this concern and your needs may be ongoing, we will provide further updates before March 20.
With regard to technology needs while working off-site, and in the event faculty and staff do not use laptop computers, we ask that employees use their desktop computer while working from home versus a personal computer to prevent malware from infiltrating the NEOMED network. This will need to be coordinated with your supervisor and noted for inventory purposes.
The NEOMED community’s safety and wellness matters. It is my hope that these temporary accommodations will have a positive impact on your personal and professional lives.
John T. Langell