Returning to Normal Campus Operations

North Carolina A&T State University is preparing for a phased return to on-campus work. Informed by the latest guidance from local, state and federal government officials and public health authorities, the University COVID-19 Task Force has developed a four-phase strategic reopening of campus.

  • Phase 1: May 8 - May 30
  • Phase 2  Part 1: (June 1 - June 19) Part 2: To Begin No Later Than June 22-WE ARE CURRENTLY HERE
  • Phase 3: To Begin No Later Than July 20
  • Phase 4: To Begin No Later Than August 3  

The timing and specifics of these plans are highly contingent on the progression of COVID-19 in Greensboro and the surrounding area, as well as continued local, state and federal guidance. As with all planning at this time, you are encouraged to remain adaptable to the changing environment as we navigate within this new “normal” together.

 

Phase 1: May 8 - May 30 

  • Telecommuting continues to be the primary work arrangement for faculty and staff.
  • Mandatory Employees will continue to work on campus.
  • Common areas where individuals are likely to congregate and interact remain closed.
  • Classes continue in online, remote, and distance-learning environments.
  • Administrative leave

Phase 2: June 1 - June 19
Part 2 to begin no later than June 22

  • Initial core services resume on campus while continuing to enforce strict protective measures to limit exposure of returning employees and reduce potential for community transmission.
  • Telework will continues to be the primary work arrangement for faculty and staff.
  • Common areas where individuals are likely to congregate and interact remain closed.
  • Classes continue in online, remote, and distance-learning environments.

Phase 3: To begin no later than July 20 

  • More services resume on campus while continuing to enforce protective measures to limit exposure of returning employees and reduce potential for community transmission.
  • Telework will continues to be utilized, when possible, without significant impacts to academic, business, or research operations.
  • Common areas where individuals are likely to congregate and interact start to open when social distancing measures allow.
  • Classes continue in online, remote, and distance-learning environments.

Phase 4: To begin no later than August 3 

  • More services resume on campus as we begin our new sense of normal operations, welcoming students back to campus, and continue best practices as directed by proper authorities
  • Telework will continues to be utilized, when possible, without significant impacts to academic, business, or research operations 
  • Common areas where individuals are likely to congregate and interact open with new social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Classes will begin to return to an on-campus environment with the continues support of distance learning as available.

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the four-phase strategic return to on-campus work. These FAQs will be updated as new information becomes available.

1. How were the phases for employee return to on-campus work determined?

  • The phases were established to enable a safe and thoughtful approach to the increased campus operations over the summer as we prepare for the return of students in the fall. Departments will have the flexibility to adjust based on specific departmental and position needs.

2. How will employees know when they need to return to on-campus work?

  • Division/School leadership will create return to workplace plans to include accounting for the number of personnel in the department, physical work setting to allow for proper social distancing, work activities needing to be prioritized, and level of service needed to provide to constituents as campus begins to open as part of the four-phase plan.
  • Employees should receive communication from their supervisor regarding the anticipated date of return to on-campus work, including a timeline to prepare for that transition. 

3. What if I want to return to campus earlier than my supervisor tells me I can?

  • Departmental leadership is asked to determine return to campus timelines for faculty and staff based on several different factors but most importantly keeping a healthy and safe environment. No unit or department should increase staffing levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations without approval from the appropriate dean, vice chancellor or vice provost.

4. Will employees be required to provide a doctor's note now that we are returning to on-campus work if they have been ill?

  • Due to COVID-19 impact to the health care system, it may not be reasonably possible to obtain a doctor's note from your health care provider. Therefore, employees should communicate any changes in their work status and their ability to perform their job duties to their direct supervisor to determine needed documentation for a return to campus.

5. What should an employee do if they suspect a co-worker of being high-risk and reporting to on-campus work?

  • Employees are entitled to protections against discrimination based upon age, disability, and a number of other protected categories. Others should not presume to determine if someone is in a high-risk category. Each individual should assess him or herself with the CDC guidance and/or their health care provider to determine if she or he believes it is safe to come to work. If a co-worker learns of a high-risk factor, they must maintain confidentiality of that information, only reporting it with HR or a supervisor, or sharing it with permission of the individual with the risk factor.

For any questions or concerns contact prtw@ncat.edu

Managing in a Time of Social Distancing Guidelines

Managers play an essential role in maintaining proper protocols as set forth by the university to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Offering flexible options and creative solutions can help ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of our faculty and staff. Managers are expected to emphasize the importance of and ensure adherence to these guidelines to promote the safety and health of our employees.

Hygiene Protocols

Managers must ensure that measures and supplies are in place to support appropriate hygiene practices for employees, customers, and worksite visitors. These measures include the following:

  • Enforcement of Guidelines – Ensure that employees are following guidelines as set forth by the university including, but not limited to, stopping work that may create a health or safety concern, adhering to processes that maintain social distancing, and adhering to the requirement of wearing face coverings when in proximity to others.
  • Clear Communication – Clearly communicate unit progress and changes to your staff.
  • Hand Hygiene – Ensure employees are able to wash their hands when needed. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. If hands are visibly dirty, soap and water should be chosen over hand sanitizer. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.
  • Greetings – Discourage handshaking. Encourage the use of other non-contact methods of greeting.
  • Supplies – Provide necessary supplies, including tissues, no-touch disposal receptacles, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

Work Flexibility

NCAT supports the following strategies for work flexibility to support social distancing. Supervisors must utilize these strategies in a way that ensures the fulfillment of job responsibilities and minimizes contact with others:

  • Allow remote work when possible
  • Implement flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts)
  • Increase physical space between employees at the worksite
  • Increase physical space between employees and customers (e.g., partitions, etc.)
  • Implement virtual meeting options through the use of web or telephonic meetings
  • Deliver products and services through alternative measures such as phone, video, web, curbside pick-up or delivery


Click here to view the Return To Work Guidelines

Employee Assistance Program (EAP):

The EAP is a confidential counseling and resource program, contracted through ComPsych, designed to help university employees and their families deal with both personal and work-related concerns. Call anytime: 866-511-3373 TDD: 800-697-0353 Go online: guidanceresources.com. Web ID: NCAT.

Counseling Services: 336-334-7727

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides two types of leave that apply to the university and provide paid leave benefits to eligible employees. This leave is counted separately from a permanent employee’s normally accrued sick leave and pre-approval must be obtained by the Benefits Office for qualifying employees.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s pay up to $511 daily and $5,110 total if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:
  1. is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine for COVID-19-related reasons; or
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave is paid at two-thirds of the employee’s pay up to $200 daily and $2,000 total if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

    • is caring for an individual with whom the employee has a personal relationship (such as an immediate family member, roommate or other similar person) who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine for COVID-19-related reasons;
    • needs to care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
    • is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (none have been declared at this time).

Expanded Family & Medical Leave (FML) benefit for employees who need to care for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons. This program provides up to 12 weeks of Family & Medical Leave to any employee (permanent or temporary) who has been employed by the institution for at least 30 calendar days.

  • The first two weeks of the Expanded FML is unpaid. For the remaining weeks of Expanded FML (up to ten weeks) used June 1, 2020 or later, FFCRA provides two-thirds of the employee’s pay up to $200 daily or $10,000 total.
  • Employees may use Emergency Paid Sick Leave, if available, to cover the first two weeks of Expanded FML, or use other available accrued personal leave or paid time off if no Emergency Paid Sick Leave is available.
  • The Expanded FML does not expand FMLA coverage for other issues to employees who are not otherwise eligible for the usual 12 weeks of Family & Medical Leave in a 12-month period, and any Family & Medical Leave used for another purpose within the past 12 months will reduce the weeks of Expanded FML available to an employee.
    Please Note: Disruption in elder care, not working due to high risk or being unable to telework due to the nature of your job are not valid qualifications under federal guidelines. Individuals who do not qualify for FFCRA in those situations may use COVID-19 Administrative Leave, their own accrued leave or leave without pay, subject to supervisor approval.

 

Summary of FFCRA Leave Provisions

 

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE (EPSL)

EXPANDED FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE (EFML)

Does this provide medical leave for an employee?

Yes

No

Does this provide medical leave to care for a family member?

Yes

No

Is this leave available to take care of a minor child whose school or daycare is closed?

Yes

Yes

How much leave does it provide?

Up to 80 hours (Prorated for part-time)

Up to 12 weeks (Pro-rated for part-time)

Is this leave paid?

Yes (Can also be used during first 2 weeks of EFML)

After first 2 weeks

What is the cap on leave paid?

100% of regular pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total if taken to care for self

2/3 of regular pay,
up to $200 daily and $2,000 total if taken to care for family member or for child care purposes

First 2 weeks of leave are unpaid (Employee may use other eligible paid leave)

Up to 10 additional weeks paid at 2/3 of regular pay, up to $200 daily and $10,000 total

Can I take this leave for smaller increments than eight hours in a day?

No

Yes

Is my job protected when taking this leave?

Yes

Yes

What is the minimum period of employment before I am eligible for this benefit?

None

30 calendar days

Are part-time employees covered?

Yes Yes

 

For more on FFCRA leave provisions, review the updated UNC Policy Manual 300.2.15[R], the FFCRA FAQs,  and the FFCRA one-page overview.

To request FFCRA benefits please complete the FFCRA Request Form and return it to the Benefits Office via fax at 336-334-7477 or via email at hr.benefits@ncat.edu.

The Benefits Office will review your form and communicate with you and your department regarding the status of your request for FFCRA benefits via email. Should you have any questions about your request, you may contact The Benefits Office hr.benefits@ncat.edu or 336-334-7862.