COVID-19 Update for Employees: March 13

COVID-19 Update for Employees: March 13


As we continue the University-wide effort to further safeguard students, employees and the larger community from the spread of the coronavirus, many people will still be interacting on Rowan’s campuses during the drawdown of residents and employees on our campuses.

Today’s update provides guidance for employees who are in the process of leaving campus or preparing to adjust to changes in access. While we process the specifics and develop a plan, the following FAQs will be helpful. 

Why was I deemed to be Physically Essential, Remotely Essential or Non-Essential?
We generally use the Essential designation in terms of weather-related or other short-term emergencies. In response to COVID-19, the Essential designation is expanded to mean those who must continue to contribute to the ongoing operations over a much longer time. Rowan is limiting on-campus activity, but we will still have students in residence halls, classes online, employees to be paid, patients to care for, and research to continue. At all times, all employees, regardless of designation, should follow public health protocols, including social distancing.

Through remote opportunities and virtual health care, we have limited the number of employees who need to be onsite. However, in some cases, employees such as Public Safety, Facilities, animal care, document processing, or specialized systems workers simply must be present and duties must be completed onsite.

To be sure, every employee is essential to the continued operation of Rowan University. The Essential designation is only to specify who must be onsite or who must complete tasks that are critical in the next few weeks. If you have been designated as Non-Essential, this means only that either you cannot complete your work remotely or we do not have work for you based on the reduction in operation. We will need everyone when we return to full capacity. 

Will I be paid?

  • If you are a regular benefited employee, either full-time or part-time, you will be paid during this period of work restriction according to your scheduled hours.

  • Employees working remotely, even if not at full capacity, will be deemed to be working and will report regular work hours in web time entry.

  • Employees who contract COVID-19 or need to care for someone who contracts COVID-19 will be paid under the health emergency web time entry code. Employees must provide documentation of diagnosis to Human Resources within three business days.

  • Employees currently on medical leave or who become ill from non-COVID-19 conditions and are unable to work remotely will use accrued sick time.

  • Employees deemed physically essential must report as scheduled. If unable to report, the employee must provide documentation to Human Resources. Determination of appropriate action will be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • All employees are expected to continue to contribute to the overall work of the University to the best of their ability.

  • All employees working from home, regardless of their designation, may be required to report to their worksite as plans and employee designations continue to shift. Employees should regularly check their work email (or other point of communication on file with their HR representative and/or supervisor) throughout the day to ensure that they are promptly informed of any change in designation, return-to-work notices, or other time-sensitive information.

If I am an hourly part-time or a student employee, will I get paid?
No. As a result of limited operation, supervisors should not assign work to part-time employees (those who do not receive benefits) without authorization. Human Resources is developing an application form so that supervisors’ requests can be reviewed by HR and Finance on a case-by-case basis. An authorization form will be created and will be located on the HR web page.  Student employees on semester contracts, such as graduate assistants and resident assistants, will continue to be paid.

All other requests must document the following:

  1. What is the critical need?

  2. How is the job currently getting completed?

  3. Does the job need to continue to be completed during the work restriction?

  4. What is the impact if the job is not completed?

  5. What alternatives have been considered?

  6. Can the work be reassigned to a regular employee during this work restriction period?

If I am not working the hours that I usually work, may I use the time that I have accrued under the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave?
Yes. Employees may use up to the maximum of 40 hours (based on accrual) from the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Bank. Non-benefited employees earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours of work.

If I have open positions or want to fill a position, can I continue to do so?
Rowan has implemented a hiring freeze. Except in limited circumstances, no offers or new job postings will be approved. Exceptions will be processed for positions such as clinical professionals or faculty being hired for September.