COVID-19 Update: Human Resources Information

Published Friday, March 20, 2020 at 12:47pm

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As previously communicated, the Chancellor approved for: (1) all in-person/ hybrid classes to be temporarily suspended and (2) College and District operations to shift to allow for the majority of employees to work remotely. The goal is to reduce the potential of people being infected and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness. This memo addresses employee pay, leave, and open enrollment and benefits administration changes.

Getting Paid While Working Remotely

Employees will continue to be paid while working remotely. During this extended period, Maricopa employees are to prepare to support academic continuity in an online environment. Colleges will provide staff with guidance regarding ADA compliance requirements as instruction and services are moved online.

Employees are defined as Residential and Adjunct Faculty, Classified and Non-Classified Staff, active Temporary and Part-time Employees, and active Student Workers (Non-Federal Study) that are employed by Maricopa Community College District and will be paid for remote work. The following individuals will not be paid for remote work: individuals paid honorariums, employees in non-active pay status, recipients of one-time stipends only, or staff from temp agencies.

Many employees will be able to effectively perform their work assignments remotely. Employees and their supervisors are to work together collaboratively to determine which essential tasks can be completed remotely. For some employees, the nature of their work assignments may require them to be onsite. If the employee and their supervisor agree that some or all of the employee’s work cannot be performed remotely and that the employee should remain in a remote work environment, the employee should actively participate in professional development activities during remote work hours and remain accessible to the supervisor. Courses offered through the Employee Learn Center may be found here. Supervisors will continue to work with employees to identify and review work assignments and expectations, equipment needs, and the reporting of time and absences.

All employees who were informed by their supervisors not to report to work during the week of March 16 - 20 will be paid for their normally scheduled hours. Supervisors of these individuals must ensure that the appropriate time is entered into HCM and approved by the extended Time and Labor deadline of midnight, Monday, March 23, 2020. Individuals who were absent due to illness are to take sick leave.

During the period of time that employees are working remotely, all-time reporters must continue to enter time. Part-time employees should enter their regularly scheduled hours. Supervisors are to ensure that work time is appropriately recorded in HCM and, if an employee fails to record time, enter the time on behalf of their employees in advance of the Time and Labor deadline.

Advance Sick Leave and Compassionate Leave

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Advanced Sick Leave will be available for employees who have exhausted all accrued leave. The District’s guidance on Advanced Sick Leave is here. In brief, it permits employees who accrue leave to be advanced a maximum of 80 hours of sick leave. Over the next few weeks, we will be working to adopt the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).

The maximum number of Advanced Sick Leave hours an employee may be granted, if approved, is as follows: A) For full time employees, 80 hours. B) For part-time employees, a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employees work, on an average, over a 2-week period. Advanced sick leave will be available to employees to cover absences related to COVID-19 through April 2, 2020. This includes absences due to the employee’s own illness, the employee’s need to care for a household member who is ill, or the employee’s need to be quarantined. Subsequent to April 2, 2020, the District will comply with the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

In addition, for the purposes of COVID-19, the District is broadening the availability of its Compassionate Leave. The Amendment is available here. It increases the amount of leave that employees may donate to the Compassionate Leave bank. It is also making it possible for employees to use leave from the Compassionate Leave Bank for COVID 19-related reasons, including the employee’s own illness, the employee’s need to care for a household member who is ill, and the employee’s need to be quarantined. Employees must have exhausted all accrued leave including the advanced sick leave option.

Open Enrollment and Benefits Administration Changes

The coronavirus situation has also necessitated changes in our Open Enrollment and benefits administration processes. The following events scheduled for spring 2020 have been canceled:

  • All college benefits fairs

  • All in-person Open-Enrollment assistance sessions

  • All on-site mammogram and prostate screening events

  • All on-site biometric screening events

To support our employees during Open Enrollment this year (April 13, 2020, through May 1, 2020), Complete Benefits Alliance (benefits navigators) will be available by phone. Included with the Benefits Open Enrollment booklet (which will be sent to employees via email and traditional mail in early April) is a link employees may use to schedule an appointment with a benefits navigator. The benefits navigator will call the employee at the scheduled time and assist the employee in the benefits enrollment process.

In a typical Open Enrollment year, employees are required to complete a biometric screening by May 15 to qualify for Wellness Incentive Credits for the following fiscal year. For FY 2020–2021, biometric screenings completed in 2019 or 2020 may be used to satisfy this requirement. That is, no new biometric screening is required for 2020. Employees will still need to update their personal health profiles in Wellness 360 as required each year. Check the Maricopan for additional details.

For additional information regarding emergency operations, please review the Emergency Operations for COVID-19 Policy.

Please view the Frequently Asked Questions related to Human Resources for additional information.