Spring 2021 Faculty and Staff FAQ
This FAQ from the Office of Human Resources contains information for Catholic University faculty and staff. Please visit the University's COVID-19 Updates page for the latest information and status of the University's operations. The Provost's Faculty FAQ has the latest information for faculty.
Is the campus open?
The University administration is open and operating with normal business hours. Employees should continue to work while taking the responsible precautions to maintain a healthy environment.
Employees whose job functions require them to work on campus should continue to report to work as normal. In order to maintain social distancing, many areas cointinue to take advantage of rotation and shift schedules as practical. Anyone with questions about where to perform their duties should contact their supervisors directly.
Are campus dining services open?
Yes, University dining services are open. Please note that following the Thanksgiving holiday, all dining services in the Pryzbyla Center will be closed. Hours of operation for the Spring Semester will be shared in January. Please visit the Dining Services page for more information.
If you have any questions in regards to the Pryzbyla Center hours of operation, please email email@example.com or call 202-319-5291.
Will our standing meetings continue?Yes, the University is open and continues to operate. Faculty and staff should continue to engage in essential gatherings related to academic and professional pursuits. Many university meetings include a Zoom or Meet video conferencing option so that you can attend remotely. For in person meetings, which are allowed, we expect that faculty and staff will exercise good judgment and support social distancing to maintain the health and safety of our CatholicU community.
Health and Safety
Do I have to wear a face covering on campus?
Yes, wearing face coverings is not optional, but is required of all University employees while on campus - while indoors or outdoors if they are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a fleeting moment. Wearing a face covering is the very best way for each of us to demonstrate our respect and care for each other during the pandemic and resonates deeply with our greater mission and values.
As wearing a face covering is required of all faculty, staff and students, not wearing one can result in progressive discipline as would any other activity that puts the health and safety of our community in jeopardy. If you feel you may need an exception to this policy, please email the Employee Relations team who will work with you to certify your medical requirements and make alternative arrangements.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is a practice designed to reduce the risks of spreading the Coronavirus while interacting with others. Please consider and apply the following while at work to the best of your abilities:
- Avoid in-person meetings. Use Zoom or Google Meet for online gatherings, send email, or call on the phone when possible, even when people are all on campus.
- Unavoidable in-person meetings should be short. Attendees should sit six feet from each other, if possible, and avoid shaking hands.
- Do not congregate in work rooms, pantries, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize. Keep six feet apart when possible.
- Bring lunch and eat at your desk or away from others. Avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants.
- Limit recreational or other leisure gatherings, meetings, activities, etc., where close contact with others is likely.
- Avoid public transportation (instead, walk, cycle, drive a car) or go early or late to avoid rush-hour crowding on public transportation. Check with your supervisor about shifting your start and end times.
Note: These recommendations were adapted from guidelines developed by the CDC and presented by a Society for Human Resources Management Poster.
I am experiencing stress and anxiety. Does the University provide any resources?The Carebridge Employee Assistance program is available for employees and their families. Please call 1-800-437-0911 or visit www.myliferesource.com. The access code for Catholic University is HSBH4.
My doctor's office is busy, who can I talk to? Or who can help me decide if I should go to an emergency room or urgent care center?If you are enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare plan with CatholicU, please call 866-695-8622 or contact HealthAdvocate. They will be able to assist you with finding an available doctor.
I've been in contact with somone who has tested positive or is considered "presumptive positive," what should I do?Please see DC Health's guidance for contacts of a person confirmed to have COVID-19.
I am not feeling well, whom should I tell?Please inform your supervisor if you are feeling unwell. If you need to leave campus or are unable to Work from Home, be sure to let your supervisor know as soon as possible.
How do I get a test?
Faculty, staff and students who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html), or are concerned they may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, should first contact their primary care provider for guidance about testing. Your primary care provider will triage your personal circumstances and be best situated to direct you to the most appropriate COVID-19 testing service, they will also provide care in response to any testing results. If you are unable to work with your primary care provider, the following agencies provide alternative testing services.
In the District of Columbia
Visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing for information on testing in the District of Columbia.
Visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/symptoms-testing for information on testing in Maryland, or, by county:
- Baltimore County - https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/COVID19/testing.html
- Howard County - https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls/Coronavirus-Testing
- Montgomery County - https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/testing.html
- Prince Georges County - https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3472/COVID-19-Testing
Visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing for information on testing in Virgina, or, by county:
What should I do if I have tested positive for coronavirus or been told by a medical professional I am "presumed positive"?
In order to ensure the health and safety of the entire University community, employees should notify their supervisor if they test positive to COVID-19, or are presumed positive and are waiting on the results of their testing. Learn more about this protocol in the Supervisor Guidance for Employees Infected or Exposed to Coronavirus.
Please see DC Health's Guidance for Persons Who Tested Positive for COVID-19 for additional steps you should take.
I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Does the University have a special sick leave program?
Yes, starting July 2020, the University will offer paid leave for those who are diagnosed with COVID-19:
- For regular staff who are diagnosed with COVID-19, the University will provide an immediate, one-time allotment of fifteen (15) continuous days of sick leave with pay.
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the Employee Relations team to certify their diagnosis and make arrangements to receive their leave. (This program replaces the previous Advance of Sick Leave program created at the beginning of the pandemic.)
- Faculty who are diagnosed with COVID-19, informed by their Instructional Continuity planning, should continue to work with their department chairs and school Deans to make arrangements for their paid leave while recovering.
If I am coming to campus for work, can I bring my children or elderly family members to campus?No. For the safety of the entire community, employees may not bring children or elders to work with them, even if they are well.
Work from Home Program
Are employees permitted to work from home?
The University has established a Coronavirus Work from Home (C-WFH) program that allows eligible employees to work from their personal residence (“home”) through March 31st, 2021 for days they are not needed on campus, so long as the employees are fully available, document the hours they work if they need to normally track their hours, and take appropriate leave for the time they are not working.
Before an employee can begin the arrangement, a C-WFH agreement must be completed by the employee and approved by the employee's supervisor, their area's VP or Provost, and the Office of Human Resources. Click here for information on the Work from Home Program.
Please remember that your supervisor is responsible for maintaining continuity of services, so requests to Work from Home will be balanced against the needs of your specific area.
Overall, as we continue our safe and gradual return to campus — with a clear understanding that providing flexibility is paramount for our employees given many regional K-12 schools are opening fully online and public transportation is severely restricted — our current expectation is that those whose jobs can be accomplished from home will continue to do so 2 to 3 days per week, with area-specific, needs-driven exceptions. At present, Employees who participate in the program are expected to work on campus at least 2 days per week.
The program keeps on-campus density at a safe level while holding on to the sense of community and collaboration that is so important to our workforce. As the primary purpose of the C-WFH program is to ensure a safe working environment for all employees, the University is continually tracking the District of Columbia's guidance and will adjust the policy as the pandemic evolves.
I have an approved Work from Home arrangement. How do I access the systems I use for my work? What if I need to use special software or files located on my on-site (campus) Windows desktop computer?Please visit the Technology Services Working from Home website for instructions.
I am in a higher-risk category because of my health or age. May I work from home even though the university is operating normally?CDC guidance suggests that individuals with higher risk factors (aka “vulnerable” individuals) should still stay at home if possible. Employees who desire changes to their participation in their area's staffing model, including any rotation or shift schedules, should notify their supervisors to discuss their concern.
Paychecks and Timesheets
I am required to self-isolate because of a COVID-19 exposure. How should I record leave?Some employees may be eligible to Work from Home, so leave would not be required. Please discuss your situation with your supervisor to see if the Coronavirus Work from Home (C-WFH) program is an option. However, in the event an employee feels unwell and is unable to work, they should record sick leave. If an employee in self-isolation is not eligible for the C-WFH program, they may use their sick, vacation, or unpaid leave for their regularly scheduled time.
How do I submit my timesheet to my supervisor if I am working from home?Please email the completed timesheet to your supervisor as an attachment for his or her signature—feel free to send a photo of your timesheet if you don't have a scanner at home. In the event you were not able to work some hours or days due to the coronavirus emergency, please ensure to properly charge those hours to the appropriate leave type (e.g. accrued vacation, sick leave or unpaid leave).
I can't come to work because I am a vulnerable individual or need to self-isolate. How can I get my paycheck?Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting your paycheck to be mailed to your home.
I am not signed up for direct deposit. How will I receive my paycheck?Your check will be printed and available for pickup at the payroll office in Leahy Hall. If you are unable to come on campus, please send an email to email@example.com requesting your paycheck to be mailed to your home. You may also sign up for Direct Deposit by printing, signing and sending a scanned copy or photo of the Direct Deposit Form from your Cardinal email account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a supervisor. Is there any guidance for my role?Yes, please read Coronavirus Guidance for Supervisors.
Student Employees and Part-Time/Temporary Employees
Can student employees continue to work, if they are not coming to campus?
Students who are not coming to campus may only continue to work if they have received an exception to do so. In order to receive an exception, the following criteria must apply:
- The student's supervisor must ask and receive approval from the head of their department/area.
- The supervisor must have a viable means to monitor the student's activities and outcomes, and
- The student must be able to complete their activities 100% remotely.
Graduate students with Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow or Research Assistant appointments should be in regular contact with their supervisors regarding how to continue with their work. The same guidelines around the supervisor having a viable means to monitor activities and outcomes applies.
My student employee has been approved for an exception to work from home. Do they need to complete the C-WFH application?No. The C-WFH application is not applicable to student employees.
When can students begin work this spring?
- All undergraduate and non-law graduate students who have already received authorization to work in a position that requires them to be physically present on campus may begin working during the Spring semester on February 8, 2021.
- Law students who have already received authorization to work in a position that requires physical presence on campus may begin working on January 19, 2021.
- Students who have received authorization to work in a remote position may begin working when the university reopens after the Christmas break on Monday, January 4, 2021.
For more information on student hiring, please see the Student Hiring program page.
Can temporary, part-time employees continue to work and be paid?If a temporary, part-time employee is able to continue working, then they would continue to be paid accordingly. However, if there is no longer work to be done, then the employee should cease working, and they would not continue to receive payment until if/when duties are resumed.