Keep on Working
We are sure you might have a lot of questions due to the current status of COVID-19 around the country. UM has a great resource for you to stay informed of this situation. For more information, please visit UM's Coronavirus Information website.
If you are a UM faculty member, please visit our Keep on Teaching web page for more information on continuing to provide education to our students.
Screening for Employees who Have Traveled
IMPORTANT: If you have been traveling or if you or others with whom you have had close contact have experienced health issues, please complete the Returning to Campus Questionnaire.
As of March 23, all MUS campuses will, in every instance possible, transition all in-class instruction to online or other remote teaching modalities that do not require in-class presence. MUS campuses will remain open and operational for students. This includes residence halls, dining services, computer labs, and most other campus services. Employees will continue to report to work unless instructed otherwise or work-from-home accommodations are developed in individual cases.
Although Campus is generally the work site for all employees, there is a Telecommuting procedure available on the HR website, which can be also be found as the very last item on that list. It is the procedure that should be applied in all instances for employees who wish to telecommute. We highly encourage all managers to allow their employees to work remotely for the health and safety of all. Allowing the telework option will reduce the number of people on campus and provide a safer working location for those employees who work in positions that must complete their work on campus. Be especially cognizant of those employees with underlying health issues, those in an advanced age group, those who have had recent travel, and those who must be under quarantine.
Faculty should complete the Faculty Telecommuting Agreement and Staff should complete the Staff Telecommuting Agreement. Please be sure to review the Telecommuting FAQ. Once the forms have been completed, please send them to HRSCommunications@umontana.edu.
Is campus safe?
The most up-to-date literature on the topic of COVID-19 indicates that thoughtful businesses should review and limit instances where large groups of people will be gathered. It is said this will help with preventing the unmitigated spread of this disease. For that reason, the University of Montana has moved to remote learning. Campus itself is not closing. We will still be open to serve our students in every other capacity — to house them in the residence halls, to feed them in our dining facilities, to provide them with financial aid and we will meet with them individually as we have always done. Moving to remote learning limits the number of times each day that large groups gather in a single location. This is not a statement that campus is not safe; it is a statement that the University, in conjunction with state and local officials, is working hard to do the right thing in the face of an ever-changing and rapidly evolving virus.
Who can use sick leave?
- Any employee in a sick leave eligible position who has completed the 90-day eligibility period for sick leave use.
- These employees must follow the specific directions that have been established by their department to provide notification when they will be absent from work due to illness.
- Annual leave is also available to those in positions eligible for annual leave after they have completed a 6-month eligibility period for annual leave use.
- Neither leave type can be used before it is earned - meaning the balances cannot go negative.
- Both sick and annual leave are employee benefits governed by the Montana Code and cannot be modified by campus personnel.
- Sick leave is allocated to employees to be used for their own illness or that of a dependent.
Can we have an exception to the required 40 hours of leave without pay before accessing the pool?
There are two variations on donated sick leave, sick leave pool and direct grant, this answer will relate to both:
- An employee can choose to be a member of the sick leave pool by making an 8-hour contribution of sick leave to the pool, completing the application to join and a 90-day wait period to use the fund.
- Benefit of the pool, they can access the pool to provide up to 240 hours of leave for an extended illness.
- An employee may also choose to make a direct grant of sick leave of up to 40 hours to a colleague who needs sick leave hours.
- An employee receiving the benefit of either leave type must have experienced (1) a 10-consecutive day absence from work due to illness and (2) exhausted all of their own leave balances before accessing the sick leave pool.
- An employee will not be required to take leave without pay as a condition of accessing either the leave pool or a direct grant of sick leave; however, the two conditions mentioned above must be met.
How can I help to create an environment that encourages employees to communicate with their supervisors if they feel ill, or have other concerns about COVID-19?
Walk around and talk with them, make sure they know they can come to you with questions or concerns. Direct them to the information coming from the President, from the Provost and from other sources on campus. Ensure they know they can come to you with questions or concerns. If you find there are gaps in understanding please notify Terri Phillips so these matters can be addressed.
Is there any information about Student Employees?
Can my student employee telework? Are student employees allowed to be assigned tasks that are normally outside of their job description?
Work-Study students may work remotely. If your Work-Study student employees can complete their duties remotely, please update their job description in your records to reflect work that can be accomplished off-site (the financial aid office does not need a new hire form with these changes reflected).
Will work-study students still have the opportunity to work?
If your department or organization is able to provide the same or similar job duties for the student Work-Study employee – either on-site (if the student has decided to stay on campus/in town) or remotely the student employee can continue to work and earn Work-Study wages through the end of the semester.
If a student employee loses employment, who should they contact to appeal that decision?
Students do not need to appeal. If they fall into the categories described in the FAQ, their supervisor can simply continue paying them for their scheduled hours through the rest of the semester and then report to Financial Aid that the student was paid for hours that were scheduled but not worked.