7 Coronavirus | Millsaps College

From Julie Daniels, Director of HR: Important Update to Faculty and Staff (Thursday, March 19, 2020)

Dear Millsaps College Community:

Thank you for your patience as the college’s senior leadership team assesses our staff needs and requirements while the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our regular schedules and work hours.

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to disrupt both our personal and professional lives, we find ourselves in a period of unique challenge and uncertainty. Our goal is to minimize health and safety risks for all individuals and to create stability for members of our community. All of us will face a variety of challenges in the days, weeks, and months ahead, possibly related to our own health, the health of a family member, or care for our children. Millsaps College is committed to finding solutions that support continued delivery of a rigorous, personal education while maintaining essential college operations and supporting the livelihoods of its staff during this unprecedented time.

To address these issues, the college is encouraging remote work arrangements, alternative work arrangements, and flexible scheduling to promote health and safety as well as continuity of college operations. All staff arrangements will be monitored by supervisors in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources and solutions will be determined based on individual circumstances.

The following protocols are offered as standing operating procedures for staff of the college specific to work schedules and paid leave beginning Monday, March 23, 2020:

  1. Some staff members are required to report to the college on their regular schedule as their work is necessary to the operation of essential functions during an emergency. These staff have received or will receive guidance from their supervisors and are expected to follow best practices in virus management protocol as identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  2. All remaining full- and part-time staff should work a productive day. If some or all work functions cannot be completed from a remote site, supervisors are encouraged to assist staff with alternative work arrangements and/or flexible scheduling to limit the number of work hours on campus.
  3. If the college’s current situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic decreases a staff member’s regular job duties, supervisors are expected to work with the human resources office to find alternate and appropriate duties for that staff member. All faculty and staff are encouraged to email Executive Assistant Penta Moore (moorep@millsaps.edu) with any tasks with which other employees may assist.
  4. Staff must use accrued leave time for any actual missed hours of work. All unused leave time (vacation, sick leave and personal days) is available to provide flexibility to our employees and provide income protection during this challenging time. Additionally, should the need arise, full-time staff may use up to 40 hours of “Summer Friday” time in lieu of taking that time in June and July. Staff should consult with their supervisor to identify available work hours and understand expectations for completing work assignments. Employees should follow normal procedure for recording leave time.

In addition, to ensure the safety of our community and in keeping with CDC recommendations, all employees of Millsaps College (faculty and staff) must notify their supervisor of any potential exposure and/or diagnosis of COVID-19. Subsequently, supervisors must report this information to the Department of Human Resources, who will notify any co-workers of possible exposure to COVID-19 while maintaining complete confidentiality of the impacted person(s). Refer to guidance from the CDC for information on how to conduct a risk assessment of potential exposure.

Finally, yesterday the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed. This legislation provides paid leave in certain circumstances. The college is working to get a full understanding of the benefits provided within this legislation and will share more information next week.

Any questions with regard to these protocols should first be directed to immediate supervisors and then area vice presidents.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to maintain operations to serve the needs of our students while encouraging best practices to limit exposure to the virus to our community.

Stay well!
Julie Daniels, SPHR
Director of Human Resources