New California “Regional Stay At Home Order” and remote work except for essential functions

December 4, 2020

To:  University faculty, staff, and administrators
From:  The President’s Cabinet
Subject:  Coronavirus response — New California “Regional Stay At Home Order” and remote work except for essential functions

Yesterday, the governor of California issued a new order to go into effect on Saturday, December 5. The order ties diminished levels of critical care services within five designated regions in the state to the implementation of additional restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Regional Stay At Home Order is designed to go into effect in regions that fall below 15% of their total available bed capacity in intensive care units. Our campuses fall within two of the five regions named by the governor: Southern California and the Bay Area. Currently, the State shows Southern California with 20.6% remaining capacity and the Bay Area with 25.3%.

While our campuses are not yet at the critical threshold determined by the new order, the current dangerous surge in COVID-19 predicts that we may well be very soon. Consequently, we believe it is prudent to increase our own level of caution in conducting our day-to-day operations. While many of us are still telecommuting, we do have a considerable number of people regularly working on-site, and we have seen an increase in the number of employees with an exposure risk, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and/or testing positive for COVID-19.

Therefore, only essential functions will be maintained on-site, and individuals conducting those functions will be notified by their supervisor. All other employees are asked to move to remote work no later than Saturday, December 5, if they haven’t already done so.  If you have questions about whether you should report to work in-person or remotely, please connect with your supervisor, who is responsible for making this determination. Please also work with your supervisor if your regular tasks cannot be done remotely; you may be given assignments from other areas. (For more details on telecommuting, see below.)

All University employees will continue to be paid as normal through Thursday, December 31, even if they are unable to perform their work duties remotely. There is no need to take sick or vacation days during this period, unless you actually take vacation or are sick.

We appreciate your continued flexibility in the face of the changing circumstances presented by the pandemic, and we thank you for your diligent efforts in support of the University.

As a reminder, here are our interim COVID-19 telecommuting and timecard procedures:

Telecommuting

For remote work supervisors should:

  • Communicate specific expectations to individual team members based on each person’s position, the needs of the unit, and the employee’s personal circumstances.
  • Review regular progress reports on work-at-home assignments.
  • Provide feedback immediately if expectations change.
  • Maintain ongoing communications and meetings regarding the status of assignments and projects.
  • Be available by phone and/or e-mail during the agreed-upon hours
  • Adhere to all University timekeeping policies and procedures.

Telecommuting employees should:

  • Fulfill the expectations agreed upon with your supervisor regarding the scope of your telecommuting assignments, such as:
    • Duties and responsibilities;
    • Hours of work (rest/meal breaks, overtime, and other wage and hour requirements still apply);
    • Hours of availability to communicate regarding University business;
    • Communication about work assignments/regular progress reports;
    • Personal needs, including reporting absences of work due to injury, illness, or caring for a family member; and
    • The use of University equipment and materials.
  • Practice secure data handling (electronic and paper), follow University informational security requirements, and store such data on University servers (using VPN access to Colleague databases and/or access to SharePoint or OneDrive).  Private, confidential, or proprietary University business records, student records, and other data should never be saved to personally owned computers, hard drives, cloud storage or USB drives, or other personally owned storage media.  Failure to follow these rules and appropriately protect University information may result in discipline.
  • Appropriately complete your timecard and follow all labor laws in accordance to your status (non-exempt/exempt).
  • State your availability and set response expectations in your signature line or out-of-office note on any emails.
  • Forward desk/office phone to your home/cell phone if appropriate (as a reminder, all voicemails left on your office phone will also be recorded and sent to your email for retrieval).
  • Notify your supervisor if you become ill and cannot work. 

Timecards

To fill out your timecard for employment during the period through December 31, first access Ultimate Time and Attendance system through “MyRedlands” as normal (look for “HR Portal” in the highlighted section under your name; you may need to expand the box to see it).

Administrators, please complete your timecard as you would if you were working in the office.

Non-exempt staff and administrators:  

  • Log all hours worked, including remote hours. 
  • For any day that you work on-site at the University, log your hours as you normally do; for any day you work at home, also log those hours as you normally do. 
  • For the hours you remain at home at the direction of the University and do not work, you will use the code “CLOSE” for your regularly scheduled hours. For example, if you are scheduled for 30 hours a week and do not work, you will use the new time code for all 30 hours. View a step-by-step guide to add the time.

Employees should continue to use the vacation code for all previously approved vacation hours during this period if they are still using the time as vacation.  If vacation plans were canceled, employees should work with their supervisor to make changes to timecards as appropriate to each situation.

Other procedures for approving timecards remain unchanged. Note that the holidays will affect the deadlines for timesheet approval:

  • All staff, administrative non-exempt, adjunct faculty, and student employees, must approve their timesheet for the time-period of December 7–December 20 by the end of their last day worked prior to or no later than noon on Monday, December 21. All supervisors must complete their timesheet approval no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, December 21. 
  • All faculty and administrator exempt timesheets must be approved upon return from the winter holiday in January. The pay date for December will be moved to December 23 to accommodate the winter holiday beginning on December 24.

For employees without direct deposit, checks will be mailed through the United States Postal Service to the postal address on file. We encourage you to sign up for direct deposit; however, direct deposit will only begin to take effect in the next (not current) pay cycle. All employees are asked to take this opportunity to review and update contact information in UltiPro.