FAQs for Employees

Updated January 20, 2021.

The University will begin Spring term classes on Monday, March 29, 2021 for all campuses.

Spring term 2021 will proceed in the same format for each campus as fall 2020 and winter 2021, but please understand, our plans for spring term remain subject to change, as the circumstances may require. Please also note that there will NOT be a two-week remote instruction as we did this winter term.

Spring break is March 20 – 28, 2021- please keep in mind that COVID-19 will still be prevalent (even with the availability of the vaccine) and consider staying local and not travel to other states or abroad.

CURRENT SPRING 2021 CAMPUS-SPECIFIC COURSE PLANS

Portland-Metro: Lectures will be taught through remote (primarily synchronous) delivery and labs will be offered in-person.

Klamath Falls: 100 and 200 level lectures and all labs will be offered in-person with few exceptions, while 300 and 400 level lectures will be remote (primarily synchronous). All upper-division courses taught in-person will also be recorded for remote delivery.

Chemeketa: Chemeketa site facilities will be accessible as determined by the administration of Chemeketa Community College. As it stands currently, lecture classes will be taught through remote delivery. Lab courses are planned to be in-person, conditions and the community college administration permitting.

Seattle: The Seattle campus is currently conducting a mixed-model mostly remote/hybrid with very few classes in-person for lab purposes only, and will continue this model unless there is different guidance from the state of Washington.

The original emergency COVID leave law expired on December 31. OHR is monitoring what options are available to employees who miss work due to COVID-19. If you have any questions about leave, please contact Sarah Henderson-Wong. She is up to date on any applicable laws and can also assess your specific situation to determine what leave may be available and appropriate.

First, if you have active COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, etc.) or have tested positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus. Follow your regular call-in process, so your supervisor is aware. Promptly email OHR. You may use the general email address or email Maureen De Armond directly.

If you are at work when your symptoms develop, call or email your supervisor that you have symptoms (do not seek them out and have a face-to-face conversation). Avoid other people and go home.

Under either scenario, if your symptoms are severe, contact your medical provider right away. If your symptoms are not severe, contact your medical provider as soon as you can. Your medical provider will direct you to get tested, self-isolate, and/or offer some other course of action.

It is likely OHR will bring Gaylyn Mauer with Oregon Tech’s Integrated Student Healthcare Center into the conversation, as she is Oregon Tech’s primary contact tracer and key contact with county health departments. If you are too ill to work remotely (or remote work is not feasible with your position), Sarah Henderson-Wong will assist you in determining the appropriate leave to use.

Yes, as COVID-19 continues to have a presence in all Oregon Tech locations, our face covering requirements remain in place. You can review the most current version of the Face Covering Requirement on the Resumption Plan page. And, yes, if you are in a room with other people, even if you can maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet, you still need to be wearing a face covering.

Yes. We know this is still awkward, but the physical distancing is a key component of managing risk of exposure to COVID-19. If someone gets too close to you, it’s okay to remind them (some people are giving friendly reminders, like: “you’re in my bubble”). Remember that many people may be pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. That is, a person could be contagious without knowing it—either before their symptoms develop or they may have COVID-19 and never develop any symptoms. In other words, you cannot tell by just looking at someone whether they may be carrying the virus. You also cannot be certain you are not carrying the virus just because you feel fine. Play it safe, respect other’s space and mind your own.

Not unless your supervisor gives approval. We continue to ask supervisors to determine and assess which employees can work remotely. However, this is still a supervisor decision and your supervisor may want you to come to work some or all of the time. Your supervisor should be reaching out to you to discuss coming up with a modified work schedule, which may be revisited and tweaked, as needed. We are asking that employees and supervisors work together to come up with a game plan for the next several weeks.

First, please speak to your supervisor about a modified work arrangement (MWA), including the possibility of working from home or adjusting your schedule. Each situation is unique, so we are encouraging supervisors to work with employees on solutions which are mutually beneficial and meet the needs of our students and our University. If a workable solution is not possible, please contact Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR to help assist with the MWA process. What you may not do, is bring your child/children to Oregon Tech, if you are working on campus. There are a variety of reasons for this, which OHR can explain, if necessary, but please know this is not a viable option.

Possibly. Depending on your situation, your PEBB benefits and Flexible spending needs may have changed. For more information, visit OHR’s page: Benefits – COVID-19. If you have specific questions, please email Sarah Henderson-Wong.

If you have been assigned to work on campus and you have a documented disability which puts you at higher risk of contracting or negatively reacting to COVID-19, please contact Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR. Sarah can facilitate a disability accommodation process or leave analysis (if your situation warrants leave) to determine what process to assure that your medical needs are met. If you do not have a medical note from your medical provider, please get one. We realize that some medical providers may be extremely busy right now and visiting a medical office visit may be the last thing you would want to do. If that’s the case, let Sarah know. With your authorization, we may be able to get necessary medical information by phone, email, or fax and spare you the trip to the doctor’s office and save some of your medical provider’s time. As with any disability-related accommodation, the interactive process is conducted on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations due to COVID-19 are being reviewed on a term by term basis at this time, due to the unknown situational changes related to COVID-19.

First, know that this is very normal. The abundance of news and updates about COVID-19 is making many people feel anxious. The American Psychological Association has put together tips to manage your anxiety, put news reports in perspective, and maintain a positive outlook. If you’re having trouble managing your concerns on your own, reach out for help. Oregon Tech offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as a free benefit to its employees. EAP offers free counseling to eligible employees, their dependents, and eligible household members through Cascade Centers, Inc. Counselors are available 24/7. To access the EAP just call: Portland (503) 639–3009; Salem (503) 588–0777; Toll Free (800) 433–2320.

Our EAP provider recently held a 30 minute webinar which is now available on YouTube and can be watched at any time: (Webinar) COVID 19 - Managing Stress and Anxiety During Uncertain Times

Oregon Tech can always send an employee home on paid administrative leave, if Oregon Tech determines it is in the best interests of the employee, other employees (or students), or the institution. Under normal circumstances, Oregon Tech cannot require employees to go to a physician (some existing exceptions apply, for example, if the employee files a workers’ compensation claim, files for leave under FMLA/OFLA, or in cases of an urgent medical emergency, Oregon Tech can call for an ambulance). However, employees may be required by the local, state, or federal public health officials to be medically examined to determine if they have contracted COVID-19.

Remember that just because someone has a fever or cough does not mean that they have COVID-19. Encourage them to call their health provider to determine whether they need to receive medical care. Try to refrain from being in close contact with anyone who appears to be ill, staying at least 6 feet away if possible. Contact OHR if you have a concern about an employee. Contact Integrated Student Health Center (541.885.1800) if you have concerns about an employee. Another option is to log a complaint or concern on the Oregon Tech Re-Opening website.

Oregon Tech will send out a weekly email with positive case updates, which includes campus locations. Although unlikely, if there is a campus closure in Klamath Falls or at the Portland-Metro campus in Wilsonville, Oregon Tech will use its alert system to notify students and the campus community by text, email and phone (go to Campus Alerts sign up to make sure all of your contact information is in the system).

In the event that we did have a closure, how employees would get paid would depend on their job classification and whether they are able to perform work remotely during a closure (similar to an inclement weather closure). If we have a closure, we will provide detailed information at that time based on employee status (such as classified, unclassified and faculty and any existing union contract provisions)—to assure that our response takes into consideration the specific situation at hand.

Do not schedule any work travel without getting your supervisor’s approval. Oregon Tech is still limiting work-related travel to only essential matters. Any institutionally sponsored travel must be approved by the employee’s direct supervisor and student event travel will be approved by Vice President for Student Affairs, athletic travel will be approved by the Director of Athletics.

If an employee is on an approved vacation, Oregon Tech cannot restrict an employee’s travel. However, there may be travel advisories in effect in Oregon or your destination. Oregon Tech will comply with applicable travel advisories in effect at the time of your travel. This could, for example, mean you must self-isolate upon return to Oregon.

The university strongly recommends that students, staff and faculty limit travel, particularly when you may come into close contact with strangers and large groups of people (i.e., you cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet). We want you to be and remain healthy. Please exercise reasonable care in your non-work time and talk through travel plans with your supervisor before you make reservations or purchase tickets, as post-travel restrictions may prompt you to reconsider. Travel guidance does regularly change, so please contact OHR if you want to know what guidance is in effect at the time.

Possibly. The treating medical provider(s) would have to conclude that the employee or immediate family member’s experience with coronavirus qualified as a "serious health condition" (it may for some individuals and it may not for others). If you needed guidance on your particular situation, simply reach out to Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR. There is also general information about family and medical leaves available on the Office of Human Resources webpage.

Since these benefits are administered by the state, we cannot provide a definitive answer. The best answer right now is: maybe, if it is determined that the Oregon Tech employee contracted the disease in the course and scope of their employment. As with any workplace illness or injury or suspected illness or injury, we want the impacted employee to file a workers’ compensation claim just to be sure. This would be done pursuant to the existing process. Details on filing a claim be found here: https://www.oit.edu/faculty-staff/human-resources/benefits/workers'-compensation, or contact Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR.

We cannot provide a definitive answer, as our short-term and long-term disability plans are administered by The Standard. If you are enrolled in short-term disability and you have any non-work related illness lasting longer than five (5) business days it would be worthwhile to file. To file a claim call 1‐800‐842‐1707. Our policy number is 442210-D. Long-term disability likely would not apply, as it would require, depending on enrollment an illness lasting greater than 90 or 180 days before coverage would start.

Remember that viruses don’t discriminate based on nationality or race. Unfortunately, there have been reported incidents of anti-Asian discrimination over COVID-19. Concerns about such sentiments need to be taken seriously. Racism, nationality bias, and xenophobia have no place at Oregon Tech. If you feel you have been targeted or witness an incident involving one or more Oregon Tech community members, please contact Maureen De Armond.