FAQs for Managers

Updated on March 3, 2021

Please work with your employees to determine what type of temporary modified work arrangement (MWA) can assure they get the child care they need with the least amount of disruption to your team.

If you have a situation where you cannot find or come up with a workable agreement, consult with your supervisor or contact Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR. We can talk through the situation with you and, if needed, also meet with the employee to see whether additional options may be feasible.

So far, Oregon Tech supervisors have done an amazing job coming up with workable arrangements for employees in these situations. Please continue to be flexible. Remember, this could be a very stressful situation for your employee.

Yes, we continue to be at a point where we are trying to balance getting the University’s work done, while doing it as safely as possible. One way to help minimize possible exposures to COVID-19 is to have as few people on campus as possible. As a supervisor, you can determine which employees can work remotely (or rotate employees between being on campus and working from home).

Please have any telecommute agreements in writing and revisit whenever you feel the arrangement is not working. Remember that you get to decide your employees’ working locations. If you have an employee who is demanding of remote work, but you do not think it feasible, you can tell them no. If you need assistance working through a tricky telecommute conversation, contact OHR. We’ll be happy to help you.

If you have all or some of your employees working remotely, consider setting up a quick team update in the morning. This could be done by Teams/Zoom or phone. Starting the day at the regular start time together helps maintain the team culture and assures major projects, tasks, and “to-do’s” remain top of mind for everyone.

For employees now working from home, be sure to address expectations for the work schedule they need to keep; being responsive to calls, emails, and texts; attending meetings—live or virtually; recording time; requesting vacation for when they are not working.

One of the key reminders supervisors should be giving employees is to not hesitate to ask questions or seek guidance. This is an adjustment for literally everyone on this campus—including your team and including you. Talk through issues, make sure you have mutual understandings of work expectations, and be patient as we all try to manage through this situation.

First, we cannot presume to know an employee’s health condition or how it may be impacted by COVID-19, nor can we “regard them as disabled.” This would be considered discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, we also want to be sure our employees are safe. Here’s how we propose balancing these needs:

If the employee you are concerned about has a job that can be done remotely, work with your employee to make remote work arrangements. In other words, if you have employees who can perform their jobs from home, the institution’s new guidance should address the exposure concern without asking about an employee’s health condition. This should address your concerns without having to get into any medical details or discussions.

If your employee is required to be on campus to perform their work, treat them the same as your other employees. Again, we cannot make presumptions about health conditions. However, any employee who shares that they have a health condition should be directed to contact Sarah Henderson-Wong in OHR right away. Sarah can facilitate an abbreviated disability accommodation process (if the employee can safely still perform some of their job) or medical leave analysis (if the health condition warrants leave) to assure that the employee’s medical needs are met in an appropriate way.

We understand that some people may be feeling more stress and anxiety about COVID-19. This is normal and likely quite common at the moment. First, be kind, flexible and understanding. Everyone deals with stress differently (and even this may vary from day to day). Give your employees room to be human. We need to be extra compassionate right now, especially as leaders.

Remember that Oregon Tech has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Cascade Centers, which is a free and confidential resource for employees. EAP provides 24/7 counseling and other support resources.

(Note: As a manager, you should already be familiar with EAP. If you are not, please visit the page linked above and contact OHR. We would be happy to share details about this free resource with your team. We also have EAP business cards with key information displayed. You can come by OHR to pick up cards, if you would like to have them on hand to provide to employees.)

Pay practices vary on employee classification. Typically, for a temporary closure, faculty and unclassified staff would continue to get paid at their regular rate. Classified staff would be paid per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). For any closure period where pay is not warranted or permitted, staff would typically be able to use vacation time or sick leave to assure no reduction in take-home pay. However, the exact nature and duration of a closure could result in a different response from Oregon Tech or state officials.

(Note: As a manager, when you onboard new staff it is a good idea to suggest employees build up a bank of accrued leave time for situations like this—as well as personal/family emergencies, inclement weather, and normal cold and flu season.)

We understand that some people may be feeling more stress and anxiety about COVID-19. However, aside from a university closure, employees who are not sick are expected to work. At the same time, employees who are particularly anxious may benefit from some additional support. Remember that Oregon Tech has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Cascade Centers, which is a free and confidential resource for employees. EAP provides 24/7 counseling and other support resources.

(Note: As a manager, you should already be familiar with EAP. If you are not, please visit the page linked above and contact HR. We would be happy to share details about this free resource with your team. We also have EAP business cards with key information displayed. You can come by OHR to pick up cards, if you would like to have them on hand to provide to employees.)

First, respond with empathy and understanding. This is a quickly changing situation and everyone responds to change and stress in different ways. As a leader, you should be the voice of calm and reason. Right now, encouraging employees to read all messages sent out by the university and frequently visiting www.oit.edu/coronavirus will keep them up-to-date on university guidance and decisions. Refocusing employees on the work at hand may also be a helpful approach. We still have work to do. If you are not current on all of the projects your team members are working on, consider short 1:1 meetings with each employee to get a quick assessment, which may help with planning. During such sessions, you can also encourage employees to contact EAP if they think they would benefit from talking through how the current situation may be impacting them.

If you don’t know where to start with a tough question, contact your manager and/or OHR. As is always the case, to gain and retain trust with your employees, you must get back to your employees with answers to their questions. Being sure that all of your team is getting the same information is critical during uncertain times. If employees feel like some team members are being better informed than others, this can undermine trust and confidence in leadership. Email can be a great way to assure everyone gets the same information at the same time.

Not if cleaning is not already part of their student position. Anyone performing cleaning duties needs to attend bloodborne pathogen training. Additionally, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn. Asking student workers to “pitch in” when they are not properly trained or properly equipped with PPE is not appropriate. If you have employees (student or regular) who need bloodborne pathogen training or you have questions about what PPE is necessary for specific cleaning tasks, contact Sherry Himelwright (e: Sherry.Himelwright@oit.edu p:541-885-1556). If you believe your work area is not being properly or regularly cleaned, speak with your manager. Our custodial staff is working extremely hard right now to regularly clean common areas and surfaces most likely to carry cold and flu viruses.

Yes. Student workers (excluding work study positions) accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrued sick leave is available for student workers to us use on 91st calendar day after beginning work on campus. The maximum hours that can be earned and used per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) is 40 hours. The maximum balance of accrued sick leave that a student worker can have is 80 hours (i.e., it is a cap and additional hours will not accrue beyond the 80 hours). Unused accrued sick leave hours will roll over up to a maximum of 40 hours to the following fiscal year.

To find out how many accrued sick leave hours a student worker has earned, students can log into Web for Students, go to the Employee Menu, and pick Leave Balances.