2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

Updated 11/17/20

This page contains information for employees about working from home, paid time off options for COVID-related scenarios, resources to support your mental, emotional and physical health, guidance for supervisors, updates to benefit plans, and more. 

Information on university planning can be found on the Campus Blueprint site

Holiday Safety

The holidays are a time to give thanks, connect with loved ones and take care of ourselves and others. This year, it is important to celebrate the holidays and connect with others while being safe and following public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Limit holiday gatherings to those within your household. Connect safely with friends and family using technology or safe public health practices. Skip in-person gatherings with work colleagues. And do not return to work if you are sick, showing symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or yourself have tested positive (contact OHS for guidance). View a PDF of these tips.

The CDC has additional guidance for holiday celebrations and small gatherings.

Work From Home

All campus employees working from home will continue to do so through at least the end of the winter semester (April 2021). Only certain employees designated as critical to infrastructure or public health and safety, or work that has been deemed an on-site priority, should be allowed to report to work in-person. Read U-M plans for safely and gradually resuming activities.

Working Safely During the Fall Semester

Each school, college and administrative unit is responsible for developing an individualized plan for working safely on site or remotely. Only faculty and staff who have been approved to work onsite at a U-M location should do so. 

If you need to work on campus, you will need to follow additional health and safety protocols such as wearing face coverings while indoors, outdoors and on U-M transportation and completing a daily health screening tool ResponsiBLUE.

Employees who are ill for any reason should not come to work.

UHR also has a new resource guide to help employees: Working Through COVID-19: Resources and Support for U-M Employees and Supervisors (PDF).

Supporting Child Care

Many area school districts will utilize remote instruction for at least part of the 2020-2021 school year. This presents a number of challenges for families. 

When possible, departments are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely and be flexible with arrangements. Additionally, there are a number of resources available to help faculty and staff with child care needs.

If remote work is not possible, employees may be eligible to use paid time off programs. Employees may be eligible to use E-FMLA when schools or day cares are closed or offer virtual instruction only. Read more about paid time off programs and uses for COVID-related scenarios.

Unemployment Fraud Update (9/11/20)

Some employees have reported being notified by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency that they need to repay unemployment benefits when they did not file a claim and did not receive any benefits. Visit Unemployment Insurance Benefits Resources for recommended steps on how to proceed.

Health Risks

According to the CDC, people with certain underlying medical conditions are or might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Staff members who fall into this category should notify their supervisor, manager and/or human resources office and discuss potential accommodations. You may be asked to contact Work Connections to provide supporting medical documentation.

If an accommodation is not possible, employees may be eligible to use EPSLA, COVID-19 PTO, short-term sick, PTO, vacation, and unpaid leave with pre-established review dates as appropriate.

Employees who live with or are a primary caregiver for someone at higher risk for severe illness should also notify their supervisor, manager and/or human resources office to discuss possible accommodations. If an accommodation is not possible, employees may be eligible to use EPSLA, COVID-19 PTO, short-term sick, PTO, vacation, and unpaid leave with pre-established review dates as appropriate. You may also be eligible to use FMLA depending on the circumstances. 

Paid Time Off Options

There are several temporary paid time off programs in place to support employees who cannot work due to various scenarios related to COVID-19. Some of these scenarios include personal illness, family care needs (including illness and school closure) and temporary lack of work. 

These programs are available to full and part-time faculty and staff, including temporary staff, student employees, graduate student employees (GSIs, GSSAs, GSRAs) and postdoctoral research fellows. Employees should follow their normal process of reporting absence and requesting time off.

Well-being Resources

Information and resources to support personal mental, emotional, and physical well-being is available. Resources include guided meditation and relaxation videos, virtual support groups, mobile apps and online programs and more.