COVID 19 Information for Employees

Updated 4/16/21

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

Work From Home

All campus employees working from home will continue to do so through at least mid-summer. Michigan Medicine has extended remote working guidelines for all those employees capable of working from home until September 13. The extended workplace restrictions announced April 12 for the state of Michigan are unlikely to change university plans.  

Organizational Learning is offering a series of webinars to help managers and supervisors lead teams during times of change. 

Supporting Child and Dependent Care

When possible, departments are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely and be flexible with arrangements. There are a number of resources available to help faculty and staff with child and dependent care needs. The university recently announced two additional resources to help with dependent care needs. 

If remote work is not possible, employees may be eligible to use paid time off programs. Read more about paid time off programs and uses for COVID-related scenarios.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Update (4/16/21): Faculty, staff and students may register for upcoming vaccination clinics at the U-M Athletics Indoor Training Facility and Meijer Pharmacy in Ann Arbor April 21-23. 

The State of Michigan sets the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccinations, and vaccine supplies are limited. Appointments are required but may not yet be available. Appointments through a health system are by invitation only to current patients of the health system. Scheduling is based on patient eligibility and vaccine availability.

You may increase your chances of receiving an appointment by registering with your local health department and retail pharmacies when you are eligible. You will be contacted when appointments are available. Learn about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and availability.

To protect personal information, employees are discouraged from posting photos of their vaccination cards on social media or other mediums. 

Paid Release Time for Vaccinations

As of March 21, 2021 (the start of the biweekly pay period), employees on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible to use up to two hours of paid release time per vaccine dose.  Bargained-for staff and staff who are funded by research grants may use paid release time for vaccination.

Paid release time for vaccination should not exceed 4 hours in total. Employees who receive their vaccine from Michigan Medicine or any other community source are able to use paid release time to cover absence from work. Eligible Michigan Medicine employees continue to be able to be vaccinated on-site during work hours, and should contact their supervisor when scheduling a vaccination appointment. Employees funded by research grants are now eligible to use paid release time. Paid release time is not available for vaccinations that occurred prior to March 21, 2021.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about paid release time:

Is paid time off available if I did not get my vaccine from the University of Michigan?
Yes, up to two hours of paid release time per vaccine dose may be used, regardless of the vaccine provider.
My absence from work for my vaccine dose was more than 2 hours, how do I report my time?
Paid release time for vaccination is limited to up to two hours, per vaccination appointment, and for non-exempt staff is reported as REG. (Exempt employees only report exception time). Absences greater than 2 hours should be reported as sick time. Supervisors are also encouraged to provide flexibility with work schedules.
I received my first vaccination before March 21, 2021, am I allowed to use paid release time for my absence from work?
No. Paid release time may not be used for vaccinations that occurred prior to March 21, 2021. Up to 2 hours of paid release time may be used for vaccination appointments scheduled for March 21, 2021 or later.
I received the one-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson's Janssen), does this mean I have access to four hours of paid release time?
No, paid release time is limited to up to 2 hours per vaccination appointment.
Are temporary employees able to use paid release time to cover absence from work due to receiving a COVID vaccination?
Temporary employees receive pay for hours worked, however, supervisors are encouraged to be flexible with temporary employee work schedules to support vaccination.
My position is funded by a research grant. Am I eligible for paid release time for vaccination?
Yes, up to two hours per vaccine dose may be used by staff whose positions are funded by a research grant.

Covered with No Copay

The COVID-19 vaccine is covered with no copay. When receiving your vaccine at a pharmacy, provide either your U-M health plan card or your drug plan ID card. To avoid confusion, don't use both cards at the same time.

Paid Time Off Options

There are 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. 

FEMA Assistance for Funeral-Related Expenses

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. More information is available on the FEMA website > COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. Watch this informational video or call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 1-844-684-6333 for help.

Updates to Budget Measures

University leaders recently announced updates to budget measures for the Ann Arbor campus and Michigan Medicine.  The Ann Arbor campus plans to ease measures affecting salary, hiring and tuition reimbursement when the next fiscal year begins July 1, subject to budget approval. Michigan Medicine plans to reinstate its merit pay program, tuition reimbursement, PTO sell-back and more in the coming months. 

Read more in the University Record

Working Safely During COVID

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 on-site 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.

All U-M Ann Arbor students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) who live on campus, are registered for an in-person or hybrid class, or who come to campus for research, work or other activities in campus buildings are required to complete weekly mandatory COVID-19 testing through U-M. This allows for immediate information sharing with the university for timely and accurate tracking of testing completion and compliance.

Read more on the Campus Blueprint website

Unemployment Fraud Updates

(1/27/21) - If you received a 1099-G from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency but you did not receive unemployment benefits during Calendar Year 2020, you need to take action. Visit Unemployment Insurance Benefits Resources for recommended steps on how to proceed.

(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.