COVID-19 FAQ

Who is an essential employee/department?

Equestrian Center, Payroll, Wellness Center, Public Safety, Mail Room, Receiving, Janitors, Custodians, Heating Plant, Mechanics, Carpenters, Technicians in SoAD*, Technicians in Engineering*, Residence Life, and Food Service Vendor (AVI).

**Note: Not all Technicians are considered essential but rather "those required to do an orderly shutdown of certain equipment as required for the duration of the closure" would be essential. Please seek guidance from your Supervisor.

If you are an essential employee, your Supervisor will be contacting you regarding potential schedule changes to limit the number of employees working in one space at one time. Please remember that if you are essential you need to practice social distancing while on campus. This means not being closer than 6 feet from the next person.

If you are deemed an essential employee, are you receiving any increase in pay?

Employees who work a second shift will receive shift differential.

How do I know if I am eligible to Telecommute?

You and your Supervisor will be the ones to determine that. You should fill out the telecommuting form and have a discussion with your Supervisor regarding working from home. The telecommuting form should be submitted to your Supervisor and VP and sent to HR for final approval.

Telecommuting Policy

Telecommuting Request Form

If I am a salaried employee working from home what are my responsibilities?

If you are salaried and working from home you are expected to maintain your normal work schedule as much as possible. You should be in communication with your Supervisor for guidance on projects or tasks that need to be completed. You will be required to submit a weekly recap to your Supervisor to ensure work is being completed.

You are required to take at least a half hour lunch break per NYS law if you work over 6 hours in that day.

Your Supervisor should be notified of any need for leave in advance, if foreseeable. If you are taking any sick, vacation, personal or floating holiday time during this telecommuting phase, please record on your leave report appropriately.

If I am an hourly employee or hourly professional working from home what are my responsibilities?

If you are an hourly employee you are expected to maintain your normal work schedule as much as possible. You should be in communication with your Supervisor for guidance on projects or tasks that need to be completed.

You are required to take at least a half hour lunch break per NYS law if you work over 6 hours in that day. Please clock in and out in Banner as normal and record all lunch breaks.

Your Supervisor should be notified of any need for leave in advance, if foreseeable. If you are taking any sick, vacation, personal or floating holiday time during this telecommuting phase, please record on your timesheet appropriately.

What if I am already on approved Leave with the University or will be taking leave soon?

Short Term Disability, Paid Family Leave, or Family Medical Leave: as long as you are still meeting the provisions of these programs, you will continue your leave as normal.

If you were due to be out of the office for one of these leaves, the same rules will follow as normal.

Please contact Kayleigh Jones for any leave related questions.

How do I use Telemedicine?

Regular AU Employees covered by Univera Healthcare:

Web: UniveraHealthcare.com/Member

App: Download the MDLIVE app

Text: Text UNIVERA to 635483

Voice: Call 1-866-914-8426

This is a free service for anyone with University sponsored Univera insurance.

NYSCC Employees covered by Empire BCBS:

At their website.

Enter coupon code NYSHIP when you get to the payment screen. This code will ensure you and your covered dependent receive care, free of charge.

How do I pick up my paper paycheck?

Effective for payroll #7, which will be paid on 4/3/2020, if you currently receive a paper check that you would normally pick up on Friday of a payroll week, you will not be able to pick it up. Your paper check will be mailed to your house for you to the address we have on file. Anyone who receives direct deposit already will still continue to receive direct deposit as normal.

What do I do if I missed submitting my electronic timesheet for the pay period?

Please email Jessica Clinger and she will email you a copy of the paper timesheet to fill out. You will then email it to your Supervisor, and if your Supervisor approves, they can forward that to Jessica Clinger for Payroll processing.

If I need access to remote desktop, VPN and University voicemail who do I contact?

Please contact ITS or visit their webpage for guidance.

To access your University voicemail call 607-871-2888 and follow the prompts to be able to check your voicemail while off campus.



Personal Protective Equipment

All employees will be provided with required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a cloth face covering from the University that they will be responsible for laundering each day after use. Employees may wear their own masks/cloth face covering if it is work appropriate and fits appropriately.

Office and Faculty Employees will be provided with their initial face covering at the Campus Book Store and should be their first stop when returning to the campus. Others will be provided with it during their initial return to work orientation meeting. Replacement coverings will be provided by contacting your Supervisor.

Return to Work Training, Quiz and Policy

Before returning to work or on your first day back, you will need to log into Canvas using your AU credentials:

  • Review the training power point
  • Take the short quiz
  • Review the Return to Work Policy

It is your responsibility as a University employee that you know the proper procedures and protocol for returning to work and doing so safely.

Daily Screenings

All University employees, before beginning their shift each day, will be required to complete an online daily screening of any symptoms that they may have as they relate to COVID-19. Please remember, these are new or on-going symptoms that you are experiencing that day.

  • Log into the COVID-19 Screening webpage with your AU credentials (your email username without @alfred.edu after it and normal password that you use)
  • Report any symptoms
  • you will receive a pass/fail for the day in an email that you can print or access if needed

If you receive a fail for the day you will not be able to come into work, you will need to contact Mark Guinan at 607-871-2909 or Kayleigh Jones at 607-871-2276 for a follow-up. If, after discussions with an HR representative, it is determined that you are experiencing what may be COVID-19 symptoms you will need to follow up with your Primary Care Provider and potentially get tested for COVID-19 if symptoms persist.

If you are an employee whose job allows you to work from home and you are experiencing symptoms, you may continue to work from that location, please work in conjunction with your Supervisor to make arrangements.

If you are an employee, who cannot work from home, and receive a fail for the day, after consultation with HR and it is decided that you will need to stay home and monitor your symptoms you will code that time as COVID-19 time on your timesheet/leave report. Each employee is eligible for up to 10 workdays of COVID-19 sick time until 12/31/2020.

New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory States

New York State Travel Advisory Frequently Asked Questions

**Changes for the COVID-19 earn code are effective 4/12/2020 and listed below.**

How to use the new earn code:

The COVID-19 code is to be used to report time under the following circumstances:

An employee is not offered work due to the stay-at-home order because
  • the individual is required to quarantine or self-isolate, as directed by the Department of Health order and as reported to Human Resources

The employee must record their time as they normally would, reporting the number of hours they would have worked each day using the COVID-19 option.

The COVID-19 earn code will not use hours from your paid time off bank at this time. This code is similar to the excused earn code that employees typically see on their timesheets.

The COVID-19 hours should only be entered to the extent necessary to fulfill the work week obligation (that is, total the usual 35 or 40-hour work week. For example, an employee scheduled to work 40 hours a week should not report hours that exceed 40 hours in a given week between worked hours and COVID-19 hours.

When an employee should not use the new earn code:

Any person who is offered work but chooses not to accept it, for whatever reason, will need to report time under the appropriate leave code accruals. For Non-Exempt and Professional Non-Exempt employees, this would include:

  • Sick (if the employee themselves is ill)
  • Family Sick (to take care of a family member who is ill)
  • Personal Day
  • Floating Holiday
  • Vacation

If the employee does not have any accrued paid time-off, the time will be unpaid, consistent with how it would be treated under ordinary circumstances.

General Guidance for Reporting Time

In all circumstances, employees must:

  • report actual time worked, whether on-site or at home.
    • Non-exempt (hourly) staff are expected to maintain their normal work hours, which is primarily conducted between the hours of 8:00a – 5:00p. Professional non-exempt staff hours may vary slightly but would also largely fall between this time period.
  • report a 30-minute lunch period each day.
    • This should be a consistent time to ensure continuity of operations across the university and should be scheduled with your supervisor.
  • not work beyond their approved workday (35 or 40 hours) unless directed by their supervisor and approved by the area VP, in coordination with Human Resources. This includes answering emails, checking your office phone messages, or any other duties related to your work after the scheduled workday ends.

Supervisors must:

  • know when their staff is working and manage all hours between the period of 8:00am – 5:00pm.
  • ensure employees maintain a separation between work time and personal time during this period when working remotely from home.

If you are in a mandatory quarantine or diagnosed with COVID-19 by your health care provider or other State agency:

Employees should report this immediately to Kayleigh Jones and Mark Guinan. You will be asked to provide a list of individuals you may have been in contact with at work. While we are required to notify these individuals, we will not release your name or any other personal information when contacting these individuals.

If you are under mandatory quarantine with no symptoms or illness and are able to work remotely, you may work as normal. The leave referenced above would be relevant only if you were seeking medical treatment and unable to work or cannot work remotely due to the nature of your position.

What is the difference between a furlough and a layoff?

A furlough is a temporary, unpaid leave of absence caused by a lack of available work. Furloughs are typically for a shorter fixed period, and the furloughed person remains an employee and continues many benefits until they are recalled and returned to work.

A layoff occurs when an employee is separated from employment because there is no work available and there is no guarantee that the University will re-employ them later.

How long will the furlough last?

At this time, we do not know how long this emergency will last. The University must have available work for the furloughed employee and must comply with all State and Federal regulations regarding reopening before the furloughed employee can be recalled.

If I’m furloughed, what happens to my benefits?

Alfred University has chosen to continue benefits for all employees who will be affected by the furlough. This means that your benefits will remain in place for the duration that you are out uninterrupted.

How am I going to pay for my benefits?

While you are furloughed, you will be placed on leave without pay but with benefits in Banner. This will allow HR to capture an arrears amount for all benefits that you normally pay. Once you are back to work, HR will work with you to collect the back premiums and they will be deducted from your pay over a period of time.

What if I do not want to do that and just want to write the University a check to cover my benefits?

When your deductions process through payroll they are deducted before taxes (pre-tax), lowering your taxable income for the year and allowing you to pay less income taxes. If you write a check outside of payroll those deductions will be paid after tax and you will not get the pre-tax advantage.

If you still wish to write a check for your benefits while on furlough please contact  Kayleigh Jones for guidance.

What happens to my paid time off banks, and do I have to use that time before being furloughed?

Alfred University is not allowing employees to use any accrued time in lieu of being furloughed. Your paid time off banks (vacation, personal and floating holiday) will remain in place. However, your banks will stop growing until you return to work.

What is the maximum amount of time that unemployment benefits are available?

Due to the CARES Act unemployment benefits have been extended an additional 13 weeks to be added to the normal 26 weeks (39 total weeks). There is also an additional Federal benefit of $600/week until 7/31/2020 for anyone who is claiming unemployment due to a COVID-19 shut down. At this time, we do not know if this additional benefit will be extended.

How do I file for Unemployment if I am Furloughed?

Visit Get Unemployment Assistance for guidance from NYS on how to create an account and file your claim.

How do I estimate my weekly Unemployment benefit?

NYS has a calculator that you can use to estimate your weekly benefit. Please click Estimate Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit and it will take you to the calculator. It will ask for your gross earnings per quarter.

To look this information up:

  1. Visit Banner
  2. Click the Employee tab
  3. Click Pay Information
  4. Click Earnings History
  5. To get your quarterly pay, you need to select:
    • Quarter 1: January 2019 - March 2019
    • Quarter 2: April 2019 - June 2019
    • Quarter 3: July 2019 - September 2019
    • Quarter 4: October 2019 - December 2019