March 13, 2020
On behalf of Boston College, I want to express deep appreciation to each of you for your individual and collective efforts in response to COVID-19.
Because of its commitment to safeguard the health of all in our community, the Office of Human Resources has developed plans so that Boston College can respond to changing circumstances while maintaining operations.
Classes have been transitioned to virtual and online delivery, but a significant number of students remain on campus. The University remains open and operations continue. The University is committed to ensuring that all full-time, benefits-eligible employees remain in full pay status throughout this situation. In addition, we will be working to provide the same protection to part-time employees.
Fully funded graduate students will maintain their stipends and benefits. Hourly paid graduate students will be paid if they are fulfilling their regular responsibilities–and work on campus. Undergraduate student employees who have been granted permission to remain on campus after March 15, 2020, or live in close proximity to campus, will be able to continue their jobs, provided there is a need as determined by their supervisor.
First and foremost, if you are not feeling well, or are ill, please stay home until you are feeling better.
The following addresses special situations that we expect to arise as a result of the ongoing pandemic:
1. Employees needing leave time for self-quarantine:
Employees are no longer authorized to travel internationally or domestically on University business, unless specifically approved by the President’s Office, Executive Vice President, or Provost and Dean of Faculties.
As a precautionary measure, and with appropriate documentation reviewed and authorized by Human Resources, University employees will be given leave accommodations in light of the COVID-19 outbreak under the following circumstances: 1) if an employee or a member of the employee’s household has traveled to locations of high concern as determined by the CDC; or 2) the employee or a member of the employee’s household has come into direct contact with an individual who has contracted the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, the employee will be expected to self-quarantine at home for fourteen (14) days prior to returning to work.
- If the employee traveled on University-sponsored or work-related business, the University will continue the regular salary of the employee for self-quarantine time away from work, in consultation with the department head and Human Resources. The employee must also provide subsequent clearance from a qualified medical professional to return to work. To the extent possible, self-quarantined employees whose roles are conducive to working remotely will be expected to do so, provided they are able.
- Employees who self-quarantine for a reason listed above, other than University-related business, will be provided up to fourteen (14) days off from work or until the employee is cleared by a qualified medical professional to return to work, whichever occurs earlier. To the extent possible, self-quarantined employees whose roles are conducive to working remotely will be expected to do so as long as they are able, provided they obtain the permission of their department head.
- Any employee who becomes sick during the period of self-quarantine will be expected to use accrued sick time. Please contact Human Resources at email@example.com with any questions.
- If an employee is asked to work remotely, they should review the information provided by BC ITS.
If conditions change locally and/or nationally, and the University must modify or suspend operations, we will provide further guidance regarding pay continuance and remote working arrangements.
2. Employees needing special accommodations:
If an employee has a compromised immune system or respiratory condition, and is advised by a medical professional to avoid public spaces, the employee should present documentation to HR through the Office of Institutional Diversity. OID will explore options with the employee, as it would with any other accommodation request. Electronic or digital documentation will be accepted. If you require a special accommodation, please contact Patricia Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or Edilma Hosein at email@example.com.
3. Working remotely:
As noted above, the University remains open and Boston College employees must continue to work to maintain the core functions of the institution in service to students. Area Vice Presidents, Deans, or designees, will determine optimal on-campus staffing needs and, in consultation with Human Resources, will coordinate the possibility of employees working remotely (presuming necessary technology is available).
4. Health insurance coverage:
The University, in consultation with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, has decided that there will be no cost-sharing, co-pays, or deductibles for the COVID-19 test whether administered in your doctor’s office, urgent care facility, or the emergency room. In addition, there will be no cost-sharing, co-pays, or deductibles for any telemedicine consultations. All other medical service coverage will remain unchanged.
Employees may exhibit anxiety or fear for reasons that are unrelated to coronavirus and are based solely on national origin and/or race. With this in mind, when we are communicating with colleagues about coronavirus, its symptoms, and the proper workplace precautions, we should be aware that national origin discrimination and/or harassment is inappropriate and has no place at Boston College.
6. Planning for possible disruption to University operations:
Please update your Business Continuity Plan should the University be forced to modify or suspend operations for an extended period.
The University has created a Coronavirus Update page at bc.edu/coronavirus, to answer questions posed by members of the BC community, and to keep everyone apprised of how we intend to support each other's health and well-being during this time of uncertainty.
Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time and for your assistance to advance our community’s state of preparedness.
David P. Trainor
Vice President for Human Resources