Update faculty and staff: New working arrangements for employees, effective March 18-27

March 16, 2020

While there are no cases of COVID-19 in Brown County, the number of cases in Wisconsin and across the nation continues to grow. Our health partners tell us that now is the best time to act in ways that slow the spread of the virus.

Effective Wednesday, March 18, through Friday, March 27, all employees who can do so will be required to work away from campus. This includes faculty and staff, both salaried and hourly.

What does this mean for staff?

Employees should work out the specifics of this new arrangement with their supervisor. The implementation of each employee's arrangement should be guided by the college's existing Alternative Work Arrangement Policy.

There are positions that will be essential to maintaining operations on campus. Each vice president will identify these essential positions in their division. These employees should continue to report to campus as usual.

We understand that there will be some positions on campus whose responsibilities do not allow for a work-from-home arrangement on a full-time basis due to the nature of the work. These employees may be able to work with their supervisors to identify enough responsibilities that would allow an alternative work arrangement on a reduced schedule, using PTO, vacation or unpaid leave to close the hours gap. If an alternative work arrangement is not an option, an employee will use their current PTO balance first; once the employee’s PTO balance has been used, the college will provide an additional 5 PTO days. When PTO is exhausted, employees are welcome to use their vacation time or may choose to be unpaid for any remaining hours.

Staff who make the decision to travel for personal reasons and must as a consequence self-isolate themselves for 14 days upon their return per college policy will not be eligible for the five additional days of PTO referenced above. (See Expanded Travel Restrictions, below and check email daily for updates.)

If you are unable to work from home because you are ill or you are caring for someone who is ill, you should use PTO or vacation as always.

The college will remain open and even though many of our employees will be working away from campus during this time, it’s important to continue our commitment to providing our full range of student services in ways that are viable and easy to access – especially for the small number of students who have received an exemption to remain on campus.

Our hope is that working away from campus will be an effective measure to prevent the spread of the virus to our campus community. However, we want you to know that if a staff member contracts the coronavirus, they will be eligible to apply for short-term disability benefits. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has prepared a set of frequently asked questions about Coronavirus and Unemployment Benefits, which you may find helpful.

What does this mean for faculty?

Faculty contracts do not include PTO or vacation. Therefore, during this time, faculty should continue to provide off-campus instruction and advising through alternative delivery methods as approved by their deans. Limited access to offices and labs may be needed to videotape instruction for classes or care for research and instruction materials, specimens, and equipment. Scholarship and service activities can also continue through mediated forms of communication.

Expanded Travel Restrictions

Effective immediately, no SNC professional travel will be permitted for any reason.

As shared previously, any members of the SNC community who have traveled or will travel to or through any areas designated as having widespread community transmission before or during their visit will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days following their return and may not return to campus during that period. In the United States this covers states seeing more than 100 cases, as indicated on the CDC map. In order to effectively respond to the emergent and changing nature of this crisis, the college may also draw upon other authoritative resources to determine when a state or region has reached widespread community transition, and designate it as such.