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Pandemic Emergency Policy HR

Scope

This policy applies to all Staff and Temporary employees.

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Policy Statement

This university personnel policy for Staff and Temporary employees is applicable when the Indiana University president or his designee declares a pandemic emergency for the university on one or more of its campuses. Provisions of this policy may be implemented on a full- or partial-campus basis or university-wide basis.

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Reason for Policy

  1. During a pandemic, the University could experience increased absences due to illness, caring for ill family members, fear, public school closings, quarantines, and campus closings.
  2. Indiana University has developed plans for a potential influenza pandemic crisis, including the development of this University Personnel Policy for Staff and Temporary employees. This policy is designed for various scenarios that are likely to involve combinations of the following elements:
    1. High rates of absenteeism affecting the ability of University departments to function.
    2. The cancellation of either all or a significant number of classes on a campus which otherwise remains open.
    3. The closing of University housing on a campus which otherwise remains open.
    4. The closing of a campus for a period of time.

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Procedures

  1. When a Campus Remains Open During High Rates of Absenteeism
    1. When a campus remains open during a pandemic emergency, employees will continue to cover absences in accordance with the existing policies for the use of Income Protection (Sick) or Vacation for Support and Service Staff and PTO or PTO Sick Leave for Professional Staff, with the following exceptions.
      1. The annual limits on the usage of Vacation and PTO are waived for the period covered under the declared pandemic emergency. There are no annual limits on the use of Income Protection and PTO Sick Leave.
      2. The advance approval requirements for the use of Vacation and PTO are waived for the period covered under the declared pandemic emergency.
    2. Employees are expected to notify their supervisor prior to any absence in accordance with University personnel policy and departmental procedures.
    3. If paid time-off benefits have been exhausted, then the time away from work is recorded as absent-without-pay and without accrual of time-off benefits (ABS).
    4. Attendance program provisions or disciplinary actions due to absences without pay are waived for the period covered under the declared pandemic emergency.
  2. When Part of a Campus Is Closed or Some or All Classes Are Cancelled
    1. When specific buildings on a campus are closed or some or all classes are cancelled but part of the campus remains open during a pandemic emergency, Staff and Temporary employees in units that are affected by the closing or cancellation of classes will be assigned an alternative work assignment or location to the extent the University determines feasible.
    2. If an alternative work assignment or location is available and the Staff employee chooses not to accept it, the employee is to cover the time away from work with accrued time-off benefits or be absent-without-pay and without accrual of time-off benefits (ABS) if time-off accumulations are exhausted.
    3. If no alternative work assignment or location is available, the employee is to cover the time away from work with accrued time-off benefits or be absent-without-pay and with accrual of time-off benefits (AWB) if time-off accumulations are exhausted.
    4. The Discretionary Leave Policy, the Military Leave Policy, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Rights Policy will continue to apply to leaves covered by these policies.
      1. This applies whether an employee is on a leave when the pandemic emergency is declared of if a leave begins after the pandemic emergency is declared.
      2. If an employee’s work unit is closed due to the pandemic emergency when the employee’s leave ends, the provisions of paragraphs C.2 and C.3 apply.
    5. These paid time off provisions will not apply to Temporary employees. Temporary employees are not paid for time away from work.
    6. The provisions in the above section, “Policies when a campus remains open during high rates of absenteeism,” apply to those parts of the campus that remain open.
  3. When an Entire Campus Is Closed
    1. When an entire campus is closed due to a declared pandemic emergency, all Staff employees who would otherwise be working if not for the closing will be paid and will not be required to use accumulated time-off benefits for the duration of the emergency closing up to 15 calendar days. Following the initial 15 calendar days, the President will evaluate the situation and make a determination if this provision is to be continued and if so, for how long. This provision does not apply to Temporary employees.
    2. The Discretionary Leave Policy, the Military Leave Policy, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Rights Policy will continue to apply to leaves covered by these policies.
      1. This applies whether the employee is on the leave when the pandemic emergency is declared or if the leave begins after the pandemic emergency is declared.
      2. If the campus is closed due to the pandemic emergency when the employee’s leave ends, the employee will be placed on active pay status under the conditions of paragraph D.1.
    3. For employees officially designated as Essential and required to work on campus during a campus closing:
      1. Support, Service, PAO Professional, and PAU Professional Staff, and Temporary employees will receive their base rate plus an additional half time for hours actually worked.
      2. PAE Professional Staff will receive their base salary. In the event of extraordinary work activities, PAE Staff may receive a lump-sum bonus payment, if requested by a Campus Provost or Chancellor or Vice President, with approval of the President.
      3. “Essential” means the same as “critical” as referenced in the Indiana University Pandemic Plan.
    4. When the campus reopens, the regular polices and base rates and use of time-off benefits will be reinstated for absences occurring thereafter.
  4. Telecommuting Guidelines
    1. The existing Telecommuting Guidelines have been modified to provide an abbreviated set of guidelines to use when implementing the full guidelines is not practical. The new Telecommuting Guidelines during Emergencies or Adverse Situations provide procedures for departments to approve the performance of work away from the campus when all or part of the campus is closed for temporary periods of time.
    2. Staff and Temporary employees who are telecommuting during a declared pandemic emergency will receive their normal base rate or salary for the time worked.
  5. Impact of a Declared Pandemic Emergency on the FMLA Policy
    1. Time during which a unit or campus is closed due to a declared pandemic emergency does not count against the 12 week annual limit of FMLA leave.

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Definitions

The literature on influenza pandemics indicates that an influenza pandemic may last within the world for up to two years, with two to three waves and each wave lasting up to two months. It is likely that not all parts of the world would be affected at the same time. If a wave were to hit Indiana, all of the scenarios could occur, with high rates of absenteeism (20 percent to 60 percent) lasting for periods of two to four weeks at the height of each wave, with possible campus closings in the last half of a wave.

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Sanctions

Managers, supervisors, and employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

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