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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates | Fall 2021 Plans

COVID-19 HR Guidance

In light of Campus closure and as a precautionary measure regarding COVID-19, UNC employees across campus are working remotely in an effort to best support our campus community. 

As part of that university-level effort, Human Resources is sharing employment guidance to help you manage COVID-19 concerns.  Please know that all campuswide decisions are being made with the health and safety of our community at the forefront, and with the best-available guidance from public health authorities. As the situation evolves, further updates may be forthcoming.

For HR-related questions, contact Human Resources at 970-351-2718 or via email at human.resources@unco.edu.   

Information on Returning to Work

Employees returning to work should review these guidelines that explain health screenings,
lunch and regular breaks, vehicle cleaning, disinfecting work areas and more. These guidelines are developed from Public Health Order 20-28.


COVID-19 Safety at UNC

UNC prioritizes campus community health and safety and has been actively monitoring the evolving Coronavirus situation at a university level and is providing regular updates on UNC's COVID-19 website. 

COVID-19 Employee Training

UNC's COVID training for employees can be accessed via Canvas. Employees should log in with their UNC email and Ursa password. 

 Employee & Staff FAQs  TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTHMandatory Isolation  Work from home & leave  Direct Deposit  Essential Services Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employee Rights

Mandatory Isolation  

Due to Illness (Sick Leave)

Under the following circumstances employees will record the time as sick leave. 

  • Individuals with confirmed COVID-19
  • Individuals showing symptoms and under investigation of COVID-19
  • For household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting of individuals identified above 

Due to other factors (Work Remote or Administrative Leave)

Supervisors should consult with Human Resources for specific advice. Under the following circumstances employees will record the time as administrative leave:

  • Individuals in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Individuals returning from certain countries. 

Per the CDC, stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries).  View the list of the Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries.

For questions about supporting self-isolation for reasons other than those outlined above, please contact Human Resources at 970-351-2718.

Work from Home

Supervisors and departments are responsible for determining whether the individual is able to complete job duties remotely. At this time all alternate working arrangements continue to be approved by supervisors and departments.  If there is an issued work from home advisory, work from home options for self for self-isolation or the campus is physical closed the expectation is healthy employees will work from home. 

If the individual is self-isolated and continues to work remotely, nothing needs to be altered in the time tracking systems.


Paid Leave

UNC will provide paid administrative leave to healthy employees who are not able to work from home but are under mandatory isolation. Reasons that an individual may not be able to work from home include, but are not limited to:

  • Job duties not conducive for remote working
  • No access to laptops, home internet, etc.

Sick leave

If the employee begins to show symptoms or is care taking for sick individuals, the employees should record the time as sick leave and is not required to work remotely.

The privacy of sick employees will continue to be important. Do not communicate an employee’s health status to individuals who do not have a legitimate need to know

Vacation time

If an employee cancels an approved vacation request, for whatever reason, the vacation time will not be spent and will be added back to the employee’s vacation balance.

Direct Deposit

Direct deposit remains the most efficient way to be paid. Employees should make sure direct deposit information is current. If no direct deposit is set up, a paper check will be issued and communicated to the employee on where to pick up the check. In case of a campus closure, the following is information on payroll and Banner Systems including Banner Self Serve: 

Monthly Processing 

Classified salary, Professional Administrative Staff,  full time Faculty, GA/TA's and Tech Pro's. 

  • All employees will continue to receive paychecks but if employees or supervisors do not submit/approve their timesheets, exception time (overtime, leave, etc) will not be captured.
  • It may require that pay continues without ability to capture exception time and changes are made retroactively to ensure accurate pay and leave reporting.
  • Primary goal is to err on the side of caution and maintain pay when in doubt.

Semimonthly (SM) Processing

This includes Classified hourly, University Aids, and student employees.

  • Any semimonthly processing requires employee submission and supervisor approval in order for Payroll to capture reported hours. Payroll will continue to process any hours submitted and approved during this time. 


Contract Employees

Includes Adjunct Faculty. 

  • For the academic year, contact employees will continue being paid whether campus is closed or not. 
  • During the Summer months, deferred pay would continue for full time faculty; additional  contracting would be needed via Data Forms or an EPAF. 
  • Should campus be closed, there my be an impact if HR liaisons are not able to complete and send new hire paperwork to Payroll for processing. 

Payroll Work in General

Payroll will continue to process and enter any transactions that come through during this time as we work remotely outside of campus. Our prioritization will continue to be to minimize impact to the employees. However, this is contingent upon campus HR Liaisons to send their work through and departments to maintain EPAF's.

Essential and Critical Services 

Departments determine positions as critical to their operations. Employees in critical positions can be
FLSA exempt or nonexempt and are expected to work and/or remain at their worksite in
delayed start, early release, or closure situations, unless otherwise directed by their agencies. 

Human Resources is working with departments that have designated essential/critical services
positions to determine who would be required to be present oncampus if there is a campus closure.
More information will be posted here as it become available. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQs (PDF)  Health  Time Off & Pay  Alternate Work Schedules  Compensation

  • Where can I find the latest information about coronavirus and the situation at UNC? 

    Up-to-date information on UNC's response to COVID-19 is available on UNC's COVID-19 information page.

  • When should I seek medical help regarding COVID-19?

    Please call a medical professional if, in the last 14 days, you: 

    • Have traveled to an affected geographic area and have a fever and signs or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath), or;
    • Have a fever with a severe acute lower respiratory illness that requires hospitalization and doesn't have an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza) and no known source of your exposure, or; 
    • Were in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have a fever or signs or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)

    When you call, please inform them of your symptoms, recent travel or potential exporsure before going into a health facility. 

  • What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

    If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself, do not come to work. Seek medical attention by calling a medical professional.

    Inform medical professionals of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility. As with all contagious illnesses, limit the potential for exposure to other people and do not come to work. Take the following actions: 

    • Seek medical advice from a medical professional by calling ahead before visiting a health facility.
    • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work. 
    • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • When can I return to work if I have had Influenza or another contagious illnesses?

    The current message from health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is to stay home and do not return to work until you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should closely follow the instructions of medical professionals.

  • Are COVID-19 screenings available on campus for faculty and staff?

    No, at this time screenings for COVID-19 are not available on campus. Faculty and staff who are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms are advised to isolate themselves and contact a medical professional for evaluation. Telemedicine options are also available for those covered by a UNC-sponsored health care plan.

  • I have an employee who is ill and has come into work. I’m concerned about the potential for exposure to other people. Can I send this employee home?

    Yes, you can consider sending an employee home if they are showing symptoms of being ill. The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, or shortness of breath. The decision to send an employee home who is exhibiting these symptoms or others is to be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • My child’s school (day care) is closed, and my child is not sick. I have no other childcare arrangements. Can I bring them to work with me?

    Bringing a child to campus is not allowed during the closure. If you are working from home, you are able to keep your child home with you while working remotely. Notify your supervisor of this so they can help you with any needed adjustments to your schedule. 

Health Coverage

Time Off and Pay when Campus is Closed 

Differential Pay for Essential Employees

  • What is Temporary Pay Differential?

    A Temporary Pay Differential is extra pay for employees who are required to come to campus on a regular basis as essential personnel through the end of April. The pay differential is only applied for hours worked on campus, not for remote work or administrative leave time. This program will provide employees a financial benefit for their commitment to continuing to serve our students while taking on additional risk by continuing to come to campus to work. 

  • How much is the pay differential?

    Residence Hall Directors will get a $400 stipend for the rest of the semester. Resident Assistants will receive a $200 stipend for the rest of the semester.

    All other essential personnel who are required to come to campus will receive an additional $3 per hour to their base pay rate. Specific areas included are dining, housing, custodial, facilities and police department and dispatch.  

  • Who will receive the temporary pay differential?

    This program compensates anyone who is regularly required to report to work on campus. Specific areas included are dining, housing, custodial, facilities, police department and dispatch. Student employees are also eligible to receive the pay differential if they are required to report to work on campus.

  • How long will the temporary pay differential last?  

    Currently, this program will continue from April 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020. At which point, the university will reevaluate the program and determine whether circumstances warrant a continuation of the pay differential program.

  •   What do I do if I think my position qualifies for differential pay?

    If you believe your position qualifies for differential pay, you should contact your supervisor, who will work with HR to determine if your position qualifies. If it does, HR will work with payroll to get the differential pay setup for the hour you work in April.

Alternative Work Schedules/Worksites

  • Does my supervisor have to approve my request to telecommute?

    Supervisory approval is necessary to work from home, and not all requests to telecommute can be approved. If you are not approved for remote work, and you are not an essential employee, you will be placed on administrative leave while campus is closed.

  • Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally do not work?

    Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as an essential employee or the university is short staffed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will attempt to provide advance notice if possible.

  • If there is a large number of employees who are unable to come to work because of a COVID-19 outbreak, is there a maximum number of overtime hours my supervisor can require me to work?

    In the event of a serious COVID-19 outbreak, we all may be needed to work differently to ensure the university continues to function. You may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as an essential employee or the university is short staffed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supervisors will make efforts to permit employees to take rest periods and may use their discretion in scheduling additional breaks for employees working additional hours.

  • Should I put an out-of-office reply on my email while I am working from home?

    Employees who are working from home should not send an autoreply about working remotely. Only those employees who are on paid administrative leave during this time should be sending an autoreply. Please follow the guidance as outlined below, depending on your specific situation during this time:

    Paid Administrative Leave
    Employees on paid administrative leave can set up an autoreply for their unco.edu email account. They should work with their supervisor on specific language, but it should include the following:

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC campuses are closed. Updates to the university’s response to this situation are posted at: unco.edu/coronavirus.

    Working Remotely
    Employees who are working remotely should add the following to their outgoing email signatures:

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC campuses are closed. During this time, I am working remotely. Updates to the university’s response to this situation are posted at: unco.edu/coronavirus.

    Essential Personnel
    Employees who are essential personnel and working on-campus should add the following to their outgoing email signatures:

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC campuses are closed. Updates to the university’s response to this situation are posted at: unco.edu/coronavirus.

  • What phone number should I use/list on my signature? How should I be making/receiving calls while working remotely?

    Employees can continue to list their office phone on their email signature – voicemails to that number will be sent via email. Employees should also list their cell phone number as appropriate.

    Further guidance on making and receiving calls is updated on the IM&T COVID-19 info page.

Workers Compensation

  • If COVID-19 is detected at a State facility or building, how will workers’ compensation handle this?

    Based on guidance from our vendor, Pinnacol, it would depend on whether a causal relationship can be established. The exposure has to be determined to be something that is unique to employment; The investigation would have to determine that the virus was transmitted via contact while at work or performing essential functions of the job. For certain class of workers, the answer is clearer. If the employee is a worker in the medical field or a first responder who was exposed at work, then yes, it would be compensable through worker’s compensation. If the employee was on business travel to areas with widespread community transmission, this would likely be compensable as well. All claims of contracting the virus at work would need to be proven through an investigation.

  • Are our workers’ compensation partners accepting employees for COVID-19 testing?

    Our workers’ compensation partners are following the CDC guidelines that state if an employee feels they are showing signs and symptoms and meet the criteria for testing, to contact their primary care physician for the closest facility to test them for the virus. Employees are encouraged to stay home if they feel they are showing any signs or symptoms before they are cleared by a medical provider.