COVID-19 Work Adjustments for Faculty and Staff

 
 
Document Number:
HMRS-0053
Revision #:
v2.0
Document Owner:
Human Resources
Date Last Updated:
8/6/2021
Status:
In Progress

General Description

Policy Summary:

This policy provides information about work adjustments that are available to faculty and staff to address personal circumstances associated with COVID-19.

Scope:

This policy applies to faculty and staff
Policy Content
In addition to providing reasonable accommodations to employees who have a disability under the University’s Employment Accommodations Policy and Family Medical Leave to qualifying employees, Trinity University recognizes that certain faculty and staff may need temporary adjustments in the workplace as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak because they are personally considered “high risk,” they have a member of their household who is “high risk,” or they have other personal circumstances such as challenges with dependent care that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that may warrant work adjustments. 

Work adjustments provided during the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered temporary in nature during the period of the pandemic.  In addition, these work adjustments may go beyond what would be considered a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or other applicable laws, should not create an expectation that such an adjustment would be approved under any other circumstance.  Work adjustments are also subject to modification or cancellation by the University at any time with notice to the employee as circumstances continue to evolve.
 
During the period of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) outbreak, as determined solely by the University, the University will provide reasonable work adjustments, in its discretion, to faculty and staff under the following circumstances, and may request appropriate documentation to substantiate the need for a work adjustment:
  • Faculty and Staff who are in a high risk population as it relates to COVID-19 who do not otherwise qualify for reasonable accommodations under the Employee Accommodations Policy; 
  • A member of the faculty or staff member’s household is in a high risk population as it relates to COVID-19; or
  • The faculty or staff member has another personal circumstance that has arisen as a result of COVID-19 that warrants a work adjustment (e.g., dependent care needs).

Employees with questions about who is considered “high risk” as it relates to COVID-19 may consult this assessment form.  

Temporary work adjustments  may go beyond those provided under the Employment Accommodations Policy and Family Medical Leave policy. Persons with a disability who have existing accommodations or persons who are using Family Medical Leave that believe their accommodations or leave should be temporarily modified during the COVID-19 pandemic may also submit a request to modify existing accommodations. 
 
1.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to first discuss work duty assignments and requested work adjustments, such as on or off campus (telework) requests, with their supervisor.  Employees should not disclose information about their or their family member’s medical condition or the reason for being high risk during this phase in the process.  The goal is to ensure that the mission of the organization can continue to be supported.  If work assignments have been adequately addressed and agreed upon by the employee and supervisor, then no further action is needed.

Any instructor may choose to teach a class session or conduct face- to-face interactions with students fully online, without having to request an official work adjustment or accommodation.

 2.  If the supervisor and employee (faculty or staff member) are unable to agree to a resolution for a work adjustment related to COVID-19, and additional assistance is needed, then the faculty or staff member should complete this online form.  The requestor may be asked to provide supporting documentation. Employees should not disclose or submit any genetic information, including family medical history, as part of the documentation.
 
Upon receipt of a request, a member of the Academic Affairs (for faculty) and Human Resources team (for staff)  will contact the requesting employee and confidentially confer with appropriate individuals within the University  (including the Department Chair/Dean/Supervisor) to discuss and coordinate potential work adjustments, such as:
  • Alternative campus work location;
  • Alternative job duties;
  • Provision and/or use of personal protective equipment;
  • Alternative work schedule;
  • Work from home; and/or
  • Other strategies that may address the faculty or staff member’s unique concerns.

Work adjustments may not be reasonable for every position; however, the University will work through an interactive process with the requesting employee to explore options. Approved work adjustments will be documented in writing, including a written agreement outlining expectations for such work, when appropriate.  

A faculty or staff member who objects to the work adjustments provided or to the denial of a request for work adjustments may seek review by the Vice President within their division.  The Vice President will make the final decision regarding work adjustments.
 
Revision Management

Revision History Log:

Revision #:

Date:

Recorded By:

v2.0
8/17/2020 5:37 PM
Gary Logan
v1.0
6/10/2020 11:01 AM
Rachel Rolf
 

Vice President Approval:

Enter Vice President(s) that are responsible for approving this document

Name:

Title:

Gary Logan
Vice President for Finance & Administration