JMU News

March 15 Update to Employees


 

The following communication was sent to JMU employees from Rick Larson, AVP, HR, Training and Performance on March 15. 

JMU Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your ongoing commitment during this complicated time. We also appreciate your patience as we work through the many issues that the spread of COVID-19 has raised for our students, their families, and all of our employees – faculty, staff, wage, and students.

JMU cares about your health and the health of your families. Effective immediately and for the near future, JMU faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely if you are able to fulfill your job duties without being physically present on campus. While we acknowledge that not all jobs are able to be performed from another location, we encourage all managers and unit leaders to be as flexible as possible when working with employees in considering Alternate Work Schedules and Flexible Work Arrangements. We also encourage supervisors to identify new duties for wage and other employees whose typical services may not be needed as COVID-19 continues to disrupt normal operations. More information regarding remote working options will be forthcoming.

This decision was reached by considering a number of factors, including the spread of COVID-19 more broadly across Virginia, and Friday’s announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam ordering all K-12 schools in the Commonwealth to close for a minimum of two weeks.

Full-time employees with benefits, including staff and faculty, have annual, sick, and family/personal leave plans that they are able to use to accommodate time-off requests. Visit the classified staff leave link and faculty leave link for more information on faculty and staff plans available for employees with benefits.

While wage and adjunct employees do not earn annual or sick leave, the university is researching options for how we may help wage and adjunct employees should it be necessary for someone to be out sick or self-isolate due to the coronavirus.

One of the options that we are working to provide to all employees — including faculty, staff, non-student and student wage — is the Public Health and Emergency Leave (PHEL) that Governor Northam recently activated. This program provides employees with some leave, but the time can only be used in the event an employee becomes sick with COVID-19, must self-quarantine, or take care of a family member who becomes sick with COVID-19. We will post additional information about PHEL on the JMU COVID-19 web page as soon as possible.

We encourage employees to take advantage of resources the university has to help them, especially if they are struggling with anxiety or stress regarding the coronavirus. Employees on our medical plans can take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program. Also continue to monitor JMU's COVID-19 page, which includes Important Updates to Spring Semester.

We continue to encourage every employee to follow good health practices. Take care of yourself. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face. Practice social distancing at home and at work. If you are planning personal travel, check the area you are planning to visit before you go.

We recognize that you may still have questions.  As noted above, we are working diligently to answer them all as soon as we can. We thank you for your incredible patience and resolve, your commitment to one another, and to JMU. Together we will successfully navigate this unprecedented situation.

Rick Larson
AVP, HR, Training and Performance

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Published: Sunday, March 15, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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