Remote and On-Campus Work

YSU Remote and On-Campus Work

Youngstown State University remains committed to the health and safety of our campus community. The University is cognizant of the evolving impact of COVID-19 and continues to review and develop guidelines for remote and on-campus work based on current local, state and federal directives and information. Based on current governmental guidance, the University has determined that managers, following consultation with the appropriate vice-president or associate vice president, may approve either full or partial effective remote work in accordance with the Youngstown State University Remote and On-Campus Work Guidelines. Changes to these guidelines will be communicated promptly through the usual communication channels including this webpage.

Also included on this page is a list of Frequently Asked Questions provided by the Office of Human Resources, as well as a list of Safety and Health Guidelines for returning to campus provided by the Office of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.


Remote and On-Campus Work Guidelines

As federal, state and local guidance continue to adapt in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Youngstown State University will provide further guidance on University decisions and measures regarding remote and on-campus work.

  • Are the duties and responsibilities of an Employee’s position amenable to remote work?
    1. Remote Work Initially, employees whose presence on campus was not required to continue the operations of the University were allowed to remotely perform meaningful work, duties and projects which maintained, assessed or improved a University function or service. Beginning on June 1 the University began an incremental return to on-site work based on operational needs, employee duties and the readiness of University facilities. While it remains the University’s goal to safely transition employees back to campus, the State of Ohio’s current guidelines for universities does allow, under certain circumstances, employees to continue to perform the duties/responsibilities of their position either fully or partially remotely.
    2. Effective Remote Work In order for a manager to approve an employee’s request to work remotely, the following factors must be considered and the request reviewed with the appropriate vice-president or associate vice-president.
      • Independent Work. Work that is self-directed is suitable for remote work; work that requires consistent and/or personalized management direction is not independent work.
      • Personal Interactions. Work that involves face-to-face interactions is not suitable for remote work unless the face-to-face interactions can be successfully performed via electronic means (for example virtual meetings or electronic methods). In addition, work that serves to greet students and staff and assist with live interactions is not suitable for remote work.
      • Quality and Timeliness of Work. Work that if done remotely would diminish the quality or timeliness of university services or disrupt the productivity of the office or unit is not suitable for remote work.
      • Measurable Goals. Work that has specific, easily measurable duties or outcomes which allow for effective remote supervisory oversight is suitable for remote work. Managers may require that employees working remotely use the Team Dynamix application in order to measure productivity. Other accountability procedures or practices may be used at the discretion of the supervisor with approval by the appropriate associate- or vice-president.
      • Resources. Work that utilizes equipment and technology which are easily accessible by the employee is suitable for remote work; however, work that requires access to equipment, information, or materials which can only be accessed on campus is not suitable for remote work. In addition, work that requires use of university public records or confidential information which cannot or should not be removed from campus locations is not suitable for remote work. Managers are charged with maintaining an inventory of confidential data when downloaded to laptops and moved off campus. For purposes of reporting theft of university personal and confidential data, this inventory needs to be maintained and should be approved only with appropriate caution. It is preferable that confidential data remain on university systems and accessed via a virtual private network.
    3. Full/Partial Effective Remote Work It is possible that some but not all duties/responsibilities of a position may be suitable for effective remote work. It is within a manager’s discretion, after review with the appropriate vice-president or associate vice-president, to allow an employee[s] within their office or unit to work both remotely and on-campus and/or use approved leave. However, the use of remote work for some or all employees within an office/unit cannot diminish the quality or timeliness of university services or disrupt the productivity of the office or unit.
  • Does an Employee’s personal health or situation require remote work?
    1. Childcare and School Opening Remote work is not a substitute for lack of child-care. However, it is within the discretion of a manager, after review with the appropriate vice-president or associate vice-president, to provide a flexible schedule for an employee who is facing childcare for school opening issues due to COVID-19. A flexible schedule may include adjusting an employee’s work hours and/or allowing the employee to use leave for the time they are unable to work due to childcare for school opening issues due to COVID-19.
       

      Please Note: Pursuant to a Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCRA) employees who are unable to work due to a bona fide need to care for their child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may be eligible for additional paid leave and/or expanded family and medical leave. Contact the YSU Manager of Benefits, Stacey Luce, seluce@ysu.edu for more information.

    2. Remote Work as an Accommodation for a Disability or Underlying Medical Condition. Individuals who wish to request remote work as a reasonable accommodation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and their own disability or underlying condition should contact the YSU Manager of Benefits, Stacey Luce, seluce@ysu.edu for more information and/or to begin the interactive process. Remote work is not a reasonable accommodation due to the health condition of family member. These requests must be approved through the Office of Benefits.
  • Can an Employee work remotely while quarantining or awaiting COVID-19 Test Results? An employee who is quarantining due to travel, possible COVID-19 exposure or while awaiting test results, may be approved for full or partial effective remote work in accordance with these guidelines. If an employee’s position does not qualify for either full or partial remote work, the employee is required to request and utilize appropriate leave during the period of quarantine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • My supervisor told me I am required to come to campus to work, what if I’m not comfortable coming to campus?

    It is understandable that you may feel uncomfortable about working on campus. However, offices/units across campus have developed return to campus health and safety plans for their areas in coordination with Employee Occupational Health and Safety (EOHS). These Return to Campus Plans (RTC Plans) utilize current health and safety guidance form local, state and federal agencies in order to provide a safe work environment.

    While effective remote work remains an option, if your supervisor has informed you that you are to report to campus to perform all or part of your work, you are required to report to campus. Failure to abide by a supervisor’s directive will be addressed as a possible corrective action issue.

  • Why can’t I continue to work remotely and perform “meaningful work”?

    Initially and in order to comply with the directives of Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, the University transitioned employees to remote meaningful work. This included work, duties and projects which were not necessary typically performed by an employee but which maintained, assessed or improved a University function or service. However, remote work and meaningful work were a temporary response to Ohio’s Stay-at-Home Directive. In order to meet the operational needs of the University, employees must effectively perform their duties. Employees may be able to effectively perform their duties either remotely, on-campus, or both remotely and on-campus depending on their duties/responsibilities and the needs of their unit/department.

  • What if I refuse or someone in my area refuses to comply with University return to work guidelines or established practices?

    The return to work guideline and safety practices are in place to protect the entire YSU community. Unless you have received a written exception to a guideline[s] from the EOHS office, you are required to comply with the established guidelines and practices applicable to you and your work area. Failure to comply places the YSU community at risk and will be addressed as a discipline/corrective action issue.

    If a guest or visitor refuses to comply with University guidelines or practices, the YSU Police Department should be contacted at 330-941-3527.

  • Do I have to do anything special like self-quarantine if I travel out of Ohio?

    Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Before you leave consider if COVID-19 is spreading and determine if there are local restrictions for travelers at your destination.

    Domestic Travel: Those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 must stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days.  The list of hot-spot states will be updated every week on Wednesday. It is the responsibility of the person traveling to determine upon their return if their destination is on the list of hot-spot states by checking the Ohio Department of Health website.

    This travel advisory is intended for both personal and business travel, and must be followed by both Ohioans and out-of-state travelers that will be on YSU campus.

  • When will I be working on campus? Will other changes occur?

    You will be contacted by your manager/supervisor regarding when you will begin working on campus.

    YSU cannot predict when and how circumstances and state and federal directives related to COVID-19 will change and how these changes will affect YSU.

  • This is all very stressful. Where can I get help?

    While the physical health of employees is a top priority, the mental and emotional well-being of us all in these stressful and uncertain times is equally important. IMPACT Solutions, YSU’s employee assistance program, offers online resources, telephonic counseling and one-on-one counseling sessions. Employee should call 1-800-227-6007 or access www.myimpactsolution.com (member login: ysu).

Safety and Health Guidelines

  1. Stay Home If You Are Sick. Daily health assessments should be performed before coming to work. This should include checking for a fever (100.4 or greater) and other COVID-19 symptoms. There will be temperature-screening stations located throughout campus for those who cannot do this from home. It is the employee’s obligation to monitor their temperature each day and to only report for work on campus if their temperature meets the guidelines. The employee is not required to inform their manager of their temperature unless it is greater than 100.4 and/or if they are exhibiting symptoms. In that case, the employee should not come to campus, should inform their supervisor, report off sick and use sick leave and continue that until symptom-free for 72 hours.
  2. Practice Social Distancing. Ensure a minimum of six feet between people at all times. Where this is not possible, an appropriate barriers or other controls must be used to reduce transmission between people. The use of staggered work schedules may be useful to minimize the number of people in an area at one time. State recommendations limit occupancy of an area to 50 percent fire code capacity and a maximum of 10 people gathered together for single event. Limit the use of elevators and other areas that cannot accommodate social distancing.
  3. Frequently Clean and Disinfect Work Areas. General janitorial services will be provided in public areas such as bathrooms, lounges/lobbies, and hallways. Faculty and staff must be responsible for their personal workspaces. Appropriate cleaning and disinfecting is dependent on the work area. CDC recommends disinfecting high touch surfaces multiple times throughout the workday.
  4. Practice Good Health Hygiene. Regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue and wear face coverings to reduce the transmission of droplets to others. State recommendations require people in public settings to wear a face covering of some type to reduce the virus transmission to others; this is not for your personal protection but for the protection of others. Face coverings are required at all times within campus buildings except when working alone within an enclosed area. Any employee who feels an exemption to this requirement is warranted should request approval from their supervisor. Rationale and approval will be documented and forwarded to EOHS.
  5. Document Safety and Health Protocols. Return to work plans must be developed and documented for each department/area. These protocols should include the above guidelines as they apply to your work force and work areas. Written protocols must be submitted to the Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Department for review before returning to campus.

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