COVID-19 Telecommuting Protocol March 16-22
Dear Campus Community,
The President and University leadership has continued to closely monitor the global outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its impact on the City of Houston, employers and school districts. With this in mind, the following protocol has been developed to ensure continuity of operations, but also provide staff with some flexibility for working from home to the extent they are able to perform job functions remotely and have received supervisor approval.
Week of March 16-22, 2020
1. During the week of March 16th, each office on campus may reduce on-site staffing levels to the minimum needed to ensure adequate continuity of operations, with remaining staff in the office telecommuting, provided that the forms/protocols outlined below are followed. Unit managers are charged with establishing who is/is not needed on site to maintain operational continuity.
2. Both hourly and monthly employees may request to work remotely if their personal circumstances warrant the need for such arrangement. A UHD COVID-19 Telecommuting Form has been developed and will need to be completed by the employee asking to work remotely and approved by their supervisor. (The attached form may be submitted to ESO upon return to campus. However, staff must obtain authorization from their supervisor in writing via email or text before working remotely.)
a. Hourly employees authorized to work remotely and who are set up on web clock must clock in/out as usual:
i. Clock in at the beginning of the work day
ii. Clock out for lunch (an hour lunch break is required)
iii. Clock in upon returning from lunch
iv. Clock out at the end of the day
b. Hourly employees authorized to work remotely and who are set up on time collection devices (TCDs) will keep track of hours worked and report them to their supervisor on a daily basis by text or email. Supervisors must input these hours directly to the employee’s time sheet. If supervisors fail to input these hours daily, hourly employees’ paychecks may be short (depends on payroll cycle).
3. Telecommuting agreements may be discontinued at any point.
4. Employees who traveled internationally since February 1, 2020 or plan to travel internationally must self-report following the protocols established. Employees who traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 designated location since January 1, 2020 must self-report and may be required to self-quarantine.
5. Staff who do not report to work and fail to contact their supervisor for more than three continuous work days may be considered to have abandoned their jobs and may be terminated with approval of the Vice President, Employment Services and Operations.
6. Students under the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work the week of March 16, 2020 under the Federal work-study (FWS) program. Students under the Non-College Work-Study (NCWS) program will also be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work the week of March 16, 2020 since President Muñoz has approved Emergency Leave for them as allowed under Texas Government Code, Section 661.902.
These arrangements are applicable only for the week of March 16, 2020. The President and University leadership will re-evaluate the terms outlined herein and update the campus community early next week.
Ivonne Montalbano, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Vice President, Employment Services and Operations
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.