CHANGES IN WORK DUE TO COVID-19
Dartmouth places the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of our community, while protecting the continuity of academic programs and essential services. Dartmouth workplace policies will be updated as circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus change. Faculty and staff should continue to check this page for updates. Questions can be directed to the Office of Human Resources.
Dartmouth's priorities in setting these workplace policies are to:
- Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease;
- Sustain academic programs and operational continuity;
- Encourage a culture of fairness, open communications, and concern for the well-being of our faculty and staff.
Most Important Actions to Take Now:
- All faculty and staff are urged to take basic preventive measures to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID-19.
- To encourage social distancing, employees who are able to do their work from home and have the necessary technology are encouraged to do so, though there is no requirement to do so at this time. A Temporary Telecommuting Agreement (PDF) should be discussed with supervisors
- For those whose work is capable of being performed from home but who lack the technology, they and their manager should begin discussing how to enable that work remotely and complete a Temporary Telecommuting Agreement (PDF), if applicable.
- For those whose work requires them to be on campus, and for all who choose to be on campus, they should use good hygiene and social distancing.
- Contact the Employee Assistance Program at 844-216-8308 for help with feelings of stress or anxiety about these events.
Workplace Policies (as of 3/15/2020, subject to change)
- Well Employees: All faculty and staff, even those who are well, are encouraged to work from home if they are able and have the necessary technology to do so, though there is no requirement to do so at this time. Well employees may work on campus unless they have been:
- caring for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and the employee has been instructed by a medical professional to self-quarantine;
- traveling in or transitioning through a CDC Level 3 country, or on a cruise ship with an identified case of COVID-19, within the last 14 days;
- instructed to refrain from attending work by Dartmouth College Health Services or public health officials.
Note: If any of these situations apply to you, please contact the Office of Human Resources and stay home as directed.
- Sick Employees: Faculty and staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness with fever or cough must stay home and not work on campus until they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). A fever is defined as a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius or greater, taken by an oral thermometer. Sickness paid time off/benefit time should be used.
- Workers at Higher Risk: Employees who believe they may be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. These may include requesting a temporary change in job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected.
If an employee is at risk for complications from COVID-19 and their physician agrees that increased social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact their supervisor and/or HR consultant to request an alternative work arrangement through Dartmouth's process for seeking disability-based accommodations. A doctor's note or other appropriation documentation will be required to support the request.
Except for employees who request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID-19 infection.
Additional Workplace Guidance for Managers
- Managers and supervisors are asked to support Dartmouth's encouragement of social distancing by facilitating work from home for employees whose jobs are suited to this mode of working, including by taking reasonable steps to enable access to the necessary technology to do so. Managers and supervisors, including faculty who supervise staff, must not pressure others to come to work on campus if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill dependents. Though remote working is not required for all employees at this time, staff and faculty may be required to stay away from campus because of close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 or travel history (e.g., to a CDC Level 2-3 country), as noted above.
- Given Dartmouth's interest in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all, managers and supervisors (with the support and involvement of local HR as needed) should ask employees who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to go home and stay home until 72 hours after they are free of symptoms. In these instances, any sickness paid time off/benefit time should be used.
- All supervisors, managers, and directors should create or update their business continuity plans to ensure essential functions can continue to operate under possible impacts from the COVID-19 virus.
- HR consultants will be hosting regularly scheduled conference calls to update managers and address questions regarding these policies.
Potential Additional Policy Changes
If public health conditions worsen, Dartmouth's workplace policies may be further amended. This would be done to address the effects of more widespread illness or absences, more frequent needs for self-observation or self-quarantine, disruption of care arrangements or Dartmouth's priorities for pay continuity. Faculty and staff will be notified as promptly as possible of such changes.