University implements COVID-19 pay protocol for employees

Crowds+gather+on+the+main+quad+to+enjoy+the+weather+during+Mom%27s+Weekend+on+April+6%2C+2019.+

Madeline Pierce

Crowds gather on the main quad to enjoy the weather during Mom’s Weekend on April 6, 2019.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

The University ensured its employees that their pay and benefits will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in a Massmail on Sunday.

Though the state of Illinois has instituted a stay-at-home order until at least April 7 and the University has moved classes online, all employees will still have the same work benefits policies in place.

“We have instructed deans, directors and department heads to reduce on-site staffing to as few as possible and to use on-call, rotation and other options to ensure that everyone can avoid contact with others as much as possible,” said Chancellor Robert Jones in the Massmail. “We are closing or greatly limiting access to many buildings across campus and providing services such as counseling services and business operations by phone and online.”

The attached COVID-19 Pay Continuation Protocol clarifies the duties of employees working remotely, working in hourly positions or working on-campus for essential jobs.

Remote employees are expected to perform in their regular hours for the same pay. Employees in essential jobs must “continue to physically report to work,” with the same pay, leave and benefits policies in place.

Those in “hourly, contingent positions” will be paid for however many hours they were expected to work for the duration of the policy. For remote employees whose duties can’t be fulfilled off campus, the University may assign new tasks for them.

“Where possible, employees may be temporarily assigned work that can be undertaken remotely. Employees will continue in paid work status even if all options and opportunities to perform service have been exhausted,” the Protocol reads.

Otherwise, those employees are “expected to remain available for work and continue to provide as much service as possible.”

On Sunday, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, announced 296 new cases of the coronavirus in Illinois, with three new deaths. That brings the statewide COVID-19 totals to 1,049 individuals infected with nine deaths.

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