Employee Information and Resources | St. Lawrence University COVID-19

Employee Information and Resources

Faculty/Staff: To submit information for an upcoming Employee COVID-19 Update, please fill out this form.

Updated 5/20/2020

University Status 

As of March 20, St. Lawrence is providing its educational mission online through the end of the spring semester and also complying with the Governor’s directive to reduce on-site work by 100 percent, except for essential services. Buildings and offices are now closed to visitors. Offices should be contacted by email or phone; please consult the University Directory or website for contact information.

Return-to-Work Status

The Governor has developed four phases to reopening the state. The North Country has been approved to enter Phase One - Return of Construction and Manufacturing with limited retail services, and we continue to monitor and prepare for Phase Two - Return of Professional Services and Administrative Support. For more information on Reopening New York State, please visit:https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase.

Please note that Phase 2 includes “Administrative Services” which is interpreted as office and support functions of any industry.  Phase 4 includes “Education,” which is interpreted as the teaching and learning functions.

Any employee returning to work on campus will be able to do so only after a written workplace safety plan has been submitted to the Chair of the Return-to-Work Committee, Pat Gagnon, for that committee’s review.  To help offices prepare the workplace safety plan, the committee is preparing guidelines based on state compliance factors, some of which are not yet known or certain for Phases 2 and beyond.  Once Mr. Gagnon and the committee have resolved any questions, the senior staff leader of the area must also review the workplace safety plan, timing return of employees in coordination with Human Resources.

We expect that everyone who works on campus must practice social distancing and wear a cloth face covering, provided by the University if you wish, when working within six feet of other people, but not when working in a private office space.  More detailed guidance will be provided based on the employee’s duties and workplace.  Please note that most employees will not return to St. Lawrence campus offices or work sites for a few more weeks, at least. Many employees should continue to work from home full-time or part-time, and no one should return to campus without their manager’s approval.

For the time being, the previously established restrictions remain in place on faculty access to offices, labs, studios, and other academic spaces, and limitations on access to campus facilities including athletics and libraries are also unchanged. The campus community will be notified when greater access to these spaces is approved by the state, hopefully in the near future. There will be new protocols required by the state for those who work on-site including health screening questions, training, PPE, and more.

As always:

  • Those working remotely and who are not contacted to return to campus should continue to work remotely.
  • Those who cannot work remotely and have not received approval to be on campus should continue to refrain from coming in.
  • Employees who are ill should stay home, per public health guidance. 
  • In Phase 1 and in subsequent Phases, employees who have pre-existing health conditions who request a health-related accommodation should contact Colleen Manley or Debra Mousaw in Human Resources to discuss options. 

If you have additional questions, please contact Human Resources directly at humanresources@stlawu.edu.

Return-to-Work Planning Efforts

The University created several planning teams to address the safest ways for Laurentian employees and students to return to campus.  An oversight group, the Campus Safe Occupancy Planning Team, is charged with coordinating “gateway” planning that allows us the best chance of having students mostly in residence this fall and that would provide them an experience that, while different, is a positive St. Lawrence experience, as well as assuring a safe employee environment to prepare for the fall and when students return. 

The Campus Safe Occupancy Planning Team has several subcommittees doing detailed research. One of those planning groups, the Return-to-Work Planning Team, has been working to create a comprehensive plan to prepare for employees to come back to campus in a phased approach and in accordance with New York State guidelines.  As always, the health, well-being, and safety of our campus community has consistently and will continue to be our top institutional priority.

Additional Planning Teams:

  • Academic program and faculty; university calendar and events; off-campus programs
  • Non-academic programs—athletics, student life, campus capital assets
  • Administration—policies, contracts, staffing levels, and budget
  • Admissions, advancement, and long-term financial (revenue) strategy 

Read more information about our Fall 2020 Planning process.

Face Mask Requirements

As of Friday, April 17, at 8 p.m. when Executive Order 202.17 went into effect, any individual over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.

This new executive order applies to employees as well as students living on campus, contractors, and anyone else who is on campus property.

Employees who work on campus are required to wear a cloth face covering when working within six feet of other people, but not when working alone. Examples of when cloth face coverings must be worn include interactions with co-workers and contractors, retrieving mail or packages from the mailroom, traveling through a space where other employees are working or are present, and using the restroom if there's more than one person in the building. Cloth face coverings should be carried with you and stored in a plastic bag to be available when needed. 

St. Lawrence is providing cloth masks for essential employees and those working on campus occasionally who still need one. If you've already received a cloth mask from Facilities, or have your own cloth face covering, please use it. If you are an essential employee and have not yet received a mask, you can speak to your supervisor or you can email purchasing@stlawu.edu and a mask can be provided via campus mail or can be picked up at the Warehouse Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Please speak with your supervisor if you have questions about your requirements when you are on campus. Please consider adding your name or some type of identifier so that masks aren't interchanged by mistake.

For information on face mask dos and don'ts, please visit our Preventative Measures and Helpful Resources page.

Instructions for Ill Employees 

Ill employees should stay home, per CDC guidance. We will work out issues with sick leave banks after the situation resolves to normal.  We will not require doctor’s notices for flu symptoms as it is encouraged to use telemedicine or personal calls to doctor’s offices rather than in-person appointments. Employees with sick time banks will use their sick time to cover absences from work and may use other benefit time if sick time is exhausted.  Employees should report their work time or absences to their managers timely (bi-weekly on Monday mornings starting 3/16/20) to prevent an interruption in pay. 

Process for Reporting a Confirmed COVID-19 Case 

If an employee receives a positive confirmation of COVID-19 from a medical source (doctor, hospital, Public Health), the employee should notify Debra Mousaw, director of human resources for employee benefits, at dmousaw@stlawu.edu or (315) 229-5597. Debra will consult Lisa Cania, vice president for community and employee relations and convener of the Emergency Planning Team; and Erin Casey, director of health services and liaison to the County Department of Public Health. These administrators, with the relevant senior staff person, work together, to identify and assign the next steps, including communications, work reassignments, and space sanitizing. 

If a student receives a positive confirmation of COVID-19 from a medical source (doctor, hospital, Public Health), the student should notify Erin Casey, director of health services, at ecasey@stlawu.edu or (315) 229-5380. Erin will consult Hagi Bradley, vice president for student life, who will work to assure the student has appropriate quarantine space and support.

Managing Work and Family Responsibilities

With the decision to close St. Lawrence County K-12 schools through the end of their academic year, we recognize that child care will be a new concern for many of you.  We understand your parental responsibilities and the challenges that you will face, along with many friends and neighbors. As always, please work directly with your supervisor for daily schedules, but here are some guidelines. 

For those employees who are considered “non-exempt” (you receive wages that may vary week by week depending on schedule, overtime, and other factors), we ask you to work with your supervisor to accomplish your schedule and location, based on your status as an essential worker, with flexibility to meet both your professional duties and your family needs.  We ask that you continue to track your work time on a weekly basis so that we can continue to pay you correctly.  If family obligations prevent you from working or require you to reduce your weekly work schedule, you each have benefit time and we ask you to use that time at first if your schedule requires adjustment. For those of you represented by the CSEA, SEIU and PCPSOA unions, we have agreed upon Memos of Agreement in place and your union leaders or Human Resources can answer questions. 

For those employees who are considered “exempt” (you receive the same salary that is consistent week by week), we ask you to work with your supervisor to accomplish your work schedule and location with flexibility to meet both your professional duties and your family needs. 

University Events 

All on-campus events and gatherings are now cancelled indefinitely. For questions, contact your senior staff member.

Preparing to Work Remotely

Information Technology has guidelines, resources, and instructions on the IT website that will help you successfully work from home.

Remote Instruction Support

Academic Affairs has offered guidance and resources to faculty and staff via email. IT will provide ongoing support. A regularly-updated resource page from IT can be found here. 

The WORD Studio has moved online and tutoring is available remotely for students. Tutors are trained to work remotely and your students can still schedule appointments via the WORD Studio website. Students needing science writing or ESL tutoring should contact the WORD Studio director, Lucia Pawlowski, at lpawlowski@stlawu.edu

The library has a webpage outlining remote-access options for e-journals, ebooks, and library databases. The page includes information for students and faculty who are seeking research assistance from off campus. Librarians are available to help identify and navigate remote services and resources. 

Paying Employees  

We will pay all those who work whether from home or on campus based on their normal, assigned pay. Those who do not work may use benefit time and report it accordingly or file for unemployment insurance, if they choose, with guidance on the HR website. We continue to analyze the CARES Act, passed March 27, to understand its implications. 

Open Positions and Hiring 

Searches for open positions have been frozen indefinitely.

University-sponsored Business Travel 

All University-sponsored international travel (including Canada) is suspended.

Travel plans to conferences or other purposes should be communicated to the respective senior staff member as soon as possible and senior staff will advise if such travel must be cancelled or postponed. 

Personal Travel 

With the increased likelihood of quarantine upon return to the United States, the University advises that faculty and staff do not travel internationally (including Canada) for the foreseeable future. The University strongly advises against independent travel by students, faculty, and staff to regions of the United States which are currently experiencing major outbreaks.

Telemedicine Options 

For employees enrolled in a University-sponsored health insurance plan, you may visit a board-certified doctor by video conference (smartphone, tablet or computer) or phone right from home, or while traveling, for non-emergency medical conditions, including respiratory infections. Telemedicine benefits are available 24/7/365. Participants may set up a telemedicine visit by visiting the Excellus website at www.excellusbcbs.com and registering for MDLive. More details available from Human Resources.

Labor Issues and Unemployment FAQ

Human Resources has added a Frequently-Asked Questions page to provide more helpful information.