March 23, 2020 – Updates and Resources
To All Employees
In this new normal, change is definitely the one constant! Last week, we anticipated that some employees would be able to return to work, practicing social distancing as well as other CDC guidance to minimize the risk of community spread of COVID-19. On Saturday, March 21, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order that changes the plan.
As you may know, Governor Murphy did not close colleges and universities but earlier in the week; he ordered colleges to cease in-person instruction. Our faculty, with the support of the TLC and others, are working diligently to move all instruction to online starting today, March 23.
On Saturday, March 21, the Governor closed all college libraries and computer labs. He also severely restricted retail industry.
With regard to business and non-profits, the executive order states, “To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangement, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.”
Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107 can be found in its entirety at https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-107.pdf
We are responding accordingly. Only employees who are needed to maintain services essential to keeping us operational will be given authorization for on site work. Please note that the term “essential” used by the Governor is different and separate from the term “essential employees” identified in the PSA contract. We remain open remotely for all services, with limited access to buildings. Authorization for on-site work will now be restricted to functions such as finance, payroll, facilities, purchasing, mail room, human resources, accounts payable so that the essential operations of the College continue. For those services, minimal on-site staffing will be observed. All other employees are expected to continue to work remotely to the extent possible and to remain available to do work that is assigned to them. For authorization to work on site, see FAQ #2.
We recognize that this has been and will continue to be a stressful time for all of us as we meet our obligations to care for our families and ourselves in addition to our jobs. As we move to a new week and the first one in our history when we are providing all services remotely, here are some resources to help you on your way:
FOR TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
The Information Technology (IT) IT Help Desk provides centralized technology support to Brookdale Community College for all Information Technology requests and issues. IT Help Desk is available 24x7x365 to assist Current Students, Faculty, Staff, Future Students, New, and Incoming Students.
Contact the IT Help Desk using any one of the following methods:
- Create a Support Ticket: Is the preferred method of contact. Select the Help Desk icon from the MyBrookdale Quick launch to create a support ticket. Log in with your NetID username and password.
- Email: HelpDesk@brookdalecc.edu
- Call 24/7: 732-224-2829
Please visit https://www.brookdalecc.edu/oit/ for additional information on resetting passwords, accessing your email and Office 365, and other technology guides.
FOR ZOOM INFORMATION
The TLC will be continuing to offer remote workshops all week. See the schedule at: https://www.brookdalecc.edu/tlc-for-faculty/
Also on this webpage, under Emergency Preparedness is the power point for “How to Use Zoom for Meetings and Conferences”
FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN GENERAL
The Professional Development webpage has a myriad of online programs that can be accessed by FT employees. Go to: Sharepoint and click in the top banner on Professional Development or use this link: https://share.brookdalecc.edu/Pro_Dev/Pages/PD%20Main.aspx
For your information, we anticipate giving everyone access to the FY21 annual compliance training within the week, in case you want to get a jump on next fiscal year’s training. We know how busy many people are and don’t expect everyone to take advantage of this option. It is only meant to help those who can do limited work from home. Watch for more on this.
FOR PROCESSING LEAVE TIME REQUESTS
Just as if you were on site, if you need a vacation, personal, or sick day, please go through the normal approval process with your supervisor. Leave requests will continue to be made via Web Advisor and approvals will continue to be processed by supervisors through Colleague’s My to Do List (MTDL). Employees and supervisors should email Michelle Kneute for absences that may be eligible for short term disability (STD) or Family Leave. Employees currently on STD or family leave will continue to provide updated documentation to Michelle as usual.
Supervisors will continue to have an expectation that staff members will be responsive to their communications and assignments. If this is not the case, supervisor follow will be made and appropriate leave time, with or without pay, will be required.
Employees who are caring for children whose schools have closed or employees who are caring for ill family members and cannot work a full schedule should charge that part of the day they are not available to work to appropriate leave time. See FAQ # 8 below for important new information and benefits available to eligible employees.
Also please see the new FAQs for processing pay for hourly and student workers. These FAQs, updated March 23, can be found at the bottom of this document, on pp. 9-11.
FOR SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE
- The College has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is 100% confidential and can be accessed by calling 1-800-955-6422.
- Crisis Counselors from the Monmouth County Division of Behavioral Health are available through phone banks to help residents who may be experiencing stress or anxiety due to the evolving situation. The counselors will provide County residents with guidance to help them through this challenging time. Please call 732-845-2070.
- The Monmouth County Health Department phone bank can be reached at 732-845-2070.
- Also see the following from the World Health Organization (WHO) about managing stress: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/coping-with-stress.pdf?sfvrsn=9845bc3a_2
- Need helping caring for your Coronavirus Anxiety? Please click here for additional resources.
Take care of yourself and stay well!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Am I supposed to work during the week of March 23?
Yes. The College remains operational. All employees are expected to work remotely to the greatest extent possible until further notice. In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 107, only employees who are needed to maintain services essential to keeping us operational will be given authorization for on-site work.
Supervisors are expected to communicate daily with and assign work to staff who remain remote and will need to track what work has been accomplished.
Unless an employee is on an approved leave, all employees are expected to be working or available for work as assigned.
- I am a supervisor. Do I have the authority to call some/all of my staff back to in-person service during the week March 23? REVISED 3-23-20
You will also need the President’s authorization in consultation with your SELT member. Only employees who are needed to maintain services essential to keep us operational will be given authorization for on-site work. This is in accordance with Saturday’s Executive Order 107 from Governor Murphy. If there is the need to have an employee report on site to maintain services essential to the operations, the supervisor will email Dr. Stout and their SELT member to seek authorization. Use the subject line “authorization request.” Anyone authorized to report will need to call police dispatch at 732-224-2222 prior to reporting to ensure that the building will be open. Only those whose presence is essential will be granted authorization.
- I am prepared to work remotely but I don’t have the tools needed. Can I move my desktop home temporarily?
Unfortunately, this is not an option. Please let us know if you need a laptop or, if you have a home laptop, if you just need access to your desktop files. There are limited laptop loans available but if needed, please make your requests known to your SELT member who will prioritize the requests made to OIT.
- What is the plan for remote communications? Revised 3-19-20
The College has provided Zoom access to all employees. The following access information went out on March 15th as a broadcast:
Login to the Brookdale Zoom site using your Brookdale credentials to be provisioned with a licensed account: https://brookdalecc.zoom.us/
Consult the TLC Workshop schedule and attend training to get started: https://www.brookdalecc.edu/tlc-for-faculty/
- I have received inquiries from students who want assistance as well as access to labs, the library, and student success centers. When will these areas be available to students? Revised 3-23-20
In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 107, all college libraries and computer labs will be closed until further notice. Please refer students to the Call Center at 732-224-2020 for assistance or questions regarding registering for summer or fall terms, transcripts, financial aid, testing, advising, transfers, and the like.
For technology support, the Information Technology (IT) IT Help Desk provides centralized technology support to Brookdale Community College for all Information Technology requests and issues. IT Help Desk is available 24x7x365 to assist Current Students, Faculty, Staff, Future Students, New, and Incoming Students. Please provide the following information to students:
Contact the IT Help Desk using any one of the following methods:
- Create a Support Ticket: Is the preferred method of contact. Using self-service to open a ticket gives you the flexibility to check on the status and add comments on a ticket. Select the Help Desk icon from the MyBrookdale Quicklaunch to create a support ticket. Log in with your NetID username and password.
- Email: HelpDesk@brookdalecc.edu
- Call 24/7: 732-224-2829
- For Canvas support, email@example.com
- For tutoring support, please provide students with the following: 732-224-2999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- I provide advising/financial aid support/academic tutoring. How quickly will I have the tools to do this remotely?
Please ask your supervisor to identify to your SELT member what you need to perform your responsibilities/interact with students remotely. OIT and many others are working diligently to ensure that services to students are assessible.
- What is the plan for access to the Testing Center? REVISED 3/23/20
The Testing Center will be closed until notified further. Faculty who have required students to take an exam in our Testing Center, please contact your students to make alternative arrangements. Students should not be penalized due to the current situation.
- What about absence reporting? NEW 3/23/20
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Families First Act”)
There is new federal legislation, signed into law last week, that will provide relief for employees who are ill, caring for an ill family member, or caring for children whose schools have closed due to COVID-19. Some specifics include:
(1) The employee who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
(2) The employee who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID–19.
(3) The employee who is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
(4) The employee who is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in #1 above or has been advised as described in #2 above.
(5) The employee who is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
(6) The employee who is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
What is provided under this law?
Before the employee is required to use accrued time off, he/she is eligible to receive Emergency Paid Sick Leave as follows:
If qualified under #1, 2, and 3 above, eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of fully paid time off (up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate). Similarly, eligible part-time employees are entitled to fully paid time off (up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate) for the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period.
If qualified under #4, 5, and 6 above, eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of two-thirds of their regular pay (up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate). Similarly, eligible part-time employees are entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period at two-thirds of their typical pay (up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate)
After the first workday (or portion thereof) an employee receives paid sick time under this Act, Brookdale will implement a reasonable notice requirement for the employee to provide appropriate documentation in not more than 4 days after the eligibility requirement is met and notice within 24 hours of medical release/school reopening.
All requests for sick leave made under the Families First Act should go through the leave request process in WebAdvisor and note “Families First” in the comments section.
- Sick leave that does not qualify under “A” above.
Follow regular procedures for requesting leave time through WebAdvisor.
VACATION, PERSONAL, FLOATING HOLIDAYS, BEREAVEMENT
If you need to take time from working remotely, on site, or if you are not available for assignment, you should process leave time using the regular process through WebAdvisor. You should follow the same accountability protocols as if you were working on site under previously normal circumstances.
- What if I become ill during a work day and suspect I have symptoms consistent with COVID-19? REVISED 3-23-20
IF YOU ARE FEELING ILL, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO WORK EVEN IF CALLED FOR AN ESSENTIAL OPERATION.
All possible cases of COVID-19 will be taken seriously. If you become ill while at the workplace and suspect your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, you must immediately call 2222 from a campus phone or 732-224-2222 from a cell phone. A police officer will be dispatched to move you to an isolated area, to await transport home or to a medical facility.
- What type of documentation will I be required to submit?
For cases where individuals are undergoing a period of isolation or quarantine, documentation from a local, state or federal governmental agency, a medical
professional, office, or hospital or proof that the employee was recently in a location where the recommendation by a governmental agency is to self- quarantine will satisfy the requirement to provide documentation.
For cases where individuals are caring for an immediate family member sickened by or diagnosed with COVID-19, then the employee shall submit documentation verifying the family member’s COVID-19-related illness to the Human Resources Office within four days of the employee’s initial absence.
- What if I am called to work but don’t want to come to work because I or a family member has a compromised immune system and is at risk. REVISED 3-23-20
You must charge the time to sick leave if you have an accompanying medical provider’s note. Otherwise, you must charge personal time and/or pre-approved vacation time to remain at home. Leave taken for the purpose of avoiding exposure to COVID-19 is not be protected under the FMLA.
- What if I run out of earned sick leave under the Families First Act and my child’s school has not yet reopened? NEW 3-23-20
Last week, the President also signed an expansion to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
This law amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, in response to widespread and potentially prolonged school closures. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act provides families with protections to ensure that workers can care for their children and receive a paycheck.
What Are Employees Eligible For?
- Eligible full-time and part-time employees are entitled to twelve (12) weeks of job-protected leave to take care for their children (under 18 years of age) in the event of a school closure or their child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
- The first two (2) weeks or ten (10) work days for which the employee takes leave is unpaid
- An employee may elect to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave or medical or sick leave for the period of unpaid leave
- Following the initial first two (2) weeks or ten (10) work days, an employer shall provide paid leave for each subsequent day of leave for up to ten (10) weeks, which is to be calculated as:
(1) An amount not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay (not to exceed $200 per work day and $10,000 in aggregate); and
(2) The number of hours the employee would otherwise normally be scheduled to work (or, for varying schedule, the average/expected number of hours the employee would have worked).
On return from leave due to COVID-19, as described, an employee is entitled to be restored to:
(1) The position of employment held when the leave commenced; or
(2) An equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and terms.
- Is there guidance for helping me work remotely?
Yes. Linda DeButts has provided information on Preparing to Work Remotely as well as suggested tutorials that might be helpful in getting you started. https://share.brookdalecc.edu/Pro_Dev/Documents/Working%20Remotely%20Docs/Preparing%20to%20Work%20Remotely.pdf
In addition, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) will continue to run classes for Zoom and Canvas. See the scheduled at https://www.brookdalecc.edu/tlc-for-faculty/ This training is open to all employees.
14. Can I get a computer or Virtual Private Network (VPN)* access?
Please make your requests with your reasons to your supervisor. Supervisors are asked to forward the requests with the explanation to your SELT member. The college has limited laptops for loan and limited VPN licenses so the requests will be prioritized and filled as authorized. Also see #3 above
15. If I am called in to work on site, am I required go in? REVISED 3-23-20
Yes. You may be scheduled to work on site to keep essential services operational. Unless you have a medical reason with documentation to decline, you will be expected to work on site as needed.
16. Is overtime required for support staff?
Yes. The College is open and all employees are expected to continue to work, whether from home, to the extent possible, or on-site. Supervisors are expected to assign work. Even those without the technology to work remotely may be assigned other work projects. If working remotely, hours for non-exempt employees (PSA) need to be tracked to ensure that if they work more than 37.5 hours per week, the need for overtime is documented and authorized by the supervisor and paid in accordance with the law and Brookdale’s Overtime Regulation https://www.brookdalecc.edu/about/board-of-trustees/college-regulations/3-000-human-resources/3-6003r-approval-and-use-of-overtime/
The Following FAQs are for supervisors of hourly and student workers
- For the pay period of 3/6-3/19, how do supervisors process time sheets?
For the 03/31/20 Payroll only, please submit hours scheduled for your hourly employees (even if not worked) from 03/06/20 through 03/19/20. If you have already submitted a time sheet and need to add days, please submit another time sheet only for the additional days. The deadline for submission of the additional information is 3/24/20.
The forms linked below are in SharePoint under Info and Forms. The PDF documents are also attached. Please use the one that applies.
You may have the employee complete and forward to you or if the employee is not available, please complete and sign and forward to a dedicated email address for Payroll email@example.com If you are on Campus, please drop time sheets off to the Payroll Department, BAC Building Room 123. If no one is in the Department, please slide time sheets under the door.
If you are unable to provide the time sheets, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Employee ID#
- Complete Employee Name
- # of Hours Worked
- Rate of Pay
- Account # to Charge
If you have any questions, please email Joan Messina, Payroll Manager at email@example.com
- How do I process pay for hourly and student workers for work after March 19th? NEW 3/23/20
Supervisors will submit an approved time sheet for all hours actually worked by hourly and student workers for each pay period. If the hours you submit exceed the average hours payroll is using for that individual, the hours in excess will be added to pay. For example, the employee worked an average of 15 hrs per pay period in the pays from Jan 31 through March 31. This is what Payroll will use to pay this employee going forward for as long as hourly and student workers continue to be paid. If the supervisor submits a time sheet for 20 hrs actually worked in the next pay period, Payroll will process pay for 20 hrs. If the supervisor submits time for 3 hrs, the employee will be paid 15 hrs, based on the average noted above. Payroll wants time sheets for any hourly or student worker who actually works any hours in a pay period. If no hours are worked, a time sheet is not needed for that pay period.
- What if I have nothing to assign?
Supervisors are asked to make every effort to provide productive work assignments. The college is committed to continuing to care for all our employees. All employees, including hourly and student workers, may be asked to work in other areas that need help. Supervisors, please work with your SELT member to identify alternate assignments if needed.
- What if the hourly or student worker is not available to work?
If they are not available to work for reasons that are covered by sick leave, sick leave should be processed and the person should be paid. If the individual is on vacation, refuses an assignment, or makes themselves unavailable to work, notice must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org so pay is adjusted accordingly.
- What if I have more work than the average hours worked by my hourly or student worker during the pays between Jan 31 and March 31? REVISED 3/23/20
The basis for pay to our hourly and student workers during this unprecedented time will be the average hours they worked in the combined 5 pay periods from Jan 31 to March 31, or for fewer pay periods for newer employees. Supervisors will continue to submit time sheets for all hours actually worked by the hourly and student workers in each pay period. If the hourly or student worker exceeds his/her average hours worked between the Jan 31 through Mar 31 pays, the additional hours will be processed by Payroll. For example, Sue Smith worked an average of 15 hrs per pay period. If she works 20 hrs in the pay for April 15, the supervisor will submit a time sheet for all 20 hours and Payroll will add the additional 5 hrs to the employee’s pay.
- What if my budget for hourly or student work runs out before this arrangement ends?
If the hourly or student employment would otherwise end for budget reasons, the supervisor is expected to inform the worker when his/her employment will end, just as the supervisor would do under normal circumstances.
- I am a FT employee who has a secondary position for which I am paid hourly. Does this continuation of pay for the hourly position apply to me? NEW 3/23/20
No, unless you actually perform the work of the hourly position. The intent of continuing to pay hourly and student workers was to provide the stability offered by their part time jobs, which may be the only income they have. If you are working remotely for your FT position and are also asked to put in additional hours for your hourly job, in this case only you may submit a time sheet to be paid.
- Should students submit the timesheet to their supervisors, or can students simply email the hours worked to their supervisors and supervisors complete the timesheets? NEW 3/23/20
During this unusual time, either way is acceptable and should be determined by the supervisor. The important part of the process is that the Supervisor still needs to sign off. If there’s no supervisor signature, the time sheet will be returned to the Supervisor.