HR update on remote work and sick leave guidance, March 17

As noted in Chancellor Malloy’s message, UMS continues to monitor CDC, state, and federal guidance relative to the COVID-19 response, and we continue to seek to protect the health and safety of employees while meeting essential functions that our campuses provide to students and the State of Maine.   The following is an update to any prior guidance:

  1. Remote Work – beginning 3/19/20 all employees who, based on the nature of their work, are able to work remotely are expected to do so.  Employees should work with their supervisor regarding arrangements and expectations.  Please utilize the attached remote work guidelines regarding important considerations.  This remote work directive will continue until at least April 6.  Nonexempt (hourly) employees working remote should report work, sick and vacation time as normal.  Exempt employees should report sick and vacation time as normal.

Please note that some employees who, due to the nature of their roles, will be required to continue to perform their duties either completely or partially on campus.  These requirements will be addressed by the respective supervisor.

  1. Social Distancing– for employees whose work does not lend itself to working remote, supervisors are asked to work with employees to implement appropriate social distancing measures.  These measures may include but are not limited to reducing the number of employees within crowded work spaces through alternate work locations, modifying work schedules so as to reduce overlap of physical presence, and adjusting job duties.


  1. Added Flexibility in use of Sick Leave– Employees are provided more flexibility in the use of sick leave between now and April 6, 2020 as appropriate for those who may need to be away from work for reasons related to coronavirus.  In addition to personal illness, sick leave may be appropriate for the following:
    • Employee is not currently ill but has been advised by a health care professional or per UMS guidance to self-quarantine or is asked to leave the workplace by their supervisor due to indications of illness
    • Employee is not currently ill but needs to be away from work due to family member’s or dependent’s illness or self-quarantine requirements
    • Employee is not currently ill but needs to be away from work to care for child(ren) due to school or daycare closure

In each case above, those that are not ill and are able to work remotely may be asked to do so and/or asked to use a combination of sick leave and remote work.  Again, please coordinate schedule and arrangements with your supervisor.  An employee who has no remaining sick leave balance to cover such time away from work should contact the Human Resources office.

Additional resources for teaching and working remotely can be found on the University of Maine System’s Public Health Advisory page for employees.

Please also see the attached guidelines and safety information regarding telecommuting-remote work.