Teleworking during COVID-19

Due to the University’s response to COVID-19, staff in the Office of Equal Opportunity and across the University will be working remotely as of Monday, March 23rd. The Office of Equal Opportunity will continue to provide services. Though we endeavor to meet our usual service timelines, teleworking and the availability of parties no longer on campus or in the community may impact complaint and disability reasonable accommodation timelines. Thank you in advance for your patience throughout this process. Overall, circumstances will not impact University process; search approvals, meetings and communications will still occur remotely. If you have specific questions, please contact us. Take good care.

If you need to contact any member of the OEO team, please email us at oeo@colostate.edu or leave a message calling (970) 491-5836. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Guidance from OEO

The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) acknowledges that the COVID-19 outbreak has brought changes and challenges to Colorado State University, its operations, and its employees. Many employees face unique and individualized challenges related to health and their work due to COVID-19 during this unprecedented time. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published information on groups of people who are at higher risk or more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to serious underlying medical conditions. These conditions include, among others, chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, and compromised immune systems. For more information on people with an increased risk, please see: People At Higher Risk.

Employees who are at higher risk for COVID-19 may make requests for temporary modifications during the outbreak to help mitigate their risk and better enable them to perform as many of their essential job functions as possible while COVID-19 remains a threat. Temporary modifications may include but are not limited to, personal protective equipment for essential in-person work, part-time work from home for essential job functions that do not require in-person work for employees deemed essential in-person personnel, modified or flexible schedule, modified assignments for in-person work, or leave.

The OEO understands that many health care providers are overloaded due to the COVID-19 outbreak and may not be able to see employees or complete paperwork to support requests in a timely manner. To help expedite employee requests for temporary modifications, the OEO is providing guidance on the steps supervisors and employees should take during this extraordinary time:

  1. Employees and supervisors should first consult the COVID-19 Human Resources FAQ to see if guidance has already been provided in connection with the specific requested modification.
  2. Supervisors should make every effort to work with employees who request a temporary modification due to high risk or increased vulnerability to COVID-19. Supervisors should not require or collect health care provider verification of any serious underlying health condition if the employee has previously gone through the OEO disability/reasonable accommodation process.
  3. Employees who request a temporary modification due to high risk or increased vulnerability to COVID-19 and have not previously submitted documentation through the OEO process should be asked to submit documentation of the underlying medical condition to OEO for assessment and granted interim accommodations pending receipt and assessment of documentation by OEO. Due to the extraordinary circumstances presented by COVID-19, OEO will accept documentation that includes a diagnosis such as a health insurance claim/benefits form, health care visit summary, or other medical record within the last two to three years documenting the condition in lieu of a signed health care provider evaluation form.
  4. All temporary modifications requested and granted must be reasonable and appropriate in connection with the employee’s job and potential COVID-19 risk, be documented, and have an end date. Temporary modification requests that are deemed, through an interactive process facilitated by OEO, to be an undue hardship on the department or university will not be granted.
  5. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, temporary modifications and end dates may be revisited by the supervisor and employee.
  6. Modifications granted during the COVID-19 crisis are not permanent modifications or reasonable accommodations as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act and Amendments Act. If a need exists for reasonable accommodations post COVID-19 crisis or if modifications are necessary for a period of more than six months, the interactive process through OEO must be followed resulting in a determination whether reasonable accommodations are required and, if required, what are appropriate reasonable accommodations.
  7. Employees experiencing challenges accessing or using assistive technology while teleworking can contact the ATRC at 970-491-6258 or atrc@colostate.edu.
  8. For general concerns accessing electronic information at CSU please refer to the ACNS website or report an electronic access issue at CSU here.
  9. Contact the OEO at oeo@colostate.edu or 970-491-5836 with questions or for assistance with a temporary modification request. Please also check the OEO website for additional information.

For additional information on campus operations, COVID-19, and ways to prevent spread of the virus, please see CSU information on COVID-19.

Employees experiencing challenges accessing or using assistive technology while teleworking can contact the ATRC at 970-491-6258 or atrc@colostate.edu.

For general concerns accessing electronic information at CSU please refer to the ACNS website or report an electronic access issue at CSU here.

CSU Human Resources’ COVID-19 FAQs answer common questions for faculty, staff and student employees about the impacts of COVID-19 on leave, work arrangements and other concerns.

Please consult the COVID-19 Human Resources FAQs to learn more about Human Resources’ guidance.

As Colorado State University navigates the challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the following is guidance for searches and hiring at the present time and moving forward. Underlying the guidance is the ability for units to make decisions that serve essential needs while also being mindful of the fiscal uncertainties created by the pandemic. Thus, hiring is limited to critical positions.

Units may cancel, pause or move searches forward to a hire using video platforms for interviews and vetting processes. All search and hiring related decisions are to be overseen by the dean of a college or vice president/vice provost of a division. The dean/vice president/vice provost should be consulting with the Provost/President, as appropriate, about any hiring plans before making any verbal or written offers. Your college or division may have already created a decision-making structure and communicated an approach moving forward.

Please inform the Office of Equal Opportunity for faculty and administrative professional searches, or the Employment Team in Human Resources for state classified searches, of searches your unit wishes to cancel or pause. A search that is paused will be noted as paused in the history tab in the Talent Management System by the Office of Equal Opportunity or the Employment Team in Human Resources and may be restarted at any point within the next year. If the paused search is currently advertised, the Office of Equal Opportunity or the Employment Team will remove the posting from the CSU jobs website.

Sample language for messaging to applicants and candidates that a search has been paused/postponed can be found here.

Colorado State University has managed challenging financial times in the past, most recently the great recession of 2008. With your assistance we will again successfully navigate these financial uncertainties.

Do not hesitate to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity for faculty and administrative professional searches at oeo@colostate.edu or (970) 491-5836 and the Employment Team in Human Resources for state classified searches at (970) 491-MyHR(6947) with any questions you may have.

If a department decides to pause or postpone a search and is seeking language to share with applicants/candidates, please see the Sample Language for Search Postponement due to COVID-19 template. If you need assistance creating mass, personalized emails, please see the How to Create a Mail Merge guide.

To pause a search, please follow these steps:

  1. Email OEO with the request to pause the search. Please include the title and posting number for the search.
  2. Email the current applicant pool to let them know of the search status. For additional help crafting language, please see our Sample Language for Search Postponement due to COVID-19 template. For help creating mass, personalized emails, please see our Mail Merge guide.
  3. If the position is currently advertised, OEO will remove the posting from the CSU jobs website until further notice. The posting will be moved into the “Closed” workflow state and will not be able to gather applications during this time.
  4. The department will need to reach out to OEO when they want to re-open the search, within a year of pausing it. If the search needs to collect additional applications, the posting will be moved back to the “Posted” workflow state and the search may resume. ​If the posting passed the full consideration date and the committee wishes to resume the search from where they left off, they may do so without needing to re-post the job. In both cases, the search chair should reach out to current applicants to inform them the search will continue and ascertain if the applicants are still interested in the position.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to OEO at oeo@colostate.edu.

For additional information, please consult the COVID-19 Human Resources FAQ to see if guidance has already been provided. If you have any questions, please reach out to OEO at oeo@colostate.edu.

Welcome to the Office of Equal Opportunity at Colorado State University

The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) supports Colorado State University’s commitment to promote human and intellectual diversity by fostering an inclusive environment for all members of the University community. OEO ensures the University’s obligations of equal access and equal opportunity in education and employment for all faculty, staff and students through the application and implementation of policies, procedures and practices that are equitable, transparent and understood by members of the University community.