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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message calling (970) 491-5836. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.
Click here to download the Temporary Work Adjustment Request Form. To submit a temporary work adjustment request, please email the completed form to the Office of Equal Opportunity at email@example.com. **Please note, to digitally sign your temporary work adjustment request form, please download the form, save it to your computer, and open it in Adobe Acrobat.**
Message to University Community: Requesting a Temporary Work Assignment for COVID
As the University and Pandemic Preparedness Team continues to prepare for the fall semester, we recognize that working remotely and working on university grounds both have unique sets of challenges for our faculty and staff.
Many of you are juggling child care concerns, or are concerned about your own health or care for someone who has specific health conditions. In response to this, Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity have created a process for employees who may need a temporary work arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic due to health conditions, responsibility to care for others who are vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, or do not have child care available.
This process provides a pathway for temporary arrangements during the pandemic or at a point in time as determined by the university. The process is available for employees whose supervisors have submitted a request for their unit, division or office to return to onsite, in-person work.
To apply for a temporary work adjustment – or to continue to work remotely – an application should be submitted by any faculty or staff member, including student employees, whose unit, division or office has submitted a proposal to resume operations onsite or is already operating onsite, or whose academic department is providing classroom instruction. Faculty are strongly encouraged to submit requests by August 2 to allow for the fall class schedule to be finalized. If a Health Care Provider Certification is required, it can be provided by August 7.
It should be noted that units, divisions or offices that can work remotely are discouraged from returning to onsite work and should continue to work remotely to assist the university in maintaining reduced building occupancy levels, as outlined by public health orders. Units, colleges, offices and divisions are not required to submit proposals to return to work onsite and are not required to perform in-person services during the fall semester if they can support student-facing services and university operations remotely. Some faculty and staff within university colleges, departments, units, office and divisions are already working onsite or will need to return to work onsite to support the university’s operations or provide face-to-face services or instruction to students.
The process to request a temporary work arrangement is outlined below.
Some employees may need to request temporary work adjustments due to COVID-19. Under state executive and public health orders, employees who are deemed “Vulnerable Individuals” (also referred to as “people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19”) are not required to work in-person. Vulnerable Individuals are defined as someone who is:
- 65 years and older
- Has a chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Has serious heart conditions
- Is immunocompromised
- Is pregnant
- Is determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider
Employees with daycare eligible and/or school-age children, or other dependents
Employees with dependents who are enrolled in daycare or school may encounter childcare issues due to COVID-19.
- Employees with COVID-19-related childcare needs may request a temporary work adjustment which will be submitted to OEO and reviewed by HR.
- Employees with COVID-19-related childcare needs may also be eligible for expanded Family Medical Leave created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- CSU is committed to working with employee-parents directly and with supervisors to ensure as much flexibility for families as feasible. CSU has tasked a working group to help guide this discussion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have concerns about returning to the physical worksite. How do I request a temporary work adjustment related to COVID 19?
A: Some employees may be concerned about returning to onsite work because:
- They are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of a specific health condition or they are older than 65 years
- Reside with or are a primary caretaker for people who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- Are facing child care needs while schools and places of care remain closed
Employees whose situations meet these criteria should complete the Temporary Work Adjustment Request form. Additional medical information may be requested as this form is reviewed. Completing this form does not guarantee that the temporary work adjustment will be approved.
Q: What is the process once I submit a request for a temporary work adjustment related to COVID-19?
A: The Office of Equal Opportunity will review your request. If your request is related to your age, disability or medical condition, the Office of Equal Opportunity may request additional medical documentation.
If your request is related to the fact that you reside with a Vulnerable Individual, Human Resources may also request further information and will contact you to discuss options for a temporary modification to your assignment; in certain cases, a supervisor will need to be contacted to review options.
Human Resources will work with individuals and their supervisors to discuss options for those who are requesting a temporary modification because:
- They are the primary care provider for a vulnerable individual
- Their dependent child(ren’s) school, care provider, or day care provider is unavailable
The university will make every attempt to work with you to find a temporary modification; however, a modified assignment may not be available in every circumstance.
Q: What is the timeline to review my request?
A: Office of Equal Opportunity and Human Resources will prioritize requests of individuals who are already working on-site for the university and those being asked to return to a physical university location within the next month. Requests for units that have not been cleared to return to on-site will be reviewed as soon as possible following the priority reviews. Reviews will be conducted on a case-by-case basis and each request will require all completed documentation before a review can be finalized.
Q: What is the role of a supervisor in this process?
A: Engaging supervisors in solution planning to offer flexible and modified options will be critical to this process. Supervisors will be contacted to discuss the business needs and impact of proposed solutions; discussions may include reviewing options for creative scheduling arrangements, alternate work locations, leave options, physical modifications to the worksite, et cetera. As with any request for an adjustment or leave, the supervisor’s role is to ensure confidentiality related to the circumstances related to the situation. An employee’s medical information shared with Office of Equal Opportunity will not be disclosed to the supervisor.
- To request reasonable accommodations due to COVID-19, contact CSU’s Student Disability Center.
- Students can also connect with their advisors to explore changing their courses to an online format.
- Other options are to work with the department chair to find substitute classes that will fulfill degree requirements or take a class online through CSU Online or CSU Global.
Message to University Community: Public Health Requirement to Wear a Face Covering and Process to Seek an Exemption as well as Scripts for Supervisors and Academic Faculty
As we begin the fall semester, Colorado State University recognizes that the ever changing COVID-19 situation presents a need to pivot and adapt that our university community must embrace. One such adaptation is that students, staff, faculty, and visitors must wear a face covering in all University buildings and also outside when six feet of physical distancing cannot be met. This requirement is in place to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 among our university community and to comply with state and public health orders.
We acknowledge that wearing a face covering for extended periods of time is an adjustment; one that will take some getting used to. We further recognize that, for many individuals, wearing a face covering for extended periods of time or, in some cases at all, presents a unique challenge. Many of our employees experience mental and/or physical impairments that either impede their ability to wear a face covering or that may be significantly impacted by wearing a face covering.
- A process exists for those for whom wearing a face covering would be a particular challenge.
- An employee, including faculty and student employees, may request an exemption from wearing a face covering, with appropriate medical documentation, and request an alternative face covering, such as a face shield, or other temporary work adjustment to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Alternative face coverings and other temporary work adjustment requests must be analyzed on an individualized basis through an interactive process, facilitated by the Office of Equal Opportunity, between the employee and their department.
- To request a face covering exemption, an employee must complete the face covering exemption request form found above.
- Completing the form does not guarantee that a face covering exemption, alternative face covering request, or other temporary work adjustment request will be granted.
Colorado State University also recognizes that academic faculty in classrooms and supervisors managing on-site employees may encounter situations where a student or employee forgets to wear a face covering or refuses to wear one. To support our faculty and supervisors, we have prepared suggested language in the form of scripts for supervisors who may need to address an employee not wearing a face covering or following public health orders as well as a script for academic faculty who may need to address a student not wearing a face covering. The scripts can be found above as well as on the Human Resources and the Keep Teaching websites.
Concerns about non-adherence to wearing a face covering or to public health orders after utilizing the suggested language in connection with employees may be reported through the COVID Public Health Behavior Report Form.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- Email OEO with the request to pause the search. Please include the title and posting number for the search.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
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.