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Human Resources

Updated 7/16/2020

COVID – Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP)

The Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP) enables employees to temporarily reduce their work schedules with unpaid leave, without affecting most of their other State benefits. This program is authorized by the State of Connecticut in Section of 5-248c of the General Statutes and is administered at UConn by Human Resources at Storrs and Farmington. All employees with at least 6 months of service who work an FTE of at least 50% are eligible, and employees may apply for sporadic days off, work schedule reductions, or a leave of absence.

Your participation in this program is entirely voluntary and the University understands that each of your situations are different.

We are encouraging employees to consider this program and managers to approve those requests that do not result in overtime costs or have a significant impact on critical services. VSRP requests may be approved or declined by management based on the need of the department or division. Storrs and Regional employees may apply and review FAQs through the Storrs/Regionals HR website. UConn Health employees may apply and review FAQs through the UConn Health HR website.

Questions or concerns about Human Resources?
Contact HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu

Communications Archive

7/16/2020: COVID – Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP)

To All UConn and UConn Health Colleagues:

As noted by President Katsouleas and UConn Health CEO Andy Agwunobi, our educational, research and healthcare organizations are facing a difficult FY21. I know each of you are working hard to fulfill the missions of this University and your efforts are inspiring. Still, we are taking steps to reduce the projected deficits.

I have been asked to reach out to you to encourage the use of the Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP) that enables employees to temporarily reduce their work schedules with unpaid leave, without affecting most of their other State benefits. This program is authorized by the State of Connecticut in Section of 5-248c of the General Statutes and is administered at UConn by Human Resources at Storrs and Farmington. All employees with at least 6 months of service who work an FTE of at least 50% are eligible, and employees may apply for sporadic days off, work schedule reductions, or a leave of absence.

Your participation in this program is entirely voluntary and the University understands that each of your situations are different.

We are encouraging employees to consider this program and managers to approve those requests that do not result in overtime costs or have a significant impact on critical services. VSRP requests may be approved or declined by management based on the need of the department or division. Storrs and Regional employees may apply and review FAQs through the Storrs/Regionals HR website. UConn Health employees may apply and review FAQs through the UConn Health HR website.

These are difficult economic and personal times for each of us, our families, friends, colleagues, and the University, State of Connecticut, nation, and world. On behalf of President Katsouleas and Dr. Agwunobi, thank you for considering the VSRP program.

Sincerely,

Christopher Delello

4/9/2020: Timecard Guidance

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employee timecards must track the categories of time shown in the PDF below.

Please understand the grid may not have captured every particular situation. If you cannot make a determination with the aid of the grid, please contact the Employee Resource Center for assistance. Please also understand that in addition to what you record on the timecard, you may be required to provide medical and/or leave documentation to the Leave Management unit. You may also contact the Employee Resource Center for Leave team questions.

Faculty timecards are due this pay period. Faculty continue to only record vacation usage.

Updates to the guidance will be provided as appropriate. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through the evolving time reporting requirements related to COVID-19.

View the timecard guidance chart.

4/6/2020: Frequently Asked Questions for Clinical Employees Regarding COVID-19 Exposure, Quarantine, and Testing

Please note that FAQs relating to a host of other human resources questions, and FAQs for non-clinical employees may be found here. Please feel free to reach out to Human Resources with any questions you may have at HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu

Q.1 I am a clinical staff person and I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

A.1 If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, body aches, loss of smell or taste, headache) you should immediately call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 and contact your manager. The staff at the call center can order and schedule a COVID-19 test for you at UConn Health. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should not report to work unless cleared by Employee Health to do so or until at least 1 week has passed since the onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved and you have been free of fever without any fever-reducing medications for at least 72 hours. Prior to reporting back to work, you should notify (1) the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 for clearance, (2) your manager and (3) human resources through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.2 I have tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

A.2 If you have received a positive test result, either through the COVID-19 Call Center process or through your personal physician and/or testing from another institution, you should immediately notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199. You should notify your manager and Human Resources through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu. You should follow the instructions of the COVID-19 Call Center and not return to work until at least 1 week has passed since the onset of symptoms, overall symptoms have improved and you have been free of fever without any fever-reducing medications for at least 72 hours. 

Q.3 What should I do if I have been exposed to someone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19? Does it matter if this exposure was outside of work, with a co-worker, or with a patient?

A.3 Each of the scenarios noted above is addressed below in order:

a) If you have been exposed outside of work to a COVID-19 symptomatic or positive individual, you should call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199. You may be instructed, depending on the date of last known contact or length and circumstances of the contact, to self-isolate and self-monitor for a recommended period of time up to 14 calendar days from the date of exposure. If you were determined to be at low risk, you may be instructed to self-monitor and can report to work as normal. If you are recommended to be quarantined/self-isolate you should contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu.  If during this period you develop new symptoms, you should notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 or your personal physician.

b) If you have been exposed to a co-worker who is positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by the COVID-19 Call Center or your manager who will conduct a tracer and risk assessment as to whether you were a prolonged, close contact to such individual and may be required to be excluded from the workplace for a period of up to 14 calendar days for quarantine/self-isolation. If the symptomatic co-worker is discovered to not have COVID-19, you will be notified to return to work immediately. You will be instructed to contact the COVID-19 Call Center and your manager at the end of the recommended isolation period and prior to your return to work. If during this period you develop new symptoms, you should contact your personal physician and notify the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199.

If you were not a prolonged close contact and are considered to be an individual who is at low risk for exposure, you may be eligible to continue working. A close contact is defined as an individual who has been within 6 feet for a pro-longed period of time, i.e. for longer than 15 minutes, or someone who has had direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case, for example being coughed on while not wearing any PPE. Close contact does not include a brief or passing interaction with an individual.

As with all potential exposures, the time period of quarantine/self-isolation is from the date of exposure to COVID-19. If you have been cleared to return to work you should also contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

c) If you have been exposed to a patient who is positive for COVID-19 and you were in close contact with the patient or the patient’s secretions and you were not wearing a mask or other PPE, you will be notified by the COVID-19 Call Center, other medical staff or your manager that you have been exposed. Depending on the exposure you may be required to be excluded from the work place for a period of up to 14 calendar days for quarantine/self-isolation from the date of exposure. You will be instructed to contact the COVID-19 Call Center and your manager at the end of the recommended isolation period and prior to your return to work.

If you have any concern about a potential exposure to an individual with COVID-19, please contact the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199 to discuss the nature of the exposure. As with all potential exposures the time period of quarantine/self-isolation is from the date of exposure to COVID-19. If you have been cleared to return to work you should also contact Human Resources at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.4 Will I receive pay if I have been quarantined/self-isolated, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

A.4 If you meet the above criteria with regard to exposure to, suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 positive you will be eligible for up to 14 calendar days (typically 10 work days) of administrative leave that will not come out of your leave benefits, i.e., sick, vacation or personal leave. If you are sick beyond the period noted above you will have to utilize your accrued leave benefits.

Any other illness will require the use of your leave benefits in accordance with normal process and procedures. If you are asking for administrative leave for COVID-19 symptoms you must provide documentation of that fact and may only be provided administrative leave if testing is not available to you through the COVID-19 Call Center process.

Q.5 As a frontline clinical staff person am I limited to a single 14-day administrative leave if I have been exposed, quarantined and returned to work only to be notified I have again been exposed?

A.5 If UConn Health has excluded you from work for the safety of you, your co-workers and/or patients, you can be placed on paid administrative leave for quarantine/self-isolation or monitoring on more than one occasion.

Q.6 What do I do if I am in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive or is confirmed positive for COVID-19?

A.6 Close contacts of someone who has been in contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (i.e., "contacts of contacts") do not warrant quarantine or any special management.

Further, it should be noted that the now mandatory policy of UConn Health to mask all employees while working should result in the need for fewer circumstances where quarantine/self-isolation are warranted.

Q.7 I am a manager and I have been told that I have an employee who has been told to be out of work for quarantine/self-isolation, what are my responsibilities?

A.7 If your employee or Employee Health has contacted you because an employee has been recommended to be out for a period of time, you need to ensure that the following has been done (1) confirm with the employee (if that employee is notifying you directly) that the COVID-19 Call Center has been contacted, and (2) that Human Resources has been notified through email at HR-EmployeeResources@uchc.edu.

Q.8 I am experiencing child care issues and want to know what I can do?

A.8 Employees should first turn to trusted friends and family for assistance during this period of time to seek childcare help.  Also we are directing individuals to call 211 and in particular the dedicated healthcare employee childcare line at 860-756-0864. We also recommend you contact UConn Health’s own Childcare Center. We have been working with the State’s Office of Early Childhood to increase the capacity at our Childcare Center and can work with employees to accommodate the need during this time.

If you are non-clinical staff and/or telecommuting you should review the questions and responses to the FAQ provided on the Human Resources website where these topics are specifically addressed.

The following information may be helpful to you as you contact the COVID-19 Call Center in understanding and addressing issues:

Close Contact: (1) Being within approximately 6 feet of an individual who is COVID-19 positive for a prolonged period of time; examples include living with, working in close proximity with, caring for or visiting; OR (2) direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case, for example being coughed on while not wearing any PPE.

Self-monitoring: Taking your temperature 2x per day and remaining alert for respiratory symptoms, body aches or a loss of a sense of smell or taste.  If experiencing these symptoms, call the COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199.

Active monitoring: Regular communication with public health authority, occupational health or infection control, and the potentially exposed healthcare provider to assess the presence of fever or respiratory symptoms. If you have been exposed without the proper precautions or without wearing PPE, this should occur at least 1x per day.

4/2/2020: Emotional Support Resources for Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an emotional time for all. To provide you with support during this unprecedented time we are sharing the following resources on our HR webpage.

In addition to these resources currently available, next week we will be announcing a new program, “Taking Care of our Own,” which will enable our employees to schedule telehealth private sessions and work team debriefings with UConn Health EAP and Department of Psychiatry clinicians.

Seek emotional support when you need it. Email or call 860-679-2877. Same day, confidential appointments are available now with the Employee Assistance Program. Just provide a number for them to call you, and a time you prefer to be contacted.

#FirstRespondersFirst an initiative to support and sustain the health and well-being of frontline workers amidst COVID-19 conceived by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Thrive Global.

Toolkit for Emotional Coping for Healthcare Staff developed by the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress.

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Healthcare Professionals developed by the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress.

Sustaining the Well-Being of Healthcare Personnel during coronavirus and other Infectious Disease Outbreak, CSTS.

Self-care Tips to Reduce Anxiety as COVID-19 cases increase, watch tips on what you can do to strengthen yourself.

Managing Stress

Coping With COVID? Mastering Social (But Not Emotional) Distancing Dr. Julian Ford shares his thoughts and recommendations on ways to handle the stress.

Download 5-, 10- and 20-minute meditations from our Department of Psychiatry to help you with enhancing immune functioning, sleep and overall stress management.

Livestream Guided Meditation recordings offered by the Copper Beech Institute.

Listen to the Labyrinth Podcast, mindfulness teachings, talks and discussions as well as helpful meditations offered by the Copper Beech Institute.

The meditation app Headspace has announced that it is making its premium tier free for all U.S. healthcare professionals who work in public health settings.

Ten Percent Happier is also offering free access to their app to all frontline health workers.

3/19/2020: Guidance Regarding Reassignment Requests from Individual at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19

As per the Guidelines for Individuals Who May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19, published via email on March 18, 2020, individuals who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease who would like to request to be re-assigned, should reach out to their Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health to request a re-assignment. As noted in #2 below, Employee Health will make the evaluation and certify eligibility for re-assignment, but will not provide the specific reason for the certification.

To process such requests in the appropriate manner, it is very important that you observe the following steps:

Step 1: Employee (“requestor”) communicates to his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair that he/she meets one of the criteria listed in the March 18, 2020 email. It is extremely important that the Director/Manager does not request or solicit any information from the requestor as to which specific condition the requestor has or what specific medication the requestor takes. Please avoid soliciting medical information from the requestor.

Step 2: Upon notice from the requestor, his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will direct the employee to contact Employee Health, which will confirm that the requestor meets one of the criteria for reassignment. As part of the confirmation process, Employee Health may require a medical certificate or other evidence that the employee meets the high-risk criteria. The requestor shall inform Employee Health of the name and contact information of his/her Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair. Employee Health will promptly notify the Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair whether the requestor in fact meets the criteria to be reassigned. Employee Health will not share specific medical circumstances with the Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair.

Step 3: Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will determine and, where appropriate, will work with eligible requestors on where they will be reassigned. The Director/Manager or Service Chief or Department Chair will then provide notice to Human Resources at HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu with the following information:

  • Name of Provider/Staff
  • Job Title and department
  • Approval for re-assignment
  • New assignment and its duration

Note: UConn Health reserves the right to change or to end the reassignment as circumstances warrant.

3/18/2020: Guidelines for Individuals Who May Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19

In order to address concerns regarding the groups of individuals who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease, we are providing the following clarifying guidance and are specific to this circumstance.

If you meet one or more of the risk factors for higher risk individuals identified below, are concerned about the potential exposure to COVID-19, and you would like to request to be re-assigned, you should reach out to your Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health to request a re-assignment.

For this guidance, we are utilizing the CDC guidance for the definition of severe immunocompromised based on medical conditions and medications.

  1. Age: If you are age 65 or older, you may be considered for re-assignment.
  2. Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, you may ask for an assignment that would limit your exposure to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients during higher risk procedures, e.g., aerosol generating procedures.
  3. Underlying Medical Conditions: ​If you have any of the following medical conditions, you may be considered “severely immunocompromised”:
  • Active leukemia or lymphoma
  • Generalized malignancy
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Congenital immunodeficiency
  • Recent radiation therapy or checkpoint inhibitor treatment
  • Solid-organ transplant recipients and who are on active immunosuppression
  • CAR-T cell transplant recipients within 2 years of transplantation or still taking immunosuppressive drugs
  • Hematopoietic stem cell within 2 years of transplantation or still taking immunosuppressive drugs
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and a CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3
  1. Medications: If you are taking any of the medications listed below, you may be considered “severely immunocompromised.”

If you meet any of the above criteria you may request to be voluntarily re-assigned.

If you have any questions please work with Director/Manager, Service Chief or Department Chair and Employee Health. Any re-assignments should include a notice to Human Resources at HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu with the following information:

Name of Provider, position and department, reason for re-assignment and new assignment, duration of assignment.

List of Medications that Constitute Severe Immunocompromise

  • High-dose corticosteroids

o   defined as a dose of either >2 mg/kg of body weight or ≥20 mg per day of prednisone or equivalent in people who weigh >10 kg, when administered for ≥2 weeks

  • Alkylating agents (such as cyclophosphamide)
  • Antimetabolites (such as azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate).
  • Transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs (such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus, sirolimus, everolimus, azathioprine, and mycophenolate mofetil)
  • Cancer chemotherapeutic agents
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers (e.g., etanercept, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, and infliximab)
  • Lymphocyte-depleting agents (thymoglobulin or alemtuzumab)
  • Other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory including the following:

Generic Name               Trade Name

Abatacept                           Orencia

Adalimumab                      Humira

Alemtuzumab                   Campath

Anakinra                              Kineret

Atezolizumab                    Tecentriq

Avelumab                           Bavencio

Basiliximab                        Simulect

Belatacept                          Nulojix

Bevacizumab                     Avastin

Certolizumab pegol         Cimzia

Cetuximab                          Erbitux

Dasatinib                            Sprycel

Dimethyl fumarate          Tecfidera

Etanercept                          Enbrel

Fingolimod                         Gilenya

Glatiramer acetate           Copaxone

Golimumab                        Simponi

Ibritumomab tiuxetan    Zevalin

Ibrutinib                               Imbruvica

Imatinib mesylate            Gleevec, STI 571

Infliximab                            Remicade

Interferon alfa                   Pegasys, PegIntron

Interferon beta-1a          Avonex, Rebif

Interferon beta-1b          Betaseron

Natalizumab                       Tsabri

Nivolumab                          Opdivo

Ofatumumab                     Arzerra

Panitumumab                   Vectibix

Pembrolizumab                Keytruda

Lenalidomide                     Revlimid

Rilonacept                           Arcalyst

Rituximab                            Rituxan

Sarilumab                            Kevzara

Secukinumab                     Cosentyx

Sunitinib malate               Sutent

Tocilizumab                        Actemra

Tofacitinib                           Xeljanz

Trastuzumab                      Herceptin

Ustekinumab                     Stelara

Vedolizumab                     Entyvio

Human Resources
HR-employeeresource@uchc.edu