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COVID-19 Staff Resources

Last Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021

A key principle of Otis College’s navigation through the current global COVID-19 pandemic is the protection of the health, safety, and wellness of our community members. With this in mind, the College is coordinating campus operations and planning with guidance from local, state, and federal public health entities, which is explained in further detail on the Planning & Response page.

With the closure of campus, most staff jobs are now working remotely, with exceptions for key personnel. Those who are working remotely do not need to submit telecommuting forms to Human Resources, but the parameters for remote working can still be found on the Otis College Telecommuting Agreement.

We are fortunate to have many resources and procedures in place for remotely processing of payroll, benefits, and absences from work. Until such time as we return to business as usual, you may find more information regarding these topics in the FAQs below. Please read through the lastest update, as well as the these questions and answers—all below—and don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or the Human Resources department with any additional questions.

COVID-19 CAMPUS UPDATE–FEBRUARY 2021
  
I. ACCESS TO CAMPUS/CONSENT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The responsibility of keeping ourselves and others safe while on campus continues to be important. To this end, Otis College provides information and training to ensure that all public health protocols are shared, understood, and observed. The educational videos and updates via the Otis COVID-19 Response Hub represent an ongoing effort to provide up-to-date and reliable information, with an emphasis on campus community health and safety. 

There is a two-step process for access to campus:
STEP ONE: COVID-19 SCREENING CHECKLIST QUESTIONNAIRE
When requesting access to campus, this form must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your intended visit. Once completed, the form will be reviewed by your department/division head and you will either be given clearance to come to campus, or you will be restricted from coming to campus. A clearance notification will be emailed to you once the form is approved by your department. You must complete the form for each intended visit, and use your Otis College ID (One Card) to gain entry to the campus, your office suite, or any other part of campus. For faculty and staff using the CoVerified app (see item III below for more information about the app), please be prepared to show your daily “clearance” status. Those who are restricted will not be allowed access to campus. 

STEP TWO: OTIS COLLEGE STAFF & FACULTY COVID-19 CONSENT/ACKNOWLEDGMENT
In addition to completing the COVID-19 Screening Checklist Questionnaire, all faculty and staff must complete the Otis College Staff & Faculty COVID-19 Consent/Acknowledgement form, which includes three important educational videos that must be viewed:

  1. Understanding COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe
  2. How to wear a fabric mask
  3. How to protect yourself against COVID-19

If you have questions regarding coming to campus, please contact Helane Wilbourne, AVP, Human Resources, at hwilbourne@otis.edu, or Steve McQueen, Captain/Acting Chief Campus Safety, at smcqueen@otis.edu.  
 
II. CONTACT TRACING PROCESS
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your manager, as well as Helane Wilbourne, AVP, Human Resources, at hwilbourne@otis.edu, or Steve McQueen, Captain/Acting Chief Campus Safety, at smcqueen@otis.edu
 
As a next step, we’ll need to interview you to identify and provide support to people (i.e. contacts) who may have been infected through their exposure to you. This confidential contact tracing process prevents further transmission of the virus by separating people who have, or may have, COVID-19 from people who do not. Contact tracing also alerts Otis College to areas of the campus that require special sanitation cleaning. 

III. COVERIFIED CAMPUS SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLATFORM
The CoVerified Campus Management Platform App is used by faculty and staff who regularly come to campus and have registered with the app. Daily reporting of symptoms continues to be important for faculty and staff registered on CoVerified. Monitored daily, the CoVerfied app provides information critical for campus safety and contact tracing, if needed. 
 
If you have questions or issues with the CoVerified Campus Safety Management Platform App, please reach out to Helane Wilbourne, AVP, Human Resources, at hwilbourne@otis.edu.

IV. COVID-19 TESTING
If you are interested in getting tested for COVID-19, please consult the Los Angeles County Department of Health website at covid19.lacounty.gov/testing, or call 2-1-1. You may also contact your primary healthcare provider.
 
V. COVID VACCINATIONS DISTRIBUTION
The supply of COVID-19 vaccines has been limited for the first few months, only offered to different groups of people at different times. 
 
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health refines the state’s plan and decides exactly how each phase of vaccine distribution will be carried out—where vaccines will be given, who will be giving the vaccines, and how the county will make sure everyone has a chance to get a vaccine when it is offered to people in their phase.
 
The vaccine is currently being distributed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and by larger hospitals and medical groups such as Optum, Kaiser Permanente, USC Keck Medical, and UCLA Medical Center.
 
To sign up for vaccinations you can visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine/index.htm. To learn more, please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidvaccinedistribution/
 
VI. EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
As a reminder, Otis College faculty and staff have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), linked below, which is offered at no cost to help you and your dependents cope with any concerns. 
www.resourcesforliving.com
Username: EAP4OTIS
Password: EAP4OTIS
All services are confidential and available 24/7.

VII. HOME QUARANTINE INSTRUCTIONS FOR CLOSE CONTACTS TO COVID-19
In Los Angeles County, if you have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 you are required to:
Quarantine: stay home and separate yourself from others for 10 days. 
Monitor your health for 14 days. 
Follow the Health Officer Quarantine Order, along with the steps outlined here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidquarantine/
 
It is recommended that you get tested for COVID-19.

VIII. TIME OFF GUIDELINES
It may be necessary to take time off to take care of yourself, a family member who is sick, or to quarantine. Following are guidelines for managing time off. 
 
You may use accrued sick time for the following:

  1. To care for yourself or family members who are sick
  2. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods after travel
  3. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods instituted after the start of otherwise approved time off

 
You may use accrued vacation time for the following, subject to approval:

  1. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods after travel only if requested and approved prior to the scheduled time off
  2. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods instituted after the start of otherwise approved time off

 
You may request unpaid time off for the following, subject to approval:

  1. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods after travel
  2. To stay home during state- or locally-required quarantine periods instituted after the start of otherwise approved time off

 
Please contact Pam Sasuga, Benefits Director, at psasuga@otis.edu if you have questions.

IX. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND GUIDANCE
New travel restrictions and guidance is shared on Otis College’s COVID-19 Response Hub. If planning to travel, please visit, https://www.otis.edu/covid-19/travel. Employees planning to travel must comply with all state and local quarantine requirements. All employees working on campus must abide by mandated quarantine requirements prior to returning to campus.
 
The 10-day quarantine period is NOT just a suggestion—it is a requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find more information about the College’s reopening process?

    Please refer to the Reopening Guidelines for Faculty and Staff for more information about the College’s reopening process.

  • What are the hours for campus Operations Departments?

    You may view Operations Departments (Campus Safety and Security, Facilities, Purchasing, and IT) Hours of Operation and Contacts here.

  • When will Otis staff be paid and will we keep the same payroll cycle?

    Otis staff (Nonexempt and Exempt) will continue to be paid according to our payroll cycle on the 10th and 25th of the month. The Payroll Calendar can be downloaded from a link on this page.

  • If I am a non-exempt staff member working remotely, how will my hours for payroll be captured?

    Nonexempt (hourly) employees must utilize the Kronos portal to keep track of hours worked each day. VPN (remote) access is required. If you need VPN access, please reach out to helpdesk@otis.edu. If you have questions with any of the Kronos instructions below, please email Eloa Leme, Payroll Manager, at eleme@otis.edu.

    1. Log into the Otis Employee Dashboard at my.otis.edu. 

    2. Click on Kronos Timekeeping under Campus Applications. 

    3. Log into Kronos with your Otis user name and password. 

    4. Click on Record Time Stamp. Use this feature to track your hours when you begin work, take a break, return from the break, and end your day. 

    5. To access your timesheet and view your hours, please click on the Home option in the top right corner, and then click My Timecard.

  • What if I don’t have direct deposit? How will I get paid?

    If you don’t have direct deposit today, we encourage you to sign-up by filling out and submitting via email this form (you will need to be logged into the Employee Dashboard to access the form). It normally takes at least one pay cycle for the system to electronically deposit your paycheck into your banking account. You can email the completed form to payroll@otis.edu. We are working on how to distribute checks or other forms of payment to those of you who normally get hard-copy payroll checks. 

  • I’ve already signed up for vacation time, what do I do now?

    If you’ve already submitted an Absence form and it was approved per our guidelines, you’re all set. Your email and voicemail will need to indicate that you are out of the office and who should be contacted during your vacation. 

  • What if I want to cancel a planned and approved vacation?

    If you would like to cancel your vacation, please notify your manager. You will need to contact Payroll if you have already submitted an Absence form to ensure it is not inadvertently processed.

  • What about other absences from work?

    As per our guidelines, absences from work will need to be arranged with your manager and processed using the Absence form. Once approved for time off, your email and voicemail will need to indicate that you are out of the office and who should be contacted during your time away.

  • If I'm among the key personnel still on campus, should I come to work if I start feeling sick?

    No, staff should not report to or remain at work if sick—including having a fever with other flu/cold-like symptoms. Staff should use their accumulated sick time to call-in sick. You can check your current sick time balance through the Otis Dashboard at my.otis.edu. If staff members have no sick time available, they can use vacation or unpaid leave.

  • If I need to care for myself or a family member if sick, can I also do work and not use my sick pay?

    The priority in any instance requiring sick time is to attend to your own, or your family members’, needs. This time should be accounted for through the utilization of sick pay. Staff members who are required to care for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 may also be eligible for family medical leave pursuant to the College’s family medical leave policy, and therefore should consult with Human Resources if they are in this situation.

  • Can the Student Health and Wellness Center test faculty or staff members?

    The Student Health and Wellness Center is for students only. The SHWC staff cannot test or give medical advice to faculty or staff. Please call your healthcare professional for medical advice.

  • What are some best practices to consider for remote work?

    Here are a few quick suggestions:

    • Designate an “office” space. Create a quiet place to concentrate and spread out. Find an area in which work-related material can be stored and organized and secured.
    • Establish work hours. Develop a schedule and stick to it. If at all possible, adhere to the same work schedule that is followed on campus (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., with breaks). You need to plan to be available during this time for co-workers, etc.
    • Communicate with your team members early, often, and on a schedule. Communication can often be taken for granted when working on campus, since people can drop in or ask questions informally. Working from home means that communication must be more formal and intentional. Consider set times each day for phone calls to discuss progress, check in, or get updates. Explore the use of technology, such as the Zoom teleconferencing tool, to provide face-to-face interactions so that all of the nuances of communication can occur.
    • Anticipate interruptions and manage outside demands. Establish rules or guidelines for yourself and others to make it clear that you are engaged in your job/work and are not available for nonessential issues.
  • I have questions related to benefits? How do I get my questions answered?

    Pam Sasuga (psasuga@otis.edu) is working remotely and will continue to respond to all benefit questions, including those pertaining to medical, dental, and 403b plans.  Pam will also be able to share links and phone numbers to relevant resources and other services.

  • I need to connect with Human Resources for questions unique to me or my area, where do I go?

    Please send an email to the Human Resources general mailbox at humanresources@otis.edu. This mailbox is monitored and checked several times a day. The appropriate HR staff member will get back to you as soon as possible. The College also has helpful resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides confidential counseling services to employees and their families. To inquire about EAP, you can call 888-238-6232 or www.mylifevalues.com

  • I'm having a tough time coping with COVID-19 fears, can I speak with someone?

    Yes. Our Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) through AETNA provides 24/7 help for coping with the unknown, whether it's COVID-19 or any other stressor. You can learn more about the program here. To contact the EAP, you can call 888-238-6232 or www.mylifevalues.com.