Additional leave and financial support for UWO employees and students

Dear University faculty and staff members,

Today I am able to announce that UW Oshkosh is providing additional assistance to employees and student workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the past several weeks, we have made many swift decisions prioritizing the health and safety of our University community. I know that these changes, although necessary, have placed financial stress on members of the UWO community. So we have pushed ourselves to continually look for ways to counteract the hardships.

Here are the latest offerings of support.

Employees

COVID-19 Leave

We are extending COVID-19 leave for eligible employees through May 1, 2020.

The interim COVID-19 Leave policy has been updated as of March 31 and took effect April 1. This policy provides leave and workplace flexibility options during the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizing the health and safety of the UW Oshkosh community. It applies to employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the pandemic.

Those employees eligible for COVID-19 leave through May 1 include those who are unable to work remotely (telecommute or telework); diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis; caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis; caring for an immediate family member subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine; or caring for children or elders due to school/day care closures. This policy supersedes the previous UW System COVID-19 leave policy.

All employees, including monthly paid employees, now have a COVID-19 leave balance that can be entered on their timesheet. The method for entering this type of leave is new for monthly paid employees. For information on how employees should enter COVID-19 leave into HRS, please refer to this document. For supervisors that need assistance approving the COVID-19 leave, please refer to this document.

Family and Medical Leave Act

UW System has also expanded paid family and medical leave for qualifying needs related to this public health emergency. The benefit covers any employee unable to work (or telecommute) due to a need for leave to care for a son or daughter under 18 years old if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable. Hours claimed for COVID-19 leave on or after April 1, 2020, count against the 12 weeks of leave available under this policy.

Vacation

The carryover maximum limit of unused vacation has been removed for Fiscal Year 2020 and employees will be granted flexibility due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student employees

One-time payment

UWO will provide a one-time COVID-19 leave payment to all student hourly workers who have logged hours in HRS on or since Feb. 1, 2020. This includes students who are still working and those who have stopped working.

This one-time payment is no substitute for a campus job. But it is designed to particularly provide some support to help UWO student employees whose on-campus employment has been suspended by the COVID-19 disruptions. We have heard from many Titans about the hardship this has caused. Faculty and staff members, too, have reached out expressing their concerns for students’ financial stability and capacity to continue their educations. This is one more way to help.

  • Payments will be $100 per week for two weeks — a total of $200 for eligible students.
  • The payment will be effective for the April A payroll, which begins Sunday, March 29, ends Saturday, April 11, and pays Thursday, April 23. 
  • Student workers who have logged hours during the April A pay period will receive this payment in addition to their logged hours during the same pay period.  
  • In lieu of the lump sum payment, federal work study students will be paid an average number of hours worked through the end of the spring semester or until federal funds are exhausted.

I want to thank our UWO Human Resources leaders and staff members who are analyzing and helping us communicate fundamental and complex policy changes and support measures every day. We are doing our best to get you the latest, clearest updates as quickly as we can. Please stay alert for more to come in the next few weeks.

I realize this is a stressful time due to the rapid pace of change and significant amount of uncertainty we are facing. It is my sincere hope that the news today of leave provisions and compensation will provide our university community members with some comfort and assistance.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Chancellor Andy Leavitt