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Hillmer to chairs, directors and administrators: Respond with essential employee list by 3/17/20

This message was sent to CALS department chairs, center director and administrators on 3/13/20.

CALS Department Chairs, Center Directors, and Administrators,

While not a common occurrence, periodically the campus experiences events that significantly affect campus operations.  During these times, campus may be forced to significantly reduce operations or even close; however, there will be a need and requirement for certain employees to still report to campus to work for a variety of reasons (e.g. police, food service, animal care, etc.).

With the COVID-19 issues we are dealing with, we need to immediately identify what positions are essential to CALS/UW operations. Units will need to review each employee/position and identify whether the position is deemed essential.

CALS HR Managers will send unit spreadsheets listing all employees to department administrators later today. Please complete the spreadsheet and upload the completed spreadsheet to your unit’s folder in the CALS HR Document folder in Box no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The information below provides guidance on how you should proceed to identify essential employees within your unit(s).

How should essential and non-essential employees be defined?

  • Essential Employees: Employees with responsibilities critical to maintaining essential functions and services on campus, including, but not limited to Housing and Dining, life/safety, hazardous research and animal care, and Physical Plant. Generally speaking, essential employees have to report to campus to fulfill essential function duties. Depending on the specific situation and who is needed for the preservation of life and property, essential employees may or may not be called in, but the designation of essential employees is important to determine ahead of time.
  • Non-Essential Employees: Employees that are directed NOT to report to campus to limit exposure (e.g., campus hazard). In most academic departments and academic support units, the vast majority of employees will not be deemed “essential personnel” for emergency purposes.  However, we recognize that there are critical activities that must occur at key points in time. Supervisors (department chairs, deans, etc.) are expected to work with employees with these types of responsibilities, depending on the timing of emergency events, utilizing the unit’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).

What is the process?

  • Complete the spreadsheet – please contact the CALS HR Manager assigned to your unit with any questions.
  • Identify if the employee/position as essential – YES or NO.
  • Upload completed spreadsheet to your unit’s folder in the CALS HR Document folder in Box.

How does this impact individual employees and how will they know?

  • Employees will be notified of their essential designation per the following:
  • Informal: Units, please communicate this designation to the employee.
  • Official:  CALS HR will prepare a communication to the employee informing them of their designation.

Who do I contact with questions?

Thank you very much!

Carol Y. Hillmer
Associate Dean
CALS Human Resources