Updates from Human Resources

Read the updates sent by Human Resources to staff members. Items are listed in the order in which they were sent, with the most recent listed first.

A list of all NinerNotice and Chancellor messages can be found on the campus updates page.

Colleagues, 

As many of you may recall, several of the HR actions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire at the end of the calendar year. I wanted to provide you with an update based on guidance we’ve recently received from the UNC System. 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
As a reminder, the leave benefits provided under FFCRA end on Dec. 31, 2020. 

A note about child care
We understand that many of our employees are still navigating child care issues during this time. Employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisor about potential options for teleworking or flexing their work schedules to meet child care needs. With supervisor approval, employees can use vacation, sick and bonus leave to account for time not worked. If they have exhausted all their leave, the COVID-19 Leave Bank is also an option. More details will be provided in early January on how to apply.  In addition, employees are encouraged to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for resources to address child/elder care issue

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL)
Use of the COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) has been extended through March 31, 2021, and has been modified. For more information, visit the HR website

COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank
The ability to offer a COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank has been extended beyond Dec. 31, 2020, to March 31, 2021. If you are able, please consider donating leave to the bank. 

  • Leave bank donations may be applied to eligible absences occurring between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.
  • In addition to the previously described eligible absences, events that were previously eligible for FFCRA are now eligible absences for the leave bank. 
  • The application process to receive leave from the leave bank will be different in the new year. More information will be provided in Niner Insider and on the HR website in January. 

Interchangeability of accrued leave 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees may use accrued sick leave, vacation leave and bonus leave interchangeably through March 31, 2021. However, this provision does not apply to the leave options provided in state policy for retirement, transfer or separation.

Expanded Community Service Leave 
Any unused Expanded Community Service Leave hours allocated for COVID-19-related volunteer activities in 2020 are forfeited as of Dec. 31, 2020. However, effective Jan. 1, 2021, a new allocation of 80 hours for this purpose will be available.

  • These hours are accounted for separately from employees’ regular annual allotment of 24 hours (or 36 hours for tutoring/mentoring) of community service leave. Additional information will be provided in January.  
  • The expanded provision for Community Service Leave (CSL) for literacy, tutoring, mentoring and related school activities is being expanded for 2021. More information can be found on the HR website.

I know this year has been challenging, and I want to thank you for all of your hard work and patience. I hope you and your families have a happy and healthy winter break.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

Colleagues,

As a follow up to this week’s NinerNotice, I wanted to provide you with more employee-specific information as the fall semester approaches. Please read all the information below carefully.

Upcoming town halls
The University will host two additional town halls for faculty and staff to answer ongoing questions about the return to on-campus operations. You can register below.

Employee leave bank reminders
UNC Charlotte created the COVID-19 Leave Bank so employees can donate leave to colleagues who cannot work due to specific COVID-19-related reasons and who have exhausted their accrued leave. The employee also must have exhausted all personal leave and all accrued paid time off. More information is available on the HR website.

If you are an eligible employee and are able, please consider donating sick, vacation or BONREG leave to the COVID-19 leave bank by completing this form.

Fall process for all new hires
The Human Resources Employment Office is open by appointment only for all new hires -- faculty, staff, students and temporary employees. Appointments will last no longer than 15 minutes and can be scheduled 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 3:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. New hires can schedule a time to come in on or before their first day of work through this Google calendar.

New hires can access the new hire packet on the HR website. The forms can be completed online and signed with an electronic signature. New hires can also complete the electronic I-9 on the same website. Questions about this new process can be directed to Tracy Worthey, director of staff employment and records management, at taworthe@uncc.edu or 704-687-0670.

Childcare concerns
As many children in public K-12 schools have gone back to school this month, we understand this may cause challenges for our employees. We are working with the UNC System on further guidance on how this may be addressed. As a reminder, up to 12 weeks of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave remains available to eligible employees with childcare issues as a result of COVID-19. If FFCRA leave is exhausted, employees must use their accrued leave. If an employee has used all their accrued leave and other paid time off, they may be eligible for leave from the COVID-19 Leave Bank.

Employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisor for potential options for teleworking or flexing their work schedules to meet childcare needs. In addition, employees are encouraged to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for resources to address child/elder care issues.

Open Enrollment for 2021 plan year
2021 Open Enrollment for the State Health Plan and NCFlex benefits for eligible employees will be held Oct.15-31, 2020. No rates will increase for NCFlex benefits, and there will be no premium increases for the State Health Plan for the third year in a row. As a reminder, tobacco users have until Nov. 30, 2020, to complete a tobacco cessation counseling session to lower their premiums. Eligible employees will receive more information from the Benefits Office, the State Health Plan and NCFlex as we get closer to the enrollment period.

Deadline to make changes to NCFlex Benefits for 2020
NCFlex released information in early June regarding allowed changes to FSAs, vision plans and dental plans. Employees can potentially add coverage and add or remove dependents, but are not able to switch between plans (i.e. move from the Low to Classic Plan or High to Low Plan). Cancellations are not allowed for dental and vision plans. Please view NCFlex website for information on rates. If you wish to make changes to your Health Care FSA, Dependent Day Care FSA, vision or dental plans, you must complete this Google Form by noon on Sept. 30, 2020. The Benefits Office will submit an exception request on your behalf to NCFlex. The Benefits Office has received a high volume of exceptions and is processing them as quickly as possible. Please allow NCFlex 5-10 days for processing.

Resources and Assistance

Please remember that HR is here to help support our employees in any way that we can. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources

Colleagues -- 

As we draw closer to the beginning of the academic year, I wanted to share with you updated information from the UNC System on leave and work provisions as well as some reminders. This message is long, but please read the following information carefully. Additionally, we have scheduled more virtual town hall meetings to help address your questions and concerns. 

Employee Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Next week, the University will hold two online faculty and staff town hall sessions to answer questions you have about the return to on-campus operations. 

  • The first session will be held on Thursday, July 30, at 10 a.m. and is designated for managers. Please RSVP to this form

  • The second, open to all employees, will be held on Friday, July 31, at 11 a.m. RSVP by completing this form.  

Questions and answers from the previous town hall have been added to the Niner Nation Cares website (academics, campus life, etc) and the Emergency Management website (HR reopening plans, etc). Additional town halls will be held in August as we move closer to the start of the academic year. 

Updated Leave and Work Provision Guidance from the UNC System 

After consultation with the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), the UNC System Office issued new work and leave provisions effective Aug. 1 until revised or rescinded.

Administrative Leave COVID-19
For Administrative Leave COVID-19, the following changes are in effect beginning Aug. 1:

  • Employees who cannot telework: Administrative Leave COVID-19 is no longer available for employees who cannot telework due to the nature of their jobs. Employees must use their own accrued leave or accrued paid time off for hours not worked.

  • Elder care needs: Employees who need to use Administrative Leave COVID-19 for elder care needs due to COVID-19-related elder care facility closings can receive administrative leave at two-thirds of their pay for a maximum of 12 weeks. This mirrors the childcare provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Once this leave is exhausted, employees must use their own accrued leave or accrued paid time off for hours they did not work.

  • Employees still under mandatory quarantine and not cleared to return to work: Employees who have exhausted all their FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave, all of their accrued leave and all of their accrued paid time off, employees who cannot work due to being subject to quarantine/isolation order, due to being advised to self-quarantine, or due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis will receive Administrative Leave COVID-19 at 100% of their pay. 

Employees who have exhausted all of their leave and paid time off could be eligible to receive donated leave from the COVID-19 leave bank. See below for more information.

Expanded Community Service Leave
Permanent SHRA and EHRA employees who wish to volunteer time with non-profit organizations on COVID-19 activities may use up to 80 hours of Expanded Community Service Leave. Employees must gain approval from their supervisors before using this leave. These hours are accounted for separately from an employee’s regular community service leave allotment. Additional information about accounting for this time will be provided at a later date.

Childcare
We understand the decision for all public K-12 schools to embrace some form of online instruction in the fall may cause challenges for our employees. We are working with the UNC System on further guidance on how this may be addressed. As a reminder, up to 12 weeks of  Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave remains available to eligible employees with childcare issues as a result of COVID-19. 

Employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisor for potential options for teleworking or flexing their work schedules to meet childcare needs. In addition, employees are encouraged to reach out to the employee assistance program (EAP) for resources to address child/elder care issues.  

Reminders

COVID-19 Leave Bank
UNC Charlotte created the COVID-19 Leave Bank so employees can donate leave to colleagues who cannot work due to specific COVID-19-related reasons and who have exhausted their accrued leave. Eligible employees who are absent between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, for the following reasons may receive donated leave:

  • The employee is unable to telework due to the nature of their position,

  • The employee has ongoing childcare needs due to COVID-19-related facility closing, or

  • The employee has ongoing elder care needs due to COVID-19-related facility closing.

The employee also must have exhausted all personal leave and all accrued paid time off. More information is available on the HR website.

Eligible employees who wish to donate sick, vacation or BONREG leave to the COVID-19 leave bank may do so by completing this form.

Accrued leave can be used interchangeably
Through Dec. 31, 2020, employees can use their accrued sick leave, vacation and bonus leave interchangeably, regardless of the reason for their absence. The reason does not have to be related to COVID-19. For example, an employee may use their sick leave for a vacation or vacation leave for a medical appointment.

Resources and Assistance

As always, I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember HR is here to offer support to our employees any way we can. 

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor

Human Resources

Reminders

COVID-19 Leave Bank
In response to ongoing needs of employees, UNC Charlotte has created a “leave bank” so employees can donate leave to colleagues who cannot work due to COVID-19 and have exhausted their accrued leave. Donations for this new program are made to the leave bank, not to individual recipients. The donations will be equitably distributed to all employees who meet eligibility criteria.
 
An employee interested in donating leave needs to complete the UNC Charlotte COVID-19 Leave Bank Donation Form. Eligible leave donations will be subtracted from the donor’s Kronos account within the first two weeks of the following month.
 
Reference COVID-19 Leave Bank on the HR website for additional details.
 
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) includes two acts that apply to the University and provide paid leave benefits to University employees affected by COVID-19. This regulation is effective April 1, 2020, and expires Dec. 31, 2020. Reference FFCRA for details.
 
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees out of work due to a serious health condition or need to care for a family member with a serious health condition may qualify for FMLA.  
 
  • Reference the FMLA webpage for more details.  
  • Employees may also complete an online FMLA Application, including some forms that can be downloaded for their supervisor and medical provider to complete.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) -- Changes due to COVID-19
NCFlex released information in early June regarding allowed changes to FSAs per IRS guidance released in May. These changes were discussed in a webinar on June 24. If you missed the webinar, you can access the recording on the NCFlex YouTube channel. Other resources include: Q&As from the June 17 session and an FAQ on recent FSA changes due to COVID-19.
 
Note: NC Flex made the following two corrections since this webinar: The new HCFSA yearly amount for 2021 is currently $2,750 (not $2,800). The filing deadline for 2019 HCFSA and Dependent Daycare FSA claims has been set to Sept. 30, 2020.
 
Email the Benefits Office at benefits@uncc.edu if you would like to make a change to either Flexible Spending Accounts. The Benefits Office will submit an exception request on your behalf to NCFlex. The Benefits Office has received a high volume of exceptions and are processing them as quickly as possible. Please allow NCFlex 5-10 days for processing. Exception requests for FSA changes due to COVID-19, without a qualifying event, will be accepted through Sept. 30, 2020.
 
Secure methods to send information to the Benefits Office
Please use the following methods to securely send sensitive information to the Benefits Office:
  • Click here for directions to submit medical documentation (this option can be used for additional reasons):
    • FMLA, COVID-19 Test Results, Return to work notes, etc.
    • Retirement, Salary Reduction Agreements, etc.
  • Login to eBenefits and use the Document Center for qualifying event documentation (letter of lost/gained coverage, dependent verification, i.e.)
  • Fax: 704-687-5254
  • Mail: Human Resources Department - Benefits, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

Updates and Important Dates

NC 529 Savings Plan and paying for college
Join CFNC/NC 529 Regional Representative Timeka Ruffin for a webinar series all month long that will cover everything you need to know about the NC 529 Savings Plan and paying for college.
No registration required. Click “JOIN NOW “at the date and time listed.
  • Saving for College – Tuesday, July 14, at 1 p.m. JOIN NOW
  • Repaying Student Loans – Friday, July 17, at 11 a.m. JOIN NOW
  • Resources to Pay for College – Tuesday, July 21, at 2 p.m. JOIN NOW
  • Saving for College – Thursday, July 23, at 10 a.m. JOIN NOW
  • Resources to Pay for College – Wednesday, July 29, at 1 p.m. JOIN NOW
 
To enroll in the NC 529 Plan or change/stop contributions:
Complete the online transaction
  • Provide a copy of your payroll deduction authorization to the Benefits Office
 
  • Send the original to the vendor noted on the form
  • Provide a copy of your Enrollment and Participation Agreement to the Benefits Office
 
Reference the above or hr.uncc.edu/benefits for methods to upload documentation. Verify your 529 Plan deduction enrollment/change on your paycheck and notify the Benefits Office at benefits@uncc.edu or 704-687-8134 of any discrepancies once complete. For more information, visit College Foundation of North Carolina for plan details.
 
Open Enrollment date scheduled
Open Enrollment for the 2021 plan year for the State Health Plan and NCFlex has been scheduled for Oct. 15-31, 2020. More details will be shared as they become available.
 
As of July 1, 2020, tobacco users can attend a tobacco cessation counseling session at a CVS MinuteClinic or their primary care provider’s (PCP) office for free to earn a lower premium for 2021. You have until Nov. 30, 2020, to take action. (If you combine your tobacco cessation visit with another service, there may be a copay.) Reference the Get A Head Start On Open Enrollment document for more information.
 

Questions?

We know this is a challenging time for many of our employees. The Benefits Office continues to work remotely and offer our employees support in any way we can. You can reach out to us at benefits@uncc.edu or 704-687-8134.
 
Additionally, you can consult these resources:

Colleagues -- 
 
Since my last message, there have been several important changes regarding leave policies and face covering advisories. This message is long, but please read the following information carefully. Additionally, we are scheduling virtual town hall meetings to help address your questions. 
 
Virtual town hall meetings
During the week of July 6, the University will hold two online faculty and staff town hall sessions to answer questions you have about the return to on-campus operations.
The first session to be held on Monday, July 6, at 10:30 a.m is designed for managers. Please RSVP to this form. 
 
The second, open to all employees, will be held on Friday, July 10, at 1 p.m. RSVP by completing this form
 
You will be sent log-in information via a Google calendar invitation for the sessions. In the RSVP forms, you will see a place for you to give some advance feedback about what is on your mind so we can make sure we tailor these sessions to the topics that are of most interest.
 
Governor Cooper extends Phase 2 and requires face coverings in NC
On Wednesday, June 24, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced he was extending the Safer at Home Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan until at least July 17 in an ongoing effort to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As previously stated, teleworking is strongly encouraged under Phase 2. Some campus offices and departments have begun to open up with increased safety measures and physical distancing requirements in preparation for the fall semester after receiving approval to do so through our Returning to Campus plan
 
In addition, Governor Cooper’s executive order requires individuals to wear face coverings when they are indoors and in outdoor public places, where staying six feet apart from people who are not a part of their households is impossible. There are exceptions to this order, which can be reviewed along with other information in the state’s Phase 2 extension FAQs and North Carolina’s interim guidance on face coverings.
 
University face covering advisory changes
In response to new guidelines issued by the Office of State Human Resources and additional guidance from the UNC System Office, UNC Charlotte has revised our Employee Return to Work Guide. Everyone is expected to wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth whenever they are indoors (even if not within six feet of another person) unless they are alone in a personal space. Management may grant exceptions for medical conditions or a specific job duty or task that does not accommodate the wearing of a cloth face covering. Please consult with your supervisor if you have questions.
 
Administrative Leave COVID-19 changes effective July 1
After consultation with the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), the UNC System Office recently issued new guidance on work and leave provisions effective July 1 and in place until revised or rescinded. For Administrative COVID-19, the following changes are in effect:
 
  • Employees who cannot telework: Employees who cannot telework due to the nature of their jobs may continue to use the modified Administrative Leave COVID-19. However, the amount of administrative leave to be used has been reduced to one-third of the employee’s pay for the scheduled hours they cannot telework. 
  • High-risk employees: Administrative Leave COVID-19 is no longer available for high- risk employees. Employees not working due to high-risk situations must use their own leave or leave without pay. Employees who are considered high risk or are caring for individuals who are considered high risk must submit either a Request for High Risk Special Consideration Form or Request to Return to Work Form to HR.
  • Elder care needs: Employees who need to use Administrative Leave COVID-19 for elder care needs due to COVID-19-related elder care facility closings can receive administrative leave at the original two-thirds rate for a maximum of 12 weeks. This mirrors the childcare provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Once an employee has exhausted 12 weeks at the two-thirds rate, the administrative leave will be reduced to one-third rate, as long as administrative leave is still in effect. 
As a reminder, employees can choose to supplement the Administrative Leave COVID-19 pay with their available leave. Leave will be used from their available leave balances in the following order: Compensatory Time (all types) > Sick Leave > Vacation Leave > Bonus Leave (BONSAL, then BONSPL, then BONREG).

University to implement COVID-19 leave bank
The new guidance from the System also allows for the opportunity for institutions to create a “leave bank” so employees can donate leave to colleagues who cannot work due to COVID-19 but who have exhausted their accrued leave, similar to the voluntary shared leave program. Unlike the voluntary shared leave program, donations for this new program are made to a leave bank, not to individual recipients. The donations will be equitably distributed to all employees who meet eligibility criteria.
For more information on both donating and receiving leave, please visit the HR website
 
Resources and Assistance
As always, I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support and collaboration as we navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Please remember that HR is here to offer support to our employees any way that we can. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor

Human Resources

Colleagues --

Much like reopening businesses and operations throughout the state, we are in the process of a gradual return to on-campus work. As previously communicated, teleworking is still strongly encouraged whenever possible until further notice. However, as we prepare campus for the fall semester, it is expected that supervisors will begin returning employees to the workplace, beginning with those who are unable to perform their job duties remotely and those employees who are currently teleworking but are needed to perform essential functions onsite.

Please note: No employee may return to work without permission, and no department or area may allow employees to return without seeking approval as outlined on the Emergency Management website.

The UNC System Office recently issued additional guidance that affects leave provisions and Administrative Leave COVID-19 effective June 1, 2020, and continuing until revised or rescinded. While administrative leave will still be available, leave under the provisions has significantly changed. Depending on the situation, an individual may need to apply for leave available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), traditional Family Medical Leave or request accommodation to address their individual needs. Please review the information below carefully.

The revised Administrative Leave COVID-19 provisions:

  • Reduce the amount of paid administrative leave to two-thirds regular pay. Eligible employees can supplement the remaining one-third with any other accrued leave. Compensatory time, if available, must be used first before other types of leave.
  • Modify who may or may not use administrative leave. Beginning June 1, temporary and student workers will no longer be eligible for administrative leave and will only be paid for hours worked, either onsite or teleworking. If any of the FFCRA qualifying events apply, temporary and student workers may be eligible for leave under that provision. Refer to the FFCRA website for more details.

Continued use of paid administrative leave:

Eligible employees may continue to use the modified Administrative Leave COVID-19 if:

  • They cannot telework due to the nature of their jobs.
  • They are providing eldercare due to an eldercare facility being closed because of COVID-19. (Please note: Childcare is covered in FFCRA.)
  • They are considered a high-risk individual or are caring for a high-risk individual. If this situation applies, the employee must submit either a Request for High Risk Special Consideration Form or Request to Return to Work Form to HR for consideration. The employee may continue to use administrative leave while HR is evaluating the request.

Employees may not use the modified Administrative Leave COVID-19 if:

  • Eligible FFCRA situations, such as childcare needs, apply.
  • Employees are temporary or student workers. These workers will no longer be eligible for this administrative leave and will only be paid for hours worked, either onsite or teleworking.
  • HR has completed the evaluation of high-risk individuals and provided specific guidance to address their situation.

For more information, please reference this chart.  

Use of leave guidelines
Compensatory time, if available, must be used first before any other leave. Through Dec. 31, 2020, all employees, regardless of whether they are using the modified administrative leave benefits, may use accrued compensatory time, sick leave, vacation leave and bonus leave interchangeably.  

Accounting for time
More details will be forthcoming regarding timesheet and leave processing and will be shared with employees, supervisors and business officers as soon as possible.At this time, please do not enter additional Administrative Leave COVID-19 requests in Kronos or Web Time Entry (WTE) until further guidance is released.

Accommodations
Employees who are considered high risk can request reasonable accommodations and are encouraged to review PIM 50: Reasonable Accommodation and submit an accommodation request form.

Questions?
For general questions, contact Cindy Edwards at ckedward@uncc.edu.
For specific questions on FFCRA, contact Krissy Kaylor at krissy.kaylor@uncc.edu.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources

On Tuesday, May 5, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the stay-at-home order for North Carolina would be modified at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, and Phase 1 of his plan to reopen the state would begin.
 
UNC Charlotte is committed to the health and wellbeing of our employees and students and will follow a gradual return to on-campus work to allow for the implementation of appropriate social distancing protocols.
 
Here is what University employees need to know after 5 p.m. Friday, May 8.  
 
Working on Campus
Employees
  • Currently teleworking: If you have been working from home, you should continue to do so until further notice. You should not report to campus without being directed to return.
 
  • Currently mandatory and reporting to campus: If you are a mandatory employee who has been reporting to campus, you should still do so at the direction of your manager. See below for information about additional compensation for mandatory on-campus employees.
 
  • Currently on administrative leave: If you are currently on administrative leave and are unable to resume your duties, administrative leave has been extended (see below for more information).
 
Managers
  • For employees currently teleworking: You should continue to encourage your employees to telework whenever possible.
 
  • For employees on administrative leave: If you have employees who are on administrative leave and are unable to resume their duties, you may allow them to continue to use administrative leave (see below for more information).
 
  • For mandatory employees already working on campus: Mandatory employees who are already reporting to campus to perform their duties should continue to be allowed to report to campus See below for information about additional compensation for mandatory on-campus employees.
 
  • For all other employees who wish to return to working on campus: No other employees (those who have not already been working on campus as mandatory) may return to work without manager permission during this time. No department or area may allow other employees to return without completing a plan that outlines social distancing and safety measures that will be taken to accommodate the return of additional employees. This includes all University divisions. The appropriate associate vice chancellor, dean or associate provost must approve the plan before undergoing final review by the University's Policy Group. Please review the Emergency Management website for more information on plan requirements and next steps.
  • If you already have a plan in place for mandatory employees working on campus, you do not need to create a new plan, but you may need to enhance your existing plan to account for additional workers and/or the plan components outlined on the Emergency Management website.
  • It is not expected there will be many departments with additional employees returning to campus during the state’s Phase 1 reopening, but plans will need to be in place for subsequent phases.
 
Administrative Leave
Administrative paid leave for all mandatory and non-mandatory employees, including temporary and student employees, has been extended by the UNC System beyond May 8 and until further notice for individuals who qualify, which include:  
  • High-risk mandatory employees
  • Employees with childcare or eldercare issues
  • Employees unable to telework
  • Employees who are ill from cold, flu or COVID-19
 
Important Notes
  • The compensation for temporary and student workers expires when their current term of employment expires. (Example: If a temporary or student worker’s term of employment is set to expire on May 15 and there is no additional work for them to complete that justifies an extension, they are not eligible for administrative leave beyond May 15.)
 
 
 
Additional Compensation for Mandatory On-campus Employees
Effective April 1 through May 8, mandatory employees required to be onsite qualified for additional compensation at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked on campus. This provision will expire on May 8. Employees who have earned this additional compensation will receive a cash payout, currently planned for the end of May. Beginning May 9, any employee required to work on campus will receive their standard rate of pay for their regular work schedules. Any required overtime will continue to be compensated at the standard rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked, most often awarded in compensatory time off.
 
Resources

Colleagues--

Below are important updates regarding administrative leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Please review the information carefully.

Extension of Administrative Leave COVID-19 and Compensation for Mandatory Employees
Per guidance from the UNC System, Administrative Leave COVID-19 has been extended through May 8. Please consult the information posted
previously on the Emergency Management website for additional information.

In addition, through May 8, eligible mandatory employees will receive added compensation for all hours they are required to work on campus during the COVID-19 event. Please consult my previous communication on April 3 for more information.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act 
The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted to address the impact of COVID-19 in the United States. This includes two types of leave
that apply to the University and provide paid leave benefits to eligible University employees. This regulation is effective April 1, 2020, and expires December 31, 2020.

UNC System institutions had until May 1, 2020, to implement the leave programs outlined in the federal legislation. While we are implementing FFCRA at UNC Charlotte today, May 1, 2020, we will honor any requests for leave retroactively to April 1. However, since Administrative Leave COVID-19 is available through May 8, 2020, it may be to your benefit to wait to request Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave until after that date. 

New FFCRA Leave Benefits:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) allows up to two weeks of paid leave (80 hours total, pro-rated for part-time employees) based on the type of qualifying event (daily and total pay limits apply). 

  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) allows up to 12 weeks of paid leave if the qualifying event is “is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.” The first two weeks are unpaid, but the employee may use other eligible paid leave during that time, including EPSLA. Employees are allowed up to 10 additional weeks of paid leave (daily and total pay limits apply).

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Eligible employees may supplement the cap limits with Administrative Leave COVID-19 (if available), or personal leave (i.e., Comp Time, Vacation, Bonus or Sick Leave).

More information on qualifying events, benefit payout and caps for both types of leave is available in this chart.

Employee eligibility under FFCRA 

You are eligible to apply if: 

  • You are employed in any classification (full-time, part-time, etc.) of job except for Federal Work Study

    • No length of service requirement for emergency paid sick leave.

    • Must be employed for 30 calendar days to be eligible for Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Act.

  • You are currently performing your job duties, including through teleworking, and become unable to do so because of a FFCRA COVID-19 Qualifying Event.

You are ineligible to apply if: 

  • You are not currently performing your job duties, including through teleworking, for any reason other than FFCRA COVID-19 Qualifying Events. 

  • You are employed in a Federal Work Study capacity. 

  • Please note: Disruption in elder care, not working due to high risk, or being unable to telework due to the nature of your job are not valid qualifications under the federal guidelines. Individuals that do not qualify for FFCRA in those situations, may use Administrative Leave COVID-19 (which is available until May 8, 2020), their own accrued leave, or leave without pay subject to supervisor approval.

More information and resources are available on HR’s FFCRA webpage

We know this information is complex, and HR is here to help. Our offices will continue to remain open remotely and offer support to our employees in whatever way we can. You can reach out to the Benefits office at Benefits@uncc.edu 704-687-8134 or Krissy Kaylor, Benefits Director at Krissy.Kaylor@uncc.edu for specific questions.

Stay healthy and safe. 

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor

Human Resources

Colleagues,

I wanted to follow up with additional information from my March 30 message regarding compensation for mandatory, on-campus employees. Effective April 1 through April 30, 2020, eligible mandatory employees will receive added compensation for all hours they are required to work on campus during the COVID-19 event. Remote (teleworking) hours are not eligible for added compensation under these special pay provisions.

Please review the information below carefully, as this provision contains several nuances.

Employees Eligible for Added Compensation

Hourly (FLSA non‐exempt) mandatory permanent, or time-limited, employees

  • These employees will receive 1.5 hours of compensatory leave for each hour worked on campus.
  • They will also continue to receive 1.5 hours of compensatory leave for each hour worked over 40 during the work week, in accordance with federal overtime rules.  
  • Please see important information below for exceptions that may be made in how this compensation is awarded.

Salaried (FLSA exempt) mandatory permanent, or time-limited, employees who earn $65,000 or less  annually in base salary

  • These employees will receive 1.5 hours of compensatory leave for each hour worked on campus.
  • Please see important information below for exceptions that may be made in how this compensation is awarded.  

Employees Exempt from Added Compensation

  • Salaried (FLSA exempt) mandatory permanent, or time-limited, employees who earn more than $65,000 annually in base salary are not eligible for this added compensation.

The following positions, even if designated mandatory and earning below $65,000, are excluded from these special compensation provisions:

  • Tier I and Tier II senior academic and administrative officers (SAAO)
  • Faculty
  • Physicians
  • Directors and deputy directors of major institution‐wide or school‐wide functions and centers
  • Department heads
  • Division heads
  • Academic department administrators
  • Research administrators
  • Coaches and athletic administrators

Please note: The University has the discretion to exclude other highly compensated individuals who exercise leadership responsibilities of a designated department, division or unit of the University who are not otherwise indicated above by classification or title.

Temporary and Student Employees

Most temporary employees, including student workers, are not mandated to work onsite during the COVID-19 event. If you do employ a temporary or student employee who is required to perform mandatory, onsite work, please submit an email to me at gwstinne@uncc.edu.

In your email, please explain why there is a need for an exception to direct a temporary or student worker to work onsite as a mandatory employee during this event.

Please note: Temporary employment is not the same thing as time-limited employment.  Temporary employees are typically employed for a short amount of time, working less than 40 hours a week. Time-limited employment typically involves a full 40-hour work week, lasting a year or more in duration. Time-limited  employees are eligible for the added compensation, contingent they meet all other requirements outlined above. For more information, please contact hr@uncc.edu.

Compensatory Time vs. Payment

Given the financial considerations associated with the implementation of these special compensation provisions, it is the University’s intent to award compensatory time off to mandatory employees for all hours required to be worked onsite during the COVID-19 event.

However, the University has the discretion to award this special compensation as a lump sum payment, as a series of payments, as paid leave, or in any combination of those options within twelve (12) months of the date of accrual. The hours worked will be collected, reviewed and then analyzed at a later date. After this analysis is complete, employees will receive the compensatory time or payment as determined by University leadership. More information will be shared with employees when this determination is made.

Questions and More Information

  • For questions about eligibility for the compensation or how the compensation will be awarded, email gwstinne@uncc.edu.
  • Other questions pertaining to this special compensation should be directed to Kieffer Gaddis at kgaddis@uncc.edu.
  • Information and instructions on how mandatory employees working on onsite should record their time in Kronos is available online. This applies to both hourly and eligible exempt employees.                             

As always, I appreciate your ongoing patience and support.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources

Colleagues--

There are some important HR updates and reminders that I want to share with you. Please review the information below carefully. 

Administrative leave and compensation for on-campus mandatory employees
We have received additional guidance from the UNC System Office about administrative leave and compensation for on-campus mandatory employees. 

  • Administrative leave has been extended through April 30. Please consult the information posted previously on the Emergency Management website for additional information.

  • Compensation for on-campus mandatory employees: Effective April 1 through April 30, hourly mandatory employees required to be onsite will receive additional compensation at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked on campus. Some exempt employees may also be eligible for this compensation.  The System has directed institutions to determine which exempt mandatory employees will be eligible for this compensation and if the compensation will be in the form of compensatory time off, additional pay or a combination of both. Chancellor Dubois has taken this question under advisement while he assesses the state of UNC Charlotte’s budget going forward.  The loss of enrollment associated with the campus shooting of April 30, 2019, has had negative consequences for tuition revenues, while the consequences of COVID-19 for the upcoming fall enrollment remain to be seen. UNC Charlotte expects to have more information to share with supervisors and employees no later than early next week about how we will implement this directive. Please note: This does not change the direction that employees telework whenever possible or be placed on administrative leave. Only employees required to perform essential services on campus are eligible for this additional compensation. Divisional leadership will work with supervisors to review employees deemed mandatory for onsite services. 

Reminders about Resources
This is a time of change and difficulty for many of our employees as you transition to working from home, as well as providing care for your children, at-risk relatives and others who are vulnerable to the virus.  We are also grateful to those employees who continue to perform essential functions on campus.   

I wanted to remind you there are still resources available to all employees during this unprecedented time, including the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  

As part of the EAP, ComPsych offers confidential counseling, financial resources, legal support, work-life solutions and more guidance for our UNC Charlotte employees. For more information about this program, please visit the Employee Assistance Program website

Some other resources are listed below:

Additionally, the University also offers employees experiencing economic difficulties access to emergency loans up to $250. If you are in a position to do so and feel inclined to help, donations to the emergency loan fund can be made via the UNC Charlotte giving website

We’re all working together to help sustain and strengthen the UNC Charlotte community, and I appreciate your support. 

HR will continue to remain open remotely and offer support to our employees. You can reach out to Cindy Edwards or me with specific questions.

Sincerely,

Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor

Human Resources

Colleagues--
 
As a follow-up to the March 17 update from Chancellor Dubois on UNC Charlotte’s COVID-19 response,  I wanted to provide the following guidance for leave timekeeping and entries for mandatory and non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who qualify for paid administrative leave, which we will refer to as Administrative Leave COVID-19.
 
Please remember how important it is to be intentional in your communication during this unusual and stressful time. Supervisors and employees should be in regular contact with each other to ensure understanding of expectations and challenges in the execution of job duties.
 
When effective
This guidance is effective from March 15 until March 31. Continue to monitor your email for future updates.
 
Time entry guidance for temporary and student workers:
Active temporary and student workers who cannot work remotely, do not have reasonable alternative remote work or qualify for other reasons as noted on the Emergency Management website are eligible for Administrative Leave COVID-19. This leave is to be based on the employee’s average hours worked per week over the course of a month.
 
Temporary/student worker actions needed:
  • Enter actual hours worked in Web Time Entry (WTE), if any, just as you normally would
  • Enter Administrative Leave COVID-19 for the remaining normally scheduled work hours
 
Supervisor actions needed:
  • Review and approve WTE hours worked, just as you normally would, along with any Administrative Leave COVID-19 time entered, which will be shown on the same WTE screen
  • Ensure that, if time is entered for Administrative Leave COVID-19, the total hours to be paid to an employee do not exceed the average hours they worked per week over the past month. Your business officers will be receiving reports with this information that can assist with this.
  • Follow-up with temporary/student workers as needed to request or clarify entries
 
It is important to note that all normal WTE timesheet submission and approval deadlines still apply. If a timesheet for a student or temporary employee that includes Administrative Leave COVID-19 is not submitted AND approved by the deadline, the employee will not receive paid administrative leave for that time period on the designated pay date.
 
Please also note that Administrative Leave COVID-19 will be paid from the same funding source as that of the employee’s regular pay. No additional information about alternate sources of funding is available at this time.
 
More information and detailed instructions can be found here.
 
Administrative Leave COVID-19 leave entry guidance for permanent employees:
Active permanent employees who cannot work remotely, do not have reasonable alternative remote work or qualify for other reasons as noted on the Emergency Management website are eligible for Administrative Leave COVID-19.
 
Permanent worker actions needed:
  • Request Administrative Leave COVID-19 in Kronos for eligible hours not worked, just as you would request other leave such as vacation or bonus leave
 
Supervisor actions needed:
  • Review and approve Administrative Leave COVID-19 in Kronos
  • Follow-up with permanent employees as needed to clarify entries
 
More information and detailed instructions can be found here.
 
Questions?
Contact your supervisor for timekeeping/leave assistance and for general questions. For other questions, please contact:
 
Web Time Entry (Temporary/Student Workers):
 
Kronos WFR (Permanent Employees):
 
Administrative Leave COVID-19 general questions:
  • Temporary and Student Workers: Tracy Worthey, Director of Staff Employment & Records Management, taworthe@uncc.edu, 704-687-0670
  • Permanent Employees: Krissy Kaylor, Benefits Director, kstaffo1@uncc.edu, 704-687-0649
 
Resources:
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources
Colleagues --
 
As you may have seen yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order that closed all North Carolina K-12 public schools for at least two weeks.
 
We understand this announcement may present additional challenges for many of our employees, including students and temporary employees.
 
I want to reinforce the University’s position that we extend the maximum flexibility to all employees for teleworking until further notice. Please review the FAQ’s and other resources available on the Emergency Management website for more information.
 
There has been no indication from the UNC System that Governor Cooper’s executive order will have further effects on the University, but should that change, we will certainly let you know.
 
It has been said many times, but it is true: This is a rapidly changing situation. Please monitor your email regularly for the latest guidance and information.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources
Colleagues --
 
As a follow-up to the NinerNotice issued on March 12, I wanted to provide additional guidance on how employees and supervisors should operate in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19). It is available on an "Additional Information for Staff" page on the coronavirus website.  We will continue to provide information on this page.
 
I want to stress how fluid this situation is. As circumstances evolve throughout the nation, and right here in Mecklenburg County, it is likely our guidance will continue to evolve too. I ask for your patience and understanding as you are called upon to adapt quickly and use your best judgment in the execution of your duties. We are in uncharted waters, and we are all being asked to respond in unique ways. Let my office know how we can assist.
 
Please review the available information and the staff section of the FAQ. We will continue to add to and update the questions as we move through the days ahead. Please check the website often.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Gary W. Stinnett
Associate Vice Chancellor
Human Resources