students in chapel

Back-to-Work Questionnaire

spring 2021 Reopening Plan

Spring 2021

When will all staff be able to return to campus and resume onsite work schedules?

At this time, only employees designated as onsite or hybrid should report to campus until further notice. UMass Amherst will follow guidance from public health officials, federal and state agencies, as appropriate. Updates will be provided as they become available. 

Who will let me know if I will be remote, onsite, or hybrid (partial onsite and remote) for the spring?

Your supervisor will reach out to you verbally and/or via email to inform you of your spring designation which may be subject to change as University operations change. 

My supervisor changed my schedule (e.g., from second/third/weekend shift to first shift Monday through Friday). Is this allowed?  Will I lose my shift differential?

Supervisors may change your shifts, assignments, and/or work locations to meet the health and safety of our community and campus operational needs. Shift differentials will be paid for eligible hours as defined by the collective bargaining agreement.   

I have been designated as an onsite or hybrid employee. What precautions is the university taking to ensure the safety of employees during COVID-19?
The university continues to implement and update as needed a variety of safety measures to ensure the safety of students and employees on campus. For the most up-to-date information regarding precautions, please refer to the Health and Safety FAQ guidelines. 

As on onsite employee, will I be required to wear a mask while on campus?

The university requires the use of face coverings on campus when in public locations, whether indoors or outdoors, even in instances where you are able to maintain six feet of distance from others, in accordance with the Massachusetts order effective on November 6, 2020 by Governor Charlie Baker. This includes wearing a mask when alone in office spaces. 

Under what circumstances would I not be required to wear a mask?

There is a small set of instances where face coverings are not required which includes, having a medical or disabling condition, where a face covering would impede communication by or with a person who has a hearing impairment or other disability, or while eating or drinking while seated.

I am unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.  What should I do?

The university recognizes employees may need additional accommodations or support and will continue to actively engage with those for whom wearing a mask is partially or completely prohibitive. Employees are encouraged to contact the Accessible Workplace Office to discuss reasonable alternative accommodations. 

I have been designated as an onsite or hybrid employee. Is there anything I need to do before reporting to work?

Employees are required to perform, on a daily basis, the University checklist of COVID-19 related symptoms and refrain from reporting to work if they are symptomatic.  We also encourage all employees to view the Returning Safely video that gives information on best practices and protocols to keep the university safe.

I have been designated as an onsite or hybrid employee, but I also fall into one of the CDC’s high-risk categories (65 or older, pregnant, and those with underlying medical conditions). Do I have an option to change my on-site status to remote?                                        
Employees who fall within high risk categories as outlined by the CDC, including individuals 65 or older, pregnant, and those with underlying medical conditions, may be eligible for remote work status or reasonable onsite reassignment depending on the nature of their work.  Staff requesting an alternative or adjustment to their onsite assignment should complete an online request using the Staff Flexible Working Arrangement Request Form.

 I have been designated as an onsite or hybrid employee, but I do not fall into one of the CDC’s high-risk categories (65 or older, pregnant, and those with underlying medical conditions). Do I have an option to change my on-site status to remote?                                        

Employees who do not fall within high risk categories as outlined by the CDC (including individuals 65 or older, pregnant, and those with underlying medical conditions) may request an alternative or adjustment to their onsite assignment by completing an online request using the Staff Flexible Working Arrangement Request Form.

 What if my request for an alternative work arrangement or adjustment to my onsite assignment is denied?

Employees who are assigned to work onsite or hybrid and whose request has been denied, may use accrued personal, vacation, or other accrued leave time as eligible under the collective bargaining agreement to stay in pay status. Employees who are in a high risk category have the additional option of using their accrued sick leave. 

If I was previously granted an exemption from working onsite in the Fall, and I have been designated as onsite or hybrid for Spring, do I have to reapply to remain remote?

Yes. Employees should complete an online request using the Staff Flexible Working Arrangement Request Form.

 I live with a family member who falls within a high risk category as outlined by the CDC and I have been designated as an onsite or hybrid employee. Can I make a request for an alternative work arrangement or adjustment to my onsite assignment?

Yes. You may make a request by completing the online Staff Flexible Working Arrangement Request Form. If a flexible working arrangement is not available for your position, you may use personal, vacation, or other accrued leave time as eligible under the collective bargaining agreement to stay in pay status.

I am an onsite employee.  Will there be COVID-19 testing available?

Yes.  On-site staff will be required to be tested once per week and will be reminded via email. This process, known as “surveillance” or “asymptomatic” testing is aimed at helping to quickly identify carriers.  This testing will be at no charge to the employee. Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can be tested at University Health Services or a medical provider of their choice.

I am a remote employee and I believe I have Covid symptoms. Can I receive testing at UMass?

No. You should contact your primary care physician. Testing is limited to onsite employees and students.

For additional HR related questions please contact your departmental Personnel Officer or utilize the following contacts:

Covid symptoms or related concerns: Covid19HR@umass.edu

Covid testing for onsite employees: testing@umass.edu

Medically related accommodations: accessibleworkplace@umass.edu