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Frequently Asked Questions for Staff & Faculty

We will continue to add additional information to this page more information becomes available and as necessary.

Compensation | Remote Work and Sick Leave | Leave Time Reporting | Health Care Benefits and Insurance | Payroll | Hiring and Staffing | Travel and Events | Campus/Space Closings 

Compensation

Will there be pay increases for continuing employees this coming year?

There will be no pay increases for continuing employees for the coming year. Though this was a difficult decision, faculty and staff compensation is the College’s largest annual expense, and taking this action will reduce growth of the budget significantly, thus helping us preserve jobs for faculty and staff.

I am a regular full- and part- time 12 month employee. Will my pay be affected by the College's ongoing modified operations?

At the onset of the disruption brought about by the pandemic, the College committed to compensating employees through May 31, including those who are unable to work due to special circumstances related to COVID-19 and those whose work is unavailable to them due to the College’s reduced operations. We are extending that practice to all regular full- and part-time 12-month employees through July 17. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.

​​​Please note that regular full- and part-time 12-month employees for whom work is not available due to the College’s ongoing modified operations may be reassigned to perform other duties. If you have questions about employment under our continued modified operations, please contact Human Resources

I am a non-benefited casual employee. Will my pay be affected by the College's ongoing modified operations?

Since we moved to modified operations in March, the College has continued to compensate non-benefited or “casual” employees based on average hours worked, and will continue to do so through May 31. Effective June 1, non-benefits-eligible casual employees will be paid for hours actually worked. If work is not available to casual employees, those individuals will not be paid.   
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I am a staff member in a nine- or 10-month position and/or a summer employee. Will my pay be affected by the College's ongoing modified operations?

As in-person activities on campus are canceled through at least July 31, there will be far fewer opportunities for work during the summer. This change primarily affects employees  in nine- and 10-month positions who ordinarily are hired to work in similar or new roles during the summer months. These individuals should note the following: 

  • The College will cover its portion of your health benefits as it does each summer.  
  • We encourage employees whose summer hours are reduced or eliminated due to the cancellation of summer programming to apply for unemployment compensation. While eligibility is determined solely by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Unemployment Compensation within the Department of Labor & Industry, we understand that employees with reduced or eliminated work hours may be eligible to apply for unemployment compensation, including federal dollars available as part of the CARES Act. 
  • The College will continue to look for opportunities to hire these individuals during the summer, provided work becomes available and if those individuals are willing and able to return. This could be in their current role or in a redeployed position that is needed to support the mission of the College.

 

Remote Work and Sick Leave

If I am feeling ill and exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms, should I stay home?

If you are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms, you must stay home and alert your supervisor. We also urge you to contact your health care provider. Regular full- and part- time 12 month employees who are ill and must stay home will not have sick time deducted from their balance through July 18. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off. 

If I think I might have been exposed to the virus, what should I do?  

If you think you might have been exposed to the virus, you should immediately contact your health care provider. Individuals in these circumstances should follow their doctor’s recommendations and alert their supervisor. 

I have been quarantined because of exposure to someone infected with COVID-19. What arrangements can be made?

If you have been quarantined, you must stay home and alert your supervisor. If you are feeling well enough to be able to work remotely from home, please make arrangements with your supervisor to do so. Regular full- and part- time 12-month employees who have been quarantined and are unable to make arrangements to work remotely will not have sick time deducted from your balance through July 17. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off. 

I need to stay home to care for a family member who is ill with COVID-19. What arrangements can be made?

If you are caring for a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19, you yourself have been exposed to COVID-19 and must stay home. If you are feeling well enough to be able to work remotely, please make arrangements with your supervisor to do so. If you are a regular full- and part- time 12 month employees who is unable to make arrangements to work remotely, you will not have sick time deducted from your balance through July 17. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off. 

I need to stay home with a child whose school has closed because of COVID-19. What arrangements can be made? 

If you are able to work remotely, please make arrangements with your supervisor to do so. If you are unable to make arrangements to work remotely, you will not have leave time deducted from your balance through July 17. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.

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I am in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC and need to stay home. What arrangements can be made?

Given these unique circumstances, staff members who are in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC and who are able to work remotely from home should make arrangements with their supervisors to do so. Staff members who are in a high risk group and are unable to work from home should stay home, and will not have leave time deducted from their balance through July 17. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.​​​​​​

I don't have a reliable internet connection or computer at home, or I need some other assistance with my remote working set up. Who should I contact?

Information Technology Services has been at work since the beginning of this crisis to ensure a seamless transition to remote working and learning, and have put together a variety of resources for faculty, staff, and students. You can also reach out for advice/consultation at support@swarthmore.edu or 610-328-8513.

 

Leave Time Reporting

I put all hours under COVID-19 when I was working off campus, is this correct? If not, how should I record my hours if I worked both from home and on campus?

All hours worked, whether on campus or from home, should be reported as Regular time, just as if you were here on campus. COVID-19 leave time should only be used to report unworked hours related to COVID-19 leave exemptions.  Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.
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During this period of modified operations, should I use the Administrative Leave code to report unworked time?

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary situation, we created the new COVID-19 code, which should be used to track unworked time during the period of modified operations. Please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.
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Are there instructions for Exempt Staff who are going to report sick time as COVID-19?

Exception time for exempt staff is reported using the Exempt Sick/Vacation Reporting App found on the Payroll website. Please remember that exempt leave time must be reported by midnight on the 5th of the month for time taken the month prior. Recorders should use the code COVID-19 for any hours associated with unworked, COVID-19 leave time during this period of modified operations, through July 17. COVID-19 leave time hours should be reported alongside any vacation and sick time used that month.  Please note that beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.

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Please note that to access the College payroll systems while working remotely, you will need to sign into the Swarthmore VPN (virtual private network). You can find instructions for accessing the VPN on the ITS website.

I’m a non-benefits eligible employee. Am I eligible to report COVID-19 leave time? If so, how do I enter these hours?

Non-benefits eligible employees who are not designated as essential employees during this period of modified operations and who would normally be scheduled to work will be considered to be on paid leave and will be paid their base pay rate for their typically scheduled daily hours through May 31, 2020. They should report their scheduled hours as COVID-19 time, with supervisor approval. 

Effective June 1, non-benefits-eligible casual employees will be paid for hours actually worked. If work is not available to casual employees, those individuals will not be paid. 
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If I am designated as an essential employee during this period of modified operations and take a day off, should I use my personal vacation time or COVID-19 time?

If you chose to take a day off for a reason that is unrelated to COVID-19, you would use a personal vacation day.
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I have a doctor’s appointment or an illness that is not related to COVID-19. Should I use my personal sick time?

Yes, for medical appointments or illnesses not related to COVID-19, you should use your personal sick time.
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As a benefits-eligible employee, will I continue to accrue vacation and sick time while on COVID-19 leave?

Yes, benefits-eligible employees will continue to accrue vacation and sick time while on COVID-19 leave.  However, please note that, beginning July 18, the College will no longer be able to provide unlimited COVID-19 leave time. Staff members will be compensated for actual time worked or by using accrued time off.
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Will the College be observing summer hours this year?

While many staff members are working remotely, supervisors may still make arrangements for their office or department to operate on a flexible summer schedule between Monday, June 15, and Friday, August 7, 2020. The flexible summer schedule would be as follows:

  • Monday –Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. 
  • Friday, 8 a.m. - noon 

Please note that Human Resources will not be collating and sharing a list of departments and offices operating on a summer schedule this year. With that in mind, we ask that departments and offices that plan to follow a summer schedule keep our community informed by updating their hours on their website, or posting to the faculty-staff digest when appropriate.​​​​​​

College Health Care

How will College-provided health care plans support care for staff members concerned about COVID-19?

Our College health care provider, Independence Blue Cross, has enacted measures to support members during this public health crisis, including covering testing performed at a hospital or approved laboratory, and lifting prescription refill restrictions. For the latest information, please visit the Independence Blue Cross COVID-19 website. You can also find FAQs here [PDF].

Are telehealth options covered by College benefit plans if I do not want to risk exposure to access care?

To help reduce potential exposure, Independence Blue Cross is encouraging members to use its telemedicine services by waiving cost-sharing on these visits through December 31, 2020. Employees must register for telehealth services by visiting MDLIVE.com/ibx or calling 877-764-6605. Telehealth services are virtual visits with a board-certified physician from the Independence Blue Cross MDLIVE network, conducted via secure video or mobile app. MDLIVE allows you and your covered dependents to address medical concerns from the convenience of your home or office, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What other resources are available for staff and faculty members looking for information and support related to health care services and coverage? 
  • Health Advocate
    Health Advocate is a no-cost service available to assist benefits-eligible staff members in navigating questions about health insurance, treatment, diagnosis, and more. Health Advocate can be reached at 866-695-8622, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
  • Carebridge Employee Assistance Program
    Carebridge’s website, myliferesource.com, offers a resource center with information related to COVID-19. Staff members using the Carebridge website for the first time must register using the access code YXDEY.

    The Carebridge team can also provide emotional support to those experiencing worry or anxiety. Carebridge can be reached by phone at 800-437-0911, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Payroll

As a regular full- or part- time 12-month employee, will I continue to be paid on a monthly and bi-weekly basis?

At this time, payroll processing will continue on a regular schedule. Please make every effort to complete your time entry in a timely manner. If you need assistance with time entry, please work with your supervisor. Please note that all benefits-eligible employees will continue to receive their full pay this semester.

What will happen if I currently receive a live check?

We encourage employees to sign up for direct deposit now [PDF] to ensure you receive your paycheck on time.

How will my time be approved?

Employees should continue to enter their hours worked as normal, and  supervisors should continue to approve them. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions related to time entry.

 

Hiring and Staffing 

Can staff searches proceed at this time?

Until further notice, there will be a freeze on filling vacant staff positions for positions posted after March 1, 2020. Some exceptions for certain positions that are critical to the needs of the College may be made with the written approval of the member of the President’s Staff who oversees that area, and in consultation with the senior staff as a whole. Faculty searches may proceed. 
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Can faculty searches proceed at this time?

Faculty searches may proceed at this time. Please contact Lynne Steuerle Schofield, associate dean of faculty for diversity, recruitment, and retention, for faculty and instructional staff positions. 

Will there be furloughs or other reductions in staffing levels?

The College is prioritizing the continued employment of as many individuals as it reasonably can. At this point, we are fortunate to be able to avoid furloughs and layoffs. However, we cannot rule out having to make difficult decisions in the future that could lead to a reduction in staffing levels, depending on a variety of unknown factors, such as the duration of the virus, government restrictions on travel, our fall enrollment numbers, and the financial-aid needs of those students. 
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Will staff members be receiving performance reviews this year?

This year, the performance review process will be streamlined and take place from Wednesday, July 1, through Monday, August 31, 2020.

The annual performance review process is a meaningful opportunity for supervisors to connect with their staff to highlight their accomplishments, offer constructive feedback on meeting their professional goals, and chart a path forward for the coming academic year. While performance reviews will not be tied to annual increases this year due to budgetary constraints resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to be an important tool for recognizing the hard work of our Swarthmore staff members. ​​

 

Travel and Events

When will College-sponsored travel resume?

We are extending the restriction on most College-sponsored travel through December 31, 2020. We will reevaluate this policy for the spring 2021 semester. Some limited exceptions may be considered, but they must be approved by the appropriate member of the President’s Staff.
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I need to cancel a campus event that involves a contract with an outside person or entity. What do I do?

Contact the outside person/entity to inform them of the need to cancel the contract. If additional support is needed, contact the Office of General Counsel 610-690-6820.

I need to cancel College-sponsored travel and will incur change fees/will not be able to be reimbursed by the airline/hotel. What should I do?

See the Business Office COVID-19 site for information about College-sponsored travel purchases and the impact on your budget and purchasing card transactions.

I have a personal trip scheduled during this period of modified operations. Should I go? Will the College compensate my change fee if I postpone the trip?

We urge you to be judicious in making your personal travel plans and try to avoid all non-essential personal travel if possible. If you do plan to travel, we ask that you register your travel. We are sensitive to the fact that changing your travel plans might result in additional fees. We are aware that several airlines are waiving such fees for changes related to COVID-19. The College cannot reimburse for fees associated with personal travel. 

My event has been canceled. Who I do work with to reschedule? 

Contact the Events Management Office at space@swarthmore.edu.  

Do I need to cancel my meeting/event?

All events should be canceled and if you need help with canceling or rescheduling an event, contact the Events Management office at space@swarthmore.edu.

 

Campus/Space Closings

Will there be in-person events on campus this summer?

The College has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person activities on campus through July 31. All in-person activities, including events, camps, athletic programs, and performances sponsored by outside organizations, as well as College programs such as the Chester Children’s Chorus, are canceled. If you have questions about campus events that you had scheduled, please contact the Events Management Office. 
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How is the College ensuring the facilities are appropriately sanitized?

Our Environmental Services (EVS) staff are taking additional efforts to disinfect common surfaces, such as elevator buttons and doorknobs. We are using products that are known to be effective against coronavirus. 

EVS is focusing its efforts on spaces used by the campus community, paying particular attention to dorms, Sharples, and other shared facilities that students may be using during this period, and carefully disinfecting touchable surfaces on buildings occupied by faculty and staff.

Can staff members use the Matchbox? 

Due to guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health that facilities in Delaware County, including gyms, should close in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Matchbox will be closed until further notice. 

Will The Inn at Swarthmore and Broad Table Tavern maintain normal operations?

The Inn at Swarthmore will remain open for guest stays and bookings, but will be closed to public access.  On March, 16, Governor Tom Wolf  ordered all restaurants and bars in Delaware County to close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As such, the Broad Table Tavern will be limited to carry-out service only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please reach out directly to the sales@theinnatswat.com for any further information or questions. 

Will the Swarthmore Campus and Community Store remain open?

The Campus & Community Store will reopen on Monday, June 15, and be open weekly from noon–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday until further notice.  Masks and social distancing will be required for all store visitors.