Last Updated: 05-20-2020

We realize that during these uncertain times, you may have many questions. The HR Frequently Asked Questions is designed to provide you with quick responses to general questions we have received. For important university updates and more please visit the FIU COVID-19 site.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

  • Under what conditions may I apply for the emergency sick leave?
    You could qualify for emergency sick time under the FFCRA if you are unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because you are:

    1. Subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
    2. Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
    3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
    4. Caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
    5. Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
    6. Experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.If you have any questions regarding this regulation, please contact the Benefits Administration Office at 305-348-2181 or hrleaves@fiu.edu and an HR representative will be available to assist. If you want additional information of the Act, you can visit the Department of Labor at dol.gov.
  • How much emergency sick time or extended leave will I be eligible for?
    For reasons (1)-(4) and (6): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave.For reason (5): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave at 40 hours a week (which would include the 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave).See question below for calculation of a part-time employee’s benefit.
  • Will I be paid at my full pay during the emergency sick leave?
    Pay under the FFRCA depends on the reason for the emergency leave and is subject to maximums. For leave reasons (1), (2), or (3): employees taking leave shall be paid at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).
    For leave reasons (4): employees taking leave shall be paid at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).
    For leave reason (5): employees taking leave shall be paid at the 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, which is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period – two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave).
    You may choose to combine your 2/3 pay with current leave accruals for the first two weeks to ensure a full paycheck. If you are approved for an additional 10 weeks leave under leave reason 5, there is a mandatory combining of your current accruals in accordance with the FMLA/Maternity/Paternity & Medical Leave policy.
  • I’m a part-time employee. How does this work for me?
    A part-time employee is entitled to the FFCRA leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, we will calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours you are normally scheduled to work. If your schedule varies, FIU will use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. You may take paid sick leave for this number of hours, per day, for up to a two-week period, and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours, per day, up to ten week following, upon approval.
  • I am considered essential personnel. What options do I have with respect to taking sick leave under the new Act?
    There are certain situations in which essential personnel may use the leave provisions under the Act. If you have work to do, the Act does not apply to you. If you cannot perform your duties as a result of one of the 6 categories, you are eligible for the FFCRA benefits.
  • May I take 80 hours of paid sick leave for my self-quarantine and then another amount of paid sick leave for another reason provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
    No. You may take up to two-weeks – or ten days – (80 hours for a full-time employee, or for a part-time employee, the number of hours equal to the average number of hours that the employee works over a typical two-week period) of paid sick leave for any combination of qualifying reasons. However, the total number of hours for which you receive paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
  • How do I apply for leave under the FFCRA?
    Effective immediately, there is a link in your Employee Peoplesoft Home Page where you can complete a request for FFCRA. Below is a screenshot of the location.


    Once completed, the form will be routed to your supervisor and then either Office of Provost, Planning and Finance or HR Leaves for acknowledgment that you have requested this leave. Please note that you will be contacted by hrleaves@fiu.edu with respect to your request and any other information that is required.
  • What documents do I need to submit to get paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
    We will be requesting documentation to substantiate the specific leave requested. For medical-related reasons, a doctor’s note may be sufficient. We will also require you to provide additional documentation in support of your expanded family and medical leave taken to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable dur to COVID-19 related reasons. For example, this may include a notice of closure or unavailability from your child’s school, place of care, or child care provider, including a notice that may have been posted on a government, school, or day care website, published in a newspaper, or emailed to you from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider.
    We will retain this notice or documentation in support of expanded family and medical leave, including while you may be taking unpaid leave that runs concurrently with paid sick leave if taken for the same reason.Please also note that all existing certification requirements under the normal FMLA remain in effect if you are taking leave for one of the existing qualifying reasons under the FMLA. Furthermore, if you are taking leave beyond the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave because your medical condition for COVID-19-related reasons rises to the level of a serious health condition, you must continue to provide a Medical Clearance form under the FMLA as required.
  • May I take my paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave intermittently while teleworking?
    Yes, if you are unable to maintain your normal schedule of hours due to one of the qualifying reasons in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, you may take the leave intermittently with agreement from your supervisor. Similarly, if you are prevented from working your normal remote schedule of hours because you need to care for your child whose school or place of care if closed, or child care provided is unavailable, because of COVID-19 related reasons, you and your supervisor may agree that you can take expanded family medical leave intermittently while working remotely.FIU is encouraging staff and faculty to collaborate to achieve flexibility and meet mutual needs. We are supportive of such voluntary arrangements that combine remote work and intermittent leave.
  • I am a student employee. Do I qualify for the FFCRA?
    Generally, yes, if you are a student employee (including Graduate Teaching Assistants), you may be eligible for the FFCRA as long as your circumstances fall into one of the six scenarios and have no work due to COVID-19. There are some student employment classifications that would not qualify, such as Research Assistants and Residential Life Assistants.
  • The FFCRA came into effect on April 1st. May I request a retroactive payment under the FFCRA?
    In most cases, we will be implementing the FFCRA payments in the pay period in which they are received. Employees requesting retroactive payments will reviewed with on a case-by-case basis.
  • How will my time be tracked if I am taking leave under FFCRA?
    FIU has developed unique time reporting codes that will be utilized during an employee’s FFCRA leave. HR will work with you and your supervisor to ensure that the correct codes are use.

General Remote Work

  • What does it mean to work remotely?
    It means you would essentially carry out your regular duties as if you were on campus with some modifications. For instance, conduct meetings via Zoom, conference calls, etc.
  • Am I able to visit campus to obtain my laptop and other work-related work items so that I can work remotely?
    Yes, if you are coming in to obtain work-related items, please let your supervisor know first and remember to maintain the recommended social distancing protocol.
  • Do employees working from home need to submit a Flexible Work Arrangement Form?
    No, for employees working remotely, no Flexible Work Arrangement form is required during this current situation. A Remote Work Assessment which includes a telework agreement, has been deployed and published in my.fiu.edu for all employees to complete.
  • My duties are not able to by performed remotely, but I would prefer not to come on to campus. What can I do?
    FIU will remain operational. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned. Upon approval of your supervisor, you may be able to use your accrued leave balances or leave without pay, if applicable.
  • I have part-time staff on my team. Are they able to work remotely?
    Part-time staff, including students, can work remotely. Assignments and schedule will be assigned by the supervisor. Part-time employees will continue to record their hours worked via standard time sheet. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned.
  • If an employee falls into the vulnerable population category, and they can work remotely, do they need to take voluntary leave?
    No. Leave does not have to be reported if they are performing their duties or working on assigned work remotely. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special Assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned.
  • During business hours, should faculty/staff forward their office phone number to their personal phones?
    Supervisors should establish communication protocol within their respective units. This may include forwarding your office line to your personal phone when necessary.
  • Does a supervisor have the right to send an employee home who may exhibiting flu-like symptoms, yet does not want to go home because of fear of losing pay or other reasons?
    We are currently promoting a Remote Work/Work at Home Program to allow our employees the perform their duties remotely. If the employee is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, we encourage them to stay home and follow the CDC guidelines. Employees unable to perform their duties may request supervisor’s approval for appropriate sick or vacation leave.

Benefits and Resources

  • If I’m in need of emotional support services, how can I get support?
    FIU will continue to provide short-term counseling to students, as well as our benefits eligible faculty, staff and their dependents to help cope with major life events and current COVID-19 impact as follows:
    Faculty and staff can reach out to the Office of Employee Assistance at (305) 348-2469, or email oea@fiu.edu.
    Students and student employees can also reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services at (305) 348-2277.
    Florida Blue is offering counseling for members feeling stress related to coronavirus. In partnership with New Directions Behavioral Health, you can talk to specially trained behavioral health counselors at no cost, even if you aren’t a member. You can talk with a counselor 24/7 about stress you may be feeling by calling the toll-free help line at 833-848-1762.
  • What are my contacts in terms of state insurance plans?
    State Group Insurance Plans Plan

    Please note that Florida Blue is offering counseling for members feeling stress related to coronavirus. In partnership with New Directions Behavioral health, you can talk to specially trained behavioral health counselors at no cost, even if you aren’t a member. You can talk with a counselor 24/7 about stress you may be feeling by calling the toll-free help line at 833-848-1762.

    Teleheatlh: Members of the State Group Insurance Health Plans (Standard and High Deductible HMO Plans and the PPO Plan) may use Telehealth to access covered health care services from in-network or contracted health care practitions acting within the scope of their licenses and Florida law. Telehealth services, related to the diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19 virus or any other preventative care service, will be covered the same as a visit to a participating provider in his or her physical office location.

    Baptist Health: Baptist Health is offering free online urgent care visit for FIU staff and faculty with code PANTHERFREE. Additional visits are $25 with code PANTHER25. Take advantage of these offers now until June 2020.

  • If an employee exceeds their cell phone usage charges or allotted minutes for class and texts, can they request reimbursement from the university?
    No. The university will not reimburse cell phone plan charges.

Employment

  • I have temporary employees on my team. Are they able to work remotely?
    Some temporary employees perform work that can be done remotely, as approved by the supervisor and depending on the needs of the department. Temporary employees that can work remotely should be permitted to do so if necessary. You should provide detailed tasks with adequate supervision. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned.
  • Is FIU still hiring faculty, administrative, staff, temporary, and student assistant positions?
    Yes.
  • How do I conduct a hiring process remotely?
    Managers should continue to work with your recruiters and Talent Acquisition and Management to complete the remote hiring process. Learn more about Remote hiring procedures.
  • What should supervisors do for those who have recently been hired but have not reported to duty yet?
    Supervisors need to contact those individuals, arrange for equipment, and set expectations as well as job duties for remote work.

Payroll and Time Reporting

  • If I am an hourly employee, how will my hours be recorded while working remotely?
    Business as usually, hourly employees will continue to record their hours worked via standard time sheet. Please confer with your supervisor on hours to be worked and work assignments.
  • Am I allowed to change my standard hours during remote work?
    Any deviation to standard hours should be discussed and agreed with your supervisor. For hourly employees, please record your hours worked via the standard time sheet.
  • If I am unable to work remotely, will I be paid?
    If you cannot do your job remotely, supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned. However, these alternate options should not exceed 80 hours. Beyond that, the supervisor should be contacting Employee & Labor Relations at 305-348-4186 or elr@fiu.edu for further guidance.
  • If I need to go to a doctor’s appointment or have pre-approved vacation how do I record this time/leave?
    An employee is expected to notify their supervisor and record the sick leave accordingly for approval. An employee who takes vacation is expected to record it, as normal, for vacation leave. If the employee does not have leave, he/she may be placed on leave without pay, to account for time away from work, with supervisory approval.
  • If an employee falls under the vulnerable population category and their job requires them to be physically on campus, do they need to take voluntary leave?
    It depends. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned. However, these alternate options should not exceed 80 hours. Beyond that, the supervisor should be contacting Employee & Labor Relations at 305-348-4186 or elr@fiu.edu for further guidance. The employee may also request supervisor’s approval for use of their vacation or sick leave as usual.
  • I have part-time staff on my team whose positions are customer facing. If they do not have enough tasks for three weeks of remote work, can they use their vacation or sick time?
    Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned. If work cannot be performed, then the employee may use their vacation or sick leave as usual. However, these alternate options should not exceed 80 hours. Beyond that, the supervisor should be contacting Employee & Labor Relations at 305-348-4186 or elr@fiu.edu for further guidance.

Student Employees

  • I have Federal Work Study employees on my team. Are they able to work remotely?
    Federal Work Study employees may be able to work remotely from home if their supervisor deems that remote work is feasible and can provide detailed tasks with adequate supervision for the student. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned.
  • Can students work more than 20 hours?
    No. Students should continue to work their regular schedule. Hours cannot exceed 20 hours during their regular course load. Supervisors may be creative and flexible in work assignments during this time. Special assignments such as review of FIU policies and professional development opportunities via LinkedIn Learning or other sources may be assigned but should not exceed hours. For further guidance, please contact Employee & Labor Relations at 305-348-4186.
  • How do student employees submit their time? Would they submit their regular schedule even if they complete their tasks outside their scheduled hours?
    Student employees should be reporting their time worked on their timesheet. They should be reporting actual time in and out when the work is being performed and in accordance with their supervisor’s assignments.

Quarantine

  • If I am already self-quarantined, what do I need to do?
    If you are already self-quarantined, the normal Leave of Absence process stays in place with a Medical Clearance form required at the end of the 14 days.
    Any new self-quarantined employees will follow the established Leave of Absence protocol.
    If your 14-day self-quarantine is completed and a medical clearance has been granted, you will transition to remote work status until May (or until such time as FIU requires).

Interviewing

  • Do new hires have to come to campus to be on-boarded?
    No. Recruiters have a remote hiring process. Please call or email Talent Acquisition and Management at staffing@fiu.edu for assistance.
  • If conditions require FIU employees to work remotely, what should we do if we’ve started the interviewing process?
    If you have started the recruitment and/or search and screen process, you should conduct the remaining sections of the interview process virtually using Zoom. The virtual interviews should match the on-campus process closely.
  • Are interviews still being conducted?
    Yes, they are conducted remotely via Zoom.
  • How do we interview candidates remotely?
    For the time being, all interview must be done remotely via Zoom. Departments can work with their recruiters or contact Talent Acquisition and Management at staffing@fiu.edu for assistance with scheduling their virtual interviews. Additional tools are available to help with the screening of applicants’ pools. Please check with your recruiters for more information.
  • How is a Search and Screen publicly noticed?
    The Zoom meeting ID should replace the physical locations on the public notice.
  • How will HR continue to process incoming employees & volunteers that require a Level II Clearance?
    Yes. Talent Acquisition and Management has established an online alternative for Level II background checks. Please contact Talent Acquisition and Management at staffing@fiu.edu for further information.

Onboarding

  • Is New Employee Experience still occurring?
    Yes. Talent Acquisition and Management (TAM) offers a remote and abbreviated New Employee Experience (NEE) via webinar. Recruiters will work with hiring managers to schedule as needed.
  • How will new hires receive FIU credentials?
    The process of receiving FIU credentials from IT remains the same.
  • Will Persons of Interest (POI) still be approved without fingerprinting?
    Yes. Talent Acquisition and Management has established an online alternative for Level II background checks. Please contact your department HR Liaison.

Additional Questions

  • Can’t find the answer to your questions? We’re here to help! Please contact us at 305-348-2181, or hr@fiu.edu.