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Update on COVID-19 interim policies and work arrangements

illustration of Stanford employees working from home

Dear colleague:

I hope this message finds you in continued good health. This week has been a challenging one for our community as we had to make difficult decisions to establish a new steady state for the university’s operations. These choices are never easy and they affect each of us. I encourage you to use Stanford’s wellness resources, should you need guidance during this unsettling time.

In partnership with the policy committee and senior leadership, I’d like to update you on key workplace programs and new interim policies that aim to provide flexible work and benefits options to support your needs and maintain the health and safety of our community. It’s important to note that these interim measures are subject to change as we continue to respond to the needs of our workforce and evolving recovery plans, and we will update you should that be the case.

Telecommuting extended through December 2020

First, we are extending telecommuting through the end of the calendar year. All employees who are not authorized to return to work on-site will continue to work from home. While we understand that working from home can be challenging, the safety of our community is paramount. Minimizing on-site work to the fullest extent possible reduces the potential for exposure and ensures resources are available for employees who must perform work in person. To address the extension of working in such a changed environment, we have developed some updated resources and guidance.

On-Site Work and Premium Pay policy

On-site work is restricted to employees who have been authorized to return by the school/unit dean, vice president or vice provost, based on Stanford’s staged restart. We are deeply grateful to our “front-line” employees who work on-site and maintain critical university functions. To recognize their efforts, interim Premium Pay will continue through the end of September, by which time we will revisit whether any revisions or extensions may be warranted.

Remote Work policy

With the extension of telecommuting through the end of 2020, we recognize some staff may consider relocating to other areas. While the university is committed to offering flexibility, remote work outside of Northern California should be a temporary measure. Additionally, staff should not typically be approved to work outside the U.S. and if approved to do so, will be limited to a maximum of 30 calendar days. As part of the long-term recovery planning effort, university leaders will evaluate recommendations for furthering remote work options.

Home Office Equipment policy update

To foster a healthy work environment and ensure home offices are appropriately equipped for productivity and ergonomics, employees who are required to telecommute may be eligible to purchase or be reimbursed for basic necessary ergonomic equipment recommended by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S).

New workplace support policies

As previously announced, the interim Pay Continuation policy ends on August 31, 2020. We recognize the unique demands due to COVID-19 are certain to persist after pay continuity concludes. Many of our colleagues may need to be away from work for periods of time due to school closures and other caregiving needs, or to quarantine from possible exposure.

To address these and other circumstances that disrupt our ability to work, we are introducing new interim policies to support employees during the period from September 1 through December 21 -- the start of winter closure.

  • Caregiving pay for those who need to provide child and elder care
  • Quarantine pay for those who must quarantine and are well, but whose work cannot be fully or partially performed by telecommuting

We know you will have questions about the policies described above, and we want you to know that more detailed information will be provided in advance of September 1.

In addition to university support, state and federal programs provide expanded benefits that may also be of assistance in particular situations related to COVID-19 impacts.

You can read more about Stanford’s interim policies in the COVID-19 Workplace Guide of Cardinal at Work. Should you have questions about these policies and available benefits, please work with your manager and/or school/unit HR Manager.

We are committed to doing everything we can to maintain a healthy, safe and flexible workplace. We value your extraordinary contributions and appreciate your continued adaptability during this very unusual time.

With gratitude,

Elizabeth Zacharias

Elizabeth Zacharias
Vice President for University Human Resources

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Working at Stanford