COVID-19 Workplace Guidance

As a result of Governor Desantis’ “safer at home” order, the University is restricting operations effective April 3, 2020, until at least April 30, 2020. The restricting of on-campus operations means that only essential personnel are required on campus. However, University business operations will continue and faculty and staff who are working remotely should continue to work their normal hours. The Office of Human Resources has updated the COVID-19 workplace guidance to provide detailed information regarding the impact to the University's employees. This guidance may change based on changes in circumstances in the community. HR has also provided the following information:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides certain employees with paid leave benefits for specific reasons relating to COVID-19. These programs are effective through the duration of the qualifying reason but not beyond December 31, 2020. Health care providers and emergency responders are excluded from both leave options under the FFCRA.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Beginning April 3, 2020, employees who are not able to work remotely will be provided up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time) of paid sick leave under the executive order. Qualifying employees should submit the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Form with the first qualifying reason checked to

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion 

This expansion of FMLA is for employees who need to care for a child due to either school or childcare provider closure for reasons related to COVID-19. Eligibility is contingent upon a determination by the supervisor that the employee is unable to perform their job duties remotely because of the nature of the duties or because the employee is unable to perform their duties due to having to care for a child for reasons related to COVID-19.

Eligible employees who have been employed for at least 30 days are provided with 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave. The first two weeks are unpaid and up to an additional 10 weeks are paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Eligible employees must complete the FFCRA-Expanded FMLA form and School/Childcare Certification form, obtain signed approval from their supervisor and department head, and submit to

On-campus Essential Employees

At this time, on-campus essential employees are defined as employees designated to report to the workplace while on-campus operations are suspended. Deans, directors, and department heads must designate which on-campus functions are essential and require an employee to be on-campus to perform critical on-campus University functions. On-campus essential personnel that may be required to work on campus include, but are not limited to: 

  • those ensuring the safety and security of campus facilities and information technology; protection of University assets (e.g., health care services, police);
  • maintenance of research labs and utilities that cannot suspend operations; and
  • those providing limited services to students who remain on-campus (e.g. housing, designated food services).
  • those required for continuity of services including maintenance/grounds/janitorial
  • those providing medical services
  • those who are needed to process financial transactions and services
  • those who provide support for information technology
  • those that need on-campus resources to facilitate distance learning

Some employees may be designated as essential employees but may not be needed for full time work. Those employees will work the hours that are required and then will be provided Emergency Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to supplement their hours. For example, an employee may only be required to report to campus to perform essential duties for 20 hours, and then will be provided 20 hours of FFCRA Emergency Sick Leave. Additionally, departments should consider alternative schedules for essential employees to promote social distancing.

Remote Work

The University has developed Temporary Remote Work guidelines and a process to support employees with temporarily transitioning to working from home. All employees not designated as on-campus essential employees will be required to work remotely, so long as their duties and responsibilities are conducive for such remote work.

Returning from University or Personal Travel to Affected Areas

Faculty and staff are discouraged from personal travel. Please refer to the University's coronavirus information page for up-to-date recommendations about return from travel to affected areas and other topics. Employees required to report to campus for essential duties but are returning from international or domestic travel or a cruise, regardless of destination, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. All other employees are required to follow local, state, and governmental directives regarding the “safer at home” order.

Sick Employees

Generally speaking, staying home when you are sick is good advice for all employees. This is to prevent the transmission of any illness. Supervisors are encouraged to ensure employees get this message. If on-campus essential employees are sick, they should stay home until the symptoms have subsided and they are free of fever for 24 hours and/or contact their physician for guidance.

Employees that are required to work remotely that are unable to perform duties because they are sick, should follow the normal protocol for notification of the absence to the supervisor and use of accrued sick leave would apply. Faculty and staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness should not report to work and should seek immediate medical assistance. If an on-campus essential employee reports to work and presents symptoms of being ill, the University has the right to advise the employee to go home and seek medical care.

Sick Leave

Faculty and Staff members who are out sick should report sick leave on their timesheet. In general, medical documentation will not be required for return to work, unless the employee has been sick for ten (10) consecutive workdays. FSU provides sick leave for all benefits-eligible faculty and staff.

Annual Leave

Staff employees and 12-month faculty may request annual leave to attend to any personal needs at this time, including to address childcare needs. Supervisors should be as generous as possible in granting these requests.

OPS Employees

OPS employees designated as on-campus essential personnel should continue to report to work.  If determined appropriate by the supervisor and department head, departments can require OPS employees to work remotely, if their responsibilities are conducive to such work. OPS employees that are unable to work remotely may be eligible for Emergency Sick Leave under the FFCRA. See FFCRA section for more details.

Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistants are considered students first and should follow travel restrictions for all students. Because Graduate Assistants are expected to perform their assigned duties and meet expectations of their roles and responsibilities, they should refrain from leaving the Tallahassee area if their duties designated as on-campus essential and they are required to be performed on campus. Teaching Assistants are expected to host their sections online are required to work remotely. Teaching Assistants who are not instructors of record should continue to work with their faculty mentors/supervisors to provide ongoing TA support remotely. The same applies for students who are working as a Research Assistant or in another Graduate Assistant role. Graduate Assistants who have left the local area but are required to perform duties on campus should notify their supervisors and consult with Human Resources

Workers at Higher Risk

Employees who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. These may include requesting to work remotely, or if required to be on campus, they can request a temporary change in job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected. If applicable and feasible, the employee should request a Temporary Remote Work Acknowledgment.

If an employee is at risk for complications from COVID-19 and their physician agrees that increased social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact the Office of Human Resources to formally request a temporary change. Human Resources will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and appropriately address the employee's health concerns while maintaining the University's operations. A doctor's note may be required.

Except for employees who formally request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles, or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address general concern about the potential for COVID-19 infection.

Administrative Leave

On-campus essential employees (Faculty, USPS, and A&P) who do not provide essential services will be provided administrative leave after their Emergency Sick Leave under the FFCRA has been exhausted. Essential services may be deemed necessary on a full-time or part-time basis. Please consult with your supervisor to determine if you are essential and your expectation for reporting to work


In an effort to better assist employees who have questions during this time, we have created a Human Resources Coronavirus Task Force. If you have questions, please refer to the contacts listed below.

HR Coronavirus Task Force Contacts
General Questions Renisha Gibbs (850) 644-8082
General Staff Issues Tracey Pearson
Back-up contact:
Julie Ritter
(850) 644-3694
General Faculty Issues Rebecca Peterson
Back-up contact:
Tiffany Ward
(850) 645-2202
(850) 644-0184
Payroll Questions Phaedra Harris (850) 644-7705
Attendance & Leave Questions Christine Conley (850) 644-1978
Communications Shelley Lopez (850) 644-6602

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a useful resource for confidential professional and personal support and can be reached at (850) 644-2288.

For questions regarding students, please contact Tyler Shannon (850) 644-9555. For Academic concerns, please contact to the Office of the Provost (850) 644-1816.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:15 PM