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Further Guidance for Work

April 5, 2020, 5:23 p.m.

Colleagues:

As a follow up to the important communication from Holly Frye and Chief McAvoy late Friday,  it is essential for our employees to understand the additional  measures delineated by Governor Justice in an Executive Order  Friday:

“All Essential Businesses and Operations conducted by both private and public employers in Berkeley County, Jefferson County, and Morgan County shall order their employees and/or contractors, to the maximum extent possible, to work from their home or residence, or to otherwise work remotely.”

It also requires that we “…abide by a 5-person limitation on gathering size.”  It authorizes the Jefferson County Health Department to take additional measures, with force of law, and they have done so today.

We have encouraged maximizing work from home where that is feasible.  Given the further direction of the Governor and the Health Department, we must now emphasize that, effective immediately, maximizing work at home is a mandate.

Most faculty are already working from home as much as is viable and that must continue, recognizing that some campus visits may be necessary for some to complete the distance learning we are providing for our students.

Every employee who can work from home is directed to work at home to the maximum degree reasonably achievable. This means for most employees, most days should be entirely or almost entirely worked at home.  Generally, visits to a campus office should be to address limited, specific tasks, and then return home.  Under these temporary circumstances, travelling from home to work, for limited tasks, and back home in the middle of your work day can be counted as part of your work time.

Any person on campus must constantly observe a minimum of 6 linear feet distance from any other person, at all times.  No collection of people, even maintaining the 6 ft distances, can exceed FIVE people.  A mask or other nose/mouth covering is encouraged whenever the employee is, or is likely to be, within eyesight of any other person inside a building.

In office spaces and work rooms, rooms cannot be jointly occupied by a ratio of more than 1 person per 100 square feet [ ie, a 10’x 10’ space].

Specific additional directions for Facilities employees, consistent with these rules, will be forthcoming because their work must be done on site.

Some employees have been issued an “Essential Employee” letter, recently.  Even if you have such a letter, the supervisor and the employee are required to make every available good faith effort to maximize working at home.

If you and your supervisor intended for you to be on campus Monday morning, you should continue to do that.  But on Monday every supervisor and employee should continue to fully explore and utilize every available option for maximizing work at home.

Thank you for complying with these requirements, as we continue to work together to maintain safety for all of us, as much as possible.

Alan Perdue
General Counsel