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COVID-19 Employee Resource Center

As many know, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the State of Emergency declared by Governor Murphy, online learning and remote working began at Seton Hall on March 16, 2020.

The University has taken, and continues to take, carefully considered and prudent actions to address the fiscal challenges facing us as a result of COVID-19.  Unfortunately, as we prepare Academic Year 2021 budgets, it has become necessary to focus on further reducing non-instructional expenses.  As a result, layoffs and unpaid furloughs are required.

Resources on this page:

Aid, Relief and Unemployment Information

For information regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI), visit the NJ Department of Labor website: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/

Contact Information

Employees impacted by the University reduction in force program are encouraged to contact the following Department of Human Resource representatives for assistance.

For questions regarding Severance and Release matters, please contact:

  • Delica M. Reduque
    Manager, Labor and Employee Relations: (862) 338-9114

For questions regarding Benefits, please e-mail benefits@shu.edu or call one of the numbers below:

  • Babette Brooks
    Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9054
  • Noreen Singer
    Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9055
  • Terri Demarest
    Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment: (862) 338-9053

The following FAQ's will be updated as new information becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions for Employees Impacted by Reduction in Force/Layoff

Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors of Employees Impacted by Reduction in Force/Layoff

Frequently Asked Questions for Furloughed Employees

Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors of Furloughed Employees

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19



Frequently Asked Questions for Employees Impacted by Reduction in Force/Layoff
 

Are there any policies involved in a Layoff?
Yes, please refer to the following University policies:


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Am I eligible for unemployment insurance?
Unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility is determined by the NJ Department of Labor, not Seton Hall University. Please view the NJ Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Benefits Form, required by the State of New Jersey for unemployment purposes, and visit the NJ Department of Labor website for more information regarding Unemployment Insurance benefits to which you may be entitled.

Although the University does not decide if you receive unemployment benefits, we may be contacted to validate your unemployment date and salary information. Human Resources will provide any information requested.


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What is the difference between a layoff and a furlough?
A furlough is a mandatory leave of absence without pay. A Layoff is the termination of the employment relationship due to a reduction in the workforce, elimination of a position or a reorganization/restructuring of a position or work unit.


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I am currently out on furlough and received a layoff notice. How does this impact my current unemployment insurance status?
As previously mentioned, Unemployment Insurance (UI) eligibility is determined by the NJ Department of Labor, not Seton Hall University. We recommend contacting the NJ Department of Labor for more information on the status of any unemployment compensation benefits to which you may be entitled.


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I am currently out on furlough and received an extension to my furlough. Will I be laid off in the future?
Due to uncertain financial and operational issues, reinstatement cannot be guaranteed. In addition, reinstatement is not a guarantee that conditions of employment will remain unchanged. Furloughed employees in departments which are reorganized or restructured will be notified in writing via U.S. mail.


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What happens to my vacation, sick, and floating holiday leave balances?
Separated employees will be paid out for accrued, but unused, leave in accordance with University policy.


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Will I be recalled in the future?
Under the collective bargaining agreement with Local 153, separated employees who are members of Local 153 shall be placed on the recall list for a period of two years.

Under the collective bargain agreement with Local 68, separated employees who are members of Local 68 shall be placed on the recall list for a period of six months.

Non-union members who are laid off do not have recall rights, although they may apply for any open advertised positions.


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If I am recalled to work, will my length of service or seniority with the University change?
Under the collective bargaining agreement with Local 153, separated employees who are members of Local 153 lose seniority rights if the layoff extends over a continuous period of more than two (2) years.

Under the collective bargaining agreement with Local 68, separated employees who are members of Local 68 lose seniority rights if the layoff extends for a period of more than six (6) months or if the separated employee fails to return to work within three (3) days of being recalled.

Seniority or length of service for non-members of either union will be computed from the beginning of any re-employment following a layoff.


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What if I need anything from my office?
Separated employees who wish to retrieve personal items from their office should contact Delica M. Reduque, Manager, Employee and Labor Relations, at delica.reduque@shu.edu or (862) 338-9114. Human Resources will coordinate with the separated employees and the Office of Public Safety for a date and time to access items from their office. Please note only the separated employee will be allowed to enter the building. Face coverings and gloves are required to be worn in accordance with CDC Guidelines. Facilities will provide boxes upon request. For health and safety reasons, arrivals and departures will be staggered.


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How do I return my University issued property (laptop, ID, cellphone, keys, files, etc)?
The University requires the return of University property prior to your receipt of any severance benefits.  If you are coming to campus to retrieve personal items from your office, you may also return your laptop, keys, ID, University cell phone and any other University property at that time.

If you will not be coming to campus, please advise Ms. Delica Reduque at delica.reduque@shu.edu or (862) 338-9114, and the University will provide you with a pre-paid mailer which you can use to return University materials.


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What happens to my health insurance?
A separated employee who was a participant in one of the University's group health insurance plans may elect COBRA to continue to participate in the plan for up to 18 months or until other health insurance coverage is obtained. Premium payments for COBRA will be paid by the University for the time period set forth in the Severance and Release Policy.

At the conclusion of University paid health coverage, payments of COBRA premiums are the responsibility of the separated employee. COBRA packets will be sent to all separated employees.

Separated employees who are members of Local 153 should review their collective bargaining agreement for information regarding their health insurance.


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Is there an impact with taking COBRA benefits if I am Medicare eligible?
You should contact Medicare or Social Security in order to understand your options. You can refer to this list of helpful contacts for additional information.


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What happens to my tuition remission benefits for myself and eligible dependents when I am laid off?
Employees and/or their eligible dependents who were enrolled as students at the University at the time the employee is separated may continue to receive tuition remission benefits in accordance with University policy. Please visit the Severance and Release Policy to view a detailed schedule of Tuition Remission separation benefits.

Separated employees who are members of Local 153 should review their collective bargaining agreement for further information regarding tuition remission.


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What will happen with my flexible spending account?
Flexible spending accounts will continue to be available to receive receipts for reimbursement for qualifying expenses from separated employees. Qualifying expenses are expenses incurred during active employment with the University (including furlough time, if applicable). Separated employees will need to complete a form to submit their receipts to Cigna in order to receive reimbursement. Please visit myCigna.com to obtain additional information regarding flexible spending accounts.


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What will happen if I participated in voluntary benefits such as supplemental life insurance, long term disability, Country Wide, PetAssure, etc?
Separated employees will receive information in their COBRA packets on how to convert University and Supplemental Life Insurance policies.

The long term disability buy-up benefit will cease at the end of employment.

Separated employees are encouraged to contact other voluntary benefit providers for more information on how to maintain benefits through direct billing:

  • Countrywide Legal, ID Theft, and Financial Wellbeing: 1-800-550-5297
  • PetAssure: 1-888-789-7387

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What will happen to my TIAA contributions?
The University will not continue making any TIAA contributions on behalf of separated employees.  Separated employees may contact TIAA Customer Service for more information regarding their accounts at 1-800-842-2252.


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What happens to my email and system access in a lay off?
Email and system access of separated employees will be disabled.


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What happens to my email if I am a laid off employee and currently enrolled or registered for classes?
Separated employees who are registered for class will keep email and system access until the end of their class term.


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What happens to my email and system access if I teach as an Adjunct Faculty member as a secondary assignment?
Separated employees that teach as Adjunct Faculty will have email and system access maintained so they can continue to meet their adjunct faculty responsibilities.


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Who can I contact for further assistance regarding my layoff?
Separated employees are encouraged to contact the following Department of Human Resources representatives for assistance during this process. You may also e-mail benefits@shu.edu for benefits related information.

Delica Reduque
Manager, Labor and Employee Relations: (862) 338-9114

Babette Brooks
Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9054

Noreen Singer
Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9055

Terri Demarest
Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment: (862) 338-9053


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Does the University offer outplacement job services for employees who are laid off?
The University will provide outplacement assistance to separated employees, in accordance with the Severance and Release Policy or, for members of Local 153, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. This outplacement assistance will be coordinated by the Department of Human Resources. Please contact Delica M. Reduque, Manager, Employee and Labor Relations, at delica.reduque@shu.edu or (862) 338-9114 for more information regarding outplacement job services.


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How do I access Outplacement Services based on my Severance Agreement?
To access Outplacement Services, please complete the Reduction in Force - Outplacement Form found on the Human Resources website. Upon completion of the form, you will receive an access code needed to contact NextJob. Additional information regarding NextJob is available in this brochure.


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Where can I access support for managing my concerns or emotions about my Layoff?
Stress, anxiety, and feelings of grief may be experienced when notified of a layoff.  For some, these feelings may be difficult to process or handle. Seton Hall’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free confidential counseling for up to 30 days following separation to employees and their family members who are experiencing such difficulty, in addition to support resources for interviewing, networking, and job skills. To learn more about the range of services with which an EAP consultant can connect you, call (877) 622-4327 or visit the myCigna website.


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Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors of Employees Impacted by Reduction in Force/Layoff
 

Is there paperwork I need to complete to place employees on Layoff?
No. The Department of Human Resources will update their status in the appropriate systems.


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How do I help my laid off employee return University property?
Please also make arrangements with your separated employee(s) to return their laptop, keys, ID, University cell phone and any other University property and advise the Department of Human Resources.  If they will not be coming to campus, arrange with the Department of Human Resources for a pre-paid mailer to be sent to the separated employee which can be used to return University materials.


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My employees are contacting me about their layoff. To whom should I refer them?
Separated employees are encouraged to contact the following Department of Human Resource representatives for assistance during this process. They may also e-mail benefits@shu.edu for benefits related information.

Delica Reduque
Manager, Labor and Employee Relations: (862) 338-9114

Babette Brooks
Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9054

Noreen Singer
Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9055

Terri Demarest
Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment: (862) 338-9053


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Frequently Asked Questions for Furloughed Employees
 

What is a furlough?
A furlough is a mandatory leave of absence without pay. Additional information can be found in the Policy on Furloughs.


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Why are employees being furloughed?
During this time of remote working, it has become clear that the operational needs of the University have changed in many ways. The review and analysis reveal that some positions can be productively performed remotely while others cannot, or are not needed at this time. In assessing how best to fulfill those needs, Seton Hall has determined that it is necessary to join other higher education and other institutions in furloughing employees whose job responsibilities are not needed at this time or who are not able to perform the majority of their job duties remotely.


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How do I know if I have been furloughed?
If it has been determined that you are to be placed on unpaid furlough status, you will receive an email to your SHU email account and a letter from the Department of Human Resources in U.S. mail.


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When does the furlough period begin?
The furlough period will commence on May 1, 2020.


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How long will I be furloughed?
Your furlough does not have a defined end date at this time but you will receive an update concerning your status on or before June 30, 2020. If the operational needs of the University change before June 30, 2020 and the University is able to return you to regular employee status before then, you will be notified, in writing.


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Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance and additional benefits under the CARES Act?
Unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility is determined by the NJ Department of Labor, not Seton Hall University. At this time, furloughed employees who reside in New Jersey may be eligible for unemployment and may be eligible to receive benefits in accordance with the CARES Act as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ("FPUC") (an additional $600 a week in addition to any regular unemployment benefit for which you may qualify; at the time of this writing, the additional $600 is set to expire on July 31, 2020). In accordance with the New Jersey Division of Unemployment, it is not necessary to file two separate unemployment claims in order to receive the FPUC weekly $600 benefit. There is only one application process for the State's unemployment benefit and the FPUC. However, the FPUC application process may change so furloughed employees should continue to check the NJ Department of Labor website.

Please view the NJ Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Benefits Form, required by the State of New Jersey for unemployment purposes, and visit the following link to visit the NJ Department of Labor website for more information: https://myunemployment.nj.gov.

Although the University does not decide if you receive unemployment benefits, we may be contacted to validate your unemployment date and salary information. We will provide any information requested.


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For Unemployment Insurance, what is Seton Hall University's Employer Identification Number?
Seton Hall University's Employer Identification number is 0221500645.


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Will I still have my University benefits while furloughed?

  • Your current medical, dental, and vision insurance will be maintained (if currently participating) and the University will pay both the employer and employee portions of these insurance premiums during the furlough.
  • Contributions to the Local 68 Welfare Fund will also continue during the furlough period.
  • To retain coverage of Long Term Disability Buy-Up during the furlough period, employees must remit their premiums to Terri Demarest, Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment in the Department of Human Resources.
  • TIAA-CREF contributions will resume upon reinstatement from the furlough in accordance with the TIAA plan in effect at that time.
  • Tuition remission benefits will remain in effect for you and your eligible dependents.
  • Tuition exchange scholarships will remain in effect.

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Who should I contact about Tuition remission and Tuition exchange benefits for myself and eligible dependents during the furlough?
For questions regarding Tuition remission and Tuition exchange eligibility, please contact Stephanie Macias-Arlington at Stephanie.Maciasarlington@shu.edu or Victoria Gomez at Victoria.Gomez@shu.edu.


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What will happen with flexible spending accounts?
The pandemic is considered a qualifying life event and therefore, anyone who participates in a Flexible Spending Account has the opportunity to change or cancel their participation into the Flexible Spending Account. If you would like to change or cancel your participation in either your dependent or healthcare Flexible Spending account, please complete the Flexible Spending Account Change or Cancellation form. Your changes will be directed to the Department of Human Resources. Note that changes in elections are only allowed once. Any changes are final for the year, unless another qualifying life event occurs.


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Does that mean when I return from furlough, I can't begin contributing again to flexible spending accounts?
You may begin contributing again to your flexible spending accounts once you return to work as long as you do not cancel your participation in the Flexible Spending Account program.


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What will happen if I participate in Voluntary Benefits such as Supplemental Life Insurance, Long Term Disability, Country Wide, PetAssure, etc?
Any furloughed employee who participates in a voluntary benefit will have the opportunity to continue those benefits by remitting their premium payments to Terri Demarest, Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment in the Department of Human Resources. Further instructions will be sent to furloughed employees.


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What will happen to TIAA contributions during the furlough period?
The University will not be making any TIAA contributions on behalf of employees who were furloughed. TIAA contributions will resume upon reinstatement from the furlough in accordance with the TIAA plan in effect at that time.


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Will I need to return my University issued property before I leave on furlough (laptop, ID, cellphone, keys, etc)?
No, this is not a separation. You may keep your University issued property such as laptops and keys during this time. However, under University policy, University property should not be utilized for personal use and, since you are not permitted to work during the furlough, laptops will not be serviced by the University during the furlough period. Please refer to the Appropriate Use Policy for more information on the responsibility to utilize Seton Hall University resources for legitimate University purposes only.


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Can I use my accrued vacation, sick leave, or floating holidays to continue pay during furlough?
No. Employees on furlough cannot use vacation, sick, or floating holidays during the furlough period.


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Will I continue to accrue vacation and sick leave during the furlough?
Furloughed employees will continue to earn sick and vacation time during the furlough and such time accrued during the furlough will be exempt from any limits established by the University. Accrued vacation and sick leave balances will be maintained during the furlough.


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Will I continue to accrue floating holidays during a furlough? If I have a floating holiday balance, will I lose that balance?
Employees on furlough will continue to accrue floating holidays during the furlough and will maintain their current floating holiday balance. The floating holiday balance will be available for use between the date of return to work and the end of the next calendar year.


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Will I get paid for any University holidays during my furlough?
University holiday pay will not be paid to an employee while furloughed but, upon return to work, the employee shall receive pay for any holidays that occurred during the furlough.


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What happens to my email and system access during furlough?
Access to your email and other systems will be suspended during the furlough period beginning May 1, 2020. An automatic out-of-office message will be put on your email, routing inquiries to your supervisor.

Access to Year-End Tax Forms and Employment Details (i.e. W-2 Wage and Tax Statements, Pay Stubs, etc) found in the PirateNet portal will not be available after May 1, 2020. If you need access to information after your system access has been disabled, please contact the Department of Human Resources at one of the numbers listed above.

Support to help you open a personal email account, if you don’t already have one, and/or move permissible data from your University accounts to your personal accounts will be available by calling 973-275-2222 and selecting option #4. Support will be available 8:45am – 4:45pm, Monday through Friday.


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What happens to my email if I am a furloughed employee and currently enrolled or registered for classes?
To avoid any interruptions to currently enrolled or registered students, email and system access will not be disabled.


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What happens to my email and system access if I teach as an Adjunct Faculty member as a secondary assignment?
Furloughed employees that teach as Adjunct Faculty will have email and system access maintained so they can continue to meet their adjunct faculty responsibilities.


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What if I need anything from my office?
Any furloughed employees who would like to access items from their office should email Delica M. Reduque, Manager, Employee and Labor Relations, at delica.reduque@shu.edu. The Department of Human Resources will coordinate with furloughed employees and the Office of Public Safety on a date and time to access items from their office. Please note only the University employee will be allowed to enter the building. If the employee is accompanied by another person, that person can wait in the car. Facilities will provide box(es) upon request. For safety reasons, we will coordinate staggered arrivals and departures.


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What happens to my office phone extension during this unpaid furlough?
Supervisors will be granted delegated access to your phone extension, and make the determination on where the extension should be routed.


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If I have a Seton Hall issued cellphone, will that be disabled?
No, these will stay active during the furlough period.


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If I have a Seton Hall credit card, do I need to make any arrangements?
The Department of Procurement will work with furloughed employees to ensure payments are processed appropriately. For questions, please contact Karen Lunger, Compliance Accountant at Karen.Lunger@shu.edu.


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May I seek other employment during my furlough period?
Yes. Furloughed employees have the right to seek temporary employment during this time. Resources are available at NJ Career Connections. Note that securing another paid position may impact your eligibility to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits.


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Will furloughed employees need to complete their leave reports or timesheets?
No. You will not need to complete a leave report or time sheet during your furlough period.


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Can I perform work for my department during furlough?
Furloughed employees are not permitted to perform work for the University during this period of furlough and your supervisor has been advised accordingly. This includes not taking calls or responding to emails from your supervisor, coworkers or outside third parties except for the sole purpose of receiving communication about the end or extension of the furlough. Employees may not volunteer to perform unpaid work for the University. If you receive any request to work on Seton Hall matters while on furlough, please do not do so and advise Michael Silvestro, Associate Vice President in the Department of Human Resources, immediately.


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Are there any benefits available if I become injured or ill while furloughed?
You may be eligible for temporary disability benefits. Please contact the Department of Human Resources at one of the numbers listed above for more information.


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Will furlough impact my dates of service with the University?
No, your dates of service will not be impacted.


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How do I make sure I receive future communications from the University?
Please provide your current contact information, including home address, telephone and personal email account, to the Department of Human Resources.

Contact information may also be updated in Banner Self-Service using the following instructions:

  1. Log into PirateNet
  2. Access Banner Self-Service
  3. Click on Personal Information
  4. Select Update Addresses and Phones
  5. Update or insert address or phone information
  6. Click Submit

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Where can I access support for managing my concerns or emotions about my furlough?
We encourage you to contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is available 24/7 to offer confidential support and assistance to you and your household members. To reach the EAP, call (877) 622-4327 or visit the myCigna website: https://my.cigna.com.


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I did not receive a communication on April 27th about being furloughed. Does that mean that I will not be placed on furlough?
If you were not among the group of employees who received a notification of furlough on April 27th, you will not be placed on furlough status on May 1st. The University will continue to monitor its operational needs and determine if any additional workforce responses are needed. If there is any change in your status, you will be notified in writing.


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Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors of Furloughed Employees
 

How will I know if one of my employees has been furloughed?
You will be notified if your direct report(s) has been placed on unpaid furlough status.

Impacted employees have been notified of their unpaid furlough status via email to their SHU email accounts and a letter from the Department of Human Resources.


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I have employees in my division who have been furloughed. What is my role?
During the transition period leading up to May 1, we ask all supervisors to evaluate department priorities and set up meetings, as necessary, with individual employees, to assess current work responsibilities and tasks. Supervisors are expected to develop plans to ensure the continuity of work, including redistributing or suspending certain duties as needed.


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Is there paperwork I need to complete to place employees on furlough?
No, the Department of Human Resources will update their status in the appropriate systems.

Human Resources will reactivate furloughed employees upon their return to work.


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Do I need to approve timesheets for my furloughed employee(s)?
No, supervisor time sheet and/or leave report approval is not required for furloughed employees.


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What if I need to retrieve information or ask my furloughed employee a work related question?
As previously mentioned, furlough is categorized as unpaid leave. Therefore, Supervisors are not permitted to contact any furloughed employees regarding work matters nor may they ask coworkers to make any such inquiries on the supervisor's behalf.


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Can I contact my furloughed employee during this period?
Any work related communication, including phone calls, emails or text messages should not be sent by Supervisors to furloughed employees.

However, Supervisors are allowed to maintain contact with furloughed employees regarding non-work related matters.


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My employees are contacting me about furlough. To whom should I refer them?
In order to deliver a consistent response, you should direct any inquiries as set forth below. Please e-mail benefits@shu.edu or call one of the numbers below between the hours of 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday:

  • Babette Brooks
    Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9054
  • Noreen Singer
    Benefits Specialist: (862) 338-9055
  • Terri Demarest
    Director, Benefits, Compensation and Employment: (862) 338-9053

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19

 

Do I have to produce a doctor's note if I am unable to work because of illness?

Employees are not required to produce a doctor's note under these circumstances. In cases of temporary disability, additional documentation may be required.


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What if I am at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidelines?

Employees should take reasonable precautions consistent with CDC guidelines and seek advice from your medical provider.

Employees may also direct questions to the HR Email Box and Health Services.


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What if I have fear or anxiety about COVID-19?

The University offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides counseling services to employees. You can also view this webinar created by Cigna titled: Managing Anxiety: Coronavirus Fears & Concerns.


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How do I fill out my timesheet if I'm not working due to illness or I'm unable to work during self-quarantine?

If you are unable to work due to illness, inform your supervisor and use available sick leave for the days you are not working. 


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How should employees on the biweekly payroll complete their timesheets?

Employees working on campus or remotely should fill out their timesheets as normal based on their established schedule. For full-time employees, 70 hours of regular time should be listed each pay period, unless overtime is required.

If you are continuing to work remotely and there is a day you will not be working, consult with your supervisor to use your available sick or vacation leave, as appropriate. 

If you are an employee reporting to campus and unable to work, contact your supervisor to use available sick or vacation leave, as appropriate. If there is a concern about working due to illness and you do not have any sick leave balance available, please contact the Department of Human Resources. 

 


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As a Federal Work Study, how do I complete my timesheet?

The attached document contains instructions on how to complete your timesheet.


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Do I have access to medical and behavioral/mental health virtual care through my health plan with Cigna?

Yes, access to medical and behavioral/mental health virtual care is available. View more details on the Cigna Virtual Care flyer here »


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