Biden Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for All Federal Employees and Certain Federal Contractors

July 30, 2021 7:21 am

On Thursday July 29, President Biden announced the release of preliminary guidelines for a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all federal employees. This decision is Biden’s most recent effort to promote vaccination nationwide and combat the spread of the Delta variant. Overview of Vaccination Mandate Guidelines Every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their... View Article

Department of Education Issues Q&A on Title IX Regulations

July 22, 2021 2:11 pm

On July 20, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a questions-and-answers (Q&A) resource. According to a press release from OCR, “the Q&A clarifies how OCR interprets schools’ existing obligations under the 2020 amendments” and includes an appendix, which “responds to schools’ requests for examples of Title IX procedures that may be... View Article

HR and the Courts

July 19, 2021 10:07 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA in Antitrust Lawsuit, Opening the Path to More Compensation for Student-Athletes  On June 21, the U.S. Supreme... View Article

Education Secretary Testifies on the Department’s Policies and Priorities During House Committee Hearing

July 7, 2021 12:55 pm

On June 24, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified on behalf of the Department of Education to discuss and answer questions about the department’s goals and commitments to the education community through the elementary... View Article

2021 Benefits Report Examines Higher Ed Parental Leave Practices and More

June 30, 2021 10:32 am

According to the CUPA-HR 2021 Benefits in Higher Education Annual Report, fewer than 40 percent of higher ed institutions offer paid parental leave to new parents. The recently released report examines the benefits offered to higher ed employees, including healthcare plans, wellness programs, paid time off, tuition benefits and retirement. For institutions that offer it,... View Article

CDC Issues Guidance for Higher Ed in Anticipation of an In-Person Fall Semester

June 29, 2021 12:00 pm

On June 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued revised guidance for higher ed institutions, providing updated recommendations for institutions considering the partial or full resumption of in-person learning for the upcoming academic year. The guidance is intended to supplement rather than replace federal, state and local health and safety regulations for... View Article

Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA Rules Limiting Education Benefits Offered to Student-Athletes

June 23, 2021 12:09 pm

On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrow but significant decision in NCAA v. Alston. The Court unanimously ruled against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), deciding that the NCAA’s strict limitations on education-related benefits that higher education institutions can offer to student-athletes violates federal antitrust law. In the ruling, which was written... View Article

Senate Committee Holds Hearings on Name, Image and Likeness Compensation

June 23, 2021 12:00 pm

On June 9 and June 17, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held two hearings titled “NCAA Athlete NIL Rights” and “NCAA Student Athletes and NIL Rights,” respectively. During the hearings, senators and witnesses discussed proposals to allow students to monetize their name, image and likeness (NIL) in schools across the country, in... View Article

Findings From CUPA-HR’s 2021 Staff in Higher Education Annual Report

June 22, 2021 9:00 am

The pandemic impacted every area of the higher ed workforce, including non-exempt employees. According to CUPA-HR’s recently released 2021 Staff in Higher Education Annual Report, the size of the non-exempt staff workforce saw a drastic decline during the pandemic, an understandable outcome given the number of non-exempt higher education employees whose work can only be... View Article

New Guidance on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Under Title VII and Title IX

June 21, 2021 2:24 pm

On June 15 and 16, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new resources on federal enforcement of protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year in Bostock v. Clayton County that the bar on workplace discrimination based... View Article

HR and the Courts

June 14, 2021 10:57 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. EEOC Issues Guidance That Employers Can Offer Vaccine Incentives to Employees The EEOC issued guidance in late May of this year indicating that... View Article

OSHA Issues Emergency Standard for Healthcare, Updates General Industry Guidance

June 10, 2021 3:14 pm

On June 10, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) establishing requirements employers must follow to limit workers potential COVID-19 exposure for those employees providing health care services and health care support services. The ETS and fact sheets are available here. While we are still reviewing the ETS, OSHA’s accompanying fact sheet indicates the ETS coverage extends to all settings “where any... View Article

CUPA-HR Files Comments on Behalf of Higher Education to Inform DOL RFI on Prevailing Wage Levels for Foreign Workers

June 3, 2021 9:58 am

On June 1, CUPA-HR, joined by five other higher education associations, submitted comments in response to the Department of Labor’s Request for Information (RFI) about data and methods for determining prevailing wage levels for temporary and permanent immigrant and non-immigrant employees, including employees on H1-B visas. The DOL’s RFI was issued shortly before the agency... View Article

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Vaccinations and Other Pandemic-Related Issues

May 28, 2021 11:19 am

On May 28, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released updated and expanded technical assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and posted a new resource for job applicants and employees. The expanded technical assistance provides new information about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply when an employer offers... View Article

ICE Announces Extension and New Employee Guidance to Form I-9 Compliance Flexibility

May 27, 2021 3:16 pm

On May 26, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of Form I-9 compliance flexibilities that was initially granted last year. Citing continued precautions due to COVID-19, the announcement declared that the flexibilities would be extended until August 31, 2021. The announcement continues March 2020 guidance that allows employers to examine Form... View Article

New Report Highlights Changes to the Professional Workforce in the Wake of the Pandemic

May 20, 2021 8:30 am

The higher ed professional workforce decreased slightly in size during the pandemic, though certain positions saw notable increases. According to CUPA-HR’s 2021 Professionals in Higher Education Annual Report released today, the number of full-time exempt higher ed employees decreased by 0.4 percent in the last year (2020-21), compared to an overall 4.4 percent increase in the... View Article

HR and the Courts

May 18, 2021 8:42 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. Supreme Court Agrees to Review First Amendment Free Speech Case Filed by Community College Trustee Opposing His College Board’s Decision to Censure Him ... View Article

House Passes the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

May 4, 2021 10:02 am

Updated 5/17/21 On May 14, the House of Representatives voted (315-101) to pass H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will require employers to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The bill, which had amassed 228 cosponsors in the House (208 Democrats and 20 Republicans) ahead... View Article

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Create Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

April 30, 2021 10:37 am

On April 26, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (EO), which creates the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment (Task Force). Citing the decline in union density, the EO and newly created Task Force aim to “encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining and to promote equality of bargaining power between... View Article

President Biden Issues Executive Order Requiring $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

April 29, 2021 8:24 am

Editor’s Note: Explore the side-by-side comparison of minimum wage EOs from 2014 and 2021. This comparison illuminates the differences between the Obama administration’s executive order and the one issued in April by the Biden administration. On April 27, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) increasing the minimum wage federal contractors pay from $10.95... View Article

5 HR Considerations for Fall Vaccination Planning

April 28, 2021 8:49 am

Whether your institution is mandating, incentivizing or encouraging vaccinations for employees, HR has a critical role to play in how the plan is communicated and how barriers to getting vaccinated are mitigated. Consider overall campus safety and messaging when communicating which groups will and will not be required to be vaccinated this fall. For example,... View Article

Flexible Work Is the Future of Work — Seizing the “New Normal” for Increased Engagement and Productivity

April 27, 2021 8:49 am

This post was contributed by Bryan Garey, vice president and chief human resources officer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A transformation of the workplace is taking place right before our eyes. From pandemic-driven urgency, workplaces are succeeding in meeting both customer expectations and employee needs through creative approaches that have redefined where, when and... View Article

New Report Findings: Higher Ed Administrators Overall Received Near-Zero Pay Increases Over the Past Year

April 26, 2021 10:40 am

The severe budget cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many colleges and universities to freeze hiring, cut positions, and, in some cases, decrease salaries. According to CUPA-HR’s recently released Administrators in Higher Education Annual Report, when salary increases occurred in the higher ed workforce over the past year, they tended to go... View Article

HR and the Courts

April 20, 2021 12:26 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. Court of Appeals Reinstates Professor’s First Amendment Free Speech and Religious Discrimination Challenge to University’s Preferred Pronoun Policy on Transgender Students  The U.S.... View Article

CUPA-HR Soundbite: Can Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines?

April 12, 2021 11:10 am

Note: See the results of CUPA-HR’s April Snap Poll to find out how institutions are structuring their vaccination policies and the types of incentives they’re offering. Mandating or strongly recommending COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff raises a host of legal and practical considerations for higher ed employers. In a recent CUPA-HR webinar presented in... View Article

New Report Highlights Importance of Financial Wellness and Literacy Among Higher Ed Workforce

April 5, 2021 10:33 am

Editor’s note: Be sure to join Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at TIAA Institute, and Melissa Fuesting, survey researcher at CUPA-HR, on Wednesday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) for the webinar, “Faculty Retirement Patterns and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities.” In addition to their findings on changes to the expected retirement age for faculty, Paul... View Article

New Report Highlights Changes to Faculty Workforce in the Wake of the Pandemic

March 30, 2021 8:39 am

The severe budget cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many institutions to freeze hiring, cut positions and, in some cases, decrease salaries. The recently released 2021 CUPA-HR Faculty in Higher Education Report highlights the overall changes to faculty size and salaries over the past year. In the academic year prior to the pandemic... View Article

Boost Your Pay Equity Know-How By Tapping Into These Resources

March 24, 2021 11:02 am

Today, March 24, is Equal Pay Day. Originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity, Equal Pay Day is meant to bring awareness to how far into the year women working full-time must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. One way CUPA-HR strives to build awareness around pay equity is by... View Article

COBRA Subsidies Included in the American Rescue Plan Act

March 23, 2021 11:21 am

On March 11, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which is the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that included various provisions aimed at providing relief to employers, employees and consumers recovering from the economic burdens imposed on them during the pandemic. Included in this bill was... View Article

The Impact of COVID-19 on Retirement Readiness for the Higher Ed Workforce

March 22, 2021 11:06 am

Editor’s note: Be sure to join Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at TIAA Institute, and Melissa Fuesting, survey researcher at CUPA-HR, on Wednesday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) for the webinar, “Faculty Retirement Patterns and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities.” In addition to their findings on changes to the expected retirement age for faculty, Paul... View Article

HR and the Courts

March 17, 2021 11:33 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. Spouse’s Lawsuit — Attempting to Hold the Employer Liable for COVID-19 Infection Allegedly Contracted From Husband After He Contracted COVID-19 at Work —... View Article

DOL Delays Effective Date of Final Rule Altering Prevailing Wage Levels

March 15, 2021 8:00 am

UPDATE: On March 22, DOL issued a proposal to further delay the effective date of the rule by 18 months or until November 14, 2022, along with corresponding proposed delays to the rule’s transition dates. DOL has provided a 30-day comment period on the proposal and announced its intention to issue a Request for Information... View Article

NLRB Withdraws Proposed Rule on Student Workers

March 12, 2021 12:55 pm

On March 12, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced it would be withdrawing its 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (proposed rule) addressing the extent to which students who perform services for private higher education institutions are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The official Notice of Withdrawal will be published in the... View Article

House Passes the PRO Act

March 11, 2021 10:00 am

On March 9, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which is a massive labor reform bill designed to increase union density. Criticized as a “left-wing wishlist” for unions by House Republicans, the bill passed the House mostly along party lines by a vote of 225-206, with... View Article

Executive Order Directs Review of Trump Administration’s Title IX Rule

March 8, 2021 4:25 pm

On March 8, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The EO sets forth the administration’s policy that “all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination... View Article

House Passes Equality Act

February 26, 2021 2:25 pm

On February 25, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act by a vote of 224 to 206. Three Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill that would make employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity unlawful. The bill would amend existing civil rights laws —... View Article

New CUPA-HR Brief Finds Crucial Need for Succession Planning and Focus on Diversity for the Higher Ed Skilled Craft Workforce

February 17, 2021 1:13 pm

The higher ed skilled craft workforce possesses the skills necessary to maintain and improve the physical facilities and infrastructure of college campuses. However, the aging of this workforce and the lack of younger workers to take the place of older employees as they retire puts institutions in a challenging position to attract new talent. CUPA-HR’s Higher... View Article

HR and the Courts

February 15, 2021 9:13 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira. Biden Administration Issues Executive Order Calling on OSHA to Determine Whether There Is a Need to Issue Emergency Temporary Standards Protecting Workers From... View Article

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on DOL Secretary Nominee

February 12, 2021 9:00 am

On February 4, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as the Secretary of Labor under the Biden administration. Walsh was nominated to serve as Secretary of Labor on January 7, 2021, beating out many other front runners for the... View Article

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Faculty Retirement Patterns — Highlights From the 2020 Higher Education Financial Wellness Survey

January 27, 2021 11:19 am

Editor’s note: Be sure to join Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at TIAA Institute, and Melissa Fuesting, survey researcher at CUPA-HR, on Wednesday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) for the webinar, “Faculty Retirement Patterns and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities.” In addition to their findings on changes to the expected retirement age for faculty, Paul... View Article

HR and the Courts

January 19, 2021 9:48 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Trump Workplace Diversity Training Executive Order Halted by Federal District Court Nationwide A federal judge blocked President Trump’s ban on “divisive” workplace diversity... View Article

DOL Announces Final Rule Raising Prevailing Wage Minimums for H-1B Visas

January 13, 2021 10:11 am

On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that will raise government prevailing wage minimums for foreign professional workers under the H-1B and other visa programs. The rule revises a previously released Interim Final Rule (IFR) that took effect on October 8, 2020, but was subsequently struck down by... View Article

Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard Implements COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protocols

December 16, 2020 11:42 am

On November 30, the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) issued a final Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) implementing COVID-19 workplace safety protocols that went into effect immediately and apply to all employees and places of employment within the state, including universities and colleges, regardless of size or industry sector. As indicated... View Article

COVID-19-Related Emergency Relief Provisions Set to Expire in 2020

December 15, 2020 12:22 pm

Two laws Congress passed in the spring of 2020 to provide temporary economic and regulatory relief to individuals and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are due to expire by the end of this year. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) included significant... View Article

HR and the Courts

December 14, 2020 12:47 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Many U.S. Federal and State Courts Cancelling Jury Trials Due to Surges in Positive COVID-19 Cases Bloomberg News reports that courts across the... View Article

Summaries of November and December CUPA-HR Letters and Advocacy Efforts

December 11, 2020 2:04 pm

In late November and early December, CUPA-HR joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and other higher education associations in sending letters to Congress and federal agencies regarding policies that significantly impact institutions of higher education. Below is a list and summaries of the letters CUPA-HR has recently signed onto. Letter to President-Elect Joe Biden... View Article

HR and the Courts

November 16, 2020 1:08 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: University Maintenance Director’s Email to Employees Regarding Coworker’s COVID-19 Exposure Protected by the First Amendment A federal district court judge recently denied a... View Article

10 Ways to Be a Better Advocate for Your Institution’s LGBTQ Community

November 11, 2020 12:53 pm

Rob Keel, policy analyst and HR communication specialist at Motlow State Community College and a 2019-20 CUPA-HR Wildfire program participant, highlights takeaways from the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference to help higher ed HR pros become better resources and advocates for the LGBTQ communities on their campuses.  In January 2020, I traveled from... View Article

CUPA-HR, Other Associations Ask DOL to Rescind Flawed Rule on Prevailing Wage Minimums for H-1B Visas

November 9, 2020 8:27 am

On November 9, CUPA-HR and 18 other associations submitted comments regarding the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) entitled “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” DOL’s IFR was unveiled on October 8 and went into effect immediately — preventing the regulated community, including... View Article

Potential Labor and Employment Policies Resulting From the 2020 Elections

October 21, 2020 1:16 pm

Regardless of who wins the 2020 elections, the higher education community can expect big changes in labor and employment policy. Which policy initiatives are pursued will depend on who occupies the White House and which party controls either (or both) chambers of Congress. To help CUPA-HR members navigate and understand the possible outcomes, we have... View Article

8 Practical Ways Higher Ed HR Leaders Can Build Trust

October 19, 2020 9:21 am

In times of uncertainty, employees turn to leaders they trust to guide the path forward. In their CUPA-HR virtual annual conference session, “Grabbing at Smoke, or Building Trust?,” Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes, executive director and chief HR officer at Austin Peay State University, and Donovan Johnson, compensation analyst at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a 2019-20... View Article

HR and the Courts

October 12, 2020 2:28 pm

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Courts Revisiting Telework as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA — Asthmatic Employee Awarded COVID-19 Related Telework Accommodation by Federal Court as a... View Article

Rising to the Occasion and Our Calling: 3 Takeaways From the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference

October 8, 2020 12:08 pm

Those who participated in this year’s virtual annual conference experienced powerful and inspiring messages from keynote speakers and higher ed leaders on timely topics, such as systemic racism in the higher ed workplace; how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the higher ed landscape, provided growth opportunities and strengthened bonds and trust; and much more. Here... View Article

USCIS Fee Rule Increase Temporarily Blocked

October 5, 2020 10:28 am

On September 29, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California preliminarily enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing or enforcing any part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule (Fee Rule). The Fee Rule was set to take effect... View Article

Trump Issues Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

October 2, 2020 10:13 am

CUPA-HR Signs on to Letter to President Trump Regarding the Executive Order on “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” (October 8, 2020) On September 22, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” Once implemented, the EO will impose new requirements on federal contractors, including colleges and universities, with respect to content... View Article

Taking Care of You, Your HR Colleagues and Your Campus Community

September 22, 2020 11:05 am

The last several months have been like nothing we have ever experienced, as COVID-19 disrupted and reshaped our lives and our work. These work and life challenges have taken a toll on our mental health and well-being, and it is so important that we acknowledge this and find ways to address these challenges for ourselves,... View Article

Senate Committee Discusses Name, Image and Likeness Compensation for Intercollegiate Student-Athletes

September 18, 2020 10:04 am

On September 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing titled, “Compensating College Athletes: Examining the Potential Impact on Athletes and Institutions.” The hearing was part of ongoing Senate discussions on potential federal legislation to permit student-athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness (NIL) while participating in National... View Article

Department of Education Finalizes New Rule

September 14, 2020 9:58 am

On September 9, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the publication of a final rule that implements President Trump’s Executive Order 13864, Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities. The new rule conditions federal research or education grants on compliance with the First Amendment for public institutions and compliance with stated... View Article

HR and the Courts

September 10, 2020 9:41 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of several labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Transgender Professor Seeks Preliminary Injunction Prohibiting State of Arizona Healthcare Plan From Denying Coverage for Medically Necessary Gender-Affirming Surgery A professor at an... View Article

August Round-Up of Important DOL Guidance and Regulations

September 3, 2020 1:18 pm

During the month of August, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued a variety of regulations and guidance documents focusing on key employment issues related to COVID-19, including the paid leave policies within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and employers’ responsibility to track telework hours. Below is a brief... View Article

Summaries of Recent CUPA-HR Letters and Other Advocacy Efforts

August 4, 2020 11:26 am

Over the last few weeks, the American Council on Education (ACE), with the support of CUPA-HR and other higher education organizations, sent letters to Congress and federal agencies regarding policies impacting institutions of higher education as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a list and summaries of the letters CUPA-HR has recently signed... View Article

Long-Term Remote Work: 3 Adjustments for HR to Consider

July 29, 2020 11:57 am

The global health pandemic has reshaped where, how and when we do our work. Many employers are beginning to accept that remote work is not just a temporary work arrangement, but a long-term solution for employees whose job function can be completed outside a traditional office setting. These are just a few points for HR... View Article

How HR Can Help Eliminate Racial Microaggressions in the Workplace

July 27, 2020 11:35 am

Have you ever heard someone at your institution say to a person of color, “When I look at you, I don’t see color?” Microaggressions such as this “colorblind” statement may not mean to intentionally demean the recipient, but intentional or not, it denies a person of color’s racial or ethnic experiences. Microaggressions were a common... View Article

3 Ways HR Managers Can Help Reignite Their Teams’ Passion for the Work

July 22, 2020 12:29 pm

Prior to the global health crisis adding more work to higher ed HR’s already-full plate, most teams had pockets of time throughout the week to pause and celebrate accomplishments and plan ahead for the next big project. Now, the increased workload has created a more reactive rather than proactive environment — a way of working... View Article

Summer Reading List Recommendations From Your Higher Ed HR Peers

July 20, 2020 11:02 am

That professional development conference or in-person skills course you excitedly marked on your calendar at the beginning of the year may not be happening now due to COVID-19, but HR pros can still engage in professional development opportunities on their own time. A great place to start is by building a robust reading list of... View Article

National Science Foundation Revises Certain Award Terms and Conditions

July 17, 2020 10:28 am

In early July, the National Science Foundation (NSF) revised a number of award terms and conditions to include a post-award disclosure requirement for undisclosed current support and in-kind contribution information. Along with this new requirement, each set of terms and conditions is accompanied by a summary of changes made to that document. The NSF Award... View Article

Keep the Momentum Moving Forward for DEI

July 8, 2020 1:55 pm

In recent weeks, we’ve highlighted key takeaways from CUPA-HR’s town hall meeting, Partners in Justice — We Will Not Be Silent! Leaning into uncomfortable conversations to help lead the charge for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and addressing systemic racism and inequality on the individual, team and organizational levels are just two of the “nuggets”... View Article

Recent Immigration Updates

July 6, 2020 11:09 am

Over the past two months there have been several important actions on immigration policy. Below we provide brief summaries of the activity. USCIS Resumes Premium Processing in Phases for Forms I-129 and I-140 On May 29, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will resume premium processing in phases for Forms I-129 and eligible... View Article

Lean in to the Uncomfortable — 3 Ways Higher Ed HR Can Lead the Charge for DEI

July 1, 2020 2:19 pm

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This sobering statement echoed throughout CUPA-HR’s recent town hall meeting, where higher ed HR panelists discussed how to tackle systemic racism on campus and urged higher ed HR pros to challenge leaders and rethink policies and procedures that perpetuate ongoing inequalities and create barriers to inclusivity. Panelists shared these three... View Article

NSF Issues Guidance on Award Salary and Benefit Payments and Suspension of Operations

July 1, 2020 6:25 am

On June 25, the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued guidance implementing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s Memorandum M-20-26, “Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Due to Loss of Operations.” OMB’s M-20-26 extends administrative relief from certain requirements under the regulations... View Article

Form I-9 and E-Verify: What’s Changed Due to COVID-19?

June 29, 2020 4:47 pm

This past spring, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced temporary flexibility in complying with Form I-9 requirements. While the initial extension deadline was set for mid-June, DHS has again extended its policy due to continued precautions related to COVID-19. The temporary change provides Form I-9 flexibility through... View Article

New CUPA-HR Report Shows Associate’s Institutions Lead in Retirement Benefits Offerings

June 24, 2020 7:33 am

According to findings from CUPA-HR’s Benefits in Higher Education Report — Paid Time Off, Tuition Reimbursement, and Retirement, associate’s institutions have some of the most generous retirement benefits in comparison to doctoral, masters or baccalaureate institutions. The 403(b) plan is the most popular retirement plan for both private institutions (where 92 percent offer it) and... View Article

Become a Better Champion for DEI by Focusing on These Three Areas

June 23, 2020 12:51 pm

The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and too many others have prompted a flood of angry voices demanding justice and radical change. Many of us have joined those voices in our communities. As higher ed HR leaders committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), we are also uniquely positioned... View Article

CUPA-HR Asks Senate to Provide Unemployment Insurance Relief for Self-Insured Colleges and Universities

June 8, 2020 1:40 pm

On June 1, CUPA-HR joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and other higher education associations in sending a letter to Senate leaders requesting additional unemployment insurance (UI) relief for self-insured colleges and universities. The letter raises concerns with Department of Labor (DOL) guidance requiring self-insured nonprofits to pay money to state UI agencies before... View Article

AI and the Quest for a Meaningful Employee Experience

June 8, 2020 8:00 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will require the entire workforce to learn new skills, whether it’s to keep up to date with an existing role or pursue a new career as a result of automation. AI will not eliminate jobs; it will create them. And HR will be focused not only on the employee’s ability to do... View Article

Being Stronger Together Means We Must Move Talk to Action

June 4, 2020 12:46 pm

Like millions of Americans, my heart aches and I have no words to adequately express my anger, my sadness or my frustration regarding the recent events that have shaken our country. Members of our national board recently shared the following questions. How do we help our campuses become stronger as a result of this turmoil?... View Article

Title IX Final Rule – 10 Things You Need to Know

June 3, 2020 8:45 am

The content in this blog post is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.  Higher ed HR pros are working tirelessly to update institutions’ policies and procedures after the sudden shift of work operations as a result of the public health crisis. On top of this workload, institutions must now... View Article

Higher Education Community Asks Congress for COVID-19 Liability Protections

June 2, 2020 9:44 am

On May 28, CUPA-HR, along with the American Council on Education (ACE) and other higher education organizations, sent a letter to Congressional leaders requesting “temporary and targeted” liability protections for institutions of higher education for incidents related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizations stressed in the letter the importance of liability protections as colleges and... View Article

The Importance of Upskilling During Turbulent Times

June 1, 2020 7:45 am

Many institutions will return to campus this fall with tighter budgets and a leaner workforce. Preparing the internal talent pipeline and keeping employee skill sets agile through upskilling will be critical to navigating these challenging times. The term “upskill” has been turning up with increasing regularity in conversations about continual learning and keeping staff current... View Article

OSHA Issues Revised Guidance on Recording Work-Related COVID-19 Cases

May 27, 2020 9:54 am

On May 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued revised enforcement guidance clarifying employers’ obligations to record work-related COVID-19 cases during the public health emergency. The enforcement guidance, titled “Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” sets forth criteria determining when a case of COVID-19 illness is work-related, and... View Article

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Reopening American Workplaces and Schools

May 15, 2020 2:25 pm

On May 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing titled, “COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School.” The hearing allowed the committee and four public health experts to discuss risks and best practices moving forward for reopening workplaces and schools as states begin to reopen their economies... View Article

IRS Increases Flexibility for Section 125 Cafeteria Plans

May 15, 2020 10:08 am

On May 12, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released two notices providing temporary increased flexibility for Section 125 Cafeteria Plans, health plans that allow workers to choose from a variety of benefits on a pre-tax basis. The first notice, Notice 2020-29, provides relief for taxpayers who are experiencing changes in their expenses due to the... View Article

SBA Releases Nondiscrimination and Additional Eligibility Criteria for the Paycheck Protection Program

May 11, 2020 12:31 pm

On May 6, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule (IFR) to supplement previously issued IFRs implementing the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The new IFR provides guidance tailored for institutions of higher education, such as additional eligibility requirements with respect to student workers and nondiscrimination obligations. The CARES Act,... View Article

Federal Government Issues Guidance on UI, SBA Loans and Offers to Return to Work

May 6, 2020 4:36 pm

The Department of Labor (DOL), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued guidance materials for employers and employees to help them better understand how financial assistance resources created in response to the coronavirus public health emergency will be impacted by employee rejection of reemployment opportunities offered by the employer.... View Article