Tag: COVID-19

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

HR and the Courts

July 13, 2020 8:12 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: University Sued by Faculty Union Claiming Layoffs of Adjunct Faculty Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Violates the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security... 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

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

HR and the Courts

June 15, 2020 10:06 am

Each month, CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard provides an overview of some labor and employment law cases and regulatory actions with implications for the higher ed workplace. Here’s the latest from Ira: Federal Court Dismisses Medical Resident’s Claim Under “Intercorporate Immunity Doctrine” That States Discussions of Student Performance by Faculty Members and University Officials Are... View Article

Returning to the Workplace: Employee Expectations

June 10, 2020 12:11 pm

Teleworking arrangements necessitated by COVID-19 were an entirely new experience for many higher ed employees. While some may have initially struggled to adjust to a virtual workspace, shelter-in-place directives have given workers time to settle into this new way of work — just in time to shake things up again. Now, institutions are thinking about... View Article

Checking in Again With Jay Stephens: Focus on the Future

June 9, 2020 7:09 am

CUPA-HR Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Shomaker is back again with Jay Stephens, vice president for human capital services at Kansas State University. Jay explains how Kansas State is moving from crisis mode to focusing on the future and offers advice on planning for a fall return to campus. Related Resources Preparing for... 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

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

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

CDC Releases New Reopening Guidelines and Updated Considerations for Higher Ed

May 22, 2020 5:57 am

On May 19, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published detailed guidelines for reopening schools and businesses that were closed due to stay-at-home orders resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The 60-page document summarizes the agency’s initiatives, activities and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19 and also provides specific guidance... 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

Checking in With Ira Shepard: Employee Health and Safety on Return to Campus

May 7, 2020 2:53 pm

CUPA-HR Vice President and Chief Learning Officer Sissy Meredith is back again with Ira Shepard, CUPA-HR’s general counsel and of counsel at Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr, this time with a focus on health and safety considerations for returning to campus, including developing or updating policies and protocols for personal protective equipment, temperature checks, employee... 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

Checking in With Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes: Building Community Amid the Craziness

May 6, 2020 9:48 am

CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley catches up with Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes, executive director and chief human resources officer at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. Sheraine shares how the HR team collaborated with colleagues across the university to create programming that engages APSU parents working remotely to acknowledge the challenges of working from home with... View Article

Preparing for the Return to Campus: Two Institutions Share Their Approach

May 1, 2020 1:27 pm

In March, many colleges and universities had policies and procedures in place that provided guidance for moving to online instruction and telework arrangements while ensuring that their communities stayed safe and well. However, now, as we pivot toward fall, we’re in uncharted territory. Enrollment and budget shortfalls are likely, and COVID-19 will continue to be... View Article

Checking in With Ira Shepard: 6 Considerations for Returning to Campus

May 1, 2020 12:41 pm

CUPA-HR Vice President and Chief Learning Officer Sissy Meredith catches up with Ira Shepard, CUPA-HR’s general counsel and of counsel at Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr, about key considerations in planning for faculty and staff to return to campus. As Ira points out, HR is in a unique position to take the lead in developing... View Article

DOL Announces Extensions and Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans

May 1, 2020 8:09 am

On April 28, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued deadline extensions and other guidance under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The two notices and an FAQ document provide guidance to help benefits plan participants, sponsors and fiduciaries impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The... View Article

Checking in With Jay Stephens: Returning to Campus

April 24, 2020 11:09 am

CUPA-HR Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Shomaker catches up with Jay Stephens, vice president for human capital services at Kansas State University, to find out how Kansas State is planning for the return to campus. Central to the university’s planning efforts is building a framework of criteria based on the university’s guiding principles.... View Article

Checking in With Jenna Elmer: Each of Us Has a Heroic Path

April 22, 2020 8:57 am

CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley catches up with Jenna Elmer, assistant director for HR in facilities management at The University of Arizona. Jenna shares thoughts on listening, leading with grace, and helping each employee find a way to be active in the fight, whether it’s the person pulling on the hazmat suit, a supervisor... View Article

Checking in With Heather Hart at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana: Communication and Productivity Across Multiple Campuses

April 20, 2020 10:40 am

Wes Harmon, senior manager of learning and professional development at CUPA-HR, catches up with Heather Hart, executive director of human resources at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana-Lafayette. Heather shares ways her institution communicated across their 18-campus system and the work plans they developed to assist with identifying gaps and strategically deploying resources and people.... View Article

Checking in With Janet May at Houston Community College: Employee Well-Being

April 14, 2020 8:53 am

Wes Harmon, senior manager of learning and professional development at CUPA-HR, catches up with Janet May, chief human resources officer at Houston Community College. Janet shares ways that HCC has promoted well-being among faculty and staff by keeping the lines of communication open and consistently promoting flexibility, kindness, consideration and compassion. Related Resources COVID-19 Resources... View Article

Student Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

April 13, 2020 9:37 am

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, policymakers are providing new financial assistance to workers impacted by the outbreak. One form of assistance is additional unemployment compensation for both previously eligible individuals and new classes of workers. Questions remain, however, about which workers qualify to receive such benefits, including whether students who perform work for... View Article

Checking in With Susan Norton at Augusta University: Essential Employees and Leave Provisions

April 8, 2020 11:37 am

CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley catches up with Susan Norton, vice president for human resources at Augusta University in Georgia. Susan shares how Augusta’s definition of essential vs. reserved employees has evolved, and how the university is working to clarify leave and telework options for employees with a quick-reference chart and more. Related Resources... View Article

U.S. Immigration Considerations for Colleges and Universities During the COVID-19 Crisis

April 7, 2020 12:48 pm

This blog was contributed by Aaron Blumberg and Patrick Shen of Fragomen Government Strategies and Compliance Group. The COVID-19 public health crisis has compelled the United States and many countries to implement travel restrictions and quarantines. This raises severe immigration-related operational and regulatory compliance concerns, especially for colleges and universities who have highly diverse international... View Article

Checking in With Theresa Elliot-Cheslek at Washington State University: Remote Work Arrangements

April 3, 2020 12:59 pm

CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley catches up with Theresa Elliot-Cheslek, vice president and chief human resources officer at Washington State University. WSU was one of the first institutions to move large numbers of employees to remote work arrangements in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and Theresa shares how they’re making it work. Related Resources... View Article

Alert: DOL and IRS Issue April 1 Guidance on FFCRA Leave

April 2, 2020 7:02 am

Key Issues CUPA-HR > COVID-19 DOL and IRS Issue April 1 Guidance on FFCRA Leave April 1, 2020 (WASHINGTON INSIDER ALERT) - On April 1, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Treasury Department, and the IRS issued additional guidance on the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act,... View Article

CARES Act Educational Stabilization Fund — Provisions for Higher Ed

March 27, 2020 4:24 pm

The novel coronavirus is exacting tremendous strain on campuses across the country. Students are experiencing unprecedented disruption, and colleges and universities are confronting financial and operational upheaval. The resulting revenue losses could adversely impact institutional ability to sustain pay and benefits for faculty and staff. In light of this crisis, the American Council on Education... View Article

House Passes Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

March 27, 2020 2:43 pm

As COVID-19 inflicts unprecedented disruption across every sector of the economy, the unemployment insurance (UI) system is undergoing extraordinary strain. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported that 3.3 million people filed for unemployment insurance during the week that ended on March 21 — the biggest spike in unemployment filings in U.S. history. Analysts predict... View Article

4 Tips for Keeping Your Newly Remote Team Engaged

March 26, 2020 11:23 am

For most institutions, the onset of the COVID-19 crisis required rapid response on countless fronts, including moving a substantial number of employees to full- or part-time work from home. However, as the technical and logistical dust has settled, and the reality of long-term remote work has set in, many teams have wrestled with finding a... View Article

Congress Passes Emergency Bill That Will Continue Providing GI Bill Educational Assistance Benefits to Student Veterans Transitioning to Online Learning Due to COVID-19

March 23, 2020 3:42 pm

On March 19, the House of Representatives passed Senate bill S. 3503, an emergency bill that will continue providing GI bill educational assistance benefits to student veterans who have had to transition to online learning for emergencies and health-related situations such as COVID-19. CUPA-HR supported the American Council on Education (ACE) in sending a letter... View Article

Behind the Scenes: How Your HR Peers Are Managing the COVID-19 Crisis

March 18, 2020 9:14 am

Across the country, institutions are adapting to COVID-19 by exploring and implementing solutions for business continuity, as well as care of faculty, students and staff. CUPA-HR recently asked members to share what they’re doing in response to the outbreak, what workforce conversations and actions are taking place on campus, what campus communications plans have been... View Article