For Our Employees


Latest Updates

Tuition Waiver Benefits

Employees who are using tuition waiver benefits will be able to apply them to those courses that have moved online as a result of the pandemic.


No In-Person Internships, Labs or Practicum

As of Friday, March 20, all face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the academic year has been suspended. This includes all internships, labs and practicums that require face-to-face contact. Students may still enroll for course credits if their work in these programs can be completed in a non face-to-face format. Please reach out to your department chair or program director for further guidance.


Work Remotely – EWU will remain open, not in suspended operations.

As of April 2, Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order has been extended until May 4. The directive requires Washingtonians to stay at home except for essential activities. In keeping with the governor’s directive, all faculty and staff who are able to telework must do so. While the governor’s current order will remain in place until midnight, May 4, employees should be prepared for possible extensions to the timeline. More: Telework Resources


Classes Will Resume April 6

EWU will delay the start of spring quarter by one week to Monday, April 6. This will allow our students, faculty and staff more time to prepare for the start of the term and increase opportunities to “flatten the curve.” We will be sharing a reduced academic calendar including a plan for finals very soon. Spring semester will also resume April 6, though some semester programs are resuming online coursework as early as March 23. Please consult with your departments for further details.

Human Resources & Leave Time

If you are sick, stay home. As of Thursday, March 19, all employees who are able to telework are encouraged do so if possible. Supervisors will be reaching out to their employees to facilitate discussion of options, and some positions that are critical to operations will need to remain on campus.

If an employee is coming to work on campus, the employee must first assess whether or not they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Employees should ask whether they have:

  • A new fever (100.4◦ or higher), or a sense of having a fever?
  • A new cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • New shortness of breath that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • A new sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • New muscle aches that you cannot attribute to another health condition, or that may have been caused by a specific activity (such as physical exercise)?

If you answer yes, to any of these questions, please remain at home and contact your medical provider for advice.

Employees who answer yes to any of these questions are asked to please remain at home and contact their medical providers for advice. This information will be posted outside of each of EWU’s facilities.

More: Telework Resources

  1. If you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus or have been advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine, you should immediately contact your supervisor. Supervisors are required to immediately notify Caren Lincoln, Director of Human Resources. To support employee’s privacy, supervisors shall not discuss reports of possible coronavirus with other employees.
  2. Call your healthcare provider or the emergency room before seeking medical treatment
  3. The Washington State Department of Health has information about how to identify coronavirus symptoms and what to do if you think you have been exposed. More

If an employee informs you of these conditions, you are required to immediately notify Caren Lincoln, Director of Human Resources. To support employee privacy, supervisors shall not discuss reports of possible coronavirus with other employees.

The Spokane Regional Health District will directly contact individuals who have been potentially exposed to someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. EWU is in daily contact with the Spokane Regional Health District to share information about potential exposures involving the university community.

To qualify to use university-accrued sick leave in these circumstances:

  • The employee is unable to work due to physical illness or when the employee is seeking medical diagnosis and care;
  • To allow the employee to provide care for a family member as defined in RCW 49.46.210 who is experiencing physical illness or who needs medical care;
  • Until the expiration of the governor’s proclamation 20-25, when the employee is unable to work because their supervisor has not identified them as performing essential work and has also determined they are unable to work remotely or telework; or,
  • When the university is closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason or when an employee’s child’s school or place of care has been closed for such a reason.

To qualify to use university-accrued sick leave in these circumstances:

  • The employee must be unable to work due to physical illness or is seeking medical diagnosis and care.
  • The employee must need to provide care for a family member as defined in RCW 49.46.210 who is experiencing physical illness or who needs medical care.
  • The university is closed by order of a public official for any health-related reason.
  • The employee’s child’s school or place of care has been closed for any health-related reason.

If a medical provider or the local health district recommends that you quarantine yourself, you should not come to work. If you are still able to work, you may contact your supervisor to determine whether or not teleworking is an option. If teleworking is not an option or you are not feeling well, you may use sick leave, shared leave, COVID-19 sick leave, personal holiday, vacation leave, compensatory leave, or leave without pay.

If someone in your household is asked to quarantine by a medical provider or local health district, it is possible that your entire household will be quarantined. You should follow the medical provider or local health district’s instructions and notify your supervisor if you are quarantined.

Yes. Shared leave is now available if an employee, a relative or household member is isolated or quarantined as recommended, requested, or ordered by a public health official or health care provider as a result of suspended or confirmed infection with or exposure to COVID-19.

The Department of Labor and Industries administers workers’ compensation claims in the State of Washington. Information about the coronavirus and workers’ compensation.

You should first explore with your supervisor whether telework is an option. If you are unable to work because your child’s school or daycare is closed, you may use available accrued sick leave, COVID-19 sick leave, COVID-19 FMLA, vacation leave, personal holiday, compensatory leave, or leave without pay.

Please visit the WA Health Care Authority COVID-19 page for more information.

As with any emergency, EWU sometimes needs to suspend operations to keep the community safe. In the event of a formal suspension of operations, the campus will be notified via EWU Alerts, as well as an official email. More: EWU Policy 601-02: Suspended Operations (Emergency Closure)

Essential personnel are identified as staff who are tasked with specific cleanup or maintenance duties. Certain dining services and facility employees are also required to work (consult with supervisor). When operations are suspended this means the library is also closed, but dining service locations will be open based on available personnel.

The Washington State EAP is offering wellness resources to help you and your loved ones cope with COVID-19. This includes a series of virtual sessions to provide support for employees, on topics including self-care, coping with stress and fear, and family support.  To register for a live presentation or to view a recorded session on-demand, visit the EAP COVID-19 Resource Page.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CODE: EWU)

We understand that the current COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant financial difficulties for individuals. There are a number of resources at EWU and in the Spokane community that may be of assistance to you during this difficult time:

Unemployment

If you were laid off, placed on standby status, or terminated from a job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. For information about eligibility for unemployment benefits and instructions on how to file a claim, go to esd.wa.gov/unemployment.

Additional resources can be found on the Spokane Public Library website.

Food Insecurity
EWU’s Food Pantry Program is still available to all members of the EWU community. For information about the Food Pantry Program, including how to access these services during break, visit the food pantry website.

Second Harvest Food Bank is still operating and offering food assistance. For information about where to access these resources, visit the Second Harvest website.

Housing Assistance
The Governor of the State of Washington has declared a 30-day moratorium on all residential evictions for non-payment of rent or for termination of a month-to-month tenancy. You can find information about this moratorium as well as some of the other recent changes to laws about health care, mortgages, and court hearings on the Washington Law Help website.

SNAP is a community resource that provides housing assistance to people in need. Information about the services offered by SNAP is available at snapwa.org/live.

If you are a student and need housing on campus, you can contact Housing & Residential Life at inside.ewu.edu/housing.

Student Care Team
EWU’s Student Care Team is here for you, even if they cannot meet in person. If you are a student and have concerns about your well-being or need assistance in locating community resources, information about the Student Care Team is available on the Student Care Team website.

Federal COVID-19 Leave Laws

These new leave options are available beginning April 1, 2020.

Yes. Beginning April 1, 2020, EWU is offering up to two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who are unable to work or telework because:

  • The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local isolation or quarantine order due to COVID-19;
  • A health care provider has advised the employee to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis;
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to federal, state, or local isolation or quarantine order due to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The employee needs to care for a minor child because the child’s school or place of care has closed or the child care provider for the minor child is unavailable due to COVID-19; or,
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This is in addition to accrued sick leave. Employees must contact HR to request COVID-19 sick leave. More information is contained in EWU Policy 403-06 (Pandemic Illness Leave).

The use of leave is governed by both Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and Policy, so the use of leave varies on your employment status.

Classified, PSE, and Unrepresented Exempt Staff may use accrued sick leave or available vacation if:

  • The employee or qualified family member contracts the coronavirus.
  • The Spokane Regional Health District or other public official quarantines an employee following exposure to the coronavirus.
  • The employee’s child’s school or place of care has been closed by a public health official due to the coronavirus.
  • The university is closed by order of a public official due to the coronavirus.
  • Until the expiration of the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, when the employee is unable to work because their supervisor has not identified them as falling within one of the exceptions to the Governor’s order and has also determined they are unable to work remotely or telework.

Temporary employees may use accrued sick leave for the purposes described above.


Faculty

Pursuant to Article 11 of the UFE/EWU CBA:

All faculty, including quarterly faculty, are authorized to take up to two weeks of paid sick leave:

  • If the faculty member experiences a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; to accommodate the employee’s need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee’s need for preventive medical care.
  • If the faculty member needs to provide care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care for a family member who needs preventive medical care.
  • If the university is closed by order of a public health official for any health-related reason, or when an employee’s child’s school or place of care has been closed for such a reason.

Probationary, tenured and special faculty who contract the coronavirus may be eligible for an additional 2 weeks of short term disability leave if approved by their dean. Faculty may also be eligible for federal COVID-19 sick leave and COVID-19 FMLA leave.

Additionally, if as a result of contracting the coronavirus, faculty qualify for disability leave, they may be eligible for additional leave. Tenured faculty are eligible for up to 15 weeks; senior lecturers, senior library associate’s, and probationary faculty may receive up to 12 work weeks. The amount of time that lecturers, library associates, and faculty in residence would be eligible would vary depending on the length of time they have worked at EWU.

Yes. Beginning April 1, 2020, EWU is offering up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for employees who are unable to telecommute and need to care for a minor child whose school or child care is closed due to COVID-19. The first two weeks of the COVID-19 FMLA leave is unpaid. Employees may choose to substitute other paid leave, including federal COVID-19 sick leave, for the first two weeks. For the remaining ten weeks, employees will be paid at a rate of 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay except that the amount of leave paid shall not exceed $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. More information about this leave is contained in EWU Policy 403-06 (Pandemic Illness Leave).

EWU encourages employees to care for the health and safety of themselves and others. If you are concerned about possible exposure, you may quarantine yourself. If you choose to quarantine yourself, you should first explore with your supervisor whether or not teleworking is an option. If teleworking is not an option, you will be able to use:

Classified Employees:

  • Vacation Leave
  • Personal Holiday
  • Personal Leave Day
  • Accrued Compensatory Time
  • Leave Without Pay for up to 14 days

Exempt Employees Eligible for Overtime:

  • Vacation Leave
  • Personal Holiday
  • Accrued Compensatory Time
  • Leave Without Pay for up to 14 days

Exempt Employees Not Eligible for Overtime:

  • Vacation Leave
  • Personal Holiday
  • Leave Without Pay for up to 14 days

Librarians:

  • Vacation Leave
  • Leave Without Pay for up to 14 days

Faculty:

  • Work with your department chair on alternative work options

Please refer to the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or University Policy for additional information.  You may also contact Human Resources with any additional questions.

Federal COVID-19 paid sick leave and federal COVID-19 FMLA are only available upon request. To request these types of leave, you must first fill out a form documenting the reason for the leave. This form is available here.

After completing the form, you should email it to Human Resources at hr@ewu.edu.   HR and Payroll are in the process of working to update the timesheet forms so that you will also be able to report approved COVID-19 sick and FMLA leave on your timesheets once the updates are completed.

It depends. If you request to use federal COVID-19 paid sick leave for any of the following reasons, you must continue to take paid sick leave each day until you either (1) use the full amount of paid sick leave available or (2) no longer have a qualifying reason for taking paid sick leave:

  • You are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  • You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • You are caring for an individual who either is subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or,
  • You are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This limitation on the use of leave is required by the Department of Labor. The limit is imposed because if you are sick or possibly sick with COVID-19, or caring for an individual who is sick or possibly sick with COVID-19, the intent of the federal law is to provide such paid sick leave as necessary to keep you from spreading the virus to others. If you no longer have a qualifying reason for taking paid sick leave before you exhaust your paid sick leave, you may take any remaining paid sick leave at a later time, until December 31, 2020, if another qualifying reason occurs.

If, however, you are taking federal COVID-19 paid sick leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable because of COVID-19 related reasons, you may take federal COVID-19 paid sick leave intermittently. For example, if your child is at home because his/her school or place of care is closed, you may take paid sick leave on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to care for your child, but work at your normal worksite on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It depends on whether or not you are teleworking or physically working on campus.

Teleworking:

If you are teleworking and unable to work for a portion of time due to one of the qualifying reasons for federal COVID-19 paid sick leave (such as caring for a child whose school is closed), you can use federal COVID-19 sick leave or FMLA intermittently with paid teleworking time. You must communicate to your supervisor when you are working and when you are not able to work.

Working physically on campus:

If you are physically working on campus and unable to telework, federal COVID-19 paid sick leave must be taken in full-day increments. If you are taking the leave because you are subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or are caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine, you must continue to take the federal COVID-19 paid sick leave until you have used the full amount available or you no longer have a qualifying reason for taking the sick leave. If you are caring for a child whose school or child care is closed, however, you may use the federal COVID-19 paid sick leave intermittently.

No. If your supervisor reduced your work hours because there was not work for you to perform, you may not use paid sick leave or COVID-19 FMLA for the hours you are no longer scheduled to work. Per the Department of Labor, this is because you are not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if the reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

No. You may not supplement this paid leave with accrued leave.

Telework Resources

All faculty and staff who are able to telework must do so. While the governor’s current order is now extended until midnight, May 4, employees should be prepared for possible extensions to the timeline. Human Resources has published telework resources on their website.


Supervisors may consider telework requests when:

  • The arrangement will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the position effectively and productively.
  • The employee has proven the ability to successfully perform the essential functions of the position,
  • There is a sufficient amount of work being proposed,
  • The employee has a proven ability to work independently,
  • The equipment and services necessary  are feasible,
  • Effective communication with the supervisor, co-workers, and customers is possible,
  • The work space is conducive to getting the work accomplished, and
  • The employee has the ability to be flexible about the telework arrangement, respond to all operational needs.

Prior to approving an incidental telework request, the supervisor shall:

  • Confirm that the employee has the capability to adequately perform assignments from home,
  • Determine the work is crucial enough to warrant being performed at that time, and
  • Specify to the employee the work to be done and the amount of work time allotted (number of hours and dates).

Yes, it is permissible to take your assigned university-owned computer home. Before doing so, please contact your assigned IT Coordinator or the IT Help Desk to ensure that it will work properly off-campus.

Yes, this is not prohibited by university policy, state ethics rules, or state law.

To avoid this issue, only use university-provided cloud services like Outlook, Office 365, Google G Suite, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Zoom, and Canvas. By using these services, any work-related documents, communication, and records are automatically stored on university services.

This is highly discouraged and will expose your personal account(s) to public records request searches.

Yes, Microsoft Office 365 is licensed for use on personal devices and is available to all faculty, staff, and students. See this knowledge base article for instructions. You may use Office 365 on up to five machines, including your university-owned devices.

Adobe Acrobat DC and Creative Cloud are also licensed for use on personal devices. If you have a license assigned, follow these instructions to install on your personal devices. You may use Adobe products on up to two machines, including your university-owned devices.

You may also install and connect to the university network using our VPN. Instructions are also available in IT’s knowledge base. The VPN is available to all faculty, staff, and students.

Zoom, Canvas, Google, Office 365 all run in the cloud, ensuring that we are not limited by campus bandwidth limitations or campus server capacity.

As of Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast began offering 2 months free without a contract to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Other providers, including cellular/wireless services, may have offers. Please check with your local providers to see what options may be available. Note: Comcast is not currently available in Cheney.

Instructions for iOS and Android are included below, but you may also reach out to IT through the Help Desk or your IT Coordinator for assistance.

All carriers have agreed to provide free hotspot access. Most, but not all, carriers are also offering free unlimited data.

IT is currently exploring ways to further extend Help Desk services.

Please follow the directions given to those at your campus and contact your supervisor for additional direction.

Online Instruction

Instructional Technology and Design offers an array of instructional technology and consultative services to Eastern faculty, staff and students. Please visit the Instructional Technology Canvas page for links to Canvas instructor and student guides. Additionally, Zoom video conferencing may be used to remotely deliver lectures.

In the case of campus closure, the Instructional Technology and Design department will continue to provide support via email (InstructionalTech@ewu.edu), through help desk tickets, and Canvas support tickets (from Canvas, click Help and select Report a Problem). If you need to call (509.359.6656), please note we will be monitoring the phone, but there may be a delay in getting back to you, therefore, we encourage you to use email.

To help you get started, here is a list of best practices for delivering your courses remotely:

For additional information, please visit Continued Academic Operations.

EWU has put together a page to make it easier for faculty to locate resources and find the information they need to move instruction online in spring quarter. Visit the Faculty Commons for more information.

Students needing accommodation should continue to work directly with EWU Disability Support Services to be provided with the best possible learning experience.

Please visit the EWU Online Test Proctoring resource page for more information.

The staff and faculty of Instructional Technology, Information Technology, Online Learning, and the Faculty Commons are providing instruction and assistance to faculty as they transition to online teaching.

The university’s technology infrastructure is well equipped to support this transition with most of our services now based in the cloud.

Although the scale of this transition is new, Eastern Washington University has already been teaching online courses and entire degrees for many years.

Continued Academic Operations

Feedback & Questions

All members of the university community are welcome to share their concerns, suggestions or questions regarding EWU’s response to the pandemic.

Give Feedback

Picture: Top of Showalter Hall