Fall Opening 2021 - Human Resources

The Human Resources Committee made specific mitigation recommendations for employees (masks, screening and distancing) that have been adopted by the entire RIC community and appear in Section III.

Vaccinations (The level of transmission does not impact this section.)

All employees are strongly encouraged to become vaccinated to ensure the health and safety of the entire Rhode Island College campus community. Employees are not required to provide proof of vaccination. The college will continue to ensure employees’ decisions regarding vaccinations are respected. Vaccination shaming will not be tolerated. The college will continue to educate faculty and staff on the benefits of vaccination, and the college will continue to poll RIC faculty and staff to assess immunity on our campus.

RIC Potential Exposure (The level of transmission does not impact this section.)

RIC will continue to follow the RIDOH’s guidelines regarding employees who have COVID-19 symptoms and update as needed.

Effective immediately, fully vaccinated employees are no longer required to quarantine following a known COVID-19 exposure; however, employees are encouraged to continue to self-monitor for symptoms.

Fully vaccinated employees and those who are not fully vaccinated who experience COVID-19 symptoms may not report to work or must leave the workplace if symptoms develop while at work. Employees must continue to contact their supervisor/department chair and inform them of their situation. Employees must also follow up with the Office of Human Resources for further guidance and/or approval to return to work. Employees will discharge sick time for this purpose. Any COVID-19 exposure at work that results in an employee being sent home by the Office of Human Resources to quarantine will continue to be paid administrative leave.

Testing (The level of transmission does not impact this section.)

Unvaccinated faculty and staff who are in-person on campus at least one-half day each week are strongly encouraged to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Fully vaccinated faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in random surveillance testing. Campus testing is available. For locations, dates and time, go to:  Covid-19 | Rhode Island College (ric.edu). Employees can click here to view the State of Rhode Island's testing information and locations of state, local and retail pharmacies to obtain a test.

Leave of Absence (The level of transmission does not impact this section.)

Employees who request a leave of absence due to a personal illness or family illness will follow the applicable collective bargaining unit policy/procedures, the Department of Administration policy/procedures, the Postsecondary Council personnel policies/procedures or state and federal regulations/procedures when applying for leave.

Teleworking – Low (Blue)/Moderate (Yellow)Transmission

All current teleworking agreements will expire effective the end of the workday on Aug. 10, 2021. Employees without teleworking agreements are required to physically return to campus on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

  • As previously indicated to employees, applications for new teleworking agreements were due between Monday, July 26, 2021 and Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. Employees who do not have an approved teleworking agreement in place by Aug. 10, 2021, will be required to physically report to campus on Aug. 11, 2021. 
  • New teleworking arrangements may begin as early as Aug. 11, 2021.
  • RIC will continue to adopt the State’s Teleworking Policy, which was implemented in 2018, as the vehicle to allow state employees to telework on a full- or part-time basis. 
  • Participation in a teleworking arrangement is voluntary and subject to the prior written approval of the employee, the employee’s immediate supervisor, the assistant vice president/dean, the vice president and the director of Human Resources. All teleworking arrangements will continue to be issued on a temporary basis and may be terminated as required due to operating needs. 

To assist in the review and approval of teleworking arrangements, Human Resources will work with supervisors and employees to establish the following position categories:

  • Full In-Person – essential employees or those faculty and staff who must report in person.
  • Modified In-Person – employees who are eligible for partial teleworking.
  • Optional In-Person – employees who are eligible for full teleworking.
Teleworking – Substantial (Orange)/High (Red) Transmission:
  • In recognition that COVID-19 could impact employees’ ability to physically come to RIC to work in-person for a short duration, as they, or someone in their household, may be isolated or quarantined, employees may request a short-term teleworking agreement, or ask to amend their agreement for a short -term, to allow them to work from home.
  • These short-term requests will require the approval of the employee’s supervisor and HR. The administration supports the use of these agreements; however it recognizes that managers must also take into consideration the ongoing operations of their office.

Human Resources will provide teleworking training for supervisors to ensure that teleworking is administered effectively, consistently and equitably across campus. There will also be a Teleworking Committee formed to monitor teleworking and to make recommendations for improvement.

In-Person Meetings

Effective July 5, 2021, faculty and staff may hold meetings in person and/or remotely and follow the above protocols regarding mask wearing and/or physical distancing. Individuals who have concerns should consult with their department chairs or supervisors.

Staff who have approved teleworking arrangements may continue to participate remotely. If an in-person meeting is required, the supervisor will inform the employee in advance.

There may be situations in which employees participate in meetings remotely due to quarantine requirements and/or flexible/asynchronous work schedules. It is the responsibility of supervisors/department managers to accommodate teleworking meeting participants whenever necessary and/or possible.