Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

COVID-19 employee FAQs

Updated Monday, March 30, 2020 at 10pm.

March 30, 2020 updates

Pay and Leave Categories during the College’s Period of Remote Operations, beginning March 23, 2020.

Pay and leave information is provided below for each employee type. The information related to leaves is based on current guidance from the United States Department of Labor and Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which may be subject to change. If prior to March 23 you would have been scheduled to work but didn’t because your department discontinued operations or you were unable to work remotely, please contact your supervisor with questions you may have about leave.

Notice to all employees:  Beginning April 1 through December 31, 2020, employees may be eligible for additional paid leave under two provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) enacted in response to COVID-19:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (E-PSL), which  provides up to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave to eligible employees who are unable to work or telework; and
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave (E-FMLA), which extends Family Medical Leave to eligible employees who are unable to work or telework due to the need to provide childcare because of school or daycare closure due to a public health emergency.

Learn more about the leave options referenced below:

Employees requesting leave under one of the categories below needs to submit a Request for Leave due to COVID-19 form. The form will be available and linked here soon.

Casual and Student Employees 

Casual and student employees who are authorized and able to telework will receive their regular pay for that work.

Casual and student employees who would have been scheduled to work during the period of remote operations, but are either not authorized or not able to telework, may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows:

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick
Federal Work Study Employees

Work Study employees who are authorized and able to telework will receive their regular pay for that work.

Work Study employees scheduled to work during the period of remote operations, but are either not authorized or not able to telework,may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows (contact the Financial Aid Office with any additional questions):

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick
Part-time Faculty

Part-time faculty scheduled to work spring term through remote operations/online instruction will receive their regular pay for that work.

Part-time faculty who would have been scheduled to work spring term but are unable to do so through remote operations/online instruction may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows:

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick, or other accrued sick leave.
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick, or other accrued sick leave.
Full-time Faculty

Full-time faculty scheduled to work spring term through remote operations/online instruction (or other alternate work assignment) will receive their regular pay for that work.

Full-time faculty who are scheduled but are not able to telework due to sickness, a covered COVID-related absence or to provide childcare due to a school or daycare closure due to a public health declaration may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows:

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick, or other accrued sick leave.
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick, or other accrued sick leave.
Classified Employees

Classified employees who are authorized and able to telework will receive their regular pay for that work.

Classified employees who would have been scheduled to work during the period of remote operations, but are either not authorized or not able to telework, are eligible for closure pay.

Classified employees who would have been scheduled to work during the period of remote operations, but are not able to telework due to sickness, a covered COVID-related absence or to provide childcare due to a school or daycare closure due to a public health declaration may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows:

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick, or other accrued leave.
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick, or other accrued leave.
Academic Professional, Confidential, Management and Executive Employees

Academic Professional, Confidential, Management and Executive Employees who are authorized and able to telework will receive their regular pay for that work.

Employees who would have been scheduled to work during the period of remote operations, but are not able to telework due to sickness, a covered COVID-related absence or to provide childcare due to a school or daycare closure due to a public health declaration may, depending on the reason for the inability to work and other eligibility requirements, be able to obtain paid sick leave as follows:

  • March 23 through March 31, 2020:
    • OR Sick, or other accrued leave.
  • April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:
    • E-PSL. Other accrued paid leave may be used for wages not covered by E-PSL.
    • E-FMLA/OFLA
    • OR Sick, or other accrued leave.

March 20, 2020 updates

PCC has decided to move to remote and online instruction, operations, and services. Physical facilities will be closed as of 4pm on Friday, March 20, 2020 and re-open Monday, May 4, 2020.

How can I access PCC’s Employee Assistance Program?

To get assistance, call Reliant Behavioral Health at 1-866-750-1327 or visit their website (Access Code: OEBB).

I am a PCC employee. How will I be paid during the remote operations period?

During the remote operations period, all management, confidential and academic professional employees, and faculty assigned to teach Spring Term are expected to continue to work from home.

Classified employees are expected to work from home if they are able to during this time. Classified employees who don’t have a work-from-home option will be eligible for closure pay. Under the Classified Agreement, closure pay is limited to 40 hours; however, President Mitsui has approved an exception to allow Classified employees to receive extended closure pay until May 4, 2020.

Part-time librarians, counselors and tutors are hourly and not eligible for college closure pay. They may be assigned work from home, with their supervisor’s authorization.

Casual and student employees and non-bargaining unit instructors also are hourly and are not eligible for college closure pay.

Am I eligible for unemployment insurance during this time?

Here is contact information for the Oregon Employment Department (Unemployment Insurance).

What do I put on my timesheet during this period of remote operations?

Management, Confidential, Academic Professional and Full-time Faculty are expected to work remotely and should submit a regular time sheet, indicating any periods of absence due to sick, personal or vacation leave.

Classified employees who are telecommuting should submit a regular time sheet for all hours worked. Classified employees who are unable to work from home should report CLO for closure pay; do not report CLO for hours that you are working. If you are working onsite at a PCC location, your supervisor will have you complete an Essential Personnel (EP) Closure form to submit.

What if I become sick or want to take vacation during this period of remote operations?

During the facilities closure, employees will still be expected to use their accrued leave if they become sick, are taking vacation or personal leave, or are unable to work a full schedule due to childcare or other personal reasons.

Who can I contact for information about retirement?

Following is contact information for PERS (Public Employees Retirement System).

How can I reach someone to ask questions about my health insurance benefits?

Here is contact information for:

  • OEBB (Oregon Educators Benefits Board)
What if I don’t have PCC health insurance benefits?

Here is contact information for the Oregon Health Plan:

March 13, 2020 updates

What is PCC doing to keep employees safe?

PCC is following the guidance from public health authorities (CDC and state and local public health authorities) and is following OSHA requirements to maintain a workplace “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”

What can employees do to promote a safe and healthy work environment?

Employees should follow the hygiene practices recommended by the CDC and other public health authorities to:

  • Stay home if you are ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and discard the tissue.
  • Don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth).
  • Practice social distancing such as not shaking hands.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons (use a clean tissue to touch the surface).
If I am sick and have flu-like symptoms, can I come to work?

Employees should stay home if they are displaying flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Employees should remain home until they are symptom-free (as in, no fever), without the use of medication, for 24 hours.

If I come to work sick, can my supervisor send me home?

Yes. If an employee is displaying flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath), their supervisor may send them home. If the employee is unable to go home immediately, the supervisor should find a location in which the employee will not come into contact with other employees.

Can a supervisor ask about an employee’s health?

Yes. The supervisor may make such health related inquiries to assess whether an employee is able to work or should be sent home.

What do I need to tell my supervisor related to COVID-19?

Employees are expected to tell their supervisor if any of the following apply:

  • They have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath;
  • They have recently traveled to a COVID-19-affected area (as designated by CDC);
  • They have come into contact with a person who has COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19.
Should I see a doctor if I am sick with flu-like symptoms?

CDC and public health authority guidance recommends that those with worsening flu-like symptoms be encouraged to contact their primary care doctors (or if none, urgent care or other clinics) by phone or email for instructions or advice before visiting the doctor or the emergency room.

If I am sick with a cold or flu, do I need to provide medical documentation to PCC, supporting my need for leave?

No. PCC is not requiring medical documentation for an absence related to cold or flu at this time in an effort to help avoid overburdening the health care system.

If I am out sick with a cold or flu and am ready to return to work, do I need to provide a medical release to return to work?

No. PCC is not requiring medical documentation to return to work at this time. However, employees are expected to follow public health authority guidelines and they should be free of symptoms (as in, no fever), without the use of medication, for at least 24 hours before returning to work.

If an employee has been exposed to COVID-19 do they need to provide medical documentation supporting the need for leave?

If an employee believes they have been exposed to COVID-19, the CDC recommends that they contact their health care provider immediately. If they are seen by a health care provider, then they can provide the medical documentation to PCC. However, at this time, PCC is not requiring medical documentation if the employee does not have it. As noted above, the CDC advises that individuals with symptoms call ahead before visiting their health care provider.

Can I come to work if I have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have come in contact with anyone who has tested presumptive or confirmed positive for COVID-19 you need to self-monitor at home for at least 14 days before returning to work and report the contact to your supervisor.

If I get sick with COVID-19 or have a family member sick with COVID-19, can I use sick leave?

Yes. If you or a covered family member are sick with COVID-19 you may use sick leave to cover your absence from work.

If I am sick with COVID-19 or have a family member sick with COVID-19, can I access the Leave Bank after I exhaust my own leave accruals?

Yes. If you (or a covered family member) have a serious health condition and you are a participant in the leave bank, you may access leave bank hours.

If I am not sick but am quarantined or requested to self-monitor at home under public health authority guidelines, can I use sick leave?

Yes. An employee may use their sick leave or other paid leave accruals.

If I have to stay home with my child because their school closes, may I use sick leave for that absence?

Employees may use sick time for a closure of their child’s school (or place of care) due to a public health emergency. Currently, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered the state’s public K-12 schools to close March 16-31. Employees may use their sick time accrued under the Oregon sick leave law during this time (excluding time the school would otherwise be closed, such as Spring break). Under Oregon sick leave, employees earn 1 hour of protected sick time for every 30 hours worked and they can use the time after having worked for the employer for at least 90 days. Details on employee sick leave balance under Oregon sick leave will be provided when available.

If I am sick, do I follow my department’s established process for calling in sick?

Yes. Supervisors are encouraged to review call-in procedures with employees. Procedures should be updated as necessary, to address alternative methods of providing notice in case there is a larger volume of call-outs. For example, if the protocol is to speak with the supervisor, it may be necessary to temporarily change the practice to allow employees to send an email.

If I get sick with COVID-19 at work, should I report it under workers compensation?

If an employee becomes sick with COVID-19 and believes they were exposed while at work, they may report their illness on an 801 form.

Can a supervisor ask about where an employee has traveled?

Yes, a supervisor may ask whether an employee has traveled to a high risk area as indicated by the CDC, US State Department, or state or local public health authority.

If I travel outside of the U.S. and am unable to return due to COVID-19, will my absence from work be considered paid leave?

If you are traveling for personal reasons, any ongoing leave from work may be covered by accrued vacation, compensatory or personal leave. If you are sick, you may use accrued sick leave. Once accrued leave is exhausted any additional leave would be unpaid.

Are there any special recommendations or precautions for employees working in healthcare, laboratory, custodial work, or other areas?

Employees should follow any public health advice regarding appropriate protocols for specific areas/assignments. Supervisors will provide information specific to your work area.

Are employees required to use personal protective equipment (PPE) at work?

PCC follows OSHA’s standards for personal protective equipment, as well as advice from public health authorities.

Will employees be able to continue with plans to travel for work?

All out-of-district travel is currently suspended through Friday, April 17. Exception requests can be made to the President’s Cabinet for travel needed for essential job functions. Personnel traveling to high risk areas for vacation and other personal reasons are asked to adhere to CDC guidelines.

If I have travel plans for work and want to cancel them, will I be reimbursed for costs I’ve incurred?

Employees should contact Jill Dunaway, Accounting Manager to discuss changes to travel plans and reimbursements.

Can I telecommute if I don’t feel safe coming to work?

Employees may request a telecommuting schedule. Supervisors will evaluate each request and may consider approving telecommuting options that meet business operations needs. Learn more about technology resources supporting remote operations.

What if an employee who is needed at work to maintain operations asks to telecommute?

If operational needs are not met by a telecommuting arrangement, then the request may be denied.

If I am over 60, have an underlying health condition or am pregnant, how do I request an accommodation to work from home to avoid potential exposure?

Contact your supervisor to discuss whether or not your request can be accommodated. The ADA Coordinator and/or HR Rep for your department should also be included in this discussion.

If I am sick, can I telecommute to work?

If an employee is too sick to work they may use sick leave but may not work. On a case-by-case basis, some employees may be recovering and able to conduct some work from home and may be allowed to telecommute. Learn more about technology resources supporting remote operations.

If I am quarantined or requested to self-monitor at home under public health authority guidelines, but am not sick, may I telecommute?

An employee may be permitted to telecommute and may be expected to do so if not sick (if the business operations needs of the department permit telecommuting arrangements). Learn more about technology resources supporting remote operations.

How will I be notified if PCC is closed due to exposure to COVID-19?

PCC has an established closure protocol for inclement weather closures. The same protocol will be followed if there is a closure related to COVID-19.

If someone at PCC becomes sick with COVID-19, will employees be notified?

In conjunction with public health authorities, PCC will disclose relevant information about exposures in the workplace. If there is an exposure at PCC, the College will not release the names of any individual staff who are infected or exposed.

What is the supervisor required to report to PCC officials about employees who have COVID-19 or who have come into direct contact with someone who has tested presumptive or confirmed positive for COVID-19?

For cases in which an employee is self-monitoring for COVID-19 at home, or has been confirmed to have COVID-19, the supervisor is required to report that information to Rob Gabris, Risk Manager.