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COVID-19 Staff FAQ

We realize that these are very stressful and unsettled times for all of our valued staff and your families. Know that we are grateful for your patience and flexibility and our top priority is the health and safety of our Santa Clara community.

We are providing the information below as guidance, based on currently available information. In this fluid environment, we will closely monitor changes on the state and national level and  provide additional resources and updates as soon as possible. 

Working Remotely

SCU will engage in a slow and cautious reopening with the intention of completing the return to campus by the beginning of the new academic year. Public health guidance will inform this transition back to campus. As such, these intentions are subject to change and, in this endeavour, the university reserves the right to be more cautious than public health guidance may dictate. Remote work should continue to be leveraged over the summer based on business needs to assist with ongoing vaccination efforts and as public health guidance evolves. Employees' unique circumstances should be considered over the summer and flexible options should be evaluated to the extent possible.


  • Business needs are the drivers for the gradual return and may look different for each unit. 
  • Returning to work in the fall will be a transition for all. Leaders and managers should allow for acclimation. 
  • Leaders and supervisors should anticipate the steps needed to return based on business needs and communicate the associated timelines to employees, while providing as much notice as possible. 
  • Employees and managers may reach out to their HR Partner for support. 

The "Essential Access" process, managed by Sean Collins, for approving individuals to return to campus will sunset on June 14. Then departments will have flexibility to start implementing phased return strategies based on their unique operations with less restrictions on who can return. Departments are asked to register their returning employees with Sean Collins.

Each department of the University establishes the normal work days and work shifts for positions within the department based on business need. As many employees temporarily perform their duties remotely, managers and employees are asked to be flexible and creative in scheduling the workday. Managers ultimately determine scheduling, but are encouraged to be sensitive to an employee’s personal situation.

We recognize that some individuals may need to access campus for a one-time “grab and go” of materials from their office to allow them to perform their mission-critical duties remotely. We ask that you make one trip and keep it short if at all possible. Please maintain social distancing, minimize activities in your building, and avoid social gatherings during your time on campus. A “grab and go” visit does not require your registration on the critical services list. Coordination of the "grab and go" should take place between you and your manager.

There will be no change to submission and approval deadlines or to reporting time in Workday. Employees approved to work remotely will continue to abide by all wage and hour policies, including but not limited to, if the employee is a non-exempt employee, completing a daily time sheet, getting pre-approval before working overtime, and taking all required meal and rest breaks.

Timesheet Special Instructions for Hourly Benefit Eligible Staff Employees: 

Starting with the pay period ending on March 31 and until further notice, all active benefits eligible non-exempt employees who are either not working or working reduced hours should record on their timesheet their regular scheduled hours. If their hours worked exceed their normal scheduled hours, they should report the actual hours worked. Similarly, non-exempt employees who are working their normal scheduled hours should report the hours as normal.


If using your existing SCU ergonomic office equipment to assist with your work from home, please obtain your manager’s approval before removing it. Examples could include chairs, computer monitors, ergonomic keyboards and mice, headsets, monitor risers, etc. Office task chairs or equipment attached to the building, however, should not be removed. Please plan on returning all equipment to your campus work location when the current crisis has abated. Coordination of the "grab and go" should take place between you and your manager.

We acknowledge the magnitude of change everyone is dealing with, as they work from home and take care of family and loved ones. Please see the Tips for Managing Remote Workers. Managers and supervisors are encouraged to utilize these suggestions as they manage staff working from home.

Additional resources for employees working remotely may be found on our COVID-19 HR Resources page.

Technology resources can be found here or you may contact the IT Help Desk at (408) 554-5700 for assistance.

Yes, employees may be temporarily reassigned by their department leadership. Our goal is to have all employees be productive and contributing to the mission of Santa Clara University, so please work with your manager to identify skill sets to assist with other duties.


Health and Safety

Santa Clara County has expanded vaccine eligibility to all individuals age 16 or older who live or work in Santa Clara County. You are encouraged to schedule vaccination appointments through the County’s website.


Information about vaccine eligibility and available for Alameda County can be found here 


For more information about eligibility, safety, and efficacy, please visit the SCU Vaccine FAQ site.



Employees should report positive COVID-19 test results to the University at 408-554-5100, if the test was administered at an off-campus facility. Employees are also encouraged to inform their managers and contact HR to obtain related information and resources.


As announced, on March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 95 (SB95) which extends and expands the prior California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CSPSL). This new legislation provides for COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for covered employees who are unable to work or telework due to certain reasons related to COVID-19 from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 20201. Please contact HR for assistance.

Employees can use the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for any of the following reasons:


  • The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • The employee is attending an appointment to receive a vaccine for protection against COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevents the employee from being able to work or telework.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised to self-quarantine.
  • The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.


If you are unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you may also file a Paid Family Leave claim.  Please contact Indu Ahluwalia at  for more information on Paid Family Leave.

If you are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you may also be eligible to receive short-term disability benefits.  Please contact Indu Ahluwalia at  for more information on short-term disability benefits.

Please visit the SCU Employee Assistance Program website to obtain resources and information related to anxiety and stress management during this time.

Beginning in January 2021, the university will provide free on-site weekly testing, which is  required for all employees that are working on campus. 


For testing information provided by healthcare benefit providers, employees are encouraged to contact their health care insurance provider to confirm coverage and applicable co-payment levels. or


The County of Santa Clara also provides free testing. Please visit their website for more information. 

As announced, Santa Clara University will require graduate and undergraduate students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for fall 2021.

Discussions are underway regarding vaccination requirements in the fall for staff and faculty. Our collaborative governance committees have developed policy recommendations pertaining to vaccine expectations for staff and faculty. They are being presented with a proposed implementation plan and will provide feedback.


With a focus on the health and safety of employees, if there is a business need for employees to meet in person, all work related gathering for employees should be held on-campus and in alignment with health and safety protocols.

Specific guidance on gatherings are posted on the Health and Safety website of guidance and protocols.  For questions about permitted gatherings, please contact Sam Florio or Sean Collins.




Yes, employees must report time off in alignment with the applicable time off policy and payroll practices.

As with our normal practice, staff employees in this case should contact Indu Ahluwalia, Senior Leave Specialist. Depending on the circumstances, the staff employee may be eligible for short-term disability benefits or Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

At Santa Clara University we deeply value the diversity of our community. We are committed to fostering a community that values diversity and also models the principles of inclusive excellence. It is important we equip ourselves with facts and take on the responsibility of dismantling myths and stigmas. It is essential that we share accurate information during this time of heightened concern. Commitment to our Jesuit values of inclusion, respect, and care for the whole person has never been more critical. 

Important facts to know:

  • COVID-19 does not recognize race, nationality or ethnicity.
  • Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill.
  • You can interrupt stigma by sharing accurate information.
  • Speak up if you hear, see or read misinformation or witness or experience harassment or discrimination.

As always, you may report concerns of discrimination to the SCU EEO/Title IX Office.

Employees who are currently working their normal schedule, either remotely or on-site as essential employees, will continue to receive pay as normal based on their salary (exempt employees) or hours reported (hourly employees).

Benefits-eligible employees who are unable to work, because the nature of their work is not conducive to remote work and/or they have a reduced work schedule due to the current public health guidelines, will continue to be paid their full base salary. The university will review and update employees with any subsequent adjustments that may need to be made based on a very fluid situation.


The University instituted a hiring freeze on all open positions and temporary workers hired through staffing agencies until further notice. This will apply to all open positions with certain mission-critical exceptions approved by the associate vice president of human resources, the vice president for finance and administration, or the provost.

Renewals for current fixed term positions will be reviewed based on business need and funding as the end date of the assignment approaches. New fixed-term positions are included in the hiring freeze.


You may be eligible for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. Please contact HR for more information. Additionally, Bright Horizons Care Advantage provides access to back-up care at a subsidized rate. To Register and Receive Care: Back-up New User Access: Back-Up Username: SantaClara Back-Up Password: backup12 OR CALL: 877-BH-CARES (242-2737)

Note: the benefit is limited to up to ten days per year of care and dependent on child care provider availability.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX operations, will continue its work  remotely for the health and safety of our community.  Anyone impacted by discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct is encouraged to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX office immediately to make a report [] and/or to inquire about resources  available both on- and off-campus. Staff are available to provide information, guidance, and other resources to address concerns during normal business hours for remote or telephone meetings and consultations. 

Investigations and hearings will be conducted remotely, and remedies provided, to assure that any discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, retaliation, or other sexually discriminatory behaviors are addressed promptly.  Please note: University policies ( on discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct apply to behaviors that occur in person between members of the university community, but also apply to online and virtual misconduct.  Any behavior that is prohibited by policy is also prohibited in cyber-forms, including cyber-harassment, cyber-bullying that is sex-based, and cyber-stalking. Members of the community are expected to maintain a tone of civility and respect under remote conditions just as they would if they were at work or in class physically.

For more information please go to:

For information about remote support services, please see

Per the Staff Vacation Policy, vacation hours cannot be converted to cash; therefore, staff employees are not able to donate vacation hours to the emergency relief fund.

Staff employees can donate vacation hours to the staff vacation general pool. Additional information regarding the vacation pool and donation of vacation hours can be found in the Donation of Vacation to Other Staff section of the Vacation Pay Policy and the Donation of Vacation Hours Form.


Student Employees

No, student employees are not allowed to work remotely, except for a small number of exceptions which must be approved by John Ottoboni, Michael Crowley, and Lisa Kloppenberg.

Sick time cannot be used by student employees who are not presently working. We continue to monitor legislation which may affect this policy.

Eligible employees will receive a $25 per pay period reimbursement for expenses they may have incurred due to working from home as of April 2020. The reimbursement will be retroactive to April 2020 and will continue until further notice. No action is required by employees or supervisors in order for eligible employees to receive the reimbursement. The reimbursement will be first reflected on the December 7, 2020 paycheck, including retro pay. Questions related to the reimbursement should be directed to the Department of Human Resources.

Work -study students will not receive payment if they are not working. The Financial Aid Office is monitoring available resources. Questions related to work-study should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

We recommend that supervisors maintain contact with their student employees to provide relevant updates. 

Student workers are valued and critical to our University mission. It is important to regularly check in with your student workers to make sure they are doing well. Should they need financial assistance or emergency funding, please direct them to the Financial Aid office (which is administering the SCU Emergency Assistance Fund). Please also offer our Food Insecurity resources.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) sets and maintains the unemployment eligibility rules. Student employees should submit their unemployment benefit inquiries to the EDD

In general, however, student employees are not subject to unemployment insurance based on their Employee Type as established by the EDD (see page 15).