Message to Faculty & Staff from Human Resources

This memo to faculty and staff outlines College policies related to work attendance when ill as well as guidance for supervisors and staff on time reporting, telecommuting and international travel.

Dear Faculty & Staff:

As you know, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified COVID-19 (coronavirus) as a serious health threat. To respond effectively to these unique circumstances and reduce the risk of infection at Oxy, the College is providing the following guidance and taking the measures outlined in this memo.

These measures will be in effect until further notice. The College will be evaluating these policies on a regular basis in response to the evolving situation.

The Basics: If You’re Sick, Don’t Come to Work

Because this virus is passed through human contact and exposure, faculty and staff who are demonstrating flu-like symptoms must not come to work until identified symptoms are no longer present. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Current policy requires employees to obtain a doctor’s note if absent for more than five days for any illness. However, until further notice, if an employee is absent as a result of flu-like symptoms, a medical release is not necessary to return to work if the symptoms are gone. Should non-contagious symptoms such as a dry cough or allergic sneezing persist, a doctor’s note will be necessary to return to work.

In addition, visitors, vendors, volunteers and contractors must not come to campus if they are experiencing any of the above-noted symptoms.

Guidance for Supervisors

If a supervisor identifies an employee at work who appears to have flu-like symptoms, the supervisor should direct the employee to go home and contact their primary-care physician. 

If an employee has had a known, recent or direct exposure to anyone with COVID-19, but is not actively exhibiting symptoms, the supervisor should first notify HR, so that they can determine what next steps are required.

Supervisors must follow the College’s guidelines regarding nondiscrimination as outlined in the Employee Handbook. We ask that supervisors recognize that these cases may involve sensitive conversations, and pay particular attention to employee confidentiality and privacy concerns. 

Time Reporting for Staff

Absences by employees who miss work whether because of illness or recent travel overseas to countries affected by the virus, are excused absences for which sick time will be used. Employees will be required to use available sick days for the duration of their absence. Employees who do not have available sick accruals will be advanced sick days as necessary to enable up to two weeks excused absence (actual advanced sick days will vary depending on full- or part-time status and current sick leave balances.)

Employees who are off work to care for a covered family member with flu-like symptoms can use up to 80 hours of available family sick leave accruals for the duration of their absence.

Employees whose child care provider/facility or school is unavailable because of COVID-19 should work with their supervisor to arrange time off such as vacation or make arrangements to telecommute if possible.


Employees who are unable to work due to illness may not work from home. Telecommuting options may be available for some employees who are able to work and can perform the essential functions of their job at home. Telecommuting is subject to supervisor approval and the supervisor should work with HR to set up temporary telecommuting guidelines.

International Travel

Consistent with best practices for any international travel, employees should monitor their health upon return to the United States. Employees who travel to the countries identified by the CDC as having a “risk assessment” level of 3 or greater for COVID-19 exposure may not return to campus for 14 days after their return to the U.S. The current list of countries (which as of March 3 include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) can be found here. Upon the conclusion of the 14 day period, employees should return to work if they are healthy. Should non-contagious symptoms such as a dry cough or allergic sneezing persist, a doctor’s note will be necessary to return to work.

Any exception to these policies will require the approval of the Associate Vice President of Human Resources or his/her designee.

Please visit this website for the latest information from the College about COVID-19 and additional helpful links and resources.

Randy Glazer
Associate Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer