Workplace Guidelines & Operations

This page outlines planning and guidance for all Oxy employees (staff and faculty) for the Spring 2021 semester.

Occidental College’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in the safety of our students, staff and faculty. Health and safety considerations, backed by the recent guidance from state and county public health officials, mean we must continue to minimize the number of people on campus. Campus remains closed to the general public. Visitors are permitted on Occidental property within specific limitations. All visitors must be hosted and/or invited by a College employee, department, or registered student, and must follow the guidelines in our interim visitor policy as well as Occidental's health and safety protocols.

Updated 1/7/2021

Employee Responsibilities and Acknowledgement

All employees are required to review the contents of this docuement in its entirety, and will acknowledge their understanding and agreement to comply with all of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols and procedures, as described in these materials and in our health and safety guidelines.

Workplace Operations & Guidelines, Spring 2021

Returning to the Workplace

Oxy employees will work on campus based on operational needs and informed by County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health guidelines. Health and safety considerations, backed by the guidance from state and county public health officials, means we must minimize the number of people on campus until the public health situation improves.

As a result, employees working from home should continue to do so until the operational needs of the department dictate otherwise, as communicated and approved by the divisional vice president. Those employees who are expected to come to campus to carry out essential functions will continue to do so this spring. We expect to remain in remote teaching, learning  and working mode for at least the first half of the spring semester. 

Oxy employees will return to work based on:

  1. essential or critical operations; 
  2. ability to control and manage specific work environments; and
  3. necessary access to on-site resources. 

These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through your respective vice president or appropriate manager. The need to reduce the number of people on campus (density) to meet physical distancing and all health and safety requirements will continue for some time. Managers will determine who in their group(s) can continue to effectively work remotely.

Health & Safety on Campus

In order to minimize the spread of the virus and protect our community, we have implemented health and safety requirements for anyone who comes to campus for any reason. This includes wearing face masks in public at all times, practicing physical distancing and using a College-sponsored monitoring app for daily temperature and symptom checks. Additionally:

  • All employees coming to campus will be expected to wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and monitor symptoms daily via the health check app available on MyOxy. For your own well-being and that of those around us, we should also all follow these COVID-19 mitigation practices away from campus in our personal lives.

  • COVID-19 testing is mandatory for employees who are performing essential functions regularly on campus (that is, come to campus on a weekly basis two or more times per week) and have regular close contact with other Oxy community members (either because they work closely with others and/or work in a building that has a significant number of other employees). All employees who will be required to take part in the COVID-19 testing will be notified by mid-to-late August. View more information about Oxy's testing regimes for staff and faculty.

  • Do not come to work if you are sick.

  • Employees who are regularly on campus and getting COVID-19 tested will be able to enter the Marketplace to get food. However, we encourage you to make use of the pre-order, no-contact Tiger Takeout service.

In addition to the health and safety guidelines that are required for any community member who sets foot on campus, there are specific guidelines for employees who return to campus at any time:

Health & Safety Guidelines for Employees

Higher-Risk Populations

The College may engage in the interactive process and implement reasonable accommodations for high-risk individuals (or those that reside with high-risk individuals). This process will be guided, in part, by recommendations provided by a licensed medical or mental health provider. Such medical documentation should be submitted directly to Human Resources.

According to the CDC, those conditions may include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • HIV
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions, including recent heart failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above
  • Being otherwise immunocompromised

Faculty and Staff who return to work on campus and have a condition that places them in a higher risk group or who are pregnant may wish to review their condition with their medical provider so that the College can determine whether the essential functions of the incumbent’s position can be performed “with or without accommodation.” Please contact Karen Salce in Human Resources at 232-259-2945 or via email at with any questions if you wish to discuss this further. Records involving accommodations will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

Faculty and Staff who have been instructed to return to work on-site and have a non-medical issue related to the COVID-19 virus that precludes their ability to return to campus should contact Jacie Feigelman in Human Resources at 323-259-2614 or via email at