George Mason University


News at Mason

March 25: Transitioning to and Supporting Telework During COVID-19

March 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As communicated in President Holton’s message on Sunday, March 22, the university has issued a telework mandate for all faculty and staff, except for those who need to work on campus to continue critical functions for the university. The expansion of telework is both a challenge and an opportunity for all of us to think differently about how we support the university in our individual and collective roles.

Our goal is to keep as many employees working as productively and safely as possible to ensure maximum continuity of operations in a telework environment. Employees and supervisors must work together closely to identify:

  • Existing tasks and responsibilities outlined in an employee’s Position Description or Employee Work Profile that can be done remotely.
  • Existing tasks that can not be done remotely.
  • New tasks and responsibilities related to continuity of operations in our current environment that can be completed remotely.
  • Other supplemental work that can be done remotely related to the unit/area’s business goals or employee training (MasonLeaps, Organizational Development and Learning).
  • Any new work or duties associated with the current telework environment.

Think broadly around the many ways an employee’s strengths and talents may be utilized in this environment. Employee Relations is available as a resource in finding alternative duties, and additional resources are available at our Telework Guidelines and ITS’ Working Remotely.

Telework expansion also applies to student assistants and those on student wages 

Creative work, project assistance, and remote office management among other duties, may be optimal possibilities for students working remotely.

Work or positions that are not translatable to telework 

Human Resources and Payroll is working directly with the unit/area leaders to assist them in addressing these situations and ensuring continuity of operations. Employees and supervisors must assess together whether key on campus duties (e.g., building maintenance) can be conducted safely in this environment, in accordance with all safety and public health requirements. This may necessitate new protocols, altered schedules, or other considerations.

Usage of the Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) has been expanded

It will cover cases where telework or the suggested alternatives are not possible. All employees, including wage and student wage, adjuncts, and federal work study positions, have access to a maximum of 80 hours, or pro-rated based on the number of hours an employee is normally scheduled to work. The maximum amount of PHEL paid leave must not exceed the maximum number of hours an employee would normally work each week. If you have exhausted this leave, please contact Benefits It is our hope that there will be additional leave relief provided. For the latest information, please refer to our updated PHEL Guidelines.

Human Resources and Payroll will provide support and resources to employees

All of our services will be available virtually; if there are specific areas you need to reach during this time, please see below for contact information. Be sure to check the HR website later this week for more information.

We encourage all Patriots to exhibit adaptability, flexibility, and compassion with one another as we work to respond to this quickly changing situation both personally and professionally. As the situation continues to evolve, it is important to remain informed. Please find the most up to date information at the main coronavirus page

Thank you for your flexibility and your willingness to support our community. Please continue to take care of yourself.

Lester L. Arnold, Sr.

CHRO | Vice President for Human Resources and Payroll

George Mason University

Alan and Sally Merten Hall, Office 4100

(703) 993-2600 |


HR & Payroll Contact Information: