George Mason University

News at Mason

April 6: Resources for Mason Employees During COVID-19

April 6, 2020

Dear Patriots,

As all of us at Mason have spent these past weeks adapting to our new environment, I wanted to give you an overview of the resources available to help with that process, as well as providing some additional guidance. We are updating the Coronavirus FAQs for Employees as a central resource. We want to help you through this challenging time, so please let us know what other information or resources you need.

We have created four Telework Toolkits where you can find resources and guidance on Successful Teleworking, Resilience, Well-Being, and Self-Care, Remote Recruitment and Onboarding, and Managing Remotely. We will continue to update these tools at flexwork.gmu.edu to help you navigate remote work.

Employee Populations

There continue to be questions about telework arrangements for different populations of employees and workers. We have created a Telework & Leave Overview to help everyone navigate their situation. Here is some additional guidance for specific employee populations:

  • Research Faculty with salary support from extramural grants and sponsors, the university is working with the sponsoring agencies to confirm their ongoing support. Research faculty should contact their department chairs or center directors and their associate deans or directors for research to discuss specific continuity of research or continuity of pay concerns.
  • Instructional Faculty, Administrative/Professional Faculty, Classified Staff should be teleworking, where possible. Leave usage remains based on their employee classification and they should refer to the leave page for more information.
  • Adjunct Faculty should continue to work remotely and deliver instruction online. Adjunct faculty should refer to the Stearns Center for Teaching & Learning for continuous updates.
  • Graduate Teaching and Research Assistants can work remotely with the approval of their supervisor and will be paid as usual for the period of their existing commitment as a GTA/GRA. Graduate Assistants should contact their faculty advisors/supervisors to discuss alternative work options.   
  • Student Wage Employees can work remotely with the approval of their supervisor. Student wage employees should submit time sheets and be paid at their normal hourly wage.
  • Non-student Wage Employees who are able to work remotely can do so with the approval of their supervisor. Wage employees should submit time sheets and be paid at their normal hourly wage.
  • Federal Work Study can work remotely with the approval of their supervisor. Supervisors should work directly with the Office of Student Financial Aid to complete additional documentation. Please contact dkroll@gmu.edu.

Emergency Leave and Aid

  • Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) is available for all employees (Full-time, Part-time, Student Wage, Non-student Wage, Graduate Assistant, Federal Work Study). Student Wage Employees who are not in proximity to their primary work location AND not available to work/telework will not be paid and are not eligible for PHEL.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which took effect on April 1, provides up to 80 hours of paid emergency leave at full salary and expanded Family & Medical Leave (FML). We will provide additional information on FFCRA and its impact on employees as it becomes available.
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) allows 403(b) plan participants and employees financially impacted by COVID-19 to take early withdrawals from their funds without the 10% tax penalty and 20% mandatory withholding, effective April 1. 
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be a helpful resource.  We understand that transitioning to telework and the overall climate may be stressful. All health plans offered at Mason have employee assistance programs (EAPs) that include up to four sessions at no charge for such services as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling and legal or financial services. Please refer to our EAP page for more information.

Thank You

And finally, amid these trying and unprecedented times, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

  • Thank you for continuing to work, and work hard, so our students can study, learn, grow, and work toward creating a better future.
  • Thank you for being unwaveringly dedicated to Mason’s mission of delivering excellent service while also creating a sense of belonging.
  • Thank you for building community while people are seemingly a world apart.
  • Thank you for supporting your colleagues in so many different ways.
  • Thank you for navigating this unknown terrain together and doing it so well.
  • Thank you for your patience as we work through this rapidly changing situation.
  • Thank you for continuing to make Mason one of the best places to learn and work.

Please know that Mason is committed to your well-being, to supporting you as you work to perform your job in new and different ways, and to helping keep you connected and engaged in the Mason community.  Thank you for your commitment to the well-being of our Mason community. Please continue to take care of yourself and others.

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@gmu.edu

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