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Human Resources provides guidance for employees, supervisors

HR encourages flexibility for fall semester, shares key resources for employee health and well-being.

By Amanda Berry, benefits manager in the Office of Human Resources

July 31, 2020

MSU Denver signThe health and safety of students, faculty and staff, as well as their loved ones, remains Metropolitan State University of Denver’s top priority. Research continues to show that the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to limit contact with others.

With that in mind, most of the University’s operations will continue online for the fall semester. With 90% of classes being held online, most employees will continue to work remotely.

The guidance below has been designed to assist employees and supervisors as they work together to achieve maximum flexibility, while meeting mutual needs to accomplish our University mission for students. 

Remote work and schedule adjustments

MSU Denver recognizes that many employees are having to make difficult decisions about what their children’s K-12 education or child care will look like this fall.  We understand the stress involved in weighing your options, while managing multiple priorities during this unprecedented time.

The Office of Human Resources is committed to a flexible and compassionate approach to working with all faculty, staff and student employees, and is available to assist in navigating these conversations.

Faculty and staff members are highly encouraged to work directly with their supervisors about requests related to their work schedules. Whatever the job or employees’ parenting responsibilities, we are asking our supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employees’ schedules so they can make decisions that best meet the needs of their families while balancing their work responsibilities. Supervisors should consider schedule adjustments where possible for those who request them, but it may not be possible to meet all requests. 

This semester will bring new challenges to an already-difficult time. The Office of Human Resources is here for our faculty and staff, and thanks each of you for partnership as we head into the fall semester.

Best practices for working parents

The Colorado Department of Education put together this information for working parents that will assist with keeping children on task with at-home schoolwork.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Signed into law March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires MSU Denver to provide eligible employees with job-protected, paid leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for specific reasons related to the pandemic.

The acts create two paid-leave types:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
  • Emergency Public Health Leave (EPHL)

A technical guide has been created to provide an overview of the paid-leave provisions of the FFCRA, including MSU Denver’s approach to implementing the two new paid-leave types for eligible employees.

Due to the complexity of the law and the differing eligibility requirements and differing entitlement provisions, each request for leave must be individually evaluated and guidance provided on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Amanda Berry, benefits manager in the Office of Human Resources, at

Remote-work resources

Teleworking Best Practices for Staff was developed by MSU Denver’s Learning and Development team as a resource for faculty and staff.

Mental and emotional well-being

COVID-19 creates stress from fear of becoming ill, loved ones becoming ill, financial insecurity and its impact on our normal routines, including having to practice social distancing. We want, therefore, to make sure all employees are aware of MSU Denver’s support resources:

  • The Health Center at Auraria continues to be open to serve all Auraria students, faculty and staff. COVID-19 testing is available Monday through Friday, in addition to medical and mental-health services via virtual telemedicine visits and select in-office visits. Roadrunners should call 303-615-9999 before visiting. 
  • All MSU Denver employees have access to free and confidential resources through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP). CSEAP can also be reached by phone at 303-866-4314.

CSEAP will provide weekly webinars on Managing Stress and Anxiety During Uncertain Times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the CSEAP website for the most recent information on CSEAP’s available webinar trainings. 

  • These resources have also been collected for employees to help you maintain your own wellness.

Topics: Health, Human Resources, Mental Health, Policy

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