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covid-19 response

Work-Related Frequently Asked Questions

Last Modified: May 5, 2022

The most up to date information regarding face covering and vaccine requirements, as well as details about medical or religious exemptions can be found on the COVID directives page of the Together We Will site. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding these mandates can be found on the Together We Will FAQs page.

MSU continues to make progress on plans for return to business locations and for welcoming many of us back together on campus this fall. The following are frequently asked questions employees and supervisors/managers may have during this time. These will continue to be supplemented and modified.

Use these links to jump to a specific section:

Health and Safety

Please visit the COVID directives page or the FAQs page on the Together We Will site for the latest information on health and safety measures being taken at the university.

Staffing (All University employees including Faculty, Executive Management, Academic Staff, Support Staff, Graduate Assistants, Temporary & On-Call employees)

Frequently asked questions regarding the university's Remote Work Policies and Remote Work Agreement can be found here

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Yes. Learn more about the university's Remote Work Policies and Remote Work Agreement here

Yes, Michigan State University determines the allocation and assignment of work, including setting the hours of work, establishing work schedules and determining where work is best conducted. 

Student Employees (excluding Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Teaching Exempt)

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Yes. Learn more about the university's Remote Work Policies and Remote Work Agreement  here

Compensation and Benefits

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Please see the Together We Will site for the latest communications related to employees, financial/budget impact, university operations and more.

Yes, there are several benefit resources available to those enrolled in an MSU health plan and their eligible dependents. This includes virtual visits with your physician and telemedicine optionsVisit the Coronavirus: MSU Benefit Resources webpage to learn more.

Yes, employees may apply for FMLA through MSU HR. Eligible employees under FMLA are those who have a serious health condition, or must care for a family member with a serious health condition, which generally is considered an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

If an employee is granted FMLA leave, the FMLA leave runs concurrent with existing paid/unpaid leaves of absence. Health, prescription, and dental benefits will continue with the normal University contribution for the duration of the FMLA leave, even if the employee’s paid accruals have been exhausted. For more information, see MSU's FMLA page or PMLA page. 

The PMLA Policy (which applies ONLY to non-union temporary employees) permits non-union temporary employees to take their existing accrual of PMLA time:

  • For closure of the employee's primary workplace by order of a public official due to a public health emergency;
  • For the employee's need to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency;
  • For the employee’s time off if it has been determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider that the presence of the employee or employee’s family member in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the eligible employee's or family member's exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the eligible employee or family member has actually contracted the communicable disease.

HR Processes

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No, a formal document is not required. However, units should plan for tasks such as team communications and expectations for cleaning shared and personal items, etc.
No, this training was required as part of the MIOSHA requirements. 
Yes. Employees are expected to report their absences and to identify the reason for the absence. Supervisors must maintain all information about employee illnesses as a confidential medical record. 
The University does not provide a sick leave balance for faculty and academic staff. The general expectation for situations which may require faculty and academic staff to take time off for illness is that unit administrators extend professional courtesy and flexibility for employees under these circumstances and expect that arrangements are made for the work to be done. If, however, the time off interferes with the employee being able to fulfill their responsibilities, then the unit administrator and employee must have a conversation to discuss and evaluate the situation and other alternatives.

Interviews can be held in person or virtually, taking care to ensure processes are consistent and fairly applied. Visit the Together We Will page for information on what to expect on campus if you plan to hold an on-site interview. 

On-site support staff orientations have been permanently replaced by new employee welcome sessions that are now offered to all new faculty, academic and support staff (excluding graduate assistants and temporary and on-call employees). These sessions are held online and new employees receive direct invitations via email.

Units can find the most up to date guidance for I-9 verifications on the I-9 Coronavirus Resource page on the HR website. For questions regarding the completion of I-9s not covered on the HR website, please contact HR.I9Admin@hr.msu.edu

Faculty & Academic Staff Hiring Modifications (including Executive Management)

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Effective May 1, the additional approvals put in place during the hiring modification will no longer be required, including the Hiring Modification Approval form.  All hiring decisions that previously required provost or vice president approval can now resume practices in place prior to the March 2020 directive. All other hiring practices remain in place.

Nevertheless, units should continue to assess the need for positions and evaluate the urgency in which roles need to be filled.

Support Staff Hiring Modifications (including Temporary, On-Call, Student and Graduate Assistant Employees)

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Effective May 1, the additional approvals put in place during the hiring modification will no longer be required, including the Hiring Modification Approval form.  All hiring decisions that previously required provost or vice president approval can now resume practices in place prior to the March 2020 directive. All other hiring practices remain in place.

Nevertheless, units should continue to assess the need for positions and evaluate the urgency in which roles need to be filled.

Professional Development - Remote Opportunities

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Live, online courses are available via Zoom on a variety of topics. New classes designed to assist with the university's return to on-site work and other popular course offerings can be found on the Professional Development Courses page.

All benefits eligible employees have access to free online learning in elevateU. This tool can assist and support employees with boosting skills in a wide variety of areas. Consider goals set for the year, skills needed for upcoming projects or taking a deeper dive into Excel or Access. Topics cover a broad range and include productivity tools (desktop), leadership development, project management, IT professional skills, emotional intelligence, wellness, and more. elevateU also has thousands of e-books and audio books available that can be searched by title or author.

Yes, those with a professional certification may be able to get CE credits by taking courses through elevateU. From the home page, click on Certification Resources in the left sidebar, then Certification Information. If you don’t see your certification, contact the credentialing board for your certification to ask about using elevateU resources for CE credits. This is an opportunity to get CE credits without spending any money or traveling.

Log into EBS > My Career & Training > elevateU or directly at  https://elevateu.skillport.com. We’ve updated the landing page and a good place to start exploring is by clicking the MSU Highlighted Programs tab on the left sidebar. 

Unemployment Information

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You may be. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) makes these determinations — not MSU. Please contact UIA to create and claim and determine if you are eligible. 

Please follow the direction of the Unemployment Agency regarding the requirements for claiming benefits. For a full list of valid work search and required documentation, refer to the UIA Work Search Activities list

An overpayment occurs when you receive unemployment benefits to which you are not entitled. This could happen due to a mistake when certifying for benefits, if you were not able or available to work, or false or misleading information was given when filing a claim. If you are overpaid unemployment benefits, you will receive a letter notifying you of the overpayment and how to start the repayment process. If you have been overpaid benefits and are currently employed, contact the UI Benefit Overpayment Collection Unit at 1-866-500-0017 to arrange repayment terms. To learn more about overpayments, please visit this Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's webpage

Please review the Employee FAQ’s provided by the Unemployment Agency at or schedule an appointment. Scheduling an appointment is the best option to speak with the UIA so they can collect any additional information they may need from you. Click here to schedule an appointment  up to a week in advance.

Please send a message or chat through your MiWAM account. You may also schedule an appointment, which is the best option to speak with the UIA so they can collect any additional information they may need from you. Click here to schedule an appointment  up to a week in advance.

Both employers and employees are obligated to report offers and refusals of suitable work to the agency. The agency will conduct a fact specific inquiry into the situation.

  1. Michigan State Employer Account Number: 0800416-000.
  2. Michigan State Federal Employer Identification Number : 38-6005984
  3. Please see the Fact Sheet provided by the State of Michigan for additional personal information that may be needed.

 

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