supervisor toolkit:
transition to standard operations

As a university supervisor, you may be struggling to understand how the tragic events of February 13 could take place on a university campus and why such a thing would happen. It is typical for people to experience a variety of emotions following such a traumatic event.

Human Resources is here for you and on this page, you will find a variety of resources to assist supervisors in helping their employees stay informed and resources to support their wellbeing. 

Trauma-Informed Communication and Leadership

We know this is a distressing time for many of us. As a supervisor, Human Resources is here for you, and we ask that you be there for your employees and colleagues and reach out when needed. Trauma-informed communication should be survivor centered – focus on the needs and concerns of survivors (in this case, the campus community). Their safety and well-being should be at the forefront of any interaction.

Supporting Return to Work

Please extend your highest levels of empathy and grace to those who may find it difficult or that they are unable to return to work right now. Work with these employees as much as possible realizing that, in some cases, it may be necessary to require employees to come to work.

  • Consider a flexible schedule or alternative work location where appropriate.
  • Accommodate use of accruals for sick, vacation, and personal time for support staff and PMLA for temporary employees where possible.
  • Consider whether the employee might be eligible for a leave. Direct FMLA-related questions to . Contact your unit HR representative for assistance or refer to these FMLA FAQs .
  • On-call and student employees - consider a flexible schedule and/or alternate work location, including remote work options for those positions in which they can work remotely.
  • Remote Work – for time-limited temporary arrangements, there is no need to complete a remote work agreement. Review the remote work policy and guidance linked above for longer arrangements.

Compensation and Time Entry under Modified Operations

When MSU declared modified operations for Tuesday, February 14 and Wednesday February 15, 2023 it activated provisions described in the Modified Operations Policy .

Under the modified operations policy, only employees designated as critical should work. Supervisors and unit leaders designate which employees are to be deemed critical and must report to work and whether that work is to be done on-site or remotely. Units make these decisions based on the essential functions that still must be carried out and in consideration of their unit’s Business Continuity Plans (BCP).

What we have experienced is very different from any other time of modified operations MSU has faced. For that reason, supervisors and units are asked not to penalize employees with disciplinary actions referenced in the policy in cases where critical employees found themselves unable to work or non-critical employees chose to work in order to be helpful or to deal with stress by keeping busy.  All other provisions in the policy apply.

The chart below is replicated from what is available in the modified operations policy

Type of Employee Status during Modified Operations Compensation

Instructions to  Time Administrators

Critical Employee Reported to work
  • Employee will receive regular base pay
  • Hours worked count toward overtime compensation as applicable
  • Employee will receive hour for hour compensatory time at a later date
  • For Regular Hourly employees and 1585 Temporary employees, code hours as regular hours for all hours worked. The HR/Payroll system will calculate any necessary overtime.
  • For Regular CT and Overtime-Eligible Salary employees (Grade 11 and below), no action is needed. These employees will be paid as usual, and hours will count as time worked. For CT shift employees, shift premiums need to be reported as usual.
  • For Overtime-Exempt Salary employees (Grade Level 12 and above), no action is needed. These employees will be paid as usual.
Critical Employee Did not report to work
  • Employee required to use vacation, compensatory, or personal leave
  • Unit may consider corrective action as applicable
  • For Regular Hourly employees, code any hours worked that day as time worked and hours not worked as vacation, compensatory, or personal time.
  • For CT employees, no action is needed for hours worked.  Vacation, compensatory, or personal time should be recorded for hours not worked.  If the employee does not have the leave available, unpaid time should be recorded.
  • If an exempt employee does not have the leave available, the time administrator should call Human Resources for guidance before docking pay.
Non-critical Employees Should not work
  • Employee will receive regular base pay if they reported and did work.
  • Hours recorded during modified operations will count toward overtime compensation.
  • For Regular Hourly employees (except CT employees) and 1585 Temporary employees, code as having worked regular hours. These employees will be paid as usual and the hours off during modified operations will count as time worked.
  • For Regular CT and Overtime-Eligible Salary employees (Grade 11 and below), no action is needed. These employees will be paid as usual, and hours will count as time worked.  For CT shift employees, shift premiums need to be reported as usual.
  • For Overtime-Exempt Salary employees (Grade Level 12 and above), no action is needed.  These employees will be paid as usual in the system.

Overtime applies when an hourly non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a week. It does not apply to all hours worked during modified operations, only hours worked more than 40 by a non-exempt or over-time eligible employee. For instance, hourly employees who were working and could not leave their shifts due to the shelter in place should be paid for those hours. If that additional time means they wind up working more than 40 hours, overtime would apply for the hours worked in excess of 40. Modified operations hours would count toward the total time employees worked for purposes of computing overtime.

In consideration of the tragic event of February 13, 2023, units are encouraged to consider compensation for their temporary/on-call and student employees as outlined in this communication sent to HR Unit Representatives on February 27.  

  • Employees who had previously scheduled time off prior to entering modified operations (e.g. vacation or personal time) should not be charged against their vacation/personal balance.
  • Employees whose normal days off fell during modified operations are not entitled to equivalent time off or additional pay.
  • Employees who have regularly established remote work arrangements should follow the same procedure as other employees based upon whether they have been deemed as a critical or non-critical employee either through the unit’s BCP or specifically designated as critical by their supervisor during the emergency.

Faculty and academic staff may use their professional judgement in deciding to engage in work that does not interfere with emergency operations during periods of modified operations.

Additional FAQs on the Modified Operations Policy can be found here .

Questions on how to properly record and enter time in the HR/Payroll system should be directed to the Payroll Office at 517-355-5010 or

Questions about university policies and rules should be directed to the Office of Employee Relations at 517-353-5510 or .

Other questions should be directed to the HR Solutions Center at or 517-353-4434.

Employee Concerns and Complaints

Since employees are encouraged to first speak to their direct supervisor or unit level HR representative regarding concerns or complaints, please use the utmost flexibility and empathy when working to find solutions. You may also work with your unit HR representatives for assistance.

  • Concerns or complaints may be directed to the MSU HR Office of Employee Relations or the HR Solutions Center at .
  • Misconduct Hotline – allows for anonymous complaints
  • Union-represented employees may file a grievance under their respective collective bargaining agreement .
  • Non-represented regular support staff grievances can be filed here .
  • Complaints arising under MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy (RVSM Policy) and MSU’s Anti-Discrimination Policy (ADP) should be made to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) here .

Performance Planning 

Supervisors may delay conducting an employee’s annual review in the immediate aftermath of our shared tragedy to take time to focus on our journey to recovery. There is no need to officially change the review date, email reminders for performance reviews will be paused for February and March. If you have any questions, please email .

Counseling and Well-being Resources for Employees

When tragedy occurs, it's easy to become overwhelmed and unsure where to go for help. The resources below are available to support everyone’s wellbeing including counseling, courses, support groups, and more. Consider sharing these resources with your employees as appropriate.