Temporary Pay Policy Starting July 1, 2020, During the COVID-19 Emergency

Updated Jan 25, 2021


On April 15, 2020 the College announced a continuation of Regular Pay and Benefits through June 30, 2020, as reflected in the Temporary Policies Governing Pay and Use of Accruable Paid Leave - During COVID-19 Emergency Through End of FY2020, for Hourly and Salaried employees. As explained below, this policy supersedes those earlier policies in their entirety.

Temporary Pay Policies for COVID-19 Emergency, From July 5, 2020

End of Pay Continuation and Premium for On-Campus Work

As of July 5, 2020, the Temporary Policies Governing Pay and Use of Accruable Paid Leave During COVID-19 Emergency Through End of FY2020 will no longer be effective. As previously announced, this means:

  • The guarantee of base pay to regular full- and part- time employees, salaried and hourly, without regard to actual hours of work performed, on-campus or remotely, was extended through July 4, 2020.
  • Starting July 5, the guarantee of base pay to regular full- and part- time employees, salaried and hourly, without regard to actual hours of work performed, on-campus or remotely, was discontinued.
  • Starting June 28, the ten percent (10%) premium for working on campus was discontinued.
  • Starting July 1, the required Accruable Paid Leave Draw-Down policy was discontinued. Accordingly, employees will no longer be required to use (i.e., draw down) their accruable paid time off balances, but will be subject to the College’s newly instituted Vacation Policy, effective July 1, 2020.
  • Starting June 28, the suspension of the College’s usual paid sick time policies was discontinued. Accordingly, employees must report and use paid sick time as per the College’s normal policies and procedures.

New Vacation Policy

The new Fiscal Year 2021 Vacation Policy, announced on June 26, 2020, is effective as of July 1, 2020.

Return to Campus

The gradual phasing in of on-campus work by employees will continue consistent with applicable state guidelines and College policy. Employees must follow the established protocols upon such return, including reviewing and following the rules and guidelines set forth in Employees Working On Campus Performing Permissible Operations: Protocols for Masks, Social Distancing and Hygiene (PDF), and taking the required training.

Employees required to be enrolled in the College’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program must perform a symptom check before coming to campus using the COVID-19 Daily Check-in in HC Clear. Other employees, who do not come to campus regularly, should also use HC Clear before coming on campus on those days when they do come to campus.

Employees required to be enrolled in the College’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program must schedule their tests at the required frequency. Employees with questions about their testing category or testing frequency should contact their supervisor or department head.

The College has implemented COVID-19 surveillance testing on-site in the gymnasium of the Joanne Chouinard Luth Recreation and Wellness Center (The Jo). Hours will be posted on the COVID-19 Response and Reopening website. Supervisors may adjust the schedules for such employees so that their hours of work overlap with the testing hours, or may direct employees to come in early or leave late; hourly-paid employees directed to come in early or leave late will be paid for their additional time at work, including overtime, if any. Hourly-paid employees must accurately report all time worked, including time spent participating in COVID-19 testing.  Hourly-paid employees who are directed to come to campus on a day when they are otherwise not scheduled to work, for the sole purpose of getting tested, will be paid for three (3) hours for each such instance at their normal base rate of pay. Any questions about pay policies and COVID-19 surveillance testing should be sent to Human Resources via email at hr@holycross.edu.

Departments that need to bring vendors or visitors to campus to complete essential functions that can only be done on campus should send an email to accesstocampus@holycross.edu and a member of the Return to Campus Team will respond.

Sick Leave, Reporting of Illness in General 

Employees who report that they are not feeling well, whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19, should follow regular sick time protocols for contacting their supervisor and remain away from campus until they are well.

All employees must continue to report to their supervisor when they are ill; rules regarding providing supervisors notice of, requesting, and (where appropriate) approving sick leave will continue to apply. This rule applies even if working remotely.

All other aspects of the College's existing sick time policy, including the reasons for which sick time may be used, remain the same and will be interpreted and applied consistent with applicable law.

Updated Sick Time Policy

The College has announced a new Sick Leave Policy, effective January 1, 2021. This change was made to coincide with the effective date of  paid leave benefits now available for all employees under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (MA PFML), as well as the College’s new Supplemental Medical Leave plan available to benefits-eligible employees.  For information about MA PFML and Supplemental Medical Leave, please review the MA PFML Pamphlet (PDF) issued by the College in December 2020.

The new policy provides all staff members with a guaranteed number of sick leave days each January 1st, meant to cover eligible absences such as occasional illness, doctor’s appointments, and the MA PFML elimination period.

Effective January 1, 2021, Sick Leave balances will be as follows:

  • Full-time staff members will start the year with the greater of their existing balance or 7 days.
  • Part-time staff members will start the year with the greater of their existing balance or 40 hours.

Regardless of how much Sick Leave an employee uses throughout the year, the employee will begin each future January 1 with the same starting Sick Leave balances set forth above.

COVID-19 and Sick Leave: Diagnosis, Quarantine, Care for a Sick or Quarantined Family Member

So that the College may prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible, if an employee informs a department head or supervisor that they have been exposed to and/or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been quarantined, the employee must be directed TO STAY AWAY FROM CAMPUS and to immediately contact their health care provider (if they have not already). Then the department head or supervisor must immediately contact Melissa Cutroni in Human Resources.

If a department head or supervisor is informed by an employee that the employee believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 while on campus, please immediately compile as much relevant detail as you have and immediately contact Melissa Cutroni in Human Resources at
(508) 793-3566. This information must be kept confidential (do not share the information with anyone other than the report to Human Resources without their prior approval), secure (e.g., locked cabinet) and in a file separate from the employee’s personnel file.

Human Resources will permit sick leave to be used by employees who are:

  • Diagnosed as and actually ill from COVID-19.
  • Have had a known exposure to COVID-19.
  • Require time off to self-quarantine, when directed by a healthcare professional or when consistent with recommendations from public health authorities, irrespective of whether the employee is ultimately determined to be “sick.”
  • Caring for a family member who is sick or quarantined due to COVID-19. In such circumstances, Human Resources may waive the usual rule that a maximum of 40 hours of sick leave may be used to care for a family member. Supervisors should consult with Human Resources.

For employees who are unable to work as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis (whether the person diagnosed is the employee or a family member), or other serious medical condition, leave
under the Family and Medical Leave policy (“FMLA leave”) may be available. Please contact Melissa Cutroni in Human Resources in these circumstances, or if an employee inquires about FMLA leave or leave for a health, mental health or other medical issue.

When an employee who has been diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19 seeks to return to work, they should communicate as far in advance as possible with Human Resources about a return-to-work plan. As a general practice, Human Resources will require such employees to obtain return-to-work certifications or other appropriate documentation from their medical provider indicating that they are fully recovered and do not pose a risk of further transmission. If this proves impracticable or impossible, Human Resources may determine, based on available evidence and information, whether and when it is safe for the employee to return to work. Recovering employees may, in the College’s discretion, be permitted to return to work remotely, where remote working is an option, before they are permitted to return to campus, and additional documentation may be required before an employee can return to campus in these circumstances.

Employees With Concerns About Returning to Work on Campus

Employees who are required to return to work on campus who believe they need leave or another accommodation for a medical condition, or because they fall within one or more categories of At-Risk Employees (as defined by the CDC) for a reason other than their age, may request leave or another accommodation by contacting Human Resources and may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave policy (“FMLA leave”).  (Accommodation requests based solely on an employee’s age will be treated as a personal accommodation, the process for which is discussed in detail below.) As a reminder, if an employee raises the need for accommodation or leave due to anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, these should be treated in a similar manner as other health and medical conditions. All requests for a medical accommodation should be directed to Kim McCullen at kmuculle@holycross.edu.

Employees who are required to return to work on campus but who believe they may have difficulty doing so for other reasons - e.g., an inability to arrange for childcare, age-related concerns, or because a family member falls within one or more categories of At-Risk Employees (as defined by the CDC) - should contact Deb Paquette in Human Resources at dpaquett@holycross.edu. The College encourages supervisors and department heads to think creatively about how work or working conditions (e.g. office locations, working hours, reassignment or swapping of tasks, etc.) might be adjusted to facilitate return to work and report those suggestions to Human Resources. Human Resources will work with employees and supervisors to attempt to find solutions that balance the legitimate concerns of employees with the need to get work done. In the event an employee is unable to return to work notwithstanding such efforts, the employee may request, from Human Resources, an unpaid personal leave of absence. Human Resources will determine whether and for how long any such leave will be permitted. Employees may use accrued paid time off for any period of unpaid leave. In other respects, personal leaves of absence requested under these circumstances will, to the extent practicable, be administered similarly to personal leaves under the provisions of Holy Cross & You, 4.21.16 Personal Leave (Without Pay).

Personal Travel Out of State and Self-Quarantine; Business Travel

Because of the continuing community transmission of COVID-19 across the United States and the world, and in accordance with the Massachusetts Travel Order (“Travel Order”) on out-of- state and international travel, the College strongly discourages employees from undertaking any unnecessary, personal interstate or international travel at this time. The Travel Order, as updated from time to time, requires that all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, quarantine for ten(10) days at the conclusion of their trip and complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Employees are not permitted to return to campus following out-of-state travel unless they have met all applicable requirements of the Travel Order. Please note that the College may require that the employee demonstrate their compliance with the requirements of the Travel Order. Supervisors must monitor employee compliance with this policy and report any violations to Human Resources. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.

Employees should note that the Travel Order’s requirements do not apply to commuting between Massachusetts and the employee's state of residence, transitory travel (as defined in the Travel Order), or to other travel that the Travel Order specifically exempts. Employees who request time off from work, and supervisors deciding whether to approve such time off, must take into account any required period of quarantine following interstate or international travel. For example, if an employee takes a 7-day trip out of state, the employee must quarantine for 10 days upon return, unless otherwise exempted under the Travel Order. During a quarantine period that would otherwise coincide with the employee’s work schedule, the employee may work remotely (if their job can be performed remotely and if such an arrangement has been approved by the College), or may elect to use available vacation, other accrued paid time off, or available sick time; otherwise, time away from work for post-travel quarantine will be designated as unpaid personal leave. Contact Merrilee Grenier (mgrenier@holycross.edu) in Human Resources for questions about the application of the Travel Order or this policy.

College business travel, paid for by the College or reimbursed by the College, to a location covered by the self-quarantine restriction is prohibited, absent explicit authorization from a College Division Head. If business travel is essential, the Division Head must discuss the situation with Human Resources before authorizing such travel.