WSU recognizes the challenges many of our faculty and staff are facing with recently announced K-12 plans at school districts throughout the WSU system.
WSU encourages managers to be as flexible with schedules as possible, while continuing to serve students and the public, to accommodate the needs of their employees as they navigate the school year challenges.
K-12 School/Place of Care
What options do I have if my K-12 child’s schooling has changed to online or distance learning? (Updated 8/13/2020)
Additionally, WSU offers a number of parent and caregiver resources and information sources for faculty & staff system-wide.
If my child’s school or place of care is shut down by a public official in response to COVID-19, can my supervisor deny a sick leave request and require me to work from home?
A supervisor cannot require* a civil service employee or overtime eligible faculty or administrative professional employee to work from home instead of using their accrued sick leave. However, employers are strongly encouraged to let staff telework when the nature of their work allows it.
*Contact HRS regarding faculty and staff identified in your continuity plan as essential personnel.
What accrued leave may be used due to my child’s school or place of care being closed by order of a public official in response to COVID-19?
Faculty, Administrative Professional and Civil Service employees are eligible to use accrued leave including annual leave, sick leave, personal holiday, compensatory time, leave without pay.
- BPPM 60.57 – Civil Service Employee Leave.
- BPPM 60.56 – Faculty and Administrative Professional Personnel Leave.
- Represented classified employees should refer to their appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
In the event that a WSU location opens prior to public schools and normal childcare options, will there be executive instruction to maintain telework agreements as long as necessary for staff/faculty due to childcare needs or strong direction to approve BPPM 60.82 requests (children in the workplace)?
Employees should continue to work with their supervisors to evaluate telework options available and your HRS Service Team member can assist in discussing telework options. If no telework is available, employees may use leave in accordance with their employment type.
At this time, due to the severity of COVID-19, expanding the children in the workplace policy is still under review.
What options do I have if my K-12 child’s schooling has changed to online or distance learning?
The following resources are available to WSU faculty and staff:
Leave and Work Options
Parent and Caregiver Resources
WSU offers a number of parent and caregiver resources and information sources for faculty & staff system-wide.
Employee Assistance Program
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Employee Assistance Program is providing increased support to the employees, supervisors, leaders and organizations we serve. EAP is in full operation across the state, offering services via phone and telehealth platforms, and we are gearing up to meet increased need. We know that the emotional and mental health toll of this crisis will be significant and we are providing additional support and resources to help address the impacts of stress, fear, financial loss, illness, grief and loss, children out of school, and isolation created by social distancing.
Childcare/Family Related Offerings
• Creating a Backup Childcare Plan (accessed via the “Parenting” section of the EAP site)
• Navigating Change in Challenging Times Webinar
• Parent/Caregiver Caring for Your Family During COVID-19 Guide
• Strategies for supporting learning at home
• Family resources for remote learning
• Supporting families during COVID-19
Mental Health Services/Wellbeing
The employee insurance plans offered through WSU cover mental health services see your plan’s Certificate of Coverage for specifics about your plan, including whether a referral or pre-authorization is required.
Resources that specifically address COVID-19 impacts on emotional and mental health and wellbeing, including live and recorded webinars, handouts, and links to resources.