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Supervisor and Manager FAQ

Updated September 28, 2020

Resources to assist you can be found at Caltech's Telecommuting webpage. In addition, the Human Resources team can offer guidance on how to structure meetings, set up touchpoints, and manage deadlines. For this type of assistance, contact our HR Education team here. If your questions are more complex or you need performance management guidance, Employee and Organizational Development can provide consultation and/or tools to assist.

Human Resources can provide helpful tools to assist employees in their transition to remote work, including a webpage to support telecommuting here. Reach out to the HR Education team for strategies.

It may make sense for some employees to notify people who are trying to contact them, either by phone or email, if their responses could be delayed due to remote working. If their schedule has been affected, it is also appropriate to notify incoming callers or emails that responses could be delayed. However, please discuss with your employees what works best for their situation and department.

Except for employees performing specific critical functions, all staff and faculty should be working remotely, in compliance with state and local "Safer at Home" orders. We encourage employees who must still come to campus to adhere to preventative hygiene and physical distancing measures.

When these measures are practiced carefully and consistently, they are effective in reducing risk of the spread of the disease. In addition, employees should consult with their manager for specific protocols that may be in place for specific jobs.

Except for employees performing specific critical functions, all staff and faculty should be working remotely, in compliance with state and local "Safer at Home" orders. For those employees whose job duties require them to come to campus, we hope that the increased flexibility in work schedules and directives on social distancing while on campus will help alleviate their concerns. Employees who still have concerns about their ability to safely perform their job duties should talk with their managers or seek consultation from Employee & Organizational Development. Additionally, the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center has resources to help employees who are feeling stress or anxiety about the uncertainty of the current world situation.

In the event of a COVID-19 exposure, self-isolation and cleaning procedures will be taken immediately and potentially impacted colleagues will be notified by Caltech Student Wellness Services and public health officials as appropriate. Details can be found on the Campus Notifications page.

Only employees involved in essential functions should report to work. Essential functions include: distance learning and the operation of student housing and dining facilities; custodial, security, payroll, and student wellness services; and the maintenance and management of laboratories and facilities with unique agents and equipment.

Those employees who need to conduct these essential on-campus functions should do so in accordance with health professionals' guidance on social distancing, which includes maintaining a distance of six feet per person, staggering personnel schedules, and following preventative hygiene measures to the greatest extent possible.

Employees must use all available accrued sick leave under these circumstances. If an employee does not have accrued sick leave, employees should reach out to the Disability and Leave Unit at leaveunit@caltech.edu for direction on leave usage.

If a member of the Caltech campus shares with you a doctor's note, disclosure of test results, direct communications between doctor and patient, or any other personal health information with you, do not forward or disclose this information to anyone else, with the following exceptions:

  • If the PHI is regarding a faculty or staff member, postdoctoral scholar, or affiliate, please immediately call the Disability and Leave Unit within Caltech Human Resources at 626-395-3092 for assistance in how to handle these records in a way that is consistent with privacy guidelines.
  • If the PHI is regarding a Caltech student, please immediately call Student Wellness Services at 626-395-6393 for assistance in how to handle these records in a way that is consistent with privacy guidelines.

Inquiries will receive a response within 24 hours. Both the Disability and Leave Unit and Student Wellness Services will work the Pasadena Public Health Department and the individuals directly impacted by each situation.

Supervisors managing a student who reports a respiratory illness should notify the relevant division chairs and Student Wellness Services at 626-395-6393.

Supervisions who have a faculty or staff member, postdoctoral fellow, or affiliate reporting respiratory illness should notify the relevant division chairs and the Disability and Leave Unit.

Resources for reporting an illness can be found on the Campus Notifications page.

Any positive test for COVID-19 should be reported to Student Wellness Services or the Disability and Leave Unit, which will coordinate with Student Health Services medical director Dr. John Tsai, Facilities, and Environmental Health and Safety to initiate a protocol for cleaning and disinfecting affected physical spaces in consultation with the cognizant division chair or supervisor. Until cleaning and disinfection is complete, the space should be closed and secured, and access prohibited.

The division chair, faculty member, and/or laboratory manager may have specific recommendations, precautions, or considerations for the cleaning and disinfecting of sensitive laboratory spaces; these discussions will involve the relevant partners within the Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety units.

Caltech faculty and staff members, students, postdoctoral fellows, or affiliates who used or accessed the affected space(s) will be notified of any relevant facts regarding the public health implications and asked to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of exposure, and self-monitor for symptoms.