Employees and Student Workers

Student Employment

For students engaged in internships, Career Development recommends you move to working remotely if your organization allows you to do so. If working remotely is not an option, students are to suspend their internship for the semester and work with their faculty advisor and Career Development. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with CWL, Career Development, and your faculty advisor.

We recognize the loss of student work hours can pose a financial hardship for many students. For departments with student worker positions that can be done remotely, we are implementing a temporary policy to allow student workers to work remotely during the spring semester to ease the financial burden on students and support critical areas of University operations. 

Supervisors will be in contact with their student workers directly to assess this option with students. We know that not all student worker positions can be done remotely because of the nature of the work. We will work specifically with those students to understand the situation, and how we can best help them if this causes a financial hardship. Please contact us at Student Affairs at studentaffairs@stkate.edu.  

For many, this is part of their financial aid package and they are relying on this income to make school viable. For students in positions that can be made to work remotely will this be an option with supervisor approval? For those in ‘low contact’ positions, will they be able to work? What about those who are in positions that can not be modified to suit the situation we find ourselves in? 
 
Please see the message sent to faculty and staff on March 17 and to students on March 18 regarding the ability to work remotely during the spring semester. 

Employee Information

St. Kate’s cares about the health of all employees, and we would not have employees on campus if it weren’t reasonably safe. 

With that in mind, there are measures we can all take to make sure we stay safe and healthy both on and off campus.

  • Practice social distancing. When possible, maintain a personal distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. If needed, rearrange workstations to maintain distance.

  • Wear a face mask or covering when moving about on campus. If needed, masks are available at Public Safety on the St. Paul campus.

  • Limit touching of surfaces, including doors and light switches. Use the automatic door openers when available or use a tissue or paper towel to turn on and off light switches.

  • Clean your office space. Frequently wipe shared surfaces such as printers, door handles, light switches, phones, and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes.

  • Limit in-person meetings. Utilize technology like Google Hangouts, or just pick up the phone or send an email when possible.

  • Events of any size should only be held if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing per above. When feasible, organizers should modify events to be virtual.

  • Avoid shaking hands or otherwise touching coworkers.

  • Follow CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others, including washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are sick.

As communicated on March 26, faculty and staff will continue working remotely through the stay at home order, which is now in place through May 18. In anticipation that this order may be extended again, we have elected to remain in remote work mode through May 31. We are working with MDH to evaluate the situation and establish guidelines for if remote work is extended past this date, and will provide an update as we know more. 

The decision to transition to a remote workforce across St. Kate’s and units was made with the goal of lowering the number of interactions on campus, slow the rate of transmission of the virus, and protect our community. We also know some staff must be on campus to support the residential population still on campus, to maintain our campus operations, and to keep the University healthy and secure. We are actively addressing the unique employment considerations and questions across our workforce during this time. The situation is changing rapidly, and HR is reviewing and adjusting workplace policies accordingly.  

To make this transition easier, we are suggesting the following:

  • Your work laptop should be your home office device. It contains our work software and is easily supported remotely from our Helpdesk if you should run into any issues. 
  • Your work monitor(s) and docking station can be brought home for you to set up in your home office.  There will be no remote support available to do the setup, so please make note of how it is configured.  Also, when you return it to work on campus, it is expected you return the equipment and reconnect it to its original state.
  • Phones cannot be brought home, and unfortunately, our phone system cannot consistently forward your work calls to your cell phone. We are working on a new phone system and may roll that out within the next few months if testing goes well.  Until then, you will need to update your voicemail and check your messages frequently.
  • For those teaching, we have headsets that may help you to be hands free with improved sound for your classes.  Feel free to check one out using our Coronavirus Technology Form. Our priority will be faculty,and then staff, to receive these devices.

If you have any questions or need assistance, call our Helpdesk at 651-690-6402  or complete the Coronavirus Technology Form

Yes. If you are unable to do your work remotely due to the nature of your work, you are expected to report to campus.

Under the governor’s “Stay at Home” executive order, University employees are allowed to come to campus. Public servant time will not be used to stop and question where people are going during the stay-at-home order. In the highly improbable event that someone would question you being en route or on-campus, your St. Catherine University ID will show that you are an employee of the University and allowed to do so because we are an essential business.

While the majority of employees are encouraged and able to work remotely, there are some roles that continue to call for at least some work time on campus several times per week to complete work tasks (e.g. check mail, process payroll, pay bills, process donor checks). There are also employees whose duties can only be performed on campus, including IT, ensuring all employees and students are trained and set up to be effective online, and those needing to be here for the 100+ students who call St. Kate’s their home. We deeply appreciate our custodial, public safety, dining services, residence life, and facilities teams who will be here.

Because we are an essential business, presence on campus can and may be expected of any one of us while still ensuring social distancing and other public health orders. You should continue to follow work arrangements made with your supervisor. Exceptions to this will be those individuals who fall into a high risk category as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health and/or your private physician. 

As stated in our March 23 update, Human Resources is gathering the data from across the University to account for the work of every faculty and staff member. We will use the principles stated in that update to determine how we can be flexible and to the best of our ability, strive to ensure employees have work. Part of our strategy is to actively work to redeploy individuals whose job functions have been significantly impacted by our current circumstances. As new needs and projects emerge (e.g., IT support, admission, recruitment), we will make every effort to redeploy portions of employees’ time to provide support to these other areas or deal with a backlog of items in their own areas that this time affords. If we are unable to find alternative work for them to perform, we will be carefully considering what other options may be available.

Additionally, supervisors are asked to not use on-call or temporary workers during this period as we work to ensure that all of our regular employees are able to maintain full time employment. All non-exempt employees working remotely should be paid for all hours worked at their regular rate of pay. Overtime should be avoided whenever possible, but in extraordinary circumstances may be incurred, and must be pre-approved by a Senior Leadership Team member.

As always, if you have individual questions or concerns, please go directly to your supervisor. If you need additional information or support, please contact Human Resources.

Yes, with supervisory approval, you may leave work. Discuss with your supervisor the possibility of working remotely and how you may be able to make up the work in the same workweek, work a different schedule, or work from home.  If it is not feasible to make one of these arrangements work you will need to request vacation time.

You may request to use paid vacation leave benefits; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request if your department is short on staff.

The priority in any instance requiring care for yourself is to attend to your own health needs. If you are ill and are not able to report to work (campus or remote location), you should use a sick leave day.

Based on the type of job duties to be performed and with supervisor approval, you may be able to work from home while you are quarantined or caring for a family member who is quarantined.  Each situation will be assessed on an individual basis.

No. At this time, medical documentation will not be required. This temporary change in policy is to provide support to the medical community who have already been overwhelmed with providing healthcare at this time. This is subject to change as the current situation evolves.

Employees who are at risk due to an underlying health condition are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. However, please be very prudent in how you do this with your health provider so that you are not part of overwhelming the health care system. If necessary, you may seek a work accommodation. Please contact hr@stkate.edu for more information on seeking an accommodation.

If you are out of accrued sick leave, you may use accrued vacation time or be allowed to run a negative sick leave balance to ensure you are able to take the time you need to recuperate or take care of a family member. Please contact Human Resources (hr@stkate.edu). You should notify your supervisor in advance and account for the time on the timesheets or leave reports.

Sick and safe time or vacation leave time are potential options. Employees may also request the possibility of a change to their work schedule if approved by their supervisor. We encourage all employees to discuss their unique situations with their supervisors to determine the most appropriate solution. To ensure the safety of family members and the St. Kate's community, employees may not bring children or elders to work with them, even if they are well.

Yes. Testing and treatment for COVID-19 if ordered by your physician will be covered under the University’s healthcare plan. The cost of the test will be fully covered. Co-pays would apply if you are seen face to face with the doctor. Virtuwell is free if you are within the first three visits and Doctor on Demand is a $10 co-pay.

All employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. In these rapidly changing times, the University is not able to guarantee that we will be able to issue a paper check in the event that we are sheltered in place nor can we guarantee the certainty of timely mail delivery.

Direct deposit form

As a University employee, you automatically have access to our Employee Assistance Program—a confidential resource available to help you with life’s everyday issues. The EAP covers you and your household family members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When you contact The Life Assistance Program, you can speak to a counselor or other professional who can help with issues such as parenting issues, work-related issues, relationship problems, substance abuse problems, self-improvement, mental health issues, financial concerns, and legal referral assistance.

For more information or to receive support, call 800-538-3543 or visit The Life Assistance Program website

Technology and Virtual Communication

To ease the transition between working in your home office and your St. Catherine University office, we suggest the following:

  • Your work laptop, monitor(s), and docking station can be brought home for you to set up in your home office. You are responsible for disconnecting and reconnecting equipment as needed.

  • Your work laptop should be your home office device. It contains our University software and is easily supported remotely from our Helpdesk if you should run into any issues. 

  • Headsets that may help you to be hands free with improved sound for your classes are available for you to pick up if desired. Request one using our Coronavirus Technology Form.

  • Items that SHOULD NOT be removed include: 

    • Mounted or attached monitors or equipment.

    • Office furniture (chairs, etc.)

    • White boards/dry erase boards. 

  • Phones cannot be brought home, and unfortunately our system cannot consistently forward work calls to your home or mobile phone. We are working on a new phone system, which may roll that out within the next few months if testing goes well. Until then, we ask that you update your voicemail and check messages frequently. (You can access your voicemail by calling your extension and hitting *).

 

The University has two primary virtual meeting tools. If you have not already, we recommend you have practiced using the one(s) appropriate for you and/or refreshing your knowledge about how to use the tools. It is important to note that heavy volume times will likely result in visible issues with connectivity, fuzzy pictures, or sound issues. Be familiar with the tools so you can understand if the problems can be resolved or need to be managed.

Due to its susceptibility to hacking, all uses of Zoom to conduct University business (e.g. classes, meetings, tutorials, events) are prohibited, UNLESS you have an approved exception from Information Technology and are able to take the required actions to be granted an exception. See the April 17 update for more details.

  • Google Hangouts Meet is used for most meeting and class purposes. Visit Google Hangouts Meet for a cheat sheet on the primary capabilities, including setting up a meeting, joining a meeting, recording a meeting, and managing the sound.

    • Hangouts Meet is integrated into your Google calendar and can be added by selecting “Add conferencing” when you create a new meeting invite. 

  • Collaborate Ultra is used primarily for Brightspace/D2L integrated online classes. Visit Collaborate Ultra - Getting Started for information on using this tool, or complete the Coronavirus Technology Form and include your course details for setup.

Use best practices for meetings:

  • Set up and test your connections and equipment in advance.

  • Use a headset with a microphone, if available.

  • Unless you are speaking, mute your audio to avoid distractions and background noise.

  • Try not to interrupt other speakers. Consider using chat to insert an idea without disruption.

  • Check your video to make sure the viewable area around you is neat and appropriate for work. Maintain a work appropriate appearance.

  • When facilitating a meeting, invite people to participate instead of asking open questions to prevent overtalking by several participants.

  • Be prepared for connectivity challenges by one or more persons. Know your alternative actions and attempt to move forward without potential resolution for all.

A quick and easy alternative to phone calls and emails is Google Chat (similar to texting). This may be your best starting point for small groups and short interactions. During periods of high traffic, Chat will likely be your most reliable form of communication.  

  • Review the Google Chat quick reference guide for information on how to setup and use chat and its features.

  • You can access Chat from your left navigation in email or open a chat window from your browser by going to Chat.google.com    

  • Chat is a great tool for working with a team.  It’s similar to being in a virtual office where you can see who is at their desk and ask them a quick question.

  • Similar to texting, you can chat with one or more people and quickly jump to a video call through your PC without having to look someone up in the directory or setting up a meeting.

  • Chat rooms allow teams to work together on projects, share documents, and instantly add video meetings. This feature is only available when using Google Chat from your browser (chat.google.com or select “Chat” from Google apps on your chrome browser). All other chats will also appear in this window.

Due to high volume usage nationwide, bandwidth will be in short supply, which may be periodic or lasting. Largely these issues are outside of the University’s control and are dependent on your remote working space or on the cloud software which is being used. 

It is important during this time that we are empathetic to each person’s unique circumstances and remain flexible in how to be as accommodating as possible. Here are some suggestions to help make this easier.

  • Home internet: Your home internet may prove challenging, especially when it is shared with others. Here are some suggestions to make your experience better:

    • Know what is running on your internet and remove anything unnecessary. For example, turn on a radio rather than streaming on your laptop.

    • Close unnecessary windows on your computer. Depending on what is open, you may have windows constantly updating in the background.

    • Remove extra devices such as webcams and use your laptop camera and sound.

    • The University’s coronavirus info website page has recommendations for those without internet capabilities (see Other Resources at the bottom of the page).

    • Additional suggestions for testing and improving your network are available on the University’s coronavirus FAQ (see Classes and Academics).

  • Managing classes/meetings: Video requires a lot of bandwidth. Some people may not consistently be able to connect. Here are suggestions to help when this occurs:

    • Be empathetic to people who struggle to connect; they likely are experiencing a high degree of frustration themselves. Allow 5-10 minutes max to work through issues, and then move on or decide to record and send materials later.

    • Allow extra time at the start of meetings to allow people the time to work through their issues. After a reasonable time, stop waiting and suggest alternatives for them to catch up after the meeting.

    • Put materials on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. People can call into the meeting and view these materials online to follow along. Accessing these web resources does not upload and download video, making this a much less taxing option.

    • Record meetings if not everyone can connect. This will allow those who were not successful connecting to catch up on their time when their connection improves.

    • Keep meetings precise and use alternative tools such as email or chat to stay connected to people who may have less bandwidth.

    • Remind students they can request a laptop through our Coronavirus Technology Form if they do not have one or are having issues.

    • While an iPad or phone can connect to a classroom, a laptop provides more functionality and is the only option when presenting or facilitating a meeting.

Not sure what to do? Here is how you can get help:

  • Visit ServiceNow to access hundreds of self help articles; we’ve included a sampling of popular articles below. Simply type in a key word and click on the article of choice for step by step instructions. ServiceNow can be accessed from the University website by clicking “My St. Kate’s” and selecting “Faculty and Staff.”  ServiceNow is a key link at the top of the page.

  • Need technical assistance? Your best option is to complete the Coronavirus Technology Form. IT has a team online resolving, responding, and tracking these tickets.

  • Call the Helpdesk at 651-690-6402. Phone capacity issues and staffing limitations exist, so if your need is not urgent, please complete the form above.







Business Office Update

Accounts Payable – Check requests and other payment requests should be emailed to accountspayable@stkate.edu.  During this social distancing period, we ask that all invoices be submitted through this email to the best of your ability. Acceptable methods include:

  • Scan coded, approved invoices to accountspayable@stkate.edu

  • Request approval from a supervisor via email. Forward the approval and fully coded invoice to the email noted above

  • Send coded, approved invoices via interoffice mail (Mail stop F05)

  • Out of office envelopes will be left outside of the Business Office suite. You can place documents in them and slide them under the door. Staff will be collecting these documents weekly. 

    • All documents received by noon on Friday will be processed on the following Wednesday check run. 

    • If documents are missing proper approval (see Delegation of Spending Authority), coding or it is a new vendor, payment may be delayed. 

    • Please make sure a W-9 is provided if it is a new vendor.

P-card information and general Q&A can be found in ServiceNow. Other questions and applications should be emailed to accountspayable@stkate.edu

Payroll questions should be emailed to payroll@stkate.edu. Staff will be in periodically to collect paper documents, such as direct deposit forms or W’4’s, but to ensure documents are processed in a timely manner, we recommend sending them electronically to payroll@stkate.edu

  • All other payroll changes should be emailed to hr@stkate.edu for processing. 

  • Thank you to all who have completed their direct deposit information this week. If you have not done so, please submit forms to payroll@stkate.edu.

General accounting related questions can be emailed to Jeanne Razidlo or Suzanne Johnson. Staff will be in periodically to deposit checks that are received via mail. Transfer of fund requests can be emailed to Jeanne for processing.

Grant related invoices and other grant related questions or requests should be emailed to spree@stkate.edu to the best of your ability. Invoices sent to SPREE for processing must be complete (see acceptable methods under Accounts Payable). Please note that if you have a new vendor a W-9 must be included with emailed documentation.  

Budget related questions should be emailed to budgeting@stkate.edu.

We are open and all essential business office functions will continue to occur, albeit remotely. If you have any questions that have not been addressed, feel free to email Suzanne Johnson at smjohnson799@stkate.edu.

Manager Information

  • Talk with the employee immediately about your concern that they are ill, and inform them that they need to go home promptly. At this time, all employees who are ill are being asked to remain at home to reduce the spread of illness. Acting promptly is key; according to the CDC, if the employee has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, it is the most contagious in the first days that the individual is sick. 
  • Be prepared in case the employee reports to work to avoid using sick hours. (They may have a low balance of sick time). Any employee who has exhausted accrued sick leave may use accrued vacation. If the employee has exhausted both sick leave and vacation, they should contact Human Resources (hr@stkate.edu). 
  • Be sure the employee knows the University expects us to follow a conservative path in managing the spread of COVID-19. If employees are sick, they need to stay home for seven (7) days from the start of symptoms or 72 hours after they are fever free without medicine–whichever is longer. 
  • If an employee is ill due to COVID-19, they should stay at home for at least 7 days from the start of the symptoms and must be fever-free for 72 hours. 
  • Respect the employee’s privacy and HIPAA guidelines; limit what is shared with others who may be curious. This is also important to ensure others do not feel anxious or worried. Influenza is still at a high time, and many may be experiencing these symptoms. 

  • If an employee requests to go home to avoid exposure because they are at risk due to an underlying health condition, encourage the employee to consult with their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. Also direct the employee to Human Resources to determine if seeking an accommodation is appropriate. If an accommodation is warranted, you would work with the employee and Human Resources to determine an appropriate accommodation. 
  •  If the request is for an employee who is not at risk due to an underlying health condition, you will need to consider if and how the work could be made up in the same work week, e.g. if the employee could work a different schedule or if the employee could work remotely. If none of these options are viable, the employee would need to utilize accrued vacation time to cover their absence. You are not required to approve time off if your department is short staffed.

  • As a supervisor, it is important that you are engaged with your team on a regular basis to provide support, make sure they feel connected to the team, and that all team members – remote or on campus – maintain the same levels of productivity and work quality. 
  • Working remotely brings a new set of challenges to the forefront for both supervisors and employees. Refer to the Supervisor Guidelines and Tips for Working Remotely 

Supervisors should review any projects or work that have been put on hold in the past that could now be completed during this period. If this work can be assigned to these individuals, please proceed in that manner. If these individuals have unique skills that could be transferable to another department, please work with your Senior Leadership Team member to see about possibly redeploying individuals in other areas on campus. If you are still unable to find work for your staff member(s), please contact Human Resources for next steps. 

If the University is open and operating, you are expected to prioritize the work that needs to continue to keep the University operational and all essential services active. You may also be asked to assist in other functional areas, based on need. 

Historically students have not been allowed to work from home or remotely. However, given the unique nature of the University’s COVID-19 response, Human Resources is implementing a temporary policy to allow student workers to work remotely during the spring semester for departments with student worker positions that can be done remotely. Students may be allowed to work remotely under the following requirements: 

  • Their supervisor and Human Resources approves their working remotely, establishes set work hours, and submits the Remote Working Form. 
  • Their supervisor outlines clear responsibilities and expectations, including how time will be tracked and work productivity is assessed. 
  • Their supervisor maintains regular communication and check-ins with them. 
  • Their supervisor gives direct guidance on accurately recording their time and ensuring they take their proper meal/break periods. 

Managers are expected to make plans for how to complete essential functions if access to campus is restricted or employees are unable to get to work due to school closures or self- quarantines. Remote work possibilities should be discussed as part of this planning process. Managers should also be prepared to fulfill essential campus functions in a department other than their own if continuity necessitates this. Managers should also be prepared to deploy their employees to other areas if additional support is needed to continue university operations. 

  • If you know in advance that an employee is traveling abroad, it is important that you talk with them prior to their departure and encourage them to stay abreast of the status of the country they are visiting so they know what action should be taken upon their return. 
  • Should the country become a level 3 prior to or at the time of their return, the employee should not report to work. The employee will be expected to self- quarantine at home for at least 14 days. They should avoid contact with others and contact their supervisor about their planned absence. Inform the employee that if they experience symptoms to contact their health care provider. 
  • If the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or receives a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, they are encouraged to complete COVID-19 Diagnosis Notification Form. Employees should follow MDH recommendations regarding when it is safe to return to work. Human Resources must be contacted before the employee can report to work.

Yes, supervisors have the authority to cancel a pre-approved vacation request, especially in circumstances where there is a staff shortage as a result of illness.

  • The federal government has issued new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Masks are not designed for keeping healthy people from getting sick. Masks or cloth face coverings can help with preventing your germs from infecting others – especially in situations where you may spread the virus without showing symptoms. Wearing a mask does not protect you from others who may spread the virus. 
  • There is growing information that asymptomatic people may spread COVID-19 and therefore some health authorities are supporting wearing a cloth face covering when you are out in public to protect others. If an employee feels more comfortable wearing one and they have access to one, it is their decision. However, we would strongly encourage employees to make their own face covering so they aren’t depleting the supply of other types of masks that we need more urgently in healthcare settings. Here is guidance around alternative face coverings. There are links at the bottom with directions on how to make your own face covering. 

All hiring teams and search committees should shift to virtual interviews. Keep the process as consistent as possible. If the candidate does not have access to technology for a virtual interview, begin with a phone interview.

You can agree to a new start date or agree to the employee working remotely on a reduced schedule if appropriate. Notify Human Resources at hr@stkate.edu of any changes to start dates. 

Currently, all offer letters include the statement “...start date is subject to change due to unexpected changes in the University operating hours,” so this is permissible. Please delay the start as little as possible in order to honor the initial date to the best of our ability. Even if your offer letter does not include this statement, it is possible to ask for people’s patience and understanding and defer a start date for a short period. Notify Human Resources at hr@stkate.edu of any changes to start dates. 

Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment. If anyone experiences this, report it to Human Resources at hr@stkate.edu. We take this very seriously, and will take all appropriate action.

  • Proactively plan for and ensure cross training for essential services/functions for your department. Essential services and functions are those that are considered critical to continued University operations and must still be accomplished by the department during the event of a work shortage or University closure. 
  • Managers and supervisors, including faculty who supervise staff, must not pressure others to come to work (campus or remotely) if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill family members. Conversely, if employees are well, they should not be pressured to stay away from work for reasons such as their ethnic or racial background, home address, having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19), or recent travel to unaffected areas. As described previously, there is a need to stay away from work because of caring for someone confirmed to have COVID-19. 
  • Given St. Kate’s commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all, managers and supervisors should ask employees who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to go home or not work until 72 hours after they are free of symptoms. 
  • A “doctor’s note” or documentation of family care responsibilities will not be required from employees when using sick time, except in rare cases where abuse of paid sick leave is suspected. It is assumed that St. Catherine University employees are honest and trustworthy in their dealings with each other and the University. 
  • It is important during this time when many employees are working remotely that we still encourage employees to take time off to unplug and rejuvenate. It is very easy when working remotely to never truly unplug and take down time. There are some employees who have maximum vacation balances and based on department work levels have not been able to take time off. During this time period may be a good time for these individuals to take some much needed time off.