Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We know this is a particularly challenging time, and our top priority at NIU is the health and well-being of our campus community. We want to provide you with more information regarding campus operations and employee work schedules.

Public health officials are not asking institutions to close or cease operations. By extending spring break, we are allowing time for our faculty to prepare for two weeks of non face-to-face learning, reducing the number of people on campus who have recently traveled from other areas and following the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission by avoiding large gatherings. Our core business and research functions should continue with basic preventative health measures.

Should employees report to work?

To the extent possible, employees should report to work being mindful of public health measures including hand hygiene and social distancing.  However, supervisors are expected to be flexible and accommodate the needs of employees who may feel uncomfortable coming to campus during this time. This means supervisors and employees should work together to determine what work, if any, can be done remotely.

Can I work from home?

It may be possible for you to work from home; please discuss work assignments with your supervisor.  We are asking supervisors to be flexible with work assignments because of the differing circumstances of our employees. During this dynamic time, you will not be required to fill out forms related to working from home and utilization of NIU computers off campus. For technical support related to working remotely, please see this resource page on working remotely or contact with questions.

What if I am not feeling well?

If you are not feeling well, you should stay home. Per CDC guidelines, employees who are sick or showing symptoms of illness should stay home and seek timely and appropriate medical care.

Do I need to use my sick leave benefits?

If you are sick, caring for a member of your immediate family or immediate household, or under self-quarantine you can use sick leave benefits.  Please reference the Human Resources Services website for more information on sick leave benefits that can be utilized in times of illness. Also, please be reminded of the 25 days of non-accumulative sick leave benefits that the university now provides for both an employee's illness and the illness of an employee's immediate family member(s) or immediate household. Balances of all available accrued benefits are available on the bottom of pay advices. Questions regarding sick leave usage should be directed to the HRS Service Center at 815-753-6000.

What if I am a temporary employee (graduate assistant, student worker or extra help employee)?

If you are paid hourly…

Hourly graduate assistants, hourly student workers and extra help employees may continue to work during this time.  You should continue to report to work and/or make arrangements with your supervisor to determine if remote work is feasible. If you are working remotely, your supervisor will work with you on how to submit your timesheet(s).

Hourly employees who do not wish to work should inform their supervisor and recognize they will not be paid.

If you are a salaried graduate assistant…

If you earn a salary, you will continue to get paid.  Check with your supervisor regarding any changes to your work assignment(s) or any additional concerns you may have.

More Information

Additional information will be posted on the university’s Coronavirus Updates page as it becomes available. We are developing an FAQs page on the Human Resource Services website to continue to address employee questions.

We know that this is a stressful time, so we encourage you to make use of the resources offered by our Employee Assistance Program. We need to work together as a community, taking care of one another in a respectful and generous way. We appreciate everything you do for NIU every day and thank you for your service and commitment to our university.

Beth Ingram
Executive Vice President and Provost

Bryan Perry
General Counsel

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