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Frequently Asked Questions

View frequently asked questions in the following categories:

Health & Wellness
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Who determines when staff members need to self-quarantine?

The university follows all recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health and the local health district regarding the need for employees to self-quarantine.

If you have received a call from VDH or local health district regarding self-quarantine, please follow their instructions. If you have not received a call, you do not need to take specific action, but please continue practicing good preventative hygiene measures and limit close interaction with others as much as practically possible.

What if I am experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns about COVID-19?

Employees covered under a state sponsored medical plan have access to a confidential Employee Assistance Program. Following is the contact information for the different plans:

  • COVA Care and COVA HDHP Plans: 1-855-223-9277
  • COVA HealthAware: 1-888-238-6232
  • Optima Health: 1-800-899-8174
Who should I contact at W&M if I think I have been exposed to a case of COVID-19?

Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider. Staff should also call their supervisors, and faculty should also call their deans. Supervisors and deans should contact the Emergency Management Team at [[emt]].

The governor has urged people 65 and older to self-quarantine. As a university employee in that age range, am I required to do so?

You are not required to self-quarantine. However, if you have concerns about continuing to work, please talk with your supervisor. The following options may be available depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities. All options must be discussed with your supervisor and your supervisor must approve of your use of the option.

  • Telework
  • Work an alternative schedule, location or practice social distancing and appropriate hygiene protocols
  • Use available leave time
  • Request a leave without pay

Public Health Emergency Leave is not applicable in this situation.

Must an employee provide medical documentation that they are able to return to work after a positive diagnosis of COVID-19?

Yes, the employee needs to have a release from a medical provider before returning to work.

After a person self-quarantines for 14 days and has no symptoms, does the employee need to provide medical documentation prior to returning to work?

No. They only need documentation if they had a positive test result or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

If I travel internationally, do I need to self-quarantine after returning?

If an employee is returning from a CDC designated area at Level 2 or 3, yes. However, depending on one’s job duties, they may be able to telework or perform alternate work during this period. If one is not able to telework, they can utilize available leave including Public Health Emergency Leave, and then their own leave as needed. For employees returning from other cities, states or countries, the need to self-quarantine, telework or alternate work is at the determination of the manager with approval of a Cabinet Member or their direct reports.

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Remote Work
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Can I work from home?

Telework should be the norm, not the exception. All employees who can should be teleworking. This directive is extended through at least July 31.

Essential personnel should report as normal, unless advised otherwise by their supervisors. Other personnel may need to report as requested by their supervisors.

According to the governor’s directive, hourly wage employees who are unable to telework, including adjunct faculty, may use Public Health Emergency Leave provided by the state. The employees will be paid based on the hours they are normally scheduled to work each week. HR will provide additional details to eligible employees.

Are employees allowed to work on campus if they will be isolated from other employees and use all best practices for sanitizing?

W&M urges all employees to work remotely if at all possible, through at least the end of the semester. Employees should not be on campus just because they prefer to work from their W&M offices. This measure is part of a coordinated effort to support social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our area. Additionally, any member of this community who has been asked by public health officials to self-quarantine or self-isolate must follow those directives and should not be on campus.

What if I am required to work remotely and don’t have Internet access at home?

Employees who must work remotely in support of the health and safety of themselves and/or campus, and with the approval of their supervisor, may activate the hotspot on their smartphones through their current service provider to obtain Internet service. At the conclusion of the COVID-19 event, within 60 days, employees may submit appropriate documentation for reimbursement by the university. A phone bill showing additional data charges will be acceptable documentation.

If an employee does not have the option to activate a hotspot on their phone, they should perform any work that doesn’t require the Internet during this period. The remaining time may be covered by the Public Health Emergency Leave or other leave categories.

What date range should we use on telework agreements?

Employees should be informed that telework arrangements are temporary and may end once the COVID-19 emergency ends.

My supervisor has told me I can continue working remotely. Is there anything else I need to do?

No. William & Mary is adjusting learning, living and work spaces to promote physical distancing that will help prevent widespread infections. One such strategy is extending  working remotely as the norm where possible.

Should I discuss with my supervisor my ability to continue working for the fall semester? Will I need to complete a telework agreement?

Yes, your desire to continue working remotely should be discussed with your supervisor.  If employees will work remotely long-term, we do ask that they complete a telework agreement.

When are non-essential employees returning to campus? I have heard a lot of rumors. I heard July 1, but also January 2021.

While W&M will continue to emphasize telework to the maximum extent possible, starting in July we will be increasing in-person work for employees. This will be combined with adaptations to our physical plant and workplace practices that protect community health.

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Pay, Hours & Leave
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Are W&M employees eligible for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

All staff, faculty and hourly employees are covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Detailed information on the FFCRA can be found on the HR COVID-19 resources page.

Can an employee use Public Health Emergency Leave if they must stay home to provide care for their children?

Employees in that situation should promptly notify their supervisors. Depending upon the nature of their job responsibilities, they may be able to work remotely, make up the work hourly during the same week, work a modified schedule, use available leave or request a leave without pay. Options should be discussed with supervisors, and supervisors must approve of the employee’s use of the option.

W&M staff and faculty may use 24 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 and to make alternative child and/or elder care arrangements.

PHEL is designed for the following circumstances:

  • to cover periods of self-quarantine due to a potential COVID-19 exposure as ordered by a doctor or public health official when the person is not able to work or telework
  • when an employee’s office is closed and there is not appropriate work for the employee to perform remotely or through other alternative means
  • to care for themselves when sick with a diagnosed case of COVID-19
  • to care for an immediate family member when that person is sick with a diagnosed case of COVID-19 or is required by a doctor to self-quarantine and the doctor requires the employee to self-quarantine also

Learn more about Public Health Emergency Leave.

Can an employee use Public Health Emergency Leave to care for a grandchild?

Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) does not extend to grandchildren unless the employee has legal custody of the children.

PHEL defines immediate family as parents, step-parents or persons who stood in place of the parent and performed parental duties and responsibilities; a spouse; children, including step-children, foster children, and legal wards; and siblings, including step-siblings.

I’ve heard that employees are now required to enroll in direct deposit. Is that true?

At the end of March, Virginia required all state agencies to pay all salaried and wage employees by electronic means, effective immediately. The decision was made in order to protect the health of both check-handling and check-receiving employees, and to plan for possible labor shortages that could affect check management.

Review the directions for setting up your direct deposit (pdf) or the Payroll webpage. Please follow the guidance provided carefully, and be sure to enter your banking information under the section "Proposed Pay Distribution," not "Accounts Payable Deposit."

After you have updated your direct deposit information, email [[Self-Service]] confirming the change along with your name, Banner ID and the bank name for your direct deposit. W&M’s payroll staff will activate the banking information, and your direct deposit will go into effect immediately.

What happens if I don’t enroll in direct deposit?

The W&M payroll office is unable to hold checks for pick-up. Printed checks will be sent via USPS to the employee mailing address as shown in Banner. Please allow seven days for receipt of checks sent via the mail. For help, email the payroll office at [[payofc]].

Can employees claim partial unemployment if their hours are reduced?

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) administers the commonwealth's unemployment program. Employees should visit the VEC website at http://www.vec.virginia.gov/ to determine their eligibility for unemployment benefits.

What is the approval process for using Public Health Emergency Leave?

According to the Governor’s directive, operational, professional, faculty, temporary and hourly employees, including adjunct faculty, who are unable to work remotely or unable to work under other alternative work arrangements may use Public Health Emergency Leave. The employees will be paid based on the hours they are normally scheduled to work each week. Learn more about Public Health Emergency Leave.

You should first discuss your request to use Public Health Emergency Leave with your supervisor. An employee must have authorization from a Cabinet member or the Cabinet member’s direct report to utilize this type of leave.

  • Full-time employees will have 160 hours available (the equivalent of four weeks of work).
  • Those who work reduced hours (e.g., 20 hours per week) will have a prorated amount available.
  • Hourly employees will have available the average number of hours they worked per pay period during the period between Jan. 16 and Feb. 15, up to the maximum allowed -- the equivalent of two weeks of work.
If an employee is non-essential and cannot telework because of the nature of their work, will they get Public Health Emergency Leave?

According to the Governor’s directive, operational, professional, faculty, temporary and hourly employees, including adjunct faculty, who are unable to work remotely or unable to work under other alternative work arrangements may use Public Health Emergency Leave. The employees will be paid based on the hours they are normally scheduled to work each week. Learn more about Public Health Emergency Leave.

Are employee Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) balances now available in Banner?

For employees who record leave on timesheets, PHEL is now available as an option, and PHEL balances have been loaded into Banner. The amount of leave that is available to an employee depends on how many hours the employee normally works:

  • Full-time employees will have 160 hours available (the equivalent of four weeks of work).
  • Those who work reduced hours (e.g., 20 hours per week) will have a prorated amount available.
  • Hourly employees will have available the average number of hours they worked per pay period during the period between Jan. 16 and Feb. 15, up to the maximum allowed -- the equivalent of two weeks of work.

Supervisors can now see the leave balances of their direct reports through the Banner Self-Service Employee tab. The Public Health Emergency Leave code is PHLV.

If a non-exempt employee works less than 40 hours per week because there is not enough work, will they be paid only for hours worked?

The employee will be paid for actual hours worked during the week, but can also use intermittent Public Health Emergency Leave to offset the loss of hours, capped at 40 hours of weekly pay.

Is W&M offering extended sick leave for employees that become ill or must care for family members that become ill?

The state has Public Health Emergency Leave. Learn more about this type of leave. In addition, an employee may request time off be covered under the Family and Medical Act (FMLA) due to a personal serious medical condition or to care for an immediate family member who has a serious medical condition.

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Supervisor Topics
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Has this affected hiring?

The university is under a hiring freeze until further notice and is filling only positions that are required to maintain continuity of operations. Already extended offers are proceeding. The state’s hiring freeze announcement does not further impact the university’s hiring freeze.

Does the hiring freeze apply to existing student positions? And can departments proceed with interviewing and hiring current, continuing students?

Yes, the hiring freeze applies to students. For guidance on interviewing and hiring current students, hiring managers should contact their Cabinet member to determine if the position fits the criteria to fill at this time or should be held.

Can current student workers continue working?

If the department is operating and there is remote work for the student to do, the student can work with prior approval of a Cabinet member or the direct report of a Cabinet member.

Will the I-9 documentation verification process be changed?

Yes. HR's guidance on completing I-9s during this time is as follows:

  • New Employees (local): Department should complete I-9 using social distancing or contact HR for assistance.
  • New Employees (off-site): I-9 Anywhere will be used. Please provide required information (see below) to [[askHR]].
  • Students/Interns (on-campus): If you know when a student is coming to campus to clean out their dorm room, the department should try to schedule a time to complete the I-9 using social distancing or contact HR for assistance.
  • Students (off-campus): I-9 Anywhere will be used. Please provide required information (see below) to [[askHR]].

When requesting an I-9 Anywhere:

  • Provide the new hire’s name, email address, postal code and hire date.
  • Provide the name, email address and contact phone number of the individual who will be verifying the I-9 documents (I-9 Completer). The person verifying cannot be a family relation.
  • The new hire will receive an email from E-Verify with email address of the W&M HR contact. It will have detailed information on how to fill out Section 1 and provide a receipt code that the new hire will have to provide to the I-9 Completer.
  • Once HR has the information pertaining to the completer, they will be established as an I-9 Completer User in the I-9 system.
  • To access Section 2, the I-9 Completer will need the receipt code and a password that HR will create. HR will email them once the User information is set up.
Will the performance evaluation process remain as scheduled, per the Human Resources website?

The performance evaluation process will be delayed until September.  At that time employees will have the opportunity to complete a self-evaluation. Supervisors will then have the month of October to complete the employee evaluation.

A more detailed timeline will be communicated as soon as it is finalized.

Who determines when staff members need to self-quarantine?

The university follows all recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health and the local health district regarding the need for employees to self-quarantine.

If you have received a call from VDH or local health district regarding self-quarantine, please follow their instructions. If you have not received a call, you do not need to take specific action, but please continue practicing good preventative hygiene measures and limit close interaction with others as much as practically possible.

I’m a supervisor, what should I do if an employee comes to me who is presumptive positive for COVID-19? Or, if they’ve been contacted by the health department for contact with a person who has tested positive?

Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider. Staff should also call their supervisors, and faculty should also call their deans. Supervisors and deans should contact the Emergency Management Team at [[emt]].

Must an employee provide medical documentation that they are able to return to work after a positive diagnosis of COVID-19?

Yes, the employee needs to have a release from a medical provider before returning to work.

After a person self-quarantines for 14 days and has no symptoms, does the employee need to provide medical documentation prior to returning to work?

No. They only need documentation if they had a positive test result or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

What training materials are available to supervisors on telework?

There are training materials for managers and employees about telework and related matters in Cornerstone.

If I assign training modules to my staff through Cornerstone, how will they be notified?

After you have assigned training, please send the users an email asking them to access Cornerstone and check for the assigned training under "My Transcript."

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University Finances
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How do the university’s finances work?

Amy Sebring, Vice President of Finance & Technology, explains William & Mary’s finances (video).

Does William & Mary qualify for federal stimulus money?

William & Mary was informed in early April that it will be allocated roughly $3.95 million in federal stimulus funding authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act. Half of that — $1.97 million — is awarded as direct emergency aid for students for expenses related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. University staff are working to determine appropriate distribution while W&M awaits the funding in the next several weeks. The other half of the federal money is allocated to support the institution’s costs associated with its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Can W&M use endowment money to offset losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and protect faculty and employees?

When a donor gives to an endowment, the principal gift isn’t spent; it’s invested. The annual income from that investment is available for the institution, but its use is almost always restricted. That vast majority of endowment assets that benefit William & Mary are restricted in purpose and cannot be redirected to support the university in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Understanding William & Mary’s Finances for more information.

Will employees get refunds on their parking passes?

There is no plan to do so at this time, though this topic remains under review by university leadership.

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General Topics
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How do COVID-19 guidelines affect employees and their work?

Employees are expected to continue working during this period, with telework being the norm, not the exception. All employees who can should be teleworking. This directive is extended through at least July 31. Consult with your supervisor if you have questions or concerns. Resources related to remote work are available on the IT website.

How can I ensure my Zoom use is secure?

Be sure your Zoom software client is up to date. Zoom is continually releasing updates that bolster security. Meeting hosts also have a variety of security setting options that include measures like adding a meeting password, requiring W&M authentication and enabling a waiting room. Find information about other Zoom security recommendations in the Security section of W&M IT’s Zoom website. If you have specific questions you may contact the Technology Support Center at [[support]].

Can an employee taking classes with Tuition Assistance select the new Pass/Fail option for this semester and still get reimbursed?

Yes. However, if an employee does not complete the course with a grade of “Pass,” withdraws from the course at any time during the semester or session, or separates from the university before completing the course, the employee will be responsible for repaying the full amount of tuition originally paid for or waived by the university.

Are there local resources available to employees in need of assistance during the COVID-19 emergency?

Yes; W&M Human Resources maintains a directory of local resources on its WorkLife page.

What resources are available to parents that are working remotely and have children at home during the current emergency?

Parents can find activities, tips and other resources on the HR COVID-19 resources page.

A private Facebook Group called William & Mary Telework Resource Group has also been created so parents can share their experiences and ideas with one another.

How can I best support the immediate needs of William & Mary students, faculty and staff?

Private support provides critical resources to meet William & Mary’s evolving needs, and we are enormously grateful to those in our community who are giving during a time of so much uncertainty. The university has gathered a list of funds that can be put to immediate use for emergency needs.

What steps are being taken to protect essential personnel?

The health and safety of our employees is a priority and following guidelines for social distancing and practicing good preventative hygiene are the first and best courses for action. Essential employees are expected to report to work according to their regular work schedule during an emergency event. If an essential employee is unable to report to work at their scheduled time or is concerned about their health, they should talk with their supervisor or department leadership immediately. The supervisor may be able to offer the employee alternative work solutions or allow them to take leave.

If you are experiencing anxiety or stress related to COVID-19 and are covered under a state sponsored medical plan, you have access to a confidential Employee Assistance Program.

  • Anthem - COVA Care and COVA HDHP: 855-223-9277
  • Aetna - COVA HealthAware: 888-238-6232
  • Optima Health: 800-899-8174
  • Kaiser: 866-517-7042
Why have you not posted any information about W&M community members who tested positive for COVID-19?

In accordance with privacy laws and W&M policy, we will not be releasing detailed information on any cases of COVID-19. The Virginia Department of Health is contacting people who may have been in close contact with people who have tested positive. If you have received a call from VDH regarding self-quarantine, please follow their instructions.

When will the William & Mary Child Care Center reopen?

The Williamsburg Campus Child Care reopened on June 15. Please contact [[wccc]] if you require additional information.

If my child’s school or daycare is closed and I have no other childcare arrangements, what do I do?

Promptly notify your supervisor of the situation. The following options may be available depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities. All options must be discussed with your supervisor, and your supervisor must approve of your use of the option.

  • Working remotely with required approval
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same week with supervisory approval
  • Work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Use available leave time
    • W&M staff and faculty may use 24 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 and to make alternative child and/or elder care arrangements.
  • Request a Leave Without Pay
Learn more about Public Health Emergency Leave.
How do I access William & Mary facilities?

William & Mary students vacated residence halls for the remainder of the semester on March 25. Employees, including faculty members, are urged to work remotely as much as possible. Most W&M facilities are locked. This means W&M buildings, including VIMS, are only accessible by electronic or manual key to faculty and staff who require entry. W&M community members should always lock doors behind them when entering a facility. If you require entry, but do not have a key, please contact W&M Police at 757-221-4596.

Are university employees required to wear masks when on campus?

Working remotely benefits essential employees and assists in limiting the spread of COVID-19 on campus. All employees who can should be teleworking. It should be the norm, not the exception. This directive is extended through at least July 31.

If your job duties require that you be on campus, please follow all the social distancing and health safety guidelines recommended by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, including:

  • Not coming to work if you are symptomatic (including any fever 100.4°F)
  • Using the smallest footprint possible (use the same entry/exit door, same bathroom, etc.)
  • Practicing social distancing (stay 6 ft. from others at all times; hold meetings virtually)
  • Disinfecting personal area with wipes often (phone, keyboard, mouse, etc.) and placing trash cans in hallways for pickup. Custodians will not be entering personal offices at this time.
  • Wearing a simple cloth mask per CDC’s April 3 guidelines.

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