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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions are updated regularly as Pepperdine's Emergency Operations Committee continues to manage the University's COVID-19 response. Students from each school can find additional information, including school-specific FAQs, on their School Updates page, and Human Resources is providing additional guidance to employees with faculty and staff FAQs.

General Information

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What is the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The virus can spread person-to-person, causes flu-like symptoms, and has no treatment (doctors are simply treating the symptoms).

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Individuals who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or who have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 are at risk.

Those at elevated risk for COVID-19 include individuals over age 60, pregnant, whose autoimmune system is compromised, or are listed as being at higher risk by the CDC.

Is COVID-19 contagious?

Yes, COVID-19 is highly contagious and is known to spread from person-to-person. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Am I required to wear a face covering?

Yes, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requires wearing a face covering when in close contact with others outside of an individual's household.This includes, for example, when grocery shopping and engaging with other employees in essential business. Pepperdine community members should follow the University's Interim Face Covering Protocol.

Is the COVID-19 outbreak a global public health emergency?

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern and it a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

What should I do if I think I am beginning to develop symptoms of COVID-19?

The CDC recommends individuals who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or who have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, take the following actions:

  • Seek medical care right away, but call the doctor's office or emergency room before going, and tell them of your recent travel and symptoms.
    • If you are an enrolled student, call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316 and select option 3.
    • Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician, emergency room, or urgent care for medical care. If diagnosed with COVID-19 update the Student Health Center so they can conduct any necessary contact tracing within the Pepperdine community.
  • Avoid contact with others and do not go to class or work until you have been evaluated by a medical professional.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (and not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • If someone reports to you that they are feeling sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, encourage them to seek medical care using the steps listed above.

How do I care for myself or someone in my home who has a mild respiratory infection?

Please follow the advice from L.A. County Public Health for those in these situations.

Pepperdine's Response

Are the Malibu and graduate campuses safe for students, faculty, and staff?

Yes. The University is in regular communication with local and state authorities and continues to follow guidance administered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to promote social distancing, the University transitioned to remote alternative instruction on March 16, 2020 for the remainder of the Spring and Summer 2020 terms. Additionally, as announced by President Gash on July 22, 2020, the University's Fall 2020 term will also be conducted online.

Are athletic facilities open for use?

No, all Pepperdine athletic facilities including the pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, and weight room are closed until further notice. 

Are face coverings required when using Stotsenburg Track?

Individuals using the track should have a mask available at all times. Masks may be removed while exercising alone, or when more than six feet away from another person. Masks must be worn while interacting with others, including passing others in the track lanes.

Please note that Stotsenburg Track is currently closed to the public and Pepperdine community members residing off campus; however, it is available to current residents of the Malibu campus and Malibu Country Estates.

Are there any COVID-19 cases on a Pepperdine campus?

Yes, there are cases within the Pepperdine community. Details are available on the University Updates section of Pepperdine's coronavirus webpage.

What is Pepperdine doing to protect its community?

The University's Emergency Operations Committee is working closely with University stakeholders, as well as outside infectious disease experts; consulting with International SOS regarding international programs and travel risk assessment; and following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The University also has a well-developed pandemic emergency response plan in place, updated to reflect current COVID-19 circumstances. The plan is comprehensive in nature and addresses many possible scenarios at all of our campuses with the ultimate goal to best protect our community. This plan served as the foundation for the Pepperdine Restoration Plan.

If I am on campus and feel sick, what should I do?

Regular, pragmatic advice still applies. If you are sick, you should not go to class or work until you have been evaluated by a medical professional. The CDC recommends individuals who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or who have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, take the following actions:

  • Seek medical care right away, but call the doctor's office or emergency room before going, and tell them of your recent travel and symptoms.
    • If you are an enrolled student, call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316 and select option 3
    • .Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician, emergency room, or urgent care for medical care. If diagnosed with COVID-19 update the Student Health Center so they can conduct any necessary contact tracing within the Pepperdine community.
  • Avoid contact with others and do not go to class or work until you have been evaluated by a medical professional.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (and not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • If someone reports to you that they are feeling sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, encourage them to seek medical care using the steps listed above.

Where can I find additional information from Pepperdine on COVID-19?

This site is being updated regularly as the University learns additional information. Updates from the EOC including their latest decisions are posted to the University's Emergency Information Page.

Reporting a Case

I think I may have COVID-19. Where can I get medical care?

If community members become ill with a fever, sore throat, cough, or have difficulty breathing, they are advised to seek treatment from a medical professional.

  • Students should contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316 and select option 3 or contact their primary care physician.
  • Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician, emergency room, or urgent care for medical care.
  • All members of the community should notify the Student Health Center if diagnosed with COVID-19 so they can conduct any necessary contact tracing within the Pepperdine community.

International Programs

Scroll down for information pertaining to the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms.

Has Pepperdine suspended any international programs?

Yes. Pepperdine has suspended operations for all Seaver College international programs which includes its Shanghai, Florence, Heidelberg, Lausanne, London, Buenos Aires, and Washington DC campuses for the Spring 2020 term. Trips run by the University's four graduate schools have also been impacted and either re-routed to alternate locations or canceled.

How does the University make a decision to suspend a program?

Placing the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the University community, the University's Emergency Operations Committee and Infectious Disease Task Force work with numerous internal departments and outside authorities and to come to consensus on a case-by-case basis for each trip or program. Pepperdine has been using and will continue to utilize a comprehensive analysis based on all available information at this time, including the spread of COVID-19, travel warnings from national and international organizations, continued commercial flight availability, health care and other support infrastructure availability, programming needs, feedback from program directors, and our care for the overall experience. The continued safety and well-being of all participants is our highest priority.

How is Pepperdine addressing the CDC’s guidance to institutions of higher education regarding study-abroad programs?

Pepperdine has been following all guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including its guidance for international programs. That guidance suggests Institutes of Higher Education consider cancelling upcoming international programs and returning students home from existing overseas programs, or, if continuing programs, evaluating risks and taking appropriate proactive measures.

From the onset of this outbreak, Pepperdine’s evaluation process matched the elevated level of scrutiny suggested now by the CDC. Pepperdine has been using and will continue to utilize a comprehensive analysis based on all available information at this time, including the spread of COVID-19, travel warnings from national and international organizations, continued commercial flight availability, health care and other support infrastructure availability, programming needs, feedback from program directors, and our care for the overall experience. The continued safety and well-being of all participants is our highest priority.

What university services can I offer to students who have returned home from IP campuses?

If you believe a student would benefit from counseling, you may refer the student to the Counseling Center at 310.506.4210. Students may make a remote appointment with the counseling center. For all students, the counseling center will provide crisis support by phone on nights and weekends at 310.506.4210.

  For Seaver International Programs Participants - Fall 2020

 

Can I defer my IP enrollment to summer 2021 or academic year 2021-22?

The University doubled the normal capacity for summer 2021 study abroad opportunities to enable more students to study abroad. Students who wish to apply for a summer 2021 or academic year 2021-22 program may do so when applications open on August 17, 2020. Students will need to complete the normal application process to be considered for one of these programs.

Students should consult with IP and an academic advisor to determine which programs would be the most beneficial for their academic plans.

Can I study abroad during my junior year?

Possibly. Because of course sequencing requirements, students should work individually with their academic advisors to determine whether or not studying abroad during their junior year is a possibility. Students should ensure that they can take at least 12 units per semester while abroad after reviewing the course schedule for the 2021-2022 academic year and that they can complete major courses during their sophomore year in order to stay on track to graduate as planned.

  For Seaver International Programs Participants - Spring 2021

What is the status of the spring 2021 international programs?

Due to entry restrictions, quarantine requirements, restricted occupancy, local conditions, guidance from program directors, and our care for the student experience, all International Programs campuses are suspended for the spring 2021 semester.

We understand that the decision to suspend all fall semester international programs is disappointing. International programs are an important part of the Seaver College experience, and we look forward to resuming these valuable cultural learning opportunities in summer 2021. We have been closely monitoring the conditions at each IP location throughout the year, and it recently became evident that suspending the aforementioned programs was required to uphold our commitment to prioritize the safety and well-being of all program participants. As you continue in your academic experience at Pepperdine, we hope that you will continue to engage with international programs and seek an opportunity to participate in a study abroad experience in a future semester. Applications are currently being accepted for a number of programs. Available options are regularly updated on the study abroad application page. To be considered for these programs, please apply through your WaveNet account. The International Programs Office is happy to send you a copy of your current application materials to help you apply for a future program. Please refer to the International Programs website for more information on programs and the admissions process.

What should I do regarding spring 2021 housing?

At this time, Pepperdine University awaits for the required approvals from the State of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as we plan to return students to campus for the spring 2021 semester. Their decisions and likely evolving COVID-19 regulations may affect our ability to have students reside on the Malibu campus. For this reason, we continue to evaluate and plan for various residential scenarios as we prepare for the spring semester. The IP office is working closely with Housing and Residence Life (HRL) and University leadership to ensure that residential housing on the Malibu campus is available for all IP students.

At this time, we hope to provide on-campus housing in the spring semester, but we do not yet know whether residence halls will be allowed to open, and if so, whether limited occupancy will be required. If Pepperdine is permitted to operate on-campus residence halls under regular occupancy guidelines, students will be able to request on-campus housing. HRL will provide updated information regarding spring housing as we learn more. Students should watch their Pepperdine email account for updates. The most current information regarding spring semester housing is available at the HRL FAQ page.

Whom does Pepperdine contact with updates?

Pepperdine staff members will contact students directly via email with enrollment and study abroad preparations information and this website is regularly updated.

  For Seaver International Programs Participants - Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022

What is the status of summer 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022 international programs?

Currently, summer 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022 program applications and preparations are running on our regular schedule. The priority deadline for applications was at noon (Pacific Time) on Monday, September 21. Applications are currently being accepted for a number of programs. Available program and term options are regularly updated on the study abroad application page along with application instructions.

What happens if my program is suspended prior to the program start date?

The University will provide solutions that align with our past protocols. The University took the following actions for students with suspended programs in summer, fall 2020, and spring 2021 programs: a) students were not charged any withdrawal fees and b) students were offered University housing (as LA country guidelines allow) and Malibu courses that enabled them to continue to move towards degree completion.

What happens if my program is suspended in the middle of the session?

The University will provide students with the most economical and reasonably direct return flight from the host city to the international airport closest to their permanent residence at no cost to the student. Students will continue courses remotely from their permanent residence for the remainder of the semester. Students should expect to complete any appropriate quarantine requirements from their permanent residences. Students will be charged a prorated amount for room and board fees that they incurred while at the program location.

What COVID-19 health measures should I expect abroad?

Our IP campuses will be required to meet public health guidelines of the host country to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while abroad. This includes, but is not limited to, wearing masks, increased cleaning, adjusted housing arrangements, limited gatherings, and social distancing. These are prudent and necessary steps to protect students, faculty, staff, and our host communities.

When and how will decisions be made on whether or not programs will run?

The University will establish a timeline for decision-making and communicate this timeline to students to the best of our ability. The timeline will take into consideration students' need to make alternative academic and housing arrangements. Decisions will be made to prioritize the health and safety of students, the well-being of our host communities, and to provide high quality, rigorous academic experiences.

Whom does Pepperdine contact with updates?

Pepperdine staff members will contact students directly via email with enrollment and study abroad preparations information and this website is regularly updated.

  For Graduate International Programs Participants

How has COVID-19 impacted graduate international programs?

International trips at each of Pepperdine's schools have been impacted by COVID-19. For questions about a specific graduate program trip please contact your graduate school.

Travel Plans

 

 Has COVID-19 resulted in any additional travel restrictions from Pepperdine?

Yes, Pepperdine has implemented Interim Travel Restrictions. Contact the University's Office of Emergency Services at emergencyservices@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.4996 for questions or assistance.

 

What travel restrictions have countries put in place?

Travelers should be aware that many countries have implemented strict screening procedures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and that upon re-entry to the US after travel, they may be placed under a 14-day quarantine. Restrictions for those traveling to the US are available from the CDC here.

How are travel restrictions affecting Pepperdine employees?

In the event of personal travel abroad, the University will not provide assistance to community members trying to reenter the U.S. and, upon return, will restrict returning travelers from coming to campus for 14 days. Employees should coordinate vacation days or telecommuting options with their supervisors in advance. Exceptions to the restriction will not be granted. Please contact the Office of Emergency Services at emergencyservices@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.4996 for questions or assistance.

For Pepperdine Community Members in Southern California

 

What is the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health saying about COVID-19?

For the latest information about Los Angeles County's COVID-19 related public health order and details about the county's response, visit the Los Angeles County COVID-19 website.

Is the University complying with Los Angeles County Public Health’s Social Distancing Protocol?

Yes. The University is complying with all measures required by the Social Distancing Protocol, including those that protect employee and student health, prevent crowds from gathering, keep people at least six feet apart, prevent unnecessary contact, and increase sanitization.

Staying Healthy

What steps can I take to stay healthy?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and immediately throw the tissue in the trash. Then go wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils with others, even when neither of you are showing symptoms.
  • Get your flu shot if you have not already done so this flu season.
  • The CDC does not recommend individuals wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people exhibiting symptoms and medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients. However, the CDC is advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • Travelers should take precautions such as avoiding contact with sick people, animal markets, and products from animals such as uncooked meat.

You can also share this flyer for tips on staying healthy during the cold and flu season.

Anyone with concerns about their health or symptoms should contact their medical provider.

  • Students should contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316 and select option 3 or contact their primary care physician.
  • Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician, emergency room, or urgent care for medical care.
  • All members of the community should notify the Student Health Center if diagnosed with COVID-19 so they can conduct any necessary contact tracing within the Pepperdine community.

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. Although the CDC states it is unlikely the virus will spread from mail or packaging, the University has implemented additional precautionary measures. Additional details are available on the COVID-19 Mail Services Safety Protocols page.

Resources

What other resources are available?

More information and regular updates about the coronavirus can be found on the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and L.A. County Public Health websites.

Who can I talk to for support at Pepperdine?

Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff benefit from a community of care and compassion. During these times please remember the following resources are also available to you:

  • Students with concerns about their health or symptoms they are experiencing can call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3.
  • The Seaver College Student Care Team (SCT) can provide materials and other kinds of support to students in need. If you need assistance, contact La Shonda Coleman, Andrea Harris, or Cassie Horton.
  • Students seeking counseling may contact the Counseling Center at 310.506.4210 to arrange a telehealth appointment.
  • For pastoral care, students may contact our chaplain Sara Barton at sara.barton@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.427557. The chaplain's office is happy to offer remote care for students who are away from the Malibu campus.
  • Students who need accessibility accommodations may contact the Office of Student Accessibility by email or at 310.506.6500.
  • Faculty and staff may access counseling services through their Employee Assistance Program. Details are available on the HR website or by contacting HR at 310.506.4397.
  • All other questions may be submitted to the University's COVID-19 Information line by using this form, emailing covid19info@pepperdine.edu, or calling 310.506.8111.

 


 

School-Specific FAQs

Each school is updating information, including frequently asked questions for its students, faculty, and staff, on its School Updates page. Questions not answered on these pages should be directed to each school's dean's office.

 


 

Faculty and Staff FAQs

Human Resources is updating frequently asked questions for University faculty and staff as new information becomes available. Questions not answered here should be directed to the employee's supervisor or department head.

Employees

  Business Continuity

Will staff be able to continue telecommuting?

Pepperdine is currently in a Critical Support Personnel staffing model in which departments work remotely except for essential tasks that must be handled on-site. All employees who can perform their work from home should work remotely. All designated critical support personnel should contact department supervisors directly for instructions. It is expected and presumed that all supervisors will maintain the level of service needed for their departments to remain operational. All employees are reminded to coordinate work schedules and logistics with their supervisors moving forward.

How do I know if I am identified as Critical Support Personnel (CSP)? What if I am identified as CSP and cannot report to work?

Supervisors should communicate with all Critical Support Personnel to ensure they are aware of their role and responsibilities. If you are unsure if you are designated as CSP, please ask your supervisor. CSP may be personally impacted by the outbreak (for example, self-isolation due to travel, caring for children during school closures, elderly family members, and those at risk with weakened immune systems, among others), in which case they should speak with their supervisor and discuss the possibility of working remotely or reassigning CSP responsibilities to someone else (please reference the University's Interim Telecommuting Exceptions).
 

How do I retrieve mail while telecommuting?

Employees who need to have timely mail forwarded to their home via USPS may complete a Mail Forward Request form with Mail Services.

Will I receive a telecommunications allowance for the time I am working remotely at home?

As of April 1, a monthly COVID-19 technology stipend of $38 will be provided to full-time employees working remotely to cover a reasonable portion of cell phone, internet, and other technology costs of working remotely. Eligible employees may not already be receiving a telecommunications allowance and may not be paid by emergency pay for any time during the period. Employees should work with their supervisors to determine their eligibility. If an employee is deemed eligible, the Covid-19 Technology Stipend request form in Etrieve must be completed and signed by the employee, supervisor, Budget Manager, and Vice President.

If employees have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus or asked to quarantine/isolate by a medical professional, but express concern about reporting to work, do they still have to report to work?

Employees should speak with their supervisors about their concerns, including those who are personally impacted by the outbreak. Because the University has not determined that there is an imminent threat to the Pepperdine community and in order to maintain essential operations, some departments maintain limited on-campus presence.

What resources are available if I have concerns about working either on campus or remotely?

Faculty and staff are encouraged to speak with their supervisor about concerns working on campus or remotely, first to determine if the concerns may be addressed through an alternate work arrangement (such as, staggered work shifts on campus, remote work, or alternate shift hours), while still meeting the needs of the department. Faculty and staff may also submit medical documentation with requests from their doctor, which leads to an interactive discussion. If an alternate work arrangement or requests cannot be met, then employees may request a Faculty COVID-19 Leave or a Staff COVID-19 Leave effective August 1, 2020.

What do I do if I need to self-isolate for 14 days due to business or personal travel?

All faculty and staff should follow the University's guidance on travel and the return to campus. Please speak with your supervisor regarding expectations and the possibility of remote work during a period of isolation.

When will I be expected to return to campus? When will I be told and will I receive advanced notice?

Due to the fluidity of this situation, the University will keep faculty and staff apprised of new developments. While employees should remain flexible due to Pepperdine's changing needs, the University plans to provide advanced notice before all employees are expected to return to work so that faculty and staff can make the necessary adjustments.

Can I still come to campus to work?

Faculty and staff are not restricted from entering campus. However, to promote social distancing, all employees who are able to work remotely should work from home. Only employees completing essential tasks that must be done on site should enter campus.

Can we continue to work with and employ our student workers?

Potentially yes. Per a message to supervisors from Student Employment, all in-person student employment has been suspended for the remainder of the spring term effective March 16. If student workers can complete their tasks remotely, they may continue to work remotely for the remainder of the spring term. Please contact Student Employment for information on exception requests for in-person employment and/or financial needs and concerns related to student employment.

  For Faculty

Can faculty members teach online classes from their classrooms on campus?

It will be up to the individual professors where they will teach their online courses. If they teach from a classroom, it will be via their laptop computer, not the classroom computers. Please note all graduate campuses are closed but faculty and staff have access to these campuses to complete their essential work. 

  Health and Well-being

What should I do if I am not feeling well?

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, at a minimum you should not return to campus until you have gone 3 days without a fever, 3 days with symptoms improving, and until at least 10 days after initial symptom onset (unless a medical provider has diagnosed a non-COVID-19 condition and clears you to return prior to 10 days from symptom onset).

If you are experiencing symptoms unrelated to COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Contact your primary care provider or local urgent care facility.

What should I do if I have been exposed to a known COVID-19 case?

If you may have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, please notify your supervisor immediately and do not come to campus. Your supervisor will call the Student Health Center (SHC) at 310.506.4316, option 3, within 24 hours. This is to update the exposure notification system. The Human Resources Contact Tracer (HRCT) will contact you to complete a risk assessment.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19, am presumed to have COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or am placed under isolation or quarantine?

Please call the Student Health Center (SHC) at 310.506.4316, option 3, and ask to speak with the Human Resources Contact Tracer (HRCT) within 24 hours. This will initiate the contact tracing procedures.

If you are quarantined due to possible exposure and develop symptoms within 48 hours of the last time you were on campus, or if any COVID-19 testing is positive:

  • Contact your Primary Care Provider for further evaluation.
  • Informs the HRCT of your symptom development, and the HRCT will proceed with the necessary contact tracing.

Any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 should apply for the appropriate Faculty or Staff COVID-19 Leave and file for State Disability Insurance. Contact Human Resources for more information.

Is it unsafe for employees to report to campus?

National, state, and local public health agencies have not stated that it is unsafe for employees to report to work. However, to help prevent the spread of the outbreak, the University encourages all non Critical Support Personnel (CSP) to work remotely. CSP are encouraged to practice healthy habits, including: maintaining a distance of six feet from others; wearing a face covering in the presence of others; utilizing phone and video conference features as alternative methods of communication when possible; and limiting in-person meetings.


I am scheduled to go on medical leave in the next month. Will I be affected in any way?

No. You may continue working with your doctor regarding all medical needs and your leave will be handled the same as any regular medical leave.

  Pay

The "Determining Employee Pay Codes" flowchart outlines appropriate payment and timecard instructions regarding various scenarios affecting faculty and staff during the outbreak.

***Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Leaves go into effect on August 1, 2020.

How am I paid if I cannot work because I do not feel well?

If you are unable to work due to the testing, isolation, or treatment of COVID-19, certified by a medical professional, you should file a Disability Insurance claim and apply for the appropriate Faculty or Staff COVID-19 Leave. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.

If you are unable to work due to illness unrelated to COVID-19, you may use sick accruals as appropriate; vacation accruals are available when sick accruals are depleted.

What if I am unable to report to work because I am self-quarantined?

Speak with your supervisor about the possibility of performing some or all of your duties remotely.

If you are unable to report to work due to quarantine at the direction of a medical professional and you are unable to work remotely, please file a Disability Insurance claim and apply for the appropriate Faculty or Staff COVID-19 Leave. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.

What if I am unable to report to work because I am caring for an ill family member?

Speak with your supervisor about the possibility of performing some or all of your duties remotely.

If you are unable to perform your duties remotely due to caring for a qualified ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), please file for Paid Family Leave (eight weeks of paid time) and apply for the appropriate Faculty or Staff COVID-19 Leave. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.

What if I am unable to report to work due to other family situations such as a vulnerable household member or child care issues?

Speak with your supervisor about the possibility of performing some or all of your duties remotely.

If you are unable to work remotely, the Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Leave pages have resources at the bottom of the page which describe the appropriate pay and leave scenarios based on an employees particular situation.

Where can I find more information regarding pay if I am unable to complete all of my work?

The Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Leave pages have resources at the bottom of the webpage which describe the appropriate pay and leave scenarios based on an employees particular situation.

How do I complete my timecard during this time?

Non-exempt (hourly) employees should record their actual hours worked on their time cards. For hours that cannot be worked remotely, either all or a portion of a regularly scheduled shift should be appropriately coded with sick, donated sick, or vacation accruals. For example, an employee who is regularly scheduled to work eight hours, but is only able to work five hours remotely, may record five hours of regular work and three hours of accruals to complete the eight-hour shift.
Exempt (salaried) employees should only use the appropriate codes (for example, sick, donated sick, or vacation) for full-day absences of scheduled work.
Speak with Human Resources about completing your timecard when on an appropriate Faculty or Staff COVID-19 Leave and filing a claim for Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, or Paid Family Leave.

How do I fill in my timecard if I need to self-isolate due to business or personal travel?

Speak with your supervisor about the possibility of performing some or all of your duties remotely.

Non-exempt (hourly) employees should record any actual hours worked on their time cards. For hours that cannot be worked remotely, either all of or a portion of a regularly scheduled shift may be coded with the appropriate sick, donated sick or vacation accrual codes from the drop-down menu in Kronos. For example, an employee regularly scheduled to work eight hours, but only able to work five hours remotely, should record five hours of regular work pay and three hours of sick or vacation time to complete the eight-hour shift.

Exempt (salaried) employees should only use the appropriate sick, donated sick or vacation codes for full days of missed regularly scheduled work due to the self-isolation.

Can I donate sick time to another employee?

The Major Disaster Donated Sick Pay policy is currently available for faculty and staff. Employees may donate up to 40 hours (with restrictions); and employees may be eligible to receive up to 160 hours of donated sick pay due to hardship caused by COVID-19. Please visit the Human Resources website and contact Human Resources to learn additional details about this policy. 


Supervisors

  Business Continuity

When will staff begin telecommuting?

Pepperdine is currently in a critical support personnel staffing model in which departments work remotely except for essential tasks that must be handled on-site. All employees who can perform their work from home should work remotely. All designated critical support personnel should contact department supervisors directly for instructions. It is expected and presumed that all supervisors will maintain the level of service needed for their departments to remain operational. All employees are reminded to coordinate work schedules and logistics with their supervisors moving forward.

How can I determine Critical Support Personnel and telecommuters on my team?

Because the University is in Critical Support Personnel Mode, supervisors must determine those needed to report to campus to maintain essential business functions and those who can work remotely. The University encourages all non Critical Support Personnel to work remotely. Please review The Supervisor's Guide to Essential Work and Telecommuting to help determine Critical Support Personnel and telecommuters on your team.

Can I continue the hiring process for my open position during this time?

Potentially, yes. Supervisors are encouraged to use discernment in the hiring process during this extraordinary time, during which students are engaged in distance learning and only critical support personnel are on campus. Supervisors should contact Human Resources if they would like to proceed in the hiring process during this time.

  Tips for Supervisors

While telecommuting allows business continuity and employee flexibility in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, it also disrupts team dynamics, normal communication, and social connection. Especially during periods of high stress, social connection is vital for good health and important for productivity. Though we may not be engaged in face-to-face encounters, the Pepperdine community must still remain strong and connected, known for its high-touch service and concern for each person.

Below are suggestions on how to adapt your supervisory style in a telecommuting situation. Based on a recent Harvard Business Review article, these suggestions are meant to help us remain accountable, connected, and in relationship with one another.

Normalize the new work environment

  • There may be new and unexpected challenges from working at home, which can result in potential misunderstandings. Without taking time to educate one another on their new work environment, team members can make malevolent assumptions about their colleagues (the Fundamental Attribution Error is the tendency to negatively attribute someone's behavior as a personality trait, without taking into consideration the impact of situational factors). Speak with your team about the importance of maintaining benevolent assumptions and recognizing biased stereotypes.
  • Consider taking a virtual tour of people's workspaces to understand their context, such as barking dogs or noisy trucks. Acknowledge non-traditional workspaces and accompanying distractions (such as children coming home from school or working with roommates in the house). Develop understanding and empathy for team members' personal context (without feelings of privacy invasion) to be sensitive and accommodating to one another's constraints.

Humanize communication

  • Many employees are used to working around people, meeting with people, and speaking with them on an ad-hoc basis throughout the day. They may feel an abrupt transition as they work from home without consistent human interaction.
  • Instead of relying solely on email communication, ensure that you also communicate via phone and video-conferencing. This added human connection will help alleviate potential feelings of isolation, boost morale, and read people's emotions. Additionally, real-time interaction can improve decision making by allowing for debate, conversation, and increased participation.

Schedule regular meetings

  • It is important to dedicate time to meet consistently, both with your direct reports and your entire team, and perhaps more regularly than normal. Especially as employees transition to a telecommuting assignment, ensure that you are available to answer questions, provide insight, and connect with each person. Regularly scheduled meetings also help ensure that people are not accidentally excluded or are out of sight, out of mind.
  • Give employees regular feedback on their performance and behavior. This can establish some normalcy in the new work environment, as well as help resolve unidentified challenges during telecommuting. In addition to setting clear expectations, it is important to patiently guide employees as they acclimate to new work routines.

Create interactions through the virtual water cooler

  • Employees who are not used to working remotely may feel isolated or lonely, which can decrease productivity and undermine team cohesion. Increasing communication during this time is crucial not only for work efficiencies, but also to care for the needs of each person.
  • Increase communication by having daily team check-in meetings and sending regular status updates on projects. At the beginning of team meetings, make time for small talk and personal updates. Consider remote bonding activities to keep team camaraderie intact.

Tend to the needs of each of your team members

  • Ensure that you communicate when you are available for questions and assistance, apart from regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Take the time to connect with each person so that no one feels left out or unduly isolated.
  • Monitor the workload of each team member. If staff are unable to complete all of their duties remotely, help identify work from within your department or major area that can be reassigned to them. Human Resources is available to discuss opportunities and provide clarification.

 

Support Resources

  Can I still access spiritual support resources during this time?

Yes. Beginning, Wednesday, March 18, the Office of the Chaplain will host weekly gatherings for online prayer and encouragement. Pepperdine employees are invited to come together for Zoom Chapel Wednesdays from 9 AM to 9:20 AM.

If you are interested in reading scripture, praying, or offering reflections please contact University chaplain Sara Barton.

  I am seeking spiritual counseling. Who can I contact?

You can contact University chaplain Sara Barton at sara.barton@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.4275.

  I would like to speak with a licensed counselor. How can I do so?

The University acknowledges the emotional impact the COVID-19 situation might have on those in our community. The Health Advocate EAP+Work/Life program is a core benefit available to all participating employees through your benefit package. HealthAdvocate gives you access to licensed professional counselors who can provide short-term phone, video, or in-person counseling to help you better cope with personal, family, and work issues. Work/Life specialists are also available to help you locate the right support service, from childcare and eldercare to legal help. Visit the HealthAdvocate website or call 866.799.2728 for assistance.