COVID-19 HR Update, May 29th, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I hope this email finds you healthy as we continue to navigate through these uncertain times.  The purpose of this communication is to provide additional information related to the following topics -

  • Staff Compensation and Time Reporting Guidelines beginning June 1, 2020

  • What to do if you become sick or need to care for a family member

  • Support session for working parents

At this time, the current shelter-in-place order remains in place, with Bay Area Public Health Officials cautiously loosening restrictions at a slower pace than the State of California.  The College will continue to support only essential business taking place on campus until Contra Costa County allows more business activity to occur on campus.  Depending on further guidance by county and state health officials, the College will begin to support approved employees returning to campus beginning in July, enabling a  phased approach of personnel returning to campus as we put into place the modified work environments and return to work protocols that support health and safety. The Health Protocols Development & Planning - Employees Group, along with the COVID-19 Response Group, continue to monitor information closely and are actively creating plans for a safe and gradual return to work.  All employees should continue to work remotely until such time as they have been approved to return to campus.  

Given the extended shelter in place order, limited summer activities, and current financial pressures, the decision has been made to discontinue the availability of the Emergency Closure code for staff to use to supplement their time for hours they are unable to work their full schedule. The Emergency Closure code was in place for staff and students to supplement their time from March 17 - May 31, 2020.  Through May 24th, the end of the last pay period, staff and student workers reported over 21,500 hours and were paid nearly $450,000 in wages utilizing the Emergency Closure code. We appreciate the accurate reporting of those hours that were paid but not worked, as it allowed the College to apply for an employee retention credit under the CARES Act and obtain a credit against a portion of the social security taxes incurred on the staff wages.  Based upon the limits of the Act, the eligible wages provided us $55,000 as a credit against our payroll tax liability.  However, there is no offset or reimbursement for the wages paid.

Staff Compensation and Time Reporting Guidelines beginning June 1, 2020

  • Report all hours worked.

  • Check your vacation/annual leave balance at the top of your web time-entry timesheet.  For the hours that you were unable to work your full schedule, you will need to report vacation/annual leave time (do not report hours beyond the amount in your current vacation/annual leave balance). 

  • If you will not have enough vacation/annual leave to fulfill your normally scheduled hours, please contact for additional guidance.

What to do if you become sick or need to care for a family member

As previously communicated, in the event that an employee becomes ill or quarantined or needs to care for a family member, they should first notify their supervisor/manager.  They should then contact the Benefits Department in Human Resources at, and file an online claim for California State Disability or Paid Family Leave benefits.  The normal one week unpaid waiting period for these benefits has been waived per the Governor's Executive Order.

We encourage you to review the FAQs provided by the Employment Development Department (EDD) for guidance on what programs are available and what situations may be applicable to your circumstances.

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone that has a confirmed case, we ask that you, in good faith, notify your supervisor and the Benefits Department in Human Resources at

Support Session for Working Parents

We understand that this time brings particular challenges for parents working at home with children home from school and other activities.  In an effort to support you in thinking about how you are managing through, and adjustments that may need to be made as you move into the summer months, Maura Wolf will be hosting a session next Friday, June 5, 2020 at 10am entitled, “Reflecting on Work & Life Management During Shelter in Place as a Parent”.  You can register for this session here.

The Human Resources team and I remain committed to supporting you during this time.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.  

Laurie Panian


Laurie Panian

Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

Title IX Coordinator

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 St. Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575

t. 925.631.4212

f. 925.631.9611