Essential Employees, Student Employee Pay, Telecommuting, and Other Employment-Related Questions

March 21, 2020 - 8:36am

Thank you all for your feedback, ideas, and questions during this ever changing, unprecedented time.  The purpose of this memo is to reassure you that student employment has been and continues to be a top priority for Humboldt State University. 

What follows are some common questions that we have received in the Human Resources Office, and their answers. 


Which employees are NOT allowed to come to work right now?

Employees, including students, who are 65-years-old or older and/or have an underlying health condition that make them vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus are prohibited from coming onto campus and are strongly advised to self-quarantine during this time. Please visit the Center for Disease Control website for more information regarding underlying health conditions here.

Employees in these two categories may telecommute with supervisor approval but, if telecommute is not possible (i.e. you have a job that does not allow for telecommute such as custodial worker), you will be placed on administrative leave and paid for the time you would have worked. Retired annuitants and intermittent hourly workers are not eligible for paid administrative leave. 


Is it dangerous to come to work?

This is a very fluid situation, and at this time the risk remains low for the general public and the campus community. There have only been two reported cases in Humboldt County but no suspected community spread. There are no known cases on campus. For more information on this, please visit the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services website.


What precautions are made for me if I still have to come to work?

The health and safety of all our employees is one of the main priorities during this time. Employees working on campus should continue to use social distancing and hygienic precautions such as washing their hands frequently. The university will work to ensure that employees reporting to campus will have easy access to hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitizer and be able to practice social distancing in their workspace.


Can my supervisor/appropriate administrator make me come to work?

Those essential employees needed to maintain critical services on campus - including public safety, information technology, the library, university center, health center, Oh SNAP!, residence life, dining, facilities management, research continuity, business services, payroll, and mail distribution - must report to campus as required by their supervisor. Please contact your supervisor. This limited number of essential employees will be on campus to ensure continuity of critical services outlined. All non-essential staff should plan to begin telecommuting on Friday, March 20 and telecommute for the remainder of the spring semester.


I am a student employee. Can I be reassigned on campus to do other work?

Yes, student employees may be reassigned to a position that has the same funding source. 

*A Note for Appropriate Administrators - student employees may only be reassigned to positions with the same funding source (state-side vs. auxiliary). 


How do I know if I may telecommute?

All employees, including students, who have access to the appropriate technology, may be permitted to telecommute if the nature of their work allows for it and with approval. All employees (regardless of funding source) must consult with their supervisor and complete, sign, and submit the temporary telecommuting agreement

If prompted to log in, click the option to “Continue with Google” and select or enter your HSU account and log in through MyHumboldt. The appropriate Vice President, working through the appropriate supervisors, must approve any telecommuting requests. The approval may be changed or ended at any time, as indicated in the telecommuting agreement. Student employees who are telecommuting should read the guidelines on telecommuting for staff and managers


Some employees are on paid administrative leave if they cannot work. Am I eligible for paid administrative leave?

  • Employees 65-years-old and older and/or have an underlying health condition that make them vulnerable to COVID-19

Employees under this category are placed on paid administrative leave until they can return to campus if the employee cannot telecommute.

  • Student Employees

Through 5/15/20, all student employees will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled time.  For example, if you are scheduled to work every Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you will continue to be paid for those hours even if you are unable to come in. 

  • All Other State Employees

All other university (State-side) employees are expected to work on campus if directed by their appropriate administrator. If the employee is requested to telecommute but cannot, that employee will have 128 hours of paid leave time granted. Thereafter, the employee will have to use sick and vacation accruals. *If you are employed by a campus auxiliary, please consult with your auxiliary employer for specific guidance (UC, AS, SPF).

  • Retired Annuitants and Intermittent Hourly Workers

These two categories of employees are not eligible for paid administrative leave. 


May I receive emergency pay for having to come to campus, similar to the power outages?

Some collective bargaining agreements allow for emergency pay when certain emergency situations exist in addition to campus closing. Campus is not closed. There is no emergency pay right now. 


How many hours can I work right now?

  • Student Employees 

Student employees may work up to 20-hours per week during school session without negatively impacting their financial aid. During break, such as Spring Break, a student employee may work up to 40-hours per week. 

  • All other Employees

Employees should work their regular schedule. As usual, employees may not work overtime without approval from their appropriate administrator. 


How do I submit a timesheet if I cannot come onto campus?

The Payroll Department is currently working on creating digital timesheets that may be submitted electronically. More information is forthcoming once the document is complete. Regular hard copies are also acceptable for those on campus. 


Who do I contact for support?

  • HSU, Sponsored Program Foundation (SPF), and Associated Student (AS) Employees

Please contact Human Resources at (707)826-3626 if you have any questions. You may also reach us at, fax documents to (707)826-3625, or drop by our new office hours, 8am-5pm Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. You may reach Payroll at (970)826-4918. Academic Student Employees (Unit 11 ISAs, GAs, and TAs) should reach Academic Personnel Services (APS) at (707)826-5086. Follow this link for the staff directory for HR, APS, and Payroll

  • University Center (UC) Employees

UC employees may reach the main office line by calling (707)826-4878 or email You can follow this link for the UC management directory.


Your input is incredibly important to HSU, especially during these challenging times that require extra creativity, patience and flexibility.  There are a number of ways to provide your ideas and ask questions, as well as remain up-to-date on HSU’s current status.  Below are some helpful links.


Latest COVID-19 Updates from HSU

HSU’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Didn’t find an answer to your question?  Submit it here.

Please share creative ideas for celebrating Commencement here.


Thank you and be safe. 

-Your Friends in Human Resources, Academic Personnel Services, and Payroll. 


Choose a Lanaguage

Non-English is for reference only and not official