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Student workers can request paid leave during campus closure

FILE PHOTO: Sam Siller, a senior environmental science major, works at Westminster College’s START Center Oct. 5, 2017. Student workers can request paid time off for the next two weeks while the campus is closed if extreme circumstances prevent them from coming in, according to an email from Trisha Jensen sent out to students. (Photo by Hasib Hussainzada)

Student workers can request paid time off for the next two weeks if extenuating circumstances keep them from working their regular hours, the school announced Tuesday. The Student Employment office in the Career Center will accept requests for paid leave between March 13 and March 27.

Student Employment made the announcement before administration decided to extend online classes until the end of May Term. While this paid leave process accounts for the next two weeks, it’s currently unclear how long it will be provided.

The school will update on whether it will continue this process for the remainder of the semester as soon as that information is available.

With the campus being closed over the next two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some departments on campus are requiring employees to work from home. However, this doesn’t apply to student workers.

“We currently are not allowing student employees to work remotely,” the school states on its website. “Employees with responsibilities that cannot be performed remotely and who have extenuating circumstances may apply for additional paid leave, consistent with pending legislation.”

Because students can’t work remotely, this option exists for those who are asked to not return to campus. This includes students who are experiencing mandatory quarantine after travel, the need to provide dependent care or social isolation because of high-risk health conditions.

“We’re committed to on-campus student employees receiving their full wages during this time frame and we know you’ll make every effort possible to complete your work, but we understand that this may not be possible for everyone,” said Trisha Jensen, director of Student Employment in the Career Center, in an email sent out to students. “Should this be the case for you, we’ve created a process to request paid leave.”

Students can submit requests for paid leave to their supervisors, who will review the application before sending it to the Student Employment Office. From there, final decisions will be made between supervisors and the office.

Westminster College does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus or within any community members. However, the administration said it will provide updates as they become available.

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Cami Mondeaux
Cami Mondeaux is a senior communication major with a minor in sociology. Passionate about journalism, Cami has worked in the field for three years – completing internships at KSL NewsRadio, KUER 90.1 NPR Utah and The Washington Diplomat in Washington, D.C. She now covers breaking news for KSL NewsRadio with a focus on the 2020 election. Cami is excited to bring her skills to The Forum for her second year as editor-in-chief.

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