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Ask Staff Senate any question about the University of Wyoming or your employment here. We will do our best to discover the answers from the experts on campus and publish them (anonymously) in the staff newsletter.
Submit a question or browse answers to previous questions.
"Is there a University committee that makes landscaping and tree removal decisions on campus? Why were the spruce trees removed at the College of Business?"
ANSWER: (from Assoc.VP of Operations Mark Collins): "Decisions on tree removal are authorized by U W Administration upon the recommendation of UW Physical Plant. UW Landscaping and Grounds maintains a comprehensive tree inventory for the UW campus. They closely monitor trees for stress, disease and potential hazards. In the case of the trees at the College of Business (COB), they were highly stressed during the construction of the COB addition. There was heavy construction/equipment traffic in this vicinity for a significant period of time. UW Physical Plant has worked with the trees since construction in an attempt to save them. Efforts included additional water and deep root fertilization. Those efforts did not prove successful, and the trees had to be removed. UW Physical Plant attempts to be proactive about tree removal to be sure that dead and dying trees do not potentially blow down in a wind storm and become a severe safety issue. The trees will be replaced with 20- foot blue spruce trees this spring."
"How should employees handle workplace proselytizing and other forms of unwanted communication?"
After visiting a local church, an employee has been asked frequently by a co-worker who attends that church about his/her involvement in church events. The employee is a private person who keeps work and personal life separate, and finds these conversations to be inappropriate and embarrassing, especially when they occur in front of other colleagues. The employee has tried for several weeks to quietly brush these comments aside or change the subject, or to indicate that s/he is not going to events and please stop asking, but to no avail. What should the employee do?
ANSWER: The first step in solving this type of problem is for the employee affected to communicate the discomfort with the coworker directly, firmly, and respectfully. This could be done in private if the employee affected is comfortable in doing so, or in a formal meeting with a supervisor present if the employee does not feel comfortable talking to the coworker alone.
It is important, before further solutions are considered, that the coworker understands the extent to which his/her unwanted invitations and conversations are affecting the employee and creating an uncomfortable work environment. It can be difficult to be direct and explicit when communicating with others this type of information, but it is to everyone’s benefit to make sure that the employees know where they stand with one another and to respect each other’s personal boundaries in topics not relating to the workplace.
If the unwanted communications continue, it should be brought to the attention of the employee’s supervisor. If the employees have different supervisors, the employee affected should consult with his/her own supervisor, whose responsibility it is to deal with all parties involved. If the situation is still problematic, the supervisor’s supervisor may be needed to address it. Human Resources does not initially step in to negotiate a problematic work relationship but expects that employees will communicate directly and effectively with one another. If problems continue, or if a power issue is involved (e.g., a supervisor-employee relationship), then the Office of Diversity and Employment Practices may become involved.
"There used to be a mediation alternative offered to staff through HR where a staff member could ask for an HR representative to assist them in resolving employment problems. It’s still listed on the website, but I was told by an HR rep that this option isn’t offered anymore. Could Staff Senate please find out what other options there are and post a clarification of this policy? Thank you!!"
ANSWER: Mediation was a service that was discontinued and taken out of the handbook back in 2011.
Staff Senate is currently investigating whether alternatives to mediation are available.
"In light of recent mass shootings, including at an Oregon community college, does UW have guidelines in place for an active shooter situation on campus?"
ANSWER: The University of Wyoming Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide lists the following as the safest response to an active shooter situation:
Remain calm, do not engage the intruder.
Attempt to escape quickly and quietly if you can do so safely.
If attempting to escape, keep your hands elevated with open palms visible, especially if encountering law enforcement officers.
If you cannot safely exit the building, seek secure shelter.
Close and lock windows, lower blinds, stay out of sight, turn off lights.
Once secured inside, take cover behind concrete walls, thick desks, and filing cabinets that are away from windows and doors.
Remain quiet and turn off cell phone ringers.
Only one person from the room should call police at 911 and tell them where you are, where the dangerous person is, and the condition of others with you. Follow their instructions. If you cannot speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear what is happening.
Assist others if they are injured.
Do not respond to any unfamiliar voice commands until you can be sure they are coming from a law enforcement official.
Further information can be found at the Department of Homeland Security website.
"Apart from enforcing the rule not to take vacation leave in the month in which it is accrued, can departments require employees to have a minimum amount of vacation leave before they are able to use what they have accrued?"
ANSWER: (from Associate Vice President Nell Russell, Human Resources): "The short answer is ‘no.’ The Employee Handbook does not make any provision for departments to amend the vacation policy. I believe that requiring all departments to adhere to the vacation policy as currently published in the Employee Handbook is absolutely necessary in order to maintain consistency in the application of this university rule and to ensure fairness for all university employees. To allow otherwise will only serve to compromise the University’s standards."
"I understand that employment benefits at UW have been extended as a stipend amount to same-sex partners of benefited employees. How does this stipend amount compare with benefits available for married couples and their children?"
ANSWER: The Domestic Partner Health Insurance Benefit policy began in September 2011, and has recently been updated.
A Domestic Partner must meet stated eligibility criteria and must not be eligible for coverage under another employer plan in order to qualify for this benefit. All statements made hereafter assume that the Domestic Partner qualifies for the benefit.
How Does the Benefit Work?
Qualifying domestic partners cannot be put on a UW employee’s insurance.
Qualifying domestic partners must purchase their own insurance for themselves and/or their qualifying dependents (who are not also dependents of the UW employee).
The UW-provided financial benefit is intended to offset the cost of insurance premiums from outside providers.
Qualifying domestic partners with no qualifying dependents will receive a financial benefit equal to the difference between the employer contribution for Employee Only and Employee Plus Spouse coverage, or the cost of the insurance, whichever is less. In other words, if the actual insurance premium cost is less than the financial benefit amount offered, the actual cost will be used.
Qualifying domestic partners with qualifying dependents will receive a financial benefit equal to the difference between the employer contribution for Employee Only and Family coverage, or the cost of the insurance, whichever is less. Again, if the premium cost is less than the financial benefit offered, the actual cost will be used.
The Domestic Partner Health Insurance Benefit offers the best benefit available to UW employees and their qualifying Domestic Partners within the confines of State law and insurance rules. For additional questions on the policy, please contact the Human Resources Department at 766-2437.
Answers provided by Rick DelaCastro, Director of Human Resources
“Can an employee be required to work during winter closure by their supervisors if they are not previously designated as an “essential employee” by their Appointing Authority?”
Yes. Supervisors may require employees, either exempt or non-exempt, to work over the winter closure. If the employee was not previously designated as “essential,” and the supervisor asks the employee to work, it is reasonable for the employee to ask the supervisor why he/she needs to come in. The supervisor does have the authority to require the employee to work.
“Do employees have the ability to deny the request for working over winter closure?”
No. The employee is required to follow the legitimate directions of the supervisor.
“If an employee is required to work, but was previously not designated “essential,” how will s/he be compensated?”
If a supervisor asks an employee to work over winter closure, that employee will have the benefits associated with an “essential employee.” In other words, the employee who is asked to work over winter closure will be able to take equivalent time off, in accordance with the policy. It is only when an employee chooses to work that the employee is not given subsequent time off. Hours worked during winter closure are paid at straight time, and overtime policies and compensatory time also apply.
The University closes for three days between Christmas and New Year’s. Employees are not expected to work during those days; however, some essential services must continue. Employees (“essential employee” as deemed in advance in writing by the Appointing Authority) designated to work for all or part of winter closure receive an equivalent amount of time off prior to September 30th of the following year. Employees on terminal leave during winter closure will have his/her leave extended. Employees who are not designated to work, but decide to work anyway do not receive time off at a later date. New employees will not have a start date within winter closure unless specifically required to work during that time.
"My building is under construction and is scheduled to have power, heat, and water outages for part of one day to complete work while students are out on break. During this time, my supervisor has advised me not to report to work. Do I need to report at my normal office, elsewhere on campus, or should I do as my supervisor has advised and not report until power/heat/water are restored?"
ANSWER: Human Resources does not have a specific policy regarding reporting for work when construction affects the normal operation of a building. In general, if some normal job functions can be completed and the building does not become too hot or cold (which would then be an EHS matter), employees should follow their normal routine to the extent possible. If employees are unable to perform key job functions due to the power/heat/water outages, they should discuss a reasonable accommodation with their supervisors that takes into account the type of work being performed and whether and how students will be affected.
"Can a UW employee approved for FMLA leave be required to report for work during or make up time taken off during the FMLA leave period (i.e., is FMLA leave considered to be “flex time”)? Can an employee on FMLA be penalized for work not performed during FMLA leave?"
ANSWER: If a person is eligible for FMLA leave and it is approved by HR based on medical certification provided by a health care provider, he or she can be off work for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period, and cannot be required to make-up or flex the time missed. The person will not be penalized for work not completed while on FMLA. Every situation is unique, so direct specific questions to HR.
"Can a university office publish and enforce blackout dates for taking vacation leave or comp time? If so, are there limits on how long a continuous leave blackout can occur? How would a leave blackout affect an employee who is at or near the vacation leave maximum accrual (352 hours)? How would it affect an employee at the federal compensatory time maximum (240 hours)?"
ANSWER: The Employee Handbook does not directly address the issue of blackouts concerning vacation leave or other leave usage, so there is not yet a definitive answer to this question. Staff Senate will continue to pursue a codified policy in this regard. In general, departments can restrict vacation leave and compensatory time based on the needs of the department and business necessity. However, HR does not anticipate that extended leave restrictions would be necessary in most cases.
If restrictions are deemed necessary, the leave should be applied consistently to all affected employees. Employees who are at or close to the earned vacation cap of 352 hours should work with their supervisor to make arrangements to use the leave despite the restrictions, as it is never the intention of the University of Wyoming for employees to lose a benefit. If an employee is at the federal cap of 240 hours of compensatory time, the HRMS system is set up automatically to pay out any additional time earned.
"If I am called in for jury duty, is this leave time covered by UW? If so, what type of leave is it and how should it be reported?"
ANSWER: According to Presidential Directive 4-2004-2, Leave With Pay , jury or legal duty is considered to be one type of Non-Emergency Leave with Pay: “Staff employees are entitled to a leave of absence with pay when required to perform jury duty, when subpoenaed as a witness or when summoned to give expert testimony.”
Other forms of Non-Emergency Leave with Pay include:
Leave taken to vote.
Work-related leave such as meetings, institutes, professional examination, and other activities directly related to an employee's work.
The most common UW time report includes a drop-down menu with codes for leave types taken; Legal Duty (coded LEGAL) is among the selections possible.
"I have been told that any comp time I earn as a non-exempt employee must be used in the week following the one in which it is earned and cannot be taken between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Can my employer impose these restrictions?"
ANSWER: Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Title 29 U.S.C. 207(o)(2) specifies that a public agency (such as UW) may award compensatory time, as opposed to overtime pay, only if it first secures an “agreement or understanding” with an employee, which can take various forms, including a condition of employment or a notice to the employee to grant comp time in lieu of overtime. The employee’s agreement cannot be coerced.
According to C.F.R. Title 29 §553.21(5), an employee who asks to use accrued compensatory time “shall be permitted by the employee’s employer to use such time within a reasonable period after making the request.”
C.F.R. Title 29 §552.25 states: “When an employer receives a request for compensatory time off, it shall be honored unless to do so would be ‘unduly disruptive’ to the agency’s operations.
For additional information on comp time usage, please see the Department of Labor Fact Sheet #7.
"Due to reduced staffing, our office staff may be asked to take shorter lunch hours or remain at our desks while we eat in order to cover the office over the lunch hour. In the past, when staff members agreed to cover the office over the lunch hour, they worked a shorter workday so that they were not exceeding eight hours. Is this still the rule, or can we be required to stay in the office for some or all of our lunch hour?"
ANSWER: The Department of Labor (DOL) addresses the question of lunch breaks in Fact Sheet #22: Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If non-exempt employees are required to remain in the work area and be available to perform work during their break, this is considered paid work time. In order for a meal period to count as unpaid time, the staff member must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive while eating. An expectation that the employee is available to cover the office while eating, whether any work is performed or not, would require that the meal period be counted as work time. If the non-exempt employee’s work hours are not adjusted accordingly to account for the additional work, the employee would be entitled to earn compensatory time or overtime.
The DOL even uses such a case as an exemplar of typical problems encountered when
determining hours worked:
Problems arise when employers fail to recognize and count certain hours worked as compensable hours. For example, an employee who remains at his/her desk while eating lunch and regularly answers the telephone and refers callers is working. This time must be counted and paid as compensable hours worked because the employee has not been completely relieved from duty.
"A recent article in the Boomerang stated that UW staff salaries are lower than the salaries for the equivalent positions at the state. Some of the commenters didn’t seem to believe that. Is there any data showing how we compare to the state in terms of salary?"
ANSWER: The most recent study on this question was completed in 2013. Positions were considered matched if they shared at least 67% of their job duties, and the average salary for the position at UW was compared to the average salary at the state for each such position.
The study found that for the majority of positions, UW salaries were significantly lower than their equivalent position at the state. Staff Senate has been working to bring this disparity to the attention of administrators, trustees, and legislators. As ongoing efforts are made to realign UW employee benefits with those offered to state employees, we will continue to bring the issue of the salary gap into the conversation.
To view the results of the study, click here.
"Are UW staff members who do not work on a computer during the workday allowed to access campus computers to check email, read UW news, and complete online training during the workday?"
ANSWER: There is no UW policy that prohibits employees from accessing computers on campus. UW employees who do not have access to a computer during their workday can access lab computers and other public computers on campus that have been made available for that purpose in order to access their UW email and employment documents, read UW news and calendar items, and complete online trainings. If staff members are asked to complete mandatory training or other required work activities outside of their regular work hours, they should contact Human Resources.
“If an employee has been instructed by their health care provider to use oxygen, is this something that UW is required to make reasonable accommodation for, or is it acceptable for the supervisor to request that the employee not use the oxygen during work hours in order to avoid making others feel uncomfortable?"
ANSWER: (from Marilyn Norman, Compliance Office, Labor Standards, State of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services): “Allowing the use of oxygen in the workplace would be viewed as a reasonable accommodation under ADA. Respiratory problems are viewed as a qualifying disability under ADA. As the employer, you can ask the employee to bring in documentation from their medical provider. The statement ‘the use of oxygen makes others feel uncomfortable’ could be discriminatory."
"My supervisor requires me to turn in employee comments to my performance evaluation in hard copy. Is there a way for employees to add comments to their performance evaluations electronically since the forms are online?"
ANSWER: (from the Employee Relations section of Human Resources) All performance evaluations are conducted electronically; there is not a hard-copy option for the performance evaluation process at UW.
Employees who do not have access to a computer in their workplace have the right to use any public computer on campus, such as in the Union or Coe Library, to access HRMS and participate in the online performance evaluation process.
"If a staff member’s personal contact info is shared out on an after-hours contact list, is the individual considered to be on-call for the week that they’re listed? Can they be reprimanded if they were not available when called?"
ANSWER: (provided by Mark Bercheni, HR) "This has been explained recently and on-call is defined in Presidential Directive 4-2013-1. Here are a few observations to answer these questions:
Employees who volunteer for overtime are not on-call.
Employees on the emergency list are not on-call.
Employees who get called and do not respond will not be reprimanded unless there is an established pattern."
"When we have staff meetings after our shift is over, does our boss have to give us advance notice or is it ok for her to tell us about it that day?"
ANSWER: (provided by Nell Russell, Director of Human Resources) “The University policy, as codified in the Employee Handbook, does not provide a supervisor the right to require an employee to perform work-related duties during his/ her personal time.
Some issues do not have to be governed by a specific rule. However, it’s reasonable for our employees to be given advance notice when attendance at an after work meeting is required.”
ANSWER: (From Facilities Engineering) Pre-construction, the Union lot had 255 “A” parking spaces, four “U” parking spaces, and seven ADA parking spaces. The new lot with bus stop has 205 “A” parking spaces, three “U” parking spaces, and seven ADA parking spaces for a net loss of 50 spaces.
"With the issue of concealed carry working its way through the legislature I’m curious if a workplace accidental discharge injury would be covered by Workman’s Comp. I understand that this type of injury would be covered for a police officer, for example, since handling and working around firearms is a normal part of their job. But would it be covered for your typical office worker or maintenance crew since there’s no expectation of firearms in the workplace in those jobs?"
ANSWER: (from Jeanne Durr, Associate Vice President for Human Resources)
Workers compensation benefits help to provide coverage to employees for injuries arising out of and in the course of their employment. A University employee, even one whose job does not require handling and working around firearms, who is injured as a result of a gun-related incident at work may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits; however, each situation would be analyzed by the Wyoming State Worker’s Compensation division to determine what benefits, if any, would apply and the law in this area is not well settled. For example, who was carrying the gun, who was injured, what caused the discharge and a multitude of other factors could have bearing on how the State views a claim. Each individual circumstance would be evaluated by the State to make the determination.
"I am a non-exempt employee and I’m listed as the contact person for after-hours access to our building. Since I live near campus my department chair assumes that I can quickly run to campus to let people in so it shouldn’t need to be noted on my timesheet. I feel like I should get paid if I have to come to campus for any reason. Am I right about this? Do I have the option to decline to be the after-hours contact person?"
ANSWER: As a non-exempt employee all of the hours that you are required to work should be reflected on your timesheet as mandated by UW policy and by the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you are asked to perform work in addition to your normal 40 hour week, you must be compensated at a rate of 1.5 in either overtime pay or compensatory time. In addition, unless you are being paid to be on-call, you cannot be required to respond outside of your normal work hours in cases where you are not available (e.g. out of town, out of cellphone range, etc.). As a non-essential employee, you can request that your personal contact information not be shared outside of your department or used for the purpose of contacting you outside of your work hours except in case of an emergency.
For further information contact Human Resources at 766-2377.
"When will UW staff be able to view the Huron report on the savings and efficiencies that are proposed for campus?"
ANSWER: The staff senators who are currently serving on the Financial Crisis Advisory Committee have brought this question forward. At this time Staff Senate has been assured that the Huron report will be shared with the campus community soon. However, there are some reporting inaccuracies and subsequent recommendations that the administrative team is currently working to correct prior to its release. We will continue to request access to the report and will share it with you as soon as we can.
"I am curious if Staff Senate has a representative on the Parking Advisory Committee and if not, who is the designated committee member that staff members should contact if they have questions or concerns?"
ANSWER: Staff Senate has passed a number of resolutions during the past year requesting better staff representation on Administrative Committees and
asking for improved communication between the committees and campus stakeholders.
In December 2016, President Nichols responded to these requests from Staff Senate. She noted the need for ASUW, Faculty Senate, and Staff Senate to have adequate input, and committed to the inclusion of input from the Senates as the regulatory structure review proceeds. This regulatory structure review is currently underway and is expected to include all UW Regulations as well as other policy documents.
"I am very concerned with the prospect that staff may have to start paying the additional program/class fees for our fee waiver classes. This has been a very nice incentive, but I can't afford to continue it if I have to pay hundreds of dollars for a course. So many other things have been taken, it would be a shame if this were an incentive in name only as well."
ANSWER: In November 2017 the Board of Trustees approved an updated Program Fees policy. According to the updated policy, UW employees who are using the tuition waiver to take courses will NOT be required to pay program fees.
"When I have used sick leave to stay home with my child in the past, my supervisor said I needed to check email and complete whatever work I could from home. But then when I put that time on my timesheet, our accountant told me I could not be paid for time worked at home unless I had a Telework Agreement in place. How can this be right?"
ANSWER: UW does have a Telework Policy, which is outlined in the Telework Manual. However, this policy is only meant to cover UW employees who are working from home as a permanent arrangement. Covering childcare obligations while working from home is explicitly prohibited in the policy. The decision to make telework arrangements is a conversation that must take place between the supervisor and employee and is not an arrangement that can be made available to all employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all hours worked by a nonexempt employee be recorded on their timesheet. This also includes any time that the employee works when they were not at their usual work location. If a supervisor is requiring or expecting the employee to work – including reading and responding to email – then the time should be recorded as work time. If a supervisor or employee has any questions about timekeeping and telework, Human Resources would be happy to answer questions at any time.
"Do you know if Bike to UW Day is no longer being sponsored? I noticed that we didn’t have the event this year. I wonder if the Bicycle Safety Committee has also been defunded? Bike to UW Day was a great thing and it helped bring awareness to our pedestrian-bicycle safety issues and remind everyone of the rules."
ANSWER: The Bicycle Safety Committee has not met recently, but hopes to be convening over the summer to discuss planning a Bike to UW Day for Fall 2017. Staff Senate is considering helping to sponsor future events.
"Now that Custodial Services has lost so many positions they can no longer provide some of the services like vacuuming our offices daily. In my department, the expectation is that office staff will pick up that duty. If I’m classified as an office worker (Office Associate) and I get injured vacuuming a faculty office will I be covered by workman’s comp insurance? Also, the rules used to be that we couldn’t purchase custodial supplies on our pcards, but I’m curious if that rule has changed now that the departments are responsible for some of our own cleaning? We don’t always have access to a vacuum cleaner so we may need to purchase one."
Under Workers’ Compensation rules, in order to be compensable, an injury must arise out of and in the course and scope of employment. This means that if you are injured performing a task that you were directed to do as a part of your job, you would be covered. If the request to vacuum offices did not come from your direct supervisor, a conversation with your supervisor clarifying the updated expectations would be beneficial. If you have been assigned new tasks that are expected to be a permanent responsibility in your position you can also request to have your PDQ updated to reflect the changes. Human Resources can talk you through questions or concerns relating to your job responsibilities and your PDQ. They can be contacted at 766-2215 or by visiting Wyo Hall, Room 139.
According to the UW Procurement Office, cleaning supply purchases for personal office space are allowed on the p-card (i.e. Clorox wipes, monitor wipes, etc.). Departments would also be permitted to purchase a vacuum cleaner on a p-card, but the strong preference is that department staff coordinate with custodial staff to use the equipment and supplies (such as wipes or towels) that are already available in the building. For questions on Procurement issues call 766-5233 or visit Merica Hall, Room 115.
Custodial Services is happy to coordinate with departments to facilitate cleaning needs wherever possible. If department staff need to borrow cleaning supplies or request assistance with special needs that arise they are encouraged to contact the zone supervisor in their area.
"Is it true that my supervisor can deny my request to donate sick leave to a coworker who is out on FMLA?"
ANSWER: The current process for donating sick leave does not require supervisor approval, or that the donating employee’s supervisor be involved in any way. Employees who wish to donate sick leave can complete the form that is posted on the Human Resources website and submit it directly to the Employee Benefits Office.
According to the Employee Handbook, the employee who is donating sick leave must be in active pay status and must maintain at least 80 hours of sick leave. Human Resources personnel are responsible for processing leave donations and confirming both that the donating employee is eligible to donate and that the amount donated does not reduce their sick leave balance below the minimum of 80 hours. The employee’s supervisor is not responsible for confirming eligibility or processing the paperwork.
For questions on sick leave donation, you can contact the Human Resources Office at 766-2377 or visit them in Wyo Hall, Room 139.
"My co-worker handles reimbursements in our department. Recently a faculty member brought her some travel receipts that were too old to be reimbursable. When she informed him that he could not get paid for such old receipts he closed her office door and yelled at her. It really upset her, and several of us could hear the whole thing. We asked our Dean's office what we could do about it since this is not the first time that the individual has been rude and even abusive. We were told that there really is nothing that can be done since it's a faculty member. Is this something that staff senate could address through a policy request or something?"
ANSWER: The University currently has two policy documents that govern harassment and adverse treatment in the workplace. Presidential Directive 4-2016-1 establishes policies and procedures for addressing harassment, hostile environment, and retaliation in the workplace toward individuals who are not considered a protected class under UW Regulations. It defines harassment as “verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.”Harassment and adverse treatment on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, and other statuses that are protected by state and federal statutes and University Regulations are governed by UW Regulation 1-5.
At the current time, the Equal Opportunity Report and Response (EORR) office handles all complaints of workplace harassment or hostile environment, whether the complainant is considered a protected class or not. You can submit a report on their website and review the assessment and follow-up process that EORR personnel will follow once your report is submitted.
For further questions on reporting harassment and hostile work environment situations, please contact the EORR office at 766-5200 or Human Resources at 766-2377.
"A community member informed me that the university's campus development plan calls for replacing any parking that is removed for construction projects with the same amount of parking spaces somewhere else on campus. He says that this has not happened for the past two years, and this makes parking in his neighborhood more crowded. Who monitors the development plan and makes sure we're following our own rules?"
ANSWER: The Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) that was developed in 2008 is still in effect. The Planning and Construction unit in UW Operations is responsible for ensuring the intent of the plan is followed to the extent possible. The newly-formed UW Facilities Council, subject to the approval of the Planning and Policy sub-council, will be updated as regards to the planning of projects, and this update will include how the planning of a project meets the intent of the LRDP.
The Standard Administrative Policy governing the Facilities Council is still in the revisions process. Once the Policy is finalized, Staff Senate will post a link to the document on our website. The current Staff Senate representative on the Facilities Council is Senator Jason Gonzales. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Jason at Alfonso@uwyo.edu.
"This month the parking lot on my end of campus will be removed. I am wondering if staff who work in buildings with no employee parking nearby will still be required to run errands for their departments. I have always used my own vehicle to do this, but with the increase of distance to parking, I don't feel that this a reasonable request of employees anymore. Especially during the winter months."
ANSWER: While some positions at UW require the employee to have a current driver’s license, it is extremely rare that an employee would be required to provide a vehicle for conducting University business. Any requirement of this type will be stated in your PDQ. While some staff members may be required to drive on University business, this does not mean that you are required to use your own vehicle unless explicitly stated in your PDQ.
When using a vehicle to conduct University business, staff members should be aware of the following:
Anyone driving any vehicle on University business must be a Qualified Driver. To become a Qualified Driver, employees will need to read the Official Vehicle Policy and submit a Motor Vehicle Request Form.
When driving on University business, employees always have the option of using a University vehicle, and the University encourages the use of a University vehicle for University business whenever possible.
If an employee is using their own vehicle for University business and is involved in an accident, the employee’s own insurance coverage is the primary coverage, and the employee will be required to cover the deductible. If a liability claim resulting from the accident exceeds the employee’s insurance coverage, then the University’s policy will cover the balance. In contrast, if an employee is involved in an accident while driving a University vehicle, the University’s insurance coverage is the primary coverage, and the employee’s department will be required to cover the deductible.
UW staff members are well within their rights to decline to use their personal vehicle for University business unless it is a requirement in their PDQ. Where parking is an issue, departments are encouraged to use approved vendors that provide delivery of food and office supplies or to make use of a University vehicle along with designated loading and unloading zones around campus.