COVID-19 Updates for Employees

Employee Information and FAQs

Throughout the fall semester, Law School employees can turn to this page for information and FAQs in addition to NYU Returns. It will be updated as new information becomes available.

Employees also should review NYU’s Arriving to Campus site before coming to the office, and are advised to visit before their scheduled return to get acclimated and test computers and other equipment. A number of return to campus resources are available for employees across our community. (First log in through NYU Home.)

Are you an employee with additional questions? Feel free to ask them through your department head or by emailing lawhr@nyu.edu.

Cleaning/Air Filtration

Can you explain how NYU has adjusted its HVAC systems to help protect us?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommend using ventilation interventions that can reduce the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Since Summer 2020, the NYU’s Facilities & Construction Management (FCM) surveyed classroom and work spaces across the Brooklyn and Washington Square campuses and made use of many of those recommended interventions, chief among them the following:

  • Increasing the introduction of outdoor air by opening outdoor air dampers;
  • Increasing the minimal setting on HVAC systems so that they draw at least 25% of circulated air from outdoors;
  • Ensuring ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for different occupancy levels;
  • Disabling demand-controlled ventilation (DCV), a change that increases total airflow, in line with the CDC’s recommendations;
    Improving central air filtration without  significantly reducing design airflow; and
  • Making sure that filters are sized properly and up-to-date.

Recommendations for specific MERV ratings for air filtration systems are no longer relevant. These recommendations were made when information about COVID-19 in the air was still limited. Additional data has now shown that the interventions implemented by FCM are adequate to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through HVAC systems and are consistent with what is recommended by CDC and OSHA.

How often will my office/cubicle be cleaned?
Personal workspaces will be professionally cleaned once daily. 
What is the plan for cleaning high touch surfaces and bathrooms?

Cleaning staff will use EPA-approved disinfectant specifically targeting covid-19 on high-touch objects and surfaces (e.g. entrance handles, elevator buttons, handrails, door handles) a minimum of once per day during overnight cleaning.

All restrooms are fully cleaned and disinfected once per day and refreshed at least twice per day (wiping down sinks and countertops, disinfecting high touchpoints, restocking dispensers, emptying trash, and general inspection).

Will cleaning/sanitizing supplies be made available for employees?
Employees may feel free to clean and disinfect their workspaces additionally if desired. The Law School will allow the purchase of supplies as needed for reasonable departmental use; those responsible for ordering office supplies can consult with their budget analyst on any questions. 

Commute

Can the workday start/end be staggered to avoid traveling at the peak of the rush hour?
This will depend on departmental needs; the head of each department or center will determine if it is operationally feasible to accommodate staggered schedules.
Are there any discounted parking facilities locally?
Several parking garages in Manhattan and Brooklyn offer preferred rates for NYU employees.
How can I feel safer on my commute?
A: Return resources include the Safe NYU app, which contains a number of features including Friend Walk, a way to share real-time location information with a friend, and other support.

Daily Screener

The Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access (Daily Screener) is a key protocol NYU uses to combat the spread of COVID-19. NYU students, faculty, employees, affiliates, visitors, and vendors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to use the Daily Screener each day, prior to leaving home, before entering an NYU academic or administrative building, and to show the green pass on arrival.  

Is the daily screener available online via web browser? Are there any access options other than downloading a phone app?
The Daily Screener is most easily answered on a smartphone through the NYU Mobile app (Apple and Android). Employees who cannot use NYU Mobile can complete the screener online.

Distancing/density

Employees will return to their previous work stations as there are no longer distancing restrictions. Rare exceptions would include arrangements for the limited group of unvaccinated community members who are expected to maintain physical distance whenever possible.   

Will in-person meetings, including those led by student groups, be restricted? 
In-person meetings will be permitted as long as the individuals and groups convening follow all current health and safety guidelines.  
I am concerned about crowded elevators and bathrooms, what should I do?
Health experts advise that masks are highly effective protection. They are required in our buildings, including in elevators and bathrooms. It is advisable to budget additional time where possible to wait or to seek an alternative if an elevator or bathroom feels too crowded.
Will more barriers be installed?
A: The current barriers were installed early in the pandemic with a focus on locations where NYU employees would interact with a high volume of people for extended periods of time. Given the vaccine mandate and continued mask requirements, additional barriers will not be deployed. 

Equipment Needs 

I have computer equipment that hasn’t been on campus for a while, or needs other updates. What should I do?
Employees can contact the NYU Law Helpdesk for assistance. It is advisable to reach out before returning to the office to facilitate easier scheduling.
Is additional equipment available to support hybrid work?
Law IT can provide cameras and headsets for on-campus desktop computers. Fill out this online form for equipment requests. Office computers that are due for replacement will be replaced with laptops to better support hybrid work.

Hybrid Schedules

NYU Law is launching a pilot hybrid model, continuing some remote work for Fall 2021, for those departments/roles for which it is feasible. All department offices are expected to have some on-site presence all workdays. 

When am I required to be in the office?
Department or center heads will advise each employee of their date to be back on-site and their on-site schedule.
Should cases of the Delta variant continue to increase across the country (including breakthrough cases), will there be a reevaluation of telework flex options to limit personal exposure and workplace exposure?
NYU will continue to monitor the case counts and advise all schools, including Law, of any changes to plans; however the goal is for all of the precautions taken by community members to allow for safe in-person operations.
Can I come in on a day I am scheduled to work remotely?
Yes, employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisors, but there are no capacity restrictions/caps at this time.
Can an administrator with a hybrid schedule request an additional day via NYU Flextime to work remotely?
The Flextime policy contemplated requests to work remotely one day/week; as the hybrid plan extends at least that much flexibility for administrators, this pre-COVID policy is no longer applicable. 
Will there be a policy on adjusting on-site schedules for weeks with holidays or other days off?
Employees are expected to stick with schedules and not alter them in response to holidays or other time off. If you have questions about how this works for your situation, please discuss with your supervisor
Is there a plan for employees for days their children will not have school, will need to be at home with asynchronous instruction, or will need to be picked up early?
As always, employees should work with their supervisors on any time off or schedule change requests. Managers are asked to be as flexible as possible. NYU Work Life offers resources that may be helpful as well.
Will there be a process to raise concerns regarding dependent care schedules, commuting schedules, and in-person work hours? If so, is this process different for types of employee?
As always, employees are encouraged to talk with their supervisors, as different departments may have different needs. Law HR can assist employees with any concerns that cannot be resolved within the employee's department. For any medical or religious accommodations, the NYU Office of Equal Opportunity evaluates requests. 

Masks/face coverings:

Face coverings are mandatory for every person in NYU Law buildings in all common areas, including classrooms, conference rooms, and offices with more than one person. 

What do I do if someone is not wearing a mask or needs a mask/PPE?
Employees can gently remind the person that the University is still requiring masks in all of our buildings, even for the vaccinated. Do not get into an argument; seek assistance as needed. Noncompliance can be reported to covidcompliance@nyu.edu. If someone needs a mask, a small supply of PPE is available 24/7 at select campus locations
Where can I take my mask off to eat? 
A mask is not required for eating outdoors, distanced from others. Members of our community can remove masks to eat in designated areas or private offices. The University continues to update specific guidance about eating and drinking on campus. 

Testing:

What kinds of surveillance testing is being conducted for employees? 
Weekly testing will be required for all employees who are not fully vaccinated, and available for anyone experiencing symptoms and/or recently in a likely high-transmission situation.

Vaccination:

All students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional), faculty, and employees are required to be in compliance with NYU’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to have access to NYU buildings for the 2021–22 academic year. NYU maintains pages with information related to COVID-19 Vaccine compliance.

How are unvaccinated persons identified and managed?   
By Fall 2021, the unvaccinated population should be limited to cases of religious or medical accommodation and those international students in the process of being vaccinated. For privacy and confidentiality reasons, the University is not sharing the names of unvaccinated community members with accommodations. Unvaccinated community members are expected to maintain physical distance whenever possible.

Visitors

Visitors are still generally not permitted, but the University expects to provide a mechanism for visitors to come to campus after submitting proof of vaccination. This mechanism will likely not be in place until around October 1. In the meantime, the University continues to have a process by which proposed exceptions to the visitors ban may be submitted to the health team. Those with high-priority visitor requests can reach out to Megan McDermott in the Dean's Office to work out a plan for what is possible.

Last Updated: August 19, 2021, 5:35 p.m. 

Contacts

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(212) 998-6111
law.helpdesk@nyu.edu

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Remote Instruction Guide
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