Information for Staff

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HR answers: health and benefit questions

Human Resources has answers to many common questions in an FAQ. If your question is not answered here, contact your supervisor or Human Resources.

Staying healthy at work

Health care coverage

Pay, time off andleave

About essential employees

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act enacted by the Department of Labor, effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 provides additional leave options.
Learn More

Staff, temporary and student employees may contact Erin Christian in Human Resources.

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Blue Cross/Blue Shield here for you

CMU faculty and their covered dependents enrolled in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield health plans can meet face-to-face online with a board-certified doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist from home.

Online Visits


Ask a nurse 24/7. Provides answers to questions about symptoms, reliable self-care and when to seek medical treatment.

1-800-775-BLUE (2583)

Emotional Support Hotline

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HR-Employment Services

Telecommuting allows employees to continue to work from home and continue meeting the business needs of the university.

Office of Information Technology's Guide to Working Remote

Step-by-step recommendations for setting up your office at home.

View Guide

Video: 5 tips for working from home in the time of COVID-19

Here are five simple ways to make your mental health a priority while you're working from home. Jellyvision is an award-winning SaaS company based in Chicago.

Need faster Internet?

Some internet providers are running specials responding to the need for high-speed internet service. Note: CMU does not endorse any of these providers.

View Internet Service Providers

HR answers: telecommuting and alternative work questions

Human Resources has answers to many common questions in an FAQ. If your question is not answered here, contact your supervisor or Faculty Personnel Services.

Telecommuting & Alternative Work FAQ

CMU Help Desk

  CMU Help Desk

HR-Employment Services

Employee Assistance Program

Encompass, the Employee Assistance Program provider for CMU, has a several options for you: webinars and information, counseling, coaching and more.

Information and Webinars

Access Other Services  

  1. Go to
  2. Click the green "Sign Up" button on the right side of the page.
  3. Enter cmuni as the company code, and follow the instructions to create your secure and confidential personal account.
  4. Click on the "Chat & Video" link for live chat support.
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Employee Health Services

If you feel physically ill — particularly with fever, cough or difficulty breathing — please call your health care provider immediately, and tell them you think it's possible you have COVID-19.

CMU Health — Three Leaves
2600 Three Leaves Dr.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

989-774-7585 (Call before visiting)

Visit Website

Virtual Fitness

Keep moving!

Whether is going outside for a walk or taking in some virtual exercise classes, exercise is important for your overall health. Stay fit at home with University Recreation.

Virtual Fitness Classes

We take care of each other

Not sure where to start? Whether you need help or you are concerned for a friend, the CMU Care Team provides confidential assistance.

Find resources for physical and mental health, safety and well-being, food and housing.

Find Help

Concerned about the well-being of a colleague or student? Leave a confidential message at 989-774-2273 or Submit a Care Report.

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HR-Employment Services

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Therapy Assistance Online (TAO)

TAO is a free, web-based self-help resource. Use your cmich email to sign up for guided activities to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common concerns.

Sign Up

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Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse offers virtual fitness classes, stress management tips and more for your wellbeing.

View Website

Students walking on campus

Fall semester dates changed

As announced on June 1, classes for the fall 2020 semester will begin Monday, Aug. 17, and end Wednesday, Nov. 25. The August start is two weeks earlier than had been originally planned. The schedule adjustment means students will not return after the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 26, thus reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus following holiday travel.

Fall 2020 Semester Schedule

General information about the fall semester can be found in the fall schedule Q&A.

COVID-19 phased return-to-campus plan

This plan outlines the process for bringing Central Michigan University employees back to work on campus. Important considerations:

  • This primarily addresses staff positions. Academic departments are included in the plan with the expectation that faculty will continue to work remotely with occasional presence on campus as needed, since teaching is continuing remote and online at this time.
  • Timelines are driven by CDC findings for the expected onset of symptoms for those exposed to COVID-19, and by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on coronavirus persistence on inanimate surfaces.
  • The university will continue to treat its employees in a humanistic manner while moving with deliberate speed to bring the campus back to full operational capacity.
  • This phased return is contingent upon continuation or modification of state ordered restrictions and may need to be adjusted to comply with extended orders and restrictions.

Phase I

Phase one focuses on a handful of primary guiding principles applicable to transitioning staff back to the campus workspace and restarting normal campus operations:

In conjunction with the governor's executive orders, CMU will continue to gradually increase staff presence on campus through a phased return-to-campus approach, ensuring a gradual increase in employee population density on campus.

To accomplish this phased return, positions will be identified into four tiers:

  • Tier 0: Includes staff/faculty previously identified as essential and already currently working on campus (including those working on campus intermittently).
  • Tiers 1, 2 and 3: Vice presidents, working with their leadership teams, may rank positions that have not yet migrated back to campus, taking into consideration urgency, efficiency and effectiveness of remote work capabilities, and operational need.
    • Tier 1: Includes faculty/staff deemed the most urgent to return to campus (e.g. supervisors as directed; positions where work cannot be performed remotely, etc.).
    • Tier 2: May include staff/faculty currently working remotely.
    • Tier 3: May include staff/faculty who:

      • Have documented COVID-19 related concerns consistent with CDC guidance, or
      • Are unable to return to the campus workplace as a result of the ongoing impact of the governor's executive orders and therefore need to work remotely for a longer period of time (i.e., childcare issues).
  • Human Resources, Faculty Personnel Services and the College of Medicine will provide unit leadership with guidance to assist them as they work with individuals who have concerns about returning to campus.

Of necessity, the university will need to rely upon the exercise of prudence and good judgement by supervisors who will be the responsible parties for determining what operations must be resumed on campus, and in what order. The goal is not to return everyone to campus at once. Instead, the return will be phased in a measured and thoughtful way consistent with operational needs and a rational assessment of the manner in which a particular business unit supports higher level functions. Supervisors are expected to carefully consider the following alternatives to guide this decision making.

  • Each return phase should allow a minimum of 14 days to provide adequate time for display of symptoms. This time period also follows the two-week increment used by the state to implement and extend the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order. Based on the June 12 expiration of the current executive order (which is subject to change):
    • Tier 1 staff would return to campus June 15.
    • Tier 2 staff on no earlier than June 29.
    • Tier 3 staff on no earlier than July 13 (or later, as applicable).
  • In the initial return phases, supervisors may consider assigning alternating shifts on-campus, flexible schedules, or allowing rotation between working on-campus/working remote as another approach to a gradual return.
  • Telecommuting/working remotely may also continue for a period of time for individuals classified by the CDC as having potentially higher-risk of COVID-19 infection. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor with guidance from HR/FPS.

The phased return-to-campus plan encourages supervisors to migrate employees' work location back to campus in a phased approach, allowing the density of employees working on campus to gradually increase over time.

Some anticipated concerns and guidance is outlined in Supervisor Guidelines Return to Campus, and in the FAQ on the Human Resources website.

  • Lunch breaks, break times should be staggered.
  • Unit leadership should begin individual private dialogues with direct reports to identify concerns or challenges faculty and staff may have regarding returning to campus.
  • University provided paid administrative leave ended effective May 15. Thereafter, individuals not able to complete 40 hours a week (or their full schedule if less than full-time) from either on campus and/or a remote location, may choose to use vacation, paid personal leave time, comp time or banked holiday to fulfill their required work hours. They may also choose to claim unpaid time; in that situation, they might choose to apply for unemployment. Eligibility for unemployment is determined by the state of Michigan. Sick leave is not available for this use and is to be reserved for illness or qualifying sick leave purposes.
  • The phased return is contingent upon operational decisions made by the university; some areas may not be fully operational or will experience curtailed operations.
  • Service centers (FM, OIT, Residential Life, Dining and others) will continue to adjust staffing to prepare the campus for increased occupancy.
  • Each unit will be responsible to identify social distancing protocols and coordinate schedules and supplies needed to resume on-campus operations for each phase of the return.
    • CMU Health and RM/EH&S will establish appropriate PPE/supplies standards with consideration for priority areas (CMU Health, Police) and availability.
    • University Stores will address requisitions submitted to with AVP/Dean approval attached/included in the email.
  • See CMU's COVID-19 health, safety and cleaning protocol.
  • Consider making the physical workspace less dense through use of flex scheduling and seating arrangements.
  • Consider relocating computers on desks or rotating chairs and desks to face away from nearby co-workers.
  • Restrict use of any shared items or spaces. Require individuals to disinfect after using shared items such as handles on refrigerators and microwaves, discontinue use of office coffee pot and drinking fountains. Avoid using other employees' phones, desk, work tools, office supplies.
  • Place marker on the floor (Stores approved tape "X"; sign holders; other devices that will not permanently deface surfaces) to encourage customers/visitors to distance from reception desks/service counters, timeclock stations and/or anywhere lines may form.
  • Place signs or markers to direct flow of traffic to enforce social distancing.
  • Self-limit the number of passengers in elevators to ensure social distancing; use the stairs whenever possible.
  • Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 printable poster
  • Personal face coverings are required when in any enclosed public space on campus and in non-public workspaces where co-workers are present. See FAQ on the Human Resources website for details.
  • All PPE (Face coverings, face shields, gloves) will be promoted as socially acceptable.
  • Supervisors are expected to ensure staff demonstrate self-enforcement of social distancing protocols in all areas. All CMU employees should enforce social distancing protocols in common areas and where individuals are likely to interact.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution, specifically N-95 and medical-grade masks, are limited, with priority given to front line staff including healthcare, law enforcement, and as required by OSHA/MIOSHA. PPE will be requested, purchased and distributed through
  • Employees are encouraged to self-monitor their temperature and any symptoms before coming to work every day. A weekly email reminder will be sent to employees regarding this expectation.
  • Employees have a personal responsibility to practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, cough/sneeze etiquette, proper tissue usage and disposal, avoid touching their face, and respecting their neighbor.
  • Handshaking or other forms of physical contact is discouraged.
  • Employees interested in seeking testing can find more information on the CDC website.
  • Employees who feel ill or have symptoms not due to a pre-existing underlying chronic health condition are required to stay home.
  • Supervisors may direct an employee to go home if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 as identified by the CDC:
    • Fever.
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
    • Coughing.
    • Chills.
    • Repeated shaking with chills.
    • Muscle pain.
    • Headache.
    • Sore throat.
    • Recent loss of the sense of taste or smell.
  • Prior to directing an employee to leave the workspace and return to their residence, supervisors are advised to record displayed and/or self-reported symptoms, date of onset (if known), and potential exposure (if known).
    • The supervisor must direct this confidential information to CMU Health at 774-6589.
    • CMU Health will provide timely notice to the reporting supervisor as well as follow up information as appropriate to ensure a safe working environment for staff.
    • Actions to take regarding a confirmed or suspected direct C-19 exposure on campus:
      • When there is a confirmed or suspected direct C-19 exposure on campus, supervisors are to immediately contact CMU Heath and copy the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Office, as well as Human Resources/Faculty Personnel Services for notification and guidance.
      • CMU Health to work with the Central Michigan District Health Department to determine the course of action and follow-up based on CDC guidance.
      • Additional cleaning and sanitizing requirements of CMU facilities, related to a direct C-19 exposure, will be directed by either CMU Health or Environmental Health and Safety, in accordance with CDC guidance:
        • If cleaning and sanitizing may be conducted 7 days after an individual with a confirmed C-19 case of being on campus, CMU to conduct cleaning with existing workforce/capability.
        • If cleaning and sanitizing is required based upon a confirmed C-19 case and is required in less than 7 days of the individual being on campus, CMU to conduct deeper cleaning in accordance with CDC guidelines.
        • CMU custodial teams will continue to provide routine cleaning, along with additional cleaning and disinfecting of touch points in common areas. For offices requiring enhanced cleaning of heavily used CMU common areas, at the request of the building coordinator or supervisor, bottles of disinfectant supplies may be signed-out and returned to the building custodian.
  • Most on campus events are postponed or canceled through August 6 based on current CDC guidance and direction from state and local health agencies, on campus gatherings/meetings shall be limited in attendance to ensure ability to maintain social distancing as recommended by the CDC and state and local health agencies.
  • Meetings should continue to utilize virtual conference tools. Participants who attend in person should meet in a space large enough to support social distancing and wear face coverings.
  • Faculty and staff travel for university purposes remains suspended, unless it is deemed essential by the appropriate division vice president.
  • Travel permissions will follow federal and state restrictions and the advice of the CMU Incident Commanders informed by CDC recommendations, particularly when travel includes visiting any identified high-risk location. If travel is deemed essential and approved by appropriate vice president/dean/supervisor and requires travel to a high-risk destination or out of state, the traveler should be prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days after return.