Weekly COVID-19 Update: Work Schedule and Salary Flexibility
08/05/2020, 03:15:01 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
50-in-5 Email Header

Dear Research Faculty,​​

President Khator’s email last Monday announced Phase 3 of Reopening UH, starting on Monday, August 10. The most significant implication for you and your research group is that working from home requires a formal agreement with the supervisor. This has consequences for salary flexibility that I will discuss below.

Work Schedule Flexibility

Phase 3 of Reopening UH is intended to prepare the campus for the fall semester. As a PI, you are responsible for approving and managing all flexible arrangements that you provide to those who report to you. Remote work remains a possibility, and so does a modified schedule that provides flexibility to fulfill a regular workweek schedule while accommodating other obligations. UH has additional options, such as a temporary redistribution of duties or assigning employees to other departments. However, if an employee is paid on a grant, make sure you only charge time worked to a grant if the work is strictly related to the grant. For a list of options, please refer to the issued guidelines.

Salary Flexibility

With Phase 3 of Reopening UH, employees may now be asked to come to campus to perform their job duties. This removes the salary flexibility that OMB described in its most recent memorandum M-20-26, which authorized federal agencies to continue to allow salary flexibilities under the condition that the same flexibilities are afforded to other employees as well. With the removal of the salary flexibility, if an employee paid on a grant continues to be unable to perform their assigned duties, alternative payment options should be explored, and the employee cannot be paid on the grant for any portion of time/effort that is not related to the grant, starting August 10.

A New Website

To provide guidance to research faculty during the Phase 3 of Reopening UH, we will publish the Phase 3 of Reopening UH website this coming Friday. You will be able to access the page through the DOR home page. Please note that human subjects research restrictions are based on the Threat Level in Harris County. The current threat level continues to be 1, and so there will be no changes to human subjects research as we move into Phase 3. Check the Human Subjects Research page for details on what is currently allowed. There will also be no changes in the operation of the Animal Care facility as we move into Phase 3. 

Visitor/Vendor Protocols

There is newly updated information on visitor and vendor protocols on the COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols page. Please familiarize yourself with the steps prior to having visitors or vendors in your lab space.

VPR Virtual Office Hours

The next VPR Virtual Office Hours will be on Friday, August 7, at 11:30 am (please note the time). You will be able to access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site. I hope that you will join us this week.

Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | elnashai@uh.edu | 713-743-4736

This is an official message sent by the University of Houston.
To verify the validity of this message, email security@uh.edu.