About On-Campus Essential Employees

The university is not closed, but is limited to On-Campus Essential (OCE) services and only On-Campus Essential (OCE) employees who perform those services—as determined by university Vice Presidents, Deans, and Chancellors—will be allowed to work on campus. All other employees are expected to telecommute where possible, assuming they have the necessary technology and tools.

“On-Campus Essential” (OCE) employees, for the purposes of the COVID-19 situation, are individuals that support one of the “On-Campus Essential” (OCE) services and can only perform duties by physically being present on campus or another IU property, either full-time or periodically.

Employees not designated as OCE are not permitted to travel to campus to complete their work, even if it would be more convenient or comfortable to work on campus.

The determination of OCE services and employees is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation develops further.

On-Campus Essential guidance

The guiding principle behind determining OCE employees is to limit individuals who must work on campus to the smallest number possible, per public health guidance.

Employee Questions

What are “On-Campus Essential” (OCE) employees?

“On-Campus Essential” (OCE) employees, as per the COVID-19 policy, are individuals that support one of the “On-Campus Essential” services and can only perform duties by physically being present on campus or another IU property, either full-time or periodically.

The determination of OCE services and employees is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation develops further.

Last updated March 26, 2020

Who determines who is an OCE employee?

Decisions regarding the determination of “On-Campus Essential” employees are to be made by the appropriate dean, provost/chancellor, or vice president for that unit or campus.

Last updated March 25, 2020

What services and employees are OCE?

As per the COVID-19 policy, the following services have been determined to be On-Campus Essential:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Facility service and maintenance
  • Food and residence hall support
  • Technology operations
  • Mail services for critical business
  • Healthcare operations
  • Student health and counseling centers
  • Other similarly critical functions as determined by provost/chancellors, and vice presidents

The following are examples of OCE employees:

  • Faculty and staff performing research that requires a physical presence on campus, per guidance from the Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Faculty members preparing for or delivering on-line courses.
  • Police officers and other public safety officials.
  • Service and maintenance employees, and their supervisors, responsible for the most critical support of campus facilities and grounds.
  • Technology staff members who need to maintain the university’s technology infrastructure and who can do so only by physically being on campus.
  • Individuals who are responsible for critical business, infrastructure, contractual, or legal obligations that cannot be maintained remotely.

Last updated March 26, 2020

How do I know if I’m an OCE employee?

Ask your supervisor. Your supervisor will have been informed of OCE status by the appropriate dean, provost/chancellor, or vice president for your unit or campus.

Last updated March 25, 2020

How are OCE employees paid? updated 4/7

Non-exempt: OCE employees who are classified as non-exempt (support, service, PAO, PAU, and temporary employees) will be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for the hours worked on campus. Only supervisors or payroll processors can add this time to your time sheet.

Exempt: OCE employees who are classified as exempt (faculty, academic appointees, and PAE employees) will be paid their base salary for work performed whether on campus or off campus

Last updated April 7, 2020

If I am a non-exempt employee, how do I get paid if I’m telecommuting but I am asked to come on campus to perform an essential service? updated 4/3

Such an employee who performs their work remotely will be compensated at their regular rate of pay. If the employee is also required to perform an essential service on campus they will be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for the hours worked on campus.

Employees who are unable to perform their work remotely and who are not permitted to work on campus, will continue to receive their regular compensation.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Do OCE employees receive pay for travel time when commuting to and from campus? updated 4/3

An OCE employee who is making their normal home to work/work to home travel at the beginning/end of the day is not compensable. If a non-exempt employee begins their day by telecommuting then has to travel to campus to perform an approved essential service their travel time is paid. Employees and supervisors should consult with their departmental HR if they have questions on whether their travel time is paid.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Can temporary or student employees be designated as OCE? updated 4/3

Yes, a temporary employee, including student temporary, may be assigned to perform essential services on campus and would be eligible for premium pay for the time they spend performing those essential services.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Do OCE employees have to maintain social distancing while on campus? updated 4/3

Yes. When at all possible, social distancing and infection prevention practices are to be followed. If you have concerns about this, please contact your supervisor or your HR representative.

Last updated April 3, 2020

I have been designated as OCE. Can I be paid if I choose not to work in order to avoid exposure? updated 4/7

Employees designated as OCE are expected to continue performing their work on campus. If you feel you cannot complete your assigned work on campus, discuss the reasons why with your supervisor. If the reason falls under an approved COVID-19 reason to be away from work (see the Pay, Time Off, & Leave FAQ “What are the reasons I can use COVID-19 related time off?”), you may be off using COVID-19 pay.

If you need to be away from work for a non-COVID-19 reason, contact your HR representative to discuss the situation.

Last updated April 7, 2020

Is IU providing an official document to prove that I am essential? Do I need one? updated 4/3

No. As per Governor Holcolmb’s and President McRobbie’s instructions, no document will be required by law nor will a document be provided by IU. If you have received a letter from your supervisor, it is not necessary.

Last updated April 3, 2020

Can I work on campus even if I’m not an OCE employee?

Employees not designated as OCE are not permitted to travel to campus to complete their work, even if it would be more convenient or comfortable to work on campus.

Last updated March 25, 2020

Supervisor Questions

I have an employee who has not previously been identified as an essential employee, but they will be required to work on campus during an outbreak. How do I designate them as an essential employee?

The Office of Emergency Management and Continuity can provide support to your unit in determining and identifying the essential staff necessary to maintain essential functions. Please reach out to to start this process.

Last updated March 10, 2020

I have an employee who was identified as an essential employee, but they did not report to work when needed. What should I do?

If the employee was aware they had been designated as an essential employee and the expectations of this designation, talk with them to find out why they didn’t come to work as required. If they have a reasonable explanation, remind them of their responsibilities as an essential employee. If their explanation is not reasonable given the situation, corrective action may be an option. Contact your campus HR office.

Last updated March 11, 2020