COVID-19 Employee Resources

Last updated: June 29, 2020

Salary, Wages, and Retirement

1. Will there be salary reductions for faculty and staff?
President Rose has cut his own salary by well more than 20 percent, and senior officers will see a 10 percent reduction in their salaries beginning on August 1, but no other salary reductions are planned at this time.

2. Will there be salary increases this year?
With the exception of a handful of planned promotions, faculty and administrative staff will have their salaries frozen at current levels for the academic year.

3. Will there be an increase in wages for hourly employees?
Hourly staff will see a modest increase in their wages on July 1, and we will honor our commitment to increase the minimum hourly wage to $14.

4. Will Bowdoin continue to make retirement contributions for all employees?
The College will reduce retirement contributions for all employees by 50 percent beginning in September for the remainder of the academic year.

Return to Work Plan

1. What is Bowdoin’s plan for having employees return to work on campus?
On April 28, 2020, the State of Maine issued a staged plan to gradually and safely restart Maine’s economy. In keeping with these state-mandated guidelines and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, the Bowdoin Campus Emergency Management Team (CEMT) COVID-19 Task Force has developed a phased return-to-campus plan beginning on June 1, 2020. 

2. Are all employees expected to return to work on campus?
No. Employees who have successfully worked from home should continue to do so unless the operational needs of a department dictate otherwise.

3. Who will determine if I need to return to work on campus?
Senior officers, department heads, and managers will determine operational needs and what functions/individuals are expected to return to campus, when, and to perform which tasks. 

4. What if an hourly employee is not asked to return to work on campus and is not working from home?
Employees should continue to use the “Public Health Emergency—Not Working” payroll timecode through June 30, 2020. 

All hourly employees should continue to submit their timesheets, and managers should continue to approve timesheets according to the  biweekly payroll schedule. Nonessential employees who typically record time via timeclock should contact their manager for time entry requirements during this time. The  Workday mobile app  is available for submitting and approving time.  Guidance on recording time and a  Payroll Chart are available on the  payroll website. If you require assistance, please contact payroll at 207-725-3584 or email  Robin Saindon. 

5. What if I can only work partial hours from home?
The College has committed to paying all benefits eligible employees (hourly and salaried) through at least June 30, 2020. Employees should accurately reflect the hours they are working from home, as well as recording hours as “Public Health Emergency—Not Working” for all hours not worked either on campus or at home. Additional information will be communicated as soon as possible. 

6. As an academic year employee will I be expected to return to work in June? 
No. Academic employees will receive pay through their regular academic year schedule and pay cycle. For those who regularly work through Reunion weekend, your last pay will fall on the regular payday of June 12, 2020. 

7. Employees working on campus as “essential” have been paid using the timecode “Public Health Emergency—Essential Work Campus” and have received a pay premium of time and a half.How long will the premium pay for on-campus work be in effect?
The additional “essential on campus” premium pay code “Public Health Emergency—Essential Work Campus” will end on  Sunday,  June 7,  at the end of the regular biweekly payroll. Normal shift, weekend, or overtime premiums will be paid in keeping with College policy. All employees, unless approved in advance, must not work or submit hours in excess of their regularly scheduled hours per week in keeping with their base FTE. 

8. May employees work overtime?
No, overtime continues to be prohibited except for limited exceptions made on a case-by-case basis focused on critical operational needs.  Any overtime must be approved  in advance  by the responsible senior officer and by Tama Spoerri, Vice President for Human Resources. 

9. How should salaried/exempt employees record exception time?
No special entries are required for salaried/exempt employees during this time. Administrative exception time (e.g., vacation time, sick time, bereavement, etc.) should continue to be recorded and approved on a monthly basis. 

10. I have an employee who does not have enough work to meet their scheduled hours and is available to help out in other areas. How do I find out if there are needs in other areas?
Human resources is creating a Talent Request and Talent Share database and will be working with department heads to identify staff who have available hours, as well as areas that need additional staff. Contact Brian Robinson ( or Cassie Christie ( with questions.  Employees, in consultation with their managers, may also offer to share their talent and skills via the database.

11. What should I do if I am sick?
If you are not feeling well, please DO NOT come to work, especially if you are experiencing of  COVID-19 symptoms, which include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell. The employee should contact their supervisor as soon as possible if they suspect COVID-19 sustained exposure or symptoms. In cases of COVID 19, if an employee were not to have accrued time, please contact Mary Cote ( in human resources for guidance. Employees who have been ill will be required to provide a medical release from their doctor to assure a safe return to work. 

If sick with something other than the COVID-19 virus, an employee must contact their supervisor in keeping with the normal attendance policy. Sick or vacation time (if no sick time is available) must be used, whether working at home or on campus.  

12. What should I do if I am on an approved medical leave?
If you are on an approved medical leave or you need to go out on a medical leave, all regular College policies and procedures apply. Human resources (HR) will continue to process short-term disability benefits and Family Medical Leave notifications as required. 

If you are returning from medical leave, we will need to work with you on the appropriateness of returning to work during the phased return to work plan for the summer of 2020. Please contact  Mary Cote  for more information. 

13. What if I have an underlying medical condition that makes me more susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19? Will I be required to return to work on campus?
If the employee has provided the appropriate confirming medical documentation to human resources, the manager should reach out to the employee to discuss ways to safely return to work. If no resolution can be determined and the employee cannot work from home, the manager should reach out to Mary Cote ( in human resources to determine if other reasonable accommodations can be provided, including any paid or unpaid leave options. Employees without confirming medical documentation are expected to return to work as requested.

14. What if I have an immediate family member with an underlying medical condition that makes them more susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19? Will I be required to return to work on campus?
Where possible, the College encourages employees to work with their manager to enable working from home. For work that cannot be performed from home, the College has implemented protocols and policies to reduce the risk of transmission on campus. Employees with family members at high risk should be hypervigilant, practice rigorous hygiene, and take every precaution to protect at-risk family members at home. Vacation time may be requested by employees who do not wish to return to campus to work because of an at-risk family member. When vacation time is exhausted, the employee must return to work.  If the family member is ill with a serious medical condition, the employee should contact Mary Cote ( in human resources to determine eligibility for Family Medical Leave. 

15. What should I do if I am exposed to a person who is confirmed or presumptive positive for COVID-19?
Employees who are exposed to a person with COVID-19 should stay home and call their manager. In general, close contact involves living in the same household as a sick person, caring for a sick person, or being within six feet of a sick person for a prolonged period of ten to thirty minutes or more. Managers, in turn, should notify Mary Cote ( in human resources. Employees will be asked to provide a note from their doctor indicating the recommended period of self-isolation, which is generally up to fourteen days. Employees will be required to use sick and/or vacation time during this period. If sick time is depleted and the employee’s vacation balance is one week or less, they should contact Mary Cote ( to determine appropriate options. 

16. Can an employee choose not to return to work when requested to do so by using vacation time?  What happens if they run out of accrued time?
Employees should work with managers on return-to-work plans. Requests for vacation time must be approved by the manager in advance. After vacation accruals are exhausted, the employee is expected to return to work. 

17. Will I be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), including a mask, wipes, etc. to keep my workplace safe?
The College will be providing all benefits-eligible employees with two (2) cloth face coverings (masks). The masks are expected to be delivered to campus on or before May 29, 2020. Each division/department head will be working with their staff to determine safe delivery options.  Employees may also continue to wear a face covering of their choice.  

Face coverings will be required while on campus except in private offices or work spaces where there is only one person.  Please review the CDC face coverings basics here, along with additional CDC instructions  here. 

In addition, the Campus Emergency Management Team and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety staff are reviewing with managers any specific department needs for PPE and any additional safety requirements (e.g., face shields, plexiglass dividers, cleaning protocols, etc.).  

18. What should employees do if they cannot tolerate wearing a face mask due to a medical condition?
Employees should contact Mary Cote ( for guidance on this issue. 

19. Will I be required to return to work if I continue to have no childcare?
We understand there may continue to be challenges with childcare, so we are encouraging managers to work with staff to provide flexible schedules to allow for employees to work. Employees are also being asked to be flexible and to cooperate with managers to seek alternative arrangements. An employee may be required to use vacation time if alternate plans cannot be made. 

20. I am traveling back into Maine. Will I be required to self-isolate for fourteen days as mandated by the state?
Yes. In order to comply with the state mandate, an employee must currently self-isolate for fourteen days. If the isolation period is not complete by the time the employee is scheduled to return to work on campus, the employee must use vacation time until they have completed the isolation. If the employee exhausts all vacation time before the end of the isolation period, the remaining time may then be unpaid.  


1. What requirements/advice does Bowdoin have for students, faculty, and staff who have traveled outside of Maine?
Bowdoin is following the Maine CDC mandate that all out-of-state travelers coming into Maine, as well as Maine residents returning to Maine, either complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival or meet other criteria that have been established by the state.

Adults who obtain and receive a negative COVID-19 test ideally within 72 hours before traveling to Maine may forgo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the state. Individuals may be tested upon arrival in Maine as well, but they must quarantine while awaiting the results.

Effective June 9, the State will exempt residents of New Hampshire, and Vermont from the testing and 14-day quarantine requirement altogether because, when adjusted for population, the prevalence of active cases of COVID-19 in these states is similar to that in Maine.

Effective July 1, visitors who are not residents of Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont seeking lodging will be asked to sign a Certificate of Compliance indicating either that they have received a negative COVID-19 test result, that they will quarantine in Maine for 14 days, or that they have already completed their quarantine in Maine.

Full details about the requirements are available on the Maine CDC website.

2. Is the Bowdoin College Children’s Center open?
BCCC will re-open on Monday June 15th with operating hours of 8:30am–5:15pm. Enrolled families should visit our Parent Portal for up-to-date information about our re-opening process and COVID-19 information specific to BCCC.

3. Has the College canceled all large events?
Yes. All large gatherings on campus have been canceled. While the federal government is advising a halt to gatherings of more than ten (10) people, the College advises members of the Bowdoin community to limit gatherings to no more than three or four people.

4. What considerations should be taken when organizing a department or small group meeting?
Whenever possible, teleconferencing or video conferencing using Microsoft Teams or Zoom should be used in favor of in-person meetings. If it is necessary to hold an in-person meeting, organizers should choose a space large enough to allow for physical distancing of at least six feet between attendees and the may be no more than ten people present at any time.

5. Is the mail center open?
The mail center is open and continues to accept, sort, and process both incoming and outgoing mail and packages for the campus. Students and departments that have requested the mail center hold their mail and packages can come to the mail center to pick them up Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

6. What can I do to minimize the risk of spreading illness?
Wear a facial covering at all times while on campus, except in private offices or work spaces where there is only one person.

  • Maintain a physical distance of six feet from other people;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose;
  • Stay at home if you are sick (with any illness, but especially if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever, etc.);
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least twenty seconds; and
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

7. Are all athletic facilities open or just the fitness center?
Athletic facilities, including the Buck Center, will remain closed. Nets on the outdoor tennis courts will be installed on June 1 for faculty, staff, and emeriti use, but those using the courts must maintain proper physical distancing at all times.

8. Will fitness and wellness classes proceed?
No, fitness and wellness classes will not be held.

9. May job candidates traveling from outside of Maine come to campus for interviews?
We strongly encourage you to consider virtual options. Any exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis by a senior officer, in consultation with HR.