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Practices, Policies, & Benefits Resources During COVID-19

Human Resources is available to help you adapt to your new work situation during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please use the following resources to guide your work during this challenging period.


University of Richmond's COVID-19 Response Microsite

Human Resources Interim Policies

Employees will not be discriminated against if they have:

  • Exercised rights under the safety and health provisions of this standard Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia and implemented regulations under 16VAC25-60-110 for themselves or others.
  • Voluntarily provided and worn their own personal protective equipment, provided that the PPE does not create a greater hazard to the employee or create a serious hazard for other employees.
  • Raised a reasonable concern about infection control related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease to the employer, other employees, a government agency, or to the public, such as through print, online, or social or other media.

Payroll & Time Entry

A new earn code has been created for leave reporting. Special Paid Leave (SPL): Full and part-time employees who accrue leave (>1,000 hours per year) may receive up to 15 days of additional paid leave to be used for COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation or family care need. This is a one-time allowance of additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Employees absent due to a COVID-19 related situation will select the Special Paid Leave earn code to report those hours.

Employees required by the University to self-quarantine or self-isolate will be paid for that time.

Monthly Leave Reporting

Hourly Time Reporting

Social Security Tax Deferral Provision

In early August, the Federal Government announced a tax provision that permits employers to defer the payment of certain payroll tax obligations. Specifically, this allows employers to temporarily defer the collection of the employee portion of the 6.2% Social Security tax beginning September 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020. However, starting on January 1, 2021 through April 30, 2021, employees would be required to repay those deferred amounts, in addition to the current year’s Social Security tax withholding.

Based on a careful review of the related guidance published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on August 28, the University of Richmond will continue to collect and remit employee Social Security on behalf of all employees as usual in order to avoid potential confusion, undue hardships, or other complications that might otherwise emerge. Key factors that were considered were as follows:

  • This is a deferral of tax, not a tax cut. The uncollected 2020 taxes would be deducted from employees’ paychecks issued between January 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. For many employees, this would result in Social Security tax withholding of 12.4% for the first four months of 2021, which would significantly decrease employees’ take-home pay for that period.
  • Current IRS guidance does not specifically address whether or not individual employees would be able to opt out of the program should an employer decide to participate.
  • Due to the late release of the guidance, there is insufficient time to identify and implement required program changes and develop accurate tracking methods.

Given that there is no advantage to employees through this tax deferral and immediate re-payment program, and the administrative work required, the University of Richmond, like many of our peer colleges and universities, has decided to not participate in this program.

Medical Plans & Healthcare Resources

  • Enhanced Cigna Coverage During COVID-19: Cigna has made new resources, enhanced medical coverage, and enhanced virtual care available to University medical plan members during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • Expanded Cigna Virtual Care During COVID-19: Cigna is also making it easier for participating in-network physicians with virtual care capabilities to help Cigna customers who are chronically ill or immunosuppressed to transition from in-person visits to virtual care through October 31, 2020 through the standard office visit benefit.

  • Cigna COVID-19 Resource Center: Find the latest resources and information to help you navigate the Coronavirus during this time of uncertainty. It also includes a COVID-19 Testing Center Locator

  • Teledentistry: Anthem now offers teledentistry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Using technology and telecommunications, employees can get dental care remotely, without the need to go to a dentist’s office.

  • Health Advocate: Full-time employees and their households also have access to Health Advocate, which has provided COVID-19 resources on the member website.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to ALL employees. The EAP has added more Employee Assistance Program (EAP) sessions to help support your emotional well-being. From now through September 30, 2020, you and your household will have access to twice the number of free sessions with licensed clinicians in our EAP network at no additional cost to you.

  • The EAP has also added webcasts about the COVID-19 outbreak, "Managing Anxiety: Coronavirus Fears & Concerns" and "Supporting Employees: Coronavirus Fears & Concerns." You can watch them live or later in the archives at

Employee Well-Being

  • URWELL Employee Week-by-Week Programs: URWELL Employee is here for you during the COVID-19 outbreak. We will collect and provide weekly self-care offerings while the University's modified operating status is in place. We hope you are able to find a resource that helps you with everything you are dealing with. We have developed a series of Food for Thought webinars to help with issues you may be facing right now. These webinars are live, UR-only, and will include a Q&A session at the end of each. 

  • Cigna Coaches Corner: These YouTube videos highlight Cigna coaches discussing different wellness topics. The videos are great ways to learn about wellness coaching so you can decide if you would like to participate in FREE telephonic or online coaching with MotivateMe.

  • Daily Burn Discounted Membership: Daily Burn is a leading fitness tech brand dedicated to helping all people live better lives through movement. Daily Burn offers a popular, daily group class (Daily Burn 365) streamable to any device. Members also access to a library of more than 1,000 on-demand workouts a taught by certified trainers. All Cigna plan members receive their first month free with a discounted subscription of $14.95/month + tax thereafter. 

  • Online Well-Being Resources: URWELL has worked with partners around the country to round up a list of free online resources that can help you work on your well-being goals while recreation centers are closed.

Changes to FSAs and HSAs

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

If there is a significant change in cost to your dependent care services due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you are allowed to make adjustments to your contributions to your dependent care accounts. Situations may include:

  • Your child’s daycare closes, causing a loss of care and a loss of care expenses.
  • You are now working from home and can keep your children home instead of going to daycare.
  • Your child’s school closes and you need to enroll your child in daycare to allow you to continue to work. Your child's school or daycare reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep in mind, you must request the change to your FSA within 30 days of the status change occurring.

When the daycares reopen, that event will also be considered a change in cost, and you will be able to adjust your dependent care accounts again.

If you would like to make a change to your dependent care account contributions, please complete the "Dependent Care Flexible Spending" portion of the Benefits Enrollment/Change Form. Please return the form to Human Resources at

Medical Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) & Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may now be purchased without a prescription from FSAs and HSAs.
  • Menstrual care products defined as “a tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by individuals with respect to menstruation” may also be purchased from FSAs and HSAs.


TIAA One-on-One Consultations: TIAA has moved all scheduled in-person appointments to phone or online appointments. This policy will be in effect through April 13, 2020. If you would like to schedule a one-on-one planning session with a financial consultant, please call 800.732.8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (ET).

TIAA webinars: Watch TIAA's "Market Volatility Webinar" either when it's live or later in the archives at The webinar covers what’s driving current volatility, some strategies to help people deal with the current market swings, as well as what this could mean for everyone. 

CARES Act: New options are available to University retirement plan members as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We recommend reviewing all of your options with a TIAA consultant at 855-400-4294 prior to making a decision.

For Retirees

  • Humana is waiving consumer costs for treatment related to COVID-19-covered services. Learn more.
  • Humana is waiving Medicare Advantage member out-of-pocket costs (copays, coinsurance and deductibles) for primary care, behavioral health (on an outpatient, non-facility basis) and telehealth visits with participating/in-network providers through the end of 2020. Learn more.
  • All members will receive a kit containing two masks. Learn more.

Resources from Humana