Workplace Policies

Fall 2020 Reopening Plan: Returning to Work Guidelines

As of Sept. 1, 2020

The majority of employees will continue to work and teach remotely during the fall term. If faculty and staff are approved or instructed to report to work in support of campus operations or classes taking place on campus, they will be expected to follow all guidelines, policies, protocols and procedures put in place to ensure safety and compliance. All staff, faculty and students will be asked to acknowledge that they have read, understood, and will be in compliance with the following:

  • Universal mask use policy and practice
  • Hygienic policy and practice
  • Campus Physical Distancing policy and practice
  • Active Screening of students, faculty, staff, and necessary guests
  • Education and awareness
  • Travel policy and awareness
  • Guests and community expectations

Once the acknowledgement is completed, all staff, faculty and students will be required to participate in an online training module through Safe Colleges/Vector Solutions.


Under the current restrictions, all classes will be held remotely. Faculty members needing campus access to assist with facilitating lessons will be granted access using our standard COVID-19 protocol.

  • Access through the main gate will require showing a CalArts ID badge that must be worn on a lanyard.
  • Access to the main building is limited to the Facilities/Campus Safety door adjacent to the loading dock.
  • Access health check-in will be handled at the Campus Safety window prior to entering the building.
    • Show your ID
    • Use the LiveSafe app to answer screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure
    • If you have a fever of 100.4 or above or you answered yes to any of the screening questions, you will be sent home
    • Individuals who refuse to leave campus due to the screening outcome will be subject to campus policy; supervisors and Human Resources will be informed
    • A sticker with the day’s date will be issued for those that pass the screening and must be exhibited while on campus
  • Proximity Scanning will take place at the Campus Safety entrance. Please be sure to scan your ID as you come in and upon exiting the building for the day.

Only essential staff will be permitted on campus to support campus operations. Departments with staff who are approved or instructed to physically return to work will do so under required physical distancing measures and reduced population density within buildings and work spaces.

Support and administrative departments will continue to work remotely until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings. Adherence to this requirement is essential in order to prioritize student access to campus.

If you are not deemed essential, your access and approval to be on campus will be limited and will be based on the screening protocols established by Campus Safety and Facilities Management.


For those academic and administrative offices that are deemed essential to support campus operations, working in the office must be planned carefully so that the office is not overstaffed. For example, if you are a department of six with adequate space to spread out, no more than three persons should be in the same room at any one time unless the required six feet physical distancing can be consistently maintained.

As noted in this plan, face coverings must be worn at all times, However, a face covering is not required if working alone in a closed individual office space. Cubicle partitions are not individual offices and persons working in cubicles must wear a face covering.

Common printers, computers and other office machinery must be sanitized after each use. Disinfecting kits will be available in each office.

Offices that serve students and other customers must implement:

  • Visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs should be used to indicate where individuals should stand while waiting in line.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between individuals moving through the space.
  • Let individuals sign documents using their own pen, provide pens that the customer can keep or implement “clean” and “dirty” receptacles.
  • Where possible, turn paper processes into electronic processes.

Alternating Days: In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments may schedule partial staffing on alternating days, in combination with remote working. In other words, staff will have a combination of remote and in-office work days. Such schedules will help enable physical distancing, especially in areas with common workspaces.

Staggered Arrival/Departure: The beginning and end of the workday typically brings many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering arrival and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas, which will help meet physical distancing requirements. Similarly, when multiple staff are in the office at one time, breaks and meal periods must be staggered to avoid congregating in groups.


Convening in groups is a high-risk activity as we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. As a first priority, and to the extent possible, meetings must be held in whole or in part using the extensive range of available remote platforms (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, telephone).

If in-person meetings and gatherings are an absolute requirement, they are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders. Currently, we are restricted to groups no larger than 10 with the ability to maintain six feet physical distancing. So meetings and spaces should be planned accordingly. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cues in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees. All attendees must wear a face covering while sharing space in a common room.


CalArts will assess expanded staffing based on the guidelines mentioned herein. In addition, access will be evaluated based on mission-critical operations, the ability to control and manage specific work environments and the necessity to access on-site resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated either through your department manager, HR, Campus Safety or Facilities Management.

As on-site staffing increases and operations expand, exposure to risks based on the uncertainty of COVID-19 pandemic will also vary. CalArts will continue to closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to immediately mitigate it.


CalArts may determine that remote working is a condition of employment based on the job and scope of work. Those who can work remotely to fulfill all of their work responsibilities will continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements shall be approved by the immediate supervisor and HR.



Fall 2020 Update

As of Aug. 10, 2020

CalArts is adopting a screening protocol for employees who may be on campus consistent with the guidance received from LA County Department of Health. 

As such, effective on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020:

  • All employees without exception will be required to enter our main building through the Campus Safety entrance (as has been our general practice lately).
  • Employees who will not be working in or entering the main building must check in for the required screening at the Campus Safety gate at the main campus entrance.
  • All employees entering the main building will be asked to allow their temperature to be taken (an infrared touchless device will be used). If an individual has a temperature of 100.4 or higher they will not be allowed to remain on campus.
  • Each person will be asked if they have exhibited any of a series of symptoms known to be possible indicators of a COVID-19 infection (e.g., cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing, etc.) or if they have been in contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 or known to have tested positive.
  • We will be using a proximity scanner (using your CalArts ID) to record who has been on campus on what days. In the event of an infection in our community, this will assist Los Angeles County in contact tracing if appropriate.
  • All employees will be required to wear their CalArts ID on a lanyard or otherwise visible location on their person while on campus.

This procedure is planned to begin on Monday, Aug. 10 until Sept. 1, 2020, at which time the situation will be reevaluated.


Spring 2020 

Social Distancing

According to health experts, the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19 or any contagious disease, is to reduce community density through social distancing. CalArts’ decision to transition to remote classes, postpone or cancel large events and reduce the number of people in the Main Building will help reduce the risk of the virus spreading on campus and in the broader community. Employees should remain home if they are sick in order to protect themselves and their colleagues.

As always, we encourage you to be mindful of employees’ health needs. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the CalArts’ campus at this time, we are committed to the safety and welfare of our employees and hope this employee guidance will be useful to schools and departments as we all work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we ask that when operationally feasible, employees start to work remotely this week. We realize certain positions will be required to be on campus, however, many positions are conducive to work completely or partially from home. In those cases, supervisors should follow the guidelines below to transition their employees to remote work temporarily.

Temporary Remote Work Provisions

As the campus remains open, we need to maintain business continuity to support campus needs, particularly during transitional periods. Schools and departments are encouraged to further develop business continuity plans that will identify where remote work opportunities are operationally feasible. The Institute recommends that for those positions that are not required to be on campus, work should be transitioned from on-campus to remote this week. All supervisors must first approve their employees' requests to work remotely. Each employee must then complete a Remote Work Arrangement prior to working remotely. You will continue to be paid for your time working remotely. 

Fill out Remote Work Arrangement

Human Resources and CAIT are developing telecommuting resources and guidelines for employees and supervisors. We realize there are multiple scenarios, including some employees that can telecommute, others could telecommute if equipment is available and others cannot telecommute given their job functions. For those that require equipment, CAIT began providing the equipment on Friday, March 13, 2020, and will continue to do so this week. Please email CAIT cait@calarts.edu for further assistance with technology needs. For those where the nature of work is not conducive to work, we recommend considering utilizing or modifying work shifts, for example, to accommodate for dependent care needs. Supervisors may also consider changing job duties temporarily. Respective Vice Presidents and Deans are responsible for ensuring business continuity and approving telecommuting plans for schools/departments. Supervisors are responsible for managing their remote workforce.

We know there are going to be varied outcomes for staff based on these departmental business continuity plans. Additionally, the way in which departments implement their plans could change day to day or week to week, depending on shifting conditions and departmental needs. These are unprecedented times, so we greatly appreciate your flexibility and understanding.

Temporary Leave Policy Changes

CalArts has enacted the following temporary actions for leave if an employee is directly impacted by COVID-19:

  • Per the email, on Friday March 13, 2020, we are relaxing the rules regarding the use of accrued sick leave vs. vacation and either may be used.
  • Employees unable to work due to their own or a family member’s COVID-19 illness should use available leave balances. If employees do not have accrued sick or vacation, CalArts will work with them to explore other options, including providing paid leave.
  •  Employees directed to self-isolate due to Institute-related reasons (at the direction of the Institute due to potential exposure that occurred during work or is otherwise work-related) will continue to be paid. Asymptomatic employees should continue working remotely if possible when self-isolating.
  • Employees unable to come to work due to a COVID-19 day-care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if their school/department determines that it is operationally possible. If remote work is not possible, employees may use all available leave balances, including sick leave and vacation. If there are no available leave balances, CalArts will work with the employee to explore other options.
  • Employees desiring to work remotely / telework must complete CalArts' Remote Work Arrangement. If employees are approved to work from home, it will be considered paid work status.
  • Please contact HR if you have any questions or concerns.