HR Manager Remote Working

Last Update: 9/13/2021, 9:30 a.m.

As faculty and staff continue to work remotely, CUHR provides guidance to the HR teams across all campuses regarding how to submit transactions during this time, and changes to existing processes that are necessary to accommodate our primarily virtual workforce across the University. These changes are effective as of March 16, 2020, until further notice. 

Information may be modified as circumstances change.

For all information regarding COVID-19, email [email protected] 

HR Processes

Last Update: 12/29/2020, 1:00 p.m.

The following processes and services are being conducted remotely:

  • Payroll and associated functions (such as time processing) in partnership with our colleagues in Finance.
  • The HR Service Center and Benefits Service Center is available and responding to phone calls and web tickets.
  • Leaves of Absence Processing and Leave Management Support:
  • Senior Business Partner Client Support for critical guidance and approvals.
  • Transactions Processing:
    • Electronic transactions in PAC (Hire/Rehire, eTerm, Labor Accounting, Visa/Contract Renewals) will be available and will continue to be processed based on payroll deadlines.
    • Other paper-based transactions, including PAFs: These transactions are now processed via PAC using the Paper Transaction process available through Manager Self-Service. For details, please see the announcement, including a link to the training course.

Form I-9

Last updated: 3/1/2021, 10:30 a.m.

Updated March 1, 2021: The I-9 Centers at CUIMC HR and Kent Hall are open by appointment only. The Studebaker I-9 center remains closed. 

Any department who has personnel starting work while the University is in a primarily remote-operation must still comply with the requirement to complete section 2 of the I-9, within the first 3 business days of employment.

The following options are available to hiring managers:

New Hires/Rehires Working in New York City

Beginning Monday, March 8th, new hires/rehires working in New York City, whether remotely or on campus, must complete their I-9 in person on campus. The I-9 Anywhere service will no longer be available within New York City. Appointments at Kent Hall (Morningside) and CUIMC HR (Medical Center) can be made through the calendar on the CUHR Website.

  1. New hires should complete Section 1 using the standard newi9 link.
    • If the individual is a rehire, and their last I-9 was completed less than 3 years ago, they should not complete a new I-9. The department should contact [email protected] and include the individual’s name and employee ID. CUHR will then determine whether a new I-9 is required, or a section 3 can be completed.
  2. After section 1 is complete, the new hire should select an appointment time (see below) to complete section 2 at Kent Hall or at CUIMC. Please remind your new hires to select the correct campus location for Section 2.

To ensure social distancing, appointments are required to be seen by an I-9 Representative. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated at this time. If a new employee misses the appointment time, they must schedule a new appointment.

Morningside/Manhattanville Campus (Kent Hall)

Columbia University Medical Center (Georgian Building)

To ensure social distancing, appointments are required to be seen by an I-9 Representative. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated at this time.

New Hires/Rehires Not Working in New York City

At this time, the I-9 Anywhere process remains available to all new hires working outside New York City. A job aid with step-by-step instructions is available on the HR website. Please remind all new hires that they must keep their I-9 Anywhere appointments or change them at least 2 days in advance – all cancelations within 24 hours and no shows are charged to the University.


  1. The new hire must have their start date prior to beginning the I-9 process. The hire will not be able to complete section 1 or schedule an appointment without the hire date.
  2. The new hire must select “Columbia University – E-Verify” as the location when they begin their section 1 transaction.

IMPORTANT: The new hire must have his/her start date in order to complete an I-9 and the new hire must select "Columbia University - e-verify" as the location.

Temporary COVID-19 Process for Virtual Document Review (limited)

  • On a temporary basis due to COVID-19, if the new hire has extenuating circumstances, and is unable to complete an I-9 in person, please have the individual email [email protected], copy the HR Manager, and explain what the circumstance is that prevents them from completing a Form I-9. We will then evaluate the circumstances and respond with instructions. Remember: I-9s must be done within 3 business days of hire. Please make sure that new hires give us enough time to review the situation and get the I-9 completed in a timely fashion.  If remote document review is approved, follow the below steps to ensure the I-9 can be completed correctly and in a timely fashion.
    • New hires must first complete Section 1 using the standard newi9 link.
    • Upon completion of Section 1, the new hire should next email a password-protected copy of their Section 2 documentation to CU Human Resources at [email protected].
      • The email subject should be “<Last>, <First> - New I9 Documentation”
      • The email must include the new hire's start date
      • Please ensure that each document is attached separately, and password-protected.
      • Send the password as a separate email, using the same email subject.
    • CU Human Resources will inspect and retain copies of the Section 2 documents and will enter “COVID-19” in the “Additional Information” field.
    • After virtual review of the documentation, Section 2 will be completed and the new hire will receive an email confirming that the Form I-9 has been completed and informing the new hires that they will be required to present the documentation for physical inspection within three business days of returning to work onsite.
  • Reverification: on a temporary basis due to COVID-19, current active employees who are working 100% remotely and the school/department for which they are working is also 100% remote, they can use the remote document review process as well and then re-inspected in person within three business days of returning to work onsite.
    • Current active employee should send an email with Section 3 documentation to CU Human Resources at
      [email protected]. Please include your full legal name, your date of birth, and the password protected documentation.
    • The email subject should be “<Last>, <First> – I9 Reverification”
      • Please ensure that each document is attached separately, and password protected.
      • Send the password as a separate email, using the same email subject
      • CU Human Resources will inspect and retain copies of the Section 3 reverification documents and will enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the “Additional Information” field or in the margin.
    • After virtual review of the documentation, Section 3 will be completed and the active employee will receive an email confirming that the reverification has been completed and informing the employee that they will be required to present the documentation for physical inspection within three business days of returning to work onsite.

Once the University resumes its normal operation, all employees whose documents have been reviewed using this remote process must present their original documents for inspection, in person at one of our I-9 Centers no later than 3 business days after they return to campus.

Hiring Documents

Last updated: 3/18/2020

Tax Forms and Related Hiring Documents

  • If your HR department and/or the new hire is working remotely, signed tax forms and all other required documents should be received from the New Hire electronically. The electronic document will be treated as an e-signature. This process of electronic submission of hiring documents from the new hire is in place only for the duration of the remote operations due to COVID-19.
  • The electronic copy of the tax forms and all other required documents should be attached to the appropriate HR transaction.


Essential Work

Last updated:  4/5/2020, 10:35 p.m.

CUIMC is expecting all faculty and staff to be available for redeployment during the current Coronavirus pandemic unless they have a health or other valid reason why they cannot do so. The policy is based on our long-standing Guidelines for Essential Functions. 

The emergency we’re facing is unprecedented, but the Guidelines are fully applicable here, as to any other emergency. That means:

  1. Personnel designated as essential, with a work assignment that must be done on site, must come to work unless specifically excused by their schools or departments.  We have procedures in place to determine whether an employee may be excused – for example, because of illness or hardship.  There is no automatic exemption. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis at the school or department level. Unexcused absences will be dealt with in accordance with applicable policies.
  2. Personnel may be subject to redeployment or assigned new duties based on need and the availability of other personnel. Those who are assigned an essential function that must be done on site are subject to the same duty to report as other essential personnel.

We understand how stressful and disruptive the current conditions are and have put in place policies, where we could, to address employee concerns – for example, our recently announced policies on pay continuity and paid emergency absences. At the same time, we must meet our ongoing responsibilities: to assure the safety of our community and campus and, of particular importance at this moment, to serve our patients and help maintain our healthcare system as they continue to meet the challenges of this pandemic. Meeting these responsibilities requires sacrifice by all, but especially those working tirelessly on site at essential functions. We are deeply grateful to all, but especially to them.

CUIMC Notice regarding redeployment

CUIMC Thank you and update on redeployment 


Last updated:  7/9/2020, 3:42 p.m.

Restrictions on Business Travel

All Columbia business travel is suspended for all affiliates. Visit the COVID-10 Travel Guidance for detailed information.

See the CDC's COVID-19 Travel Risk Assessment for information by country.

New York State Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers

The New York State Travel Advisory page continues to be updated with changes to the quarantine requirements.

Campus Visitors

Take precautions when visitors and vendors come to campus.
Visitors and vendors must complete a COVID-19 symptom self-check every day before they enter campus premises.
(last updated: 11/16/2020)

News & Events

Please monitor COVID-19 Guidance for additional updates.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

(1/12/2021) While “in-person college instructors” are eligible to be vaccinated beginning today, Columbia does not have access to the vaccine allocation at this time. 

Spring Term 2021 Required Gateway COVID-19 Testing

(12/1/2020)  Effective January 4, 2021, a NEW gateway test is required for all faculty, staff, and students accessing Columbia campuses and other facilities. 

Voluntary Furlough Application

(7/22/2020) In response to the economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken, Columbia University is offering certain employees the option to take a full or partial unpaid furlough.

Voluntary Furlough Application     |     Voluntary Furlough Policy

New Temporary Childcare Benefit: Instructions for Departments

(7/2/2020) Summer childcare benefit will be paid as additional compensation. See detailed instructions on how to process the temporary childcare benefit for eligible employees.

Data Collection Update: Employee Campus Access

(7/2/2020) We request your assistance in identifying those individuals who are eligible to return to campus, either as part of the Research ramp-up, or as part of the essential employees that have been working on campus even before the beginning of the ramp-up on June 22.

Target Date Set for Ramping Up Laboratory and Clinical Research 

(6/12/2020) We are pleased to announce that President Bollinger has set a target date for beginning the ramping up of laboratory and clinical research on campus: Monday, June 22.

How New York City Phase One Affects the University

(6/8/2020) Remote work arrangements for Columbia will remain in place Unless you have been identified by your department as required to be on site, you should be working from home, and you should continue to do so.

PAC Transaction Process Reminders

(5/26/2020) Now that we have several ways of processing transactions in PAC, you can use several modules based on the type of transaction you are processing.

New Paper Transaction Process in PAC

(4/20/2020) Effective Tuesday, April 21, paper transactions can be submitted to PAC using the new Paper Transaction functionality in Manager Self-Service.

Looking Ahead

(4/16/2020) Interim Provost Ira Katznelson and Executive Vice President for Finance and Information Technology Anne Sullivan reflect on what lies ahead for the University.

University Life Forum: Your Questions Answered on COVID-19

(4/12/2020) Join the virtual University Life Forum: Your Questions Answered on COVID-19 on Monday, April 13 at 12:15 PM on Zoom.

PAC System Upgrade Coming April 6, 2020

(4/1/2020) The HR, Payroll and CUIT teams have been working on upgrading the current People @ Columbia (PAC) system. The upgrade will be implemented at the beginning of April and the updated system will be available on Monday, April 6, 2020.

Transaction Processing Updates and Reminders

(3/27/2020) We wanted to take a few minutes to check-in and update you on some of the questions and processes we have been fielding this week.

Update on COVID-19: Temporary Policies in Place

(3/26/2020) We have all made a great number of adjustments to our daily lives over the last several weeks. The following outlines two new temporary policies related to pay continuity and paid emergency absences. 

University Life Forum: Update on COVID-19 for the Columbia Community

(3/25/2020) Watch a discussion about COVID-19 with leading experts from Columbia University. 

Public Health Now Podcast: Flattening the curve?

(3/24/2020) Dr. Stephen Morse discusses approaches to control the spread of COVID-19 and contain the virus.

Public Health Now Podcast: Next moves, according to science

(3/24/2020) Famed "virus hunter" Dr. W. Ian Lipkin answers your questions about what a virus is, where did COVID-19 come from, and what's on the horizon for potential treatments.

Public Health Now Podcast: Health systems (dys)function

(3/24/2020) Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a veteran of the HIV, tuberculosis and Ebola epidemics of the past decades, provides some perspective on the lessons learned from previous outbreaks and how knowledge is our greatest defense.

New Hire Orientation cancelled

(3/18/2020) New Hire Orientation sessions scheduled from March to April, 2020 are cancelled. New Hires should complete benefits enrollment using CUBES within 31 days of their start or hire date.

Action required to receive future payroll from Columbia University

(3/18/2020)  With the possibility of a shelter in place, we need you to sign up for direct deposit to guarantee receipt of pay.

Available resources for HR Managers

(3/17/2020) Resources for HR Managers during remote working and information to share with your faculty and staff.

Child care as a result of COVID-19

(3/16/2020) As additional school systems announce closings, employees may be unable to work because of the need to care for their children.

Virtual working for non-essential personnel

(3/15/2020) Beginning Monday, March 16, we are asking only designated personnel who are required to perform essential functions to report to work on-site. 

Residence hall check-out

(3/15/2020) Accelerated check out timeline for undergraduate residential students to Tuesday, March 17. Additional updates to campus and academic operations.

Pay continuation for student casual employees

(3/13/2020) If your student casual/federal-work-study student is working either on-site or remotely, please follow your normal time entry and approval processes