Transaction Processing Updates and Reminders

Elizabeth Braden
March 27, 2020

Dear HR Network Colleagues:

As we finish out our second full week with the majority of our non-essential on-site workforce working remotely, we wanted to take a few minutes to check-in with all of you and to update you on some of the questions and processes we have been fielding this week.

Paycheck Distribution

Over the last two weeks, the Payroll team, with your support, has successfully increased the number of people who have signed up for direct deposit; we now have only about 600 people receiving paper checks. Effective with this week’s payroll run, all payroll checks that are not delivered via direct deposit are being mailed to the home address in PAC. If there is no home address, the mailing address will be used. We will do our best to get the check delivered by payday, but please understand that there may be delays with the United States Postal Service due to staffing issues.

Form I-9 Updates

As many of you are aware, the Department of Homeland Security issued temporary guidance related to the review of section 2 documents for I-9s for employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. It has been determined that this provision does not apply to Columbia because we still have employees physically present at our work locations. This means that we cannot review section 2 documents via email, webcam, Zoom, etc. at this time.

We have also received feedback that some new hires, utilizing I-9 Anywhere, are not able to schedule an appointment time within the three business days, or that the location they want to use is not available. In these cases, the individual must select a different location. We have confirmed several times this week with several individual I-9 sites in New York City that they are open and operating. Please understand that this may continue to change, but as of now there are options available in Manhattan.

Transaction Processing

Transaction processing has been going well over the last two weeks, and here are a few reminders to keep the process running smoothly:

  • Only process essential transactions, those that impact an individual’s employment status, benefits eligibility, pay, etc.
  • Ensure that all signatures are complete before submitting to HRPC. We cannot process transactions that do not have all of the approvals attached
  • Ensure that all required documents are attached with the transaction

If you have questions, please reference the HR Manager Remote Working page for guidance on how to submit transactions.

Tracking Paid Emergency Absence

In the email that was distributed to University employees on Wednesday, March 25th, the University is providing regular full-time and regular part-time employees with up to 10 paid days of emergency absence time to help them manage external challenges related to COVID-19. We are asking Schools and Departments to use the normal Excel time trackers, available on the CUHR website, to track these days.

  • Officer time trackers can be accessed on the HR Time and Attendance page.
    • Employees should use the “LV” code for this time, and enter a comment in the comments box. “LV” is available in either whole or half days.
    • Those departments that are currently on TLAM will also use the paper time tracker for this particular absence, should an employee use it.
  • Time reporters should enter this information on their timesheet. Support staff should use the Other “O” code, and enter an explanation in the comments box.

Finally, there are many articles out there right now on how to stay healthy, happy and productive while working remotely and social distancing. I found this article from Bloomberg helpful and thought you might as well.