From the Senior Vice President
and Senior Vice Chancellor

August 21, 2020

As we continue to navigate through issues related to COVID-19, I want to remind you of two new federal employment benefits available to employees who are unable to work on-site or remotely due to COVID-19: paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. As the majority of our workforce is either working remotely or reporting for alternative shifts to provide essential services without a negative impact to pay, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) likely will not apply to most. However, it is possible that these provisions may become more relevant once we return to our normal on-site work arrangements.

Keep in mind these benefits should be reviewed carefully. In general, the best option is going to be for employees to work remotely, if at all possible. Under the FFCRA, compensation may be reduced depending on an individual's specific situation. More information may be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources at dbohner@utk.edu.

The majority of today's Fireside Chat was devoted to honoring this year's UTIA Awards and Promotions recipients. Close to fifty faculty and staff were recognized for extraordinary service delivered even in the midst of a pandemic. In addition, two distinguished faculty received UTIA's highest honor, Institute Professor—Carl Sams and Karen Tobias. You can see the list of honorees and view today's ceremony by visiting our website.

What an honor it is for me to be a part of this celebration and to have the chance to share these accomplishments with everyone. It's a great reminder that, even in times of crisis, UTIA's faculty and staff deliver their very best every day.

Enjoy your weekend,


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