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Human Resources

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March 23, 2020

Hampshire Staff and Faculty,

Some of Hampshire College’s employees have jobs that cannot be done remotely, but that do not qualify as “essential” under the Governor’s stay-at-home order. Hampshire will continue to compensate employees in this category, at least through April 7, 2020.

We have heard that the federal government is making plans to reimburse employers for wages paid to employees who are unable to work due to Covid-19. Protecting our employees cannot wait for the government to finalize its plans. Human Resources will soon clarify how we will implement this temporary policy.

If you do not know if you fall into the category of employees who are not essential (according to the Governor) but who cannot work during the duration of the stay-at-home order, please contact Jake Toomey in Human Resources at jthr@hampshire.edu.

Please stay safe and support one another during this stressful time.


Dear Staff and Faculty,

We are striving to keep you up to date with relevant and important information. Last week the federal government passed a new bill into law, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which provides:

  1. expanded Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility (with pay),
  2. expanded required paid sick days, and
  3. expanded unemployment benefits.

This law goes into effect on April 2, 2020 and we are expecting additional guidance on how employers should follow the law and implement these changes. As such, we'll be drafting new policies and procedures over the next two weeks and will share this information with you as soon as possible. In order to implement these policies and comply with the law, we'll need to know when you are out or plan to be out for Covid-19 related circumstances including:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to Covid-19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or health care provider advisory, as described above.
  5. The employee is caring for their son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to Covid-19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

At this time we are requesting that any employee who is currently taking time off or expects to take time off for the specific circumstances listed above advise their supervisor and Human Resources (email jtHR@hampshire.edu) so that we may track this information as we implement new policies, and, ultimately, best support you.

We hope to continue to share information as it becomes available and relevant. If you have any questions about this law, please do not hesitate to speak with Human Resources.

Jake Toomey
Director of Human Resources


March 17, 2020

Dear staff and faculty,

We would like to express our appreciation to employees for your patience and continued work during this unique and unprecedented time. Your welfare and concerns are important to us. As such, we have been working to clarify expectations and provide guidance in regards to employment practices as circumstances continue to change and evolve. The following is meant to provide some immediate clarity to the best of our ability at the current time. Dear staff and faculty, We would like to express our appreciation to employees for your patience and continued work during this unique and unprecedented time. Your welfare and concerns are important to us. As such, we have been working to clarify expectations and provide guidance in regards to employment practices as circumstances continue to change and evolve. The following is meant to provide some immediate clarity to the best of our ability at the current time.

  1. As of this week, all employees who are able to work from home are encouraged to do so in accordance with CDC Guidance and best practices. We are issuing new Emergency Remote Work Guidelines applicable to both staff and faculty, attached below. To simplify the process, these guidelines supersede the previous policy and application process regarding telecommuting. We ask that employees and supervisors read these guidelines carefully. Employees can request/ and are encouraged to work from home due to COVID-19-related concerns. Employees should work with their supervisor/department head in determining if their role will allow them to work remotely based on the essential duties of the job, as described in the job description, and considering the department’s operation needs. Supervisors will be provided additional guidance on managing employees who are working remotely or working flex assignments.
  2. Some positions will require employees to report to campus given the job function and needs of the department. Many employees must work on campus to provide services that are essential to residential life, campus health and safety, critical research, the protection of physical and intellectual assets, or the continuity or resumption of academic programs and operations. As such, some positions may not be eligible for remote work. They may, however, be approved for flex-assignments. An example of this may be to change the hours of the position to the evening rather than the day so that the employee can provide childcare during the day. Such requests and determinations should be coordinated with your supervisor. Supervisors will be provided additional guidance on managing employees who are working remotely or working flex assignments.
  3. If an employee cannot work remotely and also cannot report to work due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, then they may take time off using accrued sick, personal, and/or vacation time. As of now, if an employee exhausts their time, the college will extend their accrued sick time and continue to track sick time that is in arrears (time that is in the negative). An employee who leaves the College with sick time in arrears will not be asked to pay for that time. This policy will be reevaluated within the next few weeks.
  4. Hampshire College has a variety of benefits available to eligible employees. For more information, please visit the benefits summary page.

Our health plan provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, has posted additional information on their website that may be helpful for employees and participants.

Our employee assistance program, e4Health, has many benefits and supports for all employees and their immediate family members. You can call e4Health at 800.828.6025.

Employees who have a retirement plan through TIAA can find general information here.

In light of the current market conditions, TIAA has provided some resources and information regarding concerns about the market.

This week we are focusing on moving as many employees as possible to working remotely and providing flexible work assignments to the essential staff who will continue to report on campus. In the coming weeks we will be shifting our planning to more long term aspects including sick leave policies, pay, cross training, and sharing work.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented event. We are dedicated to continuing our support of employees through this challenging period. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor or human resources.

View work-from-home guidelines.

Jake Toomey
Director of Human Resources

The mission of the human resources office is to provide guidance and support to our academic and administrative offices on all College human resource policies and procedures. Our core services and competencies include recruitment, hiring, compensation, and benefits administration, including recognition and rewards; performance planning, training/development, employee relations; and a human resource information system as well as compliance with state and federal employment laws and regulations.

Whether you are a new employee or long-time staff member, we hope you'll find what you need right here. Please explore and learn about our policies, benefits, and opportunities.

Human Resources Staff
Jake Toomey
Director of Human Resources
Robin Korbut
Human Resources Coordinator
Employment Opportunities
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