COVID-19 Workplace Concerns: Resources for Employees

Greetings to all Pitt faculty and staff:

As we continue to adjust our operations to address the unprecedented challenges we are all facing, employees of the University of Pittsburgh, myself included, have raised a wide range of questions and concerns.

We have now moved from a posture of “open but distant” to “open only to bare-essential operations” (Please read Chancellor Gallagher’s message on this change in operations.) In response, I am writing to address the potential concerns of employees whose physical presence on our campuses is critical for ensuring the safety of our community, maintaining critical infrastructure, and providing bare-minimum operational support, including for the students who remain on campus.

This message is to highlight two critical resources we have in place to address potential concerns. Your awareness of these resources can heighten their impact, and I thank you in advance for your partnership in bolstering their effectiveness.

With the health and safety of our community as our highest concern, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is a critical component of our operations. On an on-going basis, the department has been working to evaluate our changing environment to ensure our work places and work practices are appropriate for mitigating risk. To assist them in their efforts, I encourage concerned staff members to contact them at one of two portals designed to handle issues as quickly as possible:

Employees can express concerns with workplace safety via EH&S web form or by phone at 412-624-9505.

In addition, the Department of Employee Relations in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) remains a critical resource for ensuring the conduct of best practices in the workplace. Concerns regarding workplace conduct can be expressed confidentially online or via a toll-free 24/7 number, 1-866-858-4456.

As an additional reminder, the University remains open to flexible working arrangements, including remote work for those employees whose physical presence is not required to conduct their work. The Office of Human Resources website contains information and resources for guidance.

Above all else, as we continue to advance our mission and serve our students, we seek to provide a safe workplace and to promote the health and safety of all employees. Working together, as always, our efforts will be more impactful, and our community stronger.

With deep appreciation,

David N. DeJong,
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources