Critical Duties and Staff

As a reminder, Communicable Disease Mandatory Employees (CDME) are employees who perform functions that are absolutely essential to the continuation of core University operations during a potential health emergency. During such a time frame:

  • Classes have been canceled;
  • Students have been sent home unless otherwise directed by public health authorities;
  • Most University operations have been suspended.

In these situations, CDMEs perform:

  • Senior leadership of critical central University functions;
  • Activities related to direct patient care;
  • Activities related to supporting students who must remain on campus;
  • Maintenance/operation of University infrastructure critical during a public health emergency;
  • Maintenance/operation of critical University-sponsored research activities.

Examples of individuals we would expect to be designated as CDMEs include:

  • Public safety personnel;
  • Physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who provide direct patient care;
  • Maintenance and administrative staff essential in a health care setting;
  • Essential University-wide utilities and physical plant personnel;
  • Lab animal care personnel; and
  • Residential and Carolina Union staff performing critical functions in support of the student population.

Appointments of CDMEs

Normally, CDME’s are permanent employees. In the event that permanent staff are unavailable or not qualified to perform essential functions, temporary employees may temporarily be designated as CDME’s. However, temporary employees are not eligible for time-and-a-half compensation as CDMEs.

Student employees should not be designated as CDMEs.

The University must maintain a list of CDMEs by position, including current employee name and contact information. This list is populated by the designations made by managers and supervisors at the Department level that are then updated in ConnectCarolina.  Department management must notify employees of their CDME designation and inform them of whether they will be required to report to specific locations or work from home in emergency situations. Employees will receive appropriate information and training from their department management as needed. If CDMEs are required to remain at the worksite for an extended period of time, the University will provide adequate housing and food. Departmental finance divisions will assist with this process.

SHRA and EHRA-NF policies provide additional time-and-a-half compensation to CDME permanent employees required to report to a worksite during a public health emergency.

Individuals designated as CDMEs may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, for willful failure to report for or remain at work. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate action.

Primary CDMEs vs Back-up CDMEs

Departments that have staff who perform public health emergency duties should identify at least one layer of back-up for every CDME designated staff member. Advance planning of these designations is strongly recommended, and the policy recognizes that some employees may be required to fill necessary vacancies in primary CDME staff in the midst of a public health emergency.

For Managers: CDME Designation In ConnectCarolina HR/Payroll System

Managers may designate both their primary and back-up Communicable Disease Mandatory Employees in the ConnectCarolina HR/Payroll system. Alternatively, they may choose to designate only the primaries in the systems and inform the back-up staff that they may be activated when and if they are needed. Please note that in the HR system, temporary employees cannot currently be designated as CDMEs; departments should maintain lists of those employees separately, if applicable.

Based on these additional guidelines, we ask that you continue to carefully review, identify, and update your CDME designations ASAP.

If you have questions regarding CDME designations, you may contact your assigned Employee & Management Relations Consultant in OHR.  Additionally, you may also contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 919-962-5507.

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