University of Wisconsin–Madison

COVID-19 Information for Employees

Respect Statement

COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race—disease does not discriminate. Racist behaviors or stereotyping are not tolerated at UW–Madison. If you experience harassment or discrimination, students are encouraged to file a bias incident report. Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Compliance.

Reporting to Work


  • Can I telecommute and perform my work remotely?

    Employees may be approved for telecommuting if their work can be performed remotely. Employees must be approved for telecommuting by their supervisor. Employees approved for telecommuting will continue to receive their normal pay while telecommuting. See the COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Policy for details. Please note, it may be possible that some of your work may be completed remotely while other areas may not. Employees in this situation should account for the time they are unable to complete work using COVID-19 leave until May 15, 2020.

  • What are the requirements associated with telecommuting?

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an addendum has been made to UW–Madison’s current telecommuting policy to provide some flexibility to supervisors and employees who wish to enter into a telecommuting agreement. Your supervisor will provide additional details. See the Addendum to the telecommuting policy for more information.

  • What technology do I need to work remotely?

    The Division of Information Technology offers a list of resources to help with working and learning remotely. Most of the tools and technology you might need are easily accessible with an internet connection and your laptop or home computer. Here’s what you’ll need to know to work remotely.

    University Health Services provides information on preparing ergonomic workstations that make work more comfortable and safer. A PDF on how to telecommute and set up a remote work station is available. If you have any questions or are experiencing discomfort related to your remote workstation, or are interested in a virtual ergonomics consult, please contact

  • Where can I find additional resources to help me work remotely?

    A website developed by the Office of Strategic Consulting, “Organizational Effectiveness at a Distance,” provides resources to help employees work remotely. It includes information on running effective virtual meetings, supervising staff from afar, and making decisions online, as well as other tips for staying productive and staying well. This collection of resources is available on the Office of Strategic Consulting website.

Emergency Paid Leave

International Employees

Post Degree Trainees (Employees-in-Training)

  • Will there be a time limit extension for postdoctoral appointments?

    Current university policy on time limits states that postdoctoral appointments are normally up to a maximum of five years, and are normally given to an individual who is within five years of having received the doctorate. To offer flexibility amidst the major disruption that COVID-19 may have on postdocs’ research and scholarship progress at this time, the 5-year time limit is temporarily lifted while UW–Madison’s recommendations for new recruitments are in place.

  • Will there be a time limit extension for research intern appointments?

    Current university policy on time limits states that research intern appointments are normally up to a maximum of two or three years. To offer flexibility amidst the major disruption that COVID-19 may have on research interns’ research and scholarship progress at this time, the 2- or 3-year time limit is temporarily lifted while UW–Madison’s recommendations for new recruitments are in place.

Employee and Family Health and Well-being

Employee Travel

  • Can I travel on a university-related trip?

    Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, all university sponsored travel and in-person campus events remain cancelled through August 17, 2020. The extension is to help limit the spread of the disease and keep students, faculty, staff and the public safe.

    All campus-related international and domestic travel plans scheduled through August 17 should be cancelled immediately. In limited cases, academic deans or vice chancellors may approve travel during this period. Employees seeking an exception to the updated travel order will need to download and complete the Essential Travel Exemption Form. Following division leadership approval, these forms should be submitted to Dan Langer at

    All travel that has not received an approved exception should be cancelled.  For a list of flights that have not yet been cancelled, please contact Rusty Haines, UW Travel Manager, at

    People who travel regularly as part of their jobs, such as Extension employees, should check with their deans or other unit directors for further guidance.

Status of Campus Initiatives

Recruiting for Open Positions

  • Are there positions currently open at UW–Madison?

    Some recruiting and hiring is continuing during this period, including recruitments that are already in process and new recruitments for essential positions. Positions that are currently accepting applications are listed on Interviews are being conducted virtually to maintain social distancing.

  • Is some hiring on hold?

    Some recruiting and hiring is temporarily paused until further notice. There will be no new recruitments for non-essential positions; exceptions will be made only with direct approval from deans, directors, or campus leadership. Hiring units and the Office of Human Resources are working together to determine which new positions are essential.

    Updated May 7, 2020

  • Can newly hired employees start in their new roles at this time?

    Anyone who is hired into a new position may start that position as long as two conditions are met. (1)  The hiring unit must be able to onboard and train the employee under the current circumstances. For non-essential employees, the new employee must be able to receive training and execute the job through distance communication and telecommuting. (2) All required I-9 paperwork must be completed within the first three days of work. If it not possible to meet these conditions, the start date may be delayed until campus resumes normal operations.

  • I have already applied for a position at UW–Madison. How can I find out the status of that hiring process?

    The hiring unit will contact you by email to inform you of any updates to the status of your application.