April 13, 2020

“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

UF Vice President for Human Resources Jodi Gentry sends her thanks to our UF faculty and staff who generously donated leave to our fellow employees in need. Total donations after the weekend came to 271,370 hours.

Support when you need it most

If you’re like many of us, things have been moving so quickly the last few weeks that you may just be finding yourself catching your breath. As the dust settles a bit on our temporary “new normal,” here’s a quick run-down on some of the available benefits and opportunities to help support you through this period in case you missed any announcements along the way.

Health plans offering telehealth
Participants in the State of Florida’s HMO and PPO health plans may now use telehealth to access covered health care services from in-network or contracted health care practitioners. GatorCare is also waiving co-pays for virtual video visits with UF Health providers for participants who have flu-like symptoms.

Updated pharmacy options
State of Florida HMOs and PPOs are allowing telehealth services and immunizations in retail pharmacies. Over-the-counter drugs and medicines can be paid for or reimbursed through an FSA, HRA or HSA without a doctor’s prescription.

Penalty-free withdrawals on qualifying savings plans
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, penalty-free withdrawals may be made from qualifying IRA, 401(k) and voluntary 403(b) plans of up to $100,000 for those who meet certain eligibility criteria. Income tax on the distributions may be paid over a three-year period, and the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty will be waived. Retirement vendors are available for individualized calls to provide advice about your retirement plans during this time of market volatility. To see a list of UF’s investment providers and contact info, please visit the Benefits section of our website.

UF Employee Assistance Program
Remember that UF’s EAP offers someone to talk to 24/7. Call the UF EAP’s toll-free number, (833) 306-0103, or visit https://eap.ufl.edu to learn more.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave
If you need to take time off to care for children and have not exhausted your annual FMLA entitlement, you may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of protected leave that can be used either on a continuous or intermittent basis. During the final 10 weeks of the leave, eligible employees may receive up to 2/3 of their daily pay, up to a maximum of $200/day.

UF COVID-19 Leave Donation Plan
Under UF’s new COVID-19 Leave Donation Plan, eligible employees who need to request additional leave may do so by submitting an application. Thank you to our generous faculty and staff for making this dream a reality!

Employees experiencing an unforeseen, temporary financial hardship may apply for a grant through Aid-a-Gator at any time.

Field & Fork Food Pantry
The Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry is still open and supporting the UF community, handing out to-go bags to support physical distancing. Learn more and order a custom bag of food online at http://pantry.fieldandfork.ufl.edu/support/.

Skill-building online workshops
Alongside the launch of its summer course offerings, UF Training & Organizational Development has identified key skills that faculty and staff can develop as individuals and as leaders on its new Keep Growing website. For each skill, a range of online and virtual learning resources are available to help you learn and grow.

Lessons learned in online teaching

NunezLooking for ways to adjust to online teaching? UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty member Gerardo Nunez shares five lessons he’s learned as he’s transitioned classes into the online format. Nunez received the UF CALS Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award this year.

Spotlight on … Marston Science Library

Members of the UF Marston Science Library 3D printing team are working tirelessly to make filter housings for respirators, headbands for surgical hoods, masks and straps for surgical masks. All these supplies are bound for Gainesville hospitals to help aid healthcare workers.

FSA deadline approaching

FSA DeadlineBe sure to submit your flexible spending account (FSA) claims for eligible expenses incurred in 2019 (and through the grace period ending March 15, 2020) by April 15. Up to $500 of your unused 2019 balance may be carried over for the 2020 plan year. Have questions or need assistance? Contact Chard Snyder at (855) 824-9284 or FloridaAskPenny@chard-snyder.com.


UF Veterinary Medicine
Person with dog at sunsetHave you thought about who will take care of your pet if you can’t? Making a pet emergency preparedness plan can help. On Tuesday, April 14, join faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine for a webinar that will address the latest information regarding the transmission of COVID-19, including the risk to your pets, as well as the latest recommendations for caring for pets that are exposed to COVID-19. Sign up now.