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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employee Guide - Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question you are interested in, to see the response. Questions were asked by PACE or employee related questions submitted for the Talk with Tuminez Town Hall Meetings.  Updated 06/08/2020.

Campus

Which campus services will be open?

At the Yellow Level, campus remains open. Please see the  website or the Campus Service FAQ365体育比赛投注 for information about any specific service closures. 

At what point will the rise in reported COVID-19 cases cause UVU administration to return to level orange and close campus again? Would UVU return to level orange even if Utah stays on level yellow in order to keep the economy running? Why are we opening campus again when cases of the virus are still going up? The safety measures put in place help, but it is stressful to be around others who may be sick or are not following the guidelines. Is there a possibility of campus closing again this summer or in the fall or next spring?

 

The COVID-19 Task Force has met every workday March 14th – June 1, they now met every other workday. They look at key factors on a case-by-case basis. If our cases spiked in Utah County or if we saw that we had an issue on campus where we were having tremendous transmission, then we would evaluate and we decide what the best course of action to make sure our employees are staying safe. We're making sure that we're using exceptional care as we're working through this pandemic. (TWT 06-17-2020)

 

COVID-19

If an employee calls in sick, how long do they need to stay home?

If an employee calls in sick with any of the below symptoms that are not connected with a previous known condition (i.e. asthma, allergies, pregnancy, etc.), they are required to stay home sick or work from home for a minimum of 24 hours after the symptoms subside, and fill out the .
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Employees who have been tested for COVID-19 are encouraged to complete the . 

When, where, and how should I get tested for the coronavirus?

Employees should contact their medical provider for information. UVU Student Health Services is not testing for the virus and serves students only. For more information regarding  andrelated to COVID-19, please refer to the  and the . 

COVID-19 testing is covered at 100% in-network and out-of-network for covered employees. Refer to the  or call Mountain Point Medical Center in Lehi. As a reminder, employees must have all the symptoms to be tested and are encouraged to call ahead to see if testing is advised or available. 

What happens if someone on campus tests positive?

365体育比赛投注The local health department will be notified of people who have tested positive. They will then conduct tracking, tracing and surveillance. If you have had a significant exposure to a person testing positive, you will be contacted by the local health department. UVU has also created a voluntary  that allows students, faculty, and staff to self-disclose if they have tested positive for COVID-19. With this information we will assist the health department as needed and ensure areas have been thoroughly cleaned if applicable. (TWT 04-08-2020)

What will happen if someone tests positive and they've been working on campus in an area with other employees?"

To ensure campus safety, we follow the CDC guidelines and the State Department of Health guidelines and follow their procedures if we have somebody test positive. Individuals who test positive, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and to get tested after they have recovered. We work with the Utah County Health Department to make sure we have contact and tracing going on. (TWT 06-17-2020) 

What COVID-19 / illness form should I complete?

365体育比赛投注The  should be completed if you have been tested(positive/negative) for COVID-19. This form is used to track, and diagnosis the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all employees, students, and visitors to campus.

The  should be completed if you are returning to work and have been ill in the last 14 days. This form is a safety tool used to review symptoms prior to releasing an employee to work on campus. 

Will UVU accept liability if employees return to work and get sick? If an employee must get medical care due to becoming sick, will the University pay for that? For part-time and student employees not covered by insurance, will they receive any assistance if they end up needing medical care or are hospitalized from contracting COVID-19 at work?

 

If an employee believes they contracted COVID-19 at work, they can file a workers compensation claim and the claim will be investigated for coverage eligibility. 

 

Benefits and Leave

If I am asked to self-isolate, can I still work and get paid, or do I need to take vacation leave, sick, unpaid time?

Employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and are required to not report to work, are required to use leave time or telecommute to work, with supervisor approval. Authorization to work from home will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. Supervisors are encouraged to provide flexibility.  provides UVU employees who are eligible with Emergency Paid Sick (EPSL) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (E-FMLA) for specified reasons related to COVID-19. More information can be found in the UVU FFCRA Information Sheet and the FFCRA FAQ. For more information, please visit the UVU Human Resources Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employee Guide or the . 

Do employees need to speak with HR to request continued remote work if they believe they are high risk?

365体育比赛投注Supervisors have the authority to approve continued remote work and/or alternative work schedules (if doing so will not disrupt the essential job functions and business need). If supervisors are unable to approve the request, employees can reach out to Human Resources to start an interactive process to review possible options (medical documentation is required).

To encourage employees to stay home when they are sick or have symptoms of being sick, are you going to provide additional PTO sick time?

Employees that are feeling ill (regardless of current circumstances) are requested not to come to work so they can heal and recover, as well as protect the campus community. The University does offer generous sick leave and sick leave accrual as well as leave provided through FMLA. Additionally, the Federal government has enacted the which provides employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and expanded family and medical leave (E-FMLA) for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Employees can reach out to EmployeeWellness@fishncamp.com365体育比赛投注 for additional information regarding FFCRA.

What mental health services are available at this time?

365体育比赛投注UVU offers full-time employees the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), allowing benefits-eligible faculty to receive up to three counseling sessions free of charge. UVU benefits also include a robust list of mental health professionals. Please contact HR if you have questions. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are concerned about a loved one who may be having suicidal thoughts, please call the 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or you can visit the . For more information regarding suicide and prevention, please visit .

Is there going to be any additional sick time given to those who have continued to work on campus during the "shut down"? Moving forward, will there be additional sick time provided to encourage employees to stay home when they are ill? One sick day a month is not enough when most illnesses last longer than 3 days, and we should only return once symptom free.

365体育比赛投注 Despite the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, UVU employees have delivered exceptional care, accountability and results whether they have been working on campus or working remotely. These efforts have been and continue to be impressive!

One of the requirements for reopening campus is ensuring that employees do not come to campus if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  If you are ill, please notify your supervisor of your absence due to illness.  Further, UVU employees are asked to if you have been or are being tested for COVID-19. The  helps in ensuring a safe working environment and in tracking the spread of COVID-19.  Employees who have recently been ill, should complete the  available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employee Guide webpage

UVU provides generous leave for full-time employees including the ability to accrue sick leave each month. And, as I mentioned earlier, the FFCRA provides for emergency paid sick leave for full and part-time employees impacted by COVID-19.  Under certain conditions, Human Resources may authorize the creation of a sick leave pool to allow full-time employees to donate accrued sick leave to other full-time employees.  And UVU offers regular FMLA.  Employees are encouraged to communicate with their supervisor and contact Human Resources with any questions about your individual situation.  

What is FFCRA?

provides UVU employees who are eligible with Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family Medical Leave (E-FMLA) for specified reasons related to COVID-19. More information can be found in the UVU FFCRA Information Sheet and the FFCRA FAQ.

 

Phased Return to Work

What is the expectation for full time staff returning to full time work on campus? How long are staff able to continue working at least partially from home?

Beginning June 8, most UVU facilities and offices reopened under modified conditions.  This expanded reopening did require or will require a return to campus for a number of employees across the university.  Each executive worked with their teams to develop a return to work plan for their areas.  Within these plans, supervisors are authorized to approve remote work (including flexible remote work schedules), wherever possible, for positions in which work can be done remotely and not impede university functions.  Employees authorized to continue temporary remote work (including flexible remote work schedules) must submit, with supervisors’ approval, a new .  These new agreements can be for a short period of time or go through December 31, 2020. (TWT 06-17-2020)

What counts as high risk? How will "High Risk" employees be identified? How will supervisors identify high risk employees while maintaining their privacy as we begin to bring employees back to campus?

365体育比赛投注Governor Herbert’s , provides guidance on who is considered as “high risk”.  This plan and forthcoming USHE guidance provides instruction for high-risk individuals and those around them.

If any employee believes they are high risk based on this guidance, they are encouraged to contact Human Resources.  You may need to be provide personal health information to Human Resources, but Human Resources does not share personal health information with others, including your supervisor, so employee privacy is maintained.  Human Resources will work with you and your supervisor to implement the Tiered Guidelines for High Risk Individuals provided by USHE.

365体育比赛投注Perhaps most important, if we all consider everyone we may be working with as potentially “high risk”, we can demonstrate exceptional care for each other by vigilantly following the health guidelines of wearing a mask, maintaining 6 feet social distance, washing our hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, and not coming to campus when ill. 

What guidance would you give to MANAGERS of non student-facing offices where all work can be done remotely, who have pressured employees to return to campus starting June 8 only to sit isolated, in closed offices, and meet via TEAMS- both of which could be done in a more safe environment from home? What is our goal as a supervisor with balancing working from home with time working on campus? Should we be trying to have people spending more time working on campus than they are working from home or vice versa?

There is not a one-size-fits-all response to this question given the diversity of work staff perform for UVU, but there is guidance.  People managers, please review the and guidebook available on UVU’s Return to Campus website.  It provides great information and a variety of resources to assist you.  As this guide indicates, if an employee’s job and your department/division allows for continued remote work (partial or full), the employee requests remote work, and their work can be done remotely and not impede University functions, supervisors have authority to approve remote work through the end of 2020 by submitting a new   (TWT 06-17-2020)

Who can we turn to if we feel our supervisors and/or AVPs are being very rigid and not helping us with flexible schedules, especially when we are pregnant, have young children at home, and/or are having difficulty finding childcare. Who can we turn to if our supervisors are not communicating at all with the staff and leaving us completely in the dark?

To ensure continuity of processes, employees are requested to follow their chain of command. Working with Human Resources may be appropriate if an employee believes they are high risk and they are unable to work out an agreement with their supervisor, if an employee is requesting leave through FFCRA for childcare challenges, or if the employee has other unresolved questions or concerns. (TWT 06-17-2020)

Will there be a grace period as employees return to campus for those that had to remove children from childcare to find new services?

 

Supervisors have the authority to approve continued remote work and/or alternative work schedules throughout the end of the calendar year (if doing so will not disrupt the essential job functions and business need).

Additionally, UVU has implemented the various programs provided by the Federal government through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) including emergency paid sick leave and emergency FMLA.  The is available for employees (full and part time) caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or childcare provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.  You can find more information in UVU’s Coronavirus Employee Guide or by contacting  EmployeeWellness@fishncamp.com.  (TWT 05-12-2020)

What if I feel unsafe to come to campus and my supervisor tells me I still must work on campus, what should I do?

At the Yellow Level, campus will remain open. All faculty and staff are expected to work as scheduled — either through telecommuting or on campus — in consultation with your supervisor. Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance to us. For more information, please visit the UVU Human Resources Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employee Guide

 

General Safety

Do I have to wear a mask? 

All employees of the university are required to wear a face covering while working on campus as a condition of their employment. Employees who disregard the requirement to wear a face covering may be in violation of UVU policy and state and federal law or regulation and subject to corrective action. Refer to required face coverings for UVU Employees and Students for more details. 

What is an approved face covering ? Do I have to wear it in my office?

The Required Face Covering Guidelines are intended to minimize ambiguity and promote consistency across campus in complying with face-covering requirements. Refer to this guide for questions related to face coverings. 

What if a colleague refuses to wear a mask or face shield in our department?

If a coworker refuses to wear a mask, as per the Required Face Covering Guidelines, bring up your concerns to your supervisor. In certain cases, the use of a face covering is not advised. These cases should be addressed on a case-by-case basis with the employee’s supervisor and, if necessary, with the coordinator in Human Resources (EmployeeWellness@fishncamp.com ) and as per .  Such cases include

  • Individuals with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could cause harm or obstruct breathing.
  • Individuals with hearing impairment or communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

How often will our departments’ public spaces and offices be cleaned?

Departments will be responsible for cleaning their space beyond the daily cleaning Campus Services provides. Departments should consider ordering their own disinfectant and paper towels as well as requesting cleaning supplies from Campus Services. Faculty members and staff with concerns about cleanliness are to clean their own areas beyond what Campus Services provides. Administrative assistants cannot be assigned to clean individual offices or spaces occupied primarily by single individuals. If you do not feel comfortable with Custodial Services cleaning your offices, please post a note on your office door.

Is UVU’s air system filtered for viruses?

UVU has a filtering system, MERV, in all large buildings. Systems vary, since some areas such as the science buildings have traditionally needed higher levels of filtration. UVU will increase air exchange rates to push the air through the filters and slightly over-pressurize the buildings to help exchange the air. Filters are changed on a rigid schedule. Even before COVID-19, UVU was changing air filters more often than recommended.

Is UVU going to be requiring a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work?

Employees who are ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are to self-isolate at home. This includes an employee who tested positive, negative, or did not test at all for the COVID-19. Employees who have been tested for COVID-19 are encouraged to complete the . Employees who have been out sick for any symptoms related to COVID-19 are required to complete the .
Will I have my temperature taken before reporting back to campus?
Employees who are in positions that put others at risk (e.g., health clinic, food services, etc.) will have their temperatures taken by qualified nursing students.

Can supervisors send their employees who show symptoms of COIVD-19 home?

If a supervisor observes an employee with COVID-19 symptoms, the supervisor must365体育比赛投注 send the employee home. Employees who have been out sick for any symptoms related to COVID-19 are required to complete the .

Students have been surveyed, faculty have been surveyed, but staff have not. Why do staff seem to not have a voice in how we're returning to campus?

PACE conducted a survey and shared the results with UEC the first part of July. 

Working Remotely

I am an advisor and have been working from home since the first of March. It has been working fantastic and I am able to connect with my students and other advisors easily. I am in a high-risk age group and I filled out a work at home order and it says it goes through Dec 31, 2020. I have been told that I will need to return in July. If UVU is so concerned with faculty and students, in being able to continue to work and learn remotely, then I feel that staff should be given that same accommodations. What will happen for those of us who are high-risk?

HR has provided a number of resources for employees and supervisors of employees who may be high-risk.  Please review information on the Return to Campus website and on the COVID-19 Employee Guide FAQ website.  Supervisors have the authority to approve continued remote work and/or alternative work schedules (if doing so will not disrupt the essential job functions and business need). If supervisors are unable to approve the request, employees who may be high-risk can reach out to Human Resources to start an interactive process to review possible options. (TWT 06-17-2020)

I completed the Temporary Remote Work Agreement Form, but it is now outdated, how do I update the form?

Existing Temporary Remote Work Agreements related to COVID-19 will expire according to the group your supervisor has assigned (Group A - June 8; Group B - June 22; Group C - August 3). If your job and your supervisor/department allows for continued remote work, you request it, and your work can be done remotely and not impede university functions, your supervisor has full authority to approve further remote work through the end of the calendar year (must complete another ). (Updated 06/24/2020)

If I am directed by my supervisor to work from home, and I don’t have the necessary tools (computer, software, etc.), what am I supposed to do?

This concern should be discussed with your supervisor, who can determine resources that may be temporarily provided for you to perform your work from home. Employees must complete the . The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has provided support and options to work remotely. UVU has also provided Tips to Work Remotely.

If I am directed by my supervisor to forward my work phone to my cell phone, will I get paid for using my personal cell for work?

This concern should be discussed with your supervisor. In accordance with UVU , employees required to use a personal cell phone to perform their duties may be provided an allowance from UVU for business purpose use. This form is available here. If you are not on campus and not forwarding your work phone, make sure you update your UVU voicemail

What is the plan to return to work?

Employees will begin to return to campus in a phased approach defined by division leaders. Group A: Employees return June 8, Group B: Employees return June 22, Group C: Employees return August 3, Group D: High Risk: Consult supervisors regarding a continued remote work agreement. Please work with your supervisor or division leader to find out which group you have been assigned to return. Please read UVU’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan and the Return to Campus Website for specific details.

Welcome back to campus! You’ll notice various changes in the way our workplace looks, as well as new practices and protocols. We understand these changes may be difficult, so Human Resources is here to support you. Our goal is to collaboratively ensure you feel safe and secure, so together we can navigate the complexities of our “new normal.” Resources have been created to assist you in understanding university best practices and guidelines to ensure a safe work environment for everyone. Utah Valley University, in consultation with Emergency Management and Safety, will follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments regarding phasing UVU back to traditional work on campus. If you are in doubt about a situation or how to proceed, please feel free to reach out to Human Resources at (801) 863-8207 for guidance.

Will staff who are capable of working from home be permitted to continue to do so throughout the summer while UVU is mostly online?

Supervisors have the authority to approve continued remote work and/or alternative work schedules throughout the end of the calendar year (if doing so will not disrupt the essential job functions and business need).  Work at home expectations should be set between the supervisor and the employee and approved through a

Can employees speak with HR directly instead of with their supervisor if they want to continue working from home?

To ensure continuity of processes, employees are requested to follow their proper chain of command. Working with Human Resources may be appropriate if an employee believes they are high risk and they are unable to work out an agreement with their supervisor, an employee is requesting leave through FFCRA, or there are unresolved questions or concerns.

Who do I speak with if I live with and/or care for someone who is considered high risk?

For requests due to dependents or family members, employees should work with their supervisors for possible options in their area. If an employee is requesting a leave of absence related to COVID-19 or to care for an individual, please reach out to Human Resources.

What do I do if I am not high risk but would still prefer to work from home?

Supervisors have the authority to approve continued remote work and/or alternative work schedules throughout the end of the calendar year (if doing so will not disrupt the essential job functions and business need). Work at home expectations should be set between the supervisor and the employee and approved through a

 

Employee Travel

Am I allowed to travel out of the state/country on personal travel?

Employees are not forbidden from personal travel, but they need to understand the potential consequences of travel. Depending on the area they are traveling to, they may have to quarantine upon arrival for 14 days and quarantine upon return for 14 days. They may also not be able to return from their destination and not be able to return to campus for work when they anticipated. Employees who do travel are requested to fill out the .

Can I travel for business purposes?

Starting July 1, 2020, all travel is required to be mission-critical AND approved by an executive. Please review the Travel FAQ for the most current business travel information.

If I have traveled outside of the state for personal or professional travel, what do I need to do?

The university is asking students, faculty, and staff to report personal or professional travel outside of Utah. Please fill out the  to notify the university of your travel to allow the university to determine the risk of any potential spread of COVID-19. Individuals returning from high-risk areas should work with their supervisor to take precautionary measures and complete the.

 

Employment and Financial Impact

Some are worried about the financial impact of COVID-19. How will UVU try to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19?  

Based on information from legislative leadership, UVU did not allocate new funding that had been appropriated during the 2020 legislative session.  Further, UVU implemented Temporary HR Guidelines and Temporary Financial Resource Guidelines in anticipation of a base tax fund reduction.  In mid-June, the legislature reversed nearly all of the new funding appropriated during 2020 legislative session and reduced UVU’s base tax funds by 2.5% ($3,217,600).  By late July or early August, University leaders will have identified budget reductions to implement this cut. 

Is there a possibility that the University will furlough or lay-off employees? And if so, how will that be determined?

Our goal is to maintain and preserve jobs as best we can. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Utah Valley University continues to operate under modified conditions requiring the temporary closure of certain programs, services, and facilities. These temporary closures have created a lack of work for a number of employees. A furlough or layoff occurs through no fault of the employee. Refer to the Furlough FAQ or the Layoff FAQ for more information. Some UVU employees have been furloughed or laid off and some of these employees have already returned to work. 

Employees at schools around the country are being furloughed. Should I be concerned this could happen at UVU? If the fall semester is altered, what chance is there of having staff cuts, and what areas might be most impacted? Will voluntary unpaid leave be an option to keep the books in balance for UVU?

365体育比赛投注Great questions!  You don’t have to look very hard to find stories of universities or other businesses requiring employees to take unpaid leave.  Such actions may provide some universities with short-term, one-time savings.  Fortunately, at UVU, we do not have some of the fiscal challenge's others may be experiencing.  We maintain contingencies and fund balances that will help us meet short-term financial challenges while we make strategic decisions for our long-term financial health. I do not anticipate employees being asked to take unpaid leave to balance our books.

Will UVU full time employees still be getting their $300 annual increase to cover the rise of healthcare costs this year?

Absolutely!  This increase will be effective on July 1, 2020, and full-time employees will see the change in their July 31 paychecks. 

Will UVU employees receive merit pay for the new coming fiscal year?

UVU received no new tax funds including no additional funding for compensation.  To fund medical plan increases, we used our 1.38% tuition increase and internal reallocation.  All full-time employees will receive $300 to their base salary to help offset medical premium share increases.  Unfortunately, we simply did not have any new ongoing funds available to allocate for merit pay increases for 20-21. (TWT 06-19-2020)

 

 Furlough & Layoff

What is a furlough?
A furlough is a temporary separation from work with the expectation that the employee will return to work at the conclusion of the furlough period. Employees are not paid during a furlough, which is treated as a temporary, unpaid leave of absence. A furlough means that the employee ceases work for the university, does not conduct any business for the university, and does not receive pay. Please refer to the Furlough FAQ for a PDF of FAQ's.
What is a layoff?
A layoff is the dismissal of an employee without the expectation that the employee will return to work; the employee is let go from their job. Sometimes layoffs are referred to as a reduction in force. Please refer to the Layoff FAQ for a PDF of FAQ's.
Why would UVU layoff an employee?
Due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Utah Valley University continues to operate under modified conditions requiring the closure of certain programs, services, and facilities. These closures have created a lack of work for a number of employees. Further, the economic impact of COVID-19 is creating budgetary constraints for UVU. This combination of operational and economic pressures requires UVU leadership to make some difficult personnel decisions. A layoff occurs through no fault of the employee.
If there is a second wave of COVID-19 and everything shuts down again, will there be layoffs?
My hope is that as Utah and UVU reopens using a phased approach and as we, individually and collectively, follow health guidelines, we can avoid a second wave that would require us and/or the rest of the state to shut down.  Another shut down would not necessarily trigger layoffs.  As a result of the last shut down, we furloughed 132 employees and laid off 13.  A portion of these employees worked in areas that are not scheduled for full reopening for many months due to health guidelines (such as the Wee Care Center and the Noorda). (TWT 06-17-2020)

 

Due to the continual changing environment surrounding COVID-19, FAQ's that were previously asked but are no longer relevant to the current situation have been moved to a Employee Historical FAQ List

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