March 18, 2020, 9:15 a.m.
With coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions changing rapidly, it can be challenging to keep up with employment-related messaging. Here is a summary of actions that have been taken so far related to employee and supervisor rights and responsibilities as well as information that will be needed going forward.
- On March 11th, a message was sent to employees indicating that an employee may elect to self-quarantine and be away from work for 14 days if they have been exposed to a known coronavirus case, traveled to a location considered level 3 or higher by the CDC, or traveled to a place where health authorities are requesting that self-quarantines be used. A certification of illness or quarantine form was included as a tool through which to so identify. Either sick leave or annual leave can be applied to these absences. If employees have leave accrued they must use that before they would be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.
- In that same message it was suggested that if the nature of an employee’s work lends itself to working remotely, they may discuss that option with their supervisor. The Vice Presidents have the authority to approve or deny requests for teleworking.
- Employees who are teleworking must document their activities by sending reports to their supervisors. An example of a work record is attached. Supervisors should set clear expectations of the work that employees are to do while they are away from campus and they should keep in close communication with the employees who report to them to ensure the continued productivity of their departments.
- In a message on March 16th it was explained that if an employee or a family member in the employee’s household has a health condition that causes their immune system to be compromised they should complete an ADA Reasonable Accommodation Request form and submit it to HR. Employees might be requesting an accommodation that allows them to work from home or an accommodation that allows them to apply leave while they are absent from work.
- If leave-earning employees are away from work and they either are not working at all OR are not working for the duration of their entire work shift, then they must apply annual leave to complete their work day. If their absence qualifies for sick leave then they may apply sick leave. Please remember that the term “leave-earning employees” includes 12-month faculty members, coaches with non-classified status, and all classified and non-classified staff whose positions are greater than .53 FTE. Regardless of whether the leave-earning employees are FLSA exempt (salaried) or FLSA non-exempt (hourly), they must either work or apply leave to account for their work days, as required by West Virginia law.
- Special instructions for employees who have been approved to work from home: Employees who are in Kronos must continue to submit leave requests, approve their timecards and, if they are hourly, enter their work time daily. Kronos has become much easier to use remotely with its latest upgrade so even people who have been approved to work from home should be able to do this. For those working from home, the Kronos actions would be in addition to tracking their work productivity, as described in #3 above. If employees are unable to do any of these things they need to ask their supervisor to do it for them. Please remember that you can find a complete set of Kronos instructions on the HR website (here).