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frequently asked questions

 

general questions

When should I seek medical help regarding COVID-19?
Please call a medical professional if, in the last 14 days, you:

  • Have traveled to an affected geographic area and have a fever and signs or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath), or
  • Have a fever with a severe acute lower respiratory illness that requires hospitalization and doesn't have an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza) and no known source of your exposure, or
  • Were in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have a fever or signs or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)
When you call, please inform them of your symptoms and recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility.
 
What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself, do not come to work, and seek medical attention by calling a medical professional. Inform medical professionals of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility.
As with all contagious illnesses, limit the potential for exposure to other people and do not come to work. Take the following actions:
  • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work.
  • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
  • Seek medical advice from a medical professional by calling ahead before visiting a health facility.

When can I return to work if I have had Influenza or another contagious illness?
The current message from health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is to stay home and do not return to work until you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should closely follow the instructions of medical professionals.
 
Should an employee stay home even if they are sick with a common cold?
Generally speaking, staying home when you are sick is good advice for all employees. This is to prevent the transmission of any illness. Supervisors are encouraged to get this message out to employees. If employees are sick, they should stay home until the symptoms have subsided for 24 hours and/or contact their physician for guidance. The normal protocol for notification of the absence to the supervisor and use of accrued sick leave would apply.
 
Does the University have the right to send sick employees home?
Yes. If an employee reports to work and presents with symptoms of being ill, we cannot diagnose what the illness is since we are not medical professionals. It is best to err on the side of caution and advise the employee that it is in their best interest to go home and suggest that they seek medical care. If possible, consult with the campus Human Resources office before sending an employee home.

Can I stay home if I have a concern about being exposed to the virus?
The University understands the concern about potential exposure. At this time, essential employees are expected to report to work as directed by their supervisor. All employees are still required to follow their department’s attendance and leave procedures. An employee, whether working remotely or working on campus, may request to take annual and/or sick leave; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request if your department is short on staff or due to business necessity.
 

Working During West Virginia's "Stay Home At Home" Order

Do I have to work?
The University is currently open and opertational. We expect all faculty and staff to work as scheduled — either through telecommuting or on campus — in consultation with your supervisor.

In order to reduce the number of individuals on campus, only essential employees that have been directed by their supervisor should report to campus for work. Those who have not been directed to report to campus for work, should be working remotely from home. Please consult with your supervisor.


Which campus services will be open?
The University is currently open and opertational. We expect all faculty and staff to work as scheduled — either through telecommuting or on campus — in consultation with your supervisor. 

In order to reduce the number of individuals on campus, only essential employees that have been directed by their supervisor should report to campus for work. Those who have not been directed to report to campus for work, should be working remotely from home. Please consult with your supervisor.
 

Will student-employees still be able to work?
Yes. The campus remains open and operational. All faculty and staff are expected to work as scheduled — either through telecommuting or on campus — in consultation with your supervisor. 

In order to reduce the number of individuals on campus, only essential employees that have been directed by their supervisor should report to campus for work. Those who have not been directed to report to campus for work, should be working remotely from home. Please consult with your supervisor.

I meet with students (customers, employees, etc.) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?
As with other forms of Influenza or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Offer the individual a mask if you have one or a tissue and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze. Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched. There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.

How do I know if I’ve been identified as an essential employee?
Vice Presidents have been instructed to determine their essential staff who would be required to work in this type of emergency situation and to have an internal notification system in place. Ask your supervisor if you have been identified as an essential employee. An essential employee is required to work on campus to provide immediate and necessary functions.
 
Can I come into work even though I am not an essential employee?
Do not come into work unless you have been identified as an essential employee who is required to work during this type of emergency event. If you are not an essential employee and do come into work, you will be sent home.

My child’s school (day care) is closed due to illnesses, and my child is not sick. I have no other child care arrangements. Can I bring them to work with me? (This question is for those employees who are required to report to campus for work)
Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable—and in many work areas it is prohibited. Decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor or department head.

What if my child’s school or day care is closed due to illness, and my child is not sick? I have no other child care arrangements and must stay home with him. How will I be paid?
(This question is for those employees who are required to report to campus for work)

Promptly notify your supervisor of the reason for your absence and your anticipated return to work date. In this situation, the following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:
•     Use accrued annual leave
•     Use accrued compensatory time
•     Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval
•     Work from home with supervisory approval
•     Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals
Temporary and student employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.
 

Telecommuting

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. 

If I was told that I am required to report to campus for work and I become ill, is telecommuting an option for an employee who is ill?
Telecommuting may be an option if the employee is ill and job duties can be completed by telecommuting. The supervisor and/or department head, in consultation with the employee, can develop work hours and a work plan for the impacted employee. Supervisory approval is necessary to work from home, but not all requests to telecommute can be approved. Keep in mind that not every position is suited for telecommuting due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home or operating requirements of the unit.
 
How does the telecommuting need to be reported for timekeeping purposes?
When an employee has been approved to telecommute, the hours should be designated as time worked for any time spent performing work duties.

Does it matter when I telecommute?
Yes. When telecommuting, employees are expected to work their normally scheduled shifts. 

What if I am telecommuting and I have an appointment or something to do during my normally scheduled shift?
In this event, the employee should first notify their supervisor. The following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:
•     Use accrued annual leave
•     Use accrued compensatory time
•     Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval
•     Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals
Temporary and student employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.
 

Information for Departments and Managers

If an employee is sent home from work due to illness, how will he/she be paid?
The following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness:
•     Use accrued paid-time-off hours; annual or sick leave or a combination of both
•     Use accrued compensatory time
•     Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval
•     Work from home with supervisory approval
•     Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals
Temporary and student employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.

What should I do if I or one of my employees is exhibiting symptoms?
Our best defense against the virus is prevention. If you are or one of your employees is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath), please contact a doctor and remain off campus until you have confirmed your diagnosis. Employees should notify their supervisor of the concern so that sick leave can be requested and approved.

May an employee go home if they don’t want to be exposed?
Yes, with supervisory approval the employee may leave work; however, the employee must use their own paid time off or request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals. With supervisor’s approval, making up the work in the same workweek, working a different schedule, or working from home may be available options.

During a COVID-19 outbreak, can a supervisor cancel an employee's vacation time off request that has already been approved?
Yes, the supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved vacation request, especially in circumstances where there are serious staff shortages as a result of illness. An employee's vacation also could be cancelled if they have been designated as essential staff due to the nature of their job responsibilities. An essential employee is an employee in a position, previously designated by management, in which they are required to work on campus during an adverse event in order to meet immediate and necessary campus or university functions.

I have an employee who has not been previously identified as an essential employee and was not required to report to campus for work. However, they still came into work. What should I do?
Those who are not required to report to the campus for work should be sent home. 
 
I have an employee who was identified as an essential employee, but they did not report to work when needed. What can I do?
If the employee was aware he or she had been designated as an essential staff person and the expectations involved with this designation, talk with them to find out why they didn’t come to work as required. If they have a reasonable explanation, remind them of their responsibilities as an essential staff person. If their explanation is not reasonable given the situation, corrective/disciplinary action may be an option. Contact your HR office.
 
Can a supervisor schedule an employee to work hours or shifts that they do not normally work?
Yes, an employee may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if the employee has been designated as an essential employee or the university is short staffed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The supervisor should attempt to provide advance notice if possible.
 
If there is a large number of employees who are unable to come to work because of a COVID-19 outbreak, is there a maximum number of overtime hours a supervisor can require an employee to work?
In the event of a serious COVID-19 outbreak, we all may be needed to work differently to ensure the university continues to function. Everyone may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if the employee has been designated as an essential employee or the university is short staffed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Supervisors will make efforts to permit employees to take rest periods and may use their discretion in scheduling additional breaks for employees working additional hours.

 

Human Resources

Phone:                        304-766-3156
Fax:                             304-766-4156
Campus Address:    105 Cole Complex
Hours:                        Monday - Friday
                                     8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

Human ResourcesCOVID-19 Employee Information
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