March 16, 5:20 p.m.
May UHCL send employees home if they display Coronavirus-like symptoms during a pandemic?
Yes. The employees who become ill with symptoms of Coronavirus-like illness at work should leave the workplace. Advising such workers to go home is not a disability-related action if the illness is akin to the symptoms of the Coronavirus. Additionally, the action would be permitted under the ADA if the illness were serious enough to pose a direct threat.
If you are not experiencing any medical issues, you should continue reporting to work as normal.
If you have a medical condition impacting your ability to report to work, contact your supervisor and follow normal departmental procedures for requesting time off from work due to an illness.
How much information may an UHCL request from employees who report feeling ill at work or who call in sick?
UHCL may ask such employees if they are experiencing Coronavirus-like symptoms, such as fever or chills and a cough or sore throat. UHCL must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.
What do employees do if they do not have a medical condition, but are concerned about workplace exposure to the Coronavirus?
UHCL is closely monitoring the Coronavirus and updates specific to the UHCL Community will be provided on the UHCL Health Alert webpage.
If you do not have a qualifying sick leave event, with prior supervisor approval, you should submit leave absence requests in our Time Reporting and Absence Management System (TRAM) using the following types of leave:
- Accrued vacation leave
- Accrued sick leave
- Accrued compensatory time
- Unpaid leave
Refer to the policy on Vacation and Sick Leave, UH SAM 02.D.01.
May UHCL ask employees who do not have Coronavirus-like symptoms to disclose whether they have a medical condition that the CDC says could make them especially vulnerable to Coronavirus complications?
No. If an employee voluntarily discloses (without a disability-related inquiry) that he has a specific medical condition or disability that puts him or her at increased risk of influenza complications, the employer must keep this information confidential. The employer may ask the employee to describe the type of assistance he thinks will be needed (e.g. telework or leave for a medical appointment). Employers should not assume that all disabilities increase the risk of Coronavirus complications. Many disabilities do not increase this risk (e.g. vision or mobility disabilities).
What do UHCL employees do if they are not approved to work remotely during the self-quarantine period?
UHCL employees will need to use sick leave or vacation leave if they want the self-quarantine period to be paid leave.
What if I am ill and need to miss work. What should I do?
Employees who are ill should not come to work. When the employee is unable to work because of illness, the employee should contact their supervisor at the earliest practical time in accordance with university procedures, and the Leave Request/Notification must be submitted promptly through P.A.S.S. upon return.
In addition, a medical absence of more than three working days requires a written statement from the employee’s health care provider, indicating the cause or nature of the illness or other acceptable statement of the facts concerning the illness.
Employees who come to work and are exhibiting signs of illness or state he/she has been or is feeling ill will be directed to go home and be required to use leave accruals.
May UHCL encourage employees to telecommute (i.e., work from an alternative location such as home) as an infection-control strategy during a pandemic?
Yes. Telecommuting is an effective infection-control strategy that is also familiar to UHCL employees as a reasonable accommodation.
Certain types of positions may allow for employees to work from home. This is not an option that should be considered for all positions.
If a supervisor deems it appropriate, and business operations allow, a temporary telecommute agreement to work from home, or an alternate location, may be considered. For employees seeking to telecommute please access the UHCL Telecommute Form and email the completed copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the temporary agreement is approved, specific parameters will be established in which reporting some leave may still be required. A temporary telecommuting agreement must be approved by HR prior to an employee beginning such temporary work arrangement.
May UHCL require employees to adopt infection-control practices, such as regular hand washing, at the workplace?
Yes. Requiring infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal, does not implicate the ADA and is encouraged.
Must UHCL continue to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with known disabilities that are unrelated to the Coronavirus, barring undue hardship?
Yes. An employer’s ADA responsibilities to individuals with disabilities continue during a pandemic. Only when an employer can demonstrate that a person with a disability poses a direct threat, even after reasonable accommodation, can it lawfully exclude the employee from employment or employment-related activities.
If an employee with a disability needs the same reasonable accommodation at a telecommute site that he had at the workplace, the employer should provide that accommodation, absent undue hardship. In the event of undue hardship, the employer and employee should cooperate to identify an alternative reasonable accommodation.
May UHCL ask an employee why he or she has been absent from work if the employer suspects it is for a medical reason?
Yes. Asking why an individual did not report to work is not a disability-related inquiry. An employer is always entitled to know why an employee has not reported for work.
My child’s school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official due to the Coronavirus or related reasons. Can I take leave?
Faculty and staff may be eligible to use accrued sick leave in accordance with the UHCL Vacation and Sick Leave Policy, UH SAM 02.D.01 and other leaves, in accordance with UHCL policy, if their child’s school or place of care is closed by order of a public official due to the Coronavirus or related reasons.
May I bring my child(ren) to work with me?
Employees are asked to make every effort to locate childcare. However, UHCL understands the difficulty associated with school and childcare closings due to the Coronavirus precautions. If an employee must bring a child(ren) to work there cannot be any disruption to the work environment and the child(ren) must not be displaying signs of sickness. If a child is determined to be sick in the workplace the employee will be asked to go home.
If you are unable to locate childcare and do not telecommute, please use accrued vacation leave in accordance with the UHCL Vacation and Sick Leave Policy, UH SAM 02.D.01 and other leaves, in accordance with UHCL policy. Facilities will be performing deep cleaning throughout the campus the upcoming weeks.
How can I help students in need?
If you would like to help students during this transition, the Hawk Food Pantry is in need of various items, including water, hand soap, dishwashing soap, and toilet paper. We encourage you to donate whatever items you can. You can also donate to the Hawk Emergency Fund.
I manage a student worker in my office/department. How does this affect their role?
Student workers are permitted (but not required) to come in and work. Their job and pay are secure if they continue to work either in person or remotely. Supervisors are to contact their student workers about their plans on coming to campus and working next week and/or develop any necessary off-site work arrangements.
It is necessary to place a 14-day self-quarantine (isolation from others) restriction on students, faculty and staff returning from travel, whether personal or university related, to all countries for which CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 Travel Warning related to COVID-19. This is consistent with CDC recommendations. During the quarantine, access to UHCL campuses or activities is prohibited. UHCL does not have facilities on campus for self-quarantine at this time.
General Self-Quarantine Guidelines and Protocols
If an employee must self-quarantine, the following protocols are to be followed:
- Complete the International Travel Registration Form
- Self-quarantine for 14 days. Employees in self-quarantine must contact Ms. Regina Pickett in UHCL Health Services at 281-283-2626 or email email@example.com to alert Health Services at the beginning of the self-quarantine.
- While in self-quarantine employees must submit leave requests through the P.A.S.S.
system based upon the following leave categories:
- Quarantine Work
- Quarantine Sick
- Quarantine Vacation
- Quarantine Leave without Pay
HR payroll will be able to assist you via email with the entering of this leave time based on your health status while in self-quarantine. X2160
Faculty members must coordinate with UCT to place your current in-person classes on Blackboard to continue to deliver course instruction while in self-quarantine. Assistance with Blackboard.
Returning to Campus
UHCL employees will need to notify the university of your intent to return to campus by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written approval is required before any UHCL employee may return to campus after self-quarantine. UHCL employees under self-quarantine will be provided a screening questionnaire to answer regarding health symptoms.
In order to be released from self-quarantine employees must provide the following documentation and receive the following approval:
- Completed UHCL Health Services Quarantine Release form provided by Health Services
- Health Services will evaluate the information provided to determine if additional self-quarantine is necessary
- A signed statement from the employee’s healthcare provider regarding their ability to return to work
- Approval from the Executive Director, Human Resources and Director, Health Services Self-quarantined employees will not be allowed to return to campus until all releases and approval have been met. Should you have any questions please contact your department head, Health Services or Human Resources.
While in Self-Quarantine
- Stay at home and do not go to class or work, participate in any campus activities or come to campus.
- Stay home (or other location approved by your local health department). This means do not go to school, work, public areas, or attend large gatherings. If you need medical care, call your health care provider.
- Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you are out of self-quarantine.
- Do not return to class or work, participate in any campus activities or come to campus.
- Stay away from public areas including grocery stores, malls, theaters and large public gathering spaces.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Monitor your symptoms and if they develop or worsen then call your health care provider BEFORE seeking in-person care.
- Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Postpone any travel. If travel is absolutely necessary, you need to coordinate with your local health department. If you travel and become ill, you may not be able to return home.
- Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
You should follow these self-monitoring guidelines:
- Measure your temperature twice a day.
- Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
- Call ahead before you go to your doctor’s office or to an emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and disclose any prior travel.
Employees Under Self-Quarantine
Employees may be able to work remotely, with supervisor approval. Supervisors will inform employees whether remote work is permitted and how to report their time (whether sick leave or vacation leave will be required) during the self-quarantine period.
More UH-Clear Lake COVID-19 Information
- General FAQs
- Student Info
- Employee Info
- Travel Registration Form