Stay Healthy, Hawks: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Employee FAQs

Return to Work on Campus

I am part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19. What should I do?

If an employee believes they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, telework should be considered and used if possible, and the employee should contact their supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact their supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

CDC Guidelines for COVID-19

What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because they are part of a high risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19?

Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee voluntarily discloses that he/she has a specific medical condition or disability that puts him or her at increased risk of COVID-19-related complications. Although managers should not ask about the specific medical condition, the manager may ask him/her to describe the type of assistance they think will be needed to perform the essential functions of the job (e.g., telework or leave for a medical appointment). The manager must keep this information confidential. On a long-term basis, the employee should follow the process to request telework as a reasonable workplace accommodation, if possible. If there are concerns about the validity of the requests by the employee or if the employee cannot telework, then the manager should consult with Human Resources.

CDC Guidelines for COVID-19

I am afraid of contracting COVID-19 if I show up for work. Can I stay at home or otherwise take time off?

If an employee is concerned about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19 then telework should be considered and used if possible, and the employee should contact their supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact their supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

What should I do if an employee under my supervision is afraid of contracting COVID-19 if they show up for work?

Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses concern about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. On a long-term basis, the employee should follow the process to request telework as a reasonable workplace accommodation, if possible. If the employee cannot telework then the manager should consult with Human Resources.

A member of my household is part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19. What should I do?

If a member of an employee’s household believes they are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, telework should be considered for the employee and used if possible, and the employee should contact their supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact their supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

CDC Guidelines for COVID-19

What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because a member of the employee’s household is part of a high-risk population according to CDC guidelines for COVID-19?

Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses concern about being in the workplace due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. If the employee cannot telework then the manager should consult with Human Resources.

CDC Guidelines for COVID-19

How can I return to work when I need to take care of my school-aged child?

If an employee needs to take care of their school-aged child due to COVID-related school closures or unavailability of child care, telework should be considered for the employee and used if possible, and the employee should contact their supervisor to pursue this work arrangement. If telework is not possible, then the employee should contact their supervisor. A leave request under these conditions may be determined necessary if other work arrangements are not feasible.

What should I do if an employee under my supervision contacts me because they need to take care of their school-aged child?

Managers should take a flexible approach when an employee expresses the need to take care of their school-aged child due to COVID-19-related school closures or unavailability of child care. Managers should listen to employee concerns and implement a telework arrangement if operationally feasible. If the employee cannot telework then the manager should consult with Human Resources.


Potential Exposure and Diagnosis

What should I do if an employee under my supervision is diagnosed with COVID-19, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or is suspected/presumed to have COVID-19?

You should follow the COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols. Remember that the employee will appreciate hearing your support while they recover from the illness.

An employee of ours has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected/presumed positive for COVID-19. What can I tell other employees? What actions should we take with their coworkers?

You can anticipate that other employees may have heard about, or suspect that, someone is out sick with the COVID-19 related illness, and may be concerned about it. You should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and acknowledge that there is an individual in the unit who has tested positive for COVID-19, without identifying the individual. You may also inform employees that an assessment will be undertaken to determine if there is indication for quarantine or further notifications as a precautionary measure.

In the meantime, you should send home any potentially exposed employees and instruct them to complete the Reporting Potential Exposure to COVID-19 form and to follow the Self-Quarantine protocols. Inform them that they will need to submit their intent to return to campus by completing the Request to Return to Work after Quarantine or Isolation form and be approved before they can return to campus as detailed in Completion of Self-Quarantine/Isolation.

One of our employees has a suspected but unconfirmed case of COVID-19. What should we do?

A suspected but unconfirmed case of COVID-19 should be treated the same as a confirmed case. You should follow the COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols.

One of my employees contacted me to notify me that in doing their health self-assessment in the morning before coming to work they realized that have a fever of 101 degrees. What should I advise them to do?

Since a fever above 100.0 degrees is a possible Coronavirus Symptom, you should advise the employee to stay home and follow the guidance in What to Do If I’m Sick. The employee should also submit the form Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms and commence the Self-Quarantine/Isolation protocols.

The EEOC has confirmed that a supervisor can inquire into an employee’s symptoms, even if such questions are disability-related, as you would be considered to have a "reasonable belief based on objective evidence that the severe form of pandemic influenza poses a direct threat." Inquiries into an employee’s symptoms should attempt to distinguish the symptoms of COVID-19 from the common cold and the seasonal flu.

It is important to remember that you must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.

What should I do if I find out that a co-worker was diagnosed with COVID-19?

You may be contacted by a contact tracer who will work with the infected individual to identify and directly notify people who have been in close contact with the person testing positive.

You do not need to undergo Self-Quarantine unless notified that you were potentially exposed, but you should continue to perform a daily health assessment to be aware if any Coronavirus Symptoms develop and, if so, follow the guidance on What to Do If I’m Sick. You should also continue to follow the General Prevention and Workplace Prevention measures, such as social distancing, frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

When can I return to work if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have been in self-quarantine or self-isolation, you will not be allowed to return to work until you receive written approval following submission of your intent to return to campus by completing the Quarantine and Isolation Release form. To be considered, at least 3 days (72 hours) must have passed since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. See Self-Quarantine for further information.

Will I be told the identity of an employee under my supervision or co-worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19?

No, individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will not be identified in order to maintain confidentiality.


General

What precautions should UH/UHS employees take?

Employees should follow the preventive measures detailed in General PreventionWorkplace Prevention, and What to Do If I’m Sick. Employees should also follow the protocols detailed by Human Resources: Return to On-Campus Work Phases/Timing. Employees working in clinical areas will also be required to comply with site-specific protocols.

What should employees do if they get an external request for resources to help our health care community fight COVID-19?

As a public university, UHCL is fully supportive of this assistance where appropriate under state law. It is important that all such requests be directed through Jason Smith, Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, so that it can be properly assessed and accounted for and so our Office of General Counsel can draft a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University and the recipients. This step is not optional.

Does the university allow employees to work from home?

Employees may work from home to the extent you are able to perform your job functions remotely and with supervisor approval.

What do I need to do to be approved to work from home?

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 humanresources@uhcl.edu.

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.

If approved to work from home, how do I report my time?

Monthly employees who are approved to work from home do not have to report any time. Bi-weekly employees will need to continue to clock in and out. If you are a TCD user, you will have access to clock in and out via the web clock. Please see TRAM Employee Guide for instructions.

Contact
  • Human Resources

    Phone: 281-283-2160
    Fax: 281-283-2158
    humanresources@uhcl.edu 

    Bayou Building B2537
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 167
    Houston, TX 77058-1002