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HR FAQ for COVID-19

What if I contract COVID-19?

Potential COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to respond
  • Bluish lips or face

Blue Cross Blue Shield will not require pre-authorization and will not apply members’ co-pays or deductibles for testing to diagnose COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidelines. More information.

Do not come into work if you test positive for COVID-19.

Follow your health care providers instructions. Notify your immediate supervisor and follow your campus protocols found on their website to discuss your medical situation, sick leave, and the return-to-work process.

You must be fever- and symptom-free in order to return to work.

What can I use the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for?

FMLA is used for your own or a family member who has a serious health condition, which includes COVID-19.

According to the sick leave policy immediate family is defined as:

  • Individuals who reside in the same household and are related by kinship, adoption or marriage
  • Foster children certified by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
  • Minor children of the employee, whether or not living in the same household, will be considered immediate family for purposes of sick leave

You cannot use FMLA as part of an effort of avoiding contracting COVID-19.

How can I apply for FMLA?

To open a new claim for Family Medical Leave Act benefits, use the steps below. If you have any issues opening the new claim from the website, please contact the FMLA team at fmla@untsystem.edu or FMLASource directly at fmlacenter@fmlasource.com.

Once you’re on the website, navigate to your FMLASource dashboard.

  • Click the "Add New Leave" link.
  • Review your personal information and continue. Make sure that we have your correct primary phone number, mailing address, and email address on file.
  • Select the frequency of your leave of absence and fill in the appropriate start and end dates.
  • Finally, review the leave you've just filled out and submit. You can download a PDF copy of the leave request immediately following the submission.

What do I need to do if I am out sick from something other than COVID-19?

If you are sick with something other than COVID-19, you must use the same approach as before following normal sick leave procedures including: notify your supervisor, stay home until you are well, use sick leave and FMLA as appropriate. If you are unable to provide a release to return to work due to limited medical resources, please work with your campus Human Resource Office and your supervisor prior returning to work.

What can I do if I am affected by school or childcare closures?

Employees cannot bring their children into work with them and should make appropriate childcare arrangements. In addition, remote work is not a substitute for childcare. However, your supervisor may allow you to remote work provided that your productivity and quality of work is not affected. If you are unable to work effectively from home, you may use vacation or compensatory time earned.

As a supervisor, should I allow my employees to remote work?

An employee must request a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA), which includes remote work. In situations where work can be performed at home, it is appropriate for meeting departmental operational needs, and approved in accordance to the normal FWA policy and procedures. A flexible work arrangement agreement must be approved before an employee is permitted to work remotely.

What do I do if had direct exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

An employee who has had direct exposure to an individual diagnosed with the virus should immediately report the exposure to the appropriate office in accordance to the campus protocols and refrain from entering the workplace until further guidance is provided. In addition, the employee should contact their supervisor regarding absences from work.

What if I’m too afraid to come to work when required by my supervisor?

It is normal for employees to feel a little nervous or anxious about returning to the workplace. However, the presence and contributions of employees are critical to business operations and accomplishing our mission and regular business operations must continue. Employees should ensure that they are informed of and familiar with the safety precautions implemented in their specific work area, and adhere to those. The Employee Assistance Program is also a free, confidential resource available to all regular faculty and staff employees (and members of their household) who can provide assistance for managing anxiety and stress with specific resources available related to the COVID-19 situation. For those who feel that they cannot return to the work place, they may contact Human Resources to discuss available leave options.

What if I am in a high risk group and don’t feel safe returning onsite?

An employee in a high-risk category as defined by the CDC should also ensure that they are informed of and familiar with the safety precautions implemented in their specific work area, and adhere to those. In most situations and while not required, social distancing and PPE can provide adequate protection to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus, as the guidance is based on safety guidelines established by the CDC. Employees in a high-risk category who feel that they need additional PPE or safety measures should dialog with their supervisor.

What if my provider(s) charge me at time of service for a copay, coinsurance or deductible amount?

Blue Cross Blue Shield of TX is processing your claims based on the changes made due to COVID-19. If your provider(s) requires payment at time of service, you may have to request a refund from your provider(s) after your claim is processed.

What if I don’t like wearing face coverings or gloves?

While all employees are highly encouraged to follow safety recommendations, per Governor’s Abbott Executive Order employees are not required to adhere to safety precautions, including wearing PPE as recommended in the guidelines discussed here as well as additional safety measures or PPE that may be encouraged by the campus or department. Appropriate use of PPE, social distancing, and other safety measures are to mitigate the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.

If I travel out of the country and am required to self-isolate before returning to work, may I take emergency leave for that period?

Faculty or staff that travel out of the country may not use emergency leave to fulfill the UNT System’s required self-isolation obligation. If you are authorized to work remotely, you may fulfill your self-isolation obligation while continuing to work. Employees that are not authorized to remotely will be required to utilize accrued vacation or compensatory leave, and subsequently leave without pay, if applicable, while fulfilling the self-isolation obligation.

What are my campus contacts?

UNT

COVID-19 Hotline

  • 844-366-5892

Campus Human Resources

COVID Contract Tracing Team

Facilities

  • (940) 565-2700

Health Alerts/COVID website:

HSC

COVID-19 Email

Campus Human Resources

Environmental Health & Safety Office

Institutional Compliance & Integrity Office

UNT Dallas

Campus Human Resources

Office of Risk Management

  • (972) 338-1829

Facilities

  • (972) 338-1472

System Administration

Campus Human Resources

COVID Contract Tracing Team

System Administration staff housed at campus locations shall follow the standard protocols of that campus

Resources/Tools

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/
UNT World COVID-19 Response Guidelines: https://www.untsystem.edu/covid-19
FMLA website: https://hr.untsystem.edu/family-and-medical-leave-act
Employee Assistance Program: https://hr.untsystem.edu/employee-assistance-program-eap
Leave Policies/Scenarios: https://www.untsystem.edu/covid-19-working-conditions