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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 contact HR at 940-565-2281 and via email at HR@untsystem.edu to discuss your medical situation, sick leave, and the return-to-work process.

You must be must be fever- and symptom-free in order to return to work. Contact HR and provide a copy of your health care providers return-to-work approval before returning 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 UNT System Administrative Policy 03.609 Sick Leave, 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 can not use FMLA as part of an effort of avoiding contracting COVID-19; please discuss remote working with your supervisor.

How can I apply for FMLA?

The Federal Emergency Family Medical Leave Act will be effective April 1, 2020. To be eligible for the Emergency FML, the criteria is based on the following:

  1. Must have worked at least 30 calendar days
  2. Reason for leave is to care for a child whose school/day care is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or school/day care is unavailable due to a public health emergency
  3. Not able to work: To apply for Emergency FML, go to the FMLASource website at www.fmlasource.com. You will be required to register on the site first before applying. Please create and remember your USERID and Password because it’s not in sync with EIS.

To open a new claim 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.
  • FMLASource has incorporated Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) as covered leave reasons. Select the appropriate leave reason by answering a few simple questions.
  • Select the frequency of your leave of absence and fill in the appropriate start and end dates.
  • No medical certifications will be required.
  • 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.

Please keep in mind that this leave is an extension of FMLA. Any time taken under the Emergency FML will reduce your FMLA entitlement. Meaning Emergency FML and FMLA is a combined 12 weeks, not an additional 12 weeks of leave.

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: 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 in order to return to work.

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

Employees can not bring their children into work with them. Remote work is not a substitute for child care. 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 comp time off.

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

In situations where work can be performed at home, we recommend supervisors allow remote workings in order to contribute towards efforts to flatten the curve. Please submit to HRAdministration@untsystem.edu a list of employee names who will be temporarily remote working. This includes employees who already have a remote working agreement that needs to be increased temporarily.

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 Risk Management and refrain from entering the workplace until Risk Management provides further guidance. In addition, the employee should contact their supervisor.

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 resume. 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 a also a free, confidential resource available to all regular faculty and staff employees 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, 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 I can’t afford to see a doctor to get a medical clearance to return to work following the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or a COVID-19 diagnosis?

Employees who have been diagnosed with or have exhibited symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are required to provide a release to return to work from their healthcare provider. The medical release to return to work is critical to ensure that the overall workforce is as protected from exposure to the virus as possible.

If you are enrolled in the employee health plan HealthSelect, there are no out-of-pocket costs for in-network visits related to COVID 19 at this time

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 as required by the guidelines?

All employees are required to adhere to all safety precautions, including wearing the required PPE as directed in the overall guidelines discussed here as well as additional safety measures or PPE that may be required 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 and is a requirement. Employees who fail to comply with safety guidelines including required PPE are subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with institutional policies. If an employee has a specialized need related to PPE, they should discuss the need with their supervisor or Human Resources.

If I travel out of the country and am required to self-isolate for 14 days 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 14-day 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 while fulfilling the 14-day self-isolation obligation.

What are my campus contacts?

UNT

COVID-19 Hotline

  • 844-366-5892

Campus Human Resources

Office of Risk Management

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

Office of Risk Management

  • (972) 338-1829

Facilities

  • (972) 338-1472

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