Employee FAQ (EE)

Can my supervisor make a temporary change to my job assignments so that the university can continue the primary (essential) functions during a communicable disease outbreak?
Yes, your supervisor has the right to temporarily reassign employees to work outside their usual classifications/responsibilities to the extent they are qualified and can safely perform the work. While this situation may not be ideal – both for employees and their home units – it is important that we are all willing to adjust our “normal” work in the event of an emergency.

Reassignment may include deploying employees with certain necessary skill sets outside their colleges/divisions. Depending on the circumstances, the University will notify employees who are designated as performing essential functions, as well as when and where they should report to work.

Can my supervisor make a temporary change to my assigned shift and/or assigned work schedule during a communicable disease outbreak?
Yes. Your supervisor may temporarily adjust employees’ work schedules to meet operational demands, based on business needs and circumstances, so that Lewis University can appropriately respond to the situation. These adjustments may be made on a case-by-case basis depending upon operational considerations. Your supervisor should work closely with you to discuss any changes to your assigned shift and/or work schedule and any questions or concerns you may have with the changes.

Can my manager require me to work or remain at work during a public health emergency?
Generally, the university will work to balance the preferences of employees with guidance from CDC and IDPH, and the need to maintain business continuity. Your supervisor retains the right to schedule work and assign duties to employees. If an employee is unable to report to work as scheduled due to illness or injury, the supervisor should follow the standard departmental procedure regarding medical documentation (sick leave, FMLA).

A healthy employee may ask to leave work early or stay home. The supervisor can determine if this request can be accommodated based on unit needs.  

What should I do if I have an underlying health condition or am immunosuppressed and need to stay home?
Your health is a top priority and you should consult with your health care provider. Please contact The Office of Human Resources to discuss what options are available to you regarding your particular circumstance and they can further assist.  If the medical condition qualifies for FMLA consideration, please submit medical paperwork to HR.  FMLA leave itself is not paid, so unpaid leave may be necessary if you do not have accrued paid leave.  Alternatively, using unearned STDB may be an option for continued pay, understanding this will create a negative STDB balance.

Does FMLA apply if I contract COVID-19? Does FMLA apply if my spouse, child or parent contracts COVID-19, and I must stay home to care for them?
If you meet the eligibility criteria for FMLA (you have worked 12 months for the university and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months) and have an FMLA-qualifying medical condition or event (which contracting COVID-19 may qualify), FMLA will apply. Accrued STDB and PTO may be used to cover the leave, unless telecommuting is an option and approved by supervisor.

If I have met the criteria for FMLA and must stay home because I have contracted COVID-19 (or my spouse, child or parent has contracted COVID-19, and I must stay home to care for them), how will I be paid?
Depending on the situation, accrued STDB and PTO time will run concurrently with FMLA leave as applicable. FMLA leave itself is not paid, so unpaid leave may be necessary if you do not have accrued paid leave.  Alternatively, using unearned STDB may be an option for continued pay, understanding this will create a negative STDB balance.  For those that are able, remote work may be an option.  Please discuss with your supervisor.

What would happen to my pay if I have no PTO or STDB time available and need to be off work?
Unpaid leave may be requested and granted consistent with policy for the respective employee group. Alternatively, using unearned STDB may be an option for continued pay, understanding this will create a negative STDB balance.  For those that are able, remote work may be an option.  Please discuss with your supervisor.  Normal leave policies will be applied until (and unless) a decision to change them for the emergency event is made by the President’s Leadership Team and communicated to campus.

What types of leave are available during this time? 
The following options are available depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness (please note that not all options will be available in all situations):

  • Use accrued paid leave as appropriate and per LU policy (Short Term Disability, Paid Time off)
  • Request to work a different schedule with supervisor approval
  • Request leave without pay with supervisory approval

Normal leave policies will be applied until (and unless) a decision to change them for the emergency event is made by the President’s Leadership Team and communicated to campus.

Can I be sent home if I am sick? Only for flu-related illnesses? What if I don’t think I have a flu-related illness?
The University is required to maintain a safe and healthy environment, and has broad discretion over when and where an employee is to work. For this reason, employees may be sent home if they are sick.

Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and who exhibits cough and respiratory symptoms; this employee is likely to be sent home. Other symptoms (coughing, sneezing) may also be of concern; the decision to send home an employee who is exhibiting these symptoms should be made on a case-by-case basis.  In addition, employees are encouraged to practice basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands).

With respect to determining whether someone has the flu or flu-related illness, managers will follow the appropriate guidelines from the CDC and refer the employee to a health care provider.

What do I do if I am sick but I can’t get in to see my physician?
Many health care providers are being inundated with patients.   Teladoc is a benefit provided to you at no cost and is available 24/7.  You will receive a confirmation email from the virtual visit that should be emailed to Human Resources.  Teladoc doctors can evaluate your risk for the coronavirus and help with next steps when necessary.  In addition, we encourage anyone who develops flu-like symptoms to contact Teladoc to talk about symptoms, travel history or any recent contact with anyone who may be infected with the virus.  (Call 1-800-835-2362 or visit Teladoc.com)

Can my approved paid-time off request be canceled?
Yes, your supervisor may reconsider the approved paid-time off request based on operational needs, and particularly during times of emergency.  

Will personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators, facemasks, and gloves be offered in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak?
CDC does not currently recommend PPE for avoiding COVID-19 exposure for most of LU’s workforce. PPE will not be made available as it is being reserved for first responders and hospital-based health care providers.

If I have recently traveled, do I need to be cleared by my doctor before returning to work?
A majority of people do not need to be cleared by a doctor before returning to work. If you have traveled to an area with known cases of COVID-19, we recommend calling your healthcare provider to inquire about any follow up that might be needed.

What if my child’s school/day care is closed due to an incident of COVID-19 and my child is not sick. I have no other childcare arrangements. Can I bring the child to work with me?
Bringing a child to work under these circumstances is not recommended or advisable—and may, in fact, be prohibited in many work areas.   Paid or unpaid leave may be available if you must stay home with your child. Please work with your supervisor in order to determine if working remotely is an option.