Frequently Asked Questions
Work-Related

General

 What should I do to ensure social distancing while at work?

Social distancing as defined by the Centers for Disease Control means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. We are encouraging the use of Zoom, teleconferencing, etc., working from home, flexible work hours, and other actions to maximize social distancing.

 What should I do if I have a sick family member who needs my care?

Contact your immediate supervisor to discuss flexible work arrangement options. This may include flexible working hours or working remotely.  

When a flexible work arrangement is not possible coordinate with your supervisor to determine if leave is appropriate. Follow your supervisor's expectations for planned and unplanned absence requests/notifications. Absences must be properly reported on your timesheet/leave report. Your supervisor will determine if COVID-19 leave can be requested in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy. See the Pandemic Decision Tree.

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section below.

COVID-19 leave is in lieu of Family Medical Leave. If your family member is ill with the virus beyond two weeks, you may apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) , if eligible. Definitions of a serious health condition under the FMLA will apply. Medical documentation will not be needed during the pandemic. 

 Will UWSP be conducting COVID-19 testing for employees, their families, or the community?

UWSP is not currently, nor does it have plans to, conduct testing for employees, their families or the community.  

 What should I do if I feel I’m being treated unfairly, discriminated against, or harassed due to concerns around this issue?

If you experience or witness harassment or discrimination, you are encouraged to file a bias incident report.  

Employees may contact Human Resources to report if they prefer. For resources and support: Connect with Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or CAP Services as needed. 

Students may contact the Dean of Students office with questions and to connect to resources. 

 What information can or will the university share regarding any student or employee who recently traveled overseas?

In compliance with state and federal health privacy laws, UWSP will not release names or identifying information of any student or employee. 

 If someone in my work area been to an area with high COVID-19 and is not self-quarantining, what should I do?

Anyone who traveled internationally or in the United States to areas with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to any UW-Stevens Point campus or field station. This must be done to slow the spread of the virus.  

If you are an employee and know of someone working on campus who has traveled to a high-risk area and is not self-quarantining, tell your supervisor. The supervisor will address the situation directly with the help of the vice chancellor and Human Resources if needed. If the person is a student, contact the Dean of Students office.  

Anyone who has potentially been exposed to the virus and refuses to self-quarantine will be banned from campus. Contact Human Resources or your vice chancellor if you have further questions or concerns. Each of us needs to take seriously personal precautions, including maintaining social distancing of six feet.

 What should I do if the media calls?

Media inquiries may be directed to University Communications and Marketing at 715-346-2490. 

 How does Gov. Tony Evers' recently issued “Stay-at-Home” Order impact UWSP and me as a UWSP employee?

At this time, the University is exempt from the Order. Employees are expected to work in accordance with the expectations set by their supervisor. 

Employees who are expected to work on campus could be questioned by local or campus police officers as a public safety precaution. Employees should carry their UWSP PointCard ID with them at all times as the official ID for UWSP employees. As needed, show your UWSP PointCard ID to local or campus police officers to ensure that you are identified as a University employee.

 I am facing a complex circumstance, with whom do I speak?

There may be times when employees require additional support that our current policies have not considered. If you are involved with a particularly difficult circumstance, our Human Resources staff are available to offer guidance and support.  For confidential assistance, you are welcome to use the Employee Assistance Program. Both are a benefit to you and your family to help with emotional support, legal assistance and even financial counseling.

COVID-19 Leave

 What is COVID-19 Leave?

On March 17, President Cross announced the implementation of UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy. The policy was updated on March 31. This policy fulfills the paid sick leave of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Employees are eligible during the COVID-19 pandemic to use COVID-19 leave when they are unable to perform their assigned duties due to circumstances related to the pandemic that are outside of their control.

Efforts should be made to continue working during this event, if possible.  If in self-quarantine and monitoring your condition, you may be able to continue working remotely, if the work you perform permits it. If you are caring for others and the work that you perform allows, flexible working arrangements can help (i.e. working remotely and/or flexible work hours). In instances where employees are provided a flexible working arrangement by their supervisor, they may not refuse to do so in order to take COVID-19 leave. See the Pandemic Decision Tree.

Supervisors may approve the use of COVID-19 leave, in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy with the approval of their Vice Chancellor. See Supervisor FAQs for more information.

 Do other forms of leave have to be exhausted prior to using COVID-19 Leave?

COVID-19 Leave can be used prior to other forms of leave being used when used in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy.

 How do I enter COVID-19 Leave on my timesheet or leave statement?

Once approved, leave must be submitted and approved on a timesheet (including monthly and lump sum employees).  See COVID-19 Timesheet Entry Tip Sheet for guidance.

 How was my COVID-19 Leave balance determined?

  • Leave balances are added to HRS according to published policy guidelines.

  • Initial balances will be located on both the Absence Balances and Compensatory Time Tabs in Time & Labor.

    • Projected balance will be available following the Tuesday evening (March 31) nightly processing.

  • For employees without an FTE or with a pay basis of Lump, an FTE equivalent will be estimated using either the hours calculated for WRS accumulation or the ACA hours entered on the timesheet depending on whichever is higher.

    • Initial balance can be updated via campus request. Requests for balance update will need policy approval.

  • Changes in FTE will not increase or decrease the allotted balance.

 What do I do if I was approved for COVID-19 Leave and it is exhausted?

If COVID-19 leave is exhausted, accrued leave may be used in accordance with UWS 1212, UWS 1210, and UWS 1211

 What happens if I do not have accrued leave or prefer to take unpaid leave (or have an employee who prefers or needs to take unpaid leave)?

It is the supervisor's discretion to approve an unpaid leave. Typically, if the leave is medically related, Human Resources has an employee complete a form. Given the situation of COVID-19, HR is suspending this practice for leaves due to a COVID-19 medical purpose. Before an employee takes unpaid leave for any reason, it is critical for the employee to understand the benefits and leave implications to taking unpaid leave. Individuals should contact Tina Rajski, benefits specialist, or hr@uwsp.edu.

If unable to be on campus physically or expectations change:

 What about contingency preparations?

Please review your organization's essential and non-essential staff position designations. Review your Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan. Should the University suspend operations, your essential staff will need to understand if they are permitted to work remotely or if they are required to report to campus. In addition, your non-essential staff will need to understand that they should not report to their work location while the University or campuses are closed. 

Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, we recommend that supervisors continue to discuss flexible working arrangements, such as flexible working hours or working remotely during suspended operations with non-essential campus staff and student workers. If productive work can be performed, supervisors are being tasked with setting those expectations and facilitating such work. UWSP encourages supervisors to be flexible and creative in considering temporary remote work arrangements so that the work of your department continues, and the needs of the University, students, faculty and staff are met. 

 I am being assigned different duties or remote work, what is expected from me?

You are expected to work if provided or expected to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. If working remotely: Human Resources has created a Working Remotely Guide to support you. The guide is a fluid document and will be updated regularly. More information is available within the Working Remotely FAQ section.

There is no change to requesting time off expectations, planned leave is based on supervisor approval. As with normal practice, individuals may request to take leave in accordance with UWS 1210 and UWS 1211 if they would like time away from work which is not related to the lack of work, being ill, or to take care of an immediate family member who is ill. 

 What should I do if I am ill?

First, take care of yourself. Do not report to campus. If you feel well enough to work remotely, you may do so in coordination with your supervisor's approval and expectations. If you cannot work due to illness, follow normal expectations for planned and unplanned absence requests/notifications.

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section.

COVID-19 Leave is in lieu of Family Medical Leave. If you are ill with this virus beyond two weeks, you may apply for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), if eligible. Definitions of a serious health condition under the FMLA will apply. Medical documentation will not be needed during the pandemic.

 Is short-term disability applicable to COVID-19?

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, short-term disability may apply. Visit the Disability Benefits webpage for information.

 What should I do if I’m afraid to go to work due to fear of being exposed to COVID-19?

Speak to your supervisor regarding your concerns. If you are able to have a flexible work arrangement, you may do so with your supervisor's approval. 

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for all employees, including student employees. EAP can help us work through anxieties and devise solutions and strategies that will allow us to be successful as employees and for our personal wellness and well-being. 

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section.

 What should I do if I have been requested or directed by a public health official/CDC guidelines to self-quarantine?

Contact your immediate supervisor to discuss working remotely. If there is no work available to work remotely, UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy may be applicable. Follow your supervisor's expectations for planned and unplanned absence requests/notifications. Follow typical expectations for submitting leave on your timesheet/leave statement. 

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section.

 What should I do if my child's school or daycare is closed and I do not have childcare?

Contact your immediate supervisor to discuss flexible work arrangement options. This may include flexible working hours or working remotely. When a flexible work arrangement is not possible, coordinate with your supervisor to determine if leave is appropriate. Follow your supervisor's expectations for planned and unplanned absence requests/notifications. Absences must be properly reported on your timesheet/leave report. Your supervisor will determine if COVID-19 Leave can be requested in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy.  

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section

 What should I do if I am unable to perform assigned duties due to the inability to work remotely (telecommute or telework) because there is limited or no work available?

While all efforts should be made to maintain an employee's work, if there is limited or no work available, coordinate with your supervisor to determine when you may be provided work and/or how to take leave. Your supervisor may recommend approval of COVID-19 leave, with their Vice Chancellor's approval, in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy.  See the Pandemic Decision Tree.

For more details, see the COVID-19 FAQ section.

Working Remotely

 What is working remotely during COVID-19?

UWSP's commitment to safely and effectively meeting the public health challenges presented by COVID-19 extends to ensuring that University employees are permitted to work from home or another remote location whenever necessary during this particular health event.

Arrangements for working remotely are not new. However, they may be unfamiliar to supervisors and managers who have never done so, the Working Remotely Guide will help you and your team navigate potential remote working scenarios. 

Included in these resource pages, you will find guidance for supervisors, employees, and departments designed to help set up temporary remote work arrangements quickly and successfully. 

 What is working remotely and how does it differ from other forms of work?

Working remotely or telecommuting is a work arrangement in which some or all of the work is performed from home or another off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked and deviations from that schedule require supervisor approval. 

Permanent telecommuting at UWSP is defined as an individual only working remotely or most of their working hours are done remotely. Telecommuting in this manner is done so on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the UWSP Telecommuting Policy and approval of a telecommuting agreement. If a telecommuting agreement is needed, please contact hr@uwsp.edu.  

Human Resources has created a Working Remotely Guide to support supervisors and employees. This is a fluid document and may be updated.

 Which jobs are suited for working remotely?

Working remotely is easiest to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data, and talking on the phone. During this particular health event, meetings may also be better accommodated through Zoom or other meeting arrangement. In general, and at management's discretion, a position is suited to working remotely if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication. However, if the position is well suited, but the remaining work in need of completion is not suited to working remotely, leave arrangement will need to made and entered into the timesheet. 

 Which jobs are not as well suited for working remotely?

It is not uncommon to require employees in positions involving in-person contact, in-person customer service, or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies which are only available in the work location to work on site. Management and supervisory roles also generally may be excluded from consideration for remote working arrangements unless a department finds such an arrangement practical in meeting job responsibilities. Some jobs that may not seem appropriate at first may be modified so that employees can work remotely. 

 What’s most important to starting a productive remote working arrangement?

When clearly outlined and executed remote working arrangements can prove beneficial to employees and managers alike. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communications problems can be minimized. Indeed, well-planned flexible work arrangements sometimes enable departments to extend their service hours, and to make more effective use of space and equipment.

 Are there support resources for technology (such as ZOOM) use to work remotely?

Remote Desktop

The following videos and documents to help students and teachers get up and running with Zoom:

Teaching Focused:


Human Resources has created a Working Remotely Guide to support supervisors and employees. This is a fluid document and may be updated.

Supervisors

 What is expected of me as a supervisor during this time specifically for operations?

To maintain operations, work should be flexible and assigned when possible. You are encouraged to create flexible work arrangements to maximize business operations. You have the discretion to determine which employees may perform work remotely and which employees are required to perform their work duties on campus due to the nature of their work and/or staffing needs. Related work, which is not normally performed by the employee, may be assigned. Additionally, you have the discretion to determine if work can reasonably be completed through a flexible schedule. If a flexible work arrangement is not possible, there is limited work, or there is no work available, COVID-19 Leave may be applied in accordance with UWS 1200-Interim 02: COVID-19 Leave Policy For the process to approve COVID-19 Leave, see FAQ: What is the process for approving/allowing COVID-19 Leave. 

 What is the process for approving/allowing COVID-19 Leave?

COVID-19 Leave needs Vice Chancellor approval. To support the decision making, create documentation (email is acceptable) for the rationale to implement COVID-19 Leave.

  • If the inability to work is due to the employee's own illness, care of an immediate family member, or to provide child/elder care, provide the rationale to your immediate supervisor to be provided to and approved by your Vice Chancellor. 
  • If work is limited or no work is available: Create an assessment plan which outlines what work will be completed by the employee, if any, and/or provide the rationale for no work available. Provide the work assessment to your immediate supervisor to be provided to and approved by your Vice Chancellor. 

 I have an employee who is on campus and has traveled to a location which is identified as having sustained community transmission or the individual has been confirmed to have been exposed to COVID-19, what do I do?

The safety and wellbeing of the campus community is critical. Direct the individual to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days. If you have remote work for the employee, coordinate work with them during this time period. If you have limited or no remote work available, see the COVID-19 Leave FAQ section.

 What are the supervisor guidelines for supporting remote work?

Working remotely functions best when supervisors and employees communicate clearly about expectations. Below are resources to support your success.

Remote Work Parameters and Guidelines

Leadership and Department Checklists for Telecommuting

Remote Work Plan Template Excel Sheet

 How do I schedule my student employees for the rest of the semester?

Confirm with the student employees who are scheduled to work whether they plan to leave campus or Stevens Point. If they plan to leave, coordinate to fill duties with either other student employees, faculty or staff. Student employees who plan to stay on campus may continue to work on campus, if appropriate to do so.

 Can I require student employees to return to campus to work if they do not plan on returning?

Because students are not returning to campus for courses for the rest of spring semester, we cannot require them to work.

 What should I do if I have relied on student employees for essential functions or duties (ex: customer service, answering phones, caring for animals, etc.) and the student employees are not returning to campus or I do not have enough student employees to cover the essential functions?

Refer to your department's Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan.  

If your COOP did not cover this, work with your department management to update your plan.  However, if no student employees are available, coordinate the work to be completed by department personnel to complete the duties. You may work across units and departments to see if there may be available labor in those areas. 

 Since classes will be online, can I have student employees work more than 25 hours?

No. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements and SYS 1237 still apply. Student employees, if working, should remain under 25 hours to not trigger fines under ACA.  In 2017, UWSP incurred $9,605 in ACA fines for the previous year.  These fines will be charged back to the units that created them.

 Can a student work remotely?

Review the eligibility requirements of the Interim: Short-Term Telecommuting Policy. It could be very difficult to meet all those eligibility requirements for a student employee. However, the eligibility requirements are quite clear and those employees that meet it can do so. Refer to the "Working Remotely" section of the FAQs on this page.

Student Employees

  How do I work with my on-campus supervisor to schedule the rest of the semester?

Communicate with your on-campus supervisor your plan to leave campus or stay in Stevens Point. If you plan to leave, your supervisor will coordinate to fill your duties with either other student employees, faculty, or staff. Student employees who plan to stay on campus may continue to work.

 Classes are online, can I work on-campus more than 25 hours?

No. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements and SYS 1237 still apply. Student employees, if working, should remain under 25 hours to not trigger fines under ACA.  

 As a student employee, can I work remotely?

Review the eligibility requirements of the Interim: Short-Term Telecommuting Policy. It could be very difficult to meet all those eligibility requirements for a student employee. However, the eligibility requirements are quite clear and those employees that meet it can do so. Refer to the "Working Remotely" section of the FAQs on this page.

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