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Coronavirus Employee Resources

Latest Update: May 14, 2020 at 4 p.m. | Managers, Supervisors and Timekeepers

Managers, Supervisors and Timekeepers

What if I need guidance on an HR or employee matter?

If you ever need assistance or are in doubt about an employee issue consult your HR business partner.

What steps should I take if an employee reports they suspect they may have COVID-19 or have been confirmed positive with COVID-19?

You should follow this four-step plan when addressing a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • Isolate/Quarantine Suspected or Confirmed Employees
     
    • The employee who is either suspected of having COVID-19 or confirmed positive should remain at home until released by a physician or public health official. If a medical note releasing the employee is unavailable, follow the CDC guidelines on when an employee may discontinue self-isolation, which contain specific requirements dependent upon whether the employee tested positive for COVID-19 and the symptoms exhibited.
    • If available, offer COVID-19 leave, advise FMLA paperwork will be forthcoming, and notify the timekeeper of the start date of the leave.
    • Notify Tulane’s Leave Coordinator or HR business partner to send FMLA paperwork to the employee.
       
  • Address and Isolate Employees Working Near an Employee Suspected of Having COVID-19 or Confirmed Infected Co-Worker
     
    • Determine whether the employee was at work within the last 14 days. If so, ask the names of any employees that the employee came within close proximity (6 feet or more) for a prolonged period of time (10 minutes or more to 30 minutes or more depending upon particular circumstances, such as how close the employees worked and whether they shared tools or other items) during the 48-hour period before the onset of symptoms while at work.
    • Contact Scott Tims in Campus Health, your leader, and an HR business partner to discuss the course of action.
    • The HR business partner will notify Tulane’s Workers’ Compensation office who will work with the supervisor to determine the Workers’ Compensation process.
    • Send home all employees who worked closely with the suspected/confirmed infected employee for 14 days under CDC Guidance to ensure the infection does not spread. While quarantined, those employees should self-monitor for symptoms, avoid contact with high-risk individuals and seek medical attention if symptoms develop.
    • Please note that the CDC has developed alternative guidelines for critical workers, such as healthcare workers. In these cases, asymptomatic employees who have been directly exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 can continue to work if certain guidelines are met. The CDC may issue even further guidance once businesses begin to reopen, as evidenced by this brand new webpage devoted to reopened businesses.
       
  • Clean and Disinfect Your Workplace
     
    • After a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace including cleaning and disinfecting all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
       
  • Notify Your Employees
     
    • Following a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, and as recommended by the CDC, notify all employees who work in the location or area where the employee works of the situation without revealing any confidential medical information such as the name of the employee Inform employees of the actions you have taken, including requiring employees who worked closely to the infected worker to go home. Let employees know about your sanitizing and cleaning efforts and remind them to seek medical attention if they exhibit symptoms. The failure to notify employees at your location of a confirmed case may be a violation of OSHA’s general duty clause, which requires all employers to provide employees with a safe work environment.
What guidance should I follow when an employee reports that they are ready to return to work after testing positive for COVID-19 or caring for an ill family member who was positive?

If the employee is able to work remotely, supervisors should allow them to do so. Employees returning to work should secure permission from their supervisor before returning to a Tulane work site. The university follows CDC guidelines for employees returning to work. The CDC offers different strategies intended to be applied as appropriate based on local conditions and operational needs. Please consult with your HR business partner if you have questions.

For Timekeepers: How do I update Kronos to capture COVID-19 leave?

Instructions for using the COVID-19 leave pay code in Kronos can be found here.

 

Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Paid Leave

For what purpose can employees use COVID-19 leave?

Eligible employees may use COVID-19 leave for:

  • Self-quarantine, isolation or family care needs related to COVID-19 exposure/illness,
  • Caring for children that are at home due to the K-12 school or daycare closures. Note: this is primarily intended for employees that are unable to work remotely although COVID-19 leave may be used to offset the hours remote workers are reasonably unable to work due to childcare issues such as inability to work a full adjusted schedule,
  • An employee is unable to work all of the hours in a work day due to a reduced schedule as a result of staggering shifts put in place to maintain social distancing.
  • Other reasonably related COVID-19 circumstances (as determined in Tulane's discretion)

This special type of leave is neither sick nor vacation. Any unused COVID-19 leave will not accrue or be paid upon separation.

Is COVID-19 leave available to me if I am able to work remotely, but my children are home because of school/day care closures?

When the schools/day cares closed, leadership recognized the potential hardship created for many employees. We have employees with functions that require them to physically report to work for Tulane’s essential work to continue. These workers could not leave their children without supervision, thus one of the reasons for the COVID-19 leave was to provide temporary pay continuance for those unable to work remotely due to childcare issues. If an employee’s role allows them to work remotely, and they are also caring for children, we are recommending for leaders to work with employees to adjust schedules to the extent possible. This will allow for the supervision of children and further pay continuance without the use of COVID-19 leave so that it may be available should an illness occur. Should reasonable circumstances beyond the employee’s control cause hardship due to work demands and childcare, we are recommending consultation with your leader and/or HR business partner to discuss options, which may include the use of COVID-19 leave.

How do I request use of COVID-19 leave and how do I report it on my timesheet?

Employees must request COVID-19 leave through their Supervisors. Employees are not responsible for entering COVID-19 leave in Kronos. Supervisors must notify the timekeeper of the date the employee began COVID-19 leave. The timekeeper will enter the time in Kronos as COVID-19PL. Sick and vacation time not related to the coronavirus should be entered as normal in Kronos.

Are employees required to use sick or vacation leave if they are directed to stay home by a healthcare provider or government health agency due to COVID-19?

When possible, departments are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely if they are directed to stay home from work by a healthcare provider or government health agency due to COVID-19. For eligible employees who are unable to work remotely and are directed to stay home by a healthcare provider or government agency due to COVID-19, COVID-19 leave may be used first before other forms of leave (e.g. sick or vacation) are used.

What happens when I have exhausted COVID-19 leave?

When COVID-19 leave is exhausted, staff may use sick time. If sick time is exhausted, staff may use vacation time.

Supervisors may reach out to your HR business partner for further guidance if COVID-19 leave, sick time, and vacation time is exhausted.

Can I keep the COVID-19 leave if I do not use it during the COVID-19 outbreak?

No. Any unused COVID-19 leave will not accrue nor be paid upon separation of employment. COVID-19 leave may only be used for COVID-19 related circumstances. The purpose of the temporary emergency leave is to give employees the most flexibility during this fluid situation. These policies are subject to change.

 

Flexible Work Arrangements/Remote Work

What are Flexible Work Arrangements?

Flexible work arrangements, including working remotely, support the practice of social distancing. Supervisors are encouraged to develop and implement flexible work arrangements into their operations to help reduce the spread of the virus.

  • Supervisory approval is required for remote work and should be approved with the exception of critical work that cannot be done remotely, such as clinical operations. See the Transition to Remote Work document for more guidance.
  • Supervisors may also consider staggering start and end times or implementing compressed work weeks to further reduce the number of people working near one another.
  • Supervisors should be accommodating to employees who have been told by health professionals to self-quarantine. This may include working remotely or allowing employees to use COVID-19 leave to cover that period if the employee is unable to work.
  • Supervisors may assign alternative temporary duties outside of employees' normal job duties during this period, as a means to support on-going business continuity.
How long will the Flexible Work Arrangements be in effect?

We are continually reassessing our policies in light of the ongoing pandemic. The flexible work arrangements protocol is effective until further notice and is subject to change at the sole discretion of the university.

For Managers: How do I implement remote work in response to COVID-19?
  • Identify the roles that are critical to your departmental operations that cannot be performed remotely. Please review flexible work arrangements guidelines collaborate with your designated HR business partner on next steps for such workers.
  • All other employees are expected to work remotely.
  • Determine if these employees can perform their existing duties remotely. If not, use your discretion to assign additional temporary duties so that employees have an appropriate work load. Document all changes to an employee’s temporary work responsibilities. Remind hourly employees to log work hours in Kronos. Contact your HR business partner if you have questions or feasibility concerns. • Assess technological capabilities for employees to perform remote work. Contact Information Technology and/or refer to Information Technology’s website for security and privacy protocols and guidance.
  • Take an inventory of the types of equipment your workers will need to work remotely and ensure they have access to them. This could include laptops, desktop computers, monitors, phones, printers, chargers, office supplies, and similar materials.
For Managers: How do I manage remote work?

There are a number of steps a manager can take to ensure that the temporary remote work time goes well for your department and Tulane.

  • From a functionality standpoint, you should tell your employees which communications platform the workers will be required to participate in. It could be email, Zoom Conferencing, or some other designated tool.
  • Managers should remain flexible and creative. Track overall productivity, not moment-by-moment activities.
  • Other suggestions for effectively managing your remote team include:
    -Stay in regular communication with your team. Schedule regular conference calls or Zoom meetings;
    -Develop and distribute an agenda for conference call and meetings;
    -Prepare meeting minutes and task lists after virtual meetings are completed and follow up on task/assignments.
  • For resources visit the Linkedin Learning Work Anywhere Resources page.
For Employees: What do I do if I need to work remotely but my job duties cannot be performed remotely?

Your supervisor may assign you additional temporary duties so that you have an appropriate work load. Make sure that you and your supervisor document all changes to your temporary work responsibilities. Non-exempt, hourly paid employees should clock in and out of Kronos as normal.

If your supervisor cannot assign you temporary duties that can be performed remotely and that are an appropriate work load you may need to use COVID-19 leave. If that has been exhausted then you may use sick time. If sick time is exhausted, then you may use vacation time. 

Note:  COVID-19 leave may not be used if you are able to work, whether in-person or remotely, but refuse to do so.

 

General

What if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?
  • If you are sick, stay home and seek medical care.
  • If you are concerned that you may have contracted COVID-19, your healthcare provider will help you determine whether quarantine or isolation is needed.
  • If you are concerned about exposure, and are not working remotely, please notify your supervisor immediately.
  • If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the Louisiana Department of Health hotline at 1-855-523-2652.
What do I do if my healthcare provider tells me to self-quarantine?

If an employee is told by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine, even if the employee is not symptomatic, the employee should stay home. If the employee is currently working from home and can continue to work, the employee will receive pay as normal based on the regular work schedule.

If the illness or quarantine prevents the employee from working, then the COVID-19 leave may be utilized. The employee should notify their supervisor as soon as possible of the need to self-quarantine.

What if I have been ill or caring for a family member who has COVID-19? What do I need to do to return to work?

We are following CDC guidelines for returning to work. Please stay in contact with your supervisor and secure permission before returning to work.

How can I stay current about university operations as it relates to COVID-19?

For the most updated information about university operations, please visit COVID-19 Response & Resources. Additionally, major announcements and updates will be sent to your Tulane email. You can also follow @Tulane on Twitter.

Has the due date to file federal income tax changed as a result of COVID-19?

Yes, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest. Visit the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief web page for more details or consult with your tax advisor.

 

Health & Wellbeing

What Telemedicine/Virtual Visit options are available?

Telemedicine, sometimes referred to as virtual visits, allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. In an effort to protect both patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, many health care providers are requiring certain visits to be performed virtually. We encourage this practice and have included the chart below to help you understand the differences between these virtual visits, and the recently added Teladoc option. Both options are covered within our plans.

In Person Office Visit

Traditional walk-in or by appointment visits to your provider's office

  • Both POS and HRA Plans: You pay a copay
  • HDHP: You pay the full cost of the visit until your deductible is met. After deductible is met you pay 20%.
Virtual Visits

Virtual appointment with your regular provider, set up by the provider's office.

  • Both POS and HRA Plans: You pay a copay
  • HDHP: You pay the full cost of the visit until your deductible is met. After deductible is met you pay 20%.
Teladoc

Teladoc is an independent company that provides 24/7/365 access to a board-certified physician through the convenience of phone or video consults. Visit www.teladoc.com or call 866-789-8155 to set up your account and log in with your username and password whenever you need a consult with a Teladoc physician.

  • Both POS and HRA Plans: $0 copay effective 4/01 for 90 days
  • HDHP: You pay the full cost of the visit until your deductible is met. After deductible is met you pay 20%.
Is testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) covered under Tulane’s medical Insurance?

COVID-19 testing is covered at 100% consistent with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance where such testing is medically necessary not covered as part of the public health service. No co-pays apply and the deductible is waived on the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

What if I have difficulty getting my maintenance prescriptions?

The health plan will increase access to prescription medications by encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit. The health plan will also ensure formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues. Patients will not be liable for additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication if the preferred medication is not available due to shortage or access issues.  For more information on how to access the mail-order benefit, login to MyHealthToolkitla.com, click on Benefits, then 2020 Pharmacy Benefits. Once that opens, click on View your Pharmacy Benefits and this opens to your Optum page. There you can request the home delivery option for your prescriptions.

How are medical services for the coronavirus (COVID-19) covered under Tulane’s medical Insurance?

Prior authorizations will be waived for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. The health plan will make dedicated clinical staff available to address inquiries related to medical services, ensuring timeliness of responses related to COVID-19. BCBS will ensure patient testing and any subsequently needed care is done in close coordination with federal, state and public health authorities.

How can we help employees who are experiencing heightened anxiety around COVID-19 pandemic?

The Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff seeking counseling or support to manage stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Crisis resources specific to COVID-19 can be found here. More information about Employee Assistance Programs can be found here. Employees can reach the counseling hotline at 833-848-1764. Tulane is our company code.

What assistance is available to employees who are traveling?

Travel assistance benefits are available to employees covered under The Standard life insurance plan, as well as their eligible dependents (spouse and children through age 25). If an employee or eligible dependent is traveling and has tested positive for COVID-19, their request would be treated like a standard medical case. If the individual is eligible for transport benefits, those benefits would be arranged in accordance with the departing and receiving country’s government clearance on flying. Pre-trip planning services as well as emergency transportation and medical assistance services if a person is traveling at least 100 miles from home or internationally for 180 days or less. Links to the travel assistance flyer and employee card are here for your convenience. We would encourage everyone to either keep the card with them, or put this information in their cell phone prior to any travel.

Travel Assistance - Employee Flyer

Travel Assistance Employee Card

Will one-on-one retirement plan counseling sessions with TIAA and Fidelity be available?

Both TIAA and Fidelity are suspending in-person meetings. Meetings already scheduled will be held telephonically.

 

Student Employees

Can students continue to work as student employees?

Tulane is doing everything possible to reduce the concentration of people on campus and at our workplaces. Our intention is to allow as many of our student employees as possible to work remotely, while continuing to carry out the essential work of the University. Students may continue to work on-site for critical work that may not be performed remotely. Students should contact their supervisors to discuss any modifications to shifts, schedules or remote work possibilities.

How can students find a job?

Students looking for work should contact the Student Employment Office, SEHR@tulane.edu or 504-247-1700 for assistance. They are also encouraged to search Jobs posted on https://www.collegecentral.com/tulane/.

I accepted my Federal Work Study (FWS) award and worked in the fall. Why Did I not receive any payments?

The methodology used for the COVID-19 payout only included students who were actively earning the award with hours clocked in the spring semester.

I worked in the spring semester but forgot to clock into KRONOS. Is it too late to submit Time Correction Forms?

No, it is not too late. Students must be paid for all hours worked that are verified and approved by their supervisors.

I thought the remainder of my FWS award was going to be paid out? Why did that change?

After a review of the Department of Education regulations, a methodology was developed to ensure an equitable and compliant process to provide students with funds they were unable to earn due to COVID-19.

I'm still working at my non-FWS student position. Will those hours be counted against my FWS payment?

You will be paid the difference of all hours recorded in KRONOS for all student work positions and 40 hrs./pay period, up to your award limit on the May 15 paycheck.

I was working remotely, but now my supervisor does not have any more remote projects for me. Can I receive my FWS payments earlier than May 15?

The payroll cycle runs on a very specific calendar. Remaining FWS payments will not be available earlier than May 15.

The amount I received for my FWS payment is less than what I was expecing. Why?

Please check your paystub to compare your gross (pretax) earnings and net (after tax) earnings.