Working Through COVID-19
Daily Activities, Going out and Small Gatherings: Click here for CDC Guidance
Frequently Asked Questions - Check Here First!
There's a chance that your question has already been answered. Please review this comprehensive list of EMPLOYEE FAQs sorted by topic.
Guidance on Taking Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (or FFCRA Act) provides certain employees* with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
The federally mandated FFCRA benefits expired on December 31, 2020. However, USF leadership has made the decision to voluntarily extend Emergency Paid Sick Leave through September 30, 2021. USF will again extend the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave program through December 31, 2021.
How does this change affect you? Beginning April 1, 2021, employees will be able to request Emergency Paid Sick Leave according to the below criteria. With the passing of additional legislation via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, it resets the 10-day/80-hour limit for emergency paid sick leave. So, an employee who has already exhausted that amount may have an additional 10 days/80 hours available starting April 1. Emergency FMLA under the FFCRA was not extended. Click here to visit the FFCRA for more details.
Employees who are sick should not come to work on campus. An employee who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not come to work. There are also leave options for employees who are awaiting testing, directed to self-isolate, and recovering. The employee should contact his or her supervisor as soon as possible and advise the supervisor of the reason for the absence. The supervisor should consult with Central Human Resources to determine how the leave should be administered and the case reported. Employee healthcare information will be treated as confidential, as permitted by law.
The University may provide paid administrative leave or remote paid
working assignment, as applicable, of up to 5 (five) business days for an employee to be
tested and receive results, which may be adjusted at the University’s discretion based on
the availability of the testing process and individual and workplace circumstances.
The University may provide paid administrative leave or remote paid working assignment, as applicable, of up to 5 (five) business days for an employee who is directed by the University to stay home and self-isolate because they are known to have been exposed to a person positive for COVID-19 and therefore may be infectious. This may be adjusted at the University’s discretion based on individual and workplace circumstances.
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 may have access to paid leave under applicable state or federal law, in addition to accrued USF sick leave in accordance with University policies and procedures. In some cases, an employee who tests positive for COVID-19, but is asymptomatic may be able to perform or continue to perform a remote working assignment.
What should I do if I've been exposed to or have a confirmed case of COVID-19?
If I have exhausted leave benefits under the FFCRA, can I use administrative leave while self-isolating or am I required to use accrued leave?
Please reference Policy 6-040 Title: Return to Regular University Operations In COVID-19 Environment in regards to Administrative Leave under the FFCRA. There may be times when accrued leave may be required.
It remains the case that employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or directed to self-isolate should not be on campus. Such employees should continue to follow the directions of their healthcare providers and may use accrued leave, if available.
We understand that there are many burdens on employees who are unable to tele-work and who do not have accrued leave. Human Resources is developing additional guidance regarding leave sources for employees under recently enacted federal legislation in addition to considering potential, internal options.
Employees should continue to work remotely if approved. If in the judgment of University
management duties can be performed remotely while still meeting the University’s mission, then the employee should be permitted to do so/continue to do so.
If in the judgment of University management an employee’s duties cannot be performed remotely while still meeting University’s mission; then the workplace outcome depends on the reason the employee is unable to return to campus, as described in the following sequential order.
i. Disability: If the employee is limited in returning to campus because of a disability or medical
condition, then the employee should consult with Division of Human Resources
(“DHR”) to review available options for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) or the possibility of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), including expanded federal eligibility for leave. The supervisor should not be the primary contact for ADA and FMLA matters, but rather should refer the employee and any healthcare information to DHR.
ii. Health conditions and dependent/elder care: If the employee is limited in returning to campus because of dependent/elder care obligations, then the employee should consult with DHR regarding FMLA leave, including expanded federal eligibility for leave for dependent care. The supervisor should not be the primary contact for FMLA matters, but rather should refer the employee and any dependent/elder care information to Central HR.
iii. General risk profile: If the employee is limited in returning to campus due to the employee’s risk profile
based on CDC guidance, then the employee and supervisor should explore options to
adjust the work environment to support the employee’s return to on-campus work, such
as: flexible work schedules; alternating days in the workplace with days of remote
work; hybrid performance of duties with telecommuting and in person work functions
(i.e. faculty providing remote lectures with carefully managed in person labs); temporary
reassignment; staggered start and end times to limit number of employees arriving
or departing at the same time.
However, presenting one or more risk factors does not necessarily equate to a disability
under the ADA that would be a basis to provide a reasonable accommodation (i.e. being 65 is not a disability).
iv. General concerns: If the employee is limited in returning to work due to generalized
concerns unrelated to the employee’s own health or dependent/elder care circumstances, then regular University leave and assignment policies apply.
Additional Resources for Working Remotely
After months of working remotely, our university community has firsthand experience of the challenges and advantages of working in a remote environment. HR L&TD has created the curated list of LinkedIn courses and other resources to both further develop our remote work skills and improve our work life balance as we continue to navigate the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak.
Campus Workspace: Health & Safety Supplies
What's already out there?
400,000 REUSABLE FACE COVERINGS AVAILABLE
112,000 FEET OF BARRICADE TAPE
37,100 FLOOR DECALS
16,000 SIGNS ENCOURAGING SOCIAL BEHAVIORAL CHANGES
965 PAPER TOWEL DISPENSERS REPLACED
900 PLEXIGLASS SCREENS (½ MILE)
29 HAND SANITIZER VENDING MACHINES
For instructions in obtaining further supplies, please use the USF Coronavirus Supplies Request page for any of the following:
- Request sanitizer, disinfectant and face coverings, which are being centrally purchased
- Request COVID-19 public health signage from the existing catalog
- Request signage for a new topic
- Request plexi-glass partitions
Hand Sanitizer 4 oz. Spray Bottles
Spray hand sanitizer is available through vending machines strategically placed around campus. All students and employees with a valid USF ID card will be able to get two (2) 4 oz. complimentary bottles every 30 days. Check the Hand Sanitizer Vending Locations for each campus.
Life & Personal Help
Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provided by Magellan Health provides free support and assistance for a variety of concerns. Some of the recent resources deal with emotional and financial challenges by offering online webinars, tip sheets, articles, discounts and personal assistance finding services. For specific COVID-19 tips sheets, click here.
Access LifeCare's "We Can Help" program at MagellanAscend.com for personalized assistance in variety of areas. For example, they can help find childcare, pet care and elderly care. Click here for instructions on navigating to the LifeCare resource page. The "We Can Help" program is located under the "Coronavirus Curated Collection" block.
IMPOWER Separate from USF's EAP, IMPOWER is a Florida non-profit organization. They off no-cost mental health and substance use counseling, medication, and services via telehealth for low-income families and individuals needing help as a result of the pandemic. Click here for the IMPOWER informational flyer.
Information for Supervisors
We have developed a Supervisors Toolkit to assist you until we resume normal campus operations. Here, you’ll find information to design work arrangements that fulfill employee obligations while complying with CDC social distancing guidance. This includes information on the following:
- Working with USF Career’s Readiness Badging Program
- Opportunities for student employees
- Developing meaningful assignments for employees
- Additional professional development opportunities
- Information about the Temporary Reassignment Program
Contacting Human Resources
HR is not accepting walk-ins for the safety of all involved and staff is working remotely. For general questions, please call 813-974-2970 or email your questions directly to the teams below.
New Hire Paperwork/Orientation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Employee Relations: email@example.com
Classification and Compensation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Data Center: email@example.com
Leave and Attendance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background/Drug Screens: email@example.com
Learning and Talent Development: firstname.lastname@example.org Personnel Records/Employment Verifications: email@example.com