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Answers Regarding Employee Issues Related Influenza (H1N1)
Employment Services recommends that departments establish
a protocol for dealing with employees who are out or need to be out for
influenza related illnesses. Below are answers to address some questions
regarding standard practice and policy for use of leave for absences due to
Q: I have an employee who is ill and has come into work.
I'm concerned they may have influenza and will expose others to the virus. Can
I send this employee home?
A: Yes. You can
send an employee home who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms. While each case must
be considered separately, employees with a fever greater than 100 degrees
Fahrenheit and a cough should be sent home. Other symptoms of concern are
coughing and sneezing.
Q: Can I come to work if I have flu-like
A: Please refrain from coming to work if you have flu-like
symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 'if you get sick
with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact
with other people except to get medical care.
In the event that you must stay home because of flu-like symptoms, you will
be required to use your sick leave (for employees accruing leave) and if you
have exhausted your sick leave, you may choose to use comp time or annual
leave. If both sick leave
and annual leave are exhausted, and H1N1 influenza is likely, employees who
accrue leave will be allowed to accrue a negative sick leave balance up to 3
days. After a negative accrual of 3
days the employee is placed on leave without pay.
Q: If I am absent from work because of
flu-like symptoms, when can I return to work?
A: You can return
to work as early as 24 hours after you are free of fever or signs of a fever
without the use of fever-reducing medication. In order to return to work, your
supervisor may, after consultation with Benefit Services, require you to
provide a release completed by your personal health care provider indicating
you have been medically cleared to return to work. Please consult with your
supervisor about the necessity of providing a release.
Q: Can employees in high-risk health
categories request to go home?
A: Based on the
extent and severity of H1N1 flu-related illnesses at this time, the CDC has not
recommended that people at high risk of flu complications stay home while flu
is circulating in the community.
If you are concerned about your level of risk, consult with your
doctor. If, after consulting with your doctor, you believe you are at
high risk for complications and want to request to remain at home, contact
Benefit Services to discuss your options.
Q: During the H1N1 outbreak, can my
supervisor cancel my annual leave request that has already been approved?
A: Yes. Your
supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved leave request,
especially in circumstances where there are serious staffing shortages as a
result of illness.
My child's school/day care is closed due to an incident of Influenza A
(H1N1), and my child is not sick. I have no other childcare arrangements. Can I
bring him to work with me?
A: No. Per policy 3.15, bringing a child
to work is not recommended or advisable -- and in many work areas, it is
prohibited. Children may, on rare occasions and with the approval of the
supervisor, accompany a parent to the workplace. With supervisory approval, you may use leave
or compensatory time (if applicable) to stay home with your child.
Q: Can employees be assigned to work
from home or another work location?
A: The supervisor
will determine whether working from home is necessary to ensure continued
operations of critical/core functions or if an on-campus location is more
appropriate. Employees temporarily assigned to another location should be
returned to their normal work place as soon as possible, consistent with