[COVID-19] HR employee FAQ - Questions on returning to work

This resource provides answers to frequently asked questions related to returning to work for employees.

Am I required to Follow the COVID-19 Return to Work Expectations?
Yes.  These expectations fall under the UWL University Staff and UW System Workplace Expectation and disciplinary guidelines policies.

How often do I have to do Symptom Monitoring?
Daily, and prior to coming into work.  Please complete this survey prior to coming to work each day.

What happens if I have symptoms?
Stay Home and follow your department’s procedure for notification.  

If I have COVID-19 Symptoms, how long do I have to remain home?
14 days of self-quarantine after initial date of first symptom.

Do I have to wear a mask at work?
Yes, you will need to wear a Mask if working in close quarters with others.  

Do I need to practice Social Distancing?
Yes, remain 6 feet away from other individuals as much as possible. 

Will UWL provide PPE?
Yes.  UWL will provide you with two cloth masks and cleaning supplies will be available in your work area.

Where do I find COVID-19 resources?
See the supporting tools and related links section below.

What can I do to keep myself safe?
Symptom check daily, use non-touch practices as much as possible, wash your hands frequently, sanitize high touch and shared surfaces often, wear your face masks, and practice social distancing.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 or I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive?
If you or someone who maintains the same residence tests positive for COVID-19, please notify your department following established notification guidelines and begin to self-quarantine and follow Health Department guidelines.  During this time, you can use COVID-19 leave followed by comp time (if applicable), vacation carryover, vacation, personal holiday, sick leave and then any remaining banked leave, in order to maintain pay status.

Do all employees need to return to campus to work on June 1?
No.  Only employees essential to operations within their department will be invited back to campus.  Employees will not have key card access to their building on June 1 without Division approval.  Campus buildings will remain locked to the general public.  Employees that can work remotely are encouraged to continue working remotely, unless advised by their supervisor.
*Update 07/20/2020 - Employees will begin to have building access beginning the week of 7/20/2020.

What do we do about common work areas and break rooms?
We encourage all employees to follow social distancing and cleaning guidelines.  Commonly touched surfaces (i.e. printer/copiers, coffee pots, refrigerator doors) should be cleaned after each use.  Only one employee should be in a small room at a time to maintain social distancing. 

Can we conduct in-person team meetings?
We encourage employees to continue virtual team meetings at this time.  If you are able to safely conduct team meetings and follow social distancing guidelines, that may be discussed and decided by team.

What are our department options for returning to work on campus?
Once staff members are instructed to return to work on campus, there are a few different options to consider.  Departments should consider options to maintain social distancing and reduce employee population in work areas.  

  • Remote Work: Those who can work remotely and fulfill job duty requirements are encouraged to do so to reduce the amount of people on campus and in work areas.  These arrangements should be discussed and coordinated with the employee’s direct supervisor.   
  • Alternating Days: Employees who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may alternate days working on campus and working remotely.  This strategy helps to reduce the amount of people on campus and maintain social distancing guidelines.  These arrangements should be discussed and coordinated with the employee’s direct supervisor. 
  • Staggered Reporting/Departing: Staggering work reporting and departing times by 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas, allowing social distancing guidelines to be maintained.  These arrangements should be discussed and coordinated with the employee’s direct supervisor. 
What resources are available to me for Mental/Emotional Wellbeing?
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all employees (and those within their household) who are experiencing stress and anxiety during these ever-changing times.  The program’s counseling services are available at no cost to you and your household members.  Professional counselors are available both on the telephone and on an in-person basis in our local area.  You can receive up to 6 sessions, per issue, per year. If additional counseling or services are recommended, the counselor will assist you with accessing providers covered by your health insurance plan.  Please visit www.feieap.com (username SOWI).  Or, they can also be reached via phone at 866-274-4723.

If I or a family member is diagnosed with COVID 19, what leave time do I have available?
Between 5/2/2020 - 12/31/2020 all employees will have available to them a total of 80 hours of COVID specific leave (prorated by FTE).  Employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to use COVID-19 leave, including but not limited to: 
  • Employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the inability to work remotely (telecommute or telework). 
  • Diagnoses of COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis. 
  • Care of an immediate family member who has a diagnosis of COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis. 
  • Care of an immediate family member subject to a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine. 
  • Child/elder care due to school/day care closures. 
  • Any employee experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the US Secretary of the Treasury and the US Secretary of Labor. 
Please note:   
  • Any hours taken from April 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020 will count against the 80 hours available after May 2, 2020.   
  • Hours claimed for COVID-19 leave on or after April 1, 2020 may count against the 12 weeks of leave available under EFMLA 
  • COVID-19 leave does not accrue and may not be rolled-over or combined into other types of leave. 

Revision history:
Last revision was July 19, 2020


Supporting tools:

Links to related information:




Keywords:#covid-19, #covid, return to work   Doc ID:104142
Owner:John A.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2020-07-20 09:29 CDTUpdated:2020-07-22 09:57 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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