Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Support for Employees

Notice: The information on this page was last reviewed and updated on May 15, 2020. We are working hard to keep the information here current, but information is changing rapidly. Information included in "Today at Xavier" or formal messages from Fr. Graham sent after this date will be more up to date and more accurate, so please be sure to check your email for those messages.


Ohio's governor has recently discussed how best to slowly reopen the state. While some business sectors are slated to reopen in the coming days and weeks, the governor reiterated that his stay at home order remains in place, and he encouraged employees currently working remotely to continue to do so. At Xavier, intersession and summer courses will be offered remotely, and faculty and staff have done an excellent job transitioning their daily work to a remote environment. Given current public health guidance and the current operational needs of the campus, the timeline for employees to work remotely will be extended through Friday, July 3. As has already been the case, there will be some operational needs that can only be met by employees working on campus. In these cases the COVID-19 task force will work closely with Human Resources and impacted offices to ensure that protocols are developed and followed that align with public health guidelines.


Thanks to all of our incredible employees for their flexibility and resilience during the first weeks of working remotely. You’ve met this challenge admirably and kept our operations running. Your continued patience and support are appreciated as we all navigate the next steps.


General FAQ

Campus operations are continuing, with work being done remotely wherever possible.  A small number of students are living on campus, and operations to support them require that some employees work on campus.

Following the order from Ohio’s governor issued on March 22, very few employees should be on campus. Employees who are required to be on campus will be informed by their supervisors.

Currently, face coverings must be worn by all staff working on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.).  Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing risk to others near you.  You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.  The face covering is not a substitute for social distancing

The latest guidance from the State of Ohio, dated May 19, 2020 states:

Travel restrictions will now be lifted for those who leave the state. While travel is now permitted, it is not encouraged, DeWine said. Individuals are advised to make their own judgements and act accordingly.

Persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 and have not recovered, as well as individuals exhibiting symptoms and those who are presumptively diagnosed with Covid-19, shall not enter the state unless they are doing so under medical orders for purposes of medical care, he said.

Xavier will follow the guidance from the CDC:

  • If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee used the facility, clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
  • If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
  • Other employees may have been exposed to the virus if they were in “close contact” (within approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) of the sick employee for a prolonged period of time.
  • Employees not considered exposed should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.”

In order to limit exposure it is imperative that employees working on campus maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Xavier’s current sick leave policy limits employees to five days in any twelve-month period to care for family members. Effective April 1, 2020  a temporary change to  the policy  allowed employees to access all of their accrued sick leave to care for family members.  If it is necessary for an employee to be off work because they or a family member are ill, or if they are in self-quarantine and cannot work remotely, they can access all of their paid time:  sick, vacation, and if approved for FMLA, family leave.  If an employee has full utilized all paid leave and still is unable to return to work, they can request up to an additional two weeks of full-pay sick leave.  The request should be made through the Office of Human Resources.

Xavier is also allowing staff employees to carry over three weeks of accrued unused vacation into FY21 on July 1.  This one-time allowance represents an increase of 1 week over the usual 2-week limit on carryover.

A new resource has been created to help faculty transition to online classes. Visit the Instructional Continuity website to access these resources.

Reports of the impact of COVID-19 around the world and in our local area can be troubling as we deal with uncertainty.

Resources for Emotional Support:

If you or other faculty or staff members are struggling due to this situation, please consider:

  • Reaching out to your colleagues for support.
  • Speaking with your supervisor, department head or Human Resources about your concerns.
  • Contacting the Employee Assistance Program (1-866-440-6556).

All members of the Xavier community are encouraged to reach out in support of those in need. To mobilize campus resources to support a student, a Student Concern Report may be submitted at www.xavier.edu/studentconcern.

XU Counseling Department 

In support of those working under the difficult circumstances presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the XU Counseling Department is offering short-term counseling for all Xavier University staff. If you are experiencing increased anxiety or stress and would like the support of speaking with a therapist, please call Dr. Norman Townsel at 513-745-3267, and leave a message with your name and call back number. Your call will be returned within 24 hours and you will be connected with a counselor via computer or phone.

Work hours (including breaks and lunches) are defined to ensure that campus operations continue as normally as possible. If you need to temporarily alter the established hours, please discuss with your supervisor for their approval in advance.

Employees can bring home needed office supplies to fulfill their required duties during this time. There are not additional printers and equipment available for loan. Please remember that you are responsible for the privacy and security of sensitive data when working remotely. Please review our Acceptable Use Policy and Xavier’s policy on the privacy of information. It applies to all University administrative data, electronic or print and other University files on personally owned devices.

Employees are required to stop all purchasing activity for products including IT products delivered to home or campus. This applies to XavierBuy, P-Card and personal cards for reimbursements. If products are needed to work at home, please email purchasing@xavier.edu, and they will work with the IT department to determine if the acquisition can move forward. If the request is approved, it will be purchased by the Procurement Department.

Following the guidance of the Governors across the country, domestic travel is discouraged.  Time dedicated to personal travel should be noted as vacation time. Exceptions to this need to be approved by your supervisor. Please keep in mind that employees working remotely are expected to be available to communicate via phone and internet at any time during the normally scheduled work day.

Face-to-face meetings with advisees, colleagues, job candidates, and prospective students are strongly discouraged and do not follow the current guidelines from Ohio’s governor. If such a meeting is absolutely necessary, remember to maintain social distancing (six feet between individuals) and proper hand hygiene. Phone calls, Zoom meetings, or our Conference Now phone conferencing solution should be used as alternative methods to communicate.

Here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Designate “office” space. Create a quiet place to concentrate and spread out. Find an area in which work-related material can be stored and organized and secured.
  • Adhere to the same work schedule that is followed on campus. Plan to be available during this time for students, colleagues, customers, etc. via phone and email. If it is impossible to adhere to your schedule, alternatives should be discussed with and approved by your supervisor.
  • Communicate early, often and on a schedule. Communication can often be taken for granted when working on campus since people can drop in or ask questions informally. Working from home means that communication must be more formal and intentional. Consider set times each day for calls to discuss progress, check in, or get updates. Explore the use of technology to provide face-to-face interactions so that all the nuances of communication can occur.
  • Anticipate interruptions and manage outside demands. Establish rules or guidelines for yourself and others to make it clear that you are engaged in your job/work and not available for non-essential issues.

 

Travelers returning from countries with CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notices are required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine and monitoring and are not permitted to come to come to campus.

All travelers from countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, including business travelers, people who visited friends and family, and humanitarian workers should take the following steps. Stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing.

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others. Call your doctor or healthcare provider to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel. They will provide further instruction about steps to take before your medical visit to help to reduce the risk that you will spread your illness to other people in the office or waiting room, if that is what has made you sick.
  3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  4. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  5. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  6. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
  7. Don’t travel while you are sick.

With most employees working remotely, this situation should occur rarely.  Contact Human Resources regarding concerns about safety in the workplace related to a co-worker’s exposure to COVID-19. Health officials or Human Resources may ask employees to self-quarantine for 14 days following travel to a location that poses a significant risk of contracting COVID-19. Generally, a co-worker who traveled to a place reported to have cases of COVID-19 or through an airport, without symptoms, direct exposure or a diagnosis of acute respiratory illness or COVID-19 will not be precluded from coming to work.

 

Time Off/Leave FAQ

Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources at 513-745-3638 for support and direction on their options including working from home and using available paid leave such as sick and vacation. For additional information on paid leave, view HR polices at https://www.xavier.edu/hr/guides-policies/human-resources-policies.

Employees can log into the Employee Hub and click on the Self-Service tab.  Once in Self Service, click on Employee Services and then click Leave Information.

Non-exempt employees are able to view accrued sick and vacation leave balances. Exempt employees are able to view vacation leave balances and should refer to the Sick Leave policy for further information.  

Policy links:
Vacation Policy
Sick Leave Policy

Your health and wellbeing is the first priority. If you are not feeling well and are unable to work, please notify your supervisor. All continuing employees have accrued sick time for use during these circumstances.

Also at this time Xavier is allowing employees to utilize sick time if you need to care for a family member who is not feeling well. Please notify your direct supervisor as soon as possible and make sure that the time away is accounted for/recorded on your timesheets or leave reports. Please contact Human Resources to address specific situations or for additional questions. The University’s sick leave policy is also a resource.

  • If someone in your home is displaying symptoms, have them contact their medical provider for further care and instruction.  Some providers may be able to evaluate with use of telehealth and provide a symptomatic treatment plan.
  • If you are unable to work remotely and share the same household with someone demonstrating symptoms but did not meet criteria for testing, please follow CDC guidelines to help minimize the spread of germs within the household by having the individual isolate to one portion of the household as much as possible.
  • If you are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms), you are not required to stay home if sharing a residence with someone who is sick but did not receive testing for COVID-19.  You should wear a mask to prevent exposing others if asymptomatic.
  • If you begin to experience symptoms noted by the CDC, you will be required to stay home and should contact your medical provider for further care as well as inform your supervisor.

If you or a qualified family member have a serious health condition, including conditions related to COVID-19, an extended absence from work may qualify under FMLA. Applicable leave eligibility requirements would apply. Please contact Human Resources for questions or requests about extended absences due to medical reasons.

While you may use vacation time to be absent from work to stay home with children whose school or care center is closed, we are encouraging our supervisors to work proactively and to be as flexible as possible to assist people in these situations to meet both their work and home obligations. These are very unusual circumstances we are all facing.  Each situation may require a different response.

There are no negative repercussions for taking extended time off related to quarantining or being sick due to COVID-19. Employees exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and notify their supervisor as soon as possible.  Our priority is maintaining the health and safety of the Xavier community, and we are committed to supporting any of our staff affected by the COVID-19.

 

Technology FAQ

View Technology for Working from Home on the IT website.

 

Managerial/Supervisor FAQ

It’s important to engage with your employees regularly while working remotely.   Remote working means that communication must be more regular and intentional. Consider setting times each day for calls to discuss progress, check in, or get updates. Explore the use of technology to provide face-to-face interactions so that all the nuances of communication can occur.

Managers are encouraged to work closely with their employees to identify meaningful full time work that can be accomplished remotely.   Requiring employees to use accrued vacation time to account for less than full time hours is not required at this time.

Yes. As always, employees can be asked why they missed work. This query is more about concern for the employee but is also needed for accurate record-keeping.  Even while working remotely, employees may utilize sick and/or vacation time just as they would if working on campus.

Employees who are well but who have a family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and the Human Resources department and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. Employees who have been exposed to a family member with COVID-19 are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days following your last exposure to the ill family member and practice social distancing, while you monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, which appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and may include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

With most employees working remotely, this situation should occur very rarely.  If an employee is currently showing any signs of illness, please instruct them to stay home and contact their healthcare provider for further instructions and guidance. Employees and supervisors should continue to record the absence as sick time per university policy. When someone indicates they are able to return to campus, supervisors should not require that employees remain at home.  There may be circumstances where a doctor’s release is appropriate, but that determination should be made in consultation with Human Resources.

Following the guidance of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Xavier is asking employees who report to campus for work to take their temperature every day before work. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, or if you are experiencing other symptoms which indicate you are ill, do not come to work. Notify your supervisor and focus on rest and recovery.

Generally, no. Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers may only require a medical evaluation if it is considered job related and consistent with business necessity. However, if an employer has a reasonable belief based on objective evidence that an employee poses a direct threat due to a medical condition, the manager should consult with Human Resources to determine if appropriate medical documentation or return-to-work release from a healthcare provider is warranted.

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, please have the employee report the diagnosis to Human Resources. If the employee is not already working remotely, the employee should be sent home. Human Resources will then inform the employee’s co-workers of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, while maintaining confidentiality related to both the reporting employee’s identity and condition, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Confirmation of readiness to return from the employee's medical provider is needed.  A negative COVID-19 test will suffice, but may not be easy to obtain in the current environment.  With either option, the employee should confirm:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
No. It is in direct violation of an individual's health care privacy rights to disclose to anyone their medical information. 

There is no obligation for supervisors or employees to report a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to the CDC. The healthcare provider that receives the confirmation of a positive test result will provide appropriate reporting to the federal, state and local health authorities.

No, employers do not prohibit otherwise legal activity, such as personal travel abroad by an employee, unless there is a high risk of exposure to a deadly disease. However, it is appropriate to encourage your employees to educate themselves before they engage in travel to risky environments. Health officials or Human Resources may ask employees to self-quarantine for 14 days following travel to a location that poses a significant risk of contracting COVID-19. If the individual has not been self-quarantined, you may – and should – monitor those employees returning from such travel for signs of illness, and ask if they had any known exposure to COVID-19.

The student employment office sent a note to students on March 13th and a note to supervisors on the 16th with the full details.

Employee Questions

Employees who have specific questions regarding the COVID-19 situation may submit questions through the following web form. Messages be reviewed and responded to as quickly as possible.