FAQ: Employees

General Guidelines | Employee FAQ | Supervisor FAQ

Iowa State University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizes the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors while continuing the fundamental core missions of the university as a premier land-grant institution: education, research, and extension and outreach.

It is not expected that all risk from COVID-19 can be eliminated. The ISU community must work together to monitor, evaluate, and adapt to mitigate the risk. Iowa State’s plans and procedures consider science-based guidance and incorporate recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Iowa Department of Public Health and internal experts from the Thielen Student Health Center, Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management and other units.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, as does our knowledge and understanding of the virus and its effects. The FAQ will be updated with the most current and helpful information as determined by the President’s Leadership Team.

For specific questions not covered by this FAQ, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their supervisor or local HR Delivery Staff. Questions may also be submitted to hr_delivery@iastate.edu.

All members of the ISU community should focus on infection control strategies including:

  • Wear cloth face coverings at work so long as it does not create a safety hazard in the work environment.
  • Continue to maintain physical distancing while wearing a face covering.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 70% alcohol are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to avoid spreading germs.
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly, and eating healthy.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with sick people.

General Guidelines (GG)

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (100.4)
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Emergency warning signs. If you have any of the following emergency warning signs of COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake

Students, faculty, and staff who receive a positive test result through off-campus testing must immediately complete an online self-report form. Self-reporting is a safe, confidential process that allows ISU’s Public Health Team to provide support to those who test positive. Students, faculty and staff are required to self-report and self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. To maintain a healthy campus, it is critically important all members of the Iowa State community self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, and stay at home if you are not feeling well.

All close contacts will be notified by the Department of Public Health or a member of the ISU Public Health Case Management team. Public health officials rely on a case investigation process to determine close contacts. If you have not been notified, you are most likely a proximate contact only (less than 15 consecutive minutes and more than 6 feet).

We are asking every member of the ISU campus community to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from others, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you are sick. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should avoid contact with others for 14 days after your last contact with an infected individual, check your temperature at least daily, watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and, if possible, stay away from people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Follow up promptly with your medical provider or Thielen Student Health Center 515-294-5801 if any symptoms develop. If you feel you need to be tested, you can complete the Iowa State University Pretesting Questionnaire.

If you test positive, please complete the online self-report form (unless you were tested at Thielen Student Health Center) and following the guidance on this flowchart.

Employees who have been home because they screened positive for COVID-19 or who tested positive to COVID-19 can return to work after these things have happened:

  • No fever for at least 24 hours (that is one full day of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

Please understand that this guidance continues to evolve and may change several times over the next few weeks and months.

PDFs: Caring for yourself and others when sick with COVID-10; Returning to work after contracting COVID-19

 

As is best practice with other respiratory illnesses such as seasonal influenza, maintaining a reasonable distance (approximately six feet away) from the sick person is a starting point. Also:

  • Do not shake hands or make other physical contact.
  • Ask the individual to use a tissue or to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze.
  • Use a sanitary wipe or soap and water after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched.
  • There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone, video conference or e-mail. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.
  • If you believe an employee is ill and should not be working and they have not informed their supervisor you should do so in order to reduce the risk to others in the workplace.

Iowa State University has extensive and thorough emergency procedures and is committed to doing everything it can to ensure the health and safety of our community as this situation continues. We continue to consider science-based guidance and incorporate recommendations from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health with regard to university operations. But our campus will never fully close as we must continue critical operations and serve those who rely on our services.

Employee and student safety are paramount to Iowa State. The university has assembled a team that is dedicated to supporting a safe campus by closely monitoring the situation, coordinating and sharing information with local and state authorities, and monitoring federal and state guidance. Should circumstances or recommendations change, this information will be communicated in a timely manner to campus.  

We realize this is a time of uncertainty and concern, and that can cause stress. We encourage you to continue to take care of your well-being and utilize resources we have available. 

Please also remember to practice good infection control strategies:

  • Prior to June 1, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear face coverings if they have them, consistent with CDC guidelines.
  • Beginning July 1, anyone on campus or in university facilities are able are expected to wear a face covering or face shield when in the presence of others where other mitigation strategies are not available or are difficult to maintain (e.g., physical distancing). The university is working to provide face coverings to students, faculty and staff who need them. Video: Tips for wearing face mask coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Continue to try to maintain physical distancing as much as possible while wearing a face covering.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 70% alcohol are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs.
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly, and eating healthy.

Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with sick people.

Even the most seasoned investor may be on edge these last few weeks. You can find out what you need to know to help navigate the ups and downs of the stock market on the TIAA website

Additional tools:

TIAA has decided to temporarily suspend on-site visits to ISU by Financial Consultants, Relationship Managers and other members of the ISU service team. They are also suspending face-to-face client meetings at the TIAA office. Instead, TIAA will work with ISU employees by phone, email, webex, virtual meetings (phone or video), websites, webinars and other channels. To set up a meeting with a TIAA representative, call 800-732-8353 or visit: www.tiaa.org/public/tcm/iastate/home.

Students, faculty, and staff should immediately self-report if they test positive for COVID-19.

  • Positive test results must be submitted through the online self-report form.
  • Self-reporting is a safe and confidential process and will allow ISU’s Public Health Team to provide support to those who test positive.
  • It is required that all students, faculty and staff self-report and self-isolate once they receive a positive COVID-19 test result.

The following process will be followed for students, faculty and staff who report a positive test result:

Response to Student Positive Result

  • Staff members from the ISU Public Health Team will receive a notification of positive campus result. Staff will contact the student and provide health information and resources for self-care, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and next steps, and answer questions. They will also provide guidance regarding contacts including roommates, employers, family and close friends.
  • Immediately submit an online self-report form (unless you were tested at Thielen Student Health Center)
  • The ISU Public Health Team will also notify the Department of Residence if the student lives in ISU housing so appropriate precautions can be taken.
  • Student workers will be asked to identify their supervisor so that notification and support can occur.

Response to Faculty and Staff Positive Result

  • Immediately submit an online self-report form (unless you were tested at Thielen Student Health Center)
  • Staff members from the ISU Public Health Team will receive a notification of positive campus result. Staff will contact the faculty or staff member and provide health information and resources for self-care, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and next steps, and answer questions.
  • When a faculty or staff member self-reports, their supervisor will be notified and can reach out to the individual who has tested positive with support. Supervisors will not be involved in contact tracing.
  • Supervisors may send out this message to notify employees of the positive case but the identity of the person who tested positive will remain confidential. The message contains support resources and information for what symptoms to look for and how to stay healthy.
  • The supervisor is encouraged to notify their Senior HR partner if they need additional assistance.
  • As part of the follow up process of any positive COVID-19 case, custodial supervisors will be notified so that cleaning and disinfection procedures can be facilitated.

Additional follow-up (for employees):

  • Notify your supervisor and enter time off in Workday.  Please visit the UHR website for additional information and resources related to COVID-19 sick time off: hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.
  • Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. They will provide information on home isolation, monitoring of symptoms, infection control practices, and preventing the spread of COVID-19.The most current CDC guidance can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick.
  1. Direct all requests for service as follows:
    • Campus: 515-294-5100
    • Department of Residence: 515-294-3322 during business hours or contact Community Advisor On Duty (CAOD) after business hours
  2. Do not contact your building custodian.

ISU Extension and Outreach’s family finance program specialists are providing one-on-one financial conversations. You can connect with a family finance specialist by phone or email. The conversations are free and confidential. A team of specialists are available across the state.

The Iowa Concern Hotline (800-447-1985) is open 24/7, offering free, confidential support on legal issues, stress relief, referral services and more — an empathetic ear.

As part of the CARES Act, ISU employees and former employees with retirement accounts in defined contribution plans (such as TIAA, AIG VALIC, and Ameriprise) may be eligible to access a distribution from those accounts of up to $100,000 through December 31, 2020. 

Eligibility is connected to adverse financial conditions resulting from COVID-19. Provisions in the CARES Act waive both the 10% penalty for early withdrawal (prior to age 59 ½) and the mandatory withholding of 20% for federal taxes. Individuals may choose to pay or not pay the distribution back over a three-year time frame. Individuals may also elect to suspend their 2020 Required Minimum Distribution from those accounts.

Please contact your financial advisor or our retirement plan partners:

For additional questions about your ISU Retirement Plans, please email the Office of Payroll, Benefits and Tax at fbac@iastate.edu.

ISU WellBeing has compiled a list of resources including information on stress management and links to counseling services and employee and family resources. If you’re stressed and need to talk, the Iowa Concern Hotline (800-447-1985) is available 24/7 with trained staff to take your calls.

ISU Extension and Outreach also offers programs and materials on mental health and wellbeing. You can also call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

And as always, you and your family members have access to the Iowa State employee assistance program (EAP).  The EAP is a benefit that helps you and your family with issues affecting your day-to-day performance and health, including stress, anxiety, depression, parenting, relationships, substance abuse, and legal and financial concerns. This benefit is provided by qualified professionals at no cost to you. When you call the EAP, a licensed professional counselor will help you decide what steps to take to improve your situation. You can find out more information about this program at www.hr.iastate.edu/benefits/addlbenefits/employee-assistance-program, or you can call anytime - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - 800-327-4692 (TTY 877-542-6488).

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings as a mitigation practice. Recent studies have shown COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms. Requiring a face covering helps minimize exposure to infection and spread of the illness. This helps protect the health of students, faculty and staff – and the entire Ames community. Wearing your face covering helps protect those around you. Their face coverings help protect you. Please review ISU's complete face covering policy.

Employee FAQ (EE)

Bringing a child to work under these circumstances is not recommended or advisable—and may, in fact, be prohibited in many work areas. We encourage supervisors and employees to work together to find an appropriate alternative, such as telework/remote work or employee leave. Please review Guidance for Balancing Childcare and Work

Paid or unpaid leave may be available if you must stay home with your child. Please work with your supervisor in order to determine if working remotely is an option. See ISU policy: Children in the Workplace.  You should also refer to guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on the UHR COVID-19 website (www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19) to determine whether you qualify for FMLA and sick leave (COVID-19 Sick Time Off) under the act and the process for requesting it.

Yes, your supervisor has the right to temporarily reassign employees to work outside their usual classifications/responsibilities to the extent they are qualified and can safely perform the work. While this situation may not be ideal – both for employees and their home units – it is important that we are all willing to adjust our “normal” work in the event of an emergency.

Reassignment may include deploying employees with certain necessary skill sets outside their colleges/divisions. Depending on the circumstances, the University will notify employees who are designated as performing essential functions, as well as when and where they should report to work.

Yes. Your supervisor may temporarily adjust employees’ work schedules to meet operational demands, based on business needs and circumstances, so that Iowa State can appropriately respond to the situation. These adjustments may be made on a case-by-case basis depending upon operational considerations. Your supervisor should work closely with you to discuss any changes to your assigned shift and/or work schedule and any questions or concerns you may have with the changes.

ISU will return employees in multiple phases over the summer, with an increasing number of employees returning to normal work locations in each phase. This paced approach allows us to assess safety and operational effectiveness at each stage.

Each department will assess its staffing needs based on its operations, the ability to manage its work environments, and its employees' need to access on-campus resources.

Supervisors will notify employees and provide a minimum of two weeks before requiring employees to return to their normal work location.

Supervisors may continue to provide telework/remote work options for employees whose job duties can continue to be performed remotely without hampering operations. Supervisors have flexibility to allow continued telework and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine if they are eligible. Working from home, or continued telework, may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to work. See updated telework/remote work guidance and expectations for the online instruction period.

Supervisors may also consider adjusting scheduled shifts, contemplating different ways of delivering services, etc. to allow for maximizing social/physical distancing.

Every day, before reporting to work at your normal work location, complete the Cyclones Care Symptom Checker via email or text. If you have any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19, do not report to your work location. Notify your supervisor and consult with your health care provider. If you start feeling ill or showing symptoms while at work, contact your supervisor, leave your workplace, and consult with your healthcare provider.

Currently, symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Emergency warning signs. If you have any of the following emergency warning signs of COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Generally, the university will work to balance the preferences of employees with safety and health guidance, and the need to maintain business continuity and operations. Your supervisor retains the right to schedule work and assign duties to employees.  The circumstances under which employees have a right to refuse work are very limited. If an employee is unable to report to work as scheduled due to illness or injury, the supervisor should follow the standard departmental procedure regarding medical documentation (sick leave, FMLA). If an employee has an underlying medical condition that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19, they should contact University Human Resources with their concerns and what potential options may be available. 

A healthy employee may ask to leave work early or stay home. The supervisor can determine if this request can be accommodated based on unit needs. If a staff member is directed to report to or remain at work, is otherwise safely able to do so, and refuses the directive of a supervisor, then normal corrective action procedures may be followed as appropriate. These procedures may be implemented either immediately, or once the emergent situation has stabilized and upon consultation with University Human Resources.

The following options are available depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness (please note that not all options will be available in all situations):

  • Use accrued paid time off as appropriate and per ISU policy (vacation, sick, emergency time off)
  • Use Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) FMLA or paid sick time off (COVID-19 Sick Time Off)
  • Use compensatory time (does not apply to Faculty and exempt P&S staff)
  • Make up the work during the same workweek with supervisory approval
  • Request to work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Request unpaid time off with supervisory approval

Please visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The COVID-19 legislation provides full-time employees 80 hours of paid time off (pro-rated for part-time employees) who are unable to work or telework where:

  • the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19
  • the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • the employee is caring for an individual subject to or advised to quarantine or isolation
  • the employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions
  • the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury

For more information and resources, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The University is required to maintain a safe and healthy environment and has broad discretion over when and where an employee is to work. For this reason, employees may be sent home if they are sick or displaying symptoms of being sick.

Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and who exhibits cough and respiratory symptoms; this employee is likely to be sent home.

In addition, employees are encouraged to practice basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands).

With respect to determining whether someone has the flu or flu-related illness, managers will follow the appropriate guidelines from the CDC and may consult with ISU Occupational Medicine.

Yes, your supervisor may reconsider the approved vacation time off request based on operational needs, and particularly during times of emergency.  

Cloth face coverings are required indoors in all university buildings, and outdoors in the presence of others. Please review ISU's face covering policy. Campus buildings will have signage to remind you. It’s a good idea to keep a face covering handy at all times, and make sure to wear it correctly – over your mouth and nose.

Recent studies have shown COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms. Requiring a face covering helps minimize exposure to infection and spread of the illness. This helps protect the health of students, faculty and staff – and the entire Ames community. Wearing your face covering helps protect those around you. Their face coverings help protect you. 

Read more or watch this video for tips on wearing face coverings.

For individuals who cannot wear a face covering for health reasons, a face shield and/or other mitigation measures may be required.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for FMLA (you have worked 12 months for the university and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months) and have an FMLA-qualifying medical condition or event, FMLA will apply. Please review the ISU FMLA policy and resources located below the policy under “Resources” for additional information: policy.iastate.edu/policy/leave/fmla.

Please note that contracting COVID-19 could also impact other health conditions that might be covered by FMLA as well. Please visit the UHR website for additional information regarding FMLA: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/time-and-absence#family-medical-leave.

For additional information about leave options available for COVID-19 related situations, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The COVID-19 legislation that is effective April 1, 2020 expands FMLA only for circumstances in which an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need to care for a minor child if the child’s school has been closed or child care is unavailable due to a public health emergency.

12 weeks of job-protected paid FMLA leave will be available for this FMLA instance. The first 10 days may be unpaid or employees may use accrued time off (vacation, sick, emergency, comp time). After 10 days, compensation for the remaining leave will be at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to a maximum of $200 per day) for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work.

An employee who has been working for ISU for at least 30 calendar days would be eligible for FMLA for this qualifying circumstance only.

For more information and resources, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Accrued vacation, sick, emergency or compensatory time off will run concurrently with FMLA leave. Under the FFCRA, an employee may qualify for sick leave (COVID-19 Sick Time Off) if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because the employee is:

  1. Subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  4. Caring for an individual subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  5. Caring for the employee’s child if the school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for COVID-19 reasons; or
  6. Experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

FMLA leave due to an employee’s own serious health condition, or to care for a covered family member with a serious health condition, is not paid, so unpaid leave may be necessary if you do not have accrued paid time off and have exhausted the additional paid sick time off granted by COVID-19 legislation. Please review the UHR Time and Absence website for additional information: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/time-and-absence.

You may also visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

An FMLA request can be sent through Workday. Please review this FMLA Quick Reference Guide for instructions. You may also contact your HR Delivery representative for additional questions regarding FMLA or by emailing hr_delivery@iastate.edu; or contact UHR Employee and Labor Relations at 515-294-8917 or fmla@iasate.edu.

For additional information and resources, you may also visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Supervisors are working to develop plans in line with EOC guidance for employees to safely return to the workplace. If a healthy employee has concerns regarding the plan pertaining to their work unit or work situation, they should reach out to University Human Resources for further guidance. 

Your health is a top priority and you should consult with your health care provider. Please contact University Human Resources to discuss what options are available to you regarding your particular circumstance and they can further assist.

 

CDC offers guidance for people that come in contact with pets or other animals. They recommend restricting contact with animals while you are sick. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. 

 

Faculty, staff, and students who travel out-of-state or internationally for any reason are subject to the same guidelines regarding working on campus as all others. 

Faculty, Staff, and students who travel internationally may be subject to mandatory isolation orders based upon CDC guidelines and should email COVID-19@iastate.edu before returning to campus. 

No general university isolation order is in place for employees who have traveled domestically out of state. Faculty, staff, and students who travel out of state are subject to the same guidelines regarding working on campus as all others. Faculty, staff, and students who are sick or who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 should alert their supervisors, and should not report to campus. Likewise, those who believe that they have been exposed to COVID-19, but are not symptomatic, should contact their supervisor and should not come to campus until they are cleared to do so by the university.  

Is all international travel restricted?

Yes, ALL university-sponsored international travel remains suspended for students, faculty, and staff. The Board of Regents will be extending the 30-day travel ban that began on March 5 by 7 days each Monday, effective March 9, until conditions improve.

Faculty, staff, and students may not conduct university business (such as delivering a lecture at an institution or conference, or conducting research) while traveling internationally for personal purposes. 

Is domestic travel restricted?

Travel within Iowa and the U.S. for university business is allowed, but must be pre-approved by the employee’s direct supervisor. Travelers should follow CDC guidance. Approval should be granted if in the supervisor’s view the travel is appropriate pursuant to the guidance below and other university policy. The request and approval should be documented and can be done through e-mail.  

The university strongly recommends decisions are made to minimize travel, consistent with our goal of taking reasonable actions to reduce transmission risk. Some factors to consider when evaluating travel include: whether the activity is necessary to enable a student to remain on-track for degree completion; whether the activity could be postponed, moved online, or done by phone; the number of attendees and whether the attendees can practice social/physical distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart). 

Travelers are encouraged to review travel restrictions they may encounter upon arrival at their destination. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information. 

Is there a university policy for personal travel?

There are no university rules restricting travel by faculty, staff, and students for personal reasons. It is important to note that, aside from incidental university business such as checking email and making phone calls, university business may not be conducted while traveling out of state or internationally for personal reasons. Faculty, staff, and students who travel out of state or internationally should be aware that they may have isolation or other restrictions imposed by other states or countries that could restrict or delay some aspects of their travel and/or their return to Iowa. We strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment for personal travel. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information

What do visitors traveling to campus need to know?

University-sponsored visitors to campus who are traveling from within the United States are permitted if the visit is preapproved by the supervisor of the unit or department that is sponsoring the University visit. University-sponsored international visitors are not permitted.

FMLA is not applicable for employees who do not have a serious medical condition which makes them unable to perform their job. Please consult the FMLA FAQ for additional information, including more detailed information regarding FMLA-qualifying events.

If an employee is not ill but has been directed to self-isolate, they should reference the UHR COVID-19 Sick Time Off and Leave Employee Resource and visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

We have received guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health regarding operation of The Comfort Zone. Effective March 12, 2020, The Comfort Zone will be closed for the remainder of the spring semester and through the fall semester.

We encourage parents, families, and caregivers to have a plan to stay home when their child is sick and consider alternative care options in order to limit the spread of illness to others. We understand during this limited period, employees may be balancing sick family members and work. Please work closely with your supervisor regarding potential options for telecommuting, time off, or flexible work schedules for these situations.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we strive to protect the health of the children in our care.

The health and safety of children, family, staff, and child care providers is of the utmost importance. Our campus child care centers operate under the authority and guidance of Iowa Department of Human Services, with assistance from Iowa Department of Public Health. Specific guidelines and information regarding the safe operation of child care programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including situations where a child care program may be recommended or required to close, is updated regularly and can be found on the Iowa DHS website.

Families seeking child care openings due to a COVID-19 closure should visit www.iowaccrr.org/families or call (855) 244-5301. Families may also search for care using DHS’ “Find Child Care” interactive map. Resources to support children, families, and employees are available from ISU Child Care & Family ServicesISU Student Wellness, and ISU WellBeing.

Employees who have been working at their normal locations throughout the pandemic, should continue to do so.

Employees who have been working remotely will be contacted by their supervisor to communicate the plan for returning to their normal work location. Supervisors must provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice before requiring employees to report to their normal work location.

Employees are expected to be available by the agreed-upon communication method (e-mail, phone, etc.) as determined by their supervisor and as appropriate with their regular work responsibilities. The supervisor should work closely with their employee regarding their expectations for the employee’s work schedule, tasks, deadlines, and communication expectations during the telecommuting period. 

Please review University Human Resources Telework/Remote Work Guidance and Expectations.

The employee may be covered by workers' compensation for work-related injuries that occur in the designated workspace, including the employee’s home, during regularly scheduled work hours. In the case of injury occurring during regularly scheduled work hours, the employee shall immediately report the injury to the supervisor and report the incident online through the ISU Incident Portal: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/workers-compensation.

The incident report will be reviewed and depending on the incident details, it may be evaluated by the state’s third-party administrator to determine whether the claim meets the criteria to be classified as workers’ compensation. For additional information or questions about workers’ compensation, please contact UHR at 515-294-8917 or workcomp@iastate.edu and/or review this web page: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/workers-compensation.

Your health is a priority. Employees who are unable to work due to illness should utilize sick time off and report their absence to their supervisor as they would if they were at work. Working from home is not intended to be used in place of sick time off when an employee is ill. Please work closely with your supervisor regarding expectations for reporting time off and/or options for handling work responsibilities while you are ill.

For additional information and resources related to COVID-19 sick time off and leave options, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

You will need to continue to report to work at your usual primary physical work location. Please work with your supervisor to discuss what options, if any, are available in order to complete your work duties from home.

You received this notice because a completed Form I-9 is required prior to starting work per federal regulation. The UHR Service Center is open “by appointment only” to campus until further notice.  In order to complete the I-9 process below, please call 515-294-4800, or email hrshelp@iastate.edu for assistance in setting up an appointment.

As a reminder, there are three steps to the I-9 process in Workday: Part 1 is for you to complete Section 1 (Employee Information and Attestation) online in Workday; Part 2 requires that you bring an official form of identification to the UHR Service Center in 3810 Beardshear Hall (or to the ISSO office if you are an international worker) to complete the process. Finally, you must log in to your Workday profile and find the “TO DO: Service Center or ISSO Visit Complete Form I-9” item in your Workday inbox. You must click the orange ‘Submit’ button and then the orange ‘Done’ button to finish that process.

If you have special circumstances or cannot provide the required documents within three business days of your start date, please call the HR Service Center at 515-294-4800 to make alternative arrangements.

Graduate students should expect to receive guidance from their departments, Graduate College, major professors, and/or program directors (DOGEs).  Although supervisors of graduate assistants will provide individualized guidance, in general, RAs and AAs will be expected to maintain their normal duties. The duties of TAs may be adjusted by supervisors to support online instruction. Graduate students not appointed as RAs who are conducting research will generally be expected to continue this work, but should consult with their major professor, advisor, or principal investigator for guidance.  If you are a graduate assistant and you (or a household member) is at higher risk of contracting severe illness from COVID-19 based on CDC criteria, you may submit a request for an alternative work arrangement through the online form located on the UHR COVID-19 website.  After you submit your request, you will receive additional information regarding next steps and a UHR representative will reach out to further discuss.

Yes, ISU is working with its health insurer Wellmark and has decided to implement the following steps to help ISU employees and their families:

  • Waiving prior authorization processes. Wellmark will waive prior authorization processes for covered services related to COVID-19 to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time and location.
  • Covering inpatient treatment only. The waiver of members’ cost-share (copay, coinsurance and deductible) will be related only to inpatient treatment of COVID-19 with an in-network provider from June 17, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2020.
  • Covering diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members have no cost-share for appropriate testing and related services to diagnose or detect COVID-19. This is required by the FFCRA and the CARES Act and remains in place as long as we are in a public health emergency, as declared by the federal government. 
  • Increasing access to prescription medications. Express Scripts is maintaining standard refill policies at this time, which allow members to refill or renew a prescription medication when 25%-35% of their current prescription is remaining. Members may also want to consider receiving maintenance prescriptions through mail order to receive a 90-day supply if they are not already taking advantage of this option.
  • Offering virtual health care visits and 24/7 help. We are encouraging ISU members to take advantage of virtual visits—a covered benefit when they use Doctor On Demand®—to avoid the spread of germs. Members also have access to Wellmark’s BeWell 24/7SM service which connects members to staff who can help with a variety of health-related concerns 24/7. Employees can find additional information about virtual health care visits online www.hr.iastate.edu/benefits/insurance/isu-plan#medical, under the heading “Doctor on Demand.” 
  • Effective June 16, 2020, for the next 90 days, Wellmark is continuing to waive members’ cost-share for both medical and behavioral health virtual visits – whether it be with their current primary care physician or another in-network provider (including Doctor on Demand). Neither ISU nor its’ members will be financially responsible for virtual visit cost-share (copay, coinsurance, and/or deductible) through August 31, 2020.
  • Extending accidental dental benefits.  In recognition that non-emergent dental procedures have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment windows for accidental dental injuries expiring between March 16, 2020 and August 31, 2020, will be extended by 90 days or until August 31, 2020, whichever is later. Treatment windows for accidental dental injuries that start, or otherwise apply (but not expire), between March 16, 2020, and August 31, 2020, will also be extended by ninety (90) days.

Wellmark will continue to use the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and South Dakota Health Department as their official sources of information. For the latest U.S. impacts of COVID-19, please see the data reported by the CDC.

To learn more about Wellmark’s response to coronavirus, please visit Wellmark.com/coronavirus.

Direct deposit is the most efficient way to be paid. All employees should use Workday to begin direct deposit or to update existing direct deposit. Follow these instructions to update direct deposit in Workday. 

If employees do not have a bank account, they may open a bank account at any bank of their choice. They may also open a bank account associated with their ISUCard at any U.S. Bank location. Employees should bring their ISUCard to a U.S. Bank office as one form of identification or open their account online. Additional information regarding the ISUCard/U.S. Bank partnership is available on the ISUCard website.

Employees can contact the ISU Payroll Office with questions at payroll@iastate.edu or 515-294-6556.

Depending on the amount and type of COVID-19 sick time off you are requesting, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to support your request. Please review the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources regarding COVID-19 at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

You may also work with your HR Delivery representative on your specific needs and requests in order to determine what documentation may be necessary. If you (or a household member) is at higher risk of contracting severe illness from COVID-19 based on CDC criteria, you may submit a request for an alternative work arrangement through the online form located on the UHR COVID-19 website. After you submit your request, you will receive additional information regarding next steps and a UHR representative will reach out to further discuss.

If you are a university Merit or Professional & Scientific employee who has been impacted by a schedule reduction, please work with your manager and HR Delivery team if you are interested in a possible temporary assignment as an alternative to a reduced schedule and having to use your time off accruals or unpaid time off. Temporary assignment opportunities are not guaranteed and are dependent on current workload requirements and needs. Please visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources related to temporary assignment: www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The university will be open on Labor Day (Monday, September 7) for instruction, student support services, and other functions. Classes, laboratories, and studios will meet, and students are expected to participate as they would on any other day of the semester.

Faculty and staff in the Division of Academic Affairs who have instructional responsibilities on Labor Day (including preparation, teaching, laboratory set-up or take-down, and office hours), or student support service responsibilities (such as scheduled meetings with students for academic advising and financial aid counseling), are expected to work on Labor Day to carry out only those duties. Staff members should work with their supervisors to determine if they are expected to work on Labor Day.

Faculty and staff in the Division of Academic Affairs who are not engaged in teaching or student support services regularly scheduled on Mondays are not expected to work on Labor Day. Those faculty and exempt staff should take that day off, and therefore will not receive additional time off.

A complete Labor Day 2020 Guidance FAQ document is available on the UHR COVID-19 website.

Supervisor FAQ (SUP)

Yes, a manager and supervisor have the right to temporarily reassign employees to work outside their usual classifications/responsibilities to the extent they are qualified and can safely perform the work. This includes employees with the necessary skills that are needed to work outside their colleges/divisions. Depending on the circumstances, the University will notify these employees that they are designated as performing essential functions and when and where they must report to work.

ISU is beginning a phased approach to return employees over the summer, with an increasing number returning to regular work locations in each phase. Departments must first have an approved workspace plan for the area an employee will occupy. Supervisors must then give employees a minimum of two weeks’ notice before requiring them to return to their normal work location.  

A Supervisor Toolkit, containing the following materials, has been provided to administrative officers to guide the plan development process:

 

Yes. Upon appropriate business needs and circumstances, a supervisor may temporarily adjust employees’ work schedules to meet operational demands. This adjustment may be made on a case-by-case basis depending upon operational considerations. A supervisor should work closely with the employee to discuss any change to assigned shifts and/or work schedules.

Yes, supervisors should consider the following options to maximize worker protection. These options are intended to support physical distancing between persons on campus and to reduce the population density of buildings and work areas.

Remote WorkEmployees who can fulfill most or all their work responsibilities by working remotely may continue to do so to reduce the number of persons in a workspace.
Alternating WorkdaysWhere appropriate, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternate days.
Staggered Arrival/DepartureThe beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at buildings' entrances and exits. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas.

Supervisors have flexibility to implement alternative arrangements in order to safely return employees to work at their regular work locations. Employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to discuss their specific arrangements in line with the plan for their work area. In addition to the guidance developed by the EOC, supervisors may also refer to the University Human Resources Telework/Remote Work Guidance and Expectations and Telework Frequently Asked Questions for further guidance.

Telework/remote work may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to work. Supervisors should also review alternatives such as options for adjusting scheduled shifts, contemplating different ways of delivering services, etc. to allow for physical/social distancing.

Supervisors may continue to provide telework/remote work options for employees while they conduct their planning for safely phasing employees back in their normal work locations pursuant to EOC guidance. Managers should continue to assess their business priorities when reviewing potential telework arrangements with employees and work closely with their department and the employees they manage in order to find ways to enable employees to perform their job functions while away from the central work location.

University Human Resources can assist managers in evaluating and approving alternate work arrangements. Managers should always authorize the employee in writing (email will suffice) to work remotely.

University Human Resources and Information Technology Services have a variety of resources available to help plan:

 

A supervisor retains the right to schedule work and assign duties to employees.  The circumstances under which employees have a right to refuse work are very limited. If an employee is unable to report to work as scheduled due to illness or injury, the supervisor should follow the standard departmental procedure regarding medical documentation (sick leave, FMLA). If an employee has an underlying medical condition that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19, they should contact their supervisor and/or University Human Resources with their concerns.  Likewise, if an employee has expressed reluctance about coming to work and/or performing their job duties, the supervisor should inquire further with the employee to understand more about the underlying concerns.  Supervisors should then consult with their HR Delivery team to discuss these concerns and potential options prior to corrective actions being considered. 

A healthy employee may ask to leave work early or stay home. The supervisor can determine if this request can be accommodated based on unit needs. If a staff member is directed to report to or remain at work, is otherwise safely able to do so, and refuses the directive of a supervisor, normal corrective action procedures should be followed as appropriate. These procedures may be implemented either immediately, or once the emergent situation has stabilized, and upon consultation with University Human Resources.

The following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness:

  • Use of accrued paid time off (vacation, sick, emergency)
  • Use of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) FMLA or paid sick leave (COVID-19 Sick Time Off)
  • Use of compensatory time (does not apply to Faculty and exempt P&S staff)
  • Making up the work during the same workweek with supervisory approval
  • Requesting to work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Requesting unpaid time off

Timely processing of unpaid time off is critical.

The FFCRA generally provides:

  • FMLA: Eligible employees who are unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a minor child if the child’s school or daycare has been closed or is unavailable due to COVID are eligible for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).The first two weeks are unpaid, the last 10 weeks are paid at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to a maximum of $200 per day).
  • COVID-19 Sick Time Off: Employees may qualify for up to 10 days of paid sick time off (pro-rated for part-time employees) if they are unable to work or telework because of 6 specific COVID-related reasons. Depending on the reason, sick time off may be paid at the employee’s full rate of pay (up to a maximum of $511 per day) or at 2/3 the regular rate (up to a maximum of $200 per day).

For additional information and resources, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The FFCRA provides full time employees 80 hours of emergency sick leave  (COVID-19 Sick Time Off) (pro-rated for part time employees) who are unable to work or telework where

  •  the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19
  • the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  •  the employee is caring for an individual subject to or advised to quarantine or isolation
  • the employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions
  • the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury

You may visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The University is required to maintain a safe and healthy environment and has broad discretion over when and where an employee is to work.

Employees may be sent home if they are sick. Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough; this employee should definitely be sent home. Other symptoms (coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or diarrhea) may also be of concern. The decision to send home an employee who is exhibiting these symptoms is to be made on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended that you consult with ISU Occupational Medicine (515-294-2056) prior to sending the employee home.

Supervisors should advise employees of basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands) and post flyers throughout work areas.

With respect to determining whether someone has a flu-related illness or is experiencing consistent symptoms of a flu-related illness, managers will follow the appropriate guidelines from the CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

The staff member must use applicable time off should it be available, and depending on the illness and the job responsibilities, they may make up the work in the same workweek. Additionally, the employee may have additional sick time off options under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). Please visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Yes, the supervisor may want to reconsider the approved vacation time off request based on operational needs.

Bringing a child to work under these circumstances is not recommended or advisable—and may, in fact, be prohibited in many work areas. We encourage supervisors and employees to work together to find an appropriate alternative, such as telework/remote work or employee leave. Please review Guidance for Balancing Childcare and Work

You should work with your employee to determine if work can be performed from home. See ISU policy: Children in the Workplace.

 The FFCRA that is effective April 1, 2020 expands FMLA only for circumstances in which an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need to care for a minor child if the child’s school has been closed or child care is unavailable due to a public health emergency.

12 weeks of job-protected paid FMLA leave will be available for this FMLA instance. The first 10 days may be unpaid or employees may use accrued time off (vacation, sick, emergency, comp time). After 10 days, compensation for the remaining leave will be at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to a maximum of $200 per day) for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work.

An employee who has been working for ISU for at least 30 calendar days would be eligible for FMLA for this qualifying circumstance only.

Please visit the UHR COVID-19 website for additional information and resources at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

If the employee has met the eligibility criteria for FMLA (they have worked 12 months for the university and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months) and have an FMLA-qualifying medical condition or event, FMLA will apply. Please review the ISU FMLA policy and resources located below the policy under “Resources” for additional information: policy.iastate.edu/policy/leave/fmla/.

Please note that contracting COVID-19 could also impact other health conditions that might be covered by FMLA as well. Please visit the UHR website for additional information regarding FMLA: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/time-and-absence#family-medical-leave.

For additional information and resources regarding COVID-19 leave and sick time off, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

The COVID-19 legislation that is effective April 1, 2020, expands FMLA only for circumstances in which an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need to care for a minor child if the child’s school has been closed or child care is unavailable due to a public health emergency.

12 weeks of job-protected paid FMLA leave will be available for this FMLA instance. The first 10 days may be unpaid or employees may use accrued time off (vacation, sick, emergency, comp time). After 10 days, compensation for the remaining leave will be at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to a maximum of $200 per day) for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work.

An employee who has been working for ISU for at least 30 calendar days would be eligible for FMLA for this qualifying circumstance only.

For additional information and resources, you may visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Cloth face coverings are required indoors in all university buildings, and outdoors in the presence of others. Please review ISU's face covering policy. Campus buildings will have signage to remind you. It’s a good idea to keep a face covering handy at all times, and make sure to wear it correctly – over your mouth and nose.

Recent studies have shown COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms. Requiring a face covering helps minimize exposure to infection and spread of the illness. This helps protect the health of students, faculty and staff – and the entire Ames community. Wearing your face covering helps protect those around you. Their face coverings help protect you. 

Read more or watch this video for tips on wearing face coverings.

For individuals who cannot wear a face covering for health reasons, a face shield and/or other mitigation measures may be required.

Supervisors should work to develop plans in line with the EOC summer and fall planning guidance that has been communicated and is located on the ISU COVID-19 website to help safely return employees to their normal work location as campus increases operations. In line with this planning, supervisors have flexibility to continue to provide alternative work arrangements, which may include some employees continuing to telework during this timeframe. 

Supervisors should consult with their departmental or divisional leadership regarding their plans if there are questions regarding what is necessary and/or appropriate for their particular work area. They may also consult with University Human Resources regarding any questions or concerns raised by employees who are reluctant to return to the workspace following the communication of the plan.    

 If an employee (or their household member) believes they are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 based on CDC criteria, they may submit a request for an alternative work arrangement.  The request can be submitted through an online form located on the UHR website. Once their request is submitted, they will receive an e-mail with further information on next steps and a UHR representative will reach out. Supervisors will also receive an e-mail to notify them that a request has been submitted.

No, the university’s policies regarding leaves are still in force and may only be modified by the President’s Leadership Team as the situation warrants.

For more information and resources related to COVID-19 leave and sick time off, please visit the UHR COVID-19 website at www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Employees may make a request to their supervisors to telework or request time off to remain home to self-isolate while they are healthy. If an employee has been directed to remain home and self-isolate and they are unable to telework, they may be eligible for sick time off pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please review the information regarding potential options on the UHR COVID-19 website: https://www.hr.iastate.edu/covid-19.

Department managers should consider and discuss with hourly student employees their work availability in order to determine if changes need to be made to their work responsibilities or schedule.

Student employees who continue to work are expected to perform the normal practice of check in and out for time worked, and to submit their time sheet in Workday at the end of the work week as they normally would.  The continued requirement that students' hours not to exceed 20 hours per week remains.

We realize there may be hiring manager or candidate concerns during this time period that impact the recruitment process. We encourage managers to review the updated guidance to hiring that has been disseminated.

If an employee that reports to you has indicated they have tested positive for COVID-19, you should follow the response process detailed in the supervisor notification message.

The Division of Operations and Finance has put together an FAQ providing more specific guidance pertaining to home office and remote work costs: www.operationsfinance.iastate.edu/remotework. It is important to note that supervisors will play a critical role in making sure employees are in a position to succeed in work-from-home arrangements. Accordingly, supervisors should strive for flexibility and accommodation with employees whenever practical.

 

This is a working document based upon current policies. It may be revised as new information becomes available related to operations during a disaster or pandemic, or based on further direction we may receive from University leadership, the Board of Regents, the State of Iowa and/or other civil authorities. You should familiarize yourself with this and other disaster-related materials in order to be optimally prepared in the event of a disaster or pandemic.