FAQ: Employees

General Guidelines | Employee FAQ | Supervisor FAQ

Iowa State University moved all spring and summer (full session and session I) classes online, but the university will remain open and continue daily operations to the extent possible. This FAQ has been updated with additional guidance regarding Telework/Remote Work, Student Employees, and Hiring during this period. 

Iowa State’s primary focus is the safety and wellbeing of all members of the ISU community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The information below is based on expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as internal experts from the Thielen Student Health Center, Environmental Health & Safety, Office of Risk Management and other units.

As the situation continues to evolve, it will be updated with the most current and helpful information. For example, university policies and practices may need to be adjusted to account for changing circumstances. These adjustments will be 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:

  • 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 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)

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

It is important to note that these symptoms are similar to many common respiratory illnesses, including seasonal influenza. Having these symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19. Current estimates suggest that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

To limit the potential for exposure to other people, if you have a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough, do not come to work. Take the following actions:

  • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work
  • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people
  • Seek medical advice from your primary care medical provider (but please call ahead first)
  • Alert your healthcare provider immediately if you think you may be infected with COVID-19, including if you have been exposed to someone with the virus and have signs/symptoms of infection.
  • If you do not have a regular health care provider, you can contact First Nurse:
    • Ames: 515-239-6877
    • Anywhere in Iowa: 800-524-6877
  • It is important for you to call ahead before visiting your doctor. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading, if you have had close contact with someone who lives in or has traveled to an outbreak area or have had close contact with another person who has been infected.
    • Be sure to wear a mask when you go to the doctor’s office and when you are around other people.
  • If you believe you have been exposed on the job, after calling your healthcare provider for guidance and when you are able, you should contact your supervisor and report the incident online through the ISU IncidentPortal:  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.
  • Please follow your departmental protocol for reporting off work.

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:

  • They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, their cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared

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

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.
  • Offer the individual a tissue and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze.
  • Use a sanitary wipe 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 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 rapidly changing situation evolves. We continue to follow guidance 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. There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Iowa State campus. 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:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers 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.
  • Instead of contact such as handshakes, give a wave to avoid spreading germs.

Cyclone Health also has helpful information and additional resources for taking care of your behavioral health during the outbreak.

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.

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.

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.

In accordance with social distancing, a CDC mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases, supervisors are encouraged to provide telework/remote work options for employees, including student employees, whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations during this time period, and pending further guidance from public health officials. Supervisors have maximum flexibility to implement this and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine if they are eligible. Working from home 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.

Employees who may not be able to work from home should visit with their supervisors about options for adjusting scheduled shifts, contemplating different ways of delivering services, etc. to allow for maximizing social distancing.

Generally, the university will work to balance the preferences of employees with guidance from CDC and IDPH, and the need to maintain business continuity. Your supervisor retains the right to schedule work and assign duties to employees. 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).

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 leave as appropriate and per ISU policy (vacation, sick, emergency time off)
  • Use compensatory time (does not apply to Faculty and exempt P&S staff)
  • Make up the work during the same work week with supervisory approval
  • Request to work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Request leave without pay with supervisory approval

The Board of Regents has permitted the university to make temporary changes to leave policies to support employees during the COVID-19 emergency.  Supervisors should not interpret and implement the Board's announcement on their own. University Human Resources is working to develop recommended processes for changes to Iowa State’s employee leave policies that also incorporate newly issued state and federal guidance. Due to the complexities of the guidance and policies, President Wintersteen and her leadership team are still considering the changes and information will not be ready  this week. UHR will share details on March 31. Until then, the university’s current policies and procedures on employee leave remain in effect.

Unpaid leave may be requested and granted consistent with policy for the respective employee group.

As stated above, any changes to normal paid leave practices made by the President’s Leadership Team during an emergency event will be communicated to faculty, staff and students by the University.

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.

Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and who exhibits cough and respiratory symptoms; this employee is likely to be sent home. Other symptoms (coughing, sneezing) may also be of concern; the decision to send home an employee who is exhibiting these symptoms should be made on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with Occupational Medicine (515-294-2056).

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.

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

CDC does not currently recommend PPE for avoiding COVID-19 exposure for most of ISU’s workforce. PPE would be made available for first responders, law enforcement, and medical professionals who are dealing with suspected or known cases.

PPE will be provided based on guidance from the CDC. Employees should contact their managers regarding the need for and availability of PPE. ISU Environmental Health and Safety is available as a resource. Please contact them at ehsinfo@iastate.edu or 515-294-5359.

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.

Depending on the situation, accrued vacation, sick, emergency or compensatory time off will run concurrently with FMLA leave as applicable. FMLA leave itself is not paid, so unpaid leave may be necessary if you do not have accrued paid leave. Please review the UHR Time and Absence website for additional information: www.hr.iastate.edu/tools-for-employees/time-and-absence.

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.

If a healthy employee chooses to stay home, they are expected to follow departmental processes to request time off or telecommute. To be considered an authorized absence, the time off, or telecommuting arrangement must be approved by the supervisor in advance.

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. 

Governor Reynolds has announced that anyone who has traveled recently outside of Iowa is strongly encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days to support ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

We direct any member of the Iowa State community returning from Spring Break vacation or other travel to follow this guidance:

  • Stay home for 14 days after returning from travel outside of Iowa.
  • Do not come to work for this 14-day period. Contact your supervisor to discuss your options, which may include:
    • Telework/remote work to the extent that your job allows.
    • The university is reviewing the federal and state programs related to leave and anticipate further guidance within the week. The employee should take available leave, and as we activate new program(s), the employee’s leave balance may be corrected if necessary.

While you are self-isolating, please do the following:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have symptoms, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or the emergency room. 
  • Keep your distance from others – stay a minimum of 6 feet apart.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If you have returned from travel outside of Iowa and your job requires you to come to campus, you can request an exception to the 14-day self-isolation by emailing covid-19@iastate.edu with the following information:

  • Name and phone number
  • Dates of travel
  • Location of travel including any airports traveled through
  • Any known contacts with a confirmed case
  • Reason for requesting exception

If you do not have email access, you can call 515-294-4428 with the above information.

  • All university-related non-essential domestic travel is prohibited until further notice, effective immediately. This restriction applies to university-related interstate travel. Faculty, staff, and students are not to travel out of state for non-essential university business. Travel exception requests should be submitted to univeventauth@iastate.edu and must demonstrate that the travel is essential to the operation of Iowa State University; that no alternative method of convening is possible; and that the health and safety of Iowa State employees will be appropriately managed. 

  • At this time, we are not recalling faculty, staff, and students who are currently on university-related domestic travel.

  • Travel within the state of Iowa can continue. That said, the university strongly recommends that, where possible and practical, decisions are made to reduce in-state travel, consistent with our goal of taking reasonable actions to reduce transmission risk. 

    Some factors to consider when evaluating in-state 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 distancing (e.g. sitting at least six feet apart); and whether the activity supports a critical issue or need in an Iowa community

  • For personal travel within the U.S., we strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment. Please check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information.

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

  • The Board of Regents has directed Iowa State University and the other Regents institutions to recall all faculty, staff and students who are out of the country.

FMLA is not be 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 has been directed to self-isolate by their medical provider, they should contact UHR Employee and Labor Relations to discuss their options further.

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.

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.

Our current plan is to resume The Comfort Zone services in the fall. 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. As a result of the most recent guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Human Services and Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as discussion with families, center staff, and university administration, all ISU child care facilities (University Community Childcare, ISU Child Development Laboratory School, and ISU Child Care Center at Veterinary Medicine) will be closed through Friday, April 3.

The Iowa Department of Human Services recommends that parents and families who telecommute during this time keep their children home with them. Select child care programs in our community are remaining open for the purpose of serving children of the essential workforce, including health care, first responders, and critical service providers. To obtain information about emergency child care availability in our community, families should contact Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral at (855) 244-5301. Families may also search for available child care providers using the "Childcare for Essential Workforce Map"made available by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Inquiries regarding private caregivers, such as child care center staff displaced by facility closures, should be directed to ccfamily@iastate.edu.

Resources to support children, families, and employees are available from ISU Child Care & Family ServicesISU Student Wellness, and ISU WellBeing.

Employees authorized to work remotely should begin their workday from home (or telework location) at established times as outlined by their supervisor. Employees who are unable to work remotely should report to their usual work location unless otherwise directed by their supervisor.

Employees must contact their supervisor and receive authorization prior to working from home. Managers have the right to approve or deny an employee’s request. Working from home may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job, the equipment required to work, or other business reasons as determined by the supervisor.

Supervisors and employees should review University Human Resources Telework/Remote Work Guidance and Expectations for help in determining if this is an appropriate option.

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.

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). Graduate assistants (RAs, TAs, and AAs) will maintain their appointments from March 23 – April 3. 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.

Student workers should discuss with their supervisor their plans during the university online instruction period. 

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.

In general, non-essential student employees will not be expected to work. Student workers should communicate with their supervisor about their plans during the online instruction period. 

Non-essential student employees should be able to return to their regular job upon their return, as agreed upon by their supervisor regarding available work and schedule.

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 diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members will have no cost-share for appropriate testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • 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 here:www.hr.iastate.edu/benefits/insurance/isu-plan#medical Under the heading “Doctor on Demand.” 

UPDATE: Effective March 16, 2020, for the next 90 days, Wellmark is waiving 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 June 16, 2020.

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. Please enroll by the end of the day Wednesday, March 25. 

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.

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.

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 are encouraged to implement telework/remote work options and/or alternate work schedules for employees in accordance with social distancing, a CDC mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases. You should document any arrangements to telecommute in writing. Supervisors have maximum flexibility to implement this and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine if they are eligible. Supervisors may review 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 social distancing.

In accordance with social distancing, a CDC mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases, supervisors are encouraged to provide telework/remote work options for employees without hampering operations during this time period and pending further guidance from public health officials. Managers should 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. 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). Please consult with University Human Resources should you require further clarification.

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 accrued paid time off (vacation, sick, emergency)
  • Use compensatory time (does not apply to Faculty and exempt P&S staff)
  • Make up the work during the same workweek with supervisory approval
  • May request to work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Request leave without pay

Timely processing of unpaid time off is critical.

The Board of Regents has permitted the university to make temporary changes to leave policies to support employees during the COVID-19 emergency.  Supervisors should not interpret and implement the Board's announcement on their own. University Human Resources is working to develop recommended processes for changes to Iowa State’s employee leave policies that also incorporate newly issued state and federal guidance. Due to the complexities of the guidance and policies, President Wintersteen and her leadership team are still considering the changes and information will not be ready  this week. UHR will share details on March 31. Until then, the university’s current policies and procedures on employee leave remain in effect.

Unpaid time off may be requested and granted in accordance with existing policy.

Otherwise, any changes to normal paid time off practices made by the President’s Leadership Team during an emergency event will be communicated to faculty, staff, and students by the University. More information about leave usage will be coming soon.

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 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, 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. Otherwise, they should use unpaid time off. It is recommended you consult with University Human Resources regarding pay status if you have questions.

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.

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.

CDC does not currently recommend PPE for avoiding COVID-19 exposure for most of ISU’s workforce. PPE would be made available for first responders, law enforcement, and medical professionals who are dealing with suspected or known cases. If a risk assessment indicates PPE is required, then it would be provided. Resources will be made available to supervisors to assist in performing the risk assessment.

Managers should work through their divisional vice presidents regarding PPE. ISU Environmental Health and Safety is available as a resource. Please contact them at ehsinfo@iastate.edu or 515-294-5359.

If a healthy employee chooses to stay home to avoid possible exposure, they are expected to follow departmental processes to request time off or telecommute. To be considered an authorized absence, the time off, or telecommuting arrangement, must be approved by the supervisor in advance.

Employee health is a top priority and employees should be encouraged to consult with their health care provider. Please contact University Human Resources to discuss what options are available to employees regarding their particular circumstance and they can further assist.

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.

Employees may make a request to their supervisors to telework or approve vacation time off if they choose 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 should contact UHR Employee and Labor Relations to discuss their options further.

Department managers should consider and discuss with hourly student employees their work availability during the university online instruction period 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.

The university currently remains open during the university online instruction period, however, we realize there may be hiring manager or candidate concerns during this time that impact the recruitment process. We encourage managers to review the guidance specific to hiring that has been disseminated.

 

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.