EMPLOYEE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Phase II - FALL 2020

Timeline and activities described below are contingent upon health and safety guidelines and current pandemic conditions and are subject to change.

Please refer to “General Guidelines and Precautions” for an overview of the precautions the College is taking. In addition, refer to the “Campus Access” section for campus access safety protocols.

The College may require employees to work at the campus as necessary to fulfill the mission of the College. It will be important for the College to determine whether a specific job function must be carried out on campus before requiring an employee to return. If an employee can continue to fully perform their job duties at home, it would be advisable to continue that arrangement or to design a phased-in return on a case-by-case basis.

Please refer to “General Guidelines and Precautions” for an overview of the precautions the College is taking. In addition, refer to the “Campus Access” page for campus access safety protocols.

Yes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued the following guidelines:

  • The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, including the requirement for reasonable accommodation and rules about medical examinations and inquiries.
  • The ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC about steps employers should take regarding the Coronavirus.
  • The EEOC has provided guidance, consistent with these workplace protections and rules, that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of Coronavirus in the workplace.

The White House guidelines call for a three-phase return to work, with special accommodations for vulnerable individuals until the third phase, at which time the policy envisions a return to “unrestricted staffing of worksites.” Under the guidelines, vulnerable people are the elderly and those “with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.”

Pregnant women are not identified as vulnerable workers in the White House guidelines.

Discuss your concerns with your manager. If nothing changes, contact Human Resources.

If you can work from home, ask to do so. If you are considered a vulnerable individual or have an ADA-qualifying disability, you may qualify for an accommodation. Otherwise, you could be required to come to work. If working from home is not an option, you may be able to take paid leave if available.

The rules on this are tricky and evolving. Generally speaking, having an infectious disease such as the flu hasn’t entitled workers to compensation because it is nearly impossible to determine where someone contracted the illness.

No, not under current law.

Under normal circumstances, temperature screening would be considered a medical exam and would violate the ADA. But the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that, given the risks associated with Covid-19, temperature screenings are permissible.

Yes. If an employer asks you if you are symptomatic, which it should, they can require that you report that as a workplace-safety matter, but only under pandemic conditions. It is recommended that employers require a simple daily health questionnaire, and that workers proactively report any symptoms. The information should be protected as confidential under the ADA.

Students and employees are requested to self-report if they have tested positive for COVID-19. The self-reporting form is an online, short questionnaire that can be filled out on a PC or mobile device, even a cell phone.  Access the form on the College’s COVID-19 homepage or click this link: http://www.southwest.tn.edu/self-reporting.htm.

Yes. Your employer has a duty to protect all employees. If you are sick or not feeling well stay at home or go home if you have already reported for work.

During a pandemic, employers can require vaccinations, the EEOC says. An employee may be entitled to an exemption if the vaccine would interfere with a medical condition or violate that person’s religious beliefs.

The employee refusing to wear a cloth facemask or other proper PPE or refusing to stay 6 feet apart will be sent home until they consent. Days absent as a result can be recorded on attendance charts for students and failure to report to work for employees. For an employee, disciplinary action can be considered after more than one refusal.

Southwest has a new online application program for obtaining a Campus ID. Students and employees can apply for their campus ID by uploading a photo of themselves to their My.Southwest portal dashboard. The ID will be prepared and mailed using the photo and address provided. All students and employees are required to display their Southwest Tennessee Community College Campus ID whenever visiting a Southwest location. No IDs will be distributed on campus.

Applicants will receive a confirmation immediately and the ID will arrive in the mail in about 5-7 business days. Students and employees who need a replacement ID also must follow the process above to request a new one.

To apply online for your Campus ID, follow these 5 easy steps:

  • Log in to the My.Southwest portal and click the Photo ID icon  at the top (next to the Parking Decal icon).
  • Read and review the online photo submission requirements.
  • Click next and fill in the brief form completely and sign.
  • Click choose file under Photo Upload and upload a proper photo.
  • Sign and click submit form.

For more information about the online campus ID program, email Student Development at studentdevelopment@southwest.tn.edu.


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