Timeline and activities described below are contingent upon health and safety guidelines and current pandemic conditions and are subject to change.
The safety and well-being of Southwest students, faculty, staff, and vendors are top priorities. The Human Resources Department has updated College policies and procedures to reflect the Back to Campus Plan operations and guidelines.
As the situation continues to evolve, employees will be updated with the most current and helpful information. For example, College policies and practices may need to be suspended or adjusted to account for changing circumstances. These adjustments will be determined by TBR and the President’s leadership team.
For specific questions not covered by the following policies and procedures, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact his or her supervisor or a member of the Human Resources team.
Employee questions also may be submitted to myHR@southwest.tn.edu.
Phase I Human Resources Policies and Procedures
- The College will develop a survey to determine vulnerable employees. Once employees are identified as vulnerable, they will be allowed to continue working from home.
- The College will identify and notify those employees who will need to return to campus to work. Most employees will continue to telecommute using equipment and systems provided during Level 2.5 of the Pandemic Preparedness Plan.
- In departments or operations that will not need 100 percent of the workforce to work on campus, the department will develop a hybrid and/or rotation schedule that is applied as follows:
- Implement a hybrid work schedule to split time between being physically present at the campus and working remotely.
- Introduce a small percentage of employees without direct student interactions during Phase I of returning to the campus as needed by the College.
- Set up a weekly schedule to rotate employees into the campus.
- Use different days of the week to have a new group of employees return to the campus.
- Full time employees will be used first, depending upon skills needed for the on-site work.
- Part-time temporary employees will be used to fill any gaps not filled by full time employees.
- If there is, more or less work that can be completed by the full-time or part- time employees, the department head will develop a rotation schedule that is fairly administered allowing the work to be distributed in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner among the available employees.
- Consider offering vulnerable employees duties that minimize their contact with students and other employees (e.g., restocking shelves rather than working as a cashier), if agreed to by the employee.
- When possible, employee preferences will be considered when making work
Procedures are being developed for recording time for non-exempt employees reporting to campus during Phase I. However, all request for time off will continue to be entered into the Kronos timekeeping system.
- Employees with symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at work should immediately be separated and sent home.
- Follow the normal, established procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility.
- Notify local health officials, staff, students, and vendors (if possible) immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); other information on civil rights protections for workers related to COVID-19 is available from the Human Resources Office or the Equity and Compliance Office.
- Close off areas used by the sick person until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours to clean and disinfect. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children. Inform those who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home and self- monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Time off policies will be liberally applied to allow staff to stay home when they are ill or to care for an ill family member. A doctor's note will not be required for most employees to confirm illness or recovery (depending on your past leave usage you may be required to provide documentation to support your absence).
- Employees can use sick leave if they are absent due to an illness (Time Off and Leave).
- Employees can use sick leave if they are absent due to care of other eligible individuals who need care (Time Off and Leave).
- Employees who are not ill or taking care of ill eligible individuals can request paid Annual Leave through normal methods. Special consideration will be provided to those who have serious underlying health conditions, care of underage children, individuals caring for dependents who need specialized care, etc. Employees with insufficient leave balances can request unpaid time off through normal methods.
- Employees should advise their supervisors who will notify the Human Resources Office when any employee is absent due to confirmed COVID-19 virus.
- Normal FMLA requests and paperwork are not required for short-term illness absences of 3 days or less, unless it involves a serious health condition as defined under the FMLA regulations. In cases where FMLA is requested, normal FMLA policies apply. (FMLA)
- Emergency Family and Medical Leave is available to any employee who has been on the payroll 30 calendar days and is unable to work or telework due to care for a minor if the child’s school or child care is closed due to Covid-19.
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave is available for all employees with no length of employment condition for up to 80 hours if the employee is unable to telework or work on campus because:
- They are subject to a government quarantine or isolation,
- They have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine and are seeking diagnosis,
- They are caring for an individual subject to or advised to quarantine, and
- They are caring for a child whose school or day care is closed due to Covid-19.
More detailed guidance on these two forms of emergency leave have been issued by TBR Human Resources.
- An employee may, with permission, use accrued annual leave. Regular FMLA leave should also be considered and evaluated upon request. Working from home could be a possible accommodation under the ADA.
- An employee who does not qualify for Emergency Family and Medical Leave, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, regular sick leave/ FMLA, or annual leave and who cannot work from home can be required to come to work at the campus. Failure to report to work under such circumstances could be grounds for discipline.
- Employees who receive a paper paycheck are strongly encouraged to complete a payroll direct deposit form (Payroll Direct Deposit).
Employees will receive paychecks through the normal methods on the scheduled pay dates. Faculty will be paid per their Faculty Agreements and their paychecks will be provided through the normal means.
Doctor's offices are extremely busy and may not be able to provide immediate care and/or absentee documentation in a timely manner. We encourage employees who are covered in a Southwest group health plan to enroll in the Telehealth Service Program (MDLIVE for Cigna members and PhysicianNow for BCBS members) for virtual medical consults:
- Log into MyCigna.com
- Look for MDLive
- Or, call 888-726-3171 for MDLive
BlueCross BlueShield Members
- Log into BlueAccess at bcbst.com/members/tn_state/
- Look for and select talk with a Doctor Now
- Or, call 888-283-6691
- All employees and their dependents who are eligible for Southwest group health care benefits (do not have to be enrolled) have access to psychological counseling and crisis debriefing to individuals affected by the pandemic through the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) which is Here4TN. Some services employees may want counseling for could include loss of loved ones, health issues related to the disease, or financial hardship.
- Employees who are enrolled Southwest’s group benefits should make sure you have a copy of your insurance cards and provider contact information for quick reference and use in case of provider visits or hospital admissions. (Group Benefit Quick Reference)
Southwest Tenessee Community College Policies and Procedures
- Attendance Policy: http://www.southwest.tn.edu/policy/section5/5-01-00-00-18.pdf
- Time Off and Leave: https://www.tbr.edu/hr/time-and-leave
- Telecommuting: https://policies.tbr.edu/policies/alternate-work-arrangements