Staff Coronavirus FAQ

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Yes. Practice good hand washing hygiene, observe good coughing/sneezing etiquette, practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet away others and sanitize your work area often.

If working from home, pay equal attention to keeping your home sanitized, especially if you share space with others and must venture outside for essential services.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise wearing a face covering to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Guidelines on how to wear and make a face covering are on the CDC’s website at Prevent Getting Sick.

If you are sick, please stay home and consult a medical professional. DO NOT show up at a medical facility for treatment without calling ahead first and advising the office of your symptoms, if you have fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

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Refer to CDC guidelines. Inform your manager of the situation. Do not come to work until you have been cleared by a medical provider. If you are among those still working on campus, do not come to work until you have been cleared by a medical provider.

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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. Please note that Southwest will take all appropriate steps to protect an individual’s privacy in accordance with applicable law, but cannot assure complete confidentiality of the form when the health and safety of students, employees and visitors depends upon appropriate sharing of information to parties such as public health officials. Typically, information gathered will remain confidential as directed by the Shelby County Health Department. The College will notify the Shelby County Health Department, but will NOT divulge the identity of the person(s) in question to the greater campus or Memphis communities. The College will also assess the credibility of every self-report to determine whether to provide an update to the campus community.. For specific regulations on HIPAA Privacy and sharing patient information, click https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/february-2020-hipaa-and-novel-coronavirus.pdf.

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 19. The new law covers all employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary employees).

The law adds a new qualifying reason for Family Medical Leave (FML) for those unable to work remotely/telework due to a public health emergency.  Under this provision the first 10-days are unpaid (employees have the option to substitute available accrued leave).  The remainder of the leave is paid at two-thirds rate of pay, up to a capped $200 per day based on your salary.  The leave runs concurrently with FML and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (also enacted within this law).

**For any employee that has used or is on an FML leave during the previous 12-month period, this new FML reason is the same 12-weeks/450-hours period, and any time previously taken reduces current FML time remaining available.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave requires employers to provide up to 80-hours (pro-rated for part-time) who are unable to work or telework.  The pay is at either 100-% (up to $511 per day or $5,110 total) OR two-thirds rate (up to $200 per day or $2,000 total) based on reasons given as stated below.

Full Pay (up to $511 per day or $5,110 total):

  • They are subject to a government quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19;
  • They have been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
  • They are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a diagnosis;

Two-thirds rate (up to $200 per day or $2,000 total:

  • They are caring for an individual subject to or advised to quarantine or isolate;
  • They are caring for a child whose school or childcare is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19; or
They are experiencing substantially similar conditions as those specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

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Working Arrangements

The College is not closed; however, all operations are 100% online. While the College is in its current Pandemic Preparedness Plan level (2.5), only essential employees in a few departments will be on-site. Regarding your work schedule, please confer with your supervisor so that you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you as you work remotely.

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We recognize this can be a very stressful time. The Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees and their families. Call Here4TN at 855-Here4TN (855-437-3486) or visit Here4TN.com for support. Identify yourself as a Southwest Tennessee Community College employee or dependent. If you elect not to work, please work with your manager to consider using your appropriate accrued leave time.

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Timekeeping

While the College is 100% online, the use of Kronos will be slightly different. During this time, hourly employees will not clock in or clock out. Hours worked will be standardized for part-time (25 hours per week) and full-time (37.5 hours per week) hourly paid employees. The hours will be automatically generated by Kronos, thus no need for employees to enter them. However, managers are still required to approve time in Kronos, along with any leave time taken by employees.  Employees should let their managers know when they need to use sick time or annual leave.

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Employees who are taking leave to provide care for ill family members are asked to communicate this period as “sick time” with the reason as “COVID-19” to your supervisor.

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Salary and Pre-scheduled time-off

Employees who have depleted their sick leave balances will have the ability to take additional sick time as needed without penalty, up to 80 hours for COVID-19 related illnesses. For other health-related absences, employees should follow regular procedures for using their sick time and/or requesting a leave of absence.

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You will continue to take any pre-scheduled time off as sick, annual, or compensatory hours as scheduled. If you wish to cancel your leave, you will need to retract the leave by working with your manager who can assist you.

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No. According to the Department of Education, federal work study students who were assigned to a department are to be paid their normal scheduled work hours, based upon the last two pay periods, during this period of emergency or until their financial aid funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

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Benefits and Family Medical Leave

There will be no changes to college benefit plans. In fact, we will be covering the cost of the coronavirus screening test, at no out-of-pocket-cost, for all employees on our health plans. Additionally, prior authorization will not be required for diagnostic services related to COVID-19 testing.

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If you need to take time away from work to care for an immediate family member, you should do so. Employees with limited leave time should contact Human Resources to discuss what options are available to ensure that they will continue to be paid during this time.

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You will remain on your scheduled Family Medical Leave until you are released to return to full work duty without restrictions.  Your pay is based upon your available accrued leave, or you will remain on a leave without pay (LWOP). If there is a legislative law passed in the future, we will research and determine any implications at that time.

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You must provide a copy of that full duty release. You may scan the document or snap a photo of it and email that photo to your Supervisor AND to Human Resources at HR-banderson22@southwest.tn.edu.  Once HR clears you to return to work, your supervisor will provide your work instructions.

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Report the time period you are required to be off from work to your supervisor. You are not required to disclose any medical details.  You should also notify Human Resources by way of email to HR-banderson22@southwest.tn.edu with those same details. HR will determine your eligibility determination and advise you of any medical details or other documents that may be necessary to do so.  Be sure to include your current home email and telephone number in case contact becomes necessary.  Once approved, you will be required to use accrued leave available to cover your period of leave. You will need a release to full work duty to return from FML leave. The new law does not extend the FML 12-weeks/450-hours period, it only permitted a new reason when an employee cannot telework from home.

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Report the time period you are required to be off from work to your supervisor. You are not required to disclose any medical details.  You should also notify Human Resources by way of email to HR-banderson22@southwest.tn.edu with those same details. HR will determine your eligibility determination and advise you of any medical details or other documents that may be necessary to do so.   Be sure to include your current home email and telephone number in case contact becomes necessary.  Once approved, you will be required to use accrued leave available to cover your period of leave. You will need a release to full work duty to return from FML leave. The new law does not extend the FML 12-weeks/450-hours period, it only permitted a new reason when an employee cannot telework from home.

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