Human Resource Guidance
and FAQ’s about COVID-19
After spring break and beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, NAU classes will be moved to online instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.
NAU’s campus in Flagstaff remains open and operational and NAU employees will continue to perform their job duties. NAU leadership is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal and state agencies to help protect the health and safety of the NAU community, implement recommendations, and evaluate options on how to best manage the numerous complex aspects of the COVID-19 response. Below is general guidance along with detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help employees and supervisors manage this fluid situation.
For specific information and guidance, please review the following FAQ’s:
Preventing the Spread of Illness
What if I feel sick? Accordion Closed
In general, all employees are asked to stay home if they are sick, regardless of what they believe the cause to be. This will help stop the spread of any illnesses.
What if I have some symptoms of COVID-19? Accordion Closed
You should stay home, self-isolate and contact your health provider regarding your symptoms.
What if I don’t feel sick, but I traveled to… Accordion Closed
What if I don’t feel sick, but I traveled to an affected area or believe I was exposed to someone who had COVID-19?
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, employees are asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days after the exposure or the return from travel.
Can I choose to go home to avoid exposure? Accordion Closed
Supervisors and employees should work together regarding work from home and alternative schedules in order to limit the impact and spread of COVID-19. Discuss with your supervisor options for working from home, working a different schedule or using vacation or sick leave to be out of the workplace.
If I am in a high-risk category….. Accordion Closed
If I am in a high-risk category due to an underlying health condition, what are my options?
Individuals in high risk categories can work directly with their supervisor to explore options to work remotely when that is appropriate. No specific medical information needs to be shared with the supervisor and supervisors shouldn’t request it – only that the employee reports being at high risk. Individuals can also contact Disability Resources to request accommodations related to their underlying health condition. Disability Resources will work with the individual and their supervisor to establish what options are reasonable and appropriate given the circumstances.
What do I do if an employee appears to be sick at work? Accordion Closed
Employees who determine that another employee is showing or describing symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing, or shortness of breath should share their concerns with a supervisor.
Supervisors should speak with the employee exhibiting symptoms, share what you or others have observed, and ask if the employee believes they may be sick or contagious. No specific medical information should be requested.
- If the employee says they have a non-contagious condition such as allergies, ask them to be sure to follow recommended hygiene guidelines such as covering their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- If the employee confirms that they are not feeling well and/or have the symptoms described, remind them that NAU and current health guidelines recommend that all employees that are sick need to stay home – then direct them to go home.
- The employee can use accrued vacation, sick leave, or leave without pay if all other paid time off is exhausted or is unavailable to them.
- As a supervisor, you can approve the employee to work from home if there is work to be done and the employee has the equipment and access to work from home.
- If the employee insists on remaining at work and you still have concerns, contact Human Resources at 928-523-2223.
What precautions can be taken for those working on campus? Accordion Closed
As the university and individual departments work through work from home and alternative work schedules options, work continues to happen on campus. In order to meet student and university needs, on campus work continues. Everyone on campus must do what they can in order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. In addition to the very important precautions of regular hand washing and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, please consider these recommended practices:
- Choose to have individual or group meetings via Skype, Zoom, or phone
- Stagger schedules if possible
- Determine where or how you can create social distancing/spreading people out within your work area
- In addition to the enhanced cleaning protocols being carried out by Facility Services, coordinate among staff to sanitize high-touch surfaces regularly (door handles, copy machines, etc.)
- Promptly report areas needing additional cleaning
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitize that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Pay, Time Off and Leave
How will I be paid if I have to be away from work? Accordion Closed
NAU will continue to run normal bi-weekly payroll processing based on the published Payroll Schedule that can be located on the NAU HR Payroll Website under the Quick Reference Section.
Can I use paid time off (PTO) sick and/or vacation leave accruals during time I am off work? Accordion Closed
Employees who miss work due to illness or the illness of a family member, are self-quarantining or in self-isolation, in a high-risk group, living with a household member in a high-risk group, or managing childcare may use accrued sick or vacation leave.
What if I run out of sick, vacation or accrued comp time hours? Accordion Closed
If all accrued sick and vacation leave are exhausted, benefits eligible employees may use up to 24 hours of sick time that has not yet been accrued. Employees may also use leave without pay. All time should continue to be reported on the timesheet as usual.
Will part-time employees or student workers see a reduction in hours? Accordion Closed
Part-time employees and student workers may see a reduction in hours. However, part-time employees and student workers may be allowed to work from home if there is work to be done and they have appropriate equipment, access, and data security in place. As is the case with full-time work, not all work is able to be done remotely and on-site work may be important to support student and university needs.
Are student workers required to work during the university’s shift to online only instruction? Accordion Closed
Because of the fluid nature of this situation, student workers should check with their supervisor for further direction about their work schedule for the remainder of the semester. Supervisors should communicate with their student workers regarding any change in schedule or assignments.
Can my supervisor cancel my vacation that has already been approved? Accordion Closed
While we don’t expect this to be a regular occurrence, we are facing a unique situation and possible staff shortages, and a supervisor may need to cancel pre-approved vacation requests. Supervisors should provide as much notice as possible if this becomes necessary.
Can my supervisor change my schedule or change my work assignment? Accordion Closed
Yes, due to the unique situation and departmental needs, your supervisor may make adjustments to schedules or adjust work assignments if necessary for the continuity of operations. We are asking supervisors and employees to be flexible with work assignments as we work through the COVID-19 response.
What happens if the university closes? Accordion Closed
We are working hard to maintain operations and support our students through the end of the semester. If the university, or certain areas of the university, were to close, certain operations would still need to continue and certain employees may be required to work in order to meet student, staff, or faculty needs. If that occurs, further detailed information would be communicated to the university community and supervisors and departments would communicate requirements to individual employees.
Health Care Coverage
What should I do if I am sick and need to see a doctor? Accordion Closed
You should contact a medical professional. Convenient and cost-effective care options such as Telehealth are also available for those covered by a NAU medical plan who need to see a physician quickly and are not able to get into their primary care physician.
For more details go to the Telehealth webpage.
Will my NAU employee medical plan cover expenses related to the testing and treatment of COVID-19? Accordion Closed
Yes. If you require an office visit for testing or treatment for a diagnosed case of COVID-19, you will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness, subject to the normal deductible, copay, and out-of-pocket amounts under your medical plan. Find out more about how COVID-19 testing and treatment will be handled under your medical plan
You can find more information about your medical plan benefits on the Benefits Offered Webpage.
Important: If you have coverage through another employer or plan, please contact your insurance company to ask about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
When does FMLA apply? Accordion Closed
To be eligible for FMLA, you must first meet the criteria below:
- You have worked 12 months for the university, and
- Have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months.
If eligible, you may use FMLA for a Serious Health Condition affecting you, your child, or your spouse. A Serious Health Condition includes a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days.
You can find more information on FMLA and NAU’s of Leave of Absence policies on the Leave of Absence webpage.
What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of the situation? Accordion Closed
Employee Assistance and Wellness is available to assist employees with personal and professional issues. You can find more information on the EAW webpage.
Work from Home and Alternative Work Schedule Options
For the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, supervisors are asked to be flexible in identifying and reviewing telework options where appropriate.
- See the COVID-19 Work from Home Guidelines and the Telework page and the for additional information.
- Please note that not all work can be accomplished remotely and certain on-site work may be important to support student and university needs.
- Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the on-going efficacy of all telework arrangements.
My child’s school is closed and I don’t have daycare. Can I work from home or request an alternative schedule? Accordion Closed
You and your supervisor should discuss the availability of work that you could do from home or during an alternative schedule. You and your supervisor should follow the Work from Home and Alternative Work Schedule Guidelines related to COVID-19 Containment to make arrangements for your specific situation. While supervisors are encouraged to be flexible, there is no guarantee that an employee will be able to work from home or to work an alternative schedule.
Can I work from home some, work an alternative schedule and use my paid time off accruals when I’m not able to work? Accordion Closed
Yes. You and your supervisor can make arrangements for you to work some from home, or work an alternative schedule and receive pay for those hours you work. You may also arrange to take time off using your sick or vacation leave accruals to receive pay.
Does my supervisor have to approve my request work from home or work an alternative schedule if there is an outbreak? Accordion Closed
We are working hard to identify and implement work from home options across the university. Supervisory approval is necessary to work from home or to work an alternative schedule.
Not all requests to work from home or work an alternative schedule can be approved due to the nature of the work. Decisions should be based upon whether or not an employee’s responsibilities can be performed from home and if they have the equipment and technology available to fully perform the work away from the office/work location, or if the work can be done during the alternative scheduled time.
How do I get help with technology or other logistics related to working from home? Accordion Closed
You should discuss options with your supervisor. The university is working to provide technology support and guidance to employees and supervisors. Keep in mind that due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home not all jobs can be done from home. Visit the ITS Tools and Technology for Remote Instruction and Work page for additional information.
I’ve never worked from home – how do I get connected to my email, files, etc.? Accordion Closed
Discuss with your supervisor the options your department has. For information on safely connecting from a home computer and where to get assistance with any technical issues, visit the ITS Tools and Technology for Remote Instruction and Work page.
Can I work from home while caring for a child or family member at home? Accordion Closed
During the COVID-19 situation, employees are managing sudden school closure and limited access to child care providers. We are asking supervisors to be flexible and allow employees to care for children or ill family members if the employee can effectively balance family care and work. This may require a balance of taking time off from work (for which sick, vacation leave may be used) and working from home.
Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally do not work? Accordion Closed
Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal because of staffing shortages or university needs. Supervisors should provide as much advance notice as is possible when changing an employee’s work schedule.
How long will any working from home arrangement last? Accordion Closed
Please understand that this is a rapidly changing situation, and that the university will continue to monitor the pandemic and appropriate state and federal guidance. Any changes which might affect our campus community will be communicated as conditions change.
- NAU COVID-19 Updates and Resources
- COVID-19 Work from Home Guidance
- Human Resources Policy 2.07
- Telework Responsibilities and Expectations
- Tools and Technology for Remote Instruction and Work
- Telehealth Virtual Health Care Information