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COVID-19: Updates and Resources



Guidance from HR for employees

Please note that information and guidance are subject to change as the University continues to respond to the spread of COVID-19. Information will be updated as appropriate. Last updated 3/24/2020

 

If an employee or an employee’s immediate family member is sick with a common cold, flu or other common illness that requires the employee to stay home. 

 

  • Professional and Executive Staff 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.   

Sick leave and annual leave are available. 

Employees and supervisors are highly encouraged to collaborate on first determining if the employee is able to work and do so remotely. The second determination is if a nontraditional, alternative work schedule would be allowed to meet the needs of both the employee and department.   

 

  • Classified Staff 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff 

Sick leave and annual leave are available. 

Employees and supervisors are highly encouraged to collaborate on first determining if the employee is able to work and do so remotely. The second determination is if a nontraditional, alternative work schedule would be allowed to meet the needs of both the employee and department.   

 

  • Full-time Faculty 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

Faculty are highly encouraged to collaborate with their chair and/or dean on determining if the faculty member is able to work and do so remotely, or if time off is needed.   

 

  • Affiliate Faculty 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

Rule of thumb is if the leave exceeds five days, contact Human Resources.  

Up to five days of fully paid sick leave are available.  

Affiliate faculty are highly encouraged to collaborate with their chair and/or dean on determining if the affiliate faculty member is able work or if time off is needed.   

 

  • Student Employees 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

Rule of thumb is if the leave exceeds five days, contact Human Resources.  

Up to five days of fully paid sick leave are available.  

Student employees and supervisors are highly encouraged to collaborate on first determining if the student employee is able to work remotely. The second determination is if a nontraditional, alternative work schedule would be allowed to meet the needs of both the student employee and department.   

 

  • Hourly Employees 

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

Rule of thumb is if the leave exceeds five days, contact Human Resources.  

Up to five days of fully paid sick leave are available.  

Employees and supervisors are highly encouraged to collaborate on first determining if the employee is able to work remotely. The second determination is if a nontraditional, alternative work schedule would be allowed to meet the needs of both the employee and department.   

 

Modified operations for the university and pay 

  • Employees are being required to work remotely as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  Supervisors are encouraged to identify projects/opportunities for our hourly employees, including student work-study employees. MSU Denver will continue to pay hourly employees, including student work-study employees, for the scheduled hours they would have worked, regardless owhether opportunities to work remotely are available. 

 

  • Employees are being required to work remotely as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020. MSU Denver will continue to pay staff at the employee’s regular base-rate of pay. Supervisors are encouraged to identify projects/opportunities. Administrative leave will be granted if the employee is unable to perform their job duties remotely.  

 

  • The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DoE) have issued guidance allowing institutions to continue paying federal and Colorado work-study funds to students in the event the institution closes due to COVID-19. MSU Denver will follow this same protocol for any employee paid an hourly rate through institutional funds or for employees who are currently on temporary appointment.     

 

Remote work 

  • In order to keep our operations functional and encourage social distancing, we are instituting a mandatory remote work procedure as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  

 

  • Supervisors please work directly with your employees to set clear expectations during this time.   

 

  • We encourage employees to work with their supervisors and teams to review departmental/unit continuity of operations plans and practice your procedures and tools. 

 

Resources available for remote working. 

 

 

 


Additional Frequently Asked Questions 


 

  

These FAQs have been developed to help address the questions employees and supervisors may have around COVID-19 and what impact it may have on Metropolitan State University of Denver’s workforce. 
 
 

I am feeling overwhelmed with all of the information coming out. Whom can I talk to? 

  • It is completely understandable to be overwhelmed with the news about coronavirus.  All MSU Denver employees have access to free and confidential resources through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program. The CSEAP can also be reached by phone at 303-866-4314. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After hours, employees can contact Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or http://coloradocrisisservices.org.  
  • The CSEAP will also be providing recurring webinars on managing stress and anxiety during uncertain times. Visit the CSEAP website for the most recent information on available webinar trainings.  
  • The CSEAP will continue to offer one-on-one counseling and referral services, as well as virtual counseling where appropriate to ensure the safety of clients and counselors.   
  • In addition to CSEAP services, these resources have been collected for employees to help maintain wellness during an infectious-disease outbreak.   

 

What to do if an employee or member of an employee’s household has been exposed (contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case) or has pending COVID-19 test results and is required to “self-quarantine” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

  • First and foremost, as with any medical condition, confidentiality around an employee’s health should be maintained to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ActHIPAA establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information. HIPAA requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization.  
  • Please notify Amanda Berry, manager of Employee Benefits, at aberry11@msudenver.edu, and she or a member of the Human Resources team will be in contact with the employee. HR will assist in responding appropriately and will follow up on any necessary actions.   
  • The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms (that are not expressly urgent) should use a form of telemedicine as their first point of care. It is best to talk through symptoms with a health care professional before showing up in person to a medical facility. The Health Center at Auraria is available in addition to the resources listed below. 
  • The Health Center at Auraria remains open Monday-Thursday from 8m.-5 p.m. and from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Fridays. Please call 303-615-9999 for a medical consultation or to schedule an appointment at the center in Plaza 150. Consultations regarding COVID-19 are free of charge. The Health Center also provides an array of clinical services, including mental-health support.  
  • Anthem, Kaiser and UnitedHealthcare will cover the costs for COVID-19 tests, which must be ordered by a doctor. This means testing will be given without deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance requirements.  

Anthem  

Customer Service: 800-542-9402 

24/7 NurseLine: 800-337-4770 

Video Visit: www.livehealthonline.com 

Dispatch Health 

Plan Information: Anthem Multi-Plan Summary 

  

Kaiser Permanente 

Customer Service: 303-338-3800 

Phone Visit: 303-338-4545; to schedule 

Video Visit: 303-338-4545; to schedule 

24/7 NurseLinewww.kp.org; use Appointment Center to schedule 

Email: www.kp.orglog into your account to email your doctor 

Plan Information: Kaiser Permanente 

Please see Kaiser’s informational sheet and frequently asked questions with the latest information and advice to help you feel prepared. Visit the website for additional information. You can also read further information about how Kaiser Permanente is responding to COVID-19. 

  

United Healthcare (UHC) 

Customer Service: 877-283-5424 

24/7 nurse line: 866-402-0006 

Virtual Visits: 877-283-5424; to schedule 

Plan Information: United Health Care Plan Summary 

Please see UnitedHealthcare’s FAQ on CoronavirusVirtual Visit FlierApp Information and Teledoc Flier. Visit the website for additional information. UnitedHealthcare has different Virtual Visit providers:  

Teledoc can be accessed via myuhc or through the new UnitedHealthcare App. There is not a separate app to download. 

AmWell and Doctors on Demand can be accessed via myuhc (amwell.com or doctorondemand.com) or by downloading the respective app and accessing through the app. 

  

  

How should I, as a supervisor, direct employees who need to get tested? 

  • First, employees should call a health care provider, clinic hospital, or The Health Center at Auraria.. The medical provider will give the employee instructions on whether they need to be tested and where to go for care and testing. If instructed to seek care, they should follow the precautionary advice of the medical provider before going into any health facility. 

 

If an employee has symptoms, can we force them to be tested? 

  • Supervisors can encourage, but cannot require, the employee to call a health care provider, clinic or hospital as the provider can give instructions on whether they need to be tested and where to go for care and testing. If instructed to seek care, the employee should follow the precautionary advice of the medical provider before going into any health facility. See the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidance on “How to Get Tested.”   

 

Is HR going to require employees to submit a medical certification for absences longer than three to five days, depending on employee class, or a fitness-to-return if they are absent from work due to illness? 

  • On March 11, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order to suspend temporarily the requirement for a doctor’s note for absences from work for three or more consecutive days due to COVID-19-like symptoms. In lieu of a doctor’s note, employees must self-certify the COVID-19-like illness by completing the State of Colorado Self-Certification Form for COVID-19-like Symptoms within 15 calendar days from the date of the first absence, barring extenuating circumstances, and present a signed copy to Amanda Berry, manager of Employee Benefits, at aberry11@msudenver.edu. 

  • The suspension of the medical-certificate requirement does not suspend any documentation requirements that pertain to serious health conditions or injuries that may qualify for job protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  

 

What is MSU Denver’s approach to use of leave for quarantined employees or confirmed COVID-19 cases? 

  • MSU Denver employees are working remotely until further notice. For asymptomatic employees, remote work should be the first consideration. If remote work were not possible, with the approval of Human Resources, paid administrative leave would be granted to employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been quarantined by a health official. For employees who are otherwise ill, please use the appropriate leave category.   

 

Should employees out on administrative leave complete Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) paperwork? 

  • Employees who are absent for more than three days but granted paid administrative leave do not have to submit FMLA paperwork while on paid administrative leave unless they experience complications arising from COVID-19.   

  • Outside of COVID-19, FMLA paperwork should be completed and returned to Amanda Berry, manager of Employee Benefits, at aberry11@msudenver.edu.   

  • Employees who are absent from work due to COVID-19-like symptoms for three or more consecutive days are required to complete and submit the Employee Self-Certification Form in lieu of a medical certificate form. 

 

I am a supervisor. What questions should I ask if an employee reports potential COVID-19 exposure? 

  • As a supervisor, you are not to give a medical diagnosis. However, you are permitted to ask questions of an employee to determine their ability to perform their work and the potential impact on the environment.  
    • Questions you may ask include:  
    • Why do you think you have been exposed? 
    • Are you experiencing symptoms (as defined by the CDC)? 
    • Have you spoken to your doctor about the need for COVID-19 testing? 
    • Have you been instructed to get tested?   
  • In cases of exposure (contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case) or pending COVID-19 test results, please contact Amanda Berry, manager of Employee Benefits, at aberry11@msudenver.edu.  

 

K-12 schools across the Denver area will not resume in-person classes until April 20 at the earliest and are moving to an online platform. With schools and/or child-care facilities potentially closed for an extended period, are employees allowed to work remotely to take care of their children or do they have to take leave? 

  • Yes, employees are allowed to work remotely at the same time they are caring for a child or other dependents during state-recognized emergency situations. 
  • Impacted employees need to work with their supervisor to determine if the employee can continue to work remotely or if a schedule adjustment will allow them to continue remote working. If these measures do not allow the employee to continue to work, then employees may use any accrued leave to care for their family members.   

 

For employees whose regular job responsibilities don't translate well to online and remote working, how can we account for their time? 

  • All supervisors are encouraged to be creative with distribution of work and finding ways for employees to remain productive during this time. Consider using LinkedIn Learning for professional-development opportunities.  
  • Paid administrative leave may be appropriate, with HR approval, as a last resort if other methods of keeping employees productive have been exhausted. 

Can employees apply to use the shared-leave bank?  

  • If an employee has a need to apply, please email Amanda Berry, manager of Employee Benefits, ataberry11@msudenver.edu.

  • Employees working remotely are covered under workers’ compensation for injuries arising out of the course and scope of employment.Coverage applies to the same extent it would if an employee were injured in the office. 

  • Employees who have available annual leave and want to support their colleagues during this period may donate by completing the Leave Bank Contribution form.  

 

Are employees working from home covered by workers’ compensation? 

Please note: MSU Denver assumes no liability for injuries occurring at the remote work location outside of the employee’s work hours or injuries that do not arise out of employment. MSU Denver is not responsible for injuries to third parties, including family members, at the remote work location or for damages to the employee’s personal property.  

To file a workers’ compensation claim, please complete the First Report of Injury form.  

 

What are employees’ responsibilities for reporting incident or injury occurring at home? 

By law, the employee must report a work-related injury or illness in writing to the employer within 96 hours (four calendar days). 


 

 


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