Employee Information Regarding COVID-19
As UB adheres to State and USM guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, the below links provide information on teleworking, timekeeping, and resources. As we continue to respond to this ever-changing situation, updates pertaining to employee information will be posted here.
- Employee Information
- August Update
- May Update
- March Update
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Campus Announcements
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- FFCRA Extended through June 30, 2021
- FFCRA Fact Sheet
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave & FML Expansion Request Form
- Department of Labor (DOL) Poster
Tools for Managers
Access to campus will be greatly restricted for the fall semester. Employees and supervisors are expected to explore options that support effective telework and online education without coming to campus for the safety of the UB community. To be approved, any request must be specific and be absolutely necessary to support the work and operation of the University.
Before an employee may access campus, a “Request for On-Campus Work” must be submitted and approved. The form should be completed by a supervisor or department head and routed through the Provost or CFO/VP for Admin & Finance. This form is the only mechanism to be approved to come to campus. This process applies to individuals who were previously approved to perform work on campus during the summer.
Building access will be restricted through deactivation of the Bee Card. Employees must be approved to come to work through the campus access process and have a negative COVID test before the Bee Card will allow access.
- This applies to all staff, faculty and students.
- This applies for anyone who wishes to enter a campus facility or be on campus for any period of time.
The University System of Maryland (USM) issued guidance requiring COVID testing for students, faculty and staff returning to campus this fall.
Employees are required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 14 days before they are permitted on campus. This applies to all employees. Test results are to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources (HR) in order for access to campus to be granted. In case of a positive test, HR will provide guidance on when an employee may return to campus. Employees should send proof of their negative COVID test result to HR at firstname.lastname@example.org. This newly created email account will have limited confidential access to protect employee privacy.
At this time, repeat testing is not required. This may change as state and community conditions warrant. Employees may be required in the future to submit to periodic testing in order to access campus.
Where to get tested:Baltimore City and the surrounding counties each have their own web pages detailing testing sites. A list of the relevant links can be found here: http://www.ubalt.edu/about-ub/pandemic-planning/covid-testing.cfm. Many sites offer appointments or indicate appointments preferred but allow walk-ins. Some of the area car emission sites (VEIP) have been converted to drive through COVID testing locations. An employee may choose where to receive a COVID test. An employee may test in Baltimore City, or may also test in one of the surrounding counties, whichever is more convenient. The sites coordinated through the State, City and County health departments offer free testing. Some of the private clinics and pharmacies offer testing but may require a co-pay. UB will not cover the cost of the co-pay.
UB has partnered with UMB to implement symptom monitoring using a system called Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap). Employees working on campus will be required to complete a questionnaire regarding COVID symptoms each day they are scheduled to be on campus. The system will track the responses and issue a “go / no go” email each day to the employee and supervisor indicating whether or not the employee may come to campus that day based on COVID risk. Any employee who receives notice not to come to campus will be referred to HR. HR may require the employee to quarantine or require follow up with the employee’s physician.
Employees scheduled to be on campus at any time in the fall semester will be loaded into the REDCap system. Employees will receive an email each day with a unique URL to complete their symptom survey. This can be done on a computer or a smart phone. The first question will ask whether or not the employee is coming to campus that day. If the answer is “no”, the survey is complete. If the answer is “yes”, the employee will indicate whether or not they are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms that day or if they have any recent risk of exposure. If so, the employee will receive an email instructing them not to come to campus. The email will also go to the employee’s supervisor and to HR’s Employee Health email account. The employee’s specific responses to the questionnaire will not be sent.
HR will follow up with any employee who receives a “no go” email. Guidance will be given at that time based on the totality of circumstance.
How it works
Employees who are approved to come to campus will receive a registration email from UMB (umaryland.edu email address). Employee name, campus email, and supervisor have already been loaded into the system. Employees can provide an alternative email and phone number.
Once registered, employees will receive an email each day, usually around 4am, for daily symptom monitoring. The email will include a link to a daily questionnaire on COVID symptoms, potential exposure, or travel. The survey takes less than one minute to complete.
An employee with no symptoms or exposure will receive a confirmation email informing them it is OK to come to campus that day.
An employee with symptoms or risk factors will be instructed not to come to campus. Their supervisor and HR will receive a copy of the notification. HR will reach out to the employee to provide guidance. The University will follow CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines for employees to return to campus.
What happens if someone is confirmed to have COVID?
If an employee who has been working on campus or visited campus tests positive for COVID, they should inform HR through email@example.com. The University will do an assessment of risk for other individuals on campus and any needs for special cleaning based on the employee’s work schedule and space(s) accessed on campus. In addition, the health department will contact the employee to conduct contact tracing. For more information about contact tracing, visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing.
Please note, individual test results are considered confidential medical records and will not be shared. The University will not share the name of any employee who has tested positive.
How will I know if one of my coworkers has the virus?
The University will do an initial assessment of risk for other individuals on campus. This includes reviewing the location and movement of the employee to determine if any co-worker had close contact and is at risk. In addition, you may be contacted by a health department contact tracer in the event that you were exposed to an individual who tested positive. Individual test results will be considered confidential medical records and will not be shared.
If I feel sick, what should I do? How will I be paid for the rest of the day?
If you feel sick, notify your supervisor, and do not report to work. If you are already at work and you begin to feel sick, notify your supervisor and go home immediately. Consult with your health care provider for advice. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, your health care provider will advise you when it is safe to return to work. You may use accrued sick leave or you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave. You should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the appropriate leave code.
What other measures will the university require of employees to limit the potential for the spread of the virus?
The University will continue to restrict campus access for the safety of the UB community. All classes will be online and employees continue to telework as much as possible. In addition, UB requires that all employees follow the CDC’s guidance for reducing the spread of the virus. Face coverings are required while on campus, physical distancing of 6 feet or more should be maintained, and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
Do I have to wear a face mask or face covering when I return to work/campus?
All employees are required to wear face coverings while on campus when indoors and in public areas. UB will provide cloth facemasks for employees approved to work on campus. Facilities Management will continue to provide daily single-use masks for facilities staff. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.
Exceptions to required daily mask/face covering wear may include:
- Time spent in a single-occupancy office alone, with a closed door; or
- Eating or drinking, while practicing physical distancing;
What are the consequences if I refuse to wear a mask?
All employees are expected to fully comply with the safety protocols. Failure to do so may result in corrective action. Employees with a medical, religious, or disability-related reason for not wearing a mask should contact HR at email@example.com for guidance.
How should a supervisor handle an employee who refuses to comply with safety protocols, including wearing a mask and appropriate social distancing?
Managers should approach the first instance of non-compliance as an opportunity to re-educate the employee on the safety practices. When an employee fails to follow one or more safety practices, first have a conversation with the employee about the importance of doing their part in keeping themselves and others safe. If, during this conversation, the employee indicates there is a medical, religious, or disability-related reason for not wearing the mask, please direct them to HR at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Continued non-compliance may be considered insubordination which may require disciplinary action. Consult with David Elliott, Employee Relations Specialist, to discuss the next steps.
Are employees allowed to use elevators?
Please use the stairs whenever possible. The elevators in the Angelos Law Center have signage to designate appropriate distancing. If you are not able to maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from others when using the elevator, wait until the next elevator arrives.
Will buildings remain locked?
At this time, the buildings remain locked and Bee Cards have been deactivated for campus building access. Only those individuals who have been approved to be on campus and submitted the required documentation of a negative COVID test will be able to access using their Bee Card.
If an employee has underlying health issues, can they be required to come to work?
The CDC has identified a number of health issues that can cause greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Those include chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, and obesity. Employees over 65 may also be at greater risk. The University has developed a modified ADA Accommodation Request process for use during the COVID pandemic. For more information, see the ADA COVID Fact Sheet. Or submit a Request for ADA Accommodation form.
Pay and Leave
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
In April, Congress passed the FFCRA to provide paid leave and job protection to employees impacted by the Coronavirus. The FFCRA included two types of leave provisions:
Emergency Paid Sick Leave for up to 80 hours of paid leave in case an employee needs to quarantine, to seek a medical diagnosis, to care for an individual who needs to quarantine, or to provide child care if the child’s school or day care is closed due to COVID.
Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) added child care as a qualifying event for FMLA. EFMLA provides up to 12 weeks of leave for employees whose child’s school is closed due to COVID. Employees who do not have accrued leave available receive 2/3 pay up to $200 / day. EFMLA can be taken intermittently rather than continuously.
These provisions apply to both on-campus and telework employees. For more information on the FFCRA, please see the Fact Sheet available on the HR web page.If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com.