For More Information
Contact Human Resources Management at 972-883-2221
Because we expect the severity of the H1N1 strain of flu to be similar to that of seasonal flu, we also expect the university will continue with all regularly scheduled activities. However, if staff members become ill with the flu, we encourage them to stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-lowering medication. Patient-care staff should stay home until 7 days after symptoms begin, or until symptoms have ended, whichever is longer.
We expect it will be "business as usual" on campus this fall and all current human resources policies regarding sick time or paid time off remain in effect. If you or any of your co-workers become sick with a flu-like illness, the best thing to do is to call in sick in accordance with the requirements of your supervisor or department and stay home until you get better.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines flu-like illness this way: A fever of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater, plus a cough or sore throat and possibly other symptoms like runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea.
It is important to note that while more staff members may become ill, this flu is no more virulent and no more contagious than the typical flu we see every winter in Texas.
Flu Prevention Tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly, or use a hand sanitizing solution that is at least 60% ethyl alcohol.
- Avoid touching your nose and eyes directly
- Use tissues and dispose of them properly
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve - not your hand.
Workplace Attendance and Time Off
Should I stay home if I’m sick or running a fever?
Yes. It’s important to take care of yourself, recover and protect others from unnecessary exposure to the flu. If you have a fever of 100.4 F or greater, plus a cough or sore throat and possibly other symptoms like chills, body aches or vomiting, you should notify your supervisor that you are ill and stay home and use sick leave or any other paid leave you have earned. For most employees, this means staying home until the fever is gone for at least 24 hours.
What if I am sick but have no sick leave available?
If you do not have accrued sick leave, you can request vacation leave or any other paid leave you have earned. If you don’t have any paid leave, you must take leave without pay. Talk with your supervisor about the situation as soon as possible. It’s important that you recover and minimize contact with your colleagues until you are no longer contagious.
Can I be required to come to work?
Yes. Staff can be directed to come in to work. If you cannot come in due to illness, you should contact your supervisor to request time off then stay home until you recover.
Can I be sent home if I am sick at work?
Yes. Employees can be sent home when they are sick. Pay for this time will be handled by sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time or leave without pay policies.
If an employee is required to stay home due to illness, is s/he eligible for pay?
An employee may be eligible for pay under sick, vacation or other paid leave policies. If no accrued sick, vacation or paid leave time is available, the employee must take leave without pay.
Can staff be required to work overtime?
Yes. University supervisors may require employees to work overtime.
Can staff be assigned to perform work normally performed by other employees?
Yes, staff may be assigned alternate work.
Will special consideration be made for people who are caretakers of children or the elderly?
Supervisors may take such demands into consideration, and may require proof or documentation that the employee is required to be present and be the care-giver. The supervisor and the employee are encouraged to discuss the need and reach an agreement regarding hours of work or a reduction in time if possible.
What happens if a child’s school or care facility closes temporarily?
Staff with children are encouraged to make plans in advance for alternative child care arrangements. If an employee’s child is healthy but child care is unavailable, s/he should seek supervisor approval to use vacation time or some other appropriate leave.
Is a staff member required to complete time sheets?
Yes. When staff are present, time sheets should be completed in accordance with department policies. If employees are not available, time sheets should be completed by their supervisor. Later, if an employee’s time needs adjustment, the employee and supervisor should complete an amended timesheet.
Can staff work alternative work schedules?
Managers have the right to establish and modify work schedules. Alternate work schedules can often meet the interests of both the department and the employee. In setting up alternate work schedules, special attention should be paid to overtime obligations, handling holiday, sick, vacation and other paid time off. Supervisors should consult with HR before approving requests for alternative work schedules.
Can staff change their work schedule?
An employee can request a schedule change. Managers establish schedules and approve schedule changes.
Will I continue receiving benefits during an emergency pandemic situation?
Yes, If you are enrolled in benefits, your benefits will continue as long as your appointment makes you eligible to receive them. Your benefits will not be affected if you are unable to complete time sheets while ill with the flu.
How will I receive medical services?
Continue to use your medical plan and prescription drug plan as usual.
What if I am out on disability or need to go out on disability?
If you are already out on disability, your benefits will continue as long as they are approved by the Plan. If you need to file a new disability claim, contact Human Resources Management.
Counseling & Support Services
Where can I get information on counseling and support services for faculty and staff?
Any time a community is dealing with a crisis like the H1N1 virus, community members can feel stress and have concerns. Confidential, free counseling and support services are available from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by calling (214) 648-5330.
Last Updated: February 24, 2012