When I return to campus for work, what information will I have to disclose to the University?
Each day prior to coming to any campus facility or participating in any University activity, employees must complete a brief questionnaire found in GoWMU. The survey has a series of basic questions, such as whether you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. The information sought is just enough to determine whether the survey taker needs to be assessed at Sindecuse Health Center. Sindecuse will be automatically notified of any “yes” answers.
Once at Sindecuse, you enter a HIPAA-protected process wherein health information is not shared beyond your health care providers and those you specify. However, if you test positive for COVID-19, the University is required to report that information, including your identity, to county public health officials. This is necessary so the county health department can conduct contact tracing. The University will also issue a notice to those with a “need to know,” e.g., health care providers, supervisors and close contacts.
Who will have access to any health-related information I disclose, and how will the University protect it?
Only those with a “need to know,” e.g., health care providers, supervisors and close contacts, will have access to your COVID-19-related health information. Individuals outside of Sindecuse with a "need to know" will only know whether you are positive for COVID-19. They will not have access to other medical records or information.
HIPAA and other confidentiality rules are relaxed during instances of public health emergencies, which is what we are experiencing with the current pandemic.
What do I do if I need an accommodation to address either having to wear a mask or working on site?
You and your supervisor must reach out to the Office of Institutional Equity (IE) to begin the interactive process.
Do I have to wear a mask/facial covering at my work location?
Yes, unless you are alone in an enclosed area, you do not expect visitors and your door is closed. The University's facial covering (mask) policy is available online.
Is the University allowed to ask me if I have COVID-19 or any related conditions?
The University may ask you if you have COVID-19 and/or COVID-19-related symptoms, and will do so via the questionnaire found in GoWMU.
The University may not ask you if you have underlying conditions that would increase your risk if you are exposed to COVID-19.
If you do have underlying conditions that place you at a higher risk for COVID-19, you and your supervisor must contact IE to discuss whether your situation is appropriate for a reasonable accommodation.
Is the University allowed to ask me if I or a family member fall into a high-risk category for purposes of COVID-19?
No, but you will have to provide information about yourself if you are seeking an accommodation.
If you are seeking an accommodation, you and your supervisor must contact the Office of Institutional Equity to evaluate whether a reasonable accommodation is available.
What do I do if my supervisor is not following the mask policy or other COVID-19-related policies, procedures or protocols?
Reports should then go to your next level supervisor and, ultimately, to your dean, vice president, or the Office of the Provost, as appropriate in your area. No act of retaliation from supervisors for such reporting will be tolerated.
If you are non-academic affairs bargaining unit staff, report to the director of labor relations.
Who determines whether I can telecommute?
Your supervisor determines if the essential functions of your position require that you be in the office.
By University request and state order, it is strongly encouraged that any work that is capable of being performed remotely (i.e., without employees leaving their place of residence) be performed remotely. However, the ultimate decision whether an employee can effectively work remotely is determined by your supervisor.
For faculty, instructional delivery methods on courses have been determined for the semester based on their selections and are on record with the registrar. Deviation from the registered method requires an accommodation from Institutional Equity.
Can a supervisor discipline an employee or send them home if they will not wear a mask or facial covering?
Yes, unless you have requested and been granted a reasonable accommodation or fit under one of the other exceptions stated in the mask policy.
Do I have to come to work if I have a medical diagnosis that places me in a high-risk population?
Yes, unless you have requested and been granted a reasonable accommodation based on your disability.
If you have a medical diagnosis that places you in a high-risk category, you and your supervisor must contact Institutional Equity to evaluate reasonable accommodations.
You may also take annual leave, COVID-19 leave or other medical leave options (FMLA, EFMLA, etc.) with supervisor approval, consistent with Employee Handbook Section 11.
Do I have to come to work if I am over 65, which puts me in a high-risk population?
Yes. Age alone is not a disability, so it does not fall under the reasonable accommodation framework of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If I work in a cubicle or other open workstation, do I have to wear a mask?
Yes, unless no one else is in your workspace and you do not expect others to enter your workspace. Social distancing must be maintained.
If I work in an office with a door, do I have to wear a mask?
No, as long as you are alone in the office and the door is closed.
Is the University providing masks for employees?
Yes. Your supervisor will make two masks available for you.
You may also bring your own face covering as long as it meets the requirements set out in the mask policy.
Do I have to get a COVID-19 test to return to campus for work?
Not unless you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Yes, if either of the above conditions are true.
May I report that I believe a co-worker may have COVID-19 symptoms?
Yes, as long as Michigan remains in a public health emergency due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to report anyone whom you believe may have COVID-19 symptoms and who is not taking the proper precautions.
This information should be reported to your supervisor.
May I report that I believe a co-worker is not wearing a mask/facial covering?
Yes, it is strongly encouraged. Report first to your supervisor.
If you see a student who is not following the mask policy, report that information to the Office of Student Conduct.
Employees may elect to ask anyone they see not wearing a mask to do so. If the person is a guest on campus (not a student, faculty or staff member) and does not comply, then contact the WMU Department of Public Safety.
Will workers' compensation cover my testing if a co-worker is positive and I decide to/am encouraged to get tested?
Not unless you have been granted Workers’ Compensation benefits for COVID-19.
If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 at work, follow the standard University process for evaluating and processing workers’ compensation claims. You may be eligible for no-cost testing at Sindecuse Health Center.
May the University tell my co-workers that I have tested positive for COVID-19?
The University may disclose the existence of a positive COVID-19 result to prevent a serious or imminent threat or to prevent the spread of disease.
For employee cases, the University will issue warnings to buildings indicating that there has been a positive test result. The identity of the individual with the positive test result will be released “on a need-to-know basis,” as determined by safety needs as necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.
Can the University require me to stay home if I have a positive COVID-19 test?
Yes. The University may require that you stay home until you are no longer infectious according to your health care provider and/or the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Are there specific rules that apply to research laboratories?
Yes. Contact the Office of Research and Innovation for more information.
Do I have to pay to have a COVID-19 test? How does workers' compensation apply?
Maybe. Sindecuse will be conducting free COVID-19 testing for all non-temporary employees and students who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are asymptomatic and have not been exposed to someone with COVID-19, see Sindecuse’s website for details on no-cost testing.
Insurance information will be collected and insurance will be billed. For eligible employees and tests, the University will cover co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 at work, follow the standard University process for evaluating and processing workers’ compensation claims.