The following frequently asked questions are being regularly updated as the situation and statuses on this pandemic continue to change.
Yes. The university is generally considered an essential business that is exempt from the stay-at-home order.
If you are traveling to work in your car, the police may not stop your vehicle only to check to see if you are violating a stay at home order. The police must have a reasonable articulable suspicion to stop your vehicle. Also, because currently universities, as a public body, are considered to be essential businesses and are exempt from the stay at home orders, if anyone does question a university employee, presenting your employee ID badge should suffice.
When an employee, who is an immediate family member, is required to stay home with a child (as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act) because of the closure of a day care facility or a public school, the employee may, with approval of the supervisor, be allowed to work at home or use paid administrative leave (PAL), effective March 17- May 8, 2020. This also applies for eldercare.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave and/or extended family medical leave. For more information on FFCRA forms of leave, visit the UHR FFRCA website.
These guidelines apply equally to SHRA or EHRA employees and whether an individual is designated as a mandatory or nonmandatory employee.
If an employee does not have enough sick leave, the employee may be permitted to make up time in accordance with the parameters for making up time during adverse weather. However, at the discretion of the college dean or vice chancellor, make-up time could be extended to 24 months if necessary.
Employees who are quarantined at the direction of public health officials will receive paid administrative leave until the specified period of time ends or the employee becomes ill with the communicable disease, whichever comes first until May 1, 2020. After May 1, eligible employees will use Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the FFCRA for the first two weeks, then other accrued leave (such as sick or bonus leave) may be applied.
Written verification from a public health official is required to confirm this status as soon as practicable.
If you become ill and it is determined to be work-related in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Workers’ Compensation Policy applies. If your illness is determined not to be work-related, the Sick Leave Policy applies.
State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell announced on March 13, 2020, that the State Health Plan Board of Trustees authorized the treasurer and executive administrator to take actions within their authority to preemptively address and quickly respond to COVID-19 for the benefit of plan members without consultation with the board.
The plan made the following changes to medical and pharmacy benefits for members enrolled in the 80/20 Plan, 70/30 Plan and High Deductible Health Plan:
Medical Benefit Enhancements:
- Expanded virtual access to doctors. Visits to providers that previously required a face-to-face encounter can now be performed virtually so long as they are a medical necessity and meet certain criteria. This will further encourage the use of virtual visits and allow providers to monitor members at home, minimizing the spread of infection and easing the burden on emergency rooms. You will need to contact your provider to determine if these services are available.
- Waived prior authorizations for covered services related to COVID-19 that are ordered by a provider, medically necessary and consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance related to COVID-19.
- Eliminated the member cost-share for COVID-19 testing to ensure there are no cost barriers to testing.
Pharmacy Benefit Enhancements:
- Increased access to maintenance medications by waiving the early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Member cost-sharing will apply as normal.
- Waived CVS home delivery charges for medications so members do not have to leave their homes to pick up their medications.
Additional information may also be found on the State Health Plan’s website under coronavirus.
NC State is committed to fostering a welcoming environment that encourages equity, diversity and inclusion. While the spread of disease may cause fear and uncertainty, NC State does not tolerate discrimation and harassment of our community members. If you feel you have experienced harassment or dscrimination, please contact the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity as soon as possible.
Yes, in accordance with state policy, temporary employees and student workers are eligible to telework, with prior supervisor approval. It is imperative that temporary employees and student workers adhere to the same alternative work (telework) provisions as permanent full and part-time employees of the university.
Teleworking assignments do not change the conditions of employment or required compliance with policies and rules. Such assignments can be revoked at any time at the discretion of the university. Please refer to the university’s social distancing and alternative work guidelines for further details regarding the university’s alternative work guidelines during a public health emergency.
Yes, when the UNC System Office or university is closed, or when the UNC System president or the chancellor determines that only mandatory employees are required to report to work, nonmandatory employees who are not required to work shall at the discretion of the UNC System president or chancellor be granted paid administrative leave for up to 30 calendar days.
- The employee’s pay shall continue at the same rate the employee would have received had the employee been working (including any shift premium pay normally received).
- If adjustments need to be made, they shall be made in the next paycheck after returning to work, depending upon payroll deadlines for that pay period.
- If a nonmandatory employee elects to work when the university is closed, the employee shall not receive additional pay.
Until May 8,2020, when the university determines that only mandatory employees are required to report to work onsite, mandatory employees shall be granted time and one-half pay for all hours worked or all hours that the employee is required to remain on-site, subject to the availability of funds. If funds are not available, the employee shall be granted the additional half-time pay at a later date or one-half compensatory time.
This provision applies to all SHRA and EHRA nonfaculty employees who are exempt and non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act with the exception of the following:
- Senior officers of the UNC System who are subject to the provisions of Section 300.1.1.II., of the UNC Policy Manual, Policy on Senior Academic and Administrative Officers.
- Associate and assistant vice chancellors.
- Associate and assistant vice provosts.
- Associate and assistant deans.
However, at the discretion of the UNC System president or chancellor, employees in positions listed above may be eligible for pay at time and one-half or may be granted compensatory time in lieu of time and one-half pay following the emergency event.
Note: If a mandatory employee is not required to report to work, then the employee should follow the guidelines as they apply to nonmandatory employees until they are required to report to work.
Yes. Additional employees may be designated to work if needed due to the length of the emergency, illness of mandatory employees or other needs. In this case, management must follow the same notification procedures: Management must notify employees of their temporary mandatory designation and the requirement to report for or remain at work in emergency situations, or to work from home or other alternative location as deemed appropriate.
Employees should receive appropriate information and training as needed. For employees who are designated mandatory for a temporary duration, the supervisor should complete the Temporary Designation of Mandatory Status Form. Completing the form serves as documentation of this temporary status change and allows card access changes for buildings as needed. If mandatory personnel are required to remain at the work site for an extended period of time, the University will provide adequate housing and food.
Mandatory employees may be excused from work if they are quarantined or ill, if they are required to care for a member of their immediate family (as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act), or if they are required to stay home with parents or underage children because of the closure of a day care facility, public school or eldercare facility.
Employees will be required to use available compensatory leave, sick leave, vacation leave or bonus leave.
Employees who have symptoms of a communicable disease are required to stay home. Employees who are ill with the communicable disease should be cautioned not to return to work until they are sure they are fully recovered.
- The university may require certification of fitness to work from a health care provider.
- If quarantined, it is the employee’s responsibility to provide human resources with a written verification of their status from a public health official.
Please note that we may receive a change to this protocol soon from the system office and the Office of State Human Resources. We will keep you posted accordingly.
Social distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. Strategies include using conference calls and video conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings, avoiding unnecessary travel and reinforcing handwashing and other common-sense precautions.
If you are among a group of people where anyone appears to be ill or may have had contact with a person diagnosed with coronavirus, try to keep a distance of six feet from one another.
For questions regarding these FAQs, or any other COVID-19 HR-Related questions, please contact your college/division/unit HR representative, or University Human Resources at 919-515-2135.