All FAQ

COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

When did TWU begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the university community?

On Jan. 5, 2021, the university started inoculations for the virus following state health guidelines.

How much will it cost?

There are no out-of-pocket costs to receive the vaccine. However, the federal government now permits TWU Student Health Services to submit a medical insurance claim for the administrative costs associated with providing the vaccine. Individuals who have medical insurance will be asked to bring their insurance information to the SECOND vaccine appointment. For individuals who do not have insurance, TWU will submit administrative costs to a federal CARES Act fund for reimbursement.

Who is eligible to receive the vaccine at TWU?

TWU faculty, staff, current and incoming students who are age 18 and older.



How many doses of the vaccine have been administered to date?

This information changes daily as we continue to administer our initial allotment of 2,100 doses. TWU reports its status to the Department of State Health Services daily. Please check the state’s dashboard for more information, but note there is a delay in the dashboard updates.

Are these vaccines available for the general public, not associated with TWU?

Not at this time.

All COVID-19 Questions

Why is TWU requiring a 14-day quarantine when CDC guidelines provided a 7-10 day optional timeframe?

We have been following the guidelines of the CDC and our local governments and health departments. The CDC still recommends a 14 day quarantine, although they did provide the option for local health authorities to adopt the shorter guidelines based on local COVID-19 circumstances. The local health authorities in all three of our campus areas have not yet adopted the newly lowered CDC guidelines.  However, we continue to monitor their guidelines and will modify ours as appropriate.

Why has on-campus testing been discontinued?

The testing company was undertaking this on-campus COVID testing as a trial, which they decided to discontinue. However, we are proposing some different options to continue their work, for their consideration. In the meantime, we encourage individuals to check out gogettested.com for alternative locations. We will notify the members of our community if anything changes.

What happens if there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?

TWU requires all faculty, staff, and students to report suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 via a confidential online form. This enables us to take quick, decisive actions to protect the TWU community, often prior to receiving notice from public health officials.

Individuals who become ill are immediately sent home or for medical treatment as appropriate. Individuals who live on campus will be placed in an isolation room, and will not be permitted to leave the room unless medical treatment is required.

Potentially contaminated spaces occupied by the ill person will be closed off until enhanced disinfection, in accordance with CDC guidelines, is completed.

Concurrently, Risk Management conducts its own “contact tracing” to supplement that done by public health authorities, allowing for a faster and more thorough response. Contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have been in close, prolonged contact with an infected individual. Those who had close, prolonged contact are then notified, and required to complete a 14-day quarantine while monitoring themselves for symptoms. The goal is to stop the spread of COVID-19 by quickly finding and isolating potential cases. Risk Management staff members are certified by Johns Hopkins University for COVID-19 contact tracing, and have the ability to obtain or provide training for others if the need arises. 

Individuals who are confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, as well as those who were exposed to individuals with COVID-19, are prohibited from returning to campus until cleared by Risk Management in accordance with CDC guidelines. For further details on self-isolation and return to campus requirements, see the COVID-19 Self-Screening document.

Performing a rapid, thorough response to a potential case of COVID-19 on campus requires detailed information from individuals regarding the places they have been and individuals they have contacted. In order to help with this process, consider these tips:

  • Maintain a detailed, accurate calendar or daily planner
  • Keep meeting and class attendance/rosters
  • Always maintain 6-foot separation from others, and make note of individuals who you could not adequately distance from

What is TWU doing to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

TWU’s leadership team is closely monitoring this global pandemic, is identifying and implementing best practices to help diminish the spread of the virus, and is implementing a continuity plan as the severity of the outbreak worsens. The university is in constant communication with local and state health officials to obtain updated guidance on how best to deal with viral spread.

Additionally, the university is focused on keeping public surfaces disinfected with products and practices in line with the CDC. Our custodial teams at each of our campuses regularly sanitize all public spaces and touchpoints, including restroom surfaces, water fountains, door hardware, elevator pads, railings and other frequently touched surfaces with a hospital-grade disinfectant that is EPA approved for use against COVID-19.

Facilities and Risk Management teams have installed plexiglass shields in several areas, increased hand sanitizer stations and posted new protocol signage on walls, doors and floors.

On June 18, Dr. Feyten launched a new campaign for our campuses: “Pioneers Protecting Pioneers” to promote the use of protective face coverings.

Environmental Health and Safety staff have created a document to help department leaders and supervisors implement safety measures aimed at reducing the potential of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

What's the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine

You will need to go into quarantine if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 and is awaiting test results. Quarantine is meant to keep you away from people in case you start to develop symptoms, which can take up to 14 days. Close contact is defined as being less than six feet away from someone for more than 10 minutes. While you may never experience the COVID-19 symptoms, you must keep yourself separate from others and not leave the space where you are staying. Quarantine periods last 14 days from the date of last exposure to a positive case.

Isolation

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results, you need to be in isolation to keep yourself separate from others for 10 days from the day you first started feeling symptoms or 10 days from the date you were tested if you are asymptomatic. People who are in isolation can go back to normal life after 10 days have passed, their symptoms have improved, and they have had no fever without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.

If you are in isolation or quarantine, you should not leave your residence except to seek medical care.

All TWU affiliated individuals in quarantine or isolation must receive written clearance from Risk Management prior to returning to campus or leaving their residential quarantine or isolation space.

Is TWU still hosting tours or recruiting events?

In the interest of the health and safety of our visitors and the campus community, we are resuming campus tours with modified requirements; please visit the on-campus tour site for more information. Online meetings and events are still available and strongly encouraged. Contact us at admissions@twu.edu with questions.

What about graduation?

While we were not able to celebrate in person in May, we recorded separate virtual commencement ceremonies for each college which can be viewed online.

We had hoped to host a postponed, in-person commencement ceremony in August, but as our understanding about the spread of coronavirus deepened, federal guidelines warned against large gatherings. We decided that our virtual commencement in May would have to suffice. We are looking into various options for commencement this December. 

We will certainly give our amazing graduates the opportunity to participate in the next in-person commencement. We look forward to that day! While we do not know when it will be possible for us to host a ceremony, we definitely want to celebrate with our graduates in person when it is safe to do so.

Are the Dallas & Houston campuses included in university announcements?

Yes, at this point, all guidance is for all three campuses, as well as the Collin Higher Education Center.

Can I get academic accommodations for a medical condition?

Students requesting academic accommodations must register through Disability Support Services. To start the process, email dss@twu.edu. More information is provided on the Disability Services for Students website.

Can student employees continue to work on campus?

Student employees can continue to support projects remotely, based on direction from supervisors. Students who are on work study will receive the amount awarded to them though their financial aid.

If you are a student housing employee (i.e., resident assistant) who works on campus, you are asked to provide appropriate notice to your supervisor should you opt to return home. There will be no financial penalties incurred if you leave your current position.

How can I make tuition payments?

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Bursar’s Office website.

Does my Academic HealthPlans insurance policy through TWU cover COVID 19?

Yes. Students who have purchased health insurance through Academic HealthPlans do have coverage for care related to contracting the coronavirus. Your health insurance coverage is valid at any in-network health care provider who accepts United Healthcare Choice Plus PPO. There are providers nationwide. Here is the link to the provider finder: https://connect.werally.com/medicalProvider/root

All of my classes are now online. Am I still compliant with my F-1 visa?

Yes. The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) has provided a mechanism for TWU to notify them of the course delivery changes TWU has made in an effort to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. International Affairs has reported these changes to SEVP and you will remain in compliance with F-1 regulations while finishing the semester online. Contact intloffice@twu.edu if you have additional questions.

Can I return to my home country and continue my studies online?

Yes. The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) is committed to remaining flexible in allowing TWU to make temporary procedural adaptations for international students. For the remainder of the spring semester, you may engage in online learning from either within the United States or outside the country. Contact intloffice@twu.edu if you have additional questions.

If I go to my home country to continue studies, can I return to the U.S.?

International students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for re-entry into the United States. Always carry the following documents:

  • A valid passport or travel document, unless exempt from the passport requirement.
  • A valid F-1 visa (unless exempt from visa requirements)
  • A Form I-20 properly endorsed for travel by the Designated School Official (DSO)
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Evidence of student status (recent tuition receipts, transcripts)
  • Name and contact information for the school's Designated School Official (DSO)

In addition, due to the changing array of travel restrictions, international students should refer to their local embassy’s website and the U.S. Department of State for any F-1 visa and travel restriction updates. The Center for Disease Control is also a helpful resource for information about travel restrictions. Contact intloffice@twu.edu if you have additional questions.

How do I apply for Optional Practical Training after spring graduation?

You will need to schedule a phone meeting with TWU’s Designated School Official, who will assist you in understanding the process and completing the necessary documentation. To schedule an appointment, please email intloffice@twu.edu.

I’m working from home remotely. What do I need to do?

If you are telecommuting, you are encouraged to make necessary preparations to do so by:

  • Determining the equipment, software and supplies needed to work remotely. Employees must seek approval from their supervisor prior to taking any equipment and supplies from their office to their telecommuting work-site.
  • Understanding how to connect to necessary network resources as applicable, verifying connecting and logging in capabilities, and ensuring that all protective software and other firewall technology are installed and used on all equipment at the remote location.
  • Discussing with your supervisor call-in procedures and your work schedule.
  • Establishing with your supervisor expected communication and collaboration procedures using TWU email, phone calls, and virtual tools.
  • Determining if any alternate work assignments or tasks are necessary.

Refer to the Telecommuting Policy for additional items to consider regarding telecommuting.

Relevant worksheets to be used during telecommuting:

Telecommuting Task Log (MSWord) (for employee and supervisor use)

Approved Telecommuting Employee List (MSExcel) (for supervisor use only)

How do I track my work as an employee who is telecommuting?

Please click the following to download optional attachments with documents you are welcome to use: 

Will employees have access to their offices now that we are telecommuting?

Access to any of the TWU campuses is currently restricted. Any employee who is not already designated as essential personnel must contact their immediate supervisor to request access to their office. If given VP approval, access would then be coordinated through DPS.

Will employees that are unable to telecommute be eligible for state emergency leave?

Will employees that have reduced hours and are unable to telecommute be eligible for emergency leave?

Will the Coronavirus pandemic affect my TWU related travel plans?

All non-essential university travel—both domestic and international—is restricted until further notice. If you are required to travel between campuses please do so, when necessary, by vehicle rather than by air. Please also consider using videoconferencing or other virtual means, when possible. In addition, you should avoid conferences or large gatherings.

How will new employees go through on-boarding this semester?

To ensure the safety of the TWU community, all new employee orientations (NEO) will be online until further notice. NEO will be modified to comply with CDC recommendations, and further updates will be given via email and through the HR website. The new NEO presentations are available online (https://servicecenter.twu.edu/TDClient/1956/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=32031). NEO should be completed by new employees within two weeks of hire.

What if I am feeling sick or think that I have COVID-19?

If you become ill, regardless of if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, please stay home. Contact your health care provider and seek medical attention, as needed.

If any of the following COVID-19 conditions are present, you MUST stay home and notify TWU by completing the COVID-19 Reporting Form. Follow CDC guidelines, as they may evolve, to self-isolate for 14 days.

  • You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact with is sick and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (can include cough, fever, shortness of breath)
  • You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact with is considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19
  • You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You, someone you live with, or someone you have been in close, prolonged contact has been instructed by public health officials to self-isolate due to COVID-19

Close is generally defined as within 6 feet, and prolonged is any exposure greater than a few minutes, according to the CDC. If any of the situations described above apply to you, complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. For further information, contact TWU Risk Management.

To assist with self-screening and provide more information for residential students, please read the COVID-19 Self-Screening document.

What can I do if I have a medical issue but cannot see my PCP?

If you can't see your primary care physician (PCP) a 24-hour nurse line is available through all medical plans plus virtual visits through HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect. Their number is 1-800-252-8039.

What can I do if I can’t see my PCP but need urgent care without an ER?

Contact the customer service number on your medical card or the number of your plan listed above to locate urgent care facilities. Network providers can also be located by logging on to BCBS of Texas webpage. Network urgent care facilities located anywhere in Texas can treat you at a $50 copay for HealthSelect and 20% after meeting your deductible through Consumer Directed HealthSelect.

If an emergency occurs and I am not near primary care facilities, how can I receive emergency care?

Emergency care received at a non-network hospital is covered at the network level, until your physician determines that it is medically appropriate to transfer you to a network hospital.

How do I fill a prescription if I am away from the main pharmacy I use?

If you are able to reach your primary care physician, s/he can call a prescription into any network pharmacy. If you are unable to reach your physician and need a new prescription you may need to see a physician.

If I lost my medical and/or prescription card, how can I get a new card?

Visit your plan’s website and print a temporary card or call the customer service number. If you are at a provider’s office or pharmacy and need coverage verified, provide your plan customer service number, group number and social security number to your provider or pharmacy. The provider can contact the plan administrator for coverage details. 

What resources are available for employees for non-medical situations?

All benefits-eligible staff and faculty have access to the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) services at no cost to the employee, employee’s spouse and dependent children. Licensed clinicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to help with any type of situation.  All guidance counseling is confidential. EAP: 1-800-343-3822 or visit their website at awpnow.com.

What about travel between TWU's three campuses?

Please limit travel between campuses, when necessary, to vehicles rather than by air. Also consider using videoconferencing or other virtual means, when possible. In addition, you should avoid conferences or large gatherings.

Is telecommuting available for faculty and staff employees?

With the approval of their immediate supervisors, faculty and staff members may request to work from home if their job functions support doing so. A formal telecommuting arrangement will need to be made through the supervisor and maintained at the department level.

Staff members should refer to the telecommuting policy for additional guidance.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees are effectively performing the functions of their position while working in any telecommuting arrangement. Supervisors may also modify employee duties based on the current operational needs of the department. Supervisors may request reports of work duties/tasks performed to be submitted by employees.

Telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued any time at the supervisor’s discretion.

How do I submit a request to remove a university asset for telecommuting purposes?

1. Complete the Equipment Loan or Transfer to Out-of-Office Location Form, which requires signature by the Department Head/Director (or a designee).

2. Email the completed form to Dennis Hoebee dhoebee@twu.edu and CC: Melody Dunn mdunn1@twu.edu & servicedesk@twu.edu

3. For a seamless transition to work-from-home, IT Solutions (ITS) is ready to assist you! Most of this assistance can be done remotely; however, desktop iMacs and some desktop Windows devices have to be adjusted on campus prior to removal.

a. Please refer to this site for more info about working from home.

b. To access the internet on a TWU desktop PC at home, you will need to connect an ethernet (internet) cable from the PC to your home router.

c. VPN (CiscoAnyConnect) will be required to be installed on the machine to access the following: Colleague UI, Oracle E-Business (Phoenix), Internal Websites, SQL Reports, X-Drive (Map on Windows) (Map on Mac), and OnBase Web Client & GMedia. VPN requires the use of the DUO mobile app which must be installed on a mobile device.

d. If you take your desktop home, you won’t need to use Remote Desktop.

e. After ITS adjusts the computer prior to removal, they will be able to assist with usual issues and requests through the Service Desk, which is and will be fully operational. Elevated rights should not be needed for users.

I traveled and have some symptoms of COVID-19, should I come to work?

If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or has similar symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), it is recommended that you and all those living with you stay at home (avoiding work, school, social activities) to prevent the spread of illness. Within the home, the person who is sick should stay away from others in the home as much as possible. Seek advice from your medical provider and follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus. You should report your travel to Risk Management.

Employees should telecommute as appropriate. If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart. More information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?

What if I am not sick with COVID-19, but I need to stay home to care for a member of my household who is?

If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or has similar symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), it is recommended that you and all those living with you stay at home (avoiding work, school, social activities) to prevent the spread of illness. Within the home, the person who is sick should stay away from others in the home as much as possible.

Employees should telecommute as appropriate. If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart. More information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?

What university leave options are available if I or a member of my family I am caring for test positive for COVID-19?

If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart. Following the exhaustion of emergency paid sick leave, you are eligible to use sick leave, vacation, overtime and compensatory time. If you do not have sufficient leave, you may qualify for sick leave pool hours.

You are eligible to use sick leave pool in accordance with the URP: V.14.c Sick Leave Pool. If you do not have sufficient leave, you may qualify for sick leave pool hours. We have temporarily modified this program to allow for those impacted by COVID-19 including waiving the waiting period. However, sick leave, vacation, overtime and compensatory time would need to be exhausted prior to being eligible for sick leave pool. Please follow the guidelines under What if I am not sick but I need to stay home to care for a member of my household who is sick with COVID-19?.

Can I return to work after testing positive or caring for a member of my household with confirmed COVID-19?

Essential personnel in this situation may return to work if your supervisor deems it necessary for your duties and if you meet the following three qualifications:

  1. You must provide a medical release from your medical provider to Risk Management;
  2. You have documented and completed the steps from the CDC on how to discontinue home isolation; and
  3. You must be asymptomatic before returning to work.

Telecommuting employees should talk with their supervisors for guidance for returning to work.

If my medical provider deems I need to be out for more than three days, what do I do?

For staff, as provided in URP: V.14.d Staff Attendance Vacation and Sick Leave Policy, absences due to illness continuing for three work shifts or more will require a doctor’s certificate showing the cause and nature of the illness or some other written statement of the facts concerning the illness which is acceptable to the supervisor. Employees should telecommute as appropriate and more information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?

Where can I find out how much leave I have available?

For all leave eligible employees:

  • Log in to Pioneer Portal, choose My Info, Payslip Information.  Your accrual balance can be found under “Accruals” on your payslip.  Note – accruals on the payslip are as of the time payslips were posted.  Example – payslips are posted late April for the May 1 pay date and will not yet reflect usage for the month of April.

For staff who complete Oracle timecards:

  • Log in to Oracle, TWU Employee Self-Service, Timecard Entry, choose the update icon on your timecard, click “Show Accrual Balances” link in the upper left corner.

If I become sick at work, can my supervisor make me leave work?

Yes. You are required to leave. Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, maintaining safety is of the upmost importance.

If I am sent home because I am exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, what type of leave should I use?

Employees should telecommute as appropriate. More information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees? If you are unable to telecommute, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart.

If I’m required to self-isolate, what leave do I use?

If you are sick or caring for a sick household member, you may use sick leave or any other leave as appropriate. Employees should telecommute as appropriate and more information about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees? If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart.

Do I have to work if I am fearful of becoming infected by COVID-19?

Yes. However, employees should telecommute (unless designated as essential personnel) and more info can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?. Flex time, approved vacation, overtime and compensatory time usage may be used as appropriate. However, supervisors will continue to make decisions based on the business operational needs of the department.

What do I do if I have underlying medical condition(s) and am afraid to work?

Employees should telecommute as appropriate (unless designated as essential personnel) and more info can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees? Additionally, seek medical advice from your medical provider. If your medical provider determines you should not work because of your health condition, you are eligible to use your sick leave. If your medical provider determines you are able to work yet you don’t want to, you are eligible to request to use other approved leave such as vacation leave, overtime and compensatory time.

If I am caring for an elderly family member or children in my home who are not sick, can I work from home?

Yes, employees should telecommute as appropriate and more info about telecommuting can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees? If your duties do not allow you to telecommute as determined by your supervisor, you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please refer to the Time Reporting During COVID-19 Flowchart.

Have parking rules changed?

Parking decals are required for Dallas and Houston for the Fall 2020 semester. For more details on how to get a permit, visit the TWU parking website.

For information on parking for the Houston campus, visit the TWU Houston DPS website.

What is happening to research that involves human subjects?

Investigators conducting human subjects research have been notified that all face-to-face human subjects research must be halted to ensure the safety of the study participants and researchers. During this time, face to face meetings and interventions must be stopped or replaced with alternatives such as phone or video conferencing using tools such as Skype/Google Hangout/Zoom or online survey software. The IRB in partnership with IT Solutions has developed a document to provide guidance with possible online/virtual alternatives. Any changes to study procedures must be approved in advance by the IRB. By working remotely, the TWU IRBs plan to remain fully functional, and you may contact Sandy Owens (Denton and Dallas IRB Analyst) at sowens6@twu.edu or Dr. Madhura Maiya (Houston IRB Analyst) at mmaiya@twu.edu with questions.

What is TWU doing for those students in the Educator Preparation Program?

If you are in TWU's Educator Preparation Program, the College of Professional Education has compiled a list of frequently asked questions just for you. Check it out at: https://twu.edu/college-professional-education/education-student-support/epp-coronavirus-faq/

Will Fall 2020 classes be moved online?

At this time, a university-wide decision to move all classes online for the Fall 2020 semester has not been made. However, TWU does provide many classes in an online format and may move additional classes online for fall should circumstances necessitate the move to a virtual format. The best resource for determining the class format for fall is the schedule of classes. All updates and changes to formats will be reflected in the schedule of classes. TWU continues to monitor the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will affect the Fall 2020 semester.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Employee FAQs Effective April 1, 2020

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) allows the university to provide eligible employees with Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions are effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020

Emergency Paid Sick Leave provided by the First Coronavirus Response Act

Am I eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Act?

Employees (full-time and part-time employees) employed by the university on April 1, 2020, are eligible to receive up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave through December 31, 2020 due to certain COVID-19 related reasons. Please refer to the question, “What are the qualifying COVID-19 related reasons for me to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave.”

What are the qualifying COVID-19 related reasons for me to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

Under the FFCRA, an eligible employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
  6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

Are all the COVID-19 related reasons eligible for up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

Yes. All the reasons listed in the question, “What are the qualifying COVID-19 related reasons for me to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave,” are eligible to use up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

Do all the COVID-19 related reasons pay the same rate of pay for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

No. Emergency Paid Sick Leave pay is determined based on the COVID-19 related reason as follows:

  • If you are taking Emergency Paid Sick Leave (up to 80 hours) because you are unable to work or telecommute because you (1) are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or (3) are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking medical diagnosis, you will receive your regular pay for each applicable hour.
  •  If you are taking Emergency Paid Sick Leave(up to 80 hours) because you are: (1) caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local COVID-19 quarantine or isolation order or an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to  self-quarantine related toCOVID-19 ; (2) caring for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; or (3) experiencing any other substantially-similar condition that may arise, as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, you are entitled to compensation at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay. Under these circumstances, you will use Emergency Paid Sick Leave at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay and be allowed to use State Emergency Leave at 1/3 of your regular rate of pay for the difference.

When must Emergency Paid Sick Leave be provided to employees?

Emergency Paid Sick Leave must be immediately provided to employees (full-time and part-time) employed by the university effective April 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. Emergency Paid Sick Leave is not retroactive.

Is Emergency Paid Sick Leave provided by the Act leave available to me in addition to my accrued leave?

Yes. If you have accrued leave, Emergency Paid Sick Leave is additional leave provided the Act.

Do I have to use my accrued leave before I use Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

No. You are not required to use your accrued leave prior to using Emergency Paid Sick Leave. This leave is available for immediate use as long as the COVID-19 related reason for leave meets the criteria referred to in the question, “What are the qualifying COVID-19 related reasons for me to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave.”

How is Emergency Paid Sick Leave different than State Emergency Leave?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was unavailable in March, so the university authorized employees to use State Emergency Leave under similar COVID-19 related circumstances. Now that the FFCRA has been enacted effective April 1, 2020, the university is required by Federal law to implement this additional leave benefit for employees.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave will only cover 80 hours. What if I need additional leave?

This depends on the reason you are taking Emergency Paid Sick Leave. After the 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave is exhausted, if you are still unable to work or telecommute, please contact the Office of Human Resources for guidance on how to utilize available leave. Please refer to the Employee Time and Leave FAQs for additional information regarding the use of appropriate leaves.

What are the codes I should use on my timecard for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

Emergency Paid Sick Leave codes are under development and will be announced soon.

Does unused Emergency Paid Sick Leave carryover into the next calendar year?

Because Emergency Paid Sick Leave expires on December 31, 2020, the leave does not carry over to the next calendar year.

If I leave employment (termination, resignation, retirement), am I eligible to be paid out unused EPSL?

No. Employees are not eligible to be paid out unused Emergency Paid Sick leave if they separate employment from the university, for any reason.

Am I required to provide the university documentation for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

Yes, employees must apply for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and provide a completed form provided by the Office of Human Resources.

Expanded Family Medical Leave Act provided by the First Coronavirus Response Act

What type of Expanded Family Medical Leave Act leave is provided by the FFCRA?

The FFCRA provides for an amendment to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to grant Expanded FMLA leave to care for a minor child (under 18) when the need is related to a public health emergency. The following must be satisfied in order for the employee to qualify for Expanded FMLA leave:

  1. The leave must be taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. (Leave provided prior to April 1, 2020, will not count as FMLA leave.)
  2. The employee must be unable to work or telework because of a need to take care for a minor son or daughter under the age of 18.
  3. The employee must provide notice of the need for leave as soon as practicable. Failure to do so will cause a delay in when FMLA leave can start.
  4. The need to care for the minor child must be because of a “declared” public health emergency related to COVID-19 that has caused:
    • the child’s school (elementary school or secondary school) to be closed;
    • the child’s place of care to be closed; or
    • the child’s normal childcare provider (a person paid for providing childcare on a regular basis) to be unavailable.
  5. The declaration of a public health emergency can be made by the applicable federal, state, or local authorities.
  6. The employee alone must be providing care to the child. Leave is unavailable if both parents and another individual is present to care for the child.
  7. Parents employed at the same organization cannot take Expanded FMLA at the same time for school closure/lack of childcare.

Who is eligible to take Expanded FMLA?

Employees (full-time and part-time employees) employed by the university at least 30 calendar days are eligible (this one criterion replaces all other FMLA eligibility requirements).

When must Expanded FMLA be provided to employees?

Expanded FMLA is effective April 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 to employees (See the question, Who is eligible to take Emergency FMLA) of the university employed by the university at least 30 calendar days. Expanded FMLA is not retroactive.

How will I be paid during the Expanded FMLA period?

The first 10 days of Emergency FMLA is unpaid. However, employees may use up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave at 2/3’s the regular rate of pay. Employees will be allowed to use State Emergency Leave at 1/3 of regular rate of pay for the difference for the first 10 days if choosing to use Expanded Paid Sick Leave.

After the first 10 days have been exhausted, employees are entitled up to 10 additional workweeks (based on FTE and prior FMLA usage) of Expanded FMLA at 2/3’s the regular rate for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work per week. Employees may supplement Expanded FMLA with accrued paid time off (PTO) vacation, overtime, and compensatory time (Sick time may only be used for sick purposes) for the additional 1/3 of regular rate of pay for up to ten additional workweeks.

May I take Expanded FMLA leave intermittently?

An employee does not have to use full day increments. Normal use of “intermittent” leave is permitted.

Am I required to provide the university documentation for Expanded FMLA?

Yes, employees must apply for Expanded FMLA and provide a completed request form provided by the Office of Human Resources.

Can Expanded FMLA be used for other FMLA reasons?

No. Expanded FMLA is only available for one reason (See the question, “What type of Expanded FMLA leave is provided by the FFCRA?”

How much Expanded FMLA is allowed?

Expanded FMLA leave is limited to 12 weeks, minus any other FMLA leave taken by an employee during the applicable FMLA year. Expanded FMLA leave is just another form of FMLA leave, and the FFCRA lumps it together with all other forms of leave in which 12 weeks of leave is provided.  Any amount of Expanded FMLA leave used will reduce the amount of FMLA leave an employee can take for other reasons during the applicable FMLA year. The FFCRA is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, but any Expanded FMLA leave taken may impact the employee’s ability to take FMLA leave for other reasons thereafter during the rolling calendar year.

What happens if an employee contacts the supervisor and reports exposure to a family member with a confirmed COVID-19?

Employees should follow the qualifications under Can I return to work after testing positive or caring for a member of my household with confirmed COVID-19?. Supervisors are encouraged to allow for telecommuting as appropriate and more info can be found under Is telecommuting now available for faculty and staff employees?

How do I track my employee’s work if they are telecommuting?

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees are effectively performing the functions of their position while working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement. Supervisors may also modify employee duties based on the current operational needs of the department. Reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by employees to their supervisors on a scheduled basis as determined by the supervisor. Please click the following to download optional attachments with documents you and your employees are welcome to use:

Can I ask employees to work hours and days that they are not normally scheduled to work?

Yes. Work schedules, assignments, tasks and duties may be modified during this period. Supervisors are responsible to ensure that time is reported accurately. Non-exempt employees working over 40 hours per week are eligible for overtime.

What if an employee refuses to come to work during this period?

Supervisors are encouraged to allow for telecommuting as appropriate, flex time, and approve vacation, overtime and compensatory time usage. If the supervisor does not approve leave and the employee still refuses to come to work, employees would be subject to the progressive disciplinary process. However, supervisors will continue to make decisions based on the business operational needs of the department.

Under what circumstances could a supervisor cancel vacation or other non-sick leave requests that were already approved?

Supervisors are responsible to continue the business operations of the department. Therefore, supervisors may cancel requests for time off especially in circumstances of serious staff shortages to continue operations.

For Work Study Students only

We know work study impacts many students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “For students enrolled and performing Federal Work Study (FWS) at a campus that must close due to COVID-19, or for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that closes as a result of COVID-19, the institution may continue paying the student Federal Work Study wages during that closure if it occurred after the beginning of the term, if the institution is continuing to pay its other employees (including faculty/staff), and the institution continues to meet its institutional wage share requirement.”

Supervisors are encouraged to allow work study students to telecommute where work is available and the tasks/duties may be performed remotely. Supervisors are responsible to ensure student employees working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement are effectively performing the functions of their position. Duties may be modified as determined by the supervisor based on the current operational needs of the department. Daily reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by student employees to their supervisors. Reports are subject to verification upon request by departments or Human Resources.

Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the department head’s discretion. Telecommuting approvals are to be maintained at the department level.

All Non-Work Study Student Employees

At the current time, student employees may continue to work on campus in departments where work is available and is appropriately supervised.

Student employees may utilize telecommuting, upon the approval of their supervisor, where work is available and the tasks/duties may be performed remotely. Supervisors are responsible to ensure student employees working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement are effectively performing the functions of their position. Duties may be modified as determined by the supervisor based on the current operational needs of the department. Daily reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by student employees to their supervisors. Reports are subject to verification upon request by departments or Human Resources.

Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the department head’s discretion. Telecommuting approvals are to be maintained at the department level.

Student work may only continue to be compensated when work is available and meets the operational needs of the department.  There will be circumstances, as determined by the department, when student work is no longer available on campus and/or work is not appropriate for telecommuting. Student employees will not continue to be compensated under these circumstances.

Have more questions?

Contact us at coronavirus@twu.edu with any questions you have, and we will track down the answer for you.

Does a ”Shelter in Place” or “Stay at Home” order qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?

No. The quarantine or isolation order is intended to be from an authority for reasons that you individually may have been exposed to COVID-19.

 

Who qualifies as a son or daughter for Expanded FMLA?

If your absence is because of lack of child care whether under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave, a “son or daughter” is your own child, which includes your biological, adopted, or foster child, your stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom you are standing in “loco parentis”—someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a child.

Also, under the FFCRA a “son or daughter” is also an adult son or daughter (i.e., one who is 18 years of age or older), who (1) has a mental or physical disability, and (2) is incapable of self-care because of that disability.

 

Return to Campus Guidelines for Employees

See our guidelines page

What do I need to do to familiarize myself with the university’s guidance for returning to the workplace?

All employees will be required to take the online Reboarding Training that covers new procedures and guidelines, as well as community expectations, necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (TWU “Reboarding” Training (English), TWU “Reboarding” Training (Spanish)).

Additionally, employees should familiarize themselves with the university’s COVID-19 Self-Screening Form.

The university will continually update the Reboarding Training as federal, state and other guidance is updated and make it available on TWU’s Coronavirus website. We encourage everyone to check back and refresh themselves on current guidance as we continue to navigate the “new normal.”

What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?

Discuss with your supervisor the specific reasons causing you to be fearful to return to the workplace.  Have your concerns been previously addressed through university guidance?  Refer to the question “What do I need to do to familiarize myself with the university’s guidance for returning to the workplace?”

Discuss any additional concerns and possible resolutions with your supervisor. Depending upon the operational needs of the department, an alternative work arrangement and/or the use of accrued overtime, comp time or vacation time may be an option for consideration.

What if I have a high-risk medical condition per CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19?

If you have a high-risk medical condition per CDC that could put you at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or you have another disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19, you may submit a request for an ADA accommodation for consideration.

What if I or a household member are in a high-risk group and am fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19?

What if I am in a high-risk group (i.e. employees 65 and older, pregnancy, household member in a high-risk group) and am fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19?

If you are 65 and older without a high-risk medical condition per the CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19, please refer to the question “What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?”

If you are pregnant but are fearful to return to the workplace because of COVID-19, please refer to the question “What if I am fearful of returning to the workplace because of COVID-19?”  If a high-risk medical condition results from your pregnancy, see the question “What if I have a high-risk medical condition per CDC or other disability that could be exacerbated by COVID-19?”

If you have a household member in a high-risk group per the CDC, an alternative work arrangement and/or the use of accrued overtime, comp time or vacation time may be an option for consideration, depending upon the operational needs of the department.

What if I have childcare needs because of day care/school closures due to COVID-19?

Discuss your scheduling needs with your supervisor. Depending upon the operational needs of the department, an alternative work arrangement may be an option.  If an alternative work arrangement is not an option, you may be eligible for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

What if I or someone in my household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?

If you or someone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, please stay home and contact your health care provider to seek medical attention, as needed. Notify TWU Risk Management.

What if I want to extend my current telecommuting and/or flexible scheduling arrangement for non COVID-19 reasons?

What if I want to extend my current telecommuting and/or flexible scheduling arrangement for productivity/work life balance or other non COVID-19 reasons?

Discuss your request with your supervisor. Supervisors are required to follow the directed guidance of the divisional leadership regarding alternate work arrangements.  Therefore, your request may or may not be considered.  Depending upon the guidance, your supervisor will review factors such as the operational needs of the department, if the request is fair and equitable to other employees, etc.  Refer to the Telecommuting policy and the Flex Work policy.

How do I access the virtual May commencement ceremonies?

First of all, congratulations, May 2020 and August 2020 graduates! Access to virtual commencement ceremonies opened on Friday, May 22. You and your family and friends may view the commencement whenever you wish and as often as you wish.

Visit the Commencement 2020 website to view all five commencement ceremonies—one for each TWU college—and access the commencement program and other related activities.

Page last updated 12:19 PM, May 3, 2021