Employee Guide

What employees can expect as the fall semester gets under way

“This year will be different.” “It won’t be the same.” “Everything has changed.” “It will be interesting, for sure.”

We have heard these sentiments countless times over the past few weeks from many of you – even said them ourselves. The truth is, you’re right. Everything is different. It seems almost unfathomable that, only five months ago, things were “normal.” We were planning for graduations, summer vacations, new jobs. We took for granted the ordinary – getting together with friends on a moment’s notice, hugging our loved ones. And we never even considered the mundane – swinging by the grocery store on the way home and picking up everything we need.

The same is true here at Wichita State. Our campus looks different: There are signs everywhere reminding us all to wear masks and stay at least 6 feet apart. Our campus sounds different: It’s a bit quieter, more thoughtful and reflective. Our campus feels different: There are more virtual connections and fewer in-person activities. 

So, this year will be different. COVID-19 has seen to that. But, regardless of this pandemic, this year was always meant to be different for Wichita State, and for each of you, to be special. This year, Wichita State will celebrate 125 years of innovation in education. In September 1895, Fairmount College, the forerunner of the Wichita State University that we know today, held its first classes just northeast of 17th and Hillside. Since that time, the university has experienced a remarkable evolution, transforming into an innovation catalyst and creating a unique and ideal environment for students, industry and community to work together and build a brighter future for our city, region and world. The university even survived the last major pandemic in 1918.

This celebration of our history reminds us that here at Wichita State, we not only survive on being different, we thrive. And each of you is part of the difference that Wichita State makes, both today and for the generations to come. 

As we face COVID-19 and the challenges of tomorrow, our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our entire campus community as we strive to maintain goals of educational excellence, research and innovation. To that end, we have put in place a number of protocols and procedures for the fall, in accordance with federal, state and local public health and governmental guidance.  Frequently Asked Questions are listed below this guide. 


Health and safety

Self-Checks Before Coming to Campus

All members of the campus community should monitor their health, check their temperature each day and use the COVID-19 Self-Observation Questionnaire before coming to campus. For more information on what to do if you have symptoms or think you have been exposed, please visit Student Health’s website or contact your health care provider. 

Responsibilities While on Campus

Each of us has personal responsibilities to help mitigate the spread of this virus. While on campus, remember to: (1) practice social distancing; (2) wear a face mask; (3) wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer); (4) avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; (5) avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and others; (6) cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash; and (7) clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your personal space. 

Social Distancing

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to maintain a distance of 6 feet between individuals to the greatest extent possible. Classrooms and common spaces such as the Rhatigan Student Center and Shocker Hall Dining have already been reconfigured to support social distancing. Building and classroom entrances and exits may be designated in/out to promote social distancing and coordinate traffic flow. Stairwells may also be designated as one-way up or down traffic to reduce close contact. Elevators have been designated as a place of potential close contact and occupancy may be limited. Individuals should use the stairs whenever possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing an elevator.

Face coverings

Students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face masks or face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained or unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space; are in their individual room, suite, or apartment in campus housing; or are eating/drinking in a designated area (i.e., RSC, Shocker Dining, etc.). There are certain exceptions to this policy including, but not limited to children 5 years or younger, or those individuals who have documented disabilities (including mental health) that would prohibit the use of a face mask or face covering. If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store in Braeburn Square or Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There are also a limited number of free masks available (while supplies last). Get all the details here.

Public Gathering Capacities

Gathering size limits may be limited based on federal, state, or local public health and governmental guidance. Gatherings are currently limited to groups of up to 15 “commonly known” individuals. Groups of commonly known individuals must be located at least 6 feet away from other groups at all times. If individuals are not commonly known to one another, they must maintain 6 feet of distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.  Local public health and government guidance currently caps maximum attendance at 2,000 attendees. However, at all times, the University reserves the right to determine the maximum number of attendees that may be present at any on-campus gathering, which number may be less than the number allowed by public health and government guidance. Please see Sedgwick County Emergency Public Health Order. Note: these limitations do not apply to classrooms.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Facilities Services is providing daily cleaning and disinfecting for all classroom spaces, common areas and public spaces. Offices and individual staff are responsible for daily cleaning of office desks, tables, shared equipment, personal items and space within the office environment. Disposable masks, hand sanitizer (in 24/32-ounce spray bottles), surface disinfectant (in 24/32-ounce spray bottles), non-latex gloves, paper towels, blue painters’ tape and safety glasses are available through Facilities Services. Please submit a work order. These items can be picked up at the Gaddis Physical Plant 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Facilities Services will maintain an inventory of these supplies sufficient to ensure a regular cleaning and disinfecting program in accordance with accepted health and safety practices, such as CDC guidance for schools and workplaces.  Hand sanitizer will be available in each building for use by anyone.

Emotional Wellness

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a special service provided for State of Kansas benefits eligible employees and their dependents at no charge. The EAP provides information, short-term counseling, advice and referrals from licensed professionals who understand the typical stresses we all face. You may reach out to these professionals directly for confidential discussion www.guidanceresources.com or 888-275-1205 (option 1), TDD 800-697-0353 (Company ID SOKEAP). For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.


COVID-19 Testing and Tracking

COVID-19 Testing

Wichita State is offering testing to students with a known exposure or presentation of COVID-19 symptoms AND also mandating testing of all students living in and employees working in Housing and Residence Life, student athletes and certain students and employees, including but not limited to those associated with clinical programs. Those individuals required to undergo mandatory testing will receive additional information via email. If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, please visit Student Health or contact your health care provider.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is conducted through the Sedgwick County Health Department. The university only conducts contact investigations as coordinated through Student Health Services and in support of the Health Department. We have adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the university has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. The university relies heavily on students and employees to let us know if they believe they may have COVID-19.


Staffing and Employee/Supervisor Information

Academic Calendar/Classes

The semester begins on Aug. 17 and ends Dec. 10. We have modified Fall and Thanksgiving Breaks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 after travel. All courses for the fall will be held either online or hybrid (partially online, partially in-person). All in-person activity will end on Nov. 20, and the last four days of classes and finals will be offered remotely. Before the first day of class, students should be instructed to go here to learn more about what to expect for each of their courses. They should also log on to Blackboard to view other information about their courses.

Additionally, we have a request of faculty: Please reach out to students ahead of Aug. 17. At this point there are a lot of uncertainties about coming back to school and this will help put them at ease.

Office hours

While students will be able to access all services during normal business hours, many campus offices will be operating with modified in-person office hours. All supervisors should have submitted schedules to their supervisor and begun implementing their staffing plans. Please keep in mind that not all office and individual schedules will be the same. Your office hours may look different from another colleague’s – and that’s okay. Increased flexibility will result in increased safety.

Employee/Supervisor Training

All supervisors and employees are encouraged to complete COVID-19 training. Additional information for employees and supervisors can be found on the Human Resources website.

Time Off Policies and Guidance

Wichita State is committed to supporting our employees during this time. For more information on available leave, please visit the Human Resources website or email totalrewards@wichita.edu.


Travel

Domestic Travel

Employees may participate in limited essential university-sponsored travel, provided they follow certain guidelines. Essential travel includes travel that is absolutely necessary to fulfill one’s core or primary job function and/or to provide crucial support to the university. Travel for activities such as conferences, professional development, or speaking engagements is considered non-essential. All essential travel must be approved in advance by your supervisor and divisional VP. Employees are required to follow all request for travel procedures.

International Travel

All university-sponsored international travel is suspended until further notice.

Personal Travel

There are no current restrictions for personal domestic or international travel by university employees; however, all travel is discouraged. Individuals who do travel should follow all CDC and KDHE guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation upon their return. Because employees may be required to quarantine upon returning to Kansas, employees should work with their supervisor to predetermine if they can work from home during any period of required quarantine. Employees who travel internationally are encouraged to complete the International Travel Form prior to departure. 


University Dining and Events

Dining and Rhatigan Student Center hours

WSU Dining will have modified hours, layouts and cleaning schedules. Please click here for more details about dining options, including dining options at Braeburn Square. 

Athletics

The American Athletic Conference has delayed the start of 2020 fall Olympic sports competition until at least Sept. 1. The delay in competition includes exhibition and non-conference competition in the sports of men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer and volleyball. Please check goshockers.com for additional details and attendance modifications. 


This integration back to campus will require all of us to be active participants in protecting our health, as well as the health of our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. While the university continues to plan for your safety, we ask that each of you cooperate with these updated measures and remember that we all share the responsibility for protecting the health and safety of our community.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and have open conversation with you about any necessary changes or modifications as the fall semester progresses. 

In the meantime, our deepest appreciation for all you do and for your unwavering commitment to the health, safety and future of Shocker Nation. Welcome back!

Dr. Jay Golden, President
Dr. Rick Muma, Executive Vice President and Provost

 


NOTE: This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information on these pages is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information for Employees

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#su_employees

Shockers United Reopening Plan for Employees
Personal Responsibility of Employees While on Campus

What are WSU’s expectations for employees while on campus to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

WSU has set the following expectations for all employees while on campus:

  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus and do not come to campus if they feel ill.
  • Practice social distancing while on campus.
  • Wear any personal protective equipment required by your department.
  • Wear a face covering at all times, except when they are alone in their office or alone walking outside.
  • Wash hands when arriving and leaving the campus, wash hands frequently during the day and upon returning to their workspace.
  • Disinfect their personal workspace and common or high-traffic work areas they are accountable for in their area or department.
Why would WSU want to establish these expectations?

The university is interested in the well-being of each person on our campus, and each of us have a personal accountability to be a conscientious community member.

How will employees be informed about these expectations while working on campus?

To assist in establishing expectations, WSU has developed two trainings: one outlining the expectations for every employee (including you), and one that provides support and guidance to supervisors. Please review the supervisor training in the next two days, prior to the employee training release. Please make sure your direct reports view the employee training as soon as possible. If it is not possible for an employee to view the training electronically, please make accommodations to provide the employee a printed copy.

View the HR training page

This webpage, as well as the Curriculum Design and Teaching Methods page, will also be regularly updated with inforamtion about expectations.

Is there other guidance or training that employees may need?

Yes, some departments may establish additional guidance not covered in the WSU training. This additional guidance is specific to the employee’s area or department and may be driven by accreditation or best practice for their specific work. Employees are expected to follow all guidance provided by their supervisor for their work area/department.

General Wellness Questions

Do student employees of the University need to follow the employee or student processes for COVID exposure related concerns?

Student employees should follow and be included in the employment processes, with the exception that they may utilize Student Health Services. Student employees should seek guidance from their supervisor if they have any questions related to COVID exposures.

What should I do if I think I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

Notify your supervisor and do not report to your work location. If you have not yet done so, contact the United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). United Way of the Plains will provide screening and refer you to the Sedgwick County Health Department or other clinics. Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials .

What should I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

To be exposed a person must have had close contact. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (e.g., 10 minutes or more), or having direct contact with infectious secretions from someone with a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on).

Contact the United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). United Way of the Plains will provide screening and refer you to the Sedgwick County Health Department or other clinics. Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials.

What should I do if I have been notified that I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

If you have been notified by an official of a public health agency, you should follow the instructions provided to you by the agency. This may include a request for you to isolate or quarantine for a specific number of days. Notify your supervisor and discuss the specific instructions provided including instructions for you to isolate or quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location or you may request COVID-19 leave, if applicable.

If you have been notified by an individual (non-official public health agency) that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, contact the United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1 (or your local health department if you are not a resident of Sedgwick County, Kan.). United Way of the Plains will provide screening and refer you to the Sedgwick County Health Department or other clinics. Follow any instructions provided by appropriate public health officials.

What should I do if I have recently traveled internationally or in the U.S.?

If you have recently traveled, please check to see if the location of your travel destination has been placed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) COVID-19 travel restriction. This information can be found at: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran. Locations included on the list require a 14-day quarantine after your return to Kansas. Follow any instructions on the KDHE web site related to reporting your travel and quarantine. Notify your supervisor and discuss specific instructions provided including instructions for your quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location or you may request COVID-19 leave, if applicable.

See more travel-related questions

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Quarantine is for people who were in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case but currently do not have any symptoms. Quarantine is also required for people who recently traveled to a location identified as high risk for COVID-19 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran)

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting for test results.

Personal Wellness Check

Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?

Yes, WSU is asking each employee to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus to check for symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID-19.

Do employees have to record or report the results of their personal wellness check to myself or others at WSU?

There is no need for an employee to report their results to anyone and there is no need for your employees to report their results to you.

What does a personal wellness check consist of?

WSU asks that each employee check themselves for one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain, headache, sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
What should an employee do if they have one or more of the above symptoms?
  • Do not come to campus until such time as their symptoms subside.
  • Notify their supervisor in accordance with department procedures/guidelines.
  • Ask their supervisor if they may work remotely or record a sick day.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Request Form as soon as practical, as they may be entitled to additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation (Families First Coronavirus Response Act – “FFCRA”).
  • Do not include the specific symptoms being experienced on the request form.
  • Find more information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 on the CDC website.
  • Do not return to campus if you run a fever until such time as you have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature-altering medication, for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Consider a telehealth appointment with a healthcare provider if necessary.
COVID-19-Related Leaves
This information has moved. See the Employee Leave and Benefits section below.
Social Distancing

What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups larger than 10.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Refrain from physical contact.
What do social distancing practices look like for employees that will be on campus?

Every location and job function are different and require careful consideration on the best way to incorporate social distancing.

  • Supervisors will consider a combination of staggered schedules, shifts and virtual arrangements for employees and communicate with their staff regarding expectations for work schedules.
  • Employees should talk openly with their supervisor so they may coordinate to mutually meet the needs of the employee as well as the department.
  • Conduct regular meetings or serve customers through virtual communication forums (telephone, email, skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and webinars) rather than face-to-face interactions.
  • If an employee can’t access or doesn’t know how to use the technology available to all employees, he or she should let their supervisor know. Additional information is available on the Resources for Remote Work webpage.
  • If face-to-face interaction can’t be avoided, consider how to arrange furniture or to remain standing to allow a 6-foot distance between all people at all times while communicating. Also utilize face masks or face coverings, whichever is appropriate for the situation.
  • Keep interactions short to avoid prolonged exposure.
  • Refrain from entering areas where it is normal for people to congregate — such as break rooms, restrooms and social areas — until you may do so safely. Consider attaching a sign to a closed door to designate if the space is occupied or vacant.
  • Minimize the length of meeting to avoid prolonged interactions.
  • Limit your movement on campus as this will help limit exposure. Continue to practice social distancing during activities such as going outside for a walk or sharing a larger conference or break room space during breaks or lunch.
Personal Protective Equipment

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

PPE refers to protective clothing, gloves, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of illness

Will PPE be provided to employees if required?

Any required personal protective equipment will be provided to employees by their supervisor

What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?

A face mask is specialized equipment worn by employees to protect them against infectious materials. A face covering, is mainly worn to prevent those people who may have the virus and may not know, from spreading the infection to others. A face covering (required while on campus) may be a cloth or similar material made to cover your mouth and nose. It fits snugly, but comfortably, against the side of the face. It is secured with ties or ear loops which may include multiple layers of fabric which allow for breathing without restriction.

What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face masks or face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings when 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained or unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space; are in their individual room, suite, or apartment in campus housing; or are eating/drinking in a designated area (i.e., RSC, Shocker Dining, etc.). There are certain exceptions to this policy including, but not limited to children 5 years or younger, or those individuals who have documented disabilities (including mental health) that would prohibit the use of a face mask or face covering. If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store in Braeburn Square or Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There are also a limited number of free masks available (while supplies last). Get all the details here.

Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?

Disposable gloves may be required by certain departments. Your supervisor will communicate that expectation to you and ensure the appropriate type of gloves are provided and glove safety instructions.

What if I feel I need to use PPE, even if it is not required?

Employees may use personal protective equipment even if not required by the university if they deem it appropriate for themselves and desire to do so. WSU requests the employees use any such equipment according to established safety guidelines and standards.

Practicing personal hygiene in the workplace

What is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to practice proper hand-washing techniques.

  • Employees are expected to properly wash their hands immediately upon reporting to their work area on campus.
  • Wash hands frequently throughout the course of the day.
  • Wash hands before you leave work.
  • Hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water is not readily available.
What are other personal hygiene practices that can I can use in the workplace to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissue or by sneezing into the bend of your elbow. Immediately discard the tissue.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid physical contact (hand shaking, hugging, etc.).
What are employee expectations related to cleaning and disinfecting their workplace?

Our custodians disinfect all work, classroom and lab areas daily with industrial-strength products. In addition, employees are expected to clean and disinfect the following:

  • Employees are expected to wipe down their immediate work areas and any high-traffic areas they are accountable for, or after any in-person contact by using the cleaning or disinfectant products provided.
  • If you need supplies, contact your supervisor to make arrangements to replenish.
Communications, Questions and Concerns

What should employees do if they have concerns about a co-worker who exhibits possible symptoms of COVID-19 (such as a cough) while they are working on campus?

Employees should notify their immediate supervisors if they have a concern regarding a co-worker with possible COVID-19 symptoms. The supervisor will observe and discuss the observed symptoms with the individual.

What if an employee does not feel comfortable coming to campus?

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. WSU will continue to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news. We understand that members of the Wichita State University community may be experiencing heightened levels of anxiety as we discuss employees coming to the campus. The employees who feel anxious or worried about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24 hours-a-day at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

How will WSU notify employees if there is a need to change operations?

WSU recognizes that this is a very fluid situation, and we may need to adjust quickly. The most up-to-date information about how the university is handling programs in response to COVID-19 will be posted in WSU Today and wichita.edu/covid19news.In addition, routine town halls are conducted by university administration.

What if an employee would like to provide feedback, share a concern or report an issue related to COVID-19 practices at WSU?

If the feedback, concern or issue is within an employee’s department, please contact the immediate supervisor. If this does not resolve the matter, email the HR.ServiceCenter@wichita.edu or reach out to the HR business partner assigned to the department.

What if an employee has questions regarding their benefits or leave reporting?

If an employee has questions regarding benefits or the use of leave, please contact the HR Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu.

What if an employee has questions about reporting their time?

Please email the payroll team within Financial Operations at timekeeping@wichita.edu

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#operations_emp

University Operations
Is the University continuing normal operations?

Wichita State is currently operating under the three-phase Shockers United plan to reopen the campus. For details on the plan and related information, go to the Shockers United website.

How will WSU notify us if operations are changed?

The most up-to-date information about university announcements and all aspects of COVID-19 will be posted in WSU Today and wichita.edu/covid19news.

For details on the Shockers United reopening plan and related information, go to the Shockers United website.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#leave

Employee Leave and Benefits
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA?

The FFCRA is new legislation that was passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

What coverage does the act provide eligible employees?

Generally, the act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the secretaries of the treasury and labor; and
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
What if a member of an employee’s household displays one or more symptoms of COVID-19, but the employee does not display any symptoms?

If a member of an employee’s household displays one or more symptoms of COVID-19 the employee is asked to take the following steps:

  • Notify their supervisor in accordance with their department procedures/guidelines prior to reporting to campus. The supervisor will let the employee know if they may work remotely, and if not, how they should record their time away.
  • Contact their physician, their county health department, or the United Way 211 line for guidance on their risk. Be prepared with information about the symptomatic individual, including when the employee was last in contact, what symptoms are present, and when they first appeared.
  • Immediately complete the COVID-19 Request Form Ii the employee is a caregiver for the symptomatic individual, and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu, as they may be entitled to additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation (FFCRA).
What if an employee or an employee’s family member is part of a medically vulnerable population?

If the employee or a family member are part of a medically vulnerable population and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 by being on campus, please contact the Human Resources office at 316-978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu to discuss leave benefits that he or she may qualify for under the FFCRA, Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What are an employee’s options if they are unable to work because they do not have childcare?

The FFCRA may provide additional leave benefits and protections for employees whose childcare has been interrupted due to COVID-19 related reasons, including:

  • School closures
  • Daycare closures
  • Other sources of childcare no longer available due to COVID-19

If an employee is experiencing such an interruption in childcare, she or he should immediately complete the COVID-19 Request Form and submit to TotalRewards@wichita.edu to determine whether he or she is eligible for such leave benefits.

What should I do if I’m not feeling well or I am ill?

If you are not feeling well or are ill, you are encouraged to stay home from work. Notify your supervisor and use any leave that you might be eligible to use for an illness. This will help keep our workforce healthy.

If you feel that you need to seek medical attention, you are encouraged to contact your primary care physician, the local health department, or use telehealth services through your health plan, if available.

Has the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) made any special provisions for plan participants related to COVID-19?

Yes, Governor Laura Kelly announced four (4) provisions on March 13, 2020 that are effective immediately and for the next 60 days.

  1. SEHP will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to the COVID-19 at no cost share to member, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response.
  2. SEHP will allow early refills on 30 or 90-day prescription medications and/or allow members to use their mail order benefit.
  3. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in person medical care has the potential to further spread the virus. SEHP partners with Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas to provide Telehealth services with a virtual doctor’s office. There is 24/7/365 access to this service. The member cost share will be waived for any Telehealth service.
  4. For plan participants that reside in the Topeka area, the HealthQuest Health Center available to members enrolled in the health plan, is located at 901 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka
    • Phone screening is recommended before going to the center: 785-783-4080
    • If a patient walks into the clinic, they will have them put on a mask and clean their hands with hand sanitizer. The health center staff will evaluate the patient’s symptoms and recommend they isolate if the initial findings and/or symptoms present are a positive indicator for the virus.
    • Testing is not available at the health center for COVID-19 and the clinic will refer all patients that meet the risk criteria to the local health department for testing and further evaluation.
What are telehealth services?

Telehealth services are virtual doctor’s office visits and are available in the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) medical plans. Aetna provides telehealth services through Teledoc and Blue Cross Blue Shield provides telehealth services through Amwell. If you are covered by another health plan, please check with your health plan provider to see if telehealth services are available.

Are there options for childcare?

There are child care providers in the greater Wichita region (Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley, Harvey and Sumner Counties) with immediate openings for children especially for health-care providers, first responders and essential employees.

People may call 1-877-678-2548 (toll-free) or begin an online search at www.childstart.org.

Many of the vacancies are in family childcare homes, which are licensed by KDHE and serve no more than 10 children. Many other child caregivers who usually limit enrollment to five or six children are volunteering to open their enrollment to serve eight or ten in order to support first responders and health-care providers. Many of the openings come from families who have a caregiver now staying home.

A local non-profit organization, Child Start, provides a statewide database through its Early Childhood Connections program. It just completed contacts with all licensed providers in the area so local information is accurate as of March 30.

What options do I have if I or a family member have a medical condition that makes me vulnerable to COVID-19?

If you or a family member are part of a medically vulnerable population and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 by reporting to work, please contact the Human Resources office at 316-978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu to discuss leave benefits that you may qualify for under the Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What should I do if I need to request leave related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus)?

You can contact the Human Resources office at 978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu. They will send you a Leave Request form specifically related to COVID-19. You can also access the form at wichita.edu/covid19news.

What if I need to take leave because I am sick or have a compromised immune system, but do not have enough vacation, sick or other accrued time to use?

Notify your supervisor, stay home and do not come to work. Please contact the Human Resources office at 316-978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu to discuss leave benefits or alternative work arrangements that you may qualify for under the Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What should I do if I have if I don't have a medical condition, but I am concerned about workplace exposure to COVID-19?

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news.

We understand that members of the Wichita State University community may be experiencing heightened levels of anxiety during this time. The HR Total Rewards team encourages employees who feel anxious or worried about COVID-19 to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Plan, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24/7 at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

What if I still have questions regarding leave and work options?

If you have questions regarding the use of leave, please contact the HR Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu. If you have questions about telecommuting or other employment concerns, please contact your supervisor or your department’s HR Business Partner. You may also email HR.ServiceCenter@wichita.edu.

If I have a possible exposure to COVID-19 or illness and am required to go home for self-isolation, will I get paid?

If you are required to self-isolate, you may be eligible to receive COVID-19 Administrative Leave.

Are there any changes to timekeeping?

The University has established new Earnings and Leave Codes for payment to employees impacted by the University’s modified operations due to COVID-19 (i.e., teleworking, staggered schedules, etc.). Use these Codes only if you are working a reduced schedule due to instructions from your supervisor (i.e., scheduled to work but not working). Supervisors will continue to approve time and leave reporting as usual. This document remains in effect until further notice is provided.

If an employee or employee’s household member is sick with anything other than COVID-19, the normal sick leave policy is in effect and the employee reports time away from work using existing accrual balances.

Funding Impact

Employees paid from Sponsored Project funds may not be able to use the new COVID-19 earnings code for pay when not working. Supervisors/Managers/Principal Investigators should check with the Office of Research (Amy Delgado/Karen Davis) to determine if alternate funding is required.

Time and Leave Reporting

Employees or Timekeepers may use a combination of the following reporting codes depending on whether the employee is working or not. It is a management decision on who is working and if the employee is working on campus or teleworking. If an employee was already scheduled to be on another leave, that leave will take precedence, unless the leave is cancelled and approved by their supervisor.

Key Points and Related Codes

  • Regular Earnings (REG) Code used for recording the actual hours worked for an hourly (non- exempt) staff employee whether that employee is on campus working or teleworking. This code does count toward overtime/compensatory time accrual.
  • Regular Student Earnings (SP1) Code used for recording the actual hours worked for a student hourly (non-exempt) employee whether that student employee is on campus working or teleworking. This code does count toward overtime.
  • 19 Admin leave (C19) – Earnings Code used to designate hours paid to hourly (non-exempt) employees normally scheduled to work that are not working during the modified COVID-19 operations period. This code does not count toward overtime/compensatory time accrual.
    • C19 may be used as of March 22, 2020.
    • C19 will show up on the employee’s paycheck as “19 Admin Leave.”
    • C19 is not to be reported in excess of the employee’s scheduled hours per day.
    • C19 may be used in combination with absence to equal the employee’s scheduled hours per day, but may not be used in combination with absence in excess of the employee’s scheduled hours.
  • C19 might not be allowable for employees funded on Sponsored Projects.
  • Employees on C19 leave are expected to contact their supervisors daily.

Exempt (salaried) Staff and Faculty

  • If you are Teleworking or are Working on Campus:
    • No special time reporting is necessary.
  • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not
    • Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding:
    • During the time employee is not working, report hours not worked in full or half day increments using “19 Admin Leave (C19)” earnings code.

Exempt Graduate Assistants, Lecturers, and Exempt Temporary Employees

  • If you are Teleworking or are Working on Campus:
    • No special time reporting is necessary.
  • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not
    • Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding: No special time reporting is necessary. Employees will continue to be paid per their existing appointment.

Non-Exempt (hourly) Staff

  • If you are Teleworking or Are Working on Campus
    • During the time the employee is working, report regular (REG) hours as usual.
  • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not
    • Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding: During the time the employee is not working, report hours not worked but scheduled as “19 Admin Leave (C19)”.

Temporary Non-Exempt (hourly) Staff

  • If you are Teleworking or are Working on Campus:
    • During the time the employee is working, report regular hours as usual.
  • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding:
    • Temp Employees should be paid based on the employee’s average hours worked for the spring semester. Timekeeping will provide each supervisor/department with each employee’s average hours. Supervisors can access this report in reporting services.
    • If employee did not work during the pay period, timekeeping will enter the average hours for the employee to be paid. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employees average hours should NOT be paid.
    • If employee did not work at least his/her calculated average hours during any given pay period, timekeeping will enter the difference between the average hours worked and the employee’s actual hours worked. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employees average hours should NOT be paid.
    • Employees (excluding student employees) will continue to be paid as they are normally as scheduled through the end of FY2020. The university will continue to evaluate all options to maintain its workforce. As the situation evolves, we will continue to communicate our plans to the campus community.

 Student Hourly (Regular Students)

  • • If you are Teleworking or are Working on Campus:
    • During the time the employee is working, report regular hours as usual.
  • • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding:
    • Regular Student Employees who were terminated prior to 3/22/2020 are not considered for this pay.
    • Regular Student Employees will be paid based on the employee’s average hours worked for the time period of 1/26/2020 – 3/7/2020 within the spring semester. Timekeeping will provide each supervisor/department with each employee’s average hours. Supervisors can access this report in reporting services.
    • If employee did not work during the pay period, timekeeping will enter the average hours for the employee to be paid. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employee’s average hours should NOT be paid.
    • If employee did not work at least his/her calculated average hours during any given pay period, timekeeping will enter the difference between the average hours calculated and the employee’s actual hours worked. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employee’s average hours should NOT be paid.
    • Student employees (excluding Work Study Students) whose job responsibilities do not require them to be on campus but cannot be completed or facilitated remotely will be paid as they are normally for the next two pay periods (ending April 18, 2020).
    • Beginning April 19, 2020, student employees for whom there is no longer any available work will not be paid.
    • If you have questions about this process, please send an email to timekeeping@wichita.edu.

Student Hourly (Federal Work Study Students)

  • • If you are Teleworking or are Working on Campus:
    • During the time the employee is working, report regular hours as usual.
  • • If you are Not Working due to COVID-19 University Social Distancing and are Not Restricted by Sponsored Project Funding:
    • As a reminder, students will not be able to exceed their Federal Work Study allocation.
    • Federal Work Study Student Employees will be paid based on the employee’s average hours calculated for the spring semester. Timekeeping will provide each supervisor/department with each employee’s average hours. Supervisors can access this report in reporting services.
    • If employee did not work during the pay period, timekeeping will enter the average hours for the employee to be paid. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employee’s average hours should NOT be paid due to termination or other circumstances.
    • If employee did not work at least his/her calculated average hours during any given pay period, timekeeping will enter the difference between the average hours calculated and the employee’s actual hours worked. Supervisor must email timekeeping if the employee’s average hours should NOT be paid due to termination or other circumstances.
    • Federal Work Study students will continue to receive their paychecks as scheduled through May 16, 2020.

If you have questions about this process, please send an email to timekeeping@wichita.edu.


NOTE: this is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#telecommuting

Telecommuting / Remote Working
Can I choose to work from home or an alternate location?

Upon prior authorization from your supervisor and if business operations allow, employees may request telecommuting from home or an alternate location. Faculty members should seek approval from the appropriate department chair, head or dean.

If you request to work from home/alternative location, you should discuss with your supervisor to identify the location you wish to work from and for how long. The supervisor will either approve or deny the request, based on business needs. The supervisor should also clearly identify the expectations for the work and the time period approved. You should be in regular contact with your supervisor during this time about your work, productivity, etc. Supervisors may, at any time, adjust the arrangement for employees to work from home/alternate work location.

Who determines if I may work from home or an alternate location?

During the COVID-19 period, departments have been authorized to make this decision. Factors to consider are type of job duties and whether they can be performed remotely and/or if the employee is considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with the illness.

Am I required to have a dedicated home office for telecommuting?

Employees can work from any alternative work site that allows them to perform the duties of their position.

Where can I find tips and resources for working at home or an alternate work location?

If you need tips for working from home or an alternate work location, you can find information on the wichita.edu/covid19news webpage.

If you need guidance on remote work tools, please go to the Working Remotely Resources website. The site includes instructions regarding how to stay connected from a remote location (VPN access to your work computer), web conferencing options, and telecommunications options for voicemail and forwarding calls.

What if I need to work from home or an alternate location, but I do not have resources to work at home?

The University has leased 200 dell laptops that are expected to arrive on March 25, 2020. It will take ITS two to three days to have all the laptops ready for distribution. Of the total, 170 are prioritized for faculty use, and 30 are prioritized for staff use. Please go to the Working Remotely Resources website to submit a ticket to request a laptop. Once approved, the faculty / staff member will receive an email regarding when and where they can pick up the device. It is possible that not everyone submitting a request will be approved. The laptops are required to be returned back to ITS when we return to normal operations, unless the College / Department chooses to continue the lease arrangement.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A LIMITED SUPPLY AND IS INTENDED FOR THOSE WITH NO OTHER OPTIONS AVAILABLE.


 

We’ve heard that both students and faculty/staff may have limited or no internet access. We have purchased 150 cellular hotspot devices from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. The timing of delivery is not yet known. We will be adding link to the Working Remotely Resources website to request a device once they are received. These are cellular based, so keep in mind that if in an area with limited cellular access, these likely will not provide the needed internet service.

PLEASE NOTE: LIKE THE LAPTOPS, THIS WILL BE A LIMITED SUPPLY WHEN RECEIVED AND IS NOT INTENDED FOR THOSE WITH EXISTING INTERNET ACCESS AVAILABLE.

If I am having issues with any IT resources, who should I contact?

Your initial contact should be the University IT HelpDesk at helpdesk@wichita.edu or 316-978-HELP, Option 1.

Will the University cover the cost of my personal phone or internet for working at home?

The University is not prepared to reimburse for these costs. If this prevents you from working at home, please coordinate with your supervisor to determine if it would be appropriate for you to work on campus.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#travel_emp

Guidance for Travel
What are university guidelines on domestic travel?

Domestic travel is permitted. The university encourages you to consider the following:

  • Could this business be handled online or remotely?
  • Can this business be delayed?
  • Please be mindful of CDC guidance and guidance relayed by the travel destination.
  • Students and employees must register at wichita.edu/travelnotification.
What are university policies for international travel?

All university-sponsored international travel is to be discontinued, effective immediately.

  • No new travel approvals will be granted unless extreme circumstances — approval will be required from a divisional Vice President.
  • Currently scheduled travel must be cancelled — reach out to supervisor regarding next steps.
What are university guidelines for personal travel?

Individuals on personal travel are encouraged to follow all CDC-issued guidelines and any guidelines issued by their travel destination.

The University strongly encourages students, faculty and staff on personal travel to register your travel with the university and provide us with basic details about any international travel planned through the end of the semester. Go to wichita.edu/travelnotification.

If you are returning from a country designated as Level 3 by the CDC, you must contact the local health department upon your return.

If I have recently traveled within the United States and feel no illness, are there steps I should take?

If you have recently traveled, please check to see if the location of your travel destination has been placed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) COVID-19 travel restriction. Locations included on the list require a 14-day quarantine after your return to Kansas. Follow any instructions on the KDHE web site related to reporting your travel and quarantine. Notify your supervisor and discuss specific instructions provided including instructions for your quarantine. Your supervisor will make a determination regarding your ability to work from a remote location or you may request COVID-19 leave, if applicable.

If you have concerns or anxiety related to these events and need someone to talk with, please know you may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 888-275-1205 (select option 1).

My travel event has been canceled, what should I do? (WSU employee travel)
  1. Make a list of all expenses related to the canceled trip.
  2. Contact each vendor (i.e. conference, airline, hotel, rental car company) to inform them of the cancellation and ask for a refund.
  3. Communicate the status of each expense/refund to the Travel department wsutraveloffice@wichita.edu and the appropriate departmental personnel (i.e. supervisor, delegate, business manager).
  4. Detailed information on how to record cancellations/refunds on Pre-approvals and Expense Reports can be found on the Travel website.
My travel event wasn’t canceled, but I do not feel comfortable attending amid the COVID-19 outbreak - what are my next steps? (WSU employee travel)
  1. Discuss situation with Supervisor and upon agreement, proceed with the following steps.
  2. Make a list of all expenses related to the canceled trip.
  3. Contact each vendor (i.e. Conference, airline, hotel, rental car company) to inform them of the cancellation and ask for a refund.
  4. Communicate the status of each expense/refund to the Travel department wsutraveloffice@wichita.edu and the appropriate departmental personnel (i.e. supervisor, delegate, business manager).
  5. Detailed information on how to record cancellations/refunds on Pre-approvals and Expense Reports can be found on the Travel website.
Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses I pre-paid with my personal funds if my travel event has been canceled? (WSU employee travel)

Yes - the traveler will need to provide documentation of the cancellation along with all applicable receipts. Please visit the Travel website for detailed instructions.

When I canceled my flight, the airline issued me a ticket credit to be used for a future flight. What should I do now? (WSU employee travel)
  1. Send an email to wsutraveloffice@wichita.edu to provide details about the credit (i.e. the airline carrier, amount of credit, fees assessed, etc.)
  2. Track the unused ticket credit and apply the credit towards the airfare ticket for the next scheduled business travel event.
  3. Visit the Travel website for detailed instructions on documenting the applied credit.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding travel? (WSU employee travel)

If you have questions or need guidance on processing your travel, please contact the Travel department at wsutraveloffice@wichita.edu or by phone at 316-978-5988.


Information for Supervisors

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#su_supervisors

Shockers United Reopening Plan for Supervisors
Increasing Employees Presence on Campus
 
Why is WSU choosing to slowly increase employees’ presence on campus?

Slowly increasing employees’ presence on campus provides the following advantages:

  • Mitigates the risk of resurgence of the virus.
  • Provides additional protection for the most vulnerable among us.
  • Allows state and local health authorities time to monitor for potential resurgence.
  • Allows us to adjust and respond to any changes/guidelines provided by the federal, state and/or local government authorities who are closely monitoring developments.
Do I need to have plan for my area or department for employees who will be on campus?

All areas and departments are required to have a plan that supports social distancing and other safety protocols for employees who will be on campus. Leaders are encouraged to maximize the use of remote working arrangements to the greatest extent possible.

What else do I need to consider as I create my departmental staffing plan for social distancing?

Employees’ presence on campus will look different depending on the area or department’s function and an individual employee’s role. When developing the plan for your area/department consider the following items:

  • Can I continue to allow employees to telework and provide departmental services?
  • How do I incorporate safe social distancing into the area or department plan?
  • For employees on campus, is there a need for personal protective equipment (PPE)?
  • How will employees on campus interact with customers and other co-workers while maintaining safe social distancing protocols?
  • What additional cleaning and disinfecting needs to take place in the area or department and on what frequency?
What do I do when I have completed my departmental staffing plan for social distancing in the workplace?

When you have completed your plan, submit it to your direct supervisor, who will ensure that the college/division leader is in agreement with your plan.

If your department will not be operating “normal” business hours (M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), you will need to contact Bob Smith, Director Facility Services, at bobby.smith@wichita.edu to advise him of your schedule so they may adjust the cleaning/disinfecting schedules for your department.

How should I communicate to employees the plan for my area/department?

Each area should determine the most appropriate communication forums to communicate expectations regarding being on campus. Since employees want to understand how the plan will impact them personally, it may be appropriate to have an individual conversation with each employee.

What if an employee is reluctant or declines the plan for our area/department?

In a confidential conversation, seek to understand why the employee is reluctant to adopt the plan. Consider that it may be for some or all of the following reasons:

  • Consider themselves or a family member as medically vulnerable.
  • Concern about daycare issues.
  • Concern about adjusting their schedule due to family or personal issues.
  • Fear of being exposed to COVID-19.
  • Doesn’t trust that protocols such as social distancing will be practiced consistently while on campus.
  • General anxiety about their overall safety.

If it is for the above reasons, have the employee reach out the Total Rewards team at TotalRewards@wichita.edu or call Human Resources at 978-3065. The employee will be provided a confidential consultation by an HR professional to help them navigate their situation appropriately. If you need further assistance, contact your HR Business Partner for additional guidance.

Personal Responsibility of Employees While on Campus
 
What are WSU’s expectations for employees while on campus to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

WSU has set the following expectations for all employees while on campus:

  • Perform a daily personal wellness check before coming to campus and do not come to campus if they feel ill.
  • Practice social distancing while on campus.
  • Wear any personal protective equipment required by your department.
  • Wear a face covering at all times, except when they are alone in their office or alone walking outside.
  • Wash hands when arriving and leaving the campus, wash hands frequently during the day and upon returning to their workspace.
  • Disinfect their personal workspace and common or high-traffic work areas they are accountable for in their area or department.
Why would WSU want to establish these expectations?

The university is interested in the well-being of each person on our campus, and each of us have a personal accountability to be a conscientious community member.

How will employees be informed about these expectations while working on campus?

To assist in establishing expectations, WSU has developed two trainings: one outlining the expectations for every employee (including you), and one that provides support and guidance to supervisors. Please review the supervisor training in the next two days, prior to the employee training release. Please make sure your direct reports view the employee training as soon as possible. If it is not possible for an employee to view the training electronically, please make accommodations to provide the employee a printed copy.

View the training page

Is there other guidance or training that employees may need?

Yes, some departments may establish additional guidance not covered in the WSU training. This additional guidance is specific to the employee’s area or department and may be driven by accreditation or best practice for their specific work. Employees are expected to follow all guidance provided by their supervisor for their work area/department.

Wellness Checks
 
Will WSU require employees coming to campus to do a personal wellness check?

Yes, WSU is asking each employee to conduct a personal wellness check each day prior to coming onto the campus to check for symptoms that could possibly be related to COVID-19.

Do employees have to record or report the results of their personal wellness check to myself or others at WSU?

There is no need for an employee to report their results to anyone and there is no need for your employees to report their results to you.

Can I, as a supervisor, ask employees if they are conducting their personal wellness check?

It is OK to inquire of your employees if they are conducting this self-check. We need to ensure employees are being diligent and continue with this very important safety screening so we may each safeguard our health.

What does a personal wellness check consist of?

WSU asks that each employee check themselves for one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Temperature of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain, headache, sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
What should I do if an employee indicates she have one or more of the above symptoms?

If the employee has one or more of the above indicated symptoms:

  • The employee is not to come to campus until such time as his symptoms subside.
  • If employees have had a fever, the employees should not return to work until such time as they have been free of a fever, without assistance of temperature altering medication for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Employees are to notify you, in accordance with your department procedure. You will need to let the employees know if they may work remotely or if they need to record a sick day.
  • On the same business day, employees should complete the COVID-19 Request Form, as they may have additional paid leave benefits related to recent legislation.
  • The specific symptoms being experienced do not need to be included with the request form. Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Information on the symptoms related to COVID-19 is also available on the CDC website.
  • Employees have been advised to consider a telemedicine appointment with their healthcare provider if they deem that to be necessary.
Is there other information that I need to consider related to employee leaves and COVID-19?

If any of the following apply, please refer to the "What faculty and staff should know" FAQ on this page under the "COVID-19 Leaves for Employees & Families" section for more information:

  • An employee or a member of employee’s household has been exposed to someone who displays COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A member of employee’s household is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
  • An employee or employee’s family member is part of a medically vulnerable population.
  • An employee is unable to work because they don’t have childcare.
Social Distancing
 
What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups larger than 10.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
  • Refrain from physical contact.
How do I incorporate social distancing practices for employees who will be on campus?

Every location and job function are different and will require careful consideration by you on the best way to incorporate social distancing in your specific work areas and while we are on campus. Make sure your employees know what is appropriate and be available to answer any questions they may have. The following are suggestions to consider while planning for successful social distancing in your work area and the workplace:

  • Consider a combination of staggered schedules, shifts and virtual (telework) arrangements for those who report to you and communicate with each employee regarding expectations for their work schedule, including if they will be working on campus.
  • Please talk openly with your employees and be as flexible as possible so both their needs and those of the department can be met.
  • Remember, our top priority is safety. If the work can be accomplished in ways that don’t involve coming to campus, you should continue to allow your employees to work remotely.
  • If your employees are required to be physically on campus to do their work, please make sure they know their work is appreciated and ensure they feel safe and have what they need for that purpose.
  • Consider how your employees can serve your customers through virtual communication forums (i.e., telephone, email, skype, zoom, Microsoft teams and webinar meetings, etc.) vs. face-to-face interactions.
  • Talk to your employees and make sure they have access and know how to use the technology available from the university to do their work in the most efficient manner. Additional information is available on the Resources for Remote Work webpage.
  • If face-to-face interaction can’t be avoided, consider how to arrange furniture or to remain standing to allow a 6-foot distance between all people at all times while communicating. As an alternative, use masks or face coverings.
  • Advise your employees to refrain from entering areas where it is normal for people to congregate such as breakrooms, restrooms and common social areas until they can do so while social distancing.
  • Use virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings. If in-person meetings must take place, ensure the room is large enough to allow 6 feet between individuals and no more than 10 people in a meeting.
  • Recommend that your employees limit movement on campus as this will limit exposure. Employees can continue to practice social distancing during activities such as going outside for a walk or sharing a larger conference or break room space during breaks or lunch.
What if an employee is reluctant to accept the area or departmental plan developed for social distancing?

You should have an individual conversation and seek to understand the employee’s concerns.

  • If appropriate, ask the employee if it is anything related to an issue involving COVID-19. If so, please direct him or her to the COVID-19 Request Form. The employee will get a confidential consultation to help them navigate their situation appropriately.
  • If the employee qualifies for leave, you will receive notification from HR only that the employee qualifies, not why they qualify. This is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our employees.
  • If an employee has not been successful or does not like working remotely, work with him to come up with a plan in which he can comply with the university’s expectations for working on campus.
  • If an employee has general anxiety about COVID-19, please provide them the contact information for Employee Assistance Program.
What if employees are not following social distancing protocols in the area or department, or while of the campus?

You should have a private conversation with your employee to make sure he or she understands the expectations that have been set.

  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s concerns.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.
Personal Protective Equipment
 
What is personal protective equipment (PPE)?

PPE refers to protective clothing, gloves, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of illness. All employees are expected to wear a mask or face covering while on campus unless they are in an office alone or walking on campus alone. Please make sure all your employees have a mask or face covering.

 

What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?

A face mask is specialized equipment worn by an employee to protect them against infectious materials. A face covering is mainly worn to prevent those people who may have the virus and may not know from spreading the infection to others. A face covering (required while on campus) may be a cloth or similar material made to cover your mouth and nose. It fits snugly but comfortable against the side of the face. It is secured with ties or ear loops which may include multiple layers of fabric to allow for breathing without restriction.

How can departments order PPE?

Facilities Services will begin distributing COVID-19 safety “Starter Kits” on Monday, May 18. These starter kits are intended to help staff returning to campus on May 26 get through the first week or two. Priority delivery will be given to areas that have remained open during the campus shutdown and areas opening for in-person access May 26.

At a minimum, starter kits will include the following: cloth face coverings/disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant in spray bottles, paper towels, blue painter’s tape and a limited number of non-latex gloves. Cloth face coverings are limited to one per WSU employee.

After the May 26 reopening of campus, we anticipate staffing for the summer will become more clear. Upon receipt of a work order request, we can quickly supplement the starter kits with items that are essential for daily operations. Please limit additional orders to quantities that correlate with the number of staff actually working on campus.

Facilities Services will continue to build and install plexiglass shields upon receipt of work order requests. To date, we have installed more than 150 plexiglass shields on campus. These should be utilized for high-traffic campus areas providing customer service or other activities with frequent and regular access by the campus community and visitors.

As a reminder, Facilities Services has built inventories that will allow us to provide the following items to our WSU campus community, as needed:

  • Plexiglass shields (for desks, counters, etc.)
  • Cloth masks
  • Disposable masks
  • Hand sanitizer (in spray bottles)
  • Surface disinfectant (in spray bottles)
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Safety glasses
  • Blue painters tape (This is for floor markings and to hang signs with. Please don’t use other types of tape. A unified plan to provide sign templates to campus will be communicated soon.)
What are the expectations regarding the use of face coverings while at WSU?

Face coverings are expected to be worn by all employees except when you are in your office alone or alone walking outside.

  • Communicate this expectation to your employees and ensure the appropriate type of face covering is available for their use.
  • Each employee needs to take a personal responsibility and adhere to the guidelines for wearing a face covering.

Are employees required to wear disposable gloves while on campus?

Disposable gloves may be required by certain departments.

  • If gloves are required in your department, communicate that expectation to your employees.
  • Ensure the appropriate type of gloves are provided for their use and they have been provided with glove safety instructions.
What if an employee feels the need for PPE, even if it is not required?

Employees may use personal protective equipment, even if not required by the university if they deem it appropriate for themselves and desire to do so. WSU requests the employees use any such equipment according to established safety guidelines/standards.

What if employees are not following established and required personal protective equipment expectations?

Have a private conversation with the employee to make sure he or she understand the expectations that have been set.

  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s objections. There may be an issue of which you are not aware.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.
Practicing Personal Hygiene in the Workplace
 
What is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

The best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to practice proper hand-washing techniques.

  • Every employee is expected to properly wash his or her hands immediately upon reporting to a work area on campus.
  • Every employee should wash hands frequently throughout the course of the day.
  • Employees should wash their hands before they leave work.
  • Hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water are not readily available.
What are other personal hygiene practices that can be used in the workplace to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Here are other personal hygiene practices employees should use in the workplace:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with tissue or by sneezing into the bend of your elbow.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid physical contact (hand shaking, hugging, etc.).
What if employees are not practicing personal hygiene in the workplace?

Have a private conversation with the employee to make sure she knows the expectations that have been set.

  • You may need to post signage as a reminder.
  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s objections. There may be an issue of which you are not aware.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.
Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace
 
What are employee expectations related to cleaning and disinfecting the workplace?

Our custodians disinfect all work, classroom and lab areas daily with industrial-strength products. In addition, employees are expected to clean and disinfect the following:

  • Employees are expected to wipe down their immediate work areas and any common or high-traffic areas they are accountable for or after any in-person contact by using the cleaning and disinfectant products provided.
  • Please ensure employees have the appropriate cleaning supplies.
What if employees are not following the expectations of cleaning and disinfecting the workplace?

Have an individual conversation with the employees to make sure they know the expectations that have been set.

  • You may need to post signage as a reminder.
  • If the employee understands but does not agree, listen to understand the employee’s objections. There may be an issue of which you are not aware.
  • Ask for the employee’s cooperation.
  • If you are unable to resolve the issue, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.
Travel Guidelines
 
Is WSU setting expectations related to travel?

Employees are still encouraged to refrain from all nonessential travel. If employees do travel:

  • To an area identified as high-risk, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment mandates self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • Employees are not permitted to return to work until the end of these 14 days (or longer, in the event they develop COVID-19 symptoms).
    • Employees should notify their supervisor in accordance with their department procedure.
  • If employees travel internationally, they are required to fill out the international travel form.
  • To an area not identified as high-risk, employees are permitted to return to work (subject to all other restrictions).
Keeping our Workplaces Safe
 
What else can I do to support employees in my area or department to create a positive and safe work environment?

Communication is key to ensuring employees are practicing protocols that support a safe work environment. Engage your employees on the following topics:

  • How are the social distancing protocols working in our area or department?
  • Is the additional cleaning and disinfecting for our area or department being done enough?
  • Does everyone understand proper handwashing techniques?
  • Is the required PPE being used appropriately?
  • Ask what other suggestions or concerns they have to assist in a safe work environment.
  • Finally, remember that our top priority remains the health and safety of our entire campus community. These are stressful and unique times. This is a time for us to have grace with one another while making sure we do what is best for everyone.
What if an employee continues to be hesitant to be on campus?

Even though the university is taking multiple steps to ensure the safety of employees, an employee may continue to be hesitant to come to campus. While every employee has a right to do what they feel is best for their health and safety, any employee who is required to report to work and has not been approved for a COVID related leave but chooses to remain away from work will be required to use accrued leave or may record that time as leave without pay. If you cannot accommodate your employee being away from their scheduled work, seek the guidance of your supervisor or the HR business partner assigned to your area.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#managing

Managing Employees
What should I do if I have an employee(s) that states they are not feeling well or are ill?

If an employee is not feeling well or is ill, please encourage the employee to consider staying home from work. This will help keep our workforce healthy. Employees should use available leave for time away from work.

What else can I do in preparation for a change to normal operations ?

Please ensure that your departments Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has been updated and that you have a way of communicating with employees if normal business operations change.

What should I consider in order to establish a telecommuting working arrangement with an employee(s)?

During this time, WSU encourages supervisors to be flexible and creative in considering temporary telework situations so that the work of your department can continue. As the supervisor, and if business operations allow, you may consider allowing an arrangement in which an employee(s) telecommutes from home or an alternate location. Faculty members should seek approval from the appropriate department chair, academic leader or dean.

If an employee has the ability to work from home/alternative location, the employee should discuss this with their supervisor to identify the location that the employee wishes to work from and for how long. The supervisor should either approve or deny based on the business needs. The supervisor should clearly identify the expectations for the work and the time period approved. The employee should be in regular contact with their supervisor during this time about their work, productivity, etc. Supervisors may, at any time, adjust the arrangement for employees to work from home/alternate work site.

See more information on telecommuting

Who determines if an employee can work from home or an alternate work location?

During the COVID-19 period, departments have been authorized to make this decision. Factors to consider are type of job duties and whether they can be performed remotely and/or if the employee is considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with the virus.

Are there other things I can consider to manage staffing?

Depending on your department needs, as well as the employee, you may also want to consider flexible/adjusted work hours. In order to create more distancing, you may consider staggering work shifts. Be creative. You know best how to get the work done in your department.

Can an employee on an H1-B visa request to perform their work via a telecommuting arrangement?

Yes, and we encourage supervisors to be as flexible as possible.

Is an employee required to have a dedicated home office for telecommuting?

Employees can work from any alternative work site that allows them to perform the duties of their position.

What do I need to consider for Student Workers?

Supervisors should work with these students on a case-by-case basis given individual circumstances. If they are required to work, please consider whether they can perform their essential work functions via telecommuting. Whenever possible, we encourage supervisors to allow them to telecommute or adjust their work method in another manner to avoid financial hardship.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) that indicates they or a family member has/have a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19?

If an employee(s) shares with you they or a family member are part of a medically vulnerable population and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 by reporting to work, please have them contact Human Resources at (316) 978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu to discuss leave benefits that they may qualify for under the Family and Medical Leave Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) that has indicated they do not have a medical condition, but they are still concerned about workplace exposure to COVID-19?

The health and safety of our student, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 and updates specific to Wichita State University will be provided on wichita.edu/covid19news.

You may also encourage the employee(s) with concerns or anxiety related to these events, to contact the State of Kansas Employee Assistance Plan, or EAP, which is available to help. Kansas EAP is available 24/7 at 888-275-1205, press option 1.

Finally, you may also encourage the employee(s) to reach out to their primary care physician.

Has the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) made any special provisions for plan participants related to COVID-19?

Yes, Governor Laura Kelly announced four (4) provisions on March 13, 2020 that are effective immediately and for the next 60 days.

  1. SEHP will cover medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with CDC guidance related to the COVID-19 at no cost share to member, where it is not covered as part of the Public Health Service response.
  2. SEHP will allow early refills on 30 or 90-day prescription medications and/or allow members to use their mail order benefit.
  3. Given the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, seeking in person medical care has the potential to further spread the virus. SEHP partners with Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas to provide Telehealth services with a virtual doctor’s office. There is 24/7/365 access to this service. The member cost share will be waived for any Telehealth service.
  4. For plan participants that reside in the Topeka area, the HealthQuest Health Center available to members enrolled in the health plan, is located at 901 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka
    • Phone screening is recommended before going to the center: 785-783-4080.
    • If a patient walks into the clinic, they will have them put on a mask and clean their hands with hand sanitizer. The health center staff will evaluate the patient’s symptoms and recommend they isolate if the initial findings and/or symptoms present are a positive indicator for the virus.
    • Testing is not available at the health center for COVID-19 and the clinic will refer all patients that meet the risk criteria to the local health department for testing and further evaluation.
What are telehealth services?

Telehealth services are virtual doctor’s office visits and are available in the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) medical plans. Aetna provides telehealth services through Teledoc and Blue Cross Blue Shield provides telehealth services through Amwell. If you are covered by another health plan, please check with your health plan provider to see if telehealth services are available.

What if an employee has an illness not related to COVID-19?

Employees should follow current applicable call-in procedures for their department and should use available leave to cover time away from work.

What should I do as a supervisor if an employee notifies me that they have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact?

If the employee is at their work location, send them home immediately. If they are not at work, instruct them not to come into work. Instruct the employee to contact United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1 (or the employee’s local health department, if they are not a resident of Sedgwick County, KS) and United Way of the Plains will provide screening and refer them to the Sedgwick County Health Department. Follow any instructions given by appropriate public health officials and/or the employee’s medical health care provider. Additional information on actions you should take are in the Supervisors Procedures for COVID-19 at: https://www.wichita.edu/services/humanresources/HR_Service_Center/COVID19_Employee/index.php#supervisor.

What should I do if I have an employee(s) returning from a location that the CDC advises self-isolation and not returning to work?

Employees and supervisors should follow CDC travel health guidance when self-isolation or not returning to work for a period of time is advised. If an employee is required to self-isolate and/or stay at home based on these guidelines, they should use approved leave and monitor their health during travel and for the recommended 14 days after returning to the United States. In addition, please contact the Human Resources office at 978-3065 or e-mail TotalRewards@wichita.edu. They will send you a Leave Request form specifically related to COVID-19. You can also access the form at wichita.edu/covid19news.

During the COVID-19 period, will I still need to approve time and leave reports?

Yes, in order to accurately pay employees, validation and approval of time and leave reports is required to meet audit standards. If a supervisor does not have access to approve in self-service, a delegation should be made to someone who can validate and approve.

What if I have an employee that has a circumstance not addressed in these FAQ’s?

We recognize there may be times when employees require additional support that our current policies do not foresee or accommodate. If you confront a particularly difficult circumstance, please reach out to the HR business partner assigned to your area.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#recruiting

Recruiting / Hiring
If we have scheduled on-campus interviews for job openings, what do we do?

In response to COVID-19, in-person interviews will not be conducted at this time. Hiring departments/units and search committees are to move to an alternative format, such as conference calls or through supported video conferencing (Zoom, Skype, etc.). As a result, the search committee should notify candidates as soon as possible, to reschedule the interview in the selected alternative format. For assistance please contact Human Resources Talent Acquisition at employment@wichita.edu.

Our unit has already made travel arrangements for interview candidates. Must the interview be rescheduled to an online format?

Contact Human Resources Talent Acquisition for guidance at employment@wichita.edu. HR will work with search committees faced with this issue on a case-by-case basis.

What if our candidate does not have resources or online technology for video conferencing?

Although it is generally advised to make the interview process as consistent as possible for all candidates, in response to COVID-19, it is important to take measures to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, it is recommended for searches that need to switch mid-process to an alternative format, that search committees keep as many elements of the process as consistent as possible.

Our search committee has already conducted a portion of our interviews in-person. Is it ok to move to an online format since it is not consistent with previous arrangements?

Search committee members may still choose to meet in a conference room that has video or conference call capability for the remote interview or may decide that members will also participate remotely. If the search committee chooses to meet in person, they should secure a room large enough to allow social distancing among the team members. Individuals who have been exposed to the virus, who potentially may have been exposed, who have a chronic health condition or who are ill should only participate remotely. It is encouraged to have as many members participate in the interviews as possible, whether that is in-person or via remote participation, in order to effectively make a recommendation for hire. The most recent COVID-19 guidelines must be followed at all times.

Should the search committee still meet in person, or should they meet independently, through video conferencing technology for meetings and interviews?

Yes, you can put the interview process on hold. We recommend that you contact the candidate(s) and inform them that, due to COVID-19, you are delaying interviews at this time. A specific timeline as to when in-person interviews can resume has not yet been made and will be forthcoming. Please note a delay may result in losing a top candidate(s). As a result, conference call or video conferencing options should be considered before postponing a search.

Our candidate has already accepted an offer of employment with a designated start date but has informed us that they are ill, under self-quarantine, or is caring for others and will not be able to begin work as originally specified. What options do we have?

Units can allow the individual to delay their start date or look at telework options if appropriate. Contact HR Talent Acquisition at employment@wichita.edu for assistance or if an adjustment to an offer letter may be needed.

Will my new hire need to complete onboarding in person?

New hires will continue to utilize electronic onboarding process to complete most of their new hire paperwork. Your candidate must provide supporting documents for the Form I-9 in-person, by the third day of employment, because the document requires visual verification. Human Resources Talent Acquisition will be in touch with you and your candidate about that process to ensure it is completed timely.

 

 

LINK TO THIS SECTION: https://www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/faculty_staff.php#managing_gta

Managing Graduate Teaching Assistants
What do I need to consider for Graduate Assistants?

In the case of a Graduate Assistants, supervisors should work with these students on a case-by-case basis to determine if their return to campus is necessary to sustain our continuity of operations. If they are required to work, please consider whether they can perform their essential work functions via telecommuting. Whenever possible, we encourage supervisors to allow graduate Assistants to telecommute or adjust their work method in another manner to avoid financial hardship.

Can graduate students continue their research projects?

Yes. Research is considered an essential activity at Wichita State University. While graduate students should not be required to be on campus, they are allowed to continue to carry out their research projects in their labs.

Care should be taken, however, to disinfect work areas and to maximize social distancing. Faculty mentors should therefore organize a staggered work schedule if necessary to maximize social distancing. You may also encourage students to work remotely on aspects of research that do not require physically being in the lab facility, such as performing data analyses, writing manuscripts and thesis chapters, contributing to research proposals, preparing presentations and abstracts, and completing literature reviews. Faculty mentors should not require or cause graduate students to feel compelled to come to campus; those who do not wish to come to campus are expected to work remotely as described above.

Will Graduate Assistants continue to be paid?
Yes. All current GTAs will continue to serve their assigned roles and will be paid for the duration of their Electronic Personnel Action Forms (EPAF). They should work with their supervisors to facilitate the transition to remote course distribution. Students funded by their college or a grant should continue to be funded by that source for the duration of their (EPAF); any change to the EPAF must be approved by the Dean of their college and agreed to by the AVP for research and Provost. Please think creatively as to how research students can be productive and advance their research if they work remotely, including by the normal research-related activities listed above. For additional questions, please contact the Graduate School