The Office of Human Resources has put together detailed guidance for supervisors on COVID-19 precautions, the applicability of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), use of sick time, prohibiting employees from coming to work, and sending people home. Generally, supervisors should encourage employees to stay home when sick, discourage public conversations about the health status of any employee, and continue to follow all applicable laws and policies.
OHR stresses the following guidance:
Supervisors should NOT:
- Ask employees to disclose their personal health status or medical conditions.
- Discuss, question or list concerns regarding an employee’s symptoms or perceived medical condition publicly or in open spaces.
- Threaten an employee’s employment status based upon recent travel or based upon their exposure to somebody who is returning from travel.
- Assume an employee has contracted COVID-19 upon return from travel. However, it is appropriate to explain to the employee that they should call MyHealth@Work for guidance and resources prior to returning to the office. Explain to the employee that it is recommended that they practice social distancing, even if they are asymptomatic, for up to 14 days. Also, encourage a remote working arrangement during this period if possible.
- Discourage interoffice conversations that include negative comments about colleagues that blame them for the spreading of contagion, assume someone has COVID-19, mock those who have COVID-19 and/or disclose the personal health status and medical conditions of others.
- Send an employee home if they are exhibiting observable symptoms and/or behaviors in alignment with a severe cold, flu or COVID-19 or are otherwise “under the weather” in a manner that impacts their ability to successfully perform their duties.
- Explain to employees that the guidelines to request to utilize sick leave and/or file a claim or report off under FMLA still apply. If an employee is unwell and/or required to practice social distancing and unable to work, they should use sick time.
- Require employees that are returning from FMLA approved leave to provide their department with a Medical Release to Full Duty.
- Maintain any information in connection with an employee request for leave based upon a medical condition confidential in compliance with HIPAA requirements, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Encourage a healthy workplace by promoting and requesting that employees adopt infection control practices in the workplace.
- Refer to the University's Public Safety and Emergency Management Services website for more information.
For additional guidance for staff, faculty, students, and other University members, visit Pitt's COVID-19 website.
Thank you for your attention to and adherence of this guidance. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact us.