COVID-19 Information for Employees

COVID-19 Information for Employees

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The Winthrop University leadership and the Critical Incident Management Team are closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation related to COVID-19 and will provide updates as necessary.

EMPLOYEE NOTIFICATION OF COVID-19 EXPOSURE OR POSITIVE TEST RESULT

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive for the virus, click here to notify Human Resources.

    If you have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, please submit the Employee Notification of Exposure or Potential Exposure form below.

    If you are home, DO NOT REPORT TO WORK. If you are at work, isolate yourself immediately, leave work if well enough to drive or contact a family member.

    Human Resources will contact you promptly to discuss next steps and the need to quarantine or isolate, if applicable.

    Employee Notification of Exposure or Possible Exposure to COVID-19

      • Until further notice, employees will be asked to wear protective face coverings at all times, except when the employee is working alone in a private office.  Specifically, face coverings must be worn when the employee leaves their private work space and in all face-to-face interactions.  Currently Winthrop is supplying face coverings, and other PPE for facilities employees based on CDC guidelines for employees in certain professions.  For their own comfort and convenience, employees are encouraged to bring their own face covering when possible.
      • In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the campus community, all Winthrop employees are asked to practice social distancing, follow CDC protocol for self-care, and wear face coverings while on campus.
      • See the Phased Return to Work Plan for additional information regarding what Winthrop is doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and how we are managing employee concerns.
      • Stay at least 6 feet from other people
      • Do not gather in groups
      • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going into the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
      • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
      • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • At the time of publication of this communication, according to DHEC, symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, coughing, fever of 100.4 °F or greater, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell.
      • If you are experiencing symptoms or are sick, do not come to work.
      • If you become ill while at work, notify your supervisor, GO HOME IMMEDIATELY, CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER, and contact Lori McManus (fscovidreporting@winthrop.edu) in Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness for additional information and instructions.
      • If you appear sick, your supervisor may require you to go home.  (Supervisors should use discretion in determining when to send an employee home, taking into consideration symptoms associated with general allergies and the common cold.)  Please contact the office of Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness for assistance if necessary.
      • If you have been in close contact with any person known to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 DO NOT COME TO WORK.  You must first notify your supervisor and then contact Lori McManus (fscovidreporting@winthrop.edu) in Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness regarding the need to self-quarantine and for additional instructions.  Should symptoms arise during your self-quarantine, you should follow CDC guidance regarding what to do if you are sick.  CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY if your symptoms become severe.  You will need clearance from Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness before being allowed to return to work.
      • If you have been diagnosed with an active COVID-19 infection DO NOT COME TO WORK.  Employees who are diagnosed positive should contact the Office of Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness for additional guidance.
      • If you were diagnosed and have recovered from the COVID-19 virus, contact Lori McManus (fscovidreporting@winthrop.edu) in Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness for clearance to return to work.
      • Known reckless behavior on the part of any employee may result in a requirement to self-quarantine and/or in disciplinary action.
      • See the Phased Return to Work Plan for additional information regarding what Winthrop is doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and how we are managing employee concerns.

    Employees in leave-eligible positions must continue to submit timesheets and leave reports following the submission deadlines on Wingspan (regardless of whether the employee is working from home or not working at all).

    • Employees may use accrued sick leave for COVID-19 related absences if they are not working.
    • Employees are eligible to request up to 15 days of advanced sick leave to use during this time, if they have exhausted all other available leave. Complete and submit the Sick Leave Advancement Request form.
    • The March 23, 2020 communication to faculty and staff includes additional information about reporting work time.

    Any employee, including student and temporary employees, MAY be eligible for emergency paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act that became effective on April 1, 2020.  Please refer to the section on the COVID-19 Information for Employees entitled “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” for information about the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA), including instructions regarding how to request leave under either of these programs if employees believe themselves to be eligible. 

    How to Apply for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

    Employees who are interested in requesting Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) may do so by completing and submitting the request form to hrhelp@winthrop.edu. Human Resources will review and notify employees if they are approved. Once Human Resources approves the leave, employees will then report the hours on their timesheet or leave report as “Emergency Paid Sick Leave”. For more information about the EPSL, click here.
    How to Apply for Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA)

    Employees who are interested in requesting leave under the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) may do so by completing and submitting the request form to hrhelp@winthrop.edu. Human Resources will review and notify employees if they are approved. Once Human Resources approves the leave, employees will then report the hours on their timesheet or leave report as “Emergency FMLA”. For more information about the EFMLA, click here.

    The above leave codes on the timesheet and leave report may only be used AFTER the employee has submitted the form and received approval for EPSL or EFMLA. On the Employee Detail tab in Wingspan, the number of approved hours will show in the Leave Balance section.

    Temporary Telecommuting Guidelines (pdf 280kb)

    Temporary Telecommuting or Remote Work Plan (pdf 142kb)

      In our continuing efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during the pandemic, Winthrop has established a COVID Temporary Accommodation Request form to enable employees to request an accommodation due to high-risk health concerns for themselves or family members.  An employee’s temporary accommodation request may include working from home (telecommuting), changing the physical layout of the work area, purchasing special items (such as a face shield) or other related requests. Medical documentation to support the request may be required.

       

      Employees who are interested in requesting a temporary accommodation due to COVID-19 should submit the completed request form to HRHelp@winthrop.edu. The employee will be asked to engage in an interactive process with the employee’s supervisor and Human Resources to determine if the request can be reasonably accommodated without undue hardship on the University.

    During the fall semester, and possibly for the entire school year, many K-12 schools will be operating on modified schedules, afterschool programs may be limited, and daycare providers will be operating under stricter guidelines. Winthrop recognizes that this will create additional challenges for our employees who have school age or preschool children. The following information is provided to assist employees who need to balance childcare and work.

      Your supervisor may be able to provide you with additional flexibility in your work hours or location.  Please be aware that your supervisor must also take into consideration the needs of the university and the requirements of your job.  They may not be able to approve all employee requests.
      • Modified work schedule (flexible or alternate work hours; employees must continue to work the same number of regularly scheduled hours each week)
      • Work from home (Supervisors and employees must remember that employees who are working from home are required to work the same number of hours each week as if they were working on campus. Work from home must be performed during Winthrop’s regular work hours – 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. - unless the supervisor and the employee have agreed to alternative work hours.  Non-exempt employees must submit a timesheet to accurately record the hours worked and any leave, and exempt employees must accurately report leave as appropriate.
      • Use available/accrued leave (annual leave or compensatory time, if applicable) to cover time during which you are unable to work.
      • Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (see COVID-19 Information for Employees) employees may be eligible for up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave which provides leave for employees who are unable to work, including work-from-home, as a result of having to care for a minor child due to a COVID-19 related closure of a school or childcare center.  Leave offered as a result of the FFCRA is only available through December 31, 2020 (unless the federal government extends the date).  The US Department of Labor FAQs regarding the FFCRA specifically address how EFMLA can be used when K-12 schools are operating on modified schedules (FAQ #s 70, 98, 99, and 100)
      • If other options have been exhausted, employees may request leave without pay.  Requests to take leave without pay must be approved up the chain of command with final approval from the President.  Leave without pay requests will be considered, but the needs of the university and requirements of the job may be such that a request could not be approved.

    Resources for Faculty and Staff

    DHEC PSA: Coping with Stressful Events

    Unemployment Benefits and COVID-19 Changes:

    The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SC DEW) launched the COVID-19 hub to answer questions related to unemployment claims and provide instructions as to online filing for benefits.  Only SC DEW can tell you whether or not you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits and the amount that will be awarded.

    A DEW Fact Sheet with common questions is also available.

    Some of the normal eligibility requirements have been waived in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the SC Governor’s March 19 Executive Order in Section 2. With new federal laws being enacted in recent days changing the normal procedure and awards for unemployment, additional updated information will likely be published in the future.

 

The Office of Human Resources can be reached via email at hrhelp@winthrop.edu for questions regarding this topic.

Last Updated: 9/25/20