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Employee issues related to influenza 

The following FAQs are provided by Human Resources as a means of supplying general information about employee issues related to H1N1.  Questions about specific circumstances should be directed to 740-593-1636. 

Ohio University is basing its H1N1 planning directly on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.  Those recommendations are subject to change and could affect Ohio University's approach to H1N1 employee-related matters.  All Ohio University employees are encouraged to watch for updates on the university's H1N1 Web site.

I have an employee who is ill and has come into work. I'm concerned they may have influenza and will expose others to the virus. Can I send this employee home?

Yes. You can send an employee home who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms. But prior to taking this action, please consult with Human Resources. While each case must be considered separately, employees with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough should be sent home. Other symptoms of concern are coughing and sneezing.

Can I come to work if I have flu-like symptoms?

Please refrain from coming to work if you have flu-like symptoms.  The Centers for Disease Control recommends 'if you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.'

In the event that you must stay home because of flu-like symptoms, you will be required to use your sick leave and if you have exhausted your sick leave, you may choose to use other accrued time available to you, i.e., vacation, compensatory time, or personal days. If you do not have other accrued time available to you, then you may take Unpaid Medical Leave. Supervisors should contact UHR for partial week absences for administrators who have exhausted all accrued time.

If I am absent from work because of flu-like symptoms, when can I return to work?

You can return to work as early as 24 hours after you are free of fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication. In order to return to work, your supervisor may, after consultation with UHR, require you to provide a release completed by your personal health care provider indicating you have been medically cleared to return to work. Please consult with your supervisor about the necessity of providing a release. Hudson Health Center will not be providing return to work clearances for employees who have contracted the flu.

Can employees in high-risk health categories request to go home?

The university is using the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to respond to the H1N1 influenza.  Based on the extent and severity of H1N1 flu-related illnesses at this time, the CDC has not recommended that people at high risk of flu complications stay home while flu is circulating in the community.

If you are concerned about your level of risk, consult with your doctor.  If, after consulting with your doctor, you believe you are at high risk for complications and want to request to remain at home, contact University Human Resources to discuss your options.

If I am sent home, or stay home from work due to illness, how will I be paid?

Different options are available depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities and the extent of your illness.  Some possible options are:

  • Use accrued leave; for example, sick, vacation, compensatory, or personal days.

  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval.  The University's workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Saturday.  Please call Payroll at 740-593-1658 for information regarding the University's work week.

During the H1N1 outbreak, can my supervisor cancel my vacation or personal days request that has already been approved?

Yes. Your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved leave request, especially in circumstances where there are serious staffing shortages as a result of illness.

My child's school/day care is closed due to an incident of Influenza A (H1N1), and my child is not sick. I have no other childcare arrangements. Can I bring him to work with me?

No.  Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable -- and in many work areas, it is prohibited.  With supervisory approval, you may use vacation, compensatory time (if applicable), or a personal day to stay home with your child.

Can employees be assigned to work from home or another work location?

Yes.  In an H1N1 outbreak, employees can have their work location temporarily changed to another location on campus, or in some cases, to their homes. The supervisor will determine whether working at home is feasible or if an on-campus location is more appropriate.  Employees temporarily assigned to another location should be returned to their normal work place as soon as possible, consistent with operational needs.

Do the university's health plans cover seasonal flu vaccines and the H1N1 vaccine?

The university's Anthem PPO health plan for Faculty, Administrators, F.O.P. members, and Classified Staff covers both the flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine at 100% for PPO network providers, and 70% for non-network providers for employees and family members.  AFSCME union members are also covered due to a special agreement between the University and AFSCME.

If your health care provider charges for an office visit when obtaining your vaccine, you will be responsible for the normal office visit copay for network providers, and deductible and other plan limits for non-network providers.  It is the decision of each health care provider whether or not to charge for an office visit.

If a physician's office or other health care provider requires up front payment for a vaccine, the employee should request an itemized statement from the provider. The statement can then be submitted to Anthem for reimbursement.  Anthem forms are available in the forms section of the Human Resources Web site.

Employees and their family members are encouraged to obtain flu vaccines as soon as possible.