Supervisor Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19
The University is sustaining operations and at this time, supervisors should implement plans to socially distance their workforce utilizing telecommuting, alternate work shift, days, hours and have limited staff on campus no later than March 23, 2020.
The Governor’s reference to “some State employees” refers to executive branch employees and does not include employees of Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) institutions
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.
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.
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.
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.
The decision has been delegated to departments and may be started immediately. For at-risk employees, the sooner the better.
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.
Yes, and we encourage supervisors to be as flexible as possible.
Employees can work from any alternative work site that allows them to perform the duties of their position.
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.
In the case of a Graduate Assistant(s), 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.
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.
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.
Yes, Governor Laura Kelly announced four (4) provisions on March 13, 2020 that are effective immediately and for the next 60 days. Yes, Governor Laura Kelly announced four (4) provisions on March 13, 2020 that are effective immediately and for the next 60 days.
- 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.
- SEHP will allow early refills on 30 or 90-day prescription medications and/or allow members to use their mail order benefit.
- 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.
- 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.,
- 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.
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.
Employees should follow current applicable call-in procedures for their department and should use available leave to cover time away from 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.
We ognize 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.
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 email@example.com.
Contact Human Resources Talent Acquisition for guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org. HR will work with search committees faced with this issue on a case-by-case basis.
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.
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.
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.
Units can allow the individual to delay their start date or look at telework options if appropriate. Contact HR Talent Acquisition at email@example.com for assistance or if an adjustment to an offer letter may be needed.
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.
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.