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Home > Employee Relations > FAQ Regarding Influenza A (H1N1)

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Influenza A (H1N1)

The language used in this document should not be construed as creating a contract of employment between Indiana University and any employee.  At any time the University reserves the right to modify, change, suspend, or cancel all or any part of the policies, procedures, and programs described herein.  When the University develops new or modifies existing policies, procedures and programs, it will notify members of the University community as soon as possible.

This document will be updated as additional questions come to our attention. Please revisit it regularly www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/relations/H1N1flu-FAQ.html.

General Questions -- All Employees

Where can I find the latest information about Influenza A (H1N1) and the situation at Indiana University and its campuses?

What are the symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1)?

Influenza A (H1N1) symptoms include:

  • Fever (greater than 100 degrees), chills
  • Sore throat, headache, cough
  • Body aches, fatigue
  • Possible diarrhea and vomiting

If you do not have a fever greater than 100 degrees and a cough and/or sore throat, you do not have the flu. If you have any of these symptoms, you are strongly encouraged to contact your primary care physician. To protect yourself, you should practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.

What should I do if I develop influenza symptoms?

To limit the potential for exposure to other people, if you have a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough, do not come to work. Take the following actions:

  • Notify your supervisor that you are ill and will not be able to work.
  • Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
  • Seek medical advice from your primary care physician.

When can I return to work if I have had Influenza A (H1N1)?

The current message from health care providers is to stay home and do not return to work until you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

Are flu screenings available on campus for Faculty and Staff?

Faculty and Staff who are experiencing influenza-like symptoms are advised to contact their primary care physician for evaluation.

I have a Staff member who has asked to wear a facemask when meeting with students (customers, employees, patients, etc.). I’m concerned that this may be off-putting to our customers. How do I respond?

As a general precaution, at this time wearing a facemask is not medically necessary. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that when close contact (within 6 feet) with others cannot be avoided and in areas where transmission of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus has been confirmed, facemasks may reduce the risk of getting influenza, but they should be used along with other preventative measures.

I meet with students (customers, employees, patients, etc.) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

As with other forms of the flu or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Offer the individual a mask if you have one or a Kleenex and ask the person to cover their mouth and nose if they should need to cough or sneeze. And use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe those areas of your work station that the person has touched. There may be situations in which the meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail. Do not hesitate to offer this suggestion if it is appropriate.

I have an employee who is ill and has come into work. I’m concerned about the potential for exposure to other people. Can I send this employee home?

Yes. Of greatest concern is an employee with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough; this employee should definitely be sent home. Other symptoms (coughing, sneezing) may also be of concern; the decision to send an employee home who is exhibiting these symptoms is to be made on a case-by-case basis. If possible, consult with the campus Human Resources office before sending an employee home.

  • In addition, advise employees of the basic preventative measures (practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth with your sleeve if you cough or sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands) and post flu flyers throughout your work areas.
  • For IUPUI, flyers are available at www.iupui.edu/~prepared/.
  • For the other campuses a flyer is available at www.indianauniversity.info.

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 child care arrangements. Can I bring him to work with me?

Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable—and in many work areas it is prohibited. Decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis by the dean or department head.


Time Off and Pay When the Campus Remains Open -- Staff and Temporary Employees

If an employee is sent home from work due to illness, how will he/she be paid?

The following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness:

  • Use accrued paid-time-off hours
  • Use accrued compensatory time (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • PAE Staff may work a different schedule with supervisory approval or if absent for a full work day, may use accrued PTO
  • Work from home with supervisory approval
  • Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals

Temporary employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.

Do I have to use my own paid time off if my supervisor sends me home even though I think I’m well enough to work?

Yes, you must use your own paid time off or request an absence without pay. Depending upon the nature of your illness and your job responsibilities, you may be able to make up the work in the same workweek, work a different schedule or work from home with supervisory approval.

I don’t have enough paid-time-off to cover my absence from work due to the Influenza A outbreak. How can I afford to stay home until I am completely well before returning to work?

To minimize the potential exposure to others, it is very important that you do not return to work until 24 hours after your symptoms are gone, based on the current message from health care providers.

May I choose to go home if I don’t want to be exposed to a sick coworker who isn’t sent home?

Yes, with supervisory approval you may leave work; however, you must use your own paid time off or request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals. With your supervisor’s approval, making up the work in the same workweek, working a different schedule, or working from home may be options available to you.

I’m not sick, but I don’t want to come to work for fear of becoming ill. Is my supervisor required to approve my request for time off?

No. You may request to take vacation/PTO; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request if your department is short on Staff. It is important to educate yourself about the H1N1 virus and its transmission. Visit the IU web sites listed at the top of this FAQ document.

During the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak can my supervisor cancel my vacation time off request that has already been approved?

Yes, your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved vacation request, especially in circumstances where there are serious Staff shortages as a result of illness. Your vacation also could be cancelled if you have been designated as critical Staff due to the nature of your job responsibilities. The term “critical” is the same as “essential” as it is used in the IU Personnel Policies.

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 child care arrangements and must stay home with him. How will I be paid?

Promptly notify your supervisor of the reason for your absence and your anticipated return to work date. In this situation the following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued paid-time-off hours
  • Use accrued compensatory time (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • PAE Staff may work a different schedule with supervisory approval or if absent for a full work day, may use accrued PTO
  • Work from home with supervisory approval
  • Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals

Temporary employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.

Does FMLA apply if I contract Influenza A (H1N1)? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts Influenza A (H1N1), and I must stay home to care for him/her?

If all the following criteria are met and you meet the eligibility criteria for FMLA (you have worked 12 months for the university and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months), FMLA will apply:

  • A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days and
  • Two in-person visits to a health care provider; the first visit within 7 days of the first day of incapacity and the second visit within 30 days of the first day of incapacity or
  • One in-person visit to a health care provider within 7 days of the first day of incapacity and subsequent treatment that includes prescription medication

FMLA information and resources are available at: hr.iu.edu/news/fmla.html

If I must stay home because I have contracted Influenza A (H1N1) (or my child has contracted Influenza A (H1N1), and I must stay home to care for her), how will I be paid?

If the above criteria for FMLA are not met, the following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness or care provided:

  • Use accrued paid-time-off hours
  • Use accrued compensatory time (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • PAE Staff may work a different schedule with supervisory approval or if absent for a full work day, may use accrued PTO
  • Work from home with supervisory approval
  • Request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals

Temporary employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.

If the above criteria for FMLA are met, the following options are available although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness or care provided:

  • Use accrued paid-time-off hours in the following order:
    • 1st – compensatory time
    • 2nd – vacation, PTO, or income protection (sick) in order designated by the employee
    • 3rd – request an absence without pay and without paid-time-off accruals
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • PAE Staff may work a different schedule with supervisory approval
  • Work from home with supervisory approval

Temporary employees do not receive pay for time not worked or any paid time off benefits.


Time Off and Pay when parts of the campus are closed or some or all classes are cancelled -- Staff and Temporary Employees

If the building I work in is closed, can I work if I don’t have the flu virus?

If you are affected by a building or unit closure or cancellation of classes, you will be assigned an alternative work assignment or location if possible. If no alternative work assignment or location is available, the affected Staff employees are to cover the time away from work with accrued time off benefits or be absent without pay and with paid time off accruals, if time off accumulations are exhausted. If an alternative work assignment or location is available and you choose not to accept it, you will have to cover the time away from work with accrued paid-time-off hours or be absent-without-pay and without paid time off accruals, if your paid-time-off hours are exhausted.

If classes are cancelled but the campus is not closed, what options are available for me if I do not want to work?

If your unit is open and you chose not to work, you may request to take vacation/PTO; however, your supervisor is not required to approve your time off request if your department is short on Staff. If your vacation/PTO hours are exhausted, your absence will be without pay and without paid-time-off accruals. It is important to educate yourself about the H1N1 virus and its transmission. Visit the University’s emergency preparedness Web sites listed at the top of this document.


Time Off and Pay when the campus is closed -- Staff and Temporary Employees

If the entire campus is closed due to an influenza outbreak, how will I be paid?

If the entire campus is closed, Staff who are scheduled to work—but not required to work—during the hours the campus is closed are paid up to fifteen calendar days, and they do not have to charge the absence to paid-time-off hours or make up the time. Staff who were not scheduled to work or were not at work because of such reasons as vacation, holiday, sick time, funeral, or leave of any type whether paid or unpaid, will continue in that status and their absence will be coded according to the particular reason for the absence.

How will I be paid if the campus is closed for more than fifteen calendar days and I would have been at work if the campus was open?

Following this initial fifteen calendar days, university administration will evaluate the situation and make a determination whether Staff will continue to be paid without using their own paid-time-off hours. If this pay provision is not continued and Staff must use their own time, the following options are available:

  • Use accrued paid-time-off hours
  • Use accrued compensatory time (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek with supervisory approval (does not apply to PAE Staff)
  • PAE Staff may work a different schedule with supervisory approval or if absent for a full work day, may use accrued PTO
  • Work from home or a different work location with supervisory approval
  • Request an absence without pay and with paid-time-off accruals

I have been identified as a critical employee, and I am required to work when the campus is closed during an influenza outbreak. How will I be paid?

Support and Service Staff, PAO and PAU Professional Staff, and Temporary employees who are required to work when the campus is closed due to an influenza outbreak receive pay for the hours worked plus an additional half-time for the hours worked. PAE Staff are paid their regular rate of pay.

I have been identified as a critical employee, and I am required to work when the campus is closed during an influenza outbreak. If I work from home, how will I be paid?

Staff and Temporary employees who are telecommuting during a declared pandemic emergency will receive their normal pay for the time worked.

How do I know if I’ve been identified as a critical employee?

Department heads have been instructed to determine their critical Staff who would be required to work in this type of emergency situation and to have an internal notification system in place. Ask your supervisor if you have been identified as a critical employee.

If I haven’t been identified previously as a critical employee, but my supervisor asks me to work, how will I be paid?

Support and Service Staff, PAO and PAU Professional Staff, and Temporary employees who are required to work when the campus is closed due to an influenza outbreak receive pay for the hours worked plus an additional half-time for the hours worked. PAE Staff are paid their regular rate of pay.

I have an employee who has not previously been identified as a critical employee, but she will be required to work during an influenza outbreak. How do I designate her as a critical employee?

At IUPUI, a short, three-step survey has been designed to assist you in identifying critical functions in your unit and the critical Staff necessary to maintain the critical function. Go to http://tinyurl.com/5o9lk4 (password oep) and follow the steps to designate the critical personnel in your unit. This information will be maintained by the IUPUI Office of Emergency Preparedness (www.iupui.edu/prepared) and ultimately will be integrated into the campus business continuity plan.

At other IU campuses, contact the Risk Management Office for the procedures for identifying critical functions and the critical Staff necessary to maintain these functions.

I have an employee who has not been previously identified as a critical employee and was not required to work. He was not aware the campus was closed, and he came into work. What should I do?

The campus is closed to all those who are not required to work and the employee is to be sent home. Staff employees will be paid for the day without charging the absence to paid-time-off hours. (This does not apply to Temporary employees.)

I have an employee who was identified as a critical employee, but she did not report to work when needed. What can I do?

If the employee was aware she had been designated as a critical Staff person and the expectations involved with this designation, talk with her to find out why she didn’t come to work as required. If she has a reasonable explanation, remind her of her responsibilities as a critical Staff person. If her explanation is not reasonable given the situation, corrective action may be an option. Contact your campus human resources office.

Can I come into work even though the campus is closed?

Closing the campus is an exceptionally rare event that occurs only in extreme circumstances. It is a decision that is made to protect the health and safety of faculty, Staff, and students. Do not come into work unless you have been identified as a critical employee who is required to work during this type of emergency event. If you are not a critical employee and do come into work, you will be sent home.

I am a Temporary employee. How will I be paid when the campus is closed due to an influenza outbreak?

If you are required to work when the campus is closed due to an influenza outbreak you will receive pay plus an additional half-time for the hours actually worked.


Work Schedules/Alternative Worksites

Does my supervisor have to approve my request to telecommute if there is an influenza outbreak?

Supervisory approval is necessary to work from home, but not all requests to telecommute can be approved. Not every position is suited for telecommuting due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home or operating requirements of the unit.

Can my supervisor schedule me to work hours or shifts that I normally do not work?

Yes, you may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as a critical employee or the university is short Staffed as a result of the influenza outbreak. We will attempt to provide advance notice if possible. Such changes are subject to the provisions of the work schedules policies in the IU Personnel Policies manuals.

If there is a large number of employees who are unable to come to work because of the influenza outbreak, is there a maximum number of overtime hours my supervisor can require me to work?

In the event of a serious influenza outbreak, we all may be needed to work differently to ensure the university continues to function. You may be asked to work more hours or different hours than normal, especially if you have been designated as a critical employee or the university is short staffed as a result of the influenza outbreak. Supervisors will make efforts to permit employees to take rest periods and may use their discretion in scheduling additional breaks for employees working additional hours.


Employee Services

What assistance is available to me to help me cope with the emotional impact of an influenza outbreak?

Indiana University provides resources to help full time Academic and Staff employees and eligible dependents cope with these types of life events through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Call 1-888-234-8327 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.


Health Insurance

Will my IU-sponsored healthcare plan cover medical expenses associated with treatment for influenza?

Yes, you will have the same coverage that is currently available for any emergency or non-emergency illness. For additional coverage details visit hr.iu.edu/benefits/medical.html or contact Anthem at 1-800-345-2460.

Contents:

General Questions

Time off and Pay when campus remains open

Time off and Pay when parts of campus are closed

Time off and Pay when the campus is closed

Work Schedules / Alternative Worksites

Employee Services

Health Insurance

See also:

Telecommuting Guidelines for Emergencies and Adverse Situations

Page updated: 27 June 2013
UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES
Contact Employee Relations: • 812-856-6047

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