Staying Home When Ill and Potential Exposure

Employees with respiratory symptoms must stay at home.  Those who feel well enough to work and are able to perform their job duties remotely, may continue to work.  If employees are unable to work due to illness, the University provides  paid sick time and other compensation benefits. Employees can review the full sick leave policy in Volume 3 of the University’s policy manual. 

During an infectious disease outbreak, it is critical that employees  not report to work while they are ill and/or experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever and chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting,  and/or diarrhea.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are awaiting test results, or are experiencing symptoms should isolate and contact their healthcare provider if necessary. In any of these scenarios, an employee should contact Michelle Stauss, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at 973-618-3555 or mstauss@caldwell.edu and await instruction from Human Resources based on current local health department guidelines. In the event Michelle is unavailable, Jennifer Cannon, Senior HR Generalist can be reached  at 973-618-3405 or jcannon@caldwell.edu

Employees who feel healthy but who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also contact Michelle Stauss, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, and await instruction from Human Resources that will be based on current local health department guidelines.In the event Michelle is unavailable, Jennifer Cannon should be contacted. 

 Employees who report to work ill will be sent home in accordance with these health guidelines.

A. Requests for Medical Information and/or Documentation 

If an employee is out sick or shows symptoms of being ill, it may become necessary for a Human Resources representative to request information from the employee and/or the healthcare provider. In general, HR would request medical information to confirm an employee’s need to be absent, to show whether and how an absence relates to the infection, and to know that it is appropriate for the employee  to return to work. As always, we expect and appreciate the employee’s cooperation if and when medical information is sought.

Our usual sick pay policies are applicable and depending on the circumstances, employees may be eligible for additional sick pay and/or a leave of absence under state or federal law. The following documentation may be required:

  1.   the name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order, or
  2.   the name of the health care provider who advised you to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  3.   the name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order to which the individual being cared for is subject, or
  4.   the name of the health care provider who advised the individual being cared for to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  5.   other documentation to determine whether a medical condition may impair your ability to perform your job or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Sick pay and/or leave benefits may be sequenced at your choice.

Please note that this policy does not supersede any other Company policy relating to sick leave, payment of wages, proving benefits or leaves of absence. 

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact Jennifer Cannon, Senior HR Generalist at jcannon@caldwell.edu or 973-618-3405.

B. Confidentiality of Medical Information 

Our policy is to treat any medical information as a confidential medical record. In furtherance of this policy, any disclosure of medical information is in limited circumstances with supervisors, managers, first aid and safety personnel, and government officials as required by law.

C. Exposure or Potential Exposure

 

1. Contact Tracing

 

The Offices of Human Resources and Health Services will work with the local health department to determine appropriate next steps in the event it is suspected or confirmed that an employee, student or visitor has contracted COVID-19.  Actions will include notifying contacts of their possible exposure to COVID-19 on the campus while maintaining the confidentiality of the potentially infected individual. In an effort to facilitate contact tracing, employees will be asked to complete a daily electronic questionnaire before leaving campus for the day indicating with whom they were in close contact (less than six feet apart) for extended periods of time (longer than 15 minutes) and which buildings they visited.  Employees will be responsible for completing this survey on behalf of any guests they bring to campus. Guests are to be approved under the University’s visitor policy. Seating charts and attendance records will be maintained in each classroom.

The University will have an ongoing response team from multiple departments including Athletics, Human Resources, Student Life, Residence Life, Campus Safety, and the Wellness Center who will be trained in contact tracing. Students studying Public Health Education may also participate after taking the Johns Hopkins contact tracing course. This team will assist the University community in identifying those who may have been exposed to Covid-19 in the event there is a delay from the health department in providing contact tracers to the University.

For more information on the importance of contact tracing please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html

2. Cleaning Protocols:

If it has been fewer than seven (7) days since the employee  has been in the workplace the University will:

  • Close off areas that have been used by the sick person for long periods of time (e.g., a  desk or workstation). 
  • Wait 24 hours (or as long as possible), then clean and disinfect  the area.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation during the waiting period. 

In the event it is suspected or confirmed an employee has COVID-19 and it has been more than seven (7) days since the employee  has been in the workplace the University will perform additional cleaning as necessary.