Employee and Supervisor Resources

Employee Resources and Self-Care Support expanding section

Corona Virus Updates from the University of Wisconsin System 

COVID-19 Interim Leave Policy 

Health Benefits and COVID-19 – Information for individuals who participate in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program. 

Telehealth Options 

Health Plan Contact Information and Nurse Lines 

Employee Assistance Program - The University’s Employee Assistance Program (FEI) provides 24 hour, free, and confidential services to you, your dependents, and anyone living in your household.  To learn more about services offered and to find contact information, you can visit the EAP Website. The EAP has also updated their website to focus on providing you information and details regarding COVID-19 and how to cope with stress and provide important self-care during these challenging times.  

Staywell WebsiteThe Well Wisconsin initiative for tips to a healthier you found here. 

Webinar - COVID-19 and Our Response to Uncertainty, Fear and Disruption 

Resilient Wisconsin – tips to feel stronger and stay connected during the pandemic 

COVID-19 Leave Reporting expanding section

For all employees, (including monthly) claiming the COVID-19 leave; this time must be submitted through the “Timesheet” function in HRS.  Please see the attachment to this document. Please note that this is different for monthly paid employees who general submit “Leave Reports”.  An additional consideration for monthly paid employees can be found here.

For monthly paid employees, please note, if claiming COVID-19 Leave you will be required to submit leave for COVID-19 through the above-referenced process AND be required to enter your normal "Leave Taken" or "No Leave Taken" reports in HRS.

Tips on Working Remotely expanding section

Working Remotely While Staying Connected - schedule consistent check-ins throughout the week with your team.  Honor those check-ins and utilize the time to ask questions and receive feedback.   

Managing Stress:  

Productivity:  

Managing Remotely expanding section

In the global transition from academic hallways to home offices, we’ve left something behind: meaningful access to managers.  Here is an article that may help us navigate this new environment:  How Managers can support.

As a manager how do I handle the situation if my employee notifies me that they have tested positive for COVID 19?  Here is an article that provides some great guidance for managers:  Employee tested positive - What to do? 

As a manager, you may find yourself communicating more via emails and text than you have in the past and for some, it may be the first time you are communicating this way.  Here is advice from an article that points out 10 “Digital Miscommunications” to look out for 10 Digital Miscommunications 

If you are looking for some great leadership lessons and have 19 minutes to spare, you may find this speech interesting and entertaining; If you want to change the world. "Start by making your bed".  This webinar informs you of lessons that you can share with your team.  

Effective Communication - Be responsive and available. 

Managing Expectations - Be clear on what is expected of your employee by providing detailed expectations and consistent, timely, and clear feedback. 

Managing Stress in Unprecedented Times 

  • Understand that there is significant and unusual stress on your employee due to the current global pandemic.   
  • Practice patience and flexibility while we all navigate in our new role as working remotely. 
  • Practice Self-Care to manage your own stress level in these challenging times. 
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate 
Frequently Asked Questions of HR expanding section

Can I use the COVID-19 leave for my current Family Medical Leave I have on file?  

If an FML or leave is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic you would not be eligible to use the COVID-19 leave and would need to continue to use your sick leave, or other paid leave available to you.  

COVID-19 leave is intended to be used when employees are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic or the reason an employee is unable to work is directly related to COVID-19.  This includes but is not limited to: employees who are unable to work remotely, diagnosed of COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis, caring for an immediate family member who has a diagnosis of COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms and seeking diagnosis, caring for immediate family member that has been quarantined or isolation order to self-quarantine or child/elder care due to school/day care closures due to COVID-19.  

Please refer to the link for the COVID-19 leave policy….. COVID-19 Leave Policy 

Who is eligible for COVID-19 leave? 

This policy applies to the following UW System employees: Faculty, Academic Staff, University Staff, Limited Appointees, Employees-In-Training, Graduate Assistants (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants and Program Assistants), and Temporary Employees.  Student hourly employees are not included in this policy. 

When are employees eligible to use COVID-19 leave?  Do employees need to be employed for a specific amount of time before being eligible? 

Eligible employees are able to utilize COVID-19 leave as soon as the first day of their employment with UWL.  As of March 31, 2020, employees are able to use COVID-19 leave until May 1, 2020. 

Is COVID-19 leave prorated based on my position FTE? 

Yes, COVID-19 leave is prorated based on your position FTE.   

Up to 272 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) shall be made available to employees unable to perform their assigned duties for the period of March 17, 2020 (3/17/20) through May 1, 2020 (5/1/20).  For hourly part-time employees, the amount of available leave is based on their average hours for a two-week period over the last six months, or over the duration of employment if employed less than six months.  This leave category expires on May 1, 2020 (5/1/2020). 

My daycare closed, can I change the amount of my dependent care contribution? 

Yes, If you are enrolled in the Dependent Day Care Account and have experienced a change in the cost of your daycare provider (e.g. your daycare has closed), you may be able to decrease your contribution amount. Per IRS guidelines, changes due to qualifying life events must be made within 30 days. To make a change, submit a change form to your human resources office. 

My child’s daycare closed, and my spouse is still required to go into work, but I am working from home do I need to take COVID-19 Leave?  

It depends on whether you would need to leave your house to take care of issues that come up with the kids.  It’s expected that with the new environment that we are in, working from home will have some new challenges that we’ll need to adapt to.  Just because you need to assist your child and you must walk away from the computer for a few minutes, doesn’t mean you have to put in for leave.  BUT, if you must leave and take your child to a doctor’s appointment, COVID-19 Leave may have to be used.  For more guidance please refer to the COVID-19 Leave Policy. 

Quick Links & Resources

COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 & Your Benefits expanding section

The Department of Employee Trust Funds is working with state health officials and health plans participating in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program to ensure you receive the care you and/or your covered dependents need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will provide updates on group health insurance benefits and coverage related to the COVID-19 outbreak as the situation continues to develop.

Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about your health benefits in relation to COVID-19.

Can I reduce my Dependent Care Amount since my Child Care Center Closed?

Yes. If you are enrolled in the Dependent Day Care Account and have experienced a change in the cost of your daycare provider (e.g. your daycare has closed), you may be able to decrease your contribution amount. Per IRS guidelines, changes due to qualifying life events must be made within 30 days. To make a change, submit a change form to your human resources office.

COVID-19 UW Leave Bank and Family Medical Leave expanding section

As UWL responds to updated guidelines coming from the federal and state governments as well as UW System, it was announced that the COVID-19 paid leave has been extended through May 1, 2020.  

Our original communication included an 80-hour leave bank for employees who cannot work because of COVID-19 issues including self-quarantine, self-isolation, illness, care of an immediate family member, or child/elder care due to school/day care closure.  Please note the new extension is tied to 272 hours, pro-rated based on the employee’s FTE.

For all employees, (including monthly) the leave must be submitted through the “Timesheet” function in HRS.  Please see the attachment to this document. Please note that this is different for monthly employees who general submit “Leave Reports”.

In addition to this leave extension, UW System has implemented Interim Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 03, FMLA Expansion, which provides additional paid family and medical leave for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency.  For the purposes of this policy, the employee is unable to work (or telecommute) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.  Hours claimed for COVID-19 leave on or after April 1, 2020 count against the 12 weeks of leave available under this policy.  The United States Department of Labor has made available a poster identifying Employee Rights for further information.

COVID-19 & Your Taxes expanding section

Anyone that does not work in the State of Wisconsin and changes their work location should file an amended W-4 with their payroll coordinator at their campus.

Minnesota Residents 
For the employees that are now working remotely, they should file an MN W-4 with their campus.  Once the first paper copy/adjustment has been received by the payroll coordinator, the tax form may be updated in the Employee Self Service (ESS) on the MyUW Portal point forward.  Upon returning to work on campus, the employee will need to change back to the Wisconsin Tax Obligations.  

Send us your forms securely.

COVID-19 & Remote Working expanding section

UWL ITS Tools for Video Conferencing 

Click here to view ITS' email on UWL's Video Conferencing capabilities.  

Working Remotely Tips from LinkedIn Learning
(From ITS COVID-19 Updates)
Almost overnight, remote work has become mainstream. Companies around the world are encouraging their employees to work from home to prioritize the health and safety of their workforce and communities amid coronavirus. Working through this rapid change can be hard and we’re moving quickly to help members get the information they can trust, stay connected to their community and learn how to be more productive and successful in their jobs. LinkedIn Learning Free Resources.

LawRoom Professional Development
Managers: for employees who are working from home, LawRoom does provide remote training opportunities.  Check out the Course Offerings and let HR know if you would like to have a course deployed to your employees. 

Guidelines for Telecommuting
Procedures for remote work may be found in the Telecommuting Guidelines, through UW System Administration. Here also is a memo from President Cross on his suggestions for telecommuting for the UW System workforce. 

Working Remotely Safely (In CyberSpace)
We know that working from home can be new to some of you, perhaps overwhelming as you adjust to your new environment. One of our goals is to enable you to work as securely as possible from home. At this link are five simple steps to working securely. The best part is all of these steps not only help secure your work, but they will make you and your family far safer as you create a cyber secure home.

Tips for Proper Ergonomics for Remote Working

Click here for UW-Madison tips for proper ergonomic working conditions at home.

COVID- 19 & Employee FAQs expanding section

All faculty and staff who can work remotely should do so.

Starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, the university will shift to requiring only essential personnel to report to campus. Essential personnel are determined by the vice-chancellors and deans.

In this context, essential personnel are the key individuals who are required to report to campus in-person in situations requiring extreme caution. These colleagues provide services that relate directly to health and safety, continuity of key operations, and maintenance and protection of university property. If you need clarification about this definition, please work directly with your supervisor, dean or vice-chancellor.

We also have some essential services that fit outside of this definition. Many of you have already made the transition to telecommuting. We are now requiring all employees to work from home unless their presence on campus is required (as defined above). If you are still making the transition to telecommuting, we have established a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19. If you require improved internet or cell access for telecommuting, please work with your dean or vice-chancellor.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, all building access will be suspended for all employees except those identified as essential. Should you need access, you will be asked to work with your dean or vice-chancellor.

Procedures for remote work may be found in the Telecommuting Guidelines, through UW System Administration.

We understand that some staff may need to consult with their supervisors to better understand how to conduct their work under the changed circumstances.

Employee Compensation and Benefits

We are committed to our employees. We are determined to ensure that the modifications to our operations caused by the coronavirus will not impact our existing commitments to compensate and continue existing benefits for UWL employees, whether part-time or full-time.

Your Vice-Chancellor will designate those who must report for work on campus and will have to do so. Those who can work remotely will have to do so. Those who fall into neither category may be asked to perform other functions for their units or to take on tasks elsewhere at the University. Whether or not these employees are able to be re-deployed, employees will still have the ability to continue pay by using the COVID-19 Leave.

Please note, student workers are not considered regular employees of UWL and not eligible for COVID-19 Leave.  

How do my benefits cover COVID-19?

The Department of Employee Trust Funds is working with state health officials and health plans participating in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program to ensure you receive the care you and/or your covered dependents need during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can learn more on their website, including:

Absences during COVID-19

COVID-19 Emergency Leave Benefit. As of March 17, all employees, including wage and temporary employees, are eligible for up to 80 hours of leave if they have been impacted by the virus. This includes employees who are unable to telecommute, employees who have been impacted due to childcare or school closures, or other impacts caused by the COVID-19 response.

My child’s school will be closed for an extended period to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I am unable to work remotely. May I use the COVID-19 Emergency Leave to record my time?

Yes.

My child’s school will be closed for an extended period to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I am unable to work remotely.  Does the University offer any kind of caregiving support?

No. There are local agencies that are also assisting with the delivery of emergency childcare.

If I am a faculty or staff member and I have been directed to self-quarantine by a qualified medical professional or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, what should I do?

If I am a faculty or staff member and a member of my immediate family has been diagnosed with COVID-19, what should I do?

  • Above all else, take care of yourself and your family
  • Do not report to work
  • Communicate with your supervisor. If you are unable to work remotely or your job doesn’t lend itself to remote work, enter your time off in as “COVID-19 Leave

What should I do if I have an underlying health condition or am otherwise high-risk?

Telecommuting is designed to give employees the flexibility to work remotely when necessary and possible. Talk with your supervisor or leaders of your department or unit to discuss options. Procedures for remote work may be found in the Telecommuting Guidelines, through UW System Administration.

  • If you are unable to work remotely or your job doesn’t lend itself to remote work, record your time as “COVID-19 Leave”.

Is short-term disability applicable to COVID-19?

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, short-term disability may apply. Visit the Disability Benefits webpage for information.

What are my healthcare options if I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?

If you have recently traveled to areas affected by COVID-19, seek immediate medical advice if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Either call your local health provider or consult a primary care physician. Your health plan may provide a remote visit.

What if a faculty or staff member appears sick?

If someone is sick, they should focus on taking care of themselves. UWL is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all. Chairs or Supervisors should ask any employee who is ill to go home immediately and seek appropriate medical attention, per CDC guidelines. Please cooperate with Supervisors and leaders of departments, schools, and units who are taking on this uncomfortable responsibility for community well-being.

What if I don’t feel safe coming to work because of COVID-19?

Talk with your manager or leaders of your department to discuss your concerns. Every precaution is being taken to ensure a clean and safe work environment. If you are experiencing anxiety, please contact the Employee Assistance Program

If a building on campus closes and I had been in that building or in close proximity to that closed building, what should I do?

The exposure to campus is low risk.  You will be contacted if there is a specific concern for exposure.

Monitor your health conditions.  If symptomatic, call your medical provider immediately.  It is suggested that you self-quarantine for 14 days.

Is the Title & Total Compensation Project Continuing?

No.  The project implementation will be delayed. 

Working Remotely

Procedures for remote work may be found in the Telecommuting Guidelines, through UW System Administration.

COVID-19 & International Employees expanding section

On March 11, President Trump issued additional travel restrictions related to COVID-19. These restrictions affect all of our non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents.

The Chancellor’s decision to hold classes virtually will not impact their status. The University is operational and your work and their work should continue.

If your employee is in the U.S., treat them the same way you are treating all of your employees.  All UW guidance and policies regarding COVID-19 applies to them as well.

If your newly hired candidate is not in the U.S., please be flexible with the start date. It is our recommendation that start dates be pushed out to May 1 at the earliest.

For up to date information and questions, visit the International Faculty and Staff Services Department.

COVID-19 & GAs, TAs, Student Workers expanding section

Implications for Student Employees

This change in operations will have an impact on our student employees as well. Students who are Graduate Assistants or Teaching Assistants will continue to be paid if they continue their work. If they are unable, Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants are eligible for the COVID-19 Leave

Students Workers may not be able to work during this period, and with no work, they cannot receive compensation at this time.  If financial hardship exists, contact Student Affairs.  

COVID-19 & Chair/Supervisor FAQs expanding section

What is some general guidance for Supervisors?

To protect the health and welfare of our community, employees who are ill or need to care for ill dependents should not come to work, and Supervisors should not pressure them to do so. Chairs or Supervisors are encouraged to provide as much flexibility as possible during this time to help minimize the spread of the illness. Procedures for remote work may be found in the Telecommuting Guidelines, through UW System Administration.

Supervisors also should be mindful of the possibility of stigmatization. Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma. Supervisors should be aware of this possibility and be prepared to address it should it occur.

What assessment resources are available to employees?

Employees (faculty and staff) can:

Schools have announced they will be closed, is there leave available for an employee who needs to care for their child?

  • The UW System instituted an interim policy providing for COVID-19 leave, which covers absences due to childcare needs.
  • Supervisors should consider allowing employees to work remotely.

If my employee (faculty and staff) has recently traveled to a CDC Warning Level 3 location for COVID-19 or to an impacted area of the United States can I require them to work remotely?

Anyone who has traveled to a CDC Warning Level 3 location or to an impacted area in the U.S. should self-isolate for 14 days. Supervisors can:

  • Require that the employee leave the worksite and work remotely, or
  • Require that the employee leave the worksite and use the COVID-19 Leave.

Sick Employees Returning to the Workplace

If an employee exits the workplace because they are ill, they may return to the workplace only after they are symptom free and any waiting period recommended by public health officials has expired. Employees should contact supervisors to ensure any waiting period has expired before returning to work; we will provide links to public health recommendations on the COVID-19 website.

When a formerly ill employee returns to the workplace, that employee and their colleagues may each feel anxious, nervous or fearful under these circumstances. It is important the supervisor lead in establishing a welcoming tone with the employee who is returning to work by interacting with them, making sure they understand expectations of them and offering assistance as needed/appropriate.

Supervisors should be watchful for any signs that colleagues are ostracizing or targeting their formerly ill colleague and take appropriate action to mitigate the behaviors and reestablish a welcoming tone.

COVID-19 & Recruitment expanding section

How are Open Meetings Impacted for My Department or Search Committee?

Can I/Search Committee(s) continue to Recruit and Hire Candidates?

Yes.  We are delaying all on-site interviews until April 10, 2020 - at the earliest.  Search Committees may continue to interview using remote technology for both distance and local interviews.  If the committee deems appropriate, they may also hire without having interviewed the candidate on-site.

Do new employees still have to provide physical documentation for the I-9?

No. DHS has relaxed the in-person requirement.  Read more here.  

COVID-19 & Disease Prevention in the Workplace expanding section

For the most up-to-date UW–La Crosse campuswide COVID-19 information on health, travel, large gatherings and events, and more resources, you are encouraged to check the UW-La Crosse COVID-19 Website regularly. This website is updated as new information becomes available.

Additional up-to-date information about COVID-19

COVID-19 & Workers Compensation expanding section

Worker’s Compensation (WC) is a State of Wisconsin statutory employee benefit program that provides payment of reasonable medical expenses and compensation for lost wages resulting from work-related injury, illness or disability.

Please be aware that Worker’s Compensation claim compensability is unable to be pre-determined. Each claim must be reviewed and evaluated prior to coverage determination, based upon the unique circumstances and merits of each individual claim.

Precautionary measures are taken to avoid illness or the community spread of disease (for example, quarantine, isolation, leave, vaccination, etc.) occurring in the absence of, or prior to, the manifestation of diagnosed occupational illness are not within the scope of Worker’s Compensation.

Please contact Michelle Jambois in Human Resources for additional information or to file a claim.