COVID-19 Leave Entry

March 26 - Update

UW Shared Services has reported that the COVID-19 Leave Bank is not established in the HRS Program.  Please follow these steps to complete the 3B Payroll Process.  

More information will be forthcoming for employees on the monthly payroll leave reporting process. 

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 & 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.  

Can Student Employees Apply for Unemployment? 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, student employees who are facing unemployment should apply for unemployment benefits. Students may be eligible based on previous jobs, and if there is a federal or state investment to expand eligibility, they will have had to apply to get help. Please understand, this is not an assurance of unemployment benefits and UWL does not have the authority to grant unemployment benefits. Benefits may only be granted by the Department of Workforce Development.

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.