COVID-19 Human Resources FAQ for Faculty and Staff

COVID-19 Human Resources FAQ for Faculty and Staff

March 13, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

As a number of questions have arisen about faculty and staff returning from spring break, Human Resources has prepared an FAQ.  If you have questions not addressed in the FAQ, please contact your supervisor and/or Human Resources.

With the health and safety of our community being paramount, I urge you to remember that the personal decisions you make about your own health can impact the health of our community as a whole.  We must take care of each other.

Be well,

COVID-19 Pandemic: Information for Truman Faculty and Staff

Though students have not yet been cleared to return to campus, Truman State University currently plans to remain open and employees should continue with normal business operations.  Pickler Memorial Library, the Student Recreation Center, and Pershing Arena will be open to allow employees to work, but will not be open to students or the public.  The COVID-19 Response Team will continue to monitor the situation and will make appropriate changes as the need arises.

Human Resources, Payroll and other administrative offices have received many questions since COVID-19 emerged as a global health pandemic.  The FAQs below are based on existing policies and an assessment of circumstances, as they currently exist. The University will adjust practices as necessary in response to changing circumstances and in an effort to address the safety and well-being of all individuals.  Employees with questions or concerns are encouraged to speak with their immediate supervisor or contact Human Resources at 660-785-4031 or

Q: What if I experience symptoms of COVID-19, or I just don’t feel well, should I stay home?  Will I be paid?
A: If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or you feel sick otherwise, do not come to work.  If necessary, seek medical attention by calling your primary care physician and informing the physician of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility.  Employees who are ill should utilize paid sick leave to cover their absence.  Employees who do not have sick time available should use other types of paid time off (compensatory time or vacation leave) during their absence.  Employees who do not have any accrued leave should contact Human Resources to discuss alternatives that may be available.  Employees should not come to work sick.  As with any absence, employees should notify their direct supervisor as soon as possible.

Q: What if a family member is sick?  Can I use sick time to take care of that family member?
A: Yes, sick time may be used to take care of an immediate family member who is ill.

Q: What if I don’t have any symptoms of illness, but I am concerned about possible exposure by coming to work?
A: If you are healthy and, for any reason, you feel apprehensive about coming to work, you should use accrued leave time to cover your absence.  Staff members may use vacation time, following the normal process for securing approval from their supervisor.  Sick time should not be used in this instance.  While faculty sick time is normally only for illness or doctor appointments, in this situation, faculty may use sick time if they do not feel that they can report to work since they do not accrue vacation time.

Q: If my child’s school is closed or if I need to take care of a sick family member, can I work from home?  What if I have a medical condition that places me in a high-risk group, can I work from home?
A: While normally the University does not encourage employees to work from home, due to the pandemic, this option may be considered if 1) your job responsibilities can be performed remotely and 2) you and your supervisor can agree on a work plan that will provide eight hours of work is performed each day and that regular check-ins take place.  If only a partial day’s work can be performed, the remaining time should be taken as paid leave.  If you are a member of a high-risk group and wish to work from home, you should contact Human Resources to request an accommodation.

Q: If I’m displaying flu-like symptoms, can my supervisor mandate that I go home?  If so, will I be paid?
A: The University is asking employees not to come to work if they are experiencing symptoms of illness.  In the event an employee does report to work sick, supervisors may require that employee to return home.  Employees sent home may use sick or other paid leave to cover their absence.