Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

HR/Payroll FAQ’s

March 27, 2020

 

The Center for Disease control has found that people at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 include the following:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease

It is important to consider not only the risk of exposure to NCCC students and employees, but also those they come into regular contact with due to living or caregiving arrangements.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries with Level 3 (Warning) health notices, and cautions high-risk travelers against traveling to countries with Level 2 (Alert) health notices. The most up-to-date list of Level 3 and Level 2 countries may be found on the CDC website.

In accordance with this recommendation from the CDC, the State of New York has prohibited all New York State work-related employee travel to level 2 and level 3 countries until further notice. CDC Travel Advisories are being updated and changed frequently. Travelers should visit the CDC's advisories website for the latest notices. View the latest CDC Travel Advisories

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever (100.4 degrees F or higher) or chills and a cough or shortness of breath, call your health care provider and explain your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home. Employees should also notify their supervisor, who will keep this information confidential and will not discuss it with anyone unless that person has a legitimate need to know. Your supervisor will consult with HR to determine when you may return to work.

Employees will need to use sick accruals, if they are unable to come to work. 

Students experiencing symptoms should call NCCC Wellness Center at 716-614-6275.

Information regarding how to prevent illness can be found on the CDC website.

Employees returning from areas designated by the CDC with Level 3 Travel Health Notices will be required to follow CDC guidelines for limiting exposure, including self-quarantine (staying at home) for the recommended period of time (currently 14 days). Employees should contact their supervisor to report their plan to self-quarantine.

Employees in self-quarantine who develop symptoms of illness are encouraged to consult their family physician as needed. Employees with questions related to local health department guidelines should call the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline at: 1-888-364-3065. Be aware that the college will continue to follow all guidelines from state or local health officials.

Employees must report the quarantine on the “Other Time Used” line on their timesheet or leave report with a comment “Quarantine” and must provide a doctor’s note to HR upon return to campus.

No. NCCC can only require this for areas specified by the CDC or state or local public health officials as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission. Individuals with medical conditions, disabilities, or other circumstances that render them vulnerable in cases of exposure should contact their department supervisor, or Human Resources to discuss their options.

CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available on the CDC website.

No. You are not required to disclose whether you have a medical condition that might place you at higher risk. The laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability prohibit NCCC from making these inquiries or requiring medical examinations of employees without symptoms.

If an employee tests positive for the COVID-19, they should contact the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, Catherine Brown at 716-243-0669. This information will remain confidential and the name of the employee will not be disclosed. The Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) will also need to be notified per requirements. Neither entities will provide any confidential information.

If you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State, New York State Department of Health, local Board of Health, or other authorized government entity you may be eligible for job-protected sick leave and compensation through Paid Family Leave benefits.

If an employee has been diagnosed with the virus, 14 days of sick leave will be provided to the employee. Part-time employees should be paid for the number of days/amount of time during 5 or 14 day period that they are required to receive pay that they would have otherwise received had the employer’s operations continued in its normal due course.

Employees must report the quarantine on the “Other Time Used” line on their timesheet or leave report with a comment “Quarantine” and must provide a doctor’s note to HR upon return to campus.

The Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) is the official source of information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 at NCCC or anywhere in the county. The college will work closely with the NCDOH if a notification is needed. 

Per NCDOH protocol, neither NCDOH nor NCCC will comment on rumors of suspected cases or on suspected cases that may be under evaluation.

If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk for COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.

You and your supervisor will determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk. The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties and responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Approval to work at a remote location is at a supervisor’s discretion and Human Resources.

If the employee is unable to perform their essential functions and telecommute, then the employee will need to use leave time (vacation/PTO, comp, personal).

Please contact your supervisor or NCCC Human Resources at 716-614-5951 for specific guidance regarding your personal work situation.

  • Non-essential employees who have received approval from their supervisor are expected to work from home and complete their essential functions in their position. Employees working from home will continue to receive pay. Employees should continue to submit their timesheet or leave report.
  • Essential employees who need to perform essential tasks on campus and are unable to perform their duties off campus will need to use leave time (vacation/PTO, comp, personal).
  • Part-time employees who are non-essential employees with an approved telecommute work schedule by their supervisor, must submit a timesheet in order to receive pay. If an employee is unable to perform their job duties, employees will not receive pay.
  • Employees may be eligible for NYS Unemployment. For more information go to: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/how_to_file_claim.shtm.

You should contact your supervisor who will consult with HR to determine what benefits or leave options may be available to you (i.e. accrual usage, FMLA, or leaves as may be appropriate), and to consider whether there are any alternative work arrangements that would allow you to perform essential job duties or if you can work an alternate work schedule which may include evenings and weekends. Alternative arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis and their appropriateness will depend upon the nature of your essential duties and responsibilities.

As with other forms of influenza (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. Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe areas of your work station that the person has touched and follow good hand-washing practices. There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail.

FMLA will be administered at NCCC by the Office of Human Resources based on the legal requirements and individual circumstances with appropriate medical documentation. Please contact Jonathan Bellomo at: jbellomo@niagaracc.suny.edu.

If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential. You and your supervisor will determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk. The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties and responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

NCCC 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). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

You can also find guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on mental health and coping here:

Employees needing assistance with the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), go to: https://www.theeap.com/higher-education-eap. If you have not registered previously, you will need to click on employee login then register here.

If you have any further questions, please follow up with your supervisor. If you have payroll related questions, contact Patrice Elnicki at pelnicki@niagaracc.suny.edu and for human resource questions, please contact Catherine Brown at cbrown@niagaracc.suny.edu.

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