Frequently Asked Questions for Supervisors

▼   USA Jags Flu Shot Incentive

Get your flu shot today! As an incentive for faculty and staff to get the flu vaccine, University main campus employees who accrue vacation and who receive the flu vaccine by 10/31/2020, will be eligible to receive one day of personal leave, prorated based on FTE. To submit your documentation:

1.       Scan or take a picture of your documentation

2.      Email your documentation to jagflushot@southalabama.edu

3.      Please include with your flu shot documentation your full name, J number, and date of vaccination.

4.      Send!!!!!

Very Important!  You must get your flu shot by 10/31/2020 and email your documentation by 4:30 p.m. on 11/2/2020 to be eligible for the incentive.

For biweekly employees, the personal day will be effective on 11/8/2020 and 11/1/2020 for regular monthly employees. This personal day must be used by 01/31/2021.

University main campus employees who do not accrue vacation may receive a $25 Starbucks gift card as an incentive for getting the flu vaccine.

Free flu vaccines will be offered on campus at the intramural field house from 8 AM until 4 PM on October 14, 15, 28 and 29. You can receive the flu shot on campus or at an off-campus location.

▼   What is the GuideSafe™ Jag Healthcheck and exposure Notification App?

As part of USA’s ongoing efforts to provide the safest possible environment, the University is making available two new tools that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The first of these tools is the GuideSafe™ Jag Healthcheck, a simple health screening tool that must be completed daily by all USA general division employees (not USA Health employees) and all USA students, except those who are fully remote (i.e. not coming to campus for any classes or activities). This daily health screening will take only a few minutes to complete, and will help identify possible cases of COVID-19 in our community. Jag Healthcheck is required to maintain your and your employee's ability to come to campus.

Our second new tool is the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App, an anonymous system which, if you test positive for COVID-19, will allow the Alabama Department of Public Health to notify those you do not know — or cannot remember coming into contact with — that they may have been exposed. Users of the app exchange anonymous codes among their phones using Bluetooth — no location data is ever stored or exchanged, and your personal information is never shared. This tool is strongly encouraged for all members of the University community.

Both of these tools can be accessed through the free GuideSafe App, which is available at the app store for Apple and Android devices or by visiting the GuideSafe website.

In addition, Jag Healthcheck can be accessed directly from any device by going to the website jaghealthcheck.southalabama.edu.

For more information on these tools, please see the GuideSafe section of USA’s reopening websites for students, faculty and staff.

▼   What are the reentry requirements for Student Employees?

Student Employees will follow the same reentry requirements of general Students. For additional information please visit https://www.southalabama.edu/reopening/students.html.

▼   How can I prepare my team for work reentry?

There are a number of ways in which you can prepare for getting back to work on campus, which includes:

  • Keeping up with the alerts posted on the University’s official COVID-19 website  at https://www.southalabama.edu/coronavirus/
  • Encourage employees to communicate with you if they have special circumstances or needs so you can support them accordingly as the situation develops. Human Resources is your best resource for questions related to workplace accommodations.
  • Ensure all employees have access to the Employee FAQs posted at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/reentryfaqemployees.html
  • Support and enforce social distancing.
  • Establish lines of communication to update employees on any operational changes within the department.
  • Remind employees of the importance of treating everyone with respect and address any issues of casual discrimination or harassment as a result of COVID-19.
  • Review and follow the workplace guidelines, available from Human Resources website at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/reentry.html and the Jaguars Getting Back to Work Safely: Reentry Expectations and Safety Guidelines course.
▼   What should I do if an employee calls-in sick?

ADA-covered employers may ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat. Employers must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.

If your employee calls in sick, please follow these steps:

  1. Ask if he/she is experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or 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 (Do not say do you think you have COVID? Just go over the symptoms). The employee does not have to specify what symptom(s) they are experiencing just answer yes or no.
  2. If the answer is yes, then you will ask if he or she has sought medical treatment. The employee does not have to tell you from which physician they are seeking treatment. They just need to answer yes or no. If the employee states they have not sought medical treatment you will let the employee know that you will provide his/her contact information (name, J# and phone number) to Human Resources. Human Resources will refer the employee to the USA Triage/Testing Center and a medical provider will contact the employee.
  3. Remind the employee to stay home and await a phone call from a medical provider. The USA Triage/Testing center will assist the employee in identifying if his/her symptoms may be related to COVID-19 or not, and provide medical recommendations either way.

To transmit contact information to Human Resources please email pandemichrcampus@southalabama.edu Provide HR with the employee’s full name, J# and telephone number. Make sure to indicate that the employee is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms (do not list any specific symptoms) and also indicate if the employee has sought medical care or not.

You must transmit information to Human Resources for all employees that have stated they are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, even if they have sought their own medical care.

All employees that report being sick and having a COVID-19 related symptom must provide you with a medical note releasing them to return to work before they return to work on site.

While the employee is awaiting a diagnosis and further instructions from the medical provider you may approve temporary remote working arrangements. Remote working possibilities will be dependent on the specific position, department needs and the employee's ability to perform all the essential functions of his/her job from home.

Absences due to illness or injury of an employee related to COVID-19, when the employee is unable to telework, should be treated as sick leave.  Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) may also be a possibility. If the employee’s leave is COVID-19 related and he/she will remain out of work for more than 3 business days the employee must complete this form: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/hr/leaveofabsence.pdf. If the employee is unable to complete the form, you should complete it on their behalf. The form must be signed by the supervisor and then forwarded, along with any supporting documentation, to the email address indicated on the form for review and approval.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to your Human Resources office for questions and guidance during this process. You can reach us via phone at 251-460-6133 or via email at employeebenefitshr@southalabama.edu.

▼   What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. For additional information and eligibility please visit https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/fmla.html

▼   What should supervisors do if their department is exposed to COVID-19?

Any supervisor notified by a faculty/staff member testing positive for COVID-19 must send an email to reportcovid@southalabama.edu and notify Human Resources at employeebenefitshr@southalabama.edu.


Information in the email must include the faculty/staff member’s name, JAG number, date of positive COVID-19 test, and any additional relevant information.

▼   Can I approve telework?

The Campus Reopening Committee of the University of South Alabama continues to plan for the return of campus operations with the beginning of in-person classes on August 17th.  At that time, it is anticipated that all campus offices will be fully functioning with an in-person presence. Employees that are not able to function fully and effectively at home will be expected to work on-campus.

Remote working possibilities will be dependent on the specific position and department needs. The duration of any remote working arrangements is at your discretion. The employee will need to submit a written request to you for review. Final approval is at the discretion of the supervisor and the division’s head.

However, employees that have special medical circumstances or needs; or are caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons and are unable to telework; or need a workplace accommodation, will have to be referred to Human Resources for review. An email will suffice to initiate the process. To request a workplace accommodation please have the employee contact the HR Benefits Department at: employeebenefitshr@southalabama.edu.

The University will make every effort possible to provide employees with a safe work environment. Possible workplace accommodations may include: providing an acrylic screen on the employee’s desk to shield the employee from exposure to other individuals; moving an employee from a cubicle to an office to minimize exposure; intermittent work; and/or working a staggered work schedule. Human Resources, through an interactive process, will assist the employee in determining what is the best workplace accommodation so the employee may return to work safely.

Absences due to illness or injury of an employee related to COVID-19, when the employee is unable to telework, should be treated as sick leave.  Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) may also be a possibility. If the employee’s leave is COVID-19 related and he/she will remain out of work for more than 3 business days the employee must complete this form: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/hr/leaveofabsence.pdf. If the employee is unable to complete the form, you should complete it on their behalf. The form must be signed by the supervisor and then forwarded, along with any supporting documentation, to the email address indicated on the form for review and approval. For additional information regarding supporting documentation please visit: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/fmla.html 

▼   If an employee is requesting vacation leave, can I ask if they are traveling and where they are traveling to?

While travel within the Unites States is currently not restricted, this is subject to change as the situation evolves. International Travel for business purposes is currently restricted. Personal international travel may require self-isolation upon return home if the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.

Do not ask employees if they are traveling or where they are traveling to, however, do refer employees to the Employee FAQs. The FAQs include information regarding self-reporting and how to stay safe while traveling. 

The employee is encouraged to self-report international travel to a Level 2 or 3 country—as designated by the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html.

When returning from international travel, and the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, the supervisor may approve telework if it is a feasible option based on the department’s operational needs. Then employee self-isolating will work from home. The employee may be referred to the USA Triage/Testing Center and may choose to be tested to be able to return to work.

We cannot prohibit an employee from personal travel. We must ensure all employees are treated equally and with respect. The University of South Alabama complies with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination, including, as applicable, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Executive Order 11246, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Action of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans Adjustment Assistance Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and consistent with these laws and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other applicable legally protected basis.

▼   What documentation is required for employees on leave due to a COVID – 19 related event?

As soon as possible but no later than 3 calendar days, employees are required to provide the supervisor with a medical plan for the possible duration of the absence. You are not required to gather specific diagnostic information. Please refer the employee to Human Resources for specific medical information. However, the employee must provide you with a medical release to return to work if the employee has reported having experienced COVID-19 related symptoms before returning to on site work.

If the employee’s leave is COVID-19 related and he/she will remain out of work for more than 3 business days the employee must complete this form: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/hr/leaveofabsence.pdf. If the employee is unable to complete the form, you should complete it on their behalf. The form must be signed by the supervisor and then forwarded, along with any supporting documentation, to the email address indicated on the form for review and approval. Please don't hesitate to reach out to your Human Resources office for questions and guidance during this process. You can reach us via phone at 251-460-6133 or via email at employeebenefitshr@southalabama.edu.

If the employee reported having COVID-19 related symptoms and sought medical care through the USA Triage/Testing Center, our Employee Health & Wellness Specialist will send you an email confirmation when the employee is cleared to return to work or you can contact the Employee Health & Wellness Specialist's office to verify the employee's clearance to return to work. Please send an email with the employee’s full name and J# to pandemichrcampus@southalabama.edu. If the employee sought medical care with his/her own Primary Care Physician the employee must provide Human Resources with a physician's statement releasing the employee to return to work. The physician's statement can be sent via email to our Employee Health & Wellness Specialist at pandemichrcampus@southalabama.edu. Our Employee Health & Wellness Specialist will then advise you if the employee is cleared to return to work.

If the absence extends more than 2-weeks absence, or related to caring for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable), the employee will need to apply for a leave of absence. To apply, the supervisor and the employee will have to complete this form: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/hr/leaveofabsence.pdf and submit the completed form to Human Resources. Please follow the instructions for submission provided on the form.  Electronic signatures and are allowed. The employee should not come to work. If the employee is unable to complete the employee portion of the form the supervisor may complete this portion on the employee’s behalf.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. These provisions provide leave pay for up to 80 hours (2 weeks), except for when the employee  is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons where it may allow up to 12 weeks. For additional information and eligibility please visit https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/fmla.html

Any absences of more than 2 weeks will be addressed by the University’s current leave policies (FMLA, personal leave). For additional information regarding the University’s  leave policies please visit https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/leavepolicies.html

For other medical conditions non-COVID–19 related (such as surgery or pregnancy), our usual FMLA policy will remain in effect.

▼   How is the employee paid while on a COVID-19 related leave?

This answer is leave specific. For events covered and approved under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave/FFCRA, the employee’s pay is processed as follows if the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; the employee will receive up to 80 hours paid at 100% of their regular rate of pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total.
  2. is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19, the employee will receive up to 80 hours paid at 100% of their regular rate of pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total.
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis, the employee will receive up to 80 hours paid at 100% of their regular rate of pay, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total.
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2), the employee will receive up to 80 hours at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total.
  5. is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, the employee may be eligible for up to 12 weeks (90 calendar days) at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
  6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the employee will receive up to 80 hours at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total.

A part-time employee is eligible for leave and pay for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work during that period.

It is imperative that appropriate pay codes are used when approving the employee’s timesheet (Web Time Entry):

OFS – use for reason #1, #2 and #3 if the employee’s salary is $132,860 or under.

OFT - use for reason #1, #2 and #3 if the employee’s salary is over $132,860.

OFF – use for reasons #4 and #6 if the employee’s salary is $78,000 or less.

OFG - use for reasons #4 and #6 if the employee’s salary is over $78,000.

OFC - (EFMLEA) use for reason #5 if the employee’s salary is $78,000 or less.

OFD - (EFMLEA) use for reason #5 if the employee’s salary is over $78,000.

For events covered under the Family Medical Leave Act, please visit:

https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/fmla.html.

For events approved under a personal leave of absence, please visit:

https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/absence.html

▼   Does the employee need to use other paid leave before he/she can use FFCRA paid leave?

No. The FFCRA paid leave is in addition to any other paid leave the employee may be eligible for under the University’s Earned Time Off Program (sick and/or vacation). Employees are not required to exhaust any other paid leave before qualifying for FFCRA paid leave. However, employees absent due to FFCRA covered events #4, #5 or #6 may not use existing accrued sick or vacation to supplement the amount received from the FFCRA, up to their normal earnings.

See FFCRA Employee Rights for covered events and pay limits https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/resources/ffcra.pdf

▼   What if the employee needs to be absent longer than two weeks?

The answer is condition specific. Based on the qualifying event the employee was approved for under the FFCRA, he/she may be able to take additional leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (requires the employee to meet eligibility) or under a Personal leave of absence.

For additional information regarding eligibility and application process for a leave of absence of any type, please visit our Leave Policies webpage at:

https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/financialaffairs/hr/leavepolicies.html

For employees requesting leave under the FFCRA for caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, employees may be eligible for an additional 10 weeks under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA). An eligible employee may be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period based on a rolling year for any combination of FMLA, EFMLEA, and EPSLA/FFCRA qualifying reasons.

▼   Is the 90 days, per rolling year, allowed by the FMLA, in addition to the time allowed by the FFCRA?

No, an eligible employee may be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period based on a rolling year for any combination of FMLA, EFMLEA, and EPSLA/FFCRA qualifying reasons.

▼   What are the options for employees caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons?

Temporary remote working arrangements may be approved if the employee is unable to return to work due to a COVID-19 related event. Remote working possibilities will be dependent on the specific position and department needs. The duration of any remote working arrangements is at your discretion. The employee will need to submit a written request to his/her immediate supervisor for review. Final approval is at the discretion of the supervisor and the division head.

However, employees that are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons and are unable to telework; may be eligible for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). To apply the employee must complete a leave of absence request form https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/hr/leaveofabsence.pdf. The employee must route the form via email to his/her supervisor. The form must be signed by the supervisor and then forwarded, along with any supporting documentation, to the email address indicated on the form for review and approval.  

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the campus Human Resources office for questions and guidance during this process. You can reach us via phone at 251-460-6133 or via email at employeebenefitshr@southalabama.edu.

▼   Are employees required to wear a mask at work?

Masks/face coverings will be required for faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, and other members of the University community, with limited exceptions.

If more than one employee is engaging in official University business and riding in a vehicle at any one time, all employees in the vehicle will be required to wear masks. University vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

Mask must be worn at all times inside except when someone is in their private office or lab alone. 

The JagTran services will require all riders to wear a mask while riding on any of its vehicles. The University Dining Hall and retail/Food court will require customers will to wear face masks unless sitting and eating at tables.

The use of face masks is required when there is any interaction among employees, students, contractors or vendors. Two face masks will be supplied by the University on a one-time basis and as long as supplies last; however, employees may elect to wear their own masks as long as they are consistent with parameters provided by the Committee. Specific guidance with respect to masking requirements can be found at www.southalabama.edu/reopening

Employees returning to on site work are required to complete the Jaguars Returning to Work Safely: Reentry Expectations and Safety Guidelines course.

For additional information to reduce risk and exposure, please review CDC guidelines at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fprevention.html