COVID-19 Reporting and Time Off Work


1. Are employees required to contact the COVID-19 Hotline?
Yes, an employee and/or the employee’s supervisor should contact the COVID-19 Support Program (205-348-CV19) as soon as possible if the employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and/or has been in close contact with an infected or symptomatic individual. The employee will be assigned a case manager.


2. What if I feel sick with COVID-like symptoms, have tested positive for COVID, and/or have been exposed to a close contact who has tested positive or is symptomatic with COVID-like symptoms? Will I be required to use leave time, or can I work from home?
You should call the COVID-19 Support Program (205-348-CV19) as soon as possible to report any illness or exposure. The following information applies:

  • If you can work remotely, then your department is encouraged to permit remote work during a quarantine/isolation period. A remote work agreement is not required for a short-term, quarantine/isolation period. You must get permission from your supervisor to work remotely.
  • If you cannot work remotely or are not approved to work remotely by your supervisor, then you must use your accrued sick leave, annual leave, or comp time to be paid during your absence. If you do not have enough accrued leave time to cover the duration of a quarantine/isolation period, then you will be approved for unpaid leave until you are cleared to return to campus by a COVID-19 case manager.

3. My child has been exposed to COVID-19 at school and I need to stay home with them. Will I be required to use leave time, or can I work from home?
You should call the COVID-19 Support Program (205-348-CV19) as soon as possible to report your child’s illness or exposure. If you need to stay home for childcare purposes, then the following information applies:

  • If you can work remotely from home, then your department is encouraged to permit remote work during your child’s quarantine/isolation period. A remote work agreement is not required for a short-term, quarantine/isolation period. You must get permission from your supervisor to work remotely.
  • If you cannot work remotely from home or are not approved to work remotely by your supervisor, then you must use your accrued sick leave, annual leave, or comp time to be paid during your child’s quarantine/isolation period. If you do not have enough accrued leave time to cover your time off work, then you will be approved for unpaid leave until you can return to work after your child is cleared to return to school.

4. Do I have to request Family and Medical Leave if I have been told to quarantine/isolate off campus by a COVID-19 case manager?
No, if you are currently under COVID-19 protocol with an assigned COVID-19 case manager, then you are not required to request Family and Medical Leave for a standard quarantine/isolation period. Once you are cleared to return to campus by your case manager, if you are still unable to work due to a COVID-19 related medical condition, then you should request Family and Medical Leave at that time.


5. I feel uncomfortable putting my child in daycare. What are my options?
If your child has an underlying health condition that puts them at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, you may request Family and Medical Leave. If you are not approved for leave, then you must continue to report to work.


6. What do I do if I have serious medical conditions which may inhibit my ability to work on campus?
Employees who have a disability and need to request reasonable accommodations must follow the established Employee Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations under the ADA. A reasonable accommodation is determined on a case-by-case basis and designed to assist an employee in the performance of his or her job without placing an undue hardship on The University or posing a direct threat to the employee or to other individuals. For example, a reasonable accommodation may include offering the vaccination or providing an N-95 mask.

Eligible employees who are unable to work can request Family and Medical Leave for a leave of absence to care for themselves or a qualifying family member.


7. Will any remaining balance of 2021 COVID Leave hours be eligible to use during a new quarantine/isolation period?
No, 2021 COVID Leave hours are no longer available for use. The 2021 COVID Leave benefit ended on May 15, 2021. Employees should disregard any remaining 2021 COVID Leave hours reflected in Banner or eTime.


8. Can an employee request a COVID-19 accommodation?
No. All approved COVID-19 accommodations expired on May 15, 2021.


9. What if the number of COVID-19 cases increases in faculty and staff?
The health and wellness of our faculty, staff and students remain our highest priority. The UA Situational Response Team continues to monitor the conditions on campus and in the surrounding community closely in coordination with the UA System Health and Safety Task Force.


10. Who do I contact if I have additional questions not addressed here?
Medical questions, including those related to COVID-19 testing, should be directed to the COVID-19 Support Program (205-348-CV19) or to the Student Health Center, University Medical Center, or your personal healthcare provider. Faculty and staff should direct all other questions to the HR Service Center at 205-348-7732 or hrsvctr@ua.edu. Students should direct all other questions to the Office of Disability Services at 205-348-4285 or ods@ua.edu.


General Employee Information


1. What is social distancing?
Social distancing is staying away from large crowds or congregations of people with the intent of minimizing transmission of infectious disease. This could include, but is not limited to, attending concerts, sporting events, religious gatherings, going to movie theaters or using public transportation such as buses and subways for travel.


2. What are some ways I can social distance at work?
Reduce the duration and proximity of physical interactions with others. If there is a need for physical meetings, the number of attendees could be limited, and the duration shortened. They could also be dispersed to more than one meeting venue and linked up through video-conferencing or tele-conferencing. Where possible, maintain physical spacing for workstations and between seats in meeting rooms. Stagger working hours where feasible to reduce possible congregation of employees at common spaces such as entrances/exits, elevators, breakrooms, etc. Timings of lunch and other breaks can also be staggered.

Additional information about current campus health and safety guidelines is available online at https://healthinfo.ua.edu/guidelines/.


3. Can I purchase a thermometer to check employee’s and/or student’s temperature before entering a building or office?
When considering this issue, the University looked at recommendations from various government agencies and discussed with medical officials. It is not recommended that mass temperature checks be done, except in very limited circumstances, such as areas focused on patient care. Employees and students are encouraged to monitor themselves for symptoms. As such, departments are not authorized to purchase thermometers for mass temperature checking, without special permission.


4. What resources are available if I’m having difficulty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Employees will continue to have access to behavioral health resources through our Employee Assistance Program with American Behavioral. You can reach them at (800) 925-5327. Additional COVID-19 coping resources are available on the Work-Life and Wellness website at https://hr.ua.edu/covid-19-coping-resources.


5. Are student employees eligible to receive unemployment?
Wages for student employees (Work Study Students, Student Assistants, and all Graduate Assistants —Research, Teaching, etc.) are not reportable for unemployment purposes, therefore, these student employees are not eligible to receive unemployment.