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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

Supervisor’s Responsibilities

Supervisor’s have the added responsibility of ensuring their team members remain engaged, productive, and safe during COVID-19.

  • Ensure all staff members are aware of the parameters and protocols and are following the parameters and protocols.  Coach and counsel team members who may become complacent and let their guard down.
  • Be sensitive to an employee’s personal health and/or family situation that may require the employee to use leave or telecommute.  Reach out to a human resources representative for guidance.
  • Promote resources available to employees to support their general well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare my team to return to normal operations?

In addition to the “Employee Responsibilities” of training, understanding confirmation, and self-monitoring, supervisors have additional responsibilities,

As the scientific research evolves and public health recommendations change, the University will update its guidance on COVID-19 accordingly.

What to do if an employee discloses they tested positive for COVID-19, resides with someone who tested positive, or has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated?

If on campus, the employee should be discretely separated from others and sent home. If not on campus, the individual should be advised to stay at home. The employee should be asked to identify 1) any persons in our university community with whom they had contact with recently before the onset of symptoms, and 2) any areas of campus they visited during that time.

As you engage the employee, show empathy but do not provide medical advice.

If the employee has yet to be tested, advise the employee that they may contact the physicians at University Health Services for questions, including guidance on treatment and preventive measures to minimize the risk of infection to others. The telephone number for Employee Health is 662-915-6550.

If the employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at a facility other than Employee Health, they must report this result to Employee Health (662-915-6550).

Use provided checklist for further guidance.

May I advise my department that an employee tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes. You are encouraged to provide accurate information to employees about a possible risk of exposure to COVID-19, but there are limits on what you can say. The anonymity and confidentiality of persons with COVID-19 must be protected. You may only disclose that an employee tested positive. You may not disclose the employee’s name, nor any information about their medical condition, treatment, or prognosis. You may not disclose any other facts or circumstances about the employee, either alone or in combination, that would allow someone to discern their identity. For example, no reference should be made to the employee’s department or title. MSDH handles the necessary contact tracing with the individual infected and will seek additional information as needed.

May I direct an employee with COVID-19 or symptoms associated with the virus to stay home?

Yes, and refer the employee to Employee Health or their physician of choice.  Remind the employee that should they test positive, they are required to contact Employee Health.

If an employee in my department reports being ill or calls in sick, may I ask whether they have symptoms associated with COVID-19?

Yes. You are authorized to make a targeted, limited inquiry about the student’s or employee’s condition to determine if they present a risk of COVID-19 infection to the university community.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • 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
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.  Some people have no symptoms whatsoever.

If you need assistance understanding the significance of the employee’s responses or deciding what precautionary measures the university should take, please consult a physician at Employee Health 662-915-6550.

Recording Time

What if I need to take care of a family member who has COVID-19?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with a maximum of 80 hours of paid sick leave (pro-rated if part-time) for the following qualifying reasons.

  1. subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
  2. advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19,
  3. experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis,
  4. caring for an individual subject to an order described in paragraph (1) above, or self-quarantine as described in paragraph (2),
  5. caring for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, or
  6. experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

EPSL is only available through December 31, 2020, whether or not an employee elects to exhaust the leave by that time and does not rollover from one year to the next. Employees are not entitled to reimbursement for unused EPSL upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.  Learn More

If your child’s school or regular care provider is closed, discuss with your supervisor the option to telecommute.  If telecommuting is not an option, all employees who are unable to work due to caring for a dependent, are eligible for our traditional administrative leave with pay until June 30, 2020.

Qualifying employees may be eligible for up to 480 hours of expanded family and medical leave (“FMLA+”), if unable to work or telework because they must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.  Learn More

What if I need to take care of an individual who is not a family member who has COVID-19?

Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (Administrative Leave) is available to care for an individual.

Can supervisors allow employees to work remotely on a temporary basis?

Yes, temporary telecommuting arrangements are recommended for all employees whose position allows for it and the arrangement has proven effective and productive. These arrangements may continue due to COVID-19 with no expectation of ongoing continuance. Supervisors may approve a request from an employee to telecommute or recommend a telecommuting option for an employee.

All employees have the option to work from home with their supervisor’s approval. Employees and supervisors will need to be actively engaged and clear on expectations.