Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  409.5

Leave Use for Influenza-like Symptoms or Illness (including, but not limited to, H1N1 Flu)

The original PDF version of this policy is linked from the revised date below.

Faculty and staff who have influenza-like symptoms or illness should stay away from work and other public places for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or above or 38 degrees Celsius or above) or signs of a fever (chills, feeling warm, having a flushed appearance, sweating.) Fever-free means no fever with no fever-reducing medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

According to public health officials, typical influenza symptoms are fever plus a cough or sore throat, but some people with influenza will not have a fever.

When the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas Department of Health or Washington County Health Department declares an outbreak and/or epidemic of a communicable disease, the Chancellor or his/her designee will declare the status of outbreak and/or epidemic for the University of Arkansas campus. Only with such a declaration will the terms of this policy be effective for use of annual leave, sick leave and negative-leave accrual. Upon termination of the declaration for the campus, the terms of the policy will no longer be in effect.

Employees who are away from work because of influenza-like symptoms or because they must care for a family member with influenza-type illness must notify their supervisors or departments, in accordance with the University of Arkansas staff handbook. 

Employees with influenza-type illness or caring for immediate family members, as defined in the staff handbook, with influenza-type illness will use accrued sick leave. If they exhaust accumulated sick leave, they will then use annual leave. If both sick leave and annual leave are exhausted, and H1N1 influenza is likely, employees will be allowed to accrue negative leave balances.

H1N1 or other influenza-type illness would not, in itself, meet the qualifications for Catastrophic Leave. In addition, employees must have at least 80 hours of combined sick leave and annual leave at the onset of their illness or accident in order to qualify for Catastrophic Leave.

Department representatives will enter leave as usual and note on the MB screen in BASIS that the employees or family member for whom the employee must provide care has influenza-like symptoms. As leave is earned, once the employee has returned to work, the negative balance will be repaid from the employee’s accrual. Employees will not be granted leave in addition to the amounts they normally earn. Note that the negative-leave accrual is only available to those employees who or whose immediate family members have influenza or influenza-like symptoms, and not for those who have other illnesses or injuries.

Because public health authorities have advised that people who may have H1N1 influenza are not encouraged to go to doctors’ offices unless they develop symptoms of complications or more severe illness (such as increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, rapid respiration, bluish skin color, vomiting, dizziness or confusion), no doctor’s certification will be required. However, employees will be allowed to accrue negative leave only if they or the family members for whom they must provide care have influenza or influenza-like symptoms. [Supervisors may require employees to submit a signed statement verifying that their absences have been due to having or having cared for an immediate family member with influenza or influenza-like symptoms upon returning to work.]

Reformatted for Web April 28, 2014
Revised July 23, 2013
Updated September 21, 2009