Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 409.5
Acute Communicable Illnesses: Protective Measures and Leave Procedures in the Event of Outbreak
This policy sets forth the principles the University of Arkansas will follow in seeking to protect students, faculty and staff, whenever possible, from exposure to certain acute communicable illnesses (such as measles, mumps, and some influenza strains), as well as related leave procedures. This policy is subject to all other applicable policies of the University.
It is the policy of the University to evaluate, review and respond to directions and information provided by the Washington County Health Department regarding suspected, threatened, or confirmed instances of certain communicable illnesses among members of the University of Arkansas community that could be transmitted in the University setting.
Clinical guidance relevant to specific communicable illnesses will be issued by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) through guidance obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When responsible agencies declare an outbreak and/or epidemic of a communicable disease with significant potential to have an impact on the University and its operations, the Chancellor or his/her designee, in conjunction with relevant University offices, will inform the UA community and affiliates regarding the status of the outbreak and/or epidemic. Information issued may include required operational and protective measures or restrictions designed to reduce risks of exposure.
- Leave Procedures
When an outbreak or epidemic occurs and the Chancellor declares this policy to be in effect, the provisions will apply for use of sick leave, annual leave, and leave without pay, unless other guidance specific to the outbreak is issued, taking into account the nature and duration of the outbreak and its impact on campus operations and finances. Upon termination of the declaration for the campus, normal procedures will resume.
- Quarantines and Periods of Isolation.
If an employee is required by ADH or the University to be in a quarantine or isolation status for a period of time, and is therefore unable to report to work, but is not ill (no signs or symptoms of illness) or caring for an immediate family member who is ill, when feasible, the University will make reasonable efforts to allow the employee to fulfill job responsibilities remotely. If an employee is quarantined but cannot fulfill job responsibilities, the employee will be charged accrued sick or annual leave or, if necessary, may be placed in leave without pay status, according to Section III.B. of this policy.
- Illness and Immediate Family Care.
Employees who are away from work because of an acute illness covered by this policy or because they must care for an immediate family member with such an illness, must notify their supervisors or department(s).
Employees with an acute illness covered by this policy or caring for an immediate family member/s, as defined in the staff or staff handbook, with such an illness will use accrued sick leave. If they exhaust accumulated sick leave, they will then use accrued annual leave or comp time, as applicable. If other forms of leave are exhausted, and subject to the approval of the President of the University of Arkansas System, the employee may be allowed to use leave without pay.
In some limited circumstances, Catastrophic Leave may be applicable. Any requests to use Catastrophic Leave with regard to an acute illness covered by this policy is subject to general policies covering Catastrophic Leave, which includes that 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.
As applicable, Department representatives will enter a notation in the leave records that the employee, or immediate family member for whom the employee must provide care, has an acute illness covered by this policy. Leave without pay is only available to those employees who or whose immediate family members have an acute illness covered by this policy, and not for those who have other illnesses or injuries.
- Reduction of University Operations
If the University is required by ADH or otherwise determines that in-person University operations must be curtailed due to an outbreak, if feasible, the University will make reasonable efforts to allow employees to fulfill job responsibilities remotely. If an employee cannot fulfill job responsibilities remotely, they will be charged accrued sick or annual leave or, if necessary, may be placed in leave without pay status, according to Section III.B. of this policy.
- Quarantines and Periods of Isolation.
- Protective Measures.
In certain situations in which an acute illness is threatening or affecting the UA community, public health authorities or University officials may give directions to try to contain the transmission of the illness with directives to include required immunization (if vaccine is available for the specific communicable disease), restrictions on University events, operations, or activities, social distancing, or some form of quarantine or isolation for individuals with actual or possible exposure or impaired immunity. It is for this reason that, if the Chancellor declares that this policy is in effect, no doctor’s certification will generally be required for verification of illness, although supervisors may require employees to submit a signed statement verifying the reason for their leave upon returning to work.
- Return to Work.
Return to work for University employees with an acute illness or isolated due to such an illness may be contingent upon one or more of multiple factors to include, but not limited to, 1) vaccination status; 2) results of diagnostic testing; 3) completion of quarantine; 4) absence of individual symptoms for a prescribed period; and/or 5) conclusion of outbreak as to the University as determined by public health authorities.
Revised March 13, 2020
Reformatted for Web April 28, 2014, FPP 409.5 and FPP 409.6
Revised July 23, 2013
Updated September 21, 2009