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COVID-19: Employee Information


Do employees have access to insurance and benefits related to COVID-19?  (updated 9/13/21)

For updates related to how Blue Cross Blue Shield is supporting its members, visit https://www.bluekc.com/consumer/covid/index.html.

Can I require an employee to go home (or stay home) if he or she is sick?  (updated 9/8/21)

Employees who show signs of illness can be asked to leave the workplace and stay at home until they are free of symptoms. Employees should use accrued leave when they are away from work for an illness.

Can I ask an employee if he or she has the coronavirus?  (updated 7/1/21)

In general, employers can ask an employee how he or she is feeling but should not inquire about a specific illness as that could rise to the level of a disability-related inquiry under the ADA.

What should I do if I’m a faculty member and need to quarantine or isolate?  (updated 7/1/21)

Faculty members who must isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 or need to quarantine due to being a contact of a positive case should work with their department chair or school director to move courses to remote status temporarily.

If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, or suspects they have it, do I need to let the exposed employees know they are at risk?   (updated 7/1/21)

If an employer learns of an employee’s medical condition, such as a diagnosis of the coronavirus, the employer may not share this information. Under the confidentiality provisions of ADA, FMLA, and WC, only those who “need to know” may know about the diagnosis. It may be difficult to demonstrate that, for example, a line manager “needed to know” the employee’s specific diagnosis. Instead, the line manager likely only needs to know the employee will be on a leave of absence and not able to work.

Therefore, employers should keep an employee’s medical condition and diagnosis confidential and private unless there are true health and safety circumstances deemed by the Department of Health. It is always the employee’s right to release and share their own medical condition information.

Employers may educate employees on how they can best protect themselves and what steps employees should take if they were exposed or experience symptoms. The local health department will conduct a trace and contact employees who may have been exposed and need to be quarantined. 

How should employees and departments track expenses impacted by COVID-19?  (updated 7/1/21)

In alignment with federal and state guidelines and processes, Northwest is approving and tracking purchases related to COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The University has provided a PowerPoint with instructions and a financial tracking form for employees to use. To access these tools, log in to MyNorthwest, click the Employee Resources tab and then look for the expense tracking links within the Tools module.