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FAQs

Q. Why did WVU create the special emergency leave with pay plan?
A. This plan is a part of our efforts to further protect the health and well-being of WVU’s campus community in response to COVID-19. The plan is meant to address concerns some faculty and staff may have about their leave and encourage them to stay home if they are sick. This plan also is designed to help minimize any potential financial hardships faculty and staff may face as a result of COVID-19.

Q. What are alternative work arrangements?
A. Given the restrictions regarding on-campus operations, every opportunity to develop an alternative work assignment should be considered before submitting a request for special emergency leave with pay.

Duties and responsibilities may be temporarily altered to support alternative work assignments. Examples of alternative work assignments include:
  • Telework, webinars, development and training;
  • Alternative shifts; and
  • Policy reviews/operational improvements.

Talent and Culture will post resources and ideas that may be used for alternative work assignments. Supervisors also may contact their HR Partner for advice. Supervisors also should work with their HR Partner to properly document the alternative work assignment, if one is given.

Q. If I am working remotely (e.g., at home) on an alternative work assignment, will I be covered by workers’ compensation?
A. Employees on WVU payroll are covered by workers’ compensation if injured in the course of performing official duties at the remote location. Appropriate and prompt reporting is required.

Q. If I am working remotely or in limited situations on-campus, do I still need to submit annual or sick leave if I plan to be off work?
A. If you are a leave-eligible employee and your time off is unrelated to COVID-19, you still will follow standard University rules, polices and procedures, including the requirements to submit annual and sick leave for authorized absences.

Q. If I need to be off work due to illness or injury for more than five consecutive days unrelated to COVID-19, will I still be required to provide medical documentation?
A. Yes. You still will need to follow all of the medical leave requirements established by University rules, policies, procedures and practices. Medical documentation should be submitted via email to medicalmanagement@mail.wvu.edu. A picture of your medical documentation taken by smart phone or other methods can be accepted by email.

Q. If I am working remotely, how do I submit a leave request or time worked?
A. All non-exempt, hourly staff should continue to record their time worked in MyTime and all leave-eligible faculty and staff should submit leave requests as normal. If working remotely, faculty and staff can access MyTime and the leave request system through Information Technology ServicesVirtual Private Network (VPN) service.

If you cannot access a time clock, you can record your time on a paper timesheet and submit it to your supervisor for approval. The paper timesheet also can be provided by WVU Shared Services.

Q. If I need to submit a leave request or enter time worked but I am unable to do so remotely, what should I do?
A. Supervisors may enter the time worked directly on the time card or submit leave requests for faculty and staff who do not have remote access. The supervisor should record the actual hours worked or the staff member’s normal schedule for the day on the time card, whichever is greater. The employee should not have fewer hours on their time card for the day than they are scheduled to work.

Shared Services will assist supervisors in entering time and leave requests for employees if they cannot access MyTime or the leave request system remotely. Contact Shared Services at SSC-TimeCollection@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-6006 and ask to speak to Time Collection for assistance.

Q. Who will administer the special emergency leave with pay plan?
A. Talent and Culture will be responsible for the overall administration of the special emergency leave with pay plan.

Q. Does the special emergency leave with pay plan apply to every campus?
A. Yes. The plan applies to West Virginia University (i.e., Morgantown campus, Health Sciences Center (HSC), HSC Charleston Division, HSC Eastern Division, Extension Services) West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and West Virginia University Potomac State College (collectively the “University”). WVU Research Corporation and WVU Innovation Corporation employees also are included as part of the plan.

Q. Who is eligible for special emergency leave with pay?
A. Benefits- and non-benefits-eligible Classified Employees, Non-Classified Employees, Faculty, and any other employee positions of the West Virginia University Board of Governors (collectively “faculty and staff”) will be eligible for the benefits outlined in the plan.

Q. Are graduate assistants and student workers eligible for special emergency leave with pay?
A. Student employees, federal work study, or graduate student assistants (i.e., teaching assistants, research assistants, service assistants) will not be eligible for the benefits outlined in the plan.

Q. How long will faculty and staff be eligible for special emergency leave with pay?
A. This plan will remain in place until the emergency has ended or 90 calendar days from implementation, whichever occurs first. The President or his/her designee will secure additional approval from the Board of Governors if the plan requires extension beyond 90 calendar days.

Q. Does the special emergency leave with pay plan have maximum limits?
A. The initial approval for special emergency leave with pay is limited to up to 75 hours for faculty and staff on active appointments, prorated by full-time equivalency (FTE). The use of special emergency leave with pay should be the minimum necessary, and additional hours may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Special emergency leave with pay may be cancelled if the reasons supporting approval have resolved.

Q. If I end employment with the University what will happen to any special emergency leave that has been approved for me?
A. Special emergency leave with pay is contingent upon continued employment and may not be transferred to another West Virginia state agency. If the services of a faculty or staff member have terminated, all special emergency leave with pay credited to the faculty or staff member shall be considered cancelled as of the last day of employment, and no reimbursement or credit shall be provided.

Q. How do I request special emergency leave with pay?
A. Faculty and staff first should have a conversation with their supervisors to determine if an alternative work arrangement is possible. If an alternative work arrangement is not possible, the supervisor should submit a request form for special emergency leave with pay, after consultation with their HR Partner.

Q. Will my supervisor need to submit another request form for special emergency leave if I need additional leave?
A. Yes. If you need additional leave beyond what was originally approved, your supervisor will need to submit another request form.

Q. What are the reasons to request special emergency leave with pay?
A. Faculty and staff may request to use special emergency leave in instances where an alternative work arrangement is not possible AND also in the following instances:

  • The employee or a member of their immediate family has had exposure to COVID-19, displays symptoms of the disease or is in self-quarantine.
  • The employee or a member of their immediate family has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and is recuperating.
  • The employee or a member of their immediate family is considered vulnerable (i.e., older adults and individuals who have serious chronic medical condition) to becoming very sick if they contract COVID-19.
  • The employee is pregnant or has a spouse or member of their household who is pregnant.

Q. What is the definition of immediate family member?
A. Immediate family means father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, granddaughter, grandson, stepmother, stepfather, step children, or others considered to be members of the household and living under the same roof.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay related to suspected exposure or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, do I need to provide medical documentation or return to work documentation?
A. Medical documentation related to COVID-19 illness and subsequent returns to work may be required based on current advice from local and state public health and safety officials. As testing becomes available, the University may modify the requirements for those who seek to take advantage of special emergency leave with pay.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay, will I need to exhaust my annual and sick leave first?
A. No. You will not be required to exhaust your annual and sick leave.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay, will I still accrue annual and sick leave?
A. Yes. Since you will continue on payroll as an active employee, you still will be eligible to accrue annual and sick leave.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay, will I still be eligible for holidays?
A. Yes. Since you will continue on payroll as an active employee, you still will be eligible for holidays.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay, what will happen to my other benefits, such as health insurance?
A. Since you will continue on payroll as an active employee, your health insurance premiums will be deducted via standard payroll deductions.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay and I have previously approved annual leave, sick leave, floating holiday or compensatory time-off (CTO) for the same days, what should I do?
A. Please work with your supervisor to cancel all approved annual leave, sick leave, floating holiday hours or CTO that is scheduled to occur during your approved special emergency leave with pay.

Q. My current faculty or staff position is not eligible for benefits or leave, can I request special emergency leave with pay?
A. Special emergency leave with pay is available for faculty and staff who are not usually leave- or benefits-eligible, subject to approval. Any special emergency leave with pay will be based on your current active appointment and will be prorated by FTE.

Q. If I am currently on approved medical leave that is not related to COVID-19, am I eligible for special emergency leave with pay?
A. Only absences that are related to COVID-19 are eligible for special emergency leave with pay. Faculty and staff on approved medical leaves for reasons other than COVID-19 will continue to follow standard University rules, policies and procedures related to medical leave, sick leave, catastrophic leave, etc.

Q. If I am currently on medical leave or plan to take medical leave that is unrelated to COVID-19, how do I submit medical documentation?
A. Medical documentation should be submitted via email to medicalmanagement@mail.wvu.edu. A picture of your medical documentation taken by smart phone or other methods can be accepted by email.

Q. If I am approved for special emergency leave with pay, will this be considered an authorized absence?
A. Yes. Approval and use of special emergency leave with pay will be considered an authorized absence. However, please work with your supervisor to follow the proper procedure and instructions to authorize the absence.

Q. Where can I find more information about special emergency leave with pay?
A. Faculty and staff should visit the Talent and Culture website or contact their HR partner for more information on the special emergency leave with pay plan.

Q. Who do I contact if I have additional questions related to COVID-19 and Talent and Culture rules, policies, procedures or practices?
A. If you have additional questions, please email coronavirushr@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-8540.

Q. Where can I find more information about WVU’s response to COVID-19?
A. For more information, please visit coronavirus.wvu.edu or submit questions to coronavirus@mail.wvu.edu.