COVID-19 Workplace Guidance

Departments should ensure on-campus staffing levels meet the needs of the campus community. Departments should coordinate with their faculty and staff to identify who must be physically present on campus to perform their duties and determine work schedules. Although we have moved away from percentages, the goal continues to be a lower density of employees on campus balanced with the need to engage and support our students and perform critical business functions.

Please review the following items:

For assistance with leave guidance, please reference the FSU Human Resources Leave Guidance for COVID-19. This document provides guidance for various leave circumstances related to COVID-19.

Please see the COVID-19 Case Response Protocol from FSU Emergency Management for assistance with handling confirmed cases.

To schedule COVID-19 testing, please visit the University Health Services Testing webpage.

Finalizing Department Plans

As you work on finalizing schedules and protocols for your departments, we wanted to provide some additional guidance that may assist with returning to campus.

Your Departmental Plan

  1. Stay Informed: Review the latest information on COVID-19 work-related impacts by visiting FSU Coronavirus News and HR COVID-19 Resources.
  2. Consistent Communication: Continue to check in regularly with faculty and staff. Communicate that plans are fluid at this time and subject to change. Begin preparing employees for the return to campus and be clear about the expectations this shift entails.
  3. Create a Plan: Help your managers make important decisions by instructing them to take time to consider who should return to the campus and in what capacity. Think about the specific job duties that require an on-campus presence. When implementing a plan, get feedback from managers about any barriers or potential improvements that could be made. Remain open to adapting the plan if needed. Remember, the goal is to reduce the footprint of people on campus while still maintaining the business standards of the University and meeting the needs of faculty, staff, and students.
    1. Schedules: Depending on the size of the departments and the types of services provided, there is no one-size-fits-all method. It is up to each department and its managers to determine which employees should be physically present to perform their job duties, and the type of schedules that would allow for this while reducing the spread of the virus. For some areas, rotating in-person and remote days among employees may be beneficial. Some employees may be able to remain fully remote without disrupting business operations.
    2. Alternate Arrangements: Other factors may impact who should remain remote and who should return to campus. Some important considerations include, but are not limited to, high-risk concerns, exposure to COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms, or an adjustment in work hours to balance work and personal needs.
  4. Provide Support: There is a great deal of uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Remember that some employees may need assistance coping with the ambiguity and discomfort of the situation. The Employee Assistance Program is available for free, confidential counseling and has developed resources specifically for managing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19.
  5. Maintain Flexibility: It is important to have a plan in place, but it is equally important to remember that things will continue to change quickly as we continue to navigate this public health crisis.  Ensure that your managers and their employees understand and communicate that we must all be adaptable and open to change. Now is the time to be innovative, resourceful, and receptive to feedback.

Employees Returning to Campus Work Location

  1. Stay Healthy FSU Training for Faculty & Staff: All employees should complete the new Stay Healthy Training. This training provides a wealth of information about COVID-19, new policies and protocols, and information on additional resources.
  2. Daily Wellness Check Screening: Strongly encourage and remind employees to take the Daily Wellness Check Screening before reporting to campus. This application will advise employees if they are cleared to report to campus and notify their supervisors accordingly. The Daily Wellness Check App is available through myFSU Mobile and myFSU portal.
  3. Safety Protocols: Continue to communicate to your employees to follow the safety protocols put into place to mitigate the spread of the virus. The key safety policies include wearing cloth face coverings while in public spaces or where others are present, frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing, checking symptoms daily, and regularly cleaning highly touched surfaces. Emphasize that each person should exercise personal responsibility in preventing transmission of the virus.
  4. COVID-19 Testing: Please strongly encourage your employees to voluntarily submit to COVID-19 testing. The University testing site has the ability to swab over 1,200 individuals a day and can run 1,000 swabs a day through the internal lab. Test results are averaging a 24 hour turn around, and insurance covers the cost of the test. Encourage your employees to visit the University Health Services website for more information and to register for testing.

Thank you for your continued leadership and cooperation. If you have additional questions about finalizing a plan for returning to campus, please do not hesitate to contact HR for assistance. We are here to help.  

Questions? Contact

Human Resources COVID-19 Communications

The following communications related to COVID-19 have been distributed by the Office of Human Resources: 

HR Coronavirus Task Force Zoom Meetings

The HR Coronavirus Task Force hosts periodic Zoom meetings to keep the campus community informed and allow an opportunity for questions. 

Meeting information will be posted here.

Emergency Paid Sick & FMLA Expansion - Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 allows for employers to voluntarily continue to offer the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and expanded family and medical leave as outlined by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). While the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, FSU will continue to provide these leave options to qualifying employees through March 31, 2021. Health care providers and emergency responders will continue to be excluded from both leave options.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Employees may be provided up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time) at their normal compensation rate if they are unable to work because they are quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

Employees may be provided up to  80 hours (prorated for part-time) at two thirds their compensation rate if they are unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Employees are only eligible to take a total of up to 80 hours regardless of the number of qualifying reasons. Qualifying employees should submit the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Form  and any supporting medical documentation or School/Childcare Certification form to In order to ensure timely accrual of eligible leave hours, the completed form MUST be submitted to HR at least two weeks prior to the paycheck date in which leave is being requested

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion 

This expansion of FMLA is for employees who need to care for a child due to either school or childcare provider closure for reasons related to COVID-19. Eligibility is contingent upon a determination by the supervisor that the employee is unable to perform their job duties remotely because of the nature of the duties or because the employee is unable to perform their duties due to having to care for a child for reasons related to COVID-19.

Eligible employees who have been employed for at least 30 days are provided with 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave. The first two weeks are unpaid and up to an additional 10 weeks are paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Eligible employees must complete the FFCRA-Expanded FMLA formand School/Childcare Certification form, obtain signed approval from their supervisor and department head, and submit to

Workers at Higher Risk

As FSU continues to resume certain on-campus activities, the University is taking every appropriate precaution to protect members of the campus community. As managers develop plans for employees to return to work, some employees may request a modification to their on-campus assignment due to their individual health-related concerns that may place them, or someone they are caring for, at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published information on persons who might be at a higher-risk or more vulnerable to COVID-19 on their website CDC: People at Higher Risk.

 The CDC has also provided guidance for those situations on their website Living in Close Quarters.

Supervisor Guidance on High-Risk Employees

Supervisors that are notified by employees of health-related concerns or a request for a modification should ensure communications are appropriate, private, and professional. Follow these guidelines:

  • Supervisors should assign employees to return to on-campus work-based business needs and the essential functions of the position.
  • Do not ask an employee if they plan to request a modification.
  • Do not assume someone will identify themselves as high-risk or request a modification to their assignment.
  • Do not make disability-related inquiries or require specific medical information from employees. 
  • Any medical information that is disclosed voluntarily by the employee, without supervisor prompting/questioning, should be kept confidential.
  • Supervisors may ask about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of an employee and the requested modifications. 
  • Employers should advise employees who report feeling ill at work to leave the workplace and seek medical attention if necessary.

Process for Requests for Temporary Modifications

Employees who request a temporary modification to their work assignment based on high-risk concerns may be eligible for Temporary Remote Work if appropriate, but other modifications may include options for physical distancing (including staggering shifts), alternative work locations, reassignment, modified or flexible schedules, and/or the use of personal leave.

If an employee requests a modification their assignment to return to on-campus work, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Employees must complete the Request for Temporary Modification form and submit it to the supervisor. The supervisor should complete their section and send to within 24 hours of receiving the request. Supervisors should not ask the employee medical questions or collect medical certifications from employee’s health care provider.
  2. Upon receipt of the form, HR will evaluate the employee’s request in relation to the essential functions of the employee’s position and the potential risk level related to COVID-19. All requests must have a specified end date, not to exceed one semester.
  3. When appropriate, HR will reach out directly to the employee to request medical documentation. If the employee has previously submitted medical information within the last three years, additional documentation may not be required. Documentation that will be accepted includes health insurance claim/benefits form indicating a diagnosis, health care visit summary, or other medical records in lieu of a signed health care provider evaluation form.
  4. Supervisors should allow interim modifications to be implemented pending receipt and assessment of documentation by HR when possible. If temporary modifications are not possible during the HR analysis phase, leave of absence options for the employee should be explored. It is important to include specific information to HR as to why you are not able to temporarily modify the request (focusing on the potential impact to business processes).
  5. HR will decide within seven days if the request is approved and communicate the approval/disapproval to the employee and supervisor. Requests that need more information may take longer. Temporary modification requests that are deemed, through the analysis of HR in consultation with the department, to be an undue hardship on the department or University will not be granted. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, temporary modifications and end dates may be revisited by the supervisor and employee.

Note: Modifications granted during the COVID-19 crisis are not permanent modifications or reasonable accommodations as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). If a need exists for reasonable accommodations post COVID-19 crisis or if modifications are necessary for a period of more than one semester, the ADA reasonable accommodation process through the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion must be followed. This process determines whether reasonable accommodations are required and, if required, what the appropriate reasonable accommodations should be. 

On-Campus Safety Measures

There are several prevention and safety steps employees can take to mitigate the spread of the virus, according to the CDC. For full details about these steps and other prevention and safety measures, please review the Campus Repopulation Guidance.

  • Wear a cloth face covering.
  • Continuously self-check for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Maintain six feet of distance when possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Increase disinfection of high touch surfaces.
  • Practice proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.

On-Campus Cleaning and Disinfecting

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, staff will begin to return to campus in phases. Depending on the phase, facilities staff may have a limited presence on campus. While facilities staff will continue to properly clean areas where they are able, there may be times when limited staff results in an inability to guarantee facilities will be maintained on a daily basis in a manner that meets with best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, and in an abundance of caution, employees should proactively clean and disinfect their workspaces to help ensure a safe work environment for all. Every employee plays a contributing role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. For more information, please see the Campus Repopulation Guidance and the FSU Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Resources website.

Remote Work

Employees may continue to work remotely with supervisor approval, unless directed to return to campus, so long as their duties and responsibilities are conducive for such remote work.

Steps for Employees to Move to Remote Work

Communication is key in having a productive remote work arrangement. Approval from supervisors and Deans/Directors/Department heads must be obtained in advance of moving to remote work. Supervisors/Managers should set expectations with employees to build trust and understanding while we all work together to balance personal needs and the needs of the University. For employees moving to remote work, the following steps should be taken:

  • Employees must complete the Temporary Remote Work Acknowledgement and submit to
  • Managers and employees agree upon a set schedule when the employee should perform the work. Flexibility is encouraged as outlined below.
  • Managers and employees agree on the duties and assignments that will be carried out. In some instances, employees may not be able to carry out all of their duties from home, so they would need to work out the specifics of any special projects or assignments that would supplement. Supervisors should ensure the University's functions continue but may be flexible on postponing duties that are not time-sensitive and/or necessary to complete during this period of Temporary Remote Work.
  • A communication plan should be developed so supervisors and employees have scheduled times they can communicate directly. Examples include a daily check-in, being responsive to emails, and a weekly Zoom conference meeting.
  • Employees need to have appropriate equipment and technological access to ensure duties can be completed remotely. Please see ITS guidance on Employee Remote Work Essentials.

Returning from University or Personal Travel to Affected Areas

University Travel

Employee international and domestic business-related travel remains restricted. 

Personal Domestic Travel

Personal domestic travel is strongly discouraged but not prohibited.

  • If employees choose to travel, they should review COVID-19 data at their anticipated destination in order to make an informed decision about their exposure risk.
  • Domestic travel will no longer require a 14-day self-quarantine unless the employee presents COVID-19 related symptoms upon return from travel.

Personal International Travel

Personal international travel is strongly discouraged but not prohibited.

  • Employees who travel internationally or on a cruise should not return to campus until they have been COVID-19 symptom free at their normal place of residence for 14 days.
  • Notify your supervisor if you have:
    • Experienced COVID-19 symptoms
    • Travelled internationally
    • Recently been on a cruise
  • Supervisors can consult with HR regarding the 14-day quarantine period, if needed.

COVID-19 data by state and county can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. This data is referenced for informational purposes and is not intended to substitute for medical advice or your personal responsibility to evaluate and limit your exposure risk.


In an effort to better assist employees who have questions during this time, we have created a Human Resources Coronavirus Task Force. If you have questions, please refer to the contacts listed below.

HR Coronavirus Task Force Contacts
General Questions Renisha Gibbs (850) 644-8082
General Staff Issues Tracey Pearson
Back-up contact:
Julie Ritter
(850) 644-3694
General Faculty Issues Rebecca Peterson
Back-up contact:
Tiffany Ward
(850) 645-2202
(850) 644-0184
Payroll Questions Phaedra Harris (850) 644-7705
Attendance & Leave Questions Christine Conley (850) 644-1978
Communications Shelley Lopez (850) 644-6602

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a useful resource for confidential professional and personal support and can be reached at (850) 644-2288.

For questions regarding students, please contact Tyler Shannon (850) 644-9555. For Academic concerns, please contact to the Office of the Provost (850) 644-1816.

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:43 AM