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Appendix A: Guidance for Supervisors

Supervisors play a crucial role in our continued commitment to find creative solutions, remain flexible, and fulfill the university’s mission while ensuring the health and well-being of employees.

During the phased reopening of the university, supervisors’ leadership will be vital. 

Supervisors must remain vigilant in emphasizing social distancing, hand-washing, staying home when sick, and use of cloth face coverings as needed.

As we reopen campus, be ready to adjust plans based on COVID-19 case data as needed. This paced and flexible approach supports our vision for fall and beyond.

Health and Safety Expectations

As supervisors, it is important to understand the health-related guidance related to COVID-19, both for yourself and for employees. Review this information often with members of your unit. All employees are expected to do the following:

Be Aware of COVID-19 Symptoms

These symptoms are currently associated with COVID-19 infections:

  • Fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills, repeated shaking with chills, and muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

Employees who develop symptoms should stay home, limit contact with others, and contact their health care provider or, if needed, their local emergency room.

Check Temperature

Employees are required to do self-temperature checks before coming to the workplace and to stay home if they have a fever. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit without the aid of fever-reducing medications. Supervisors are not expected to check employee temperatures. Employees are expected to conduct a self-screening before coming in to work each day and should stay home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.

Wash Hands Often

Employees should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, after touching frequently used items or surfaces, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, employees should use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, covering all surfaces of their hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Employees should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice Social Distancing

Employees should maintain a distance of six feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit. Workspaces, classrooms, labs, meetings, and activities should be evaluated and adjusted as necessary to maintain proper social distancing.

Cloth Face-coverings

All employees are strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face-covering on campus. Cloth face-coverings are important in preventing transmission from asymptomatic individuals who have COVID-19. There may be scenarios under which an employee will be required to wear a face-covering, to include those times when social distancing is not possible when interacting with co-workers. We will provide a process for documenting and approving such scenarios, to include enforcement. Supervisors will share the documentation with impacted employees.

Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. You may also wear a cloth face-covering, and these are readily available in the community and from online retailers. Cloth face-coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and must be properly laundered before use again.

Healthcare workers and other employees who are typically required to wear a face mask or other personal protective equipment should continue to use those as directed when performing the specific job functions for which their use is required. Employees in some front line, high-contact positions (e.g. custodial staff) will be provided face-coverings. All other employees will be responsible for providing their own face-coverings.  The University will provide a limited number of disposable face coverings, as necessary. 

Department heads or their designee may request PPE supplies from the Office of Public Safety.  Supplies that may be requested include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. Public Safety will notify the requesting department head or designee when their order has been approved and will coordinate arrangements for pick-up or delivery. These PPE requests do not apply to units with existing PPE requirements for general lab and workplace safety. Lab and other workplace safety PPE should be acquired per normal protocols.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

Employees in a private setting who do not have on a cloth face covering need to always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, or use the inside of their elbow.

Clean and Disinfect Spaces

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily following CDC recommendations. This includes shared spaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, faucets, and sinks. Employees are encouraged to use disinfectant between uses of shared spaces throughout the day. Keep workspaces free of clutter, excess personal items, and other unnecessary items to allow for maximum cleaning of all surfaces. Supervisors should address workspaces that are not properly maintained.

Supervisor Expectations

All supervisors shall do the following:

  • Continue the practice of telecommuting, creative scheduling, social distancing in the workplace, and other protocols established in the reopening plan for their unit. Enforce this plan and regularly communicate with faculty and staff on progress and/or changes as needed. To enforce these guidelines, supervisors are not required to be on-site and are encouraged to continue to work remotely.
  • Emphasize the importance of a phased return for the health and safety of our campus community. Employees should not return to work and should continue to telework until they are notified by their supervisor to come to work.
  • Close common areas. Identify and close areas where people are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce social distancing protocols (for example, break rooms and lobbies).
  • Post recommended signage on prevention steps and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Consult the Office of Human Resources regarding cases where employees may feel unsafe to return during their designated phase per unit plan (examples: vulnerable populations, unavoidable exposure to elderly family members, concerns about a lack of PPE). Submit questions to HR@ung.edu.
  • Remind employees about available resources and supports such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 844-243-4440, or the Kepro website.
  • Emphasize and enforce worksite adherence to all health and safety guidance by ensuring that employees:

    • Operate as if they assume they are infectious and others are infectious.
    • Follow accepted policies and procedures with respect to health and safety.
    • Do not engage in work practices that could be considered a danger to health and safety.
    • Be aware of situations that could be considered a danger to the health and safety of others.
    • Report to their immediate supervisor when witnessing others not adhering to health and safety guidance.
    • Order a stop-work if fellow workers are engaged in work that is considered a danger to health or safety.

    Supervisors can report an employee refusing to follow health and safety guidance. Submit concerns to Human Resources at HR@ung.edu and an HR staff member will contact you for further consultation.

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Daily Self-Screening Before Coming to Work

Employees must conduct the following self-screening daily before coming to work on-site. 

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms including the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

If the answer is “yes” to one or more of the following questions, the employee should stay home and follow the steps described in the next section.

  • Are you experiencing any of the COVID-19 related symptoms noted above?
  • Are you living with or caring for an individual who is suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Have you been in contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 since your last screening?

If an employee is at work and supervisors become aware of any of the above concerns, they shall consult with the Office of Human Resources, per the instructions below and apply the appropriate leave policies described in the next section.

Employees should not physically return to work until they are symptom-free or fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication or have been released from isolation or quarantine. Employees should not be required to have a negative test to return to work.

Apply Appropriate Leave Policies

  • Send an employee home if they suspect they may be sick. This may be considered emergency sick leave per federal guidance effective April 1, 2020. Submit questions to HR@ung.edu and an H.R. staff member will contact you for further consultation.
  • If an employee is unable to work because they are under a court-ordered quarantine, a doctor has advised the employee to quarantine, or the employee tests positive for COVID-19, the employee may be entitled to paid sick leave. If an employee satisfies any of these conditions, contact H.R. at HR@ung.edu.
  • If an employee is unable to work or telework because the employee cannot obtain child care for a minor child, the employee may be entitled to paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave under a new federal law. The university encourages supervisors to exercise maximum flexibility in scheduling, including options such as flexible hours, shift swaps, and alternating work days. If an employee is unable to work or telework after these options have been explored, the employee may be eligible for paid FMLA and is entitled to job protection for up to 12 weeks. If an employee requests paid FMLA leave, or you believe that an employee might be eligible for paid FMLA leave, consult H.R. at HR@ung.edu.

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