Guidance to IYR Supervisors - When Should Employees Stay Home?

All IYR supervisors have a responsibility to ensure their workplaces are safe and to protect the health of our employees, clients, customers, and volunteers.  This guidance is provided to assist supervisors in fulfilling those responsibilities, and it is essential that it be followed promptly and consistently.  HR is available to assist you in dealing with the situations described below.  As circumstances develop and new information becomes available, this guidance may be revised. 

Supervisors should direct an employee to stay home if:

  • The employee has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (most prevalent symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing); or
  • The employee has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • In either case, the employee should use Emergency Pandemic Sick Leave.

Communication with the employee:

  • An employee’s medical status or information about their symptoms are confidential and should not be shared with other staff who do not have a need to know.
  • The supervisor may ask the employee about his/her COVID-19-related symptoms.
  • The supervisor’s discussion with the employee and the direction to go home should be done in private.
  • Documentation of the conversation should be sent to HR to be placed in the employee’s medical file. This can be as simple as an email explaining why the employee is being sent home and a summary of the conversation directing the employee to go home.

The employee may return to work when:

  • They are free of fever (below 100.4° F or 37.8° C using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, or cough suppressants); and
  • 14 days have passed since the employee’s contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

An employee may choose to stay home if:

  • They are experiencing symptoms, or caring for someone who is experiencing symptoms, that could be related to COVID-19.
  • They have been quarantined (including self-quarantine), or are caring for someone who is quarantined, due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • They are caring for a child who is unable to care for itself due to the COVID-19-related closing of their school, child care facility, or other care program.

Guidelines for employees working from home:

  • The supervisor should ensure the following when authorizing an employee to work from home:
    • The work can be effectively performed from home by the employee.
    • The work fulfills a genuine need of IYR (the needed work may be outside the employee’s normal duties or support another department).
    • The scope of the work is clear, both the work product or deliverable and the time frame in which it is to be completed.
    • There is a clear plan regarding regular communications and how the supervisor will ensure accountability.