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Faculty & Staff

MSSU has been working on plans to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our MSSU community. Below are FAQs addressing a number of key business operations for faculty, staff, and student employees. As common questions arise in your area, please share those with [email]  and we will add them to the list as appropriate.

Important Resources

FAQs


Return to Work FAQ

On May 11th the campus of Missouri Southern will reopen to the public and university personnel are to return to work. What does this mean?

Following guidance from the Governor of Missouri and local and state health officials, Missouri Southern will reopen campus on May 11th. This means campus operations are to resume in full with faculty and staff returning to their on-campus work environments. Remote work will no longer be required, and employees will need to make the necessary arrangements to move their remote offices back to campus as soon as practicable. Employees who are not normally scheduled to work on campus during the summer months will not be expected to return to campus on May 11th.

In all cases, employees are expected to follow CDC’s guidelines while on campus and take everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • Practice social distancing (6 feet apart)
  • Wear facial coverings (cloth masks are available)
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue

I heard some parts of campus are opening on May 4th, is that correct?

While some departments have opted to return to work on May 4th, the campus will not be open to the public and all campus personnel are not requested to report to work until May 11th. Unless an employee has been contacted by their supervisor they are to continue to work remotely until May 11th.

Currently those authorized to work on campus starting May 4th include:

  • Custodial staff
  • Mechanical Maintenance personnel
  • University Police
  • Information Technology staff
  • Residence Hall staff
  • Campus Operator
  • Grounds Crew members
  • Lion Cub Academy personnel (for deep cleaning only)
  • Spiva Library personnel

Will personal protective equipment be provided to university personnel?

Yes. University employees whose positions place them in high risk to exposure (i.e.: custodial staff, health center personnel, etc.) will be provided their typical personal protective equipment (PPE). Employees should contact their supervisors for details on when and where to pick-up PPE items.

Employees who are not at high risk but wish to use PPE in their offices are encouraged to do so. Additionally, Staff Senate has arranged for cloth masks to be available for any member of campus. Distribution of cloth masks will be held on May 11th from 7AM-1PM in the Lion’s Den. After May 11th, employees may pick up a mask by visiting the IT HelpDesk located on the 2nd floor of Plaster Hall. Masks will be available while supplies last.

Who will ensure employees are adhering to prescribed precautions such as wearing masks, staying home if sick, and following social distancing guidelines?

Missouri Southern expects its employees to adhere to CDC’s guidelines while on campus by taking everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While it is not mandatory employees wear masks or remain 6 feet apart, the university very simply asks all those working from campus or visiting to use common sense and courtesy in practicing good hygiene and distancing habits.

If an employee is immune-compromised or caring for someone who is, can they continue to work remotely for a period of time? If so, how long?

At this time remote work is not an approved alternative to returning to campus. If an employee is immune-compromised or caring for someone who is, they should work through the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and submit an MSSU COVID-19 FMLA Request Form with corresponding documentation to HR as soon as possible.

Will visitors to campus need to check in before they are allowed into building or be restricted in other ways?

At this time there are no plans to impose visitor restrictions, including but not limited to, checking in prior to entering a building. Campus visitors will be expected to follow the CDC’s guidelines while on campus by taking everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To assist with this effort, the university has installed a number of hand sanitizing stations across campus. Additionally, departments are encouraged to consider implementing processes and procedures that support social distancing. Employees should contact their supervisor for additional department-specific details.

What kinds of questions will be asked of students or new employees who are recently returning from a location that is currently identified as a “hot spot” for the COVID-19 virus?

At this time there are no plans to request visitors, students or employees to disclose if they’ve been exposed to or tested positive for the coronavirus. If an employee is showing symptoms or are concerned they may be asymptomatic they are asked to contact HR and their physician immediately for additional instruction.

How often and by whom will campus offices be cleaned throughout the day and week?

Custodial staff have been working diligently to deep clean buildings, bathrooms and offices while campus has been closed. Regular cleaning schedules will resume starting May 11th with custodial staff continuing to empty trash, disinfect highly touched areas such as doorknobs and light switches, and vacuum/mop offices, bathrooms and public spaces.

To assist the university in managing and maintaining a safe and clean campus, employees are encouraged to adapt routines that aid in the cleaning of their own office space. This may include daily cleaning of keyboards, desks, tables, and other office furniture with disinfectants and/or sprays. Employees are asked to check with their supervisors and custodial staff prior to implementing supplemental cleaning efforts to ensure proper cleaning procedures are being followed.

Will temperature checks be required, and if so, who will conduct them and how?

At this time MSSU is not implementing temperature checks of employees. If the need arises and temperature checks become necessary, supervisors will be notified and a formal process will be communicated.

Most campus buildings have multiple entry points. Will access to and from buildings be limited to one central location?

Every effort is being made to return to a “business as usual” environment, which includes the opening of buildings in the same manner they were opened prior to the pandemic. If the need arises to monitor the flow of traffic in and out certain areas, supervisors will be notified and a formal process will be communicated.

Departments that see a lot of visitors may wish to implement a modified traffic flow for their specific area. Employees should contact their supervisor to discuss limiting access to specific offices and areas. If limited access is determined necessary, supervisors should relay the modified traffic flow to their appropriate PC member and HR for review and formal approval.

How should campus meetings or departmental events be handled?

All meetings or activities are to be conducted following the CDC’s guidelines with employees taking everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes practicing social distancing (6 feet apart), wearing facial coverings, and following proper prevention hygiene including washing your hands frequently and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

My co-worker looks sick. Can I ask them if they have COVID-19?

If you are concerned about a colleague’s health, there is nothing wrong with asking if they feel okay, however it is recommended you not ask if they have any specific illness such as COVID-19. If the colleague responds they feel poorly, encourage them to talk to their supervisor and go home if necessary.

All employees should refer to the “How to Protect Yourself” and “What To Do if You Are Sick” guidance on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Are there circumstances in which I should NOT report to campus?

Yes. Do not report to campus if you are sick, have been advised to self-isolate due to potential exposure, or fall within one of the provisions outlined within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In these situations employees are to submit an MSSU COVID-19 FMLA Request Form with corresponding documentation to HR as soon as possible.

As a supervisor, how do I manage/supervise my employees to ensure we are doing what is needed to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19?

There are a number of ways supervisors can help employees remain safe while returning to work. Suggestions include:

  • Review return to work requirements and guidelines with personnel. Recommend using personal protective equipment, discuss disinfection measures, explain social distancing protocol (6 feet apart), outline any modified processes or procedures, etc.
  • Promote personal hygiene. Provide alcohol-based sanitizer, disinfectants and disposable wipes as needed.
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces frequently. Make wipes and cleaners accessible, clean break areas and commonly touched areas routinely.
  • Encourage social distancing by maximizing distancing, allowing 30-minute buffers between shifts, using visual markers on the floor for six-foot distancing, limit flow in and out of workspaces, conduct virtual meetings when possible or hold meetings in large spaces where attendees can spread out, space out desks to construct temporary walls.
  • Offer curbside delivery to students and visitors when and if applicable.

It’s important to remember none of us are able to anticipate every issue that may arise once we return to full campus operations, but together we can work to ensure we won’t have to step away again because of a new outbreak. To be as prepared as possible, it’s important to take the time to think through what the return to work will look like and communicate those procedures and expectations to your personnel before and during campus reopening.

Are there resources available if I am feeling anxious or upset about what’s happening?

These situations can, understandably, be challenging and stressful. The Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-877-622-4327 or by visiting www.CignaBehavioral.com. Our employer ID is MSSU. To learn more about the services provided by the EAP check out the EAP Overview brochure on the HR SharePoint site. Additionally, another EAP provider is available to all employees through The Standard. You may contact them at 888-293-6948 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Their website also has helpful information for all areas of your life by visiting www.workhealthlife.com/standard3.

I still have questions, who should I contact?

Please contact Human Resources should you have additional questions not covered in these FAQ’s. Your HR team is listed below.

We appreciate your patience, particularly in situations where we may not have immediate answers or need to research additional information.

In response to COVID-19 and in conjunction with communication from the CDC, Missouri Governor Parson and local and state health officials, MSSU is providing this FAQ to help employees understand how the University is responding to the return to operations across campus. This FAQ document is just guidance and is not a contract with any student or employee. MSSU reserves the right in its sole discretion to interpret this guidance and amend it at any time. This document is intended to provide guidance until further notice.
In response to COVID-19 and in conjunction with communication from the CDC, Missouri Governor Parson and local and state health officials, MSSU is providing this FAQ to help employees understand how the University is responding to the return to operations across campus. This FAQ document is just guidance and is not a contract with any student or employee. MSSU reserves the right in its sole discretion to interpret this guidance and amend it at any time. This document is intended to provide guidance until further notice.

General Workplace Questions

What does it mean to work from home?

Working from home, also known as telecommuting or remote work, is the act of working from a remote location, while using the Internet, email and telephone to complete your assigned work duties. All campus departments are instructed to practice telecommuting during the campus closure (other than those positions identified for campus work). Information to assist in this process includes:

  • What do I need to perform my job duties remotely? (computer, wireless mouse/keyboard, webcam, etc.)
  • hat resources will I need to access? (email, departmental folders/files, specific software/online services, etc.)
  • How will the communication between colleagues, supervisors and departmental personnel continue during telework? (Teams or Zoom for meetings, email or Workplace chat for departmental instructions, etc.)
  • How will my performance, as well as our department’s performance, be monitored? (daily check-ins, weekly updates, etc.)

Every effort is being made to ensure university personnel have the materials and resources needed to work remotely. If you need assistance setting up your telecommuting office or discover you cannot access a needed online resource, please contact IT at 659-4444.

Will I be able to access Banner, Outlook and other tools remotely?

Yes. Most of the tools you use every day are easily accessed online. Banner, LioNet, SharePoint, all Microsoft Office products are readily accessible online. These tools do not require a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, but it is recommended to connect securely through a VPN if you are working and using a public, unsecured wireless network. Campus resources that do require a VPN include remote access to your workstation, individual (I) or department (J) drives, and any specialized system specific to your department. To inquire about how to set-up a VPN or if you are experiencing any issues with your VPN connection, please contact IT at 659-4444.

I have been asked to take on additional duties and responsibilities outside of my typical assignments. Do I have to do these?

Yes. These are unprecedented circumstances and your flexibility in helping the university conduct business differently than we’ve done it before is greatly appreciated. You may be asked to do things outside your normal responsibilities.

How will I know if something changes for work?

The university will post all new information to the University’s COVID-19 Information website. New information will also be distributed primarily by e-mail and possibly accompanied by social media, HR Announcements or a text alert. Your supervisor will also ensure you are aware of any changes to the work environment.

How do I make sure I receive a text alert?

If you have not already, please review your MSSU Alert profile and be sure to register your cell phone to receive university emergency notification text messages. Work circumstances may develop quickly, and information will be shared as soon as it is available.

I don’t have a medical condition, but I am concerned about exposure to COVID-19. What should I do?

Missouri Southern is closely monitoring COVID-19. Watch for University updates and information on the University’s COVID-19 Information website. The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) website contains lots of great suggestions for ways to protect yourself, including but not limited to:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue
  • If you feel sick, stay offline and at home to rest (per university policy, sick time should be used to record your absence)

What do I do if I learn I have been exposed to the coronavirus or I have an employee I supervise who is in this situation?

All employees should refer to the “How to Protect Yourself” and “What To Do if You Are Sick” guidance on the Centers for Disease Control (CDD) website. Employees will report any time taken due to COVID-19 illness as sick pay. For more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act visit the Missouri Southern Federal and State Employment website.

Remote Working Policies

How do I know if I am supposed to come to work, if I can or should work remotely, or whether I shouldn’t be working at all?

Departments continue to identify functions that need to be completed to keep the university operational. Some of these functions will be performed remotely, and others will not. As we work remotely to the greatest extent possible, we will be doing our jobs in a way very differently than we ever have before. Some duties will be on-going, some of the duties may reduce over a given period of time, and some duties simply won’t be needed. Your supervisor will provide guidance on whether your position needs to report to campus to complete tasks, whether the work can be done remotely, whether the work might be a mix of reporting to campus and working remotely, or whether you are not required to work until Monday, May 11, 2020. Regardless of the category your duties fall within, you will remain in full paid status.

Currently those authorized to work on campus include:

  • University Police
  • Mechanical Maintenance personnel
  • Information Technology staff
  • Residence Hall staff
  • Testing staff
  • Custodial staff for Criminal Justice only
  • Campus Operator
  • Grounds Crew members
  • Lion Cub Academy personnel (for deep cleaning only)
Staff member to monitor Criminal Justice computer lab (10AM-4PM, Monday-Friday only)

Are there circumstances in which I should NOT report to campus?

Yes. If you are among those authorized to report to campus and you fall under any of the below scenarios, please contact your supervisor immediately to advise them of your situation, and do not come to campus.

  • You have been advised to self-isolate or quarantine because of travel or potential exposure (in such situation you may be reassigned to remote duties or released from your duties during the quarantine, in either situation, regular pay should be used to record your absence)
  • You or a family member living with you have chronic health conditions or are in another at-risk group considered more susceptible to complications associated with COVID-19 (in such situation you may be reassigned to remote duties or released from your duties, in either situation, regular pay should be used to record your absence)
  • You are sick (sick pay should be used to record your absence)

Can I take leave instead of working remotely?

While the campus is closed, our students still need every member of the Lion Pride family to perform their duties and ensure students succeed. Faculty, staff and graduate assistants are expected to work remotely unless:

  • Your position has not been designated to work remotely nor on campus, in which case the university will continue to pay your weekly wages while campus is closed
  • You are among those authorized to work on campus, and in such case, you will report to work on campus
  • You have been advised to self-isolate or quarantine because of travel or potential exposure (regular pay should be used to record your absence)
  • You are sick (sick time should be used to record your absence)

I have lots of questions about working remotely. Where do I even start?

That’s a great question, as this can be overwhelming! You can start by contacting your supervisor and together determine a plan for how you could complete your work duties in a remote location. Keep in mind we are all working diligently during this transition, and in many cases, not everything will run smoothly to fully work remotely, and the university recognizes that.

What security requirement(s) does my home computer need to meet for me to work remotely?

The three big things to consider are:

  • a computer
  • Internet connection
  • phone options

IT is putting together a list of resources to help you determine what is required. For more information please contact the IT HelpDesk at 659-4444.

I don’t have a computer or Internet, or I work with really sensitive information, how can I work remotely?

IT will be able to identify specific solutions to your situation. The first step would be to work with your supervisor to determine your needs. Then contact IT for assistance in getting the tools you need to work remotely.

Payroll Procedures

I am an hourly employee, how do I record my hours?

The university has elected to pay all full- and part-time personnel normal wages during this campus closure. This means whether you work remotely, are among the limited few authorized to work on campus or are not working due to your job not allowing your to work remotely, your pay will remain constant. To report your hours, please follow the below instructions:

  • For Spring Break (March 19 & 20) report hours as Other Leav-Unsched/Weather Pay
  • If you are working remotely or working on-campus, all hours are reported as Regular Pay
  • If you are not working remotely because your job does not allow you to work remotely, all regularly scheduled hours will be reported on your behalf as Regular Pay
  • If you should be working remotely or on-campus, but cannot due to illness, all hours are reported as Sick Pay
  • If you are working remotely or working on-campus and wish to take supervisor-approved vacation time you may do so and report all hours as Vacation Pay
  • If you had vacation or sick time scheduled, but have since cancelled those plans, your vacation can be rescinded and all hours will be reported as Regular Pay

If you have any questions or run into any issues entering your hours in Web Time Entry, please contact Linda Day (day-l@mssu.edu) or Jan Garner (garner-j@mssu.edu).

I am a salaried employee, how do I record my leave time?

The university has elected to pay all full- and part-time personnel normal wages during the campus closure. This means whether you work remotely or are among the limited few authorized to work on campus your pay will remain constant. To report your leave hours, please follow the below instructions:

  • If you should be working remotely, but cannot due to illness, all hours are reported as Sick Pay
  • If you are working remotely or working on-campus and wish to take supervisor-approved vacation time (if applicable), you may do so and report all hours as Vacation Pay
  • If you had vacation or sick time scheduled, but have since cancelled those plans, your vacation can be rescinded and time processed as regular pay

If you have any questions please contact Jan Garner (garner-j@mssu.edu).

What about student employees, how will they need to record their time?

Because of the financial impact the closure of campus may have on our students, MSSU has elected to pay student employees through the end of the semester. Beginning March 23, all student employees will be paid their regularly scheduled hours each week without having to report to work or complete off-campus job duties. Email communication has been sent from Payroll regarding how to process student employee hours. Please check your inbox for further details or reach out to Jan Garner (Garner-J@mssu.edu) or Linda Day (Day-L@mssu.edu) if you have any questions.

I missed the deadline to turn in my electronic timesheet. In the past I’ve been required to submit a paper timesheet or absence request form, is that still required?

First and foremost, do not panic if you missed a deadline or have hours you need to report. Remember, the university has elected to pay all full- and part-time personnel normal wages during the campus closure.

In cases where a deadline has been missed, you will need to email your supervisor as soon as possible to report the hours or leave time. In your email be sure to include the specific days, times and type of leave you are needing to report. Your supervisor will then review the time submitted and, if approved, send the email payroll for processing. If you have any questions or need additional instruction, please reach out to Jan Garner (Garner-J@mssu.edu) or Linda Day (Day-L@mssu.edu) if you have any questions.

Leave and COVID-19

As someone who is at-risk for complications associated with COVID-19, what options are available to me to continue working?

If you are among those authorized to work on campus during the closure, contact your supervisor regarding your work options in this situation. If you are not authorized to work on campus and fall under an at-risk category, please follow all recommended precautions to limit your exposure while continuing to work remotely.

As a supervisor, how do I manage/supervise my employees in this situation?

All campus departments are instructed to practice telecommuting during the campus closure. Information to assist in this process include:

  • What does my team need to perform their job duties remotely? (computers, wireless mouse/keyboard, webcams, etc.)
  • What resources will my team need to access? (email, departmental folders/files, specific software/online services, etc.)
  • How will communication between our department continue during the campus closure? (Teams or Zoom for meetings, email or Workplace chat for departmental instructions, etc.)
  • How will individual performance, as well as our department’s performance, be monitored? (daily check-ins, weekly updates, etc.)

Additionally, watch for opportunities sponsored by HR to participate in web-based sessions regarding working with employees. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Human Resources 625-3167.

I am not feeling well, what should I do?

If you are ill and not feeling well for any reason, please follow your department’s existing procedures for calling in sick. Sick time will be used to record your absence, however, some duties may need to be reassigned until you are feeling better and can return to work. In some circumstances, you may qualify for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Please contact Evan Jewsbury (Jewsbury-E@mssu.edu / 625-9805) should you have questions regarding FMLA qualification.

I have been diagnosed with COVID-19, what options are available to me?

If you have a diagnosis of COVID-19 please contact your immediate supervisor and Human Resources. Sick time will be used to record your absence and some duties may need to be reassigned until you are feeling better and can return to work.

My supervisor has asked if my illness is related to COVID-19, do I have to answer that?

Yes, in the case of a potential pandemic situation, you may be asked to disclose whether your absence/illness is related to COVID-19.

Are there resources available if I am feeling anxious or upset about what’s happening?

These situations can, understandably, be challenging and stressful. The Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-877-622-4327 or by visiting www.CignaBehavioral.com. Our employer ID is MSSU. To learn more about the services provided by the EAP check out the EAP Overview brochure on the HR SharePoint site.

I don’t have a medical condition, but I am concerned about exposure to COVID-19. What should I do?

Missouri Southern is closely monitoring COVID-19. Watch for University updates and information on the University’s COVID-19 Information website. The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) website contains lots of great suggestions for ways to protect yourself, including but not limited to:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue

If you feel sick, stay offline and at home to rest (per university policy, sick time should be used to record your absence)

What do I do if I learn I have been exposed to the coronavirus or I have an employee I supervise who is in this situation?

All employees should refer to the "How to Protect Yourself” and “What To Do if You Are Sick” guidance on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Employees will report any time taken due to COVID-19 illness as sick pay. For more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act visit the Missouri Southern Federal and State Employment website.

I still have questions about leave and work options, who should I contact?

Please contact Human Resources should you have additional questions not covered in these FAQ’s. Your HR team is listed below.

We appreciate your patience, particularly in situations where we may not have immediate answers or need to research additional information.

Search Committees

We have a search currently in process, and are preparing to interview candidates. How does this affect our process?

Candidates are also subject to university travel restrictions. Departments need to utilize video conferencing protocols to interview candidates in lieu of bringing candidates to campus. Search chairs should reach out to the IT Help Desk at 659-4444 for guidance on how to conduct interviews via Zoom or other methods.

If a video conference is not possible, a phone interview or postponing the recruitment to a later day are options as well.

We have interview candidates who have already purchased tickets for an on-campus interview. What do we do?

Contact the Academic Affairs for possible solutions for travel reimbursements or for alternate scheduling and arrangements.

Can we still make offers of employment?

Yes. All backgrounds and approvals associated with hiring candidates can be handled online.

My new employee is supposed to start but the campus is closed. What do we do? Do they still start employment?

Newly hired employees will start employment on their agreed upon start date. All paperwork will be obtained in an electronic format with additional employment data sent via email. HR will be in contact with new employees to answer questions and provide them with everything they need to get started regardless of where they will be working from. If your new employee is not a Joplin resident and they will not be traveling to Joplin for onboarding, HR will handle everything remotely. If your new hire is a campus sited employee, they will start employment as usual and the paperwork will still be handled online. If the new employee is coming from another city they should follow the previously outlined information concerning exposure and travel restrictions that all current employees are expected to follow. If exposed or have traveled out of the area they are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days. All work communications will be handled by email, fax, or phone. Payroll for those employees will continue as if they were working in their new positions. Coding of payroll is outlined in other areas of this communication.

We hired a candidate but they don’t start till August. What do we need to do?

Stay in contact with candidates you have recently hired as they won’t know where to go to look for information. Provide them with our web site and have them stay in contact with you. Things appear, at this time, to be able to return to normal long before August 1st. Keep abreast of updates on our COVID-19 Information tab on the MSSU website. Let your new employee know nothing has changed in the employment offer and information will be sent to them in due time. All onboarding information will be communicated to them via Clear Company, PlanSource and HR. Have them contact Human Resources with any specific questions if related to their paperwork, start dates, etc. They each have an email and should reach out to the HelpDesk at 417-659-4444 to get their login information. If any problems are encountered, please have them contact Human Resources at 417-625-3167.

Travel

I’m scheduled to take a business trip in the next few months, what impact does this have on my travel plans?

Business-related travel in and around Joplin is allowed at your discretion, subject to any federal/state/local restrictions, however, you are encouraged to consider attending remotely when possible. In alignment with MSSU’s preventative approach, effective immediately all university-sponsored domestic and international business-related travel is to be discontinued until further notice, and such business must be conducted remotely to the extent possible.

I already have booked and/or have submitted a travel request. What do I do?

Any current requests for travel and for travel reimbursement are on hold. Travel requests will be reconsidered after May 10, 2020 upon returning to campus.

Can I book travel for later in the year?

No new plans for business travel should be made or submitted until notification that travel has been re-opened.

The conference I was supposed to attend has been cancelled. What do I do?

Please contact your department head, dean or director regarding any business travel cancellations. Documentation of expenses and credits will be required to be maintained and submitted by the traveler. The university will reimburse out-of-pocket costs already incurred by the employee for business-related travel.

Employees should monitor airline refunds as well as the use of subsequent credits.

What do I do if I am returning from a location in which the CDC advises self-isolation or I have an employee I supervise who is in this situation?

Employees and supervisors should follow CDC travel health guidance when self-isolation is advised.

Employee Benefits

My daycare provider is closing, can I stop my dependent care FSA deductions?

The majority of plans allow a participant to change the amount or stop the deductions based upon a change in provider or change in cost. Changes cannot be retroactive; so if you want to make a change, get that information submitted as soon as possible.

I stopped my dependent care deductions, but when I return to work in a few weeks and my child returns to daycare, can I enroll in the dependent care account again?

Yes, you can make a change based on the change in provider or change in cost.

I want to make a change to my health care FSA deductions. Can I do that?

Maybe; changes are only allowed when certain events occur and if the change requested corresponds with that event. Please see the FAQs listed on ASIFlex’s website; scroll to the bottom section titled Enrollment for detailed information.

ASI requested follow-up documentation for one of my card swipes, but my provider is too busy or is currently unreachable. What do I do?

ASI has made the business decision to not inactivate debit cards during the immediate crisis. The letters that are sent to participants asking for such documentation will soon indicate that the documentation must still be submitted but that ASI will not suspend the card for lack of documentation at this time.

Will the grace period be extended?

No, the grace period time period (2 ½ months following the end of the plan year) is set by the IRS. It cannot be extended by the client.

I’m not feeling well, but I don’t want to go to the doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. What are my options?

If you have medical coverage through the university, Cigna offers two telehealth services, AmWell and MDLIVE, which allow clients to visit with board-certified physicians by phone or video chat. The cost of each visit is that compared to your standard office visit co-pay. If you are on the HSA plan you pay a discounted rate of $42 or $45 depending on the service provider. Additionally, telehealth services are provided for mental health services, dermatology, pediatrics, etc. To learn more about AmWell and MDLIVE, including how to register and utilize these services, review the Cigna Telehealth Connection flyer on the HR SharePoint COVID-19 page. Additionally, Mercy and Freeman Hospital also have telephonic visits available to you. Mercy & Freeman is offering video and telephonic visits at most Clinic practices to patients who are currently scheduled or that are calling in for an appointment. Patients can contact their primary care physician’s office if they are ill or in need of a visit and ask for a telephonic or video visit.

Where is the local COVID-19 drive through testing center and will it be covered under my university health insurance plan in full?

The community drive-thru COVID-19 testing location is at the south entrance of the Thousand Oaks building located at 1905 W. 32nd Street. This site is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 pm-6 pm by appointment only. Anyone that needs to be tested must call 417-347-6444 first to be screened. They will not allow anyone to be tested without an appointment. This site is set up and staffed in cooperation with the Joplin Health Department, Mercy Hospital and Freeman Hospital. You may experience busy signals or waits on the phone as they work to help all patients that are calling in.

I still have questions about available resources relating to my employee benefits, where should I go?

An HR SharePoint COVID-19 page has been created and will be updated regularly with COVID-19 related resources associated with medical, dental, mental health, EAP and other employee benefits.

Other Human Resources Issues

What do I do if I’m injured on the job during the closure?

If you are injured on the job, use the Injury Reporting number at 1-800-624-2354 to report the injury and get authorization for treatment. If it is an emergency, you or your supervisor or someone around you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. If non-emergency but need treatment contact the number noted above. If you are not sure, consult with your supervisor. If your injury becomes worse follow the above suggestions or report to Freeman ER for after-hour treatment. Follow-up with Human Resources by phone 417-625-3167 or 417-529-1910 (Judy Wilmoth cell phone) in all cases of injury. The appropriate forms will be sent to you electronically.

In response to COVID-19 in conjunction with communication from the CDC and local and state health officials, MSSU is providing this FAQ to help employees understand how the University is responding to various items across campus. This FAQ document is just guidance and is not a contract with any student or employee. MSSU reserves the right in its sole discretion to interpret this guidance and amend it at any time. This document is intended to provide guidance until further notice.

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