e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

HR Links

HR at ESF

Employment

Current Employees

Information on Hiring

Business Links

FAQs - Related to COVID-19 Virus

What should I do if I am showing symptoms of COVID-19?

If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) immediately access the Upstate Medical University COVID-19 Update Center where you can use the Upstate Coronavirus Assessment Tool to determine your next steps, linked here: https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/trending/coronavirus.php.

Contact the COVID-19 Triage Number at  315-464-3979 and/or your primary care doctor for advisement. The triage number is staffed 24/7.  Additional information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under no circumstances, if you think you have COVID-19, should you go in person to the Emergency Room.

You should also notify your supervisor that you are sick. Please be advised you are not required to disclose your health condition or provide medical documentation directly to your supervisor. Please inform the Human Resources Office of your medical condition by calling 315-470-6611. The college reserves the right to request medical documentation. If you test positive for COVID-19 and you are required to be quarantined or self-quarantine by the Department of Health, you will be provided with 14 calendar days of leave without charge to accruals.

Can I work from home during this emergency?

In response to the public health emergency for the COVID-19 virus, all non-essential State employees (including temporary employees) for New York State's agencies and public authorities in every county, starting March 17, should not report to work for the next two weeks.

For the purpose of this directive, essential employees are defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority, or who must be physically present to perform their job, or who is involved in the COVID-19 emergency response. Non-essential employees are defined as anyone who does not need to be physically present to perform job functions, or they are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency during this emergency response.

At this time, non-essential employees shall work from home, to the extent practicable. Where non-essential employees can be assigned to perform critical work outside of their normal state workplace, this is permitted. If a non-essential employee cannot perform any work from home, employees will not be charged their accruals to fulfill this directive.

Agencies and authorities may change an employee's designation as either essential or non-essential at any time and, as the operational needs of the response shift, the specific functions or locations may be modified accordingly at any time.

Am I allowed to return to work if I have traveled to a high-risk country?

If you are returning from a Level 2 or 3 travel health notice country set by the CDC, you are not to return to work for 14 days after returning. Contact the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611 as soon as possible. If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) access the Upstate Medical University COVID-19 Update Center where you can use the Upstate Coronavirus Assessment Tool to determine your next steps, linked here: https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/trending/coronavirus.php .

Contact the COVID-19 Triage Number at 315-464-3979 and/or your primary care doctor for advisement. The triage number is staffed 24/7.  Additional information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under no circumstances, if you think you have COVID-19, should you go in person to the Emergency Room.

The safety and well-being of the campus community is ESF’s highest priority. 

What if someone with whom I share a home recently returned after traveling to a high-risk country?

Please remain home for 14 days from the first day of contact and call the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611 for further instructions. The safety and well-being of the campus community is ESF's highest priority.

I have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

You must stay home, and contact the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611 for further guidance.

If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) immediately access the Upstate Medical University COVID-19 Update Center where you can use the Upstate Coronavirus Assessment Tool to determine your next steps, linked here: https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/trending/coronavirus.php.

Contact the COVID-19 Triage Number at 315-464-3979 and/or your primary care doctor for advisement. The triage number is staffed 24/7.  Additional information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under no circumstances, if you think you have COVID-19, should you go in person to the Emergency Room.

Also call the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611.  Please review the State's Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19 (PDF).

I am scheduled to return to work after traveling abroad and I am experiencing flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) immediately access the Upstate Medical University COVID-19 Update Center where you can use the Upstate Coronavirus Assessment Tool to determine your next steps, linked here: https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/trending/coronavirus.php.

Contact the COVID-19 Triage Number at 315-464-3979 and/or your primary care doctor for advisement. The triage number is staffed 24/7.  Additional information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under no circumstances, if you think you have COVID-19, should you go in person to the Emergency Room.

Also call the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611. Please review the State's Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19 (PDF).

As in all cases when you are experiencing symptoms of a contagious illness, you should not report to work.

Who should I notify if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

You should notify your supervisor that you are sick. Please be advised you are not required to disclose your health condition or provide medical documentation directly to your supervisor. Please inform the Human Resources Office of your medical condition by calling 315-470-6611. The university reserves the right to request medical documentation. If you test positive for COVID-19 and you are required to be quarantined or self-quarantine by the Department of Health, you will be provided with 14 calendar days of leave without charge to accruals.

Is a quarantine the same as being directed to work from home?

No. Quarantine is a state, period or place of isolation where someone who has been exposed to infectious disease is placed. A mandatory quarantine is something that is ordered by an authorized government official. A self-quarantine may be recommended by a government official or health care provider if there is a chance you have been exposed. If you are asked to work from home by SUNY or the Research Foundation, you have no obligation to self-quarantine, unless otherwise directed by an authorized individual or body.

Can employees file a workers' compensation claim if they believe they contracted an illness at work?

Employees may file an accident report if they feel they contracted an illness through the course of work. The Incident Reporting Form (PDF) should be submitted to the Human Resources Office, 216 Bray Hall. Call 315-470-6611 or email the Human Resources Office for more information.

What happens to my job and benefits if I need to be absent from work due to illness?

Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to a job-protected leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or various provisions of the appropriate collective bargaining agreements. Contact Ellen Brown at 315-470-6613 if you have questions regarding FMLA or benefits continuation options.

Have there been any changes to paid time-off benefits?

At this time, all paid time-off benefits remain unchanged with the exception of an individual who is under mandatory quarantine or self-quarantine by the Department of Health. Employees should follow normal university and department procedures and call supervisors to inform them if they are unable to report to work, either because of their own illness or to take care of an ill family member. It is important that employees and supervisors know the time-off balance status of employee. Contact the Payroll Office (StatePayroll@esf.edu / RFPayroll@esf.edu) or by phone at 315-470-6625 with any questions about time balances.

What if school or daycare is closed and I need to stay home with my children?

Please see the FAQ "Can I work from home during this emergency?"

As an alternate option, accruals other than sick leave are available for employees to use in situations where an employee is deemed essential yet determines that it is in their best interest to remain home or are otherwise needed.

I want to stay home because I have personal health conditions or I have loved ones with health conditions. What are my options?

At present, all college offices are open, essential personnel must report, non-essential employees shall work from home; all existing time and attendance rules apply. Faculty and staff members are expected to continue to work. Limited exceptions would apply to those who are quarantined by mandatory order of the Department of Health. In such cases, documentation will be required. Currently

If you know you have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, or you have traveled to an area identified by the CDC as a Level 2 or 3 travel health notice country, please stay home and contact Human Resources at 314-470-6611 for further guidance. ┬áIf you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath) access the Upstate Medical University COVID-19 Update Center where you can use the Upstate Coronavirus Assessment Tool to determine your next steps, linked here: https://www.upstate.edu/emergencymgt/trending/coronavirus.php.

Contact the COVID-19 Triage Number at 315-464-3979 and/or your primary care doctor for advisement. The triage number is staffed 24/7.  Additional information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under no circumstances if you think you have COVID-19, should you go in person to the Emergency Room.

Also call the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611.  Please review the State's Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19 (PDF).

You should also contact the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611 to discuss your specific circumstances before returning to work. 

Some faculty and staff members may have justified concerns stemming from personal health conditions or health conditions of loved ones. If a family member needs care for a health condition or illness, sick leave accruals may be utilized. Accruals other than sick leave are available for employees to use in situations where an individual determines that it is in their best interest to remain home or are otherwise needed.

Please also see the FAQ "Can I work from home during this emergency?"

Can a supervisor send home an employee who appears to be ill?

Supervisors should seek assistance from the Human Resources Office if an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. Action should not be taken based solely on a supervisor's subjective assessments of an employee's medical condition. If an employee has traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice or is in close contact with a person who has traveled there, please contact the Human Resources Office as soon as possible for further discussion and guidance. Supervisors should contact the Human Resources Office with any questions or concerns. Please also review the State's Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19 (PDF).

Can an essential employee with concerns about COVID-19 refuse to come to work or be told to go home?

If approached, supervisors are encouraged to speak with employees to discuss any concerns that the employee may have about the safety of the workplace and actions the university is taking to help ensure a safe workplace. Supervisors should not ask employees specific questions about their health history or current health condition, nor should they seek out employees with whom they suspect may have a current health condition. Employees with health-related concerns should contact their personal healthcare provider for their advice and direction in regard to reporting to work. The employee should then contact the Human Resources Office at 315-470-6611 for further discussion related to their situation and needs.

Please also see the FAQ "Can I work from home during this emergency?"