Forward Together: Information for MU Faculty, Staff & Student Employees

Our mascot, King, wears a mask

The information below was furnished by Human Resources. Jump to other information for employees concerning:


Return to Work on Campus

Methodist University is committed to continuing its vital mission of education while outlining policies and protocols for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is rooted in safety for our employees, students and visitors.

All employees will be required to read, be familiar with and adhere to all COVID-19 policies and protocols in order to protect the health and safety of our campus community.  Methodist University’s policies are listed on this website in an easy to click and read format summarizing the protocols for employees.


FAQs

What do I need to do if I am concerned about returning to work?

Discuss your concerns with your supervisor regarding the return to work plan.  You may also contact Human Resources for additional information or guidance.  If concern is due to high risk for severe illness as defined by CDC, please contact Human Resources.  You can find more detail on this by referring to the Returning to the Workplace guide (page 5) or by visiting the high risk section on this website.

What if I’m showing signs of sickness, been potentially exposed or have a sick family member?

Follow the guidance set out in the Returning to the Workplace guide for symptom monitoring and the health questionnaire and do not report to work until cleared to do so by the Director of Health Services or your healthcare provider.  If you are a full time employee, you may use COVID-19 sick leave if applicable.  Please refer to the temporary COVID-19 Leave policy for specific details.

Will Methodist provide employees with a face mask?

In previous guidance, employees were required to provide their own mask; however, the University has acquired enough masks to provide a mask to each employee.  The University has attempted to distribute masks to departments across the University, but due to the current environment of phased staffing, not everyone may have received one yet.  If you have not received your MU mask, please contact Doris Munoz at dmunoz@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7022.

What should I do if another employee presents ill at work? And what should I expect if I report to work ill?

You should report it to your supervisor or Human Resources immediately.  You can likely expect to be sent home.  If you are a supervisor, and receive a report of an ill employee at work, please contact Human Resources for consultation and refer to HR guidance regarding sending ill employees home under the Expectations of Supervisors section.

What do I do if I have a childcare issue in returning to work this fall? Can I bring my child(ren) to work with me?

If you have a childcare issue, please discuss with your immediate supervisor and/or Human Resources. No, you cannot bring your child(ren) to work. Our normal policy allows for this in emergency circumstances only; however, during this pandemic, it is not appropriate to bring additional people on campus. In these emergency childcare situations, employees should notify their supervisor and use applicable leave.

Where can I turn if I feel stressed or anxious?

Employee Assistance Program (EAP):

EAP assists employees (and students) with personal challenges that are affecting physical and mental health, relationships, and/or your job/academic effectiveness.  It’s designed to assist in achieving emotional and mental well-being.  There are no costs associated with participating in this service and use of the service is confidential.  Services are provided through Cape Fear Valley Health.  See further details: Employee Assistance Program.

To schedule an appointment, please contact: (910) 615-1733.

Center for Personal Development:

Visit the Center for Personal Development’s website for more information and resources to offer support, manage stress and enhance your resiliency.

To schedule an appointment, please call (910) 630-7150 or schedule online through the website.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


MU Green Screen App

All students, faculty and staff are asked download the MU Green Screen App on their cell phones. You will be asked to sign a support pledge asking for your personal commitment to help the University keep our community safe this year. All students, faculty and staff are asked to complete this daily self-checkup to help everyone monitor their health. This health information will be kept confidential.

More than ever, our individual health impacts the entire community and we must daily take appropriate steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community. In order to attend classes or participate in campus activities and events, we are asking you to complete this daily health check.

The Green Screen app serves as a tool for self-screening purposes only and is not a diagnostic tool or substitute for medical advice. If you are showing symptoms common with COVID, that are unusual for you, it is very important to act immediately. Stay home or in your room, avoid all contact with others and do not go to class or work. Faculty and staff should call their supervisor (and then also their physician as they feel necessary). Students should call the Student Health Center at (910) 630-7164. Everyone should alert the Health Center of any testing/testing results. All health information given to the Health Center is confidential.

Please download the Green Screen App, sign the STAY SAFE Pledge of Cooperation and begin daily check-ins today to familiarize yourself with the process. Daily check-ins are required beginning August 10, 2020. See the instructions that are attached below.

Thank you for helping to keep our campus safe!

Faculty: Please contact Dr. Bruce Morgan if you have any questions at bmorgan@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7465.

Staff: Please contact Jennifer Dumond if you have any questions at jdumond@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7255.

Download the App Now

MU Green Screen App Instructions

Get it on Google Play

Available on the App Store


COVID Sick Leave

  • COVID Sick leave is a temporary pandemic leave policy implemented in order to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and applies to full time employees. It provides paid time off to employees independent of the University’s regular sick leave policy.
  • COVID Sick leave is paid time off for up to 14 days for the following circumstances:
  • Employee is sick with symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employee is being evaluated for or diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Employee has had close personal contact with someone who has been confirmed positive or is a probable case of COVID-19
  • Employees who are caring for a spouse, child or parent who are sick with COVID-19
  • When a member of the employees’ immediate household has been confirmed positive or is a probable case of COVID-19
  • Employees will be required to submit documentation that the leave qualifies for COVID Sick leave and will be required to be cleared to return to work on campus from the Director of Health Services or by their healthcare provider.

For more COVID leave policy details and proper recording of work time and leave, please refer to the COVID-19 Leave temporary policy.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Expectations of Supervisors

  • Follow the University COVID protocols, be the example!
  • Responsible to hold employees accountable in complying with University COVID protocols.
  • Communicate! Communicate protocols and keep employees informed of any changes.  Supervisors should ensure line of communication remains open and resolve employee concerns.
  • Continue to evaluate the work environment and make any necessary changes or adjustments along the way to ensure it meets University COVID protocols on social distancing, signage, etc. Supervisors should consult with their management team and elevate any concerns in the work environment for resolution fitting to the University COVID protocol.
  • Encourage employees that we want them to make common sense decisions related to their health and the health of others to avoid the spread of illness. Proactively encourage employees to stay home if ill.
    • Reminder: medical and health information is private; do not ask about employees medical conditions. If employees do share their medical or other health information, you have an obligation to protect that information and not share it with others.
  • Ill employees at work:
    • Supervisors have the responsibility to maintain a safe work environment while complying with all federal laws to apply policies and practices that are fair and consistent.
    • Responsibility to address the situation immediately.
    • CDC recommends that employees who appear ill with symptoms of COVID-19 or become sick during the day be separated from other employees and be send home. Please consult with Human Resources for joint resolution and recommendation regarding sending employees home.
    • We can control the safety of our workplace and it is required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide a safe workplace for employees. Under these laws, we can tell an employee who is visibly ill — and potentially contagious — to leave the workplace and not return until they have recovered.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Staffing

On June 8, the University implemented its “Reopen Plan” to provide a gradual return to work of our employees.  There are ongoing plans for a full re-opening in the fall.  As we continue to move toward that goal, we have been preparing to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire campus community and effective August 3, all University employees will return to work on campus.  The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings together.  Supervisors are still encouraged to utilize staggered reporting and departing times in their departments as applicable and feasible, in order to reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements.

Individuals who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) may have concerns about returning to work on campus.  Communication was sent out to all employees regarding the workplace adjustment process and request form for those employees.  Please visit the section on this page titled Higher Risk for Severe Illness – Workplace Adjustment.

As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, University Administration and the Epidemic Response Team will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be implemented again.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Employee Communications Guidelines

As a reminder, the University has put multiple guidelines in place to keep our employees safe as indicated in the Returning to the Workplace guide. We want to remind all employees in utilizing appropriate remote methods of communication to keep everyone healthy, safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Conversations must be held by phone, email or text message to the extent possible.
    • Remote options should always be the first route of communication.
    • Communicate remotely first, and if necessary, schedule or plan for an in-person interaction.
    • Please don’t just ‘drop by’ offices.
    • This includes document hand offs; scan and email or send via interoffice mail instead of delivering in person.
  • Meetings must be held via remote technology to the extent possible.
    • When not possible, ensure a meeting is conducted in a space large enough for all participants where social distancing requirements can be met.
  • Masks or appropriate face coverings are required to be worn by employees while on campus when in the presence of others, are required in all University buildings and in public settings.

We understand this change in communication and interactions may not be what we are used to, but it is vitally important for the safety of our campus community that all employees are following these guidelines for communication with one another; it’s a team effort.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Face Masks & Social Distancing

Face Masks

  • Face masks are required to be worn in all University buildings, public settings and are required for all interpersonal interactions.
  • A face mask is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space.

Social Distancing

All employees must follow all social distancing protocols as indicated in the Returning to the Workplace guide; below summarizes them.

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart
  • Do not gather in groups of 10 or more
  • Meetings must be held via remote technology to the extent possible
  • Conversations must be held by phone, text message, or email to the extent possible
  • Follow all enter/exit control and social distancing signage (if you need a flyer for your area, you can find the flyers at methodist.edu/coronavirus under “Campus Social Distancing Signage.”)

Note: All visitors to campus, including contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., will be expected to follow these guidelines.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Hygiene

  • Employees should cough and sneeze into their elbow
  • Employees should wash hands for 20 or more seconds often; use hand sanitizer often when hand washing is not available
  • Employees should avoid touching their face

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Higher Risk for Severe Illness – Workplace Adjustment

Although we are working to ensure that the campus is as safe as possible for all employees, we recognize that some may have concerns with returning to work on campus. This may include individuals who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For detailed information regarding the CDC definition of those who are at high risk for severe illness, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-increased-risk.html.

For the fall 2020 semester, there are a few options for employees who are at high risk for severe illness:

  • Employees may request a temporary workplace adjustment to perform all or some of the job remotely by completing and submitting the workplace adjustment form to Human Resources (see below)
  • Employees may request to use accrued paid time off
  • Employees may be eligible for FMLA for additional time away from work

The above workplace adjustment is a temporary request due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and is available as an option for those who either have a medical condition(s) or otherwise meet the definition of high risk for severe illness as defined by the CDC.  Please refer to email to sent to all employees for process and deadlines.  Questions regarding employee options should be directed to Human Resources.

Please note that some conditions listed as high-risk for COVID-19 might be considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The process for accommodation under the ADA is distinct from the COVID-19 Workplace Adjustment Request Process and employees can contact Human Resources regarding accommodation under ADA.

Temporary Workplace Adjustment Forms

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Guide for Specific Workplace Scenarios

Public Transportation

If you must take public transportation, wear a mask before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol as the preferred form of hand hygiene as soon as possible and before removing your mask.

Working in Office Environments

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker. A face mask or face covering is required at all times while in a shared work space/room and during all interpersonal interactions.

Departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers, such as:

  • Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to customers where they should stand while waiting in line.
  • Place one-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.
  • Consider designating specific stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

If you work in an office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, masks/face coverings should be worn at all times. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space (does not include partitioned work areas in a large open environment).

Masks/face coverings should be worn by any employees in a reception/receiving area. Masks/face coverings should be used when inside any Methodist facility where others are present, including walking in narrow hallways where others travel, stairways, break rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations.

Using Restrooms

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Using Elevators

No more than one person may enter an elevator at a time, so please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol upon departing the elevator.

Meetings

Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. To the extent possible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration technology. If meetings must be held in person, employees will meet in a space where participants can sit or stand at least six feet away from any other participant.

In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders and should not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements.

Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support social distancing practices between attendees. All attendees should wear a mask or face covering while sharing space in a common room.

During your time on campus, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, text message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom).

Employees who participate in off-campus meetings are expected to wear face masks or face coverings, regardless of whether other participants are wearing them.

Meals

Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

When dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Eating establishments must meet requirements to allow at least 6 feet of distance between each customer, including lines and seating arrangements. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if this is reasonable for your situation.

If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Only remove your mask or face covering in order to eat, then put it back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support social distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. after use in common areas.


Off Campus Meetings

Employees who participate in off-campus meetings and therefore representing Methodist University must:

  • Wear face masks or face coverings, regardless whether other participants are wearing them.
  • Follow the same general social distancing and hygiene guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Student Employment Information

Home

Methodist University is committed to continuing its vital mission of education while outlining policies and protocols for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is rooted in safety for our employees, students and visitors.

All student employees need to be familiar with and are expected to comply with the University’s protocols regarding COVID-19.  There are certain expectations that have been set out for employees that student employees are also required to follow.  The following sub sections identifies those areas.

Student Employment Process

One social distancing guideline the University has put in place is conducting business via phone, email, other remote technology to the extent possible vs. in-person.  The Payroll office has always been a high traffic office for student employees; therefore, it is requested that student employees call or email Payroll instead of visiting the office.

Student employees may contact studentemployment@methodist.edu with any work study questions, issues, or seeking of information.

We have made multiple changes to the process for student employment in order to focus on utilizing remote technology to the extent possible.  Below summarizes a few of these changes; please refer to the updated Student Employment Policies and Procedures for further detail.

  • Job listings for student employees will be available online, and students will email their job choice(s) to Payroll; students will be notified via email whether they have been approved for the job and next steps
  • Appointments should be made for visitation to the Payroll office
  • Student contracts will be signed by the student employee in Paycom
    • First time students or first-time student employees will still need to visit the Payroll office to bring original documents for the I-9; however, they must schedule an appointment in advance

MU Green Screen App

All students, faculty and staff are asked download the MU Green Screen App on their cell phones. You will be asked to sign a support pledge asking for your personal commitment to help the University keep our community safe this year. All students, faculty and staff are asked to complete this daily self-checkup to help everyone monitor their health. This health information will be kept confidential.

More than ever, our individual health impacts the entire community and we must daily take appropriate steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community. In order to attend classes or participate in campus activities and events, we are asking you to complete this daily health check.

The Green Screen app serves as a tool for self-screening purposes only and is not a diagnostic tool or substitute for medical advice. If you are showing symptoms common with COVID, that are unusual for you, it is very important to act immediately. Stay home or in your room, avoid all contact with others and do not go to class or work. Faculty and staff should call their supervisor (and then also their physician as they feel necessary). Students should call the Student Health Center at (910) 630-7164. Everyone should alert the Health Center of any testing/testing results. All health information given to the Health Center is confidential.

Please download the Green Screen App, sign the STAY SAFE Pledge of Cooperation and begin daily check-ins today to familiarize yourself with the process. Daily check-ins are required beginning August 10, 2020. See the instructions that are attached below.

Thank you for helping to keep our campus safe!

Students: Please contact Dr. Doris Munoz if you have any questions at dmunoz@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7022.

Download the App Now

MU Green Screen App Instructions

Get it on Google Play

Available on the App Store


Face Masks & Social Distancing

Face masks

  • Face masks are required to be worn in all University buildings, public settings and are required for all interpersonal interactions.
  • A face mask is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space.

Social Distancing

All employees must follow all social distancing protocols as indicated in the Returning to the Workplace guide; below summarizes them.

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart
  • Do not gather in groups of 10 or more
  • Meetings must be held via remote technology to the extent possible
  • Conversations must be held by phone, text message, or email to the extent possible
  • Follow all enter/exit control and social distancing signage (if you need a flyer for your area, you can find the flyers at methodist.edu/coronavirus under “Campus Social Distancing Signage.”)

Note: All visitors to campus, including contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., will be expected to follow these guidelines.

Hygiene

  • Employees should cough and sneeze into their elbow
  • Employees should wash hands for 20 or more seconds often; use hand sanitizer often when hand washing is not available
  • Employees should avoid touching their face

Student Employee Emotional & Mental Well Being Resources

Employee Assistance Program (EAP):

EAP assists employees (and students) with personal challenges that are affecting physical and mental health, relationships, and/or your job/academic effectiveness.  It’s designed to assist in achieving emotional and mental well-being.  There are no costs associated with participating in this service and use of the service is confidential.  Services are provided through Cape Fear Valley Health.  See further details: Employee Assistance Program.

To schedule an appointment, please contact: (910) 615-1733.

Center for Personal Development:

Visit the Center for Personal Development’s website for more information and resources to offer support, manage stress and enhance your resiliency.

To schedule an appointment, please call (910) 630-7150 or schedule online through the website.

Questions?

Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.


Protocol for Sanitation of Methodist University Buses

Employees who reserve Methodist University buses can be assured that Vehicle Operations is following these protocols for sanitation of buses before and after use:

  • Each bus will be treated between trips with atomized disinfectant. The treatment is as follows:
    • Each bus needs to be cleaned by the previous user understanding that whatever is exposed on the bus will be misted. Please put all armrests in the down position so they can be well exposed to the chemical.
    • The atomizer will be placed on a 5 foot step ladder
    • The buses will receive treatment in three-minute increments. The small buses will get two treatments of three minutes each with the atomizer located in the rear of the bus cabin for three minutes and the front of the bus cabin for three minutes. The larger bus will get three sessions of three minutes: front, rear and center for complete coverage.
    • The plastic areas like armrests, dash and wall areas will be damp to wet to the touch and the cloth seats will be lightly damp to the touch. The measure of the treatment of cloth areas will be indicated by the dampness of the plastic areas nearby because the cloth absorbs the liquid and may feel dry to the touch after treatment. The floors may be wet in appearance and to the touch.
    • The buses will air dry.
    • Vehicle Operations will treat the buses and quick trip turnaround may require some overtime. Anyone who is authorized to treat the buses will know the procedures for mixing the chemical and the chemical application.
    • Each bus will receive a sign indicating it has been treated and dated with grease pencil.
  • This treatment is being done as an added protection for our students. Individual PPE procedures and conduct on the buses is the responsibility of the department using the vehicle.

Questions? Contact us at forward@methodist.edu, our dedicated email address for COVID-19 communications.