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Policy No: 1102
Effective Date: 08/25/10
Revised Date: 01/06/11
Reviewed Date: 12/10/13
Flu Season Policy
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to help ensure workplace health and safety and the well‐being of students, faculty, staff, family, and visitors to the University by reducing the potential or actual exposure to the Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus or seasonal flu.
2.1 This policy is applicable to all UNMC students, and employees to include Office/Service, Managerial/Professional, Faculty, and Other Academic positions. It also may apply to campus visitors like applicants for educational programs, applicants for employment, volunteers, and vendors.
Basis of the Policy
3.1 The University of Nebraska will monitor guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local health officials, and may revise this flu season policy as more information becomes available.
Authorities and Administration
4.1 The UNMC Division Director, Benefits & Work-Life Programs is responsible for the administration implementation and maintenance of the policy in consultation with the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Executive Director of Human Resources.
5.1 Prevention of Illness. The University of Nebraska endorses and encourages all faculty, staff and students to adhere to the guidance of the CDC in order to minimize your risk of becoming sick with seasonal or H1N1 flu. The CDC recommends four main prevention techniques:
5.1.1 Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol‐based hand cleaners are also effective. Frequently clean commonly used surfaces such as door knobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, keyboards, counter tops, faucets, and bathroom areas.
5.1.2 Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
5.1.3 Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating), except to get medical care. This should be determined without the use of fever‐reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin). Staying away from others ("self‐isolation") while sick, even if you are taking antiviral drugs for treatment of the flu, can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate, friend, or family member to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.
5.1.4 Talk to your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu and/or H1N1 flu. People under age 25 are one of the key groups recommended by the CDC to be among the first to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. Individuals who are at higher risk of complications may benefit from early treatment and time to recovery may be shorter for persons treated promptly with antiviral medicines upon the onset of symptoms. : The CDC discourages members of the public who are ill from visiting campus or attending institution‐sponsored events until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours.
5.2 If You Become Ill. University of Nebraska faculty, staff and students are required NOT to report to work or school if they have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38° C), combined with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Diarrhea and/or
Faculty, staff and students who exhibit two or more of these symptoms should take the following actions:
- Notify your supervisor/professors that you are ill and will not be able to work/attend classes.
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care (your fever should be gone without the use of a fever‐reducing medicine). The University will not require a doctor's note for faculty or staff to validate their illness or to return to work.
- Isolate yourself to keep from potentially exposing other people.
- Seek medical advice from your primary care physician or health practitioner.
Faculty, staff or students who display influenza‐like illness symptoms may be sent home. Those who display symptoms and refuse to leave after being asked to do so may be subject to disciplinary action.
5.3 Benefits eligible faculty and staff who are ill but do not have not enough accrued sick leave time will be required to use accrued vacation leave, earned compensatory time, or leave without pay for the work hours missed. Faculty and staff who have exhausted all other leave options may request a leave‐time advance of up to five days or seek to access the University's "crisis leave" benefit (see Regent Policy 3.3.12) through normal campus procedures. All procedures governing sick leave remain in effect (see Regent Bylaws 18.104.22.168 and 3.5). Faculty and staff must continue to follow normal leave notification procedures and guidelines established by their campus. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for eligible faculty and staff will be concurrent with authorized sick leave.
Equal Employment Opportunity
6.1 The University of Nebraska Medical Center declares and affirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunities, affirmative action in employment, and nondiscrimination in providing its services to the public. Therefore, the University of Nebraska Medical Center shall not discriminate against anyone based on race, age, color, disability, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, political affiliation, Vietnam-era veteran status, or special disabled Veteran status. Sexual harassment in any form, including hostile environment and quid pro quo, is prohibited.