COVID-19 Interim Workplace Policies

Rhodes places the highest priority on the health, safety and well-being of our community, while being committed to the continuity of academic programs and essential functions.

Effective immediately, the College’s employment policies are being temporarily amended because of the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice as noted below. These policies will be revisited regularly and faculty and staff will be notified if further adjustments are made.

  • As announced previously, employees will not be required to use vacation or sick time for self -isolation or quarantine when it is required or recommended by public health authorities or by health care providers.  The College will require documentation from the healthcare provider for the leave to be approved.

Work Location or Schedule

  • As Dr. Hass has previously communicated, the College is committed to maintaining a full workforce and providing a safe, stable environment for our faculty and staff.  Employees should continue to report to work at their normal time and place.  If the College has to alter this course because of potential case of COVID-19 in our community, we will notify the campus community as quickly as possible.
  • In certain extenuating circumstances, it may be necessary for employees to arrange remote work options.  These arrangements may be approved on an as needed basis only in consultation with the divisional Vice-President.  Not all positions lend themselves easily to such remote work arrangements.   An approval should outline clear expectations for performance, deadlines, availability via phone or email, etc.  All departments are responsible for ensuring adequate office and phone coverage and appropriate levels of customer service.
  • Employees may use vacation or sick time to care for children because of COVID-19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees should not bring children or pets to work with them.
    • Employees may exceed the annual limits on the use of sick time (normally 12 days per year for staff) to care for children whose schools or care arrangements have been disrupted because of COVID-19.
         
    • Employees with insufficient accrued vacation or sick leave may use up to an additional 12 unearned sick days (they may accrue negative sick leave balances of up to 12 days) to care for children whose schools or care arrangements have been disrupted because of COVID-19.
       
    • Rhodes reserves the right to recoup this time from the final paycheck of employees who terminate before they rebuild their accrued sick time.

Social Distancing 

  • Maintain a safe social distance of 6 feet or more in all settings to include meetings.
  • Meeting sizes in terms of number of participants should be kept to a minimum in order to maintain safe social distance of 6 ft.
    • Meeting venue should be large enough to accommodate the 6 feet minimum social distancing
  • Recognize that COVID-19 is spread mainly through respiratory droplets that can suspend in air for a period of time, and to contain all respiratory secretions with tissue and then immediately discard and sanitize hands.
  • HANDWASHING with warm water and soap is the most effective way to prevent spread of disease, infection, and viruses.
  • If handwashing is not readily available utilize hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol based.

Workers at Higher Risk:

  • Employees who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions are encouraged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. If authorized by their physician, this may include requesting a temporary change in job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected.

Additional Assistance

EAP

  • If you need help with feelings of stress or anxiety about this extraordinary period of unprecedented global disruption, we encourage you to contact CONCERN, our Employee Assistance Program.  CONCERN provides counseling services to employees, their partners and members of their households at no cost.  Counselors are or certified seasoned professionals.  You may contact CONCERN 24/7 at (901) 458-4000 or 800-445-5011.   

Teledoc

  • We know that not everyone has a relationship with a doctor who can provide advice on the spot.  Here are some tips on what you can do:
  • If you are a member of the Rhodes health plan you are probably aware that you have access to Teladoc.  You can go online or call and talk to a real doctor 24/7, from anywhere in the United States, for a $5 copay.  Start by completing a registration at www.teladoc.com
  • If you are enrolled in health insurance elsewhere, you can still create an “open account” with Teladoc and utilize their services for $45 per consultation.  You may register at www.teladoc.com or call 1-800-835-2362.

This service is not just for suspected Covid-19 infections and applies to any non-life-threatening health issue for you or your family members.  Please keep in mind that due to high volume, Teladoc is currently experiencing longer than normal wait times for consultations.  However they are still able to provide a consultation in less than 30 minutes on average.