City Staff Resources

COVID-19 informational graphic image

EMPLOYEE FAQ: COVID-19

To protect employees and minimize opportunities to spread COVID-19 in our community, the City is taking precautionary measures to minimize person-to-person contact, including having non-essential employees work from home or report on staggered schedules. 

To address potential concerns related to COVID-19 and the steps the City is taking, below are answers to commonly-asked questions. Please contact your supervisor with any additional questions or concerns you may have.

WHY IS THE CITY IMPLEMENTING A CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID – 19) RESPONSE PLAN?  

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID – 19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.Given the uncertainty of how severe this outbreak will be, we are taking proactive steps to ensure a safe workplace and implement practices that reduce exposure risk to City staff and public safety employees, reduce opportunities for community spread, support public safety agencies and emergency responders, and ensure continuity of City services. 

WILL I BE WORKING?

Major operating departments will be responsible for preparing department specific emergency response plans to ensure continuity of operations and essential services during these emergency conditions. All personnel designated as essential will be working to maintain continuity of City operations. Essential personnel who will have face-to-face contact, are encouraged to take all necessary protections. All department directors are authorized to implement work-from-home options, alternative work schedules, staggered work schedules, and the like to ensure employee safety while maintaining continuity of City operations. 

WILL I BE PAID DURING THIS EMERGENCY CONDITION?

The City Manager has determined that a public health emergency condition exists. Non-essential, full-time employees who are directed not to report, to report late, or to leave early will not forfeit any regular compensation. Time off due to an emergency condition, as declared by the City Manager, will not be considered as time worked for overtime computation purposes. Essential employees who report to their regular work locations or to an alternate emergency work location as instructed shall receive their regular rate of pay.

HOW OFTEN WILL I NEED TO CHECK IN WITH MY SUPERVISOR?

The City’s call in procedures are still in effect. If you are authorized to work from home, you will need to check in as directed by your department management.

WHEN WILL NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO WORK?

Your department management will advise you when you may return to work. At this time, the City anticipates that non-essential personnel working strictly from home will do so until further notice.

HOW WILL I KNOW ABOUT REPORTING BACK TO WORK IF I AM A NON-ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEE?

All employees are responsible for monitoring the City’s website (http://emergency.greenvillesc.gov), and maintaining contact with their supervisor to be aware of reporting requirements or staffing levels for their respective department at all times during the COVID-19 emergency.

MAY THE CITY REQUIRE A RETURN TO WORK DOCTOR’S NOTE FOR AN EMPLOYEE RETURNING TO WORK AFTER EXHIBITING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS?  

A doctor’s note should be provided prior to returning to work, you are unable to obtain a doctor’s note, the employee should contact the Employee Health Center.

MAY THE CITY SEND HOME, OR REQUIRE TO WORK FROM HOME, AN ASYMPTOMATIC EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WITH COVID-19 SUCH AS A FAMILY MEMBER OR CLOSE FRIEND?

Yes, if the asymptomatic employee fits within certain categories established by the CDC’s guidance which categorizes employees based on symptoms and risk. The CDC defines “symptomatic” as subjective or measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. CDC defines “close contact” as being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (close contact can occur while caring for or living with, visiting or sharing a healthcare waiting area room with a COVID-19 case); or having direct contact with infected secretions of the COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

IF AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT FEEL WELL ENOUGH TO RETURN TO WORK AT LEAST 72 HOURS AFTER NO LONGER HAVING THE FEVER OR EXHIBITING SIGNS OF THE FEVER (WITHOUT THE AID OF FEVER REDUCING MEDICATIONS) OR OTHER SYMPTOMS, MAY HE OR SHE REMAIN OUT OF WORK?

Yes. The City will follow current guidance from the CDC and public health authorities as it is updated. If an employee is given specific restrictions on instruction by a public health authority or a medical provider, for the health of our workplace, the City will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate those instructions including providing additional leave if necessary.

IF AN EMPLOYEE SAYS HE OR SHE IS READY TO RETURN TO WORK AND HAS A DOCTOR’S RETURN TO WORK NOTE, AND THE CITY IS CONCERNED THE EMPLOYEE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SAFELY PERFORM HIS OR HER DUTIES, MAY THE CITY REFUSE TO ALLOW THE EMPLOYEE TO RETURN TO WORK?

No, unless the City has a reasonable, objective basis to doubt the validity of the medical documentation supplied by the employee, or the employee otherwise poses a direct threat to himself or others.

IF AN EMPLOYEE EXHIBITS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, MAY A SUPERVISOR ORDER HIM/HER TO LEAVE WORK OR WORK FROM HOME? IF SO, WILL THE EMPLOYEE BE PAID FOR THE ABSENCE?

Yes, the employee may be required to go home. The employee should notify the Employee Health Center if he or she is diagnosed with COVID-19. This will be an FMLA qualifying event, in which case the employee will be provided with the appropriate documentation, including but not limited to the requirements for returning to work. Any absence due to illness will be covered by available leave in accordance with the City’s standard policies. 

IF A SUPERVISOR SUSPECTS AN EMPLOYEE IS ILL OR CONTAGIOUS, MAY THE SUPERVISOR PROHIBIT THE EMPLOYEE FROM REPORTING TO WORK OR RETURNING TO WORK?

Unless a supervisor has evidence (suspicion is not enough) that an employee is physically unable to perform the job or poses a risk to himself or others, the supervisor may not prohibit the employee from reporting to work. 

WHAT STEPS HAS THE CITY TAKEN TO ADDRESS HEALTH CARE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19?

Since the City is self-insured, Human Resources has directed Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) to waive prior authorization and cover testing for COVID-19 at 100%, and to waive copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for COVID-19 related health care.

IS TELEMEDICINE AVAILABLE?

Yes.  Employees may get the free benefit of telemedicine through the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) or Prisma Health.

Virtual Care MUSC
https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html
No appointment.
Accessible for entire family.
Use log-in code “COVID19”

Free Prisma Health Virtual Visit
https://www.prismahealth.org/coronavirus/
Access to a Prisma Health care provider from your mobile device or computer.
Get a free Virtual Visit with promo code “COVID19”

CAN I TRAVEL OUT OF TOWN?

City-funded in-state travel outside of Greenville has been cancelled through April 30. Out-of-state travel from Greenville for City-related work has been cancelled through April 30.

DO I NEED TO REPORT OUT-OF-STATE AND OUT-OF-COUNTRY TRAVEL?

Employees should notify the Employee Health Center of out-of-state/out-of-country travel prior to returning to work.