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Working Safely and Maintaining Workplace Health Standards

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  • Working Safely and Maintaining Workplace Health Standards

    Type of Policy: Human Resources
    Last Revised: May 19, 2021

    Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to outline the responsibility of all UF employees to work safely and maintain workplace health standards.

    As the University of Florida emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, UF has established employee workplace health standards to promote a healthy environment for all UF affiliates and visitors. This policy provides guidance on appropriate workplace health standards, including workplace and personal hygiene practices.

    Policy Statement

    The University of Florida is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. To foster a healthy working and learning environment, UF promotes workplace health standards. University employees share the responsibility and are expected to practice and maintain a healthy environment.

    Scope

    This policy applies to all employees, contractors, vendors, and volunteers at the University of Florida.

    Policy Requirements

    Requirements

    UF employees are responsible for understanding and practicing appropriate safety measures in the workplace to help reduce the spread of communicable illnesses and germs, and maintain a healthy work environment for all.

    If employees are feeling sick, they must stay home until the symptoms of their illness subside and consult with their personal health care provider, if necessary. Employees who are ill upon arrival to work or become ill during the day should notify their supervisor and follow their instructions, which may include sending the employee home. Employees should not return to work until symptoms have improved. Employees must follow all department reporting procedures for absences, including accurately reporting their work time and absence from the office in myUFL. During the absence, employees may work from home, if approved, and shall use accrued sick leave or leave without pay if unable to work. In situations in which the reason for the absence is due to an employee’s serious health condition, the absence may be covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

    Employees must practice and maintain personal hygiene to help ensure a healthy workplace.  Strategies to accomplish this include:

    • Washing hands to aid in keeping employees healthy and preventing the spread of illness to co-workers. All employees should adhere to the CDC recommendations on handwashing:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Covering all coughs and sneezes.
    • Cleaning workstations and surfaces regularly to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses and the accumulation of dust.

    Actions for noncompliance

    If an employee does not comply with the requirements for working safely and adhering to workplace health standards as outlined in this policy, the supervisor should contact their college/unit HR Liaison, who may consult with Employee Relations. The employee’s behavior may be considered disruptive under University Regulation 1.008. In egregious situations, the employee may receive disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

    If an employee is found to be ill or exhibits symptoms of being ill, the supervisor may require the employee to leave the workplace.  If the employee does not comply with a directive to leave their work location, the supervisor should contact their HR Liaison and Employee Relations.

    Employees may be required to obtain clearance from their personal healthcare provider to return to work, depending upon the circumstances of their illness. Invited guests who fail to comply with the safety requirements of this policy will be asked to leave campus. It is the responsibility of the unit that invites the guest to ensure compliance.

    Resources

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    UFHR – Employee Relations

    UF Employee Assistance Program

    UF Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity (formerly known as UF ADA Office)

    UFHR Leave Administration – Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Sick Leave Information

    UFHR Leave Administration – Time Reporting

    • Employees who seek an accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) shall submit a Request for Reasonable Accommodation Based on Disability Form to the UF Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity. A review of the request and analysis of the identified impairment will determine whether the reported condition meets the criteria of disability under the ADA and whether the accommodation(s) requested is/are reasonable and appropriate.

    Definitions

    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

    Authority

    • UF Regulation 7.048 Academic Affairs; Suspension, Termination and Other Disciplinary Action for Faculty: Definition of Just Cause, Termination, Suspension and Other Disciplinary Action, Suspension pending Investigation, Notification and Records of Disciplinary Action
    • UF Regulation 3.046 Discipline, Suspension and Dismissal for Cause of Technical, Executive, Administrative and Managerial Support (TEAMS) Staff
    • UF Regulation 3.047 Finance and Administration; University Support Personnel System (USPS); Disciplinary Procedures
    • UF Regulation 1.008 Disruptive Behavior

    Reporting Questions or Violations

    The following is the department, office or individual is responsible for overseeing implementation of and assuring compliance with this policy. Any individual with questions about the policy may contact:

    UFHR – Employee Relations
    903 W. University Avenue
    P.O. Box 115000
    Gainesville, FL 32611
    https://hr.ufl.edu/manager-resources/employee-relations/contact-us/
    Email: EmployeeRelations@hr.ufl.edu