Griffin Return: Workplace Policies

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Workplace Policies

This information has been prepared in an effort to respond to questions you may have about returning to on-campus work.

Specific questions can be directed to Linda Pipitone, Director of Human Resources, via phone at 314-889-1493 or email at


What if I am at higher risk, and I am concerned about returning to work?

You can complete and submit a Vulnerable Persons Accommodation Request and a Telecommuting Request, if applicable. Approval is not guaranteed; Fontbonne intends to follow CDC recommendations closely, although department requirements and staffing needs may require a nuanced approach. 

What if I become ill with COVID-19 or I am placed on an order of quarantine or isolation?

Per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), you may be eligible for Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave or other paid leave entitlements. You may also be entitled to up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, subject to your health care provider’s certification. Note that part-time faculty may also be eligible for paid leave. Please review and complete the request form below.

What if I have exhausted all of my sick time, or have not accrued enough sick time, and I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

The FFCRA includes provisions for up to 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave that can be taken through December 31, 2020. Your eligibility for such paid sick leave will be reviewed and administered in accordance with the regulations in force at the time of your diagnosis. Please review and complete the request form below.

What if I have to take care of someone who is ill with COVID-19 after we re-open?

You may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Please review and complete the request form below.

What if I have to take care of my child whose school is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19?

You may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Expanded Family and Medical Leave (for childcare needs due to school or day care closure). Please review and complete the request form below.

What if I have been around someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you were in close contact with the person, you should self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more (continuously) or being directly exposed to respiratory droplets (within six feet) during a coughing event. Any household member is automatically a close contact. Every effort will be made to accommodate a telecommuting arrangement during self-quarantine. If telecommuting is not available, you may be eligible for pay under the FFCRA

All employees that contract or are exposed to COVID-19 must inform Human Resources. To whom may Fontbonne disclose the identity of the employee?

Per Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, Fontbonne may only disclose medical information to a public health agency without violating confidentiality obligations. Fontbonne will take care to protect employees’ privacy. Fontbonne will not otherwise identify an employee with COVID-19 unless the employee provides, in writing, a truly voluntary consent for Fontbonne to do so.

What are reasonable accommodations for individuals that could offer protection to an employee who, due to a preexisting disability, is at higher risk from COVID-19 but must perform their job on campus?

According to the EEOC, even with the constraints imposed by a pandemic, some accommodations may meet an employee’s needs on a temporary basis without causing undue hardship on the employer. If not already implemented for all employees, accommodations for those who request reduced contact with others due to a disability may include changes to the work environment such as designating one-way aisles; using plexiglass, tables or other barriers to ensure minimum distances and physical barriers from customers and coworkers whenever feasible per CDC guidance; or other accommodations that reduce the chances of exposure. Temporary job restructuring of marginal job duties, temporary transfers to a different position or modifying a work schedule or shift assignment may also permit an individual with a disability to perform safely the essential functions of his or her job while reducing risk.

How much information can Fontbonne request from an employee who calls in sick in order to protect the rest of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic?

During a pandemic, ADA-covered employers, including Fontbonne, may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. Symptom screening will be based on CDC guidance and updated regularly if that guidance changes. Fontbonne will maintain all information about employee illness as confidential medical records in compliance with the ADA.

Can Fontbonne require that employees stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes, Fontbonne will restrict symptomatic employees from coming onsite. The CDC states that employees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 should leave the workplace.

Where can I find resources related to mental health issues, if needed?

I’m feeling unsure about my work environment or I don’t feel like my work environment is safe. What should I do?

Every employee should send an email to their direct supervisor if they feel that their work environment is not safe. If the concerns are not resolved by the direct supervisor then the employee should contact the divisional vice president. Supervisors are expected to listen carefully to employee concerns about the work environment. If straightforward modifications can resolve the concern they should be made unless the modifications interfere with the work environment or are unreasonable. Supervisors should seek assistance from their divisional vice president if they are unsure how to resolve the concern. It is Fontbonne’s intention to use the CDC, ACHA and St. Louis County guidance to inform our response.

What should I do if I observe an employee, student or visitor not following our COVID-19 procedures?

A group is developing additional guidance on this topic that will be available prior to the return of students to campus. In the interim, we recommend the following:

  • If you are comfortable approaching the person, we recommend that your first course of action is to politely ask the individual to comply with our policies (which may include directing them to disposable masks or educating them about our policies).

  • If you are unsuccessful or uncomfortable with that step or if you have already taken that step, please inform your supervisor and, if known, that person’s supervisor. Compliance is important and will be taken seriously. Following our usual policies, disciplinary action will be taken if limited education and reminders are not sufficient.

  • If any individual is a safety threat to you or to the campus, please contact Public Safety. We recognize that it may take a bit of practice to build a culture around masking, distancing, and other protective procedures, but it is critical that we model this behavior for our students.


What should a supervisor do if one of their employees is not following COVID-19 procedures?

It may take a bit of practice to get in a habit, but all employees are expected to make a good faith effort and come into quick compliance with these procedures. Supervisors should provide a few (two or three) reminders about proper mask usage, distancing and other procedures. After these, supervisors must document each violation with an email to Human Resources and to the employee. Human Resources will work with the supervisor to take disciplinary action after two or three documented violations. Outright refusal to comply with safety procedures may result in immediate termination for cause.

What personal protective equipment is Fontbonne providing?

Fontbonne is providing three cloth masks to each employee and two cloth masks to each student. The masks are made of cloth and are manufactured by Numed8 ( They are Fontbonne branded. All cloth masks are intended to protect others, and our rigorous mask policy is aligned with our mission to promote the common good.

Can I substitute a face shield for a mask?

No. There is not sufficient evidence that a face shield reduces transmission of the virus to others, and a face shield alone does not meet our masking requirements.

Will all offices be provided with cleaning wipes?

Yes. Every university office should have already been provided with wipes in March. If you have exhausted your supply or were missed in March, please contact Fred Reed at and wipes will be provided. Classroom wipe dispensers are expected to be installed the week of August 3, 2020.

What should I do if I feel an area needs cleaning or if a hand sanitizer is empty?

If an area is in need of cleaning or if a soap or sanitizer dispenser is empty, please contact or alert your supervisor.

It seems like individual offices still have a lot of detail to fill in.

That’s true. However, individual office procedures are very specialized, and those need to be developed by the supervisor with input from all office staff. As offices develop these procedures, please review the Griffin Return document. Office practices should keep these principles in mind:

  • Maintain 6’ distancing at all times

  • The virus can be spread by air or by touch. High touch surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

  • Steps should be taken to sanitize or reduce the number of touches on high touch surfaces.

  • Do not modify signage or protocol for your area without checking with your supervisor first.


Where can I eat? Are there any precautions to take?

On August 3, the cafeteria will not yet be open. While eating or drinking, you can remove your mask. During meals, you should maintain your distance and avoid excessive or loud talking as these activities can spread respiratory droplets. As soon as you are finished, please restore your mask.


The following frequently asked questions address situations that may be requested under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

How will COVID-19 impact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA and Rehabilitation Act, as well as their state and local counterparts, continue to apply during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state or local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19.

Where will Fontbonne store on-site medical examination results?

The ADA requires that all medical information, including temperature check results, be stored separately from the employee’s personnel file. Fontbonne will store such files and data from screening separately and properly secured to protect the confidentiality of the data.

What are considered medical files?

For purposes of COVID-19, medical files include temperature or testing results, an employee’s statement that he or she has the disease or suspects he or she has the disease or the employer’s notes or other documentation from questioning an employee about symptoms, including symptom screening applications.

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As we continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and guidance from the CDC and St. Louis County, Fontbonne has implemented health and safety precautions for a return to campus.Learn more on our Griffin Return page.