Employee Flu Season FAQ
The following frequently asked questions will provide you with basic information regarding absences due to the seasonal flu or H1N1. If you have any other questions or need further assistance, please contact the Human Resources Division at 425-640-1400.
Can I work if I am exhibiting flu-like symptoms?
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, you are encouraged to stay home and self-isolate for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. If you are unable to perform your job duties because of illness, you may be asked to go home.
When can I return to work if I have had the flu?
You should plan to stay home at least 24 hours after you are free of fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
If sent home, or I stay home from work due to illness, will I be paid?
You may use accrued paid time off. If you do not have sufficient paid leave a leave-without-pay request must be submitted.
Will my absence be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
In general, absences due to the flu are not eligible for FMLA coverage. To be covered under FMLA, your absence must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Hospital care. (Most cases of flu do not require hospitalization.)
- Multi-day absence that involves continuous or multiple treatments by a health care provider or a single treatment by a health care provider. (Most people recover from the flu without any treatments by a health care provider.)
- Chronic condition which continues over an extended period of time and requires periodic treatments by a health care provider. (The flu is not a chronic illness.)
- Permanent/long-term condition that requires supervision. (As above, the flu is not a permanent or long-term condition.)
May I request to go home or not come to work if I don’t want to be exposed to a sick coworker?
With supervisory approval you may leave work or not come to work; however, you must use your own accrued leave. (Because you are not sick, sick leave would not be appropriate in this situation.) You may also talk with your supervisor about a temporary alternate work location.
My office (or center) has closed because of a flu outbreak; will I be paid for the time I do not work?
Upon the decision of the president to close the college, the provisions of the Suspended Operations regulation would prevail. During a closure, employees have the option of submitting paid leave or leave without pay. Similarly, if you are working at a center and the host institution (community college campus) closes, the provisions of the Suspended Operations regulation prevail. During a closure, employees have the option of submitting paid leave or leave without pay.
What if my local school district or day care closes and I have no one to watch my children?
Promptly notify your supervisor of the reason for your absence. Keep your supervisor informed of your absence and anticipated return to work date. Appropriate leave requests must be submitted.
If I can’t come to work, can I telecommute?
Managers and supervisors may approve ad hoc telecommuting arrangements. Such decisions will be based on the specifics of each situation. Some jobs are not suited for telecommuting due to specific job duties that cannot be performed at home.
Contacts in the Human Resources Division:
- Michael Grigsby, ext. 1153 – General flu questions
- Lian Sell, ext. 1069 – Leave/Benefits questions for last names A-M
- Debbie Lau, ext. 1077 – Leave/Benefits questions for last names N-Z