Wasco Union High School District

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Business & HR Office » COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Stop the Spread of Germs
COVID-19 New Leave Provision Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

for Employees re: Impacts of COVID-19

 

  1. What should an employee do if they are experiencing symptoms commonly associated with a cold or flu?

Employees who are feeling ill should stay home and utilize the established call-in absence procedures.  Employees should also contact their health care provider or local health official.  An employee who is absent due to illness will utilize their accrued sick leave.    

  1. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and completed the course of action are they required to retest prior to returning to work?

No, as per the kern county Health Department guide employees do not have to have a positive test to return to work once they have completed the course of action that was provided by the Health Department.

  1. What if an employee comes to work with visible symptoms commonly associated with a cold or flu?

Wasco Union High School District (WUHSD) is required to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees.  If an employee visibly appears sick at work, WUHSD will send the employee home and ask the employee to not return until the employee is well.  In certain circumstances, and in compliance with applicable CBAs, Board policies, and/or practices, WUHSD may require a doctor’s note clearing an employee to return to work.

  1. If an employee is sent home because they are ill, how will they be compensated?

Employees may be eligible for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).  For more information on the FFCRA and to request such leave, please refer to the FFCRA Notice and COVID-19 Leave Request that were sent to all employees and posted on the District’s website under “Business Department/Human Resource/COVID-19.”

Additionally, employees will be compensated pursuant to leave provisions set forth in applicable CBAs, Board policies and/or practices.  For example, an employee who is sent home due to illness will utilize their accumulated sick leave.

Depending on the duration of any WUHSD closure of schools, the amount of leave employees have accrued, and the nature of leave due to COVID-19, some employees may exhaust sick leave or enter into differential pay sick leave.

Depending on the circumstance, employees may request or provide information that invokes family leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA). 

Moreover, the Board of Education has the discretion to grant additional paid leaves due to the quarantine of certificated (Ed. Code 44964) and classified (Ed. Code, § 45199) employees who have come into contact with persons with contagious diseases.  WUHSD will collaborate with labor representatives before enacting any additional leave policies.

  1. Are employees required to work in the event of a school closure or office shutdown?

Public employees are considered disaster service workers in conditions of disaster or extreme peril pursuant to Government Code sections 3100-3109, and therefore, may be required to work by WUHSD.  WUHSD administration will determine which employees would be necessary to perform essential work in the event of a closure or shutdown.

  1. What happens if WUHSD temporarily closes schools and workplaces in response to COVID-19?

As stated above, depending on the employee’s job duties, employees may be required to work during the closure, either on-site or telecommuting, if possible.

If employees are not required to work during the closure, but are otherwise available to work and not on an approved absence, the employee will be placed on paid administrative leave.  Employees who are on paid administrative leave during a closure shall remain available during their normal work hours and may be contacted and assigned duties during this time as needed. 

  1. May an employee refuse to report to work or otherwise refuse to perform duties within their job description?

Unless the employee is otherwise excused from work, the employee is required to perform their job duties.  Please see below regarding employees considered “high-risk” with respect to COVID-19.    

  1. What if an employee is considered “high-risk” with respect to COVID-19?

On March 15, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom requested that “high-risk” individuals, which are adults over the age of 65 and those with underlying health issues, such as blood disorders, chronic kidney disease, asthma, chronic liver disease, compromised immune systems, pregnancies in the last two weeks, metabolic disorders, heart disease and other conditions that make them more susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19, to self-isolate themselves from others.

If an employee fits within this “high-risk” category and is concerned with reporting to work, the employee should contact Business Department/Human Resources.  The “high-risk” employee may be accommodated with telecommuting or other workplace accommodations if possible.  The “high-risk” employee may be eligible for paid leave under the FFCRA, as well as entitled to utilize leave in the applicable CBA provisions and/or Board policies, and FMLA/CFRA where warranted.

For more information on the FFCRA and to request such leave, please refer to the FFCRA Notice and COVID-19 Leave Request that were sent to all employees and posted on the District’s website under “Business Department/Human Resources/COVID-19.”

  1. If an employee has been out sick, does the employee have to provide a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work?

This depends on how long the employee has been out sick and applicable CBA provisions or Board policies.  WUHSD will comply with all applicable policies, as well as follow recommendations and directives from governmental agencies.

  1. What if an employee needs to be absent to care for an ill or quarantined family member?

Employees may be eligible for paid leave under the FFCRA, as well as entitled to utilize leave in the applicable CBA provisions and/or Board policies, and FMLA/CFRA where warranted.

For more information on the FFCRA and to request such leave, please refer to the FFCRA Notice and COVID-19 Leave Request that were sent to all employees and posted on the District’s website under “Business Department/Human Resources/COVID-19.”

  1. What if an employee needs to be absent for child care reasons because of the child’s school or care provider closure due to COVID-19?

Employees may be eligible for paid leave under the FFCRA, as well as entitled to utilize leave in the applicable CBA provisions and/or Board policies, such as personal necessity leave and other leave in conformity with Labor Code section 230.8.  Employee may request accommodations through an interactive process by contacting the Business Department/Human Resources.

For more information on the FFCRA and to request such leave, please refer to the FFCRA Notice and COVID-19 Leave Request that were sent to all employees and posted on the District’s website under “Business Department/Human Resources/COVID-19.”

 

FACE COVERINGS

  1. Are employees required to wear a face covering while at work?

Yes.  State health officials have directed that face coverings should be worn by students and staff to help prevent the spread of droplets that emanate from the nose and mouth, which can spread the virus.

  1. When do employees need to wear a face covering?

Employees working onsite at any WUHSD location are required to wear a face covering when entering buildings/sites/classrooms, restrooms, workrooms, when walking through any common areas, and when working in close proximity of other staff/students/visitors (closer than 6 feet).

  1. What are my options if I cannot wear a face covering due to medical reasons?

Please notify the Business Department/Human Resources at (661) 438-1559.  A Human Resources staff member will discuss your options, which will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

  1. I do not want to wear a face covering, may I opt out?

No.  All employees are required to wear a face covering while at work or on District property.

  1. Do face shields replace masks?

No, a face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.  

 

 

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION

  1. What measures is the District taking to ensure that the schools/site and vehicles are being adequately disinfected?

In accordance with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), high touch surfaces and school vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected daily, and as practicable, frequently throughout the day using an EPA approved disinfectant effective against COVID-19.

 

  1. Will the District be using Electrostatic Spraying Systems to disinfect buildings?

MOT will use Electrostatic Spraying Systems at the end of each instructional day to disinfect the buildings, including all high touch surfaces, door handles, student and teacher desks. 

  1. Will the District provide disinfecting supplies to staff?

Yes, the District has a supply inventory that is monitored through the MOT department.  Employees are expected to submit a work order request through the School Dude system.  Employees are required to complete the mandated Basic IMP for the Classroom and Office Environment 20/21 and Integrated Germ Management 20/21 to meet the requirements of the Health Schools Act and the WUHSD Protocols and Procedures during COVID-19.

 

*WUHSD will continue to update these FAQs as new developments occur.