The purpose of this policy is to help ensure workplace health and safety and the well‐being of students, faculty, staff, family, and visitors to the University by reducing the potential or actual exposure to seasonal or pandemic flu.
This policy is applicable to all UNMC students and employees to include Office/Service, Managerial/Professional, Faculty, and other Academic positions. It also may apply to campus visitors such as applicants to educational programs, applicants for employment, volunteers, and vendors.
Basis of the Policy
The University of Nebraska will monitor guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local health officials, and may revise this flu season policy as more information becomes available.
UNMC seeks to minimize the risk of influenza infection in patients, staff, students and visitors. Nebraska Medicine is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccination rates of those working in its facilities. Reporting flu vaccination status is required in an effort to minimize impact of influenza on our campus community and to assist the clinical enterprise with this reporting requirement. Some facilities require students provide proof of vaccination status before allowing them to participate in clinical rotations.
Authorities and Administration
The UNMC Division Director, Benefits & Work-Life Programs is responsible for the administration, implementation and maintenance of the policy in consultation with the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Executive Director of Human Resources and the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine.
UNMC, in conjunction with Nebraska Medicine, has developed an online reporting system for employees and students to report influenza vaccination statuses.
Each influenza season employees must complete the reporting requirement. To be labeled as complete, employees can get the vaccination at one of the mass vaccination clinics on the Omaha UNMC campus, receive the vaccine elsewhere and document receipt of vaccine in the online system, or decline the vaccination and answer the required questions in the online system. The employee will then be marked as 100% complete in the system.
The vaccination information for students who receive their vaccination at UNMC Student Health or at a Student Health sponsored vaccination clinic on the main campus will automatically be imported into the student’s PeopleSoft MyRecords Immunization Center. Those vaccinated elsewhere must update their immunization records themselves online using MyRecords. Students should log on and click on Access Immunization Center to upload their current immunization documentation.
Prevention of Illness
The University of Nebraska endorses and encourages all faculty, staff and students to adhere to the guidance of the CDC in order to minimize your risk of becoming sick with seasonal or pandemic flu. The CDC recommends four main prevention techniques
- Get the influenza vaccination.
- Practice good hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol‐based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue is not available, the cough or sneeze should be directed into a sleeve, elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread this way.
- Individuals who are sick with influenza-like illnesses should stay home.
University of Nebraska faculty, staff and students are required NOT to report to work or school if they have a fever greater than 100.4° Fahrenheit (38° C), combined with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Diarrhea and/or
Actions Expected of Faculty, Staff, and Students
Faculty, staff and students who exhibit two or more of these symptoms should take the following actions:
- Notify their supervisor/professors they are ill and will not be able to work/attend classes.
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever has subsided except to get medical care (the fever should be gone without the use of a fever‐reducing medicine). The University will not require a doctor's note for faculty or staff to validate their illness or to return to work.
- Stay isolated to keep from potentially exposing other people.
- Seek medical advice from primary care physician or health practitioner.
Possible University Actions
Faculty, staff or students who display influenza‐like illness symptoms may be sent home. Those who display symptoms and refuse to leave after being asked to do so may be subject to disciplinary action.
Sick Leave and FMLA
Benefits-eligible faculty and staff who are ill but do not have not enough accrued sick leave will be required to use accrued vacation leave, earned compensatory time, or leave without pay for the work hours missed. Faculty and staff who have exhausted all other leave options may request a leave‐time advance of up to five days or seek to access the University's "crisis leave" benefit (see Regent Policy 3.3.12) through normal campus procedures. All procedures governing sick leave remain in effect (see Regent Bylaws 126.96.36.199 and 3.5). Faculty and staff must continue to follow normal leave notification procedures and guidelines established by their campus. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for eligible faculty and staff will be concurrent with authorized sick leave.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
Please see UNMC's Notice of Non-Discrimination regarding the University of Nebraska Medical Center's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment.
- Faculty and staff who have specific questions regarding benefits, pay, or leave policies should contact Human Resources - Employee Relations at 402-559-7394 or 402-559-8534
- UNMC Policy No. 1001, Employee Leave
- Employee Leave Procedures
- UNMC Policy No. 1098, Corrective/Disciplinary Action
- University of Nebraska Board of Regents Bylaws and Policies
- For more information about the flu, what you need to know, when flu season is, how flu spreads, who is at high risk, prevention information, etc.