Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID-19 Human Resources FAQs

Q. When should an emergency employee stay home?

A. The Governor has provided recommended guidance for well individuals with potential COVID-19 exposure and for those who are ill with fever or respiratory symptoms (like cough or difficulty breathing). HR has provided a checklist for administrators and supervisors to aid employees.

Q. When should an emergency employee return to work?
In accordance with the Governor’s recommended guidance, you should stay home and isolate from others until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
  • at least seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Q. How is leave being addressed during the closure?
A. Entering Leave: Employees do not need to enter leave during the closure, unless you are deemed an emergency employee. Please do not add or delete any leaves in the Frontline system during this time. HR will address this for all employees. Any leave scheduled during the closure will be removed and the leave will be credited back to the employee’s account.

COVID-19 Leave: Beginning April 1, 2020 The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) allows employees additional paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. If you have specific questions, please contact HR (johnstonj@wdmcs.org).

FMLA: The days during the closure will not count towards an employee’s FMLA leave balance unless you are deemed an emergency employee. If you are on FMLA you do not need to adjust your leave request. HR will adjust all FMLA leave according to the federal regulations. If you are on FMLA you are not expected nor are you permitted to work during your leave. If your status changes and you are authorized to return to work by your doctor, please notify HR (armstrongj@wdmcs.org or johnstonj@wdmcs.org).

Unpaid Leave: Employees who were on unpaid leave prior to the closure will remain in unpaid leave status during the closure.

Worker’s Compensation: Employees receiving worker’s compensation benefits need to email Carol Seid at seidc@wdmcs.org or Carol Rushing at rushingc@wdmcs.org.

Q. How will salaries and wages be paid during the closure?
Our Board of Education has approved a resolution that provides authority to pay regular salary and wages for all employees through April 12, 2020, and 1.5 times the wages for those hourly employees deemed as emergency for the hours worked for the same time period. (This includes wages for long term substitutes, but does not include wages for substitutes in less than a long term assignment). If the closure is beyond April 12, 2020, additional Board action would be required.

Q. Will benefits continue?
A. Benefits will continue without interruption, and premiums will be deducted in the same manner as usual.

Q. How will employee evaluations be conducted?
Professional growth model (PGM) processes will be paused during the closure. The district will work with the BOEE and employees to ensure licensure requirements are met and PGM processes are addressed.

Q. How will we conduct interviews and hiring?
HR will work with hiring administrators and supervisors to conduct virtual interviewing and hiring procedures during the closure.

Q. What is expected of employees during this time?

A. Unless you are an employee expected to report to work you should not be on district sites during the closure. Our buildings and facilities are closed.

  • Salaried employees: Salaries continue; employees should report to or work remotely, or take appropriate leave. If working remotely, check email at least daily, be accessible and complete work responsibilities as assigned.
  • Certified employees: Salaries continue; certified employees should follow the guidance of Supervisor/Administrator. Certified employees should check email at least daily during the week, be available to complete or participate in online PD, participate in virtual interviews, virtual meetings or other projects, virtual PLC collaboration, communication with families/students following the guidance of building/district expectations, provide online resources and continuous learning opportunities for students, complete clerical work as needed for the position. Guidance provided from the Department of Education or other appropriate entity may require an adjustment of these expectations.
  • Support/Non-unit employees: Wages continue for hourly employees; employees may be determined as emergency employees depending on situation need.

  • Identified Emergency Employees: Employees working remotely or directed to be at work, pay rate will be time and a half for regular work hours for hourly employees designated as emergency. If working remotely, employees should be accessible during the regular work hours to participate in meetings, projects, complete assigned tasks, and possibly come to the workplace. Requests for individuals to come into the workplace or work remotely will be reviewed and approved by Superintendency prior to work completed.

    > Identified roles and time frame determined by Superintendency.
    > For work performed during the designated time noted as an emergency, the employee will be paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate.
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COVID-19/Coronavirus Information

This page is intended to be a source of information about COVID-19 and provide links to the most updated information on how it is impacting our West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) community.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade



Aaron Young