COVID-19 Weekly Testing Requirement: Supervisor Guidance

Effective Monday, September 27, 2021, unvaccinated UO employees, including those who choose an exemption for the vaccination requirement or are partially vaccinated, are required to take part in weekly COVID-19 testing among other additional safety measures. It does not matter which exemption the employee has elected.

This testing will occur on campus through the Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) and employees must schedule their test on a weekly basis. The test is free and non-invasive. More information, including the process for testing employees in Portland and Charleston, can be found on the UO coronavirus website, and please refer to the list of those who are not subject to testing as you plan and prepare for this requirement.

Unit leaders and supervisors, as directed, are responsible for ensuring that employees are completing the weekly testing, verifying an employee’s reason for missing a weekly test, and maintaining confidentiality with employee testing requirement information..

Testing Process

  1. Every Thursday, Deans, Vice Presidents, Academic Chief Financial Officers, and Chiefs of Staff will receive a list of employees required to test the following week. This list will include information if an employee has missed one or more previous weekly tests. They will forward information to other leaders in the school/college/division as they deem appropriate.
  2. Every Thursday, employees will be sent an email reminding them to schedule a test. They should work with you on scheduling their weekly test so that it does not adversely impact operations. As the test occurs on campus and is done via saliva sample, the employee should not be away from work for an excessive amount of time.
    If an employee is gone for testing for an excessive amount of time, if they fail to account for operational needs, or if they schedule a time that is not approved, please reach out to the appropriate ELR member for directions on how to address this behavior.
  3. If an employee misses a test, they should sign up for another testing time that same workweek, if at all possible. If that is not possible, and the employee missed the test for a legitimate reason, the supervisor should submit an Exception Request form on the employee’s behalf. See below for more information on the exception process and legitimate reasons to request an exception.
  4. If an employee fails to complete one test and does not have an approved exception, the employee will receive an email reminding them to schedule a test and indicating the consequences of failure to do so.
  5. If an employee misses two or more tests and does not have approved exceptions, a member of the HR Employee & Labor Relations team will reach out to you to discuss discipline, which may include unpaid suspension, administrative leave, or termination of employment.
  6. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow normal campus protocol. Please assist this process as necessary, including scheduling coverage for the isolating employee.

Supervisor Action

If directed by your unit leadership, you are expected to facilitate employees completing the weekly testing requirement while maintaining confidentiality. This responsibility is consistent with a supervisor’s role in managing other campus safety expectations and ensuring compliance with policies and procedures.

Please keep in mind that:

  • You may be provided a list of the employees you supervise who are subject to weekly testing. This information is confidential and is shared with you on a need to know basis so that you can work with the individual employees to identify the best time for them to schedule their test and to help you manage the operational needs of your unit or department. You should keep an employee's vaccination or required testing status confidential.
  • Conversations with employees about their testing requirement should be focused on facilitating the testing process without discussing the reason they are included in the testing program.

Here are actions supervisors should and should not take:

Do's:

  • Keep employees’ vaccination status and testing status confidential.
  • Work with the employee each week to schedule testing during normal work hours. Considering your operational needs, work with the employee to find an appropriate time to test during the workday.
  • Communicate verbally with employees about the testing process and requirement, especially those employees who don’t regularly access their email.
  • Submit the testing exception form, if an employee’s reason for missing a test is legitimate. See instructions below.
  • Collaborate with HR if discipline is required, or if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

Don'ts:

  • Do not inform other employees in the unit as to why the testing employee is absent.
  • Do not ask employees why they are subject to testing or are not vaccinated.
  • If an employee fails to schedule their test or misses their test, do not threaten discipline without consulting with ELR.
  • Do not deny a testing opportunity if it would not impair operational functions.
  • Do not make assignment or operational decisions based on an employee’s unvaccinated status or need to test weekly.

Exception Process

There are specific circumstances in which an individual may be excused from testing for a particular week or timeframe. Acceptable reasons include:

  • They employee has been directed to isolate or quarantine by the UO, a medical provider, or local health authority
  • The employee has recently become fully vaccinated (NOTE: Employees need to re-submit the online UO COVID-19 vaccination requirement form in order to be removed from the weekly testing requirement going forward.)
  • The employee is working 100% remotely and has an established flexible work agreement documenting their remote status.
  • The employee was or will be on an approved absence lasting five (5) consecutive workdays or more. Approved absences include vacation, sick, COVID-19 leave, FMLA, business travel, or working fully remotely on a temporary basis in order to care for a quarantining/isolating dependent at home.
  • The employee has an approved ADA accommodation in which the accommodation is to work fully off-site.
  • The employee tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
    In this instance, the employee may notify the Testing Coordinator directly by emailing covidtestmgr@uoregon.edu. The supervisor does not need to submit an exception form on the employee's behalf. Refer the employee to the UO Coronavirus website for further instruction.

If an employee knows they will miss a future test or if they missed a past test, they should talk to their supervisor/department head about the reason why they will miss/did miss the test. If an employee misses a test, they should sign up for another testing time that same workweek, if at all possible. If that is not possible, and the employee missed the test for a legitimate reason, the supervisor should submit an Exception Request form on the employee’s behalf. This serves as the supervisor/department head’s validation that the reason stated by the employee is true and accurate.

Reasons such as forgetting an appointment, being too busy, not wanting to participate in testing, or missing one single day of work are not acceptable reasons for missing a test and the exception request will not be approved.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees are completing the weekly testing and verifying an employee’s reason for missing a weekly test. If the employee’s reason for missing a test is one of the unacceptable reasons listed above, or if supervisor does not feel that the employee’s reason for requesting an exception is legitimate, the supervisor should contact the COVID Testing Coordinator by email at covidtestmgr@uoregon.edu for assistance before submitting an exception request.

Once an exception request is submitted, the testing team will review the information provided, determine if an exception will be granted, and communicate the decision to the employee and supervisor/department head via email. The information will be reviewed as quickly as possible and, volume of requests permitting, make an effort to respond within two business days. UO reserves the right to ask for documentation related to the exception, if needed.

Questions

If you have any questions on the testing expectation or process, please review the testing requirement information on the UO coronavirus website or email the Testing Coordinator at covidtestmgr@uoregon.edu.