[Date changed–posted 5/24/23 (last revised 1/23/19)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 70.24: Communicable and Transmittable Disease Control in the Employee Workforce
DATE: May 24, 2023
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish policy and procedure for handling employees with a communicable and/or transmittable disease in a manner fair to the affected employee and to provide a safe work environment for all employees.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in March of odd-numbered years by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and the Office of Equal Opportunity with substantive revisions forwarded to the Chief of Staff to the President.
1. Definition of Terms
a. Communicable Disease – A disease easily spread by casual contact and that poses a threat to other employees and/or students.
b. Transmittable Disease – A disease not easily spread by casual contact but which may be bloodborne, transmitted sexually or through other bodily fluids, or transmitted in other ways that poses only a limited threat to other employees and/or students.
c. Non-communicable Disease – A disease not considered transferable from person to person that poses no threat to other employees and/or students.
2. General Policy
Texas Tech University is committed to providing fair and equal employment opportunities for all individuals, including those who have been exposed to communicable and/or transmittable diseases. The university is also committed to providing a safe workplace for all employees and a safe environment for its students that meets or exceeds federal, state, and local regulations.
The university is legally and ethically required to refrain from releasing any information pertaining to a person diagnosed as having a serious medical illness. Knowledge of any person so affected will be confined to those persons with a direct need to know.
This policy applies to all areas of the university and personnel administration including, but not limited to, hiring, job assignment, opportunities for training and development, pay, benefits, promotions and demotions, layoffs and terminations, and standards of personal conduct.
a. Communicable/Transmittable Disease
An employee who has a communicable or transmittable disease, as determined by medical certification, may elect to utilize sick leave, vacation leave, or leave without pay benefits in accordance with normal university policies and/or family and medical leave policies.
In addition, an employee who has a communicable/transmittable disease that poses a threat to other employees and/or students may be required by the applicable administrative officer to utilize additional sick leave, vacation leave, family and medical leave, and/or leave without pay benefits until the threat is removed. The employee may also be required by the university to obtain a medical certification that they do not represent a threat to other employees and/or students prior to being permitted to return to work, at the discretion of the applicable administrative officer.
The employee also may be reassigned to other work or to other work areas in order to reduce or remove the threat posed to other employees and/or students.
Each situation will be evaluated on the basis of that particular case, taking into consideration the desires and rights of the employee, the safety of the workplace, and the needs of the university.
b. Non-communicable Disease
An employee who has a non-communicable disease, as determined by medical certification, may elect to utilize sick leave, vacation leave, family and medical leave, and/or leave without pay benefits in accordance with normal university policies.
4. Right to Change Policy
Texas Tech University reserves the right to interpret, change, modify, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time without the consent of employees.
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