The Focus Is You

Information for Employees

We realize that as the COVID-19 concerns continue to evolve, there are and will be numerous questions. While we realize the information provided below does not answer all possible questions, we are providing it in hope that this will be helpful during this time of so much uncertainty.

These FAQs will be updated over the next few weeks as needed. You are welcome to submit additional questions to the Human Resources office by emailing HR@swosu.edu.

Thank you and stay healthy,

SWOSU Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions


What precautionary steps are suggested?

The University encourages the following steps to help prevent the spread of the virus within the campus community.

  • Individuals are encouraged to telework from remote locations if their jobs permit.
  • In-person meetings are discouraged. We are asking departments to consider phone or Zoom meetings instead. Questions regarding how to set up a Zoom meeting can be directed to the Center for Excellence in Teacher and Learning at 774-3149 or distance@swosu.edu.
  • Employees should avoid non-essential trips to other departments. Instead, individuals should use phone and email as primary forms of communication. Additionally, signs should be posted on office doors with preferred contact information.

Will campus still be available to the public?

  • Effective March 26, 2020, all buildings at Weatherford and Sayre campuses are closed to the public until further notice. Only SWOSU faculty, staff, students, and approved visitors should enter any university building. Several offices are providing services via email and phone.
  • As a reminder, students continue to have access to the designated computer labs on both campuses.

Can I work remotely?

Telework Information and Resources

  • Effective with Governor Stitt’s recent executive order, employees are expected to telework whenever possible. Individuals teleworking must complete the online “Telework Request Form.” For specific questions, please speak to your supervisor. Some positions may not be appropriate for remote work; therefore, these decisions are made case-by-case.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to communicate with staff about the methods in which essential functions of the university will continue to be completed.

Where do I find the Telework Request Form?

  • Individuals should log into Self-Service through their computer or mobile device. From the Self-Service home page, select the “Etrieve” icon. Select the Forms option from the left side of the page and find the “Telework Request Form” under the Human Resources category. Complete the form as instructed and select submit. This form will be routed directly to the employee’s Budget Unit Head, once approved it will then be routed to Human Resources.

How is the hiring process impacted during this time?

  • Candidates have been notified to expect delays in the interview process over the next few weeks. On-campus interviews that require out-of-state travel will be postponed until further notice. Departments are encouraged to schedule remote interviews through applications such as Zoom.

I am over age 65 and/or I have an underlying health condition. Can I still come to work?

  • Governor Stitt has issued the following executive order: “Adults over the age of sixty-five (65) and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions, collectively referred to as ‘vulnerable individuals,’ shall stay in their home or place of residence except for working in a critical infrastructure sector, as more particularly described herein, and the conduct of essential errands.”
  • Individuals who fall under one of these categories should attempt to work remotely. If remote work is unavailable, then individuals may be eligible for additional leave options through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA.) Please complete the “Request for COVID-19 Leave Form.” (See Leave section below for more information)


What should I do if an employee comes to work sick?

  • SWOSU expects employees experiencing flu-like symptoms to stay home. While only a medical professional can diagnose an illness and provide care instructions, supervisors may advise an employee to stay home if they appear to have flu-like symptoms.
  • Additionally, Supervisors should not pressure anyone who is ill to come to work. Employees who are well should not be persuaded to stay home for reasons such as national origin, ethnicity, home location, or having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19).

How should I proceed if I, or an employee, recently traveled to a highly infected area?

  • Governor Stitt’s Executive Order indicates all individuals who travel from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), the state of Washington, California, and Louisiana are required to quarantine for a period of 14 days.
  • For all other travel, if you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you are considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
  • Individuals who travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading may be more likely to get infected during travel. If you have questions about exposure, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.

What should I do if one of my employees test positive for COVID-19?

  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should contact their supervisor and/or Human Resources as soon as possible. Supervisors should communicate with HR directly in the event of a positive COVID-19 test. Departments should maintain the confidentiality of the student or employee. Administration will coordinate with local health officials to determine a course of action.

Time Keeping

How should I process signatures for (non-student) payroll?

  • Employees should use the following instructions for submitting their timesheets:
    • Save the completed form (without signatures) as a PDF.
    • Log into Single Sign On and click on the “Etrieve” icon. Under Human Resources category, click on the “Document Upload” form.
    • Complete the form and attach your PDF Timesheet. Once completed, submit the form.
    • This will submit the form for your Department Budget Unit Head to approve. Once the Department Head approves the form, the form will be routed to HR for processing.
    • Note, these temporary arrangements will be approved by the Budget Unit Head and may bypass an individual’s supervisor. Please send a copy to your supervisor if necessary.

How should leave be tracked?

  • Employees should continue tracking leave either through Self-Service or the university Excel timesheet. Leave associated with COVID-19 may qualify for additional benefits through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Please see additional questions in this section for more information.

What leave should I use if I am anxious or uncomfortable reporting to work?

  • Employees are encouraged to work remotely if possible. Those who are unable to work remotely, but do not feel comfortable working on campus, may use any available accrued leave.

Are there any additional leave options available due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Where do I find the “Request for COVID-19 Leave Form”?

  • Individuals should log into Self-Service through their computer or mobile device. From the Self-Service home page, select the “Etrieve” icon. Select the Forms option from the left side of the page and find the “Request for COVID-19 Leave Form” under the Human Resources category. Complete the form as instructed and select submit. This form will be routed directly to Human Resources.


What healthcare benefits are available to me?

  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) offers a 24/7 Nurseline service (1-800-581-0407) available to employees and their dependents. Note, this is not an emergency line.
  • Employees should also review other benefits they elected during open enrollment, such as Short-Term Disability and MetLife Plans (accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity). Employees can review their benefit enrollment at TBX.  User name is employee ID or SSN.  Password is last 4 digits of SSN and last 2 digits of birth year (Do not use dashes or spaces).

My daycare has closed and/or my spouse lost their insurance coverage. Can I make changes to my benefits?

  • Changes in current benefits can be changed based on an applicable qualifying event. The request for a change of benefits must be made within 31 days of the applicable qualifying event.
  • A qualifying event includes: a birth or adoption; marriage, divorce or legal separation; death; child loses eligibility because of age; employee’s spouse gains or loses coverage through employment; significant change in the financial terms of health benefits provided through a spouse’s employer or another carrier.
  • Contact sides@swosu.edu with any questions or request for a qualifying event.

How can I make changes to my 403(b) or 457 account?

  • Please contact Paul Smith, SWOSU Voya Consultant, at 918-746-4713 or email paul@covenantok.com

Who can I see if I am experiencing anxiety or other concerns?

  • SWOSU offers an Employee Assistance Program for employees and their dependents. Contact Jamie Collins (x3246; collins@swosu.edu) for more information.

Student Employment

Can student workers return to their positions even though campus is closed?

  • Student employees are not authorized to work from March 23, 2020 through May 8, 2020.

Can my student employee work remotely?

  • Student employees are not authorized to work in person or remotely from March 23, 2020 through May 8, 2020.

Can my student volunteer without pay during this time?

  • Federal regulations prohibit student workers from volunteering to perform their normal work duties without pay.

Will my student worker continue to receive pay?

  • Student workers will receive pay for the hours they worked from March 1, 2020 to March 22, 2020. In addition, to combat financial strains, student workers will also receive a stipend to assist for the lost work from March 23, 2020 to May 8, 2020. This stipend is based on the student employee’s work schedule for the month of February.
  • Student employees who terminated employment prior to March 23, 2020, will not be eligible for the stipend.

What should I do if my student worker reported to work the week of March 23, 2020?

  • Students should not have hours past March 22, 2020. However, if your student does have hours for this time, please send the hours directly to time@swosu.edu.

What has HR shared with student employees?

The following was emailed to student employees on March 25, 2020:

Student Employees,

We want you to know that SWOSU wants to help you during these difficult times.  Please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor and/or the Human Resources Office if we may assist you with any questions or concerns.

Based upon the CDC guidelines the University has taken the precautionary action of placing all student employees on Administrative LeaveThis means that no student employee should work for the University at this time. The Administrative Leave status shall be effective from March 23, 2020 through May 8, 2020. Again, this means no student employees are authorized to work during this time.

We are pleased to share with you that, in an effort to minimize the impact on student employees, this leave status will receive compensation through a stipend.  Individuals who ended employment prior to March 23, 2020 will not be eligible for the stipend.  To receive the stipend, no action is necessary on your part.  You will receive the stipend in the same manner your paycheck normally comes to you.

It is important that you enter any time worked during March 1, 2020 through March 22, 2020 in self-service.  For the week of Spring Break and the time from March 23, 2020 through March 31, 2020, please enter zero hours if you did not work during that time.

To avoid potential delays in payment, students who have not set their paychecks up on direct deposit are encouraged to submit a direct deposit form.  For information on how to complete the form, please email hr@swosu.edu.

Should you require assistance you may email us at time@swosu.edu.

Please contact us if we may be of any assistance to you and be safe.

Thank you,
SWOSU Human Resources Staff

I am a student employee, will I need to submit zero hours through self-service for the rest of the semester?

  • No, student employees will not need to submit any time through self-service. Stipends will be set automatically for all active Student Employees.

I am a student employee, should I complete the COVID-19 form?

  • Student employees do not need to complete the form to receive the stipend. Stipends will be set up automatically. New regulations provide up to two weeks of pay for fulltime and part-time employees unable to work due to COVID-19. Since SWOSU will provide a stipend for student employees for the work time missed from March 23 – May 8, 2020, we anticipate most of our student employees will receive more than the two weeks. With that said, individuals who feel they will not receive compensation for the two weeks based on their February hours are encouraged to complete the COVID-19 Request form. Submissions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
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The Focus Is You