• Return to Work Guidance

    HCS has widespread workplace preparations occurring across our district to support our returning workforce and have created a path for employees to request leave or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations if they are unable to return to their duties or if they belong to a group that has been identified as being at risk of contracting COVID-19. 

    The recommendation from CDC, SCDHEC, and the SCDOE regarding people who are in a high-risk group is that they should remain at home.  HCS has identified the following groups as people at risk of contracting COVID-19:

    1. Older adults and people with severe underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes
    2. People with moderate to severe asthma
    3. People with HIV or who are immunocompromised D. People with liver disease including those with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C

    The ADA prohibits us from excluding an employee from returning to work solely because the employee has a disability that the CDC identifies as potentially placing him at “higher risk for severe illness” if he gets COVID-19.  HCS has options available to employees who feel that they cannot return to work or who feel they need special accommodations to return to work.

    In areas where employees are not required to be onsite to support students, we will continue to support remote work options where feasible.  For employees who are part of an at-risk population or who feel they cannot return to their workplace for other reasons, the following options will be provided.


    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is available from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, and provides two weeks of EPSL, up to 80 hours (based on FTE), in two paid categories:


    If an employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave because the employee: 

    1. a) Is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
    2. b) Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
    3. c) Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

    If the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave because the employee:

    1. a) Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (a) above, or self-quarantine as described above;
    2. b) Is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

    Employees can apply for EPSL using the online EPSL form and providing their supervisor with proof of qualification for the absence. 


    If an employee needs to be out for a longer period, HCS has several options for both paid and unpaid extended leaves of absence.

    • Expanded Family Medical Leave

    An HCS employee who has been employed with the District for at least 30 days may qualify for Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion (EFMLEA) if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.  The first two weeks for employees taking EFMLEA is unpaid unless the employee has other leave balances or qualifies for EPSL leave.  The remaining 10 weeks are paid at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day, and $12,000 in the aggregate. 

    Employees can apply for EFMLEA through the HCS Human Resources Department

    • Traditional FMLA

    Eligible employees who have worked 12 months, or 1,250 hours in 12 months can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reasons: Birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;  To bond with a child (leave must be taken within one year of the child’s birth or placement); Care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a qualifying serious health condition;  Employee’s own qualifying serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job;  Qualifying exigencies related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.   

    Employees can apply for FMLA through the HCS Human Resources Department.


    It is district policy to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). HCS is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to its employees and applicants for employment in order to assure that individuals with disabilities enjoy full access to equal employment opportunities at Tucson Unified.

    The ADA, which protects applicants and employees from disability discrimination, is relevant to the pandemic in at least three major ways.  

    • The ADA regulates employers’ disability-related inquiries and medical examinations for all applicants and employees, including those who do not have ADA disabilities.
    • The ADA prohibits covered employers from excluding individuals with disabilities from the workplace for health or safety reasons unless they pose a "direct threat" (i.e. a significant risk of substantial harm even with reasonable accommodation).
    • The ADA requires reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities (absent undue hardship) during a pandemic.

    If you feel you are unable to return to work without reasonable accommodation, you may make a formal request for accommodation through the HCS Human Resources Department.  Applications and instructions for ADA accommodations can be found here.

    Screening Questions – Asked Prior to Entry at Schools, District Office, and other HCS Buildings.

    COVID-19 QUESTIONS - Anyone who answers YES to ANY of the below questions will NOT BE PERMITTED.

    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
      • Definition of close contact: In contact with someone for longer than 15 minutes and less than 6 ft from someone without the use of face covering.
    • Have you had a fever (100° or greater), felt feverish, or have had chills in the last 72 hours?
    • Are you experiencing any new or unexplained respiratory symptoms including a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or runny nose?
    • Are you experiencing any new or unexplained muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea?
    • Have you experienced any new or unexplained change in your sense of taste or smell?