Coronavirus Info - Message from the Business Manager
Updated On: Mar 16, 2020
The topic and health issue of the day is of course, the coronavirus. There is plenty of info on the web, the media, social media, etc., about the health concerns, spread and symptoms of this new health concern and I am sure most of us are following this fast developing issue. My personal thought is that it is likely at some point we will all be exposed and most of us will have a bout with this virus. I am mostly concerned for our senior population such as my 92 year old mom who is in a hospital after suffering a recent stroke. Our senior population is most at risk, just like they are for other contagious diseases and infections although this is reportedly more severe and consequently more deadly than the flu since there is no vaccination as of yet. I don't know all the ins and outs but I am concerned.
With respect to our members, it seems at this point in time that our employing cities, counties and districts are all making their own decisions about what to do. This is a bit unsettling as it would be better to have more consistency.
Most employers are being much more open and willing to allow working from home for those jobs where tasks can be done remotely over the computer, email, phone, etc.
Some employers are shutting down parts of their operations and sending employees home although it is not aways initially clear if employees are on paid administrative leave, using their own leave accruals, furloughed or laid off.
Your UPEC staff have been involving ourselves anywhere we are needed to get clarity about your status, pay and benefits if you are being sent home or if you wish to self isolate due to your own exposure or high risk. For example, a few minutes ago I assisted an employee who is in the high risk age group with an underlying medical condition seek and receive approval for work at home status.
Most employers are placing employees on paid administrative leave if an employee is quarantined due to exposure by their local health department and are also slowly deciding to use paid administrative leave for employees who are sent home or told not to report due to operational reasons. But, we have had more than one employer tell employees they have to use their leave accruals.
Bottom line of today's message? Please contact us as soon as you have the slightest work issue due to the coronavirus, just as we ask you to do with any work issue, and we will do our best to advocate for you and protect your pay, benefits and employment.
Attached are a couple of recent legislative developments due to the virus, one regarding the federal government and one regarding the State.