Where Are We With COVID 19 Planning?

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This is an evolving situation so today's news may be different from tomorrow's news...clearly, telework is the best way for the State to ensure the work gets done while maintaining "social distance", so we continue to push for the State to embrace telework in a much more serious and aggressive manner...but this is where we are now:

If you are ill with COVID 19 (or exhibiting similar symptoms): use sick time as normal.  If you will be out for 5 days, then utilize FMLA.

If a family member (domiciled with you) is sick or exhibiting similar symptoms): employees may use Sick Family, or FMLA in conjunction with sick, vacation, or pl time for the caregiver time as needed.  The State wants the employee to stay home and self-monitor for 14 days from date of original exposure...we do not have an answer on how this "monitoring" period would be covered...so we recommend that you contact your agency to see if they will grant you paid leave for the "self-quarantine"  period.

Travel to a Level 2 or 3 country by you or a domiciled family member:  verification of the travel needs to be supported by a photocopy of the passport.  State employees are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days from return to the US (your return and/or the family member's return).  If you are approved to telecommute, the State is expecting telework to be utilized during the self-quarantine period (note: this issue is not resolved).  If the employee is not approved for telework, the employee will be placed on paid leave.  Level 3 countries are the highest warning level (China, Iran, South Korea, and basically all of Europe).  Level 2 appears to be most other countries. 

Employees who are not symptomatic but are directed by a medical provider to stay home: if not approved for telecommuting then the employee shall be placed on paid leave, if approved for telework, then will be expected to telework.

This epidemic is raising new levels of concern and containment that we have never dealt with previously, so we do not have all of the answers, many issues and possibilities that exist without an answer, 2 of the most obvious:

What if a school district or daycare or eldercare facility is closed for an extended period and the employee has to respond to that situation as a caregiver?

How will "essential employee" designations be handled if an agency is closed but certain duties must be performed or certain interactions with the public must continue?


A&R will be suspending our meetings scheduled for the week of March 16 - 20.  So we will not be holding a COPE meeting on 3/16 nor the Negotiations committee meeting scheduled for 3/18.

If the State is shut down, A&R will remain open unless we have a reason to close as well.
If the A&R office needs to close, all officers/staff will continue to monitor their phone and emails remotely so continue to leave messages and emails directly with the person you are trying to contact and we will respond.  Right now, all grievances and hearings are still on schedule.