Coronavirus Workplace Policy (effective 4/01/2020)
As Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. continues to monitor the local, national and worldwide incidence of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID‐19, staff members are asked to review the following workplace policies and guidance. It is likely this information will change as the situation evolves and more becomes known. Questions may be directed to HR.
Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc.'s priorities in setting these workplace policies are to:
• Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease;
• Sustain programs that are essential to our mission;
• Encourage an ethos of fairness, open communications and concern for the wellbeing of our employees & customers.
Most Important Actions to Take Now
1. All staff are urged to take basic preventive measures to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID‐19.
2. Those who can increase their preparedness to work remotely (more than they already do, or entirely, and possibly for a protracted period of time if it becomes necessary) should do so now.
3. Use discretion when choosing to visit nursing homes or anywhere there might be a high chance of interaction with seniors.
4. If you feel sick at all, stay at home and monitor your symptoms.
Enhanced Workplace Policies
Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, while protecting the continuity of programs and essential functions. Toward that end, and effective immediately, Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc.’s workplace policies are being enhanced as follows. These policies will be revisited regularly as needed.
• Employees may use accumulated Paid Time Off (PTO) days for self‐isolation or quarantine, even if they are not sick, when it is required or recommended by public health authorities / guidelines or by health care providers.
• Employees may use accumulated PTO to care for immediate family and household members who are not ill but need care due to any COVID‐19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees may not bring affected children or elders to work with them, even if the children or elders are well.
• Employees with insufficient accrued PTO may use up to 10 unearned PTO days (they may accrue negative PTO balances of up to 10 days) for COVID‐19 illness, to meet self‐isolation or quarantine requirements, or for the active care of others because of disruptions relating to COVID‐19.
• Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. reserves the right to recoup this time from the final paycheck of employees who terminate before they rebuild their accrued PTO.
• Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. asks all staff who can work remotely to prepare to do so now. This will help the organization be prepared to “scale up” workplace social distancing should it become necessary. Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. will inform employees immediately if the decision is made to move to remote work.
• If remote work is implemented, those who will continue to work at the office – because their jobs require it and they are well, will likely be advised to maintain physical distance from others of at least 6 feet. If they have an underlying health condition or concern, they may request a change in job duties, hours, etc. by contacting Kallie.
• Well Employees: Staff who are well are expected at work as usual, even if they have been in contact with or caring for someone who is ill with an ordinary respiratory illness (in which case, typical preventive measures are recommended for them as care givers). Well employees are expected at work unless they have been:
• caring for someone with a confirmed case of COVID‐19, in which case they are required to self‐isolate;
• in a CDC Level 3 area of concern;
• instructed to refrain from attending work by public health officials.
• instructed to refrain from attending work by Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. due to the closure of the offices.
• Sick Employees: Staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness must stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever‐reducing or other symptom‐altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit taken by an oral thermometer. Those with concerns or questions about their illness or seeking advice about whether to come to work are invited to email Kallie. If an employee tests positive for COVID‐19, they are required to self‐quarantine and not come into the office until 14 days later.
• Reporting Sick Time: Staff members who are out sick or who are caring for sick dependents are asked to notify Kallie and required to fill out Employee Leave Request upon their return.
• Return to Work: In general, written medical clearance will not be required for return to work. This is being done to avoid overtaxing health care resources.
• Workers at Higher Risk: Employees who are at increased risk for complications from COVID‐19 due to underlying health conditions are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. These may include requesting a temporary change in hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected. If an employee at risk for complications from COVID‐19 and their physician agree that increased social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact HR to formally request a temporary change. HR will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and attempt to appropriately address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc.’s operations. A doctor’s note may be required. Except for employees who formally request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties or roles or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID19 infection.
• Preparing for Increased Telework/Remote Work: Employees who can work effectively from home by telecommuting should make sure now that they are prepared for the possibility of teleworking possibly for a protracted period. This may entail getting remote access to voicemail and email. HR can provide assistance in getting it set up on smartphones or through websites accessed on home computers. If public health conditions worsen, and/or Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc. institutes stronger social distancing measures, some employees may be asked, given the option, or required to telecommute.
• Essential Employees: Some employees might be required to work in the office to provide services that are essential to the continuity or resumption of operations. Additional measures and policies to support these employees are being considered. Potential Additional Policy Changes If public health conditions worsen, Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc.’s workplace policies may be further amended. This would be done to address the effects of more widespread illness or absences, more frequent needs for self-isolation or quarantine, disruption of care arrangements or Blakeman Plumbing & Heating Inc.’s priorities for pay continuity. Staff will be notified as necessary of such changes.
Update Your Contacts
Employees with computer/internet access are asked to make sure that personal and emergency contact information is up‐to‐date with HR. Please enter any additional contact information you feel is necessary.