IMPORTANT COVID-19 EMPLOYEE UPDATE
Be sure to breathe. We are living in confusing times and unchartered waters in the U.S. and at Weifield. The number one question we are being asked from the field is, “what is happens if our project shuts down?” This is becoming more and more of a tough question, as things have been changing so rapidly.
UPDATE – 3/26/20: For Colorado, Governor Polis announced a statewide stay-at-home order beginning on Thursday, March 26th at 8:00 AM that will last until April 11, 2020.
WORK AUTHORIZATION LETTER: All field employees should download and keep our newly-developed ‘Work Authorization Letter’ with you or readily viewable on your phone as you travel to and from your construction sites, each day [scroll down to see the ‘Work Authorization Letter’ document link at the bottom of this communication — double-click the link to download/view]. This documentation can be shown to any authority as evidence that you are allowed to be in public during this time. The reason for this instruction is based on reports that AGC has received from their members of construction employees being stopped for various reasons (e.g., a traffic violation) and being asked by officers why they are out in public. This letter will serve as evidence that you are working as an employee of Weifield Group Contracting, an essential electrical construction business.
THE FOLLOWING IS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AROUND JOB / PROJECT SHUTDOWNS FROM SETH ANDERSON, WEIFIELD CEO [Things may change as new things develop, so please keep reading your emails]
- Owner Directed Job Shutdown
- Weifield WILL make every effort to relocate you to another jobsite and/or our prefab shop, so that you do not have any lost wages.
- If for some reason, we can’t shuffle you around we will give you a job-attached layoff, so you can file for unemployment.
- On a case-by-case basis, we can speed up your last paycheck so that any remaining PTO time you have accrued can be processed.
- You will be on the immediate rehire list prior to hiring anyone new. We are currently hiring field staff, so we do not see this as an issue, at this time.
- Job Shutdown due to a Positive COVID-19 Case on the Project
- All employees from the GC and specialty contractors must go into the recommended 14 day self-quarantine.
- During this time you will not be earning wages or accruing PTO. Use any PTO that you have accrued during this time to help offset the loss of wages. We can get your last payment expedited to help you with cashflow.
- On a case-by-case basis we can provide advance payment to you for one weeks wages that can be paid back after returning to work. Payment plans will be determined through HR and by your financial means.
- Once you have been cleared to go back to work, we will put you on the same project. If not the same Project, Weifield WILL make every effort to relocate you to another jobsite and/or our prefab shop, or you will be on the immediate rehire list prior to hiring anyone new.
- Government Mandated Shutdown
- If the city, state, and/or multiple jobsites areas go into a “Shelter at Home” a.k.a. Lockdown type situation we will go into a forced layoff and you will have to apply for unemployment. gov/fileaclaim.
- Since our payroll is running a week behind, we will process payroll for the previous week and any days worked before the shutdown.
- We will also include any PTO that you have accrued during employment.
- Once the band is lifted we will make every effort to locate you back to your existing jobsite, to relocate to another jobsite.
- Prefab Shutdown
- For any shutdowns of the Prefab department (like we had today until Friday), Weifield WILL pay for your time today until noon and we encourage using PTO for the missing time that we were shut down.
- The United States is officially at a Level 2 for travel, so any travel state to state or outside the country requires a 14 day self-quarantine.
- The self-quarantine will NOT be paid unless you have PTO to cover it. We are encouraging everyone to cancel unnecessary travel. Most travel places are giving a full or partial refunds.
- Please let us know if your travels are for family reason, such as, sick family members, funerals, or other personal things of that nature. On a case-by-case basis, we MAY be able to help on specific financial hardships, however you will still have to be on a 14 day self-quarantine.
- Exposure from other trades or people outside the workplace
- If you are a self-quarantined for 14 days due to coming into exposure with someone outside of work, you will NOT be paid for that time off.
- Please check with the local authorities as there may be funds available based on being in a state of emergency.
- Weifield Employee to Employee Exposure
- If you are a self-quarantined for 14 day due to coming into exposure with another employee, you WILL be paid for one weeks’ worth of time off outside of PTO. You may use PTO for the remainder time off.
- Please check with the local authorities as there may, also, be funds available based on being in a state of emergency.
- If you catch the COVID-19 at the workplace, due to another infected employee, your insurance MAY pick up the costs of medical and lost wages. All your insurance and benefits will remain intact with Weifield. After you are cleared to work, you will be given employment which may or may not be the same position. We may give you modified duty if you cannot do your previous work, due to the illness. On a case-by-case basis, Weifield can help out if you run into trouble collecting from the insurance company.
- If you become mandated by a local authority to be quarantined/locked down at your house, Weifield will not be paying for the time lost. You will have a job after you are released from quarantine/lockdown. We do not anticipate funding for this type of emergency coming to Weifield from the government. We understand the governor has the authority to give up to $5,000 to the families affected. https://kdvr.com/news/coronavirus/how-much-power-does-gov-polis-have-during-a-state-of-emergency/
- If you are out of work for any of these reasons and your situation doesn’t require a layoff, we MAY be providing wages for online training while you are at home. These will only be paid with the approval of our training director.
At this time we are being very fluid in how things are being handled. We know that we are not going to have a plan for every scenario. We have been taking a look at the different scenarios that would impact our work and we believe this will be short lived. Weifield’s workload is very strong and we feel there will be a strong workload through 2020 and into 2021. Our company has done a great job securing the right projects. If new scenarios emerge, that we haven’t thought about, the task force will decide how we handle things with my final approval.
What can you do to prepare?
- Cut out all unnecessary personal spending.
- Make sure to stock up food products, hygiene products, prescriptions, etc. for a 14-30+ days potential lockdown/quarantine.
- Research the unemployment websites to know how to fill out the forms. gov/fileaclaim.
- Make sure you have the numbers to call the EAP .
- Talk with your personal bank to see if they can do short term emergency loans.
- Look into what is required with COBRA. Discuss possible solutions with the EAP
- If you are in extreme financial hardship, please make us aware at your earliest convenience. We want to help and get you connected to the right people.
- Look into what is required to borrow against your 401K.
- See what it takes for short term disability, in case you are sick and out of work.
- Be in close communication with your manager.
All things said, we are getting the latest information and things can and will change rapidly. We know there are emergency funds that are being issued from the government, so we are watching to see what we can dig up to send to everyone if the worst case happens.
Please ask your direct manager any questions. Your manager can escalate as needed.
It is more imparative than ever we watch out for our fellow employees. Be Safe. Be Prepared. God Bless!
Chief Executive Officer | Weifield Group Contracting