Coronavirus Workplace Policy 03/30/2020
As NOLA Blends 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 Katie or Patrick.
NOLA Blends’s priorities in setting these workplace policies are to:
Most Important Actions to Take Now
Enhanced Workplace Policies
NOLA Blends 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, NOLA Blends’s workplace policies are being enhanced as follows. These policies will be revisited regularly as needed.
• If working remotely with relatively self‐sufficient dependents or household members at home due to COVID‐19 disruptions – no need to report the use of paid time off
• NOLA Blends 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. NOLA Blends will inform donors and nonprofits 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 Katie.
• 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: o 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 NOLA Blends due to the closure of the offices. If this situation occurs, staff members will be paid by the organization their normal salary or hourly pay as if they are working.
• 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 Katie and Patrick. 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 Katie and Patrick 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 Katie to formally request a temporary change. Katie will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and attempt to appropriately address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining NOLA Blends’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. Patrick can provide assistance in getting it set up on smartphones or through websites accessed on home computers.
• If public health conditions worsen, and/or NOLA Blends 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 donor services or 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, NOLA Blends’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 NOLA Blends’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 in our database. Please enter any additional contact information you feel is necessary in notes.