UPDATED April 24, 2020
Yesterday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new safety guidance aimed at reducing construction workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19. The guidance is available in both English and Spanish and is the first in what OSHA expects to be a series of industry-specific COVID-19 “alerts.”
The guidance provides no new rules but is presented in an easy-to-read bullet point format, with practical, specific advice on subjects such as enhanced workplace cleaning, social distancing in the workplace, and face coverings among other protective equipment.
April 7, 2020 UPDATE
The following message was Originally Sent via Email by Justin Denham, Staffing & Safety Director
We are here to help!
Hello, everyone. I know email isn’t always the easiest way to communicate, but it’s one of the only ways we can get a lot of information to you in a timely manner. In the future, we will post updates on this webpage, so please bookmark it in your browser. I’m reaching out to you today to update you with critical information regarding how the coronavirus has impacted our workforce and your rights as a worker.
This is a difficult time for everyone and your dedication to continue working to keep essential business open and running for the good of the country is heart-warming. It makes me proud to be an American to see so many people across this great country working to make a difference for those of us who are more vulnerable to this awful virus. CraftForce and our clients are committed to being a resource for you as we work through this together. There is a lot of information coming from all directions, so legislation and advice from our government officials and experts are constantly evolving as we learn more about how to adapt to life and work during this pandemic.
You can submit any questions you may have using this Google Form or by calling 513.580.7148 to reach my office line. I will try to answer all calls, but if I cannot pick up, please leave me a voicemail or text message and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Below you will find important information regarding your rights as a worker during this pandemic, but first and foremost, it is critical that individuals NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, or fatigue. Individuals should seek medical attention via telephone/teleconference if they develop these symptoms. Check out the infographic attached to this email about symptoms and when to seek care for more information.
CraftForce and our clients are working diligently to limit the exposure to this virus while at work. This is an ongoing process and it will evolve as time goes on. Please do your part by:
Please review the attached document from OSHA for more information regarding what you can do to help prevent exposure to the Coronavirus.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
I would like to address the digital poster (see attachment) I sent out last week concerning your rights under new legislation called the FFCRA. Paid leave under this new legislation is strictly limited to the criteria on the poster and it is separate from Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFMLA). If you have questions about whether you qualify for either program, please use this Google Form to submit a general question to CraftForce or give me a call at 513.580.7148. Each program has strict documentation requirements that are not determined by CraftForce or our clients, so if you believe you are eligible for one of those programs, please be prepared to complete and return all applicable documents to provide the required information.
We have been getting several questions and concerns about unemployment insurance during the time of Coronavirus, so I will do my best to help provide a little guidance. Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (voluntarily leaving a job may preclude you from eligibility). Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, so it varies state to state, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law. Unemployment departments across the country are struggling to keep up with the increasing number of people filing, so please contact CraftForce if you have recently become unemployed through no fault of your own. As always, Kentucky and Ohio are At-Will Employment states, meaning you can end your employment for any reason, but this does not mean that unemployment insurance is guaranteed. Please reach out to us using this Google Form with any questions.
As I mentioned earlier, thank you for your dedication and hard work during this difficult time, and please continue to reach out to CraftForce as a resource.
March 16, 2020 UPDATE
Craftforce is taking precautions in response to the global outbreak and spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, now is the time to take action to protect vulnerable populations and the community at large.
You should know, we have a fully vetted business continuity plan to ensure our skilled staffing services remain consistent and uninterrupted. Although we don’t anticipate the need to implement our continuity plan, we stand ready to implement if needed; focused on keeping the critical industries we serve operational. If you do not have a continuity plan in place for your business, we encourage you to develop one. Please let me know if we may be of any assistance in this regard.
Maintaining A Respectful Workplace
A person’s risk for COVID-19 is not based on race, ethnicity or culture. As a reminder, Craftforce employees must maintain a respective workplace, and treat colleagues with courtesy and respect. Discrimination of any kind is a violation of the Craftforce’s Equal Employment Opportunity policies and will not be tolerated.
NOTICE: Pre-employment Drug Testing Procedure Changes
Effective March 13, 2020 Craftforce suspended all in-house drug testing to preserve the supply of Personal Protective Equipment for first responders. Until further notice, candidates will not be subjected to drug testing, until successfully completing an interview. After the client demonstrates interest in our candidate, they will be submitted for a third party urinalysis. This procedure has been elected in the interest of alleviating the influx plaguing laboratories—who also process critical COVID-19 tests. We would be happy to discuss personalized procedures for drug testing during this time with you in the spirit of maintaining compliance with your policies and procedures, simply email our Staffing and Safety Director, Justin Denham at Justin@Craftforce.com or call 513-580-7148.
We advise Craftforce employees to take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from infection:
Stay up to date on this rapidly evolving situation by visiting:
• World Health Organization – updates on the virus, workplace readiness, basic protective measures, and press briefings.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – information for businesses, interim guidance, and frequently asked questions about the virus.
Vulnerable Populations and Social Distancing
Craftforce has provided additional guidance on minimizing exposure for vulnerable populations.
Vulnerable populations are those who:
The guidance advises vulnerable populations to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, telecommute if possible, stay home if they are sick, and avoid people who are sick. If you have a health condition and are unsure whether it places you in the vulnerable population, ask your personal health care provider. If your health care provider advises you to stay away from work and you cannot work remotely, you may use any accrued leave. If you are a vulnerable individual and believe you have a job you can do from home, please discuss this option with your supervisor. You should not disclose your medical condition or other personal information, only that you believe you are in a vulnerable group, and that you are requesting permission to work remotely.
Craftforce will do all it can to minimize health risk for our employees, consistent with CDC recommendations and occupational health standards. Where an internal team determines it is possible, employees who can perform their work remotely are encouraged to telecommute. Some employees, including those in the vulnerable population, may not be able to telecommute because they need to be at work in order to provide critical industrial services, for example, power plant crew members, transit laborers, or those serving as Disaster Service Workers. Craftforce will take measures in each of these workplaces to mitigate risks. Craftforce is encouraging employment partners to temporarily expand the use of telecommuting, and to consider offering flexible start and end times for shifts during this period. As you know, not all Craftforce employees have jobs that are suited to telecommuting.
Please stay safe and take precautions to mitigate your exposure. We will continue to adapt to your evolving needs during this extraordinary time in our history and have complete trust in the resilience of our people, our communities and our process.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or any member of the Craftforce team.
Dustin Grutza, CEO
Dustin@Craftforce.com | 513-580-7386
This page will continue to be updated, please check back for additional information regularly.
Update: Craftforce's Coronavirus Response