TAG OFFICE PRACTICES: STOP GERMS | SCREENING FOR COVID-19 | EXPOSURE GUIDANCE
STAY AT HOME ORDERS: TAG INFORMATION
REOPENING KANSAS: AD ASTRA: REOPENING KANSAS
GENERAL TAG NOTICES: MARCH 19
TAG NOTICES TO ASSOCIATES: MARCH 13 | MARCH 19 | MARCH 24 | APRIL 14
TAG NOTICES TO CLIENTS: MARCH 18 | MARCH 19 | MARCH 27 | APRIL 7 | APRIL 9 | APRIL 30
TAG EMPLOYER RESOURCES: COVID-19 HR RESOURCE LIBRARY
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: CDC COVID-19 UPDATES | KANSAS COVID-19 UPDATES | KDHE COVID-19 UPDATES | KDOL COVID-19 RESPONSE | LOCAL HOTLINES | CHILDCARE
ECONOMIC RELIEF: UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE | DIRECT REBATES | TAX RELIEF | FOOD & FINANCIAL AID | FMLA
Governor Kelly's plan for reopening the state was announced April 30, 2020 with progress to be measured by monitoring testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, the ability to contact trace, and the availability of personal protective equipment. Her plan consists of four phases (updated on 4/30/2020), as outlined below:
"Reopening Kansas comes by milestones, not on a timetable."
We can each do our part to help reach reopening milestones:
Kansas needs help producing and selling the necessary supplies related to COVID-19. If your company is willing and able to sell or produce approved COVID-19 related personal protective equipment (PPE), please fill out the procurement form here.
Ice Miller Fifty State Summary on Status of Business Reopening
STAY AT HOME ORDERS
Do I go into work based on local/state/federal stay-at-home orders?
If you are currently on assignment with TAG and information about your assignment being postponed or ending due to non-essential business closure has not been communicated to you by your TAG or client supervisor, plan on showing up to your assignment as previously scheduled. The orders do not require individuals to have paperwork explaining their authority to go to an Essential Business. Contact your local TAG office location with any assignment- or company-specific questions.
Should I go into work?
If you are exhibiting any symptoms of fever or respiratory illness, leave your assignment and/or do not go into work.
Contact your TAG supervisor immediately to notify them of your symptoms and absence.
Do not return to work until you are free of fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines.
State of Kansas Stay-at-Home Order:
State of Kansas - Goes into effect 12:01am Monday, March 30 2020 through April 19, 2020
Kansas has become the 22nd state to make a statewide stay-at-home order; the state's order supersedes those county orders that had been enacted while the state order is in effect. Kansas residents are directed to stay in their homes or residences unless performing an essential activity.
- Stay at Home Order
- Section 3. Employees and employers [must] follow appropriate safety protocols, including maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals and following other directives regarding social distancing, hygiene, and other efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Section 9. No individual leaving their home in order to perform an activity or function allowed under this order shall be required to carry or present any letter, identification card, or other paperwork proving that they are allowed to leave their home.
UPDATED APRIL 15, 2020: State of Kansas - Order extended through May 3, 2020
If you are experiencing symptoms of, or have any questions about COVID-19, please contact your local COVID-19 hotline:
- Cowley County: 620.221.3916, M-F 8am-6pm
- Geary County: 785.210.4212 or 785.210.4825
- Reno County Respiratory Rapid Response Hotline: 620.669.2500
- Riley County Screening Hotline: 785.323.6400
- Sedgwick County: 316.660.9000, M-F 8am-5pm
SAMHSA's (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. The Disaster Distress Helpline also answers calls/texts related to infectious disease outbreaks such as the Coronavirus pandemic, incidents of community unrest, and other traumatic events. Call 1.800.985.5990 or text "TalkWithUs" for English or "Hablanos" for Spanish to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
211.org is a vital service connecting millions of people to help every year. To get expert, caring help, simply dial 211 or search online for your local 211. They have developed a COVID-19 specific webpage for those needing assistance finding food, paying housing bills, or other essential services, as well as providing additional information and updates regarding the pandemic and resources available.
There are child care providers in the greater Wichita region (Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley, Harvey and Sumner Counties) with immediate openings for children - especially those of health care providers, first responders and essential employees.
Many vacancies are in family childcare homes, licensed by KDHE, and serve no more than 10 children. Many other caregivers who usually limit enrollment are volunteering to open their enrollment in order to support first responders and health care providers. Many of the openings come from families who have a caregiver now staying home.
To find providers in your area, call 1.877.678.2548 or search online at www.childstart.org
If you are not working or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance.
Find information and instructions on filing for Unemployment Benefits online for every state here, or go straight to information on filing in Kansas here.
The Kansas Department of Labor has confirmed standard Unemployment fraud reporting guidelines will be enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment fraud is the willful misrepresentation of information by an individual for the purposes of collecting UI benefits; anyone who collects UI while knowingly doing something that makes them ineligible. Fraud occurs when a claimant receives benefits:
- while refusing suitable work and failing to report this;
- while working and not reporting (correct) earnings;
- operating their own business;
- knowingly misrepresenting they're able and available for work.
The penalty for unemployment fraud is disqualification from receiving any unemployment benefits for five years plus a 25% penalty on subsequent payments; you are required to repay any benefits you receive that you are not entitled to. All allegations of fraud are investigated, and anyone can report suspected fraudulent activity by:
Find additional information and FAQ regarding KDOL UI fraud.
The House of Representatives passed an economic relief package called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a large part of which is dedicated to providing direct payments to workers and families so they have funds to stay afloat during this public health emergency. Find out what this may mean for you.
Filing taxes under normal circumstances can be difficult, but there are resources and help available. Some things you should know:
If you've lost work or have been otherwise affected by this emergency, you may need help beyond unemployment insurance. The Kansas Department of Children for Families and others administer a variety of federal and state programs that can help during this time. Find out more about these resources.
Many workers may be eligible for federal family leave and medical protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
In preparation of the state reopening on May 4, 2020, we have put together a Library of COVID-19 HR Resources to assist employers in response to their COVID-19 workforce challenges. Resources will be added and updated based on Governor Kelly's guidelines that will be announced this evening at 6:30pm.
To assist with the transition of returning to work and managing our "new normal," we have created an Employer Return to Work HR Checklist addressing key considerations regarding Policies and Procedures, Health and Safety, and Best Practices based upon the most recent federal and state guidelines.
We also have additional resources to assist with other key hot topics employers are dealing with such as conducting business remotely, motivating your workforce and managing employee stress:
On Friday, March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. As a result, many GCC cardholders could be eligible to receive financial relief from the government in the form of a stimulus payment via direct deposit or physical check. All cardholders have been enabled to receive stimulus payments via direct deposit if they choose to. Find out more on our GCC page.
The CDC has advised that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented prior to and during their shift:
- Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee's temperature and assess symptoms prior to the individual entering the facility or starting work.
- Regular Monitoring: The employee should self-monitor for temperature and symptoms under the supervision of the employer's occupational health program.
- Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times for 14 days after the last exposure. Employers can issue face masks or approve employees' supplied cloth face coverings.
- Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Disinfect and Clean Work Spaces: Routinely clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, kitchens and breakrooms, and share equipment.
If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately.
Find additional information and guidance from the CDC here.
Monday afternoon, the Wichita Chamber of Commerce had a conversation with the Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Delia Garcia, and UI Director Laurel Klein Searles. Phil Hayes joined Andrew Wiens, VP of Government Relations and Jason Watkins, Chamber Legislative Consultant, to ask questions on behalf of the Wichita business community.
The American Staffing Association (ASA) has joined forces with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) to provide an innovative solution to address the immediate, acute need to fill job openings at Essential Businesses providing critical services during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an ASA member, we are excited to announce our part in the ASA's online, searchable directory, at americanstaffing.net/RILA, that will connect retailers with agencies that can fill high-demand roles such as warehouse workers, store clerks, forklift operators, delivery drivers and more.
"The U.S. staffing and recruiting industry is ready to source and deploy talent wherever and whenever it is needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. The Arnold Group is operating under the new circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and stands ready to assist in sourcing and deploying temporary and/or full-time workers to ensure local Essential Businesses have the workforce necessary to successfully continue their operations, regardless of the size or scope of organizational needs. Contact us to discuss your emergent and immediate staffing needs.
As all businesses have been affected by COVID-19, The Arnold Group is currently waiting on additional guidance from legal counsel and the American Staffing Association regarding recent legislation and executive orders on limited time off benefits. Until we receive further guidance and clarity, TAG is encouraging any TAG Associate who's assignment has ended or hours have been reduced as a result of COVID-19 to apply for unemployment benefits at www.getkansasbenefits.gov.
MARCH 19, 2020 UPDATE
We value the trust you have placed with us to handle your employment, business and staffing needs, and we stand ready to assist you in navigating this public health challenge and furthering the well-being of all individuals. We are committed to upholding the high level of service that you have come to expect and deserve.
KDHE is now mandating a 14-day home quarantine for any Kansans who have:
- Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, Florida, New York, and Washington state) on or after March 15, 2020.
- March 26 2020 Update: Traveled to Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23, 2020.
- Visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and/or Gunnison counties in Colorado in the week prior to or after March 15, 2020.
- Traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15, 2020.
- People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should finish out their quarantine.
- Traveled internationally on or after March 15.
- People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their international travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and/or Iran should finish out their quarantine.
- Received notification from Public Health Officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. You should quarantine at home for 14 days since your last contact with the case.
*A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.
Visit KDHE for this and other important information.
Based on this, in order to comply with the mandate, any TAG associate, internal team member or visitor who fits the criteria must immediately self-quarantine. We ask that you follow the normal call in procedure and notify your supervisor/manager should this effect you.
By following the mandate, we are hopeful we will continue to mitigate risk to our community and team members during this challenging time. Please continue to support each other, and stay safe and healthy by following the CDC guidelines and remember that we are in this together.
MARCH 19, 2020 CLIENT UPDATE
We are aware of the effects of COVID-19 on our communities, families and staff during this unprecedented and challenging time. As such, we want to assure you we are constantly monitoring the situation and adapting our business plan to ensure we can continue to serve your business needs.
We’ve taken steps to fulfill our promise to you so you can take comfort knowing we are here during these uncertain times.
What you can expect from us:
- Our TAG staff and temporary associates’ safety and well-being is critical to us, as is the safety and well-being of your employees. Therefore, we have advised our associates about how to take care of themselves, protect others, and monitor the latest developments.
- The Arnold Group will remain open and adequately staffed for handing your ongoing and emergent staffing needs.
- We are limiting external face-to-face interactions and traffic within our offices.
- Please contact us as usual by phone or email.
We value the trust you have placed with us to handle your business and staffing needs, and we stand ready to assist you in navigating this public health challenge and furthering the well-being of all individuals. We are committed to upholding the high level of service that you have come to expect and deserve.
MARCH 18, 2020 CLIENT UPDATE
We are in unprecedented times… With the ongoing spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the incredible speed at which things are changing around us, we are all working diligently to focus on the safety of our employees, supplier partners, clients, and the communities in which we operate. As we continue to monitor the local, national and worldwide incidence of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, we wanted to share what we have communicated internally at TAG as well as with our associates/employees on a work assignment at your facility. A link on our homepage can be found regarding TAG notices, policies and continued updates on COVID-19. Additionally, this information has been and will continue to be communicated directly with our associates.
We are monitoring this situation daily and adapting our operations and business to ensure there will not be any disruptions in our service or in our ability to interview, hire, and onboard employees. Though we are implementing additional measures to further reduce the number of employees and traffic within our offices, we are continuing to provide assistance/coverage by phone and email; however, response times may be impacted. We are taking this precautionary step to ensure the safety of our employees and the communities in which they live. We will keep working with our clients on an individual basis based on their contingency planning and will continue to be fluid in our support as the situation unfolds. Therefore, if the information we are communicating to our associates differs from your company policies/communications regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19, please let us know so we can relay your company specifics to those associates assigned or being considered for assignment with your company. We wish to align as close as possible with our clients to ensure good communication and prevent conflicting messages being sent to our workforce.
We appreciate your continued partnership and stand ready to assist in any way we can to help manage through this difficult situation together. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions regarding the steps we are taking – or if we can provide you with additional support. You are an important partner and we greatly appreciate the trust you place in us.
MARCH 13, 2020 ASSOCIATE UPDATE
As we continue to monitor the local, national and worldwide incidence of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, all employees/TAG Associates 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 The Arnold Group’s senior management team by email.
Recommended Actions to Take Now
Based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TAG recommends all employees/TAG Associates take basic prevention measures to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID-19 by:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth
- Staying home when they are sick
- Covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Not wearing a face mask unless they show symptoms of respiratory illness, including COVID-19
- Washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing (if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol)
- Employees/TAG Associates who have recently been in an area of high concern for COVID-19, which is being defined as a CDC Level 3 area, should contact TAG Management, and self-isolate as per the CDC guidelines.
Workplace Policies (effective 3/13/2020)
TAG management representatives must not pressure employee/TAG Associates to come to work if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill dependents. If employees/TAG Associates are well, they should not be pressured to stay away from work for reasons such as their ethnic or racial background, home address, having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19) or recent travel to unaffected areas. As described above, there is a need to stay away from work because of caring for someone confirmed to have COVID-19.
Given TAG’s interest in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all, managers and supervisors (with the support and involvement of TAG Management as needed) should ask employees/TAG Associates who are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness to go home and stay home until 24 hours after they are free of symptoms.
A “doctor’s note” or documentation of dependent care responsibilities will not be required from employees/TAG Associates who cancel an assignment or miss work if they have symptoms of respiratory illness or have been confirmed with COVID-19.
Employees/TAG Associates may use up to 14 unpaid days 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) without receiving a strike for being absent from work or canceling an existing assignment for the following reasons:
- A confirmed case of COVID-19
- Symptoms of respiratory illness
- To meet self-isolation or quarantine requirements
- For the active care of others because of disruptions relating to COVID-19
- Because the minor child of an employee attends a school or day care that is closed due to illnesses and they have no other childcare arrangements.
The Arnold Group will review this threshold periodically as conditions change.
Well Employees/TAG Associates:
Well employees/TAG Associates are expected at work unless:
- they have been in contact with or are caring for someone who is ill with an ordinary respiratory illness (in which case, typical preventive measures are recommended for them as care givers);
- they have been caring for someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, in which case they are required to self-isolate;
- they have been in a CDC Level 3area of concern;
- they have been instructed to refrain from attending work by TAG or public health officials;
- the school or day care where their child under 18 years attends is closed due to illnesses and they have no other childcare arrangements.
Sick Employees/TAG Associates:
Employees/TAG Associates 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 should contact their local The Arnold Group (TAG) office.
Return to Work:
In general, written medical clearance will not be required for return to work. (TAG business clients with specific health and safety requirements, such as food services, may have different policies.) This is being done to avoid overtaxing health care resources.
Workers at Higher Risk:
Employees/TAG Associates 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 job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected. The Arnold Group will work with employees/TAG Associates on a case by case basis to try to accommodate their requests. 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 TAG Management to formally request a temporary change. The Arnold Group will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and attempt to appropriately address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining TAG and TAG clients’ operations. Except for employees/TAG Associates who formally request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees/TAG Associates will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID-19 infection.
Potential Additional Policy Changes
If public health conditions worsen, TAG’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 TAG ‘s business priorities. All employees/TAG Associates will be notified as necessary of such changes and should also check back for updates.
The Arnold Group will work with each affected employee and attempt to return them to the assignment to which they were assigned previously; however, depending on business needs, clients' requirements or other business necessities we cannot guarantee the availability of said assignment in which case, TAG will take affirmative steps to attempt to find the affected employee a suitable and comparable assignment if one is available. Upon returning to work, employees/TAG Associates should follow the When to Contact TAG/Check in Availableas outlined in the TAG Associate Handbook.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this information, TAG's Attendance Standard, or any other issue please speak with your immediate supervisor.
To learn more about the novel coronavirus and keep up with the latest developments, see the About Coronavirus Disease 2019 and CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers webpages. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.