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Covid-19

UFCW Local 2013 Health & Welfare Fund, Special Coverage in Response to the Coronavirus

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Healthcare Providers Are Not Eligible For This Leave)

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

COVID RESOURCES FACT SHEET

Covid-19 Cares Act and Emergency Stimulus Summary info (and Some state guidelines)

 

1.Direct Payments-$600 per individual, $1,200 per family, and $600 per child, subject to certain maximum income limits

 

2.Unemployment.  7 day waiting period has been waived. All over, unemployment extended to 4 months of unemployment. On top of whatever your state pays for full or partial unemployment you will get an additional $300 through March 14, 2021. (Doesn’t count towards your total)

 

  • In NY Apply for Unemployment at labor.ny.gov in NY. Based on your last name. Monday= A-F. Tuesday= G-N, Wed= O-Z, and Thurs and Friday =all.
  • In NY the benefit you receive varies based upon your wages earned and your employment history over a several month period is based on the highest wages you earned in the 3 month period last year, up to $504 a week. (The $300 is on top of that)

 

3.EffectsBargaining-Generally, if you take severance or separation payments, other than accrued PTO, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits for the first 30 days. (People are probably better off not taking the separate separation severance unless they can receive the payment 31 or more days after separation.)

 

4.FEDERAL EMERGENCY FMLA AND PAID SICK LEAVE

  • Both provisions only apply to private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public employers, and are only available if the employer chooses to offer such leave
  • Healthcare workers may be ineligible for these benefits
  • Employers will be reimbursed for leave provided through March 31, 2021

 

  1. Emergency Federal FMLA – now up to employer discretion.
  • The employee can ONLY take FMLA leave due to the need to take care of a minor child because the child’s school or place of care is unavailable due to COVID emergency.  
  • Employees are eligible if they have worked for at least 30 days.
  • They can take up to 12 weeks of job protected leave. The first 10 days of Emergency FMLA may be unpaid and the employee may choose to use their PTO or Paid Sick Leave (discussed below). After that the that the employer must pay full time employees at 2/3 of the regular rate for the number of hours they would normally work.  Limit is $200 per day and $10,000 in total
  • Employers with 25 plus employees must return them to the same or equivalent position when they come back to work. If less than 25 employees, the employer needs to make reasonable attempts to find an equivalent position for 1 year following the employee’s leave. 

 

  1. Paid Sick Leave – now up to employer discretion.
  • Up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid leave

You are eligible:

  • If you are subject to a government entity’s quarantine order due to Covid (NOT a shelter in place) or you have been advised by health care provider to self quarantine, or have symptoms and are seeking medical diagnoses.
  •  if you are caring for an individual who has been ordered by a government entity or has been recommended by a healthcare provider to quarantine 
  • if you are caring for a child who has lost childcare or school due to Covid.  
  • If you are quarantining you are paid at the regular rate but capped at $511 per day and $5,100 total 
  • $200 per day capped at $2,000 if you are caring for others quarantined or for a child home from school
  • This leave is separate from and in addition to your current paid sick leave you have accumulated (but cannot be stacked for double pay). 

 

  • You can request this paid sick leave concurrently with the 10 days of unpaid leave before the paid portion of the FMLA emergency leave 

 

  1. State FMLA -in NY people can take this if they are taking care of a sick family member. You can take up to 10 weeks and receive 60% of your average weekly wages (for the last 8 weeks you worked). You fill out the form to apply through your employer and submit the form to insurance carrier.

 

5.Disability- In NJ if you have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority to go into self isolation, or have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19,  you can now apply for disability.(the definition has been expanded)   

 

7.DOH GUIDELINES- for NY state -call 866-881-2809. Coronavirus hotline=888-364-3065.  For adult care/ALF=866-893-6772.  Coronavirus.health.nylgov/know-your-rights

 

  • According to the New York Department of Health, the employer is NOT required to notify employees if a co worker has the virus, and they are not required to quarantine other employees who came in contact. 
  • For cleaning (deep cleaning) according to NYSDOH this can be done by the regular cleaning staff and doesn’t not have to be done by a special cleaning company. The frequency of cleaning should be increased.
  • If a person dies of COVID in an ALF, they should follow normal procedures and call a funeral home

 

A)PPE- facilities are told to make available but conserve supply as necessary. Extended wear is allowed. Face masks must be work within 6 feet from residents.

  • If a patient is suspected to have COVID, they should be isolate in a separate room with the door closed and they should have a mask on. The NYS Dept of Health should be contacted and other residents in the affected unit should be monitored. Caregivers should have gloves, gown, face mask and eye protection 
  • Residents in Assisted Living Facilities are allowed to come and go if they did not have direct contact with a COVID infected person.

 

8.Termination- For NJ, a law was passed that you can’t be terminated for requesting or taking time off for a specified period of time due to covid because you have or are likely to have covid (by a NJ-licensed medical professional.)

 

9.COVID TESTING- should be covered by insurance.

 

  • Employers can ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms and they can require that they stay home if they are.
  • They can do fever checks
  • They can required a doctor or clinic note that they can return to work

 

  1. FOOD STAMPS :apply on line at https://ww1.nyc.gov/site/hrs/help/accessory.page

 

  1. HOUSING: 
  • National residential eviction moratorium extended through Jan. 31, 2021
  • New York State has a moratorium on residential evictions until May 1, 2021, for tenants who endured a “COVID-related hardship” and can provide documentation demonstrating such hardship
  • In NYC there is a moratorium on NYCHA evictions as long as the City is under a state of emergency

 

  1. HEALTH INSURANCE- help may be on the way.   For New Yorkers without insurance you can apply through NY State DEPT of Health within 60 days of losing coverage if you can’t afford COBRA.

Warehouse Safety and Health Checklist: COVID-19

Warehouse Safety and Health Checklist: COVID-19

Warehouse Safety

Is there a written Infectious Disease Preparedness Response plan, specific to COVID-19? If yes, has the Union asked for and received a copy?

What steps has your facility taken to protect safety and health?

Redesigning the workplace to encourage 6-feet distancing/spacing
Is your facility:

  • Staggering start times to reduce the number of people coming and going at one time?
  • Are workers spaced six feet apart at fixed workstations?
  • In loading and unloading areas, are workers able to space 6-feet apart?
  • Are you always able to stay six feet apart from all workers during the day? If no, where are the areas where workers aren’t spaced apart?
  • Are break rooms/ lunchrooms redesigned to allow for 6-feet distancing?
  • Have production standards been relaxed to allow for more social distancing between workers?

 

Cleaning and Sanitizing
Are workstations cleaned multiple times a day? If no, how often are workstations cleaned?

Are forklifts, power jacks and other powered moving equipment cleaned after each use?

Are bathrooms, break rooms, lunchrooms and other common areas cleaned regularly? If no, what areas at not cleaned?

Are protocols written for cleaning and sanitizing? Are EPA registered disinfectants used to sanitize?

Do workers who clean and sanitize have proper training and protective equipment?

 
Bathrooms and Hand Hygiene
Do bathrooms have running water, soap and hand dryers or paper towels?

Is hand sanitizer available throughout the plant, including:

  • Upon entering the workplace
  • In break rooms/lunchrooms
  • In locker rooms
  • In the hallways
  • Easily accessible to all workers throughout the warehouse

 
Are workers provided extra breaks to wash/sanitize hands throughout the day? (Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is more effective than hand-sanitizer as protection.)

 
Face Masks and another PPE
Are face coverings required upon entering the workplace?

Does the company encourage or require face coverings for all personnel inside the plant, including workers, management, vendors, contractors?

Does the company provide:

  • Face Masks?
    • If yes, what type of face masks are provided? ________________
    • Is a new face mask provided at the beginning of every shift? If no, how often are face masks provided? _______________________
    • Can a face mask be replaced, if it gets soiled or damaged? ______________
  • Face shields?
  • Gloves? If yes, can gloves be replaced if they get damaged or soiled?

Are workers instructed on proper donning and doffing procedures, to prevent contamination?
 
Training
Has training been conducted on:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment or PPE, including putting on and taking off gloves and masks, to prevent contamination?
  • Purpose and limitations of PPE
  • Proper disposal procedures

Have workers been trained on symptoms and transmission of COVID-19?

Have workers been trained on proper hand hygiene?

Is the training conducted in languages understood by all workers?
 
Reporting Procedures: Illness/Symptoms of COVID-19?
Do workers understand the procedures to report illness or symptoms of COVID-19?

Are workers protected from retaliation if they report feeling ill or report or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19?

 
Procedures if a COVID-19 case is identified in the workplace
Do workers understand the procedures to follow if they receive a positive test for COVID-19?

Is the work area shut down for cleaning and sanitizing, where a worker has been identified with COVID-19?

Are workers identified who were in close contact with the infected individual?

  • Are these workers contacted, to let them know they have been in contact with an infected individual?
  • Are these workers instructed to self-monitor for symptoms?

  
Is there an area to isolate individuals who

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • Developed symptoms during the workday; or
  • Reported feeling ill

  
Is paid sick leave provided to workers who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Waiting for COVID-19 test results?
  • Diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Who are sick, and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 but have not been tested?
  •  

Is your workplace conducting screening for all personnel who enter the workplace? If yes, who is conducting the screening?
___ Nurse ___ other health care provider ___ management ___ don’t know

Is the screening conducted in a way that provides privacy for each person being screened?

Do workers understand the procedures if a screening reveals that they may have symptoms of COVID-19 and will have to isolate at home?

Driver Safety
What steps has your facility taken to protect drivers?

Are steps in place to assure that drivers can remain six feet apart from any customer or member of the public when making deliveries?

Have drivers been provided with materials/equipment to protect themselves and sanitize the truck such as masks, hand sanitizer, soap and/or disinfectant wipes?

Retaliation
Have you or anyone in your workplace experienced job-related retaliation related to COVID-19? (e.g. for asking for more protections) If yes, provide explanation.

Workplace
Have quotas or work expectations changed during COVID-19? If so, how?

New Jersey Essential Worker Child Care

NY: Return to Work COVID-19 Letter

City of New York COVID-19 Hotel Program

Expansion of COVID Rent Relief Program

NYS Homes and Community Renewal Announces Expansion of Covid Rent Relief Program

What it is

The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance. Households can apply for up to four months of rental assistance. The program will not cover the entire rent but will provide funding to cover a portion of the rent for low-income New Yorkers who have experienced income loss.

Who Qualifies

To qualify for this one-time subsidy, renters impacted by the pandemic must meet all the following criteria:

  • Must be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State;
  • Must have lost income during the period from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • Before March 7, 2020, household income must have been at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; (Applicants can find their county’s area median income, based on household size on the HCR website) and
  • Households must have been “rent burdened” (a tenant’s total contractual rent must be greater than 30% of their household’s before-tax income) during the months for which they are applying for assistance between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

Eligibility requirements for the COVID Rent Relief Program have changed. Households no longer need to have been considered “rent burdened” prior to the pandemic in order to qualify. “Rent burden” is defined as paying more than 30% of monthly gross (pre-tax) income toward rent.

You are not eligible for the program if you:

  • Live in public housing (NYCHA)
  • Receive a Section 8 voucher

If you live in public housing or receive a Section 8 voucher and your total household income has decreased, you should contact NYCHA or your voucher administrator to request an Interim Recertification.

Subsidy Calculation

Eligible households can receive a one-time rent subsidy that covers the difference between their “rent burden” on March 1, 2020 and their “rent burden” for the months they are applying for assistance. For applicants who were not considered rent burdened on March 1, 2020, the subsidy will be calculated to bring them to the 30 percent rent burden threshold. Households may apply for 1-4 months of assistance during the period from April to July. This one-time subsidy is paid directly to the resident’s landlord.

Rent burden is the amount of monthly contractual rent that exceeds 30% of gross household income (total pay before taxes).

Example: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a household’s total monthly income was $3,000 and their monthly rent was $700. The household was paying 23% of their monthly income toward rent. This household was not rent-burdened prior to COVID. However, due to COVID, their work hours were reduced and their monthly income decreased to $1,400 during the coverage period while their rent remained the same at $700. This household was paying 50% ($700/$1,400) of their monthly income toward rent during the coverage period.

This household would be eligible for a subsidy that covers the increase in their rent burden in excess of 30%. Under this program, the maximum rent burden threshold based on their reduced income during the coverage period would be calculated as $1,400(income) x 30% = $420 (maximum rent payment). $700 (total rent) – $420 (maximum rent payment) = $280 (subsidy from this program). The $280 in subsidy from the program would reduce this household’s rent burden to 30% for each month they apply for assistance for up to four months.

How to Apply

Applications for COVID Rent Relief Program Available Online at https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP. The deadline to submit your COVID Rent Relief Program application is February 1, 2021.

Previous Applicants Do Not Have to Reapply to Receive Consideration.

For Help Applying

Residents who need help or have questions about their application can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center for assistance at 833-499-0318 or covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov. Call Center representatives are available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

You can also call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline” to be connected with tenant support specialists who can help you navigate the application process.

For More Information

We expect this program to be codified in an Executive Order from the Governor, thus the information is subject to change. Please visit https://hcr.ny.gov/rrp for more information.

COVID Vaccination Information

COVID Vaccine Leaflet

Paid Leave For COVID-19 Vaccinations

New Jersey COVID Vaccination Information

New York COVID Vaccination Information

Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment (New York)

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to certain groups in NYC. The following groups have recently become eligible:

  • People ages 65 and older
  • Teachers, school staff, in-person college instructors and child care workers
  • Correction staff
  • First responders
  • Public transit workers
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • People working and living in group homeless shelters and other group settings

Applications Now Being Accepted for Empire Pandemic Grant Fund for First Responders and Essential Workers

*IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION*

Dear Local 2013 Member,

We know everyone is nervous and filled with more questions than answers regarding the Coronavirus and the impact it is having in our everyday lives, both at work and at home.

We are writing to all Employers that we have Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s) with to let them know we need to maintain open lines of communication as the impacts to various business unfold. We are also advising them that in the industries that require PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) like gloves; face masks; etc., we expect them to have enough inventories to assure that each member requiring this PPE, has it readily available to them.

Further, we are advising them to be understanding of members/workers issues as they relate to child care and the impact school closings may have on people’s ability to report to work or related impact on issues like absenteeism; across the board strict rules of discipline may need to be dealt with in a more understanding tone.

We have also reminded them that our CBA’S are still in effect and need to be adhered to; while we understand the impact that the virus may have on certain industries and businesses, they also need to remember we are here to protect member’s rights.

As things continue to unfold, there may be a need to do things differently, and that is why real time communications are vital. There is an ongoing dialogue with government officials (Local, State, and Federal) to look at what legislative relief can be provided to lessen the economic and financial impact to workers.

As developments occur (almost hourly and daily), we will be looking to keep communications to you the members as current as possible; to that end, you should make sure that we have the most up to date contact information for each member.

CLICK HERE TO UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION.

This includes phone numbers, email addresses; physical dwelling address. Also, be sure to stay in touch with your Union representatives to get updated information. We know some imparted businesses have already had to implement reduced schedules and in some cases even lay-offs.

In Solidarity,
Louis Mark Carotenuto – President
UFCW Local 2013
View as PDF

 

Testimony of Louis Mark Carotenuto

President UFCW Local 2013
Before the New York City Council
Committee on Civil Service and Labor
In Support of Int. No. 1918-2020 – Premium Pay for Essential Workers
May 5, 2020

Good Afternoon. Thank you Chairman Miller, Speaker Johnson, and members of the City Council. I am pleased to submit this testimony in support of Int. No. 1918-2020, which would guarantee badly needed premium pay for essential workers…

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To Healthcare Employers Regarding PPE

We are hearing from members throughout the industry that they are not being given adequate supplies of the proper PPE in facilities where exposure is clearly happening and that the essentials like face mask; gloves; gowns are in extremely short supply. We have also heard that in a few facilities, the supply of essential PPE is being stored in locked supervisor’s offices who are not at work and that in some cases the workers who need this PPE the most are unable to get sufficient new supplies.

We urge you to make certain you have adequate supplies of the necessary PPE to protect your workforce – our members, we also urge you to make absolutely certain that this PPE is in a place where it is readily available at ALL times to the workers on the frontlines…

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To All Employers

As you know, a Stimulus Package being developed in Washington, D.C. and expected to be approved at any time now that will assist American businesses and workers alike as we deal with the COVID 19 Pandemic. We urge you all to do your best to hold off on making rash premature decisions and actions; keep workers on payrolls and avoid layoffs as long as possible.

Premature action on your part may cost you and your workers, our members, eligibility to economic benefits that are still being debated and developed in this Stimulus. Moreover, at a time in history unlike one we seen before, to push workers off of Healthcare benefits and eligibility during a Health epidemi…

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What Actions Are We Taking?

1) Local 2013 is pushing the Mayor and Governor for our Healthcare and Food related members to receive first responder status. You are on the frontlines.

2) Working with state and federal leaders to develop immediate policies that will protect members’ personal and economic health. Specifically, both the local union and International union are working with elected leaders to ensure that any new local, state, and federal policies to address the Coronavirus pandemic also address the essential concerns of UFCW members.

3) The local union and International union are having ongoing discussions with management and your employers about the steps they are taking (and should take) to protect your job, pay and benefits. These discussions include additional steps they need to take to protect co-workers from any workplace exposure to the coronavirus, as well as address concerns our members have raised.

 AND MORE.  Read the full letter here.

Notice To Employers

During these ever changing times as we are all trying to understand the impacts that the Coronavirus is having on our collective lives and businesses, the thing we need to understand more than anything is that this is a healthcare emergency and it is impacting our families; friends; co-workers; employee’s; members in ways that are unimaginable and that we’ve never seen before.

There are challenging issues impacting your business and our members. While the landscape is evolving every day we wanted to stress the importance of the following issues to help guide us through these turbulent times. First is that the health and safety of our members must be a priority. That means the safety of your facility be addressed and that necessary’ personal protection equipment (PPE) be provided to employees including masks and gloves as necessary. Second any employee who is unable to work…

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Notice To Healthcare Employers

With each passing day we are seeing greater restrictions put on businesses throughout the tri-state area; additionally the one thing that everyone agrees on is that certain industries have been designated as “Essential Businesses” and more than any — its anything healthcare related services Nursing Homes; Assisted Living; Home Health Aides; etc. that have been consistently reported and recognized as being on the frontlines of this pandemic crisis…

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