Brothers and Sisters,
I am reaching out to all of you to provide an update on our plans for the operation of Local 455 during these unprecedented times due to coronavirus COVID-19.
Effective March 17th through March 31st the Union office is closed. By the end of March we will reassess developments and make the appropriate adjustments.
During this closure, members are able to call the Hall as they have in the past. Calls will be answered by an office professional and forwarded to the appropriate officer.
We continue to monitor the situation and are following the guidelines set by the CDC and Governor Walz. We understand that during these difficult times members may experience jobs being temporarily shut down, reduced hours or layoffs. On March 16th 2020 Governor Walz issued an executive order which provides unemployment benefits to workers impacted by COVID-19.
Listed below are the details of the Executive Order:
-waives the waiting week,
-waives the requirement to search for work,
-waives the impact on the employers experience rating,
-does not extend benefits,
-applies to Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications submitted after March 1st 2020.
Also applies when:
-Health professionals determine a worker cannot work due to COVID-19 or contracting the coronavirus,
-Worker is in a risk category for COVID-19,
-Employer tells employee not to come to work because someone has contracted the virus or a “communicable disease”,
-Worker cannot get childcare or other accommodations to take care of school age children,
-It does not apply when a worker choose not to go to work.
Members take note:
-A worker does not have to be unemployed to collect UI benefits. If their hours are dramatically reduced because of the coronavirus, they can still apply for UI and state the reason is due to COVID. Also, please have patience around eligibility determinations and the processing of applications.
I have no doubt that we will eventually defeat this virus. Until we do, however, please continue to follow the guidelines from the CDC and Governor Walz, so that the decisions you are making for your co-workers and your family are based on the latest expert information.