Thank you to everyone for your continued and committed service to our community as the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation continues to evolve. We want to assure our staff, board and partners that we are closely monitoring this rapidly changing situation.
Pursuant to directives and guidance issued by Governor Brown, I have asked Lane Workforce Partnership staff to telecommute starting March 16. LWP staff have always been able to telecommute – we practice a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), which means that regardless of where we are sitting – at the end of the day, did we achieve our desired outcomes? Did we make a difference?
I am on calls and monitoring the effects on businesses and employees all day – everyday. As I receive guidance for employers and workers, I will provide it to all of you immediately. In regards to recent guidance issued on Unemployment Insurance, I was very surprised to see that the State of Oregon issued stricter guidance than the Federal guidance that was issued to allow for more flexibility. I specifically pushed back on state leadership to allow for individuals who are under quarantine to be able to apply for UI. I reached out to Representative Julie Fahey on this very issue, and I am told that new guidance with more flexibility for claims is forthcoming. I will make sure you are provided with the new guidance as soon as it is available to me.
With the Governor announcing that all restaurants and bars are to close to indoor dining, for all of those businesses affected, this is a closure. What does this mean?
- Business owners should inform their employees in some form of writing that they are closing and all employees are laid off until further notice. It would also be ideal if they could file a WARN Notice. Both of these actions help us track the closures and provide workers with documentation to claim Unemployment Insurance. That said – if neither of these actions took place – the Governor’s directive to close all restaurants and bars is documentation enough.
- All affected employees need to go on-line and file for unemployment insurance. I have been told that the system has been crashing due to volume – be patient and keep trying. There is still a waiting week period.
Businesses that are cutting hours of their employees should take advantage of Oregon’s Work Share program.
We are also aware that businesses that are not restaurants or bars are feeling the impacts of this crisis. When talking to businesses about what to do, they can file a WARN Notice if they are needing to close – even temporarily.
A few additional specifics:
- Lane Workforce Partnership staff will participate in meetings hosted by our partners through whatever remote options are available.
- Continue to contact Lane Workforce Partnership staff like you always have via phone and email. If you have any employment questions, we can help get you answers and help connect you with the right people.
- Our contractors will continue to be paid on the usual payment cycle and process during this time.
- We defer to our partners and contractors to determine guidance appropriate for your staff and worksites.
We are learning as we go – as this is uncharted territory in many ways for most of us. That said – if you or anyone you know is going to experience the loss of a paycheck – apply now for Unemployment Insurance.
Thank you everyone for all that you are doing to help our community stay healthy.
Kristina Payne, Executive Director, Lane Workforce Partnership
COVID-19 Related Links and Files
Link to Oregon Employment Department of COVID-19 Resources and Links
- COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Workers Experiencing Layoffs
- COVID-19 OED Resources and Links (English)
- COVID-19 OED Resources and Links (Spanish)
Links to Related COVID-19 Information for our Region
- Community Lending Works
- Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses
- Federal Definition of Essential Workers
- Lane County
- Oregon SHINE Program
- SNAP Assistance Application
- Unemployment Insurance
- Workers Compensation Eligibility Guidelines
- Work Share Oregon
Links to State of Oregon Executive Orders
- Executive Order 20-12 – Stay Home, Save Lives
- Executive Order 20-11 – Eviction moratorium
- Executive Order 20-10 – Conserving personal protective equipment (PPE, including gowns, masks, and gloves) and protecting health care workers
- Executive Order 20-09 – Suspension of higher education in-person instruction
- Executive Order 20-08 – Closure of schools
- Executive Order 20-07 – Limiting gatherings to 25 people; prohibiting dine-in
- Executive Order 20-06 – Declaration of abnormal disruption to market
- Executive Order 20-05 – Prohibiting large gatherings
- Executive Order 20-03 – Declaration of emergency due to COVID-19
Links to Federal Updates: Find out what the federal government, including Congress and federal agencies, are doing to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and to lessen its impact.
- Federal government response to coronavirus, including travel advisories and actions of federal agencies
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus resource website
- Gov. Kate Brown’s letters to Vice President Pence
- Sen. Jeff Merkley’s coronavirus information page
- Congress considers waivers for schools to continue providing food to children
- Sen. Wyden’s bill to expand free coronavirus testing
- Sen. Wyden’s support for an Economic and Community Relief Proposal for impacted businesses
- Sen. Wyden proposal for national Vote by Mail due to coronavirus
As we continue to deploy information quickly during this National COVID-19 Emergency, we want to provide websites as resources. Websites are live platforms where the latest information on responses will be posted. Since the the information will be updated first, using these sites eliminates the version control issues of guidance documents that may become outdated in a matter of hours. Using the websites will keep us all on the same page during such a fluid situation.
Please use the following websites as your guide:
- Business Oregon
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Department of Labor
- Federal Reserve
- Higher Education Coordinating Committee: Rapid Response
- Internal Revenue Service
- Nonprofit Association of Oregon
- Oregon Attorney General
- Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Human Services
- Oregon Department of Revenue
- Oregon Department of Transportation
- Oregon Employment Department
- Oregon Health Authority
- Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
- Oregon Liquor Control Commission
- Small Business Association
- State of Oregon
- United States House of Representatives
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN)
- The White House – Presidential Actions