Furloughed employee Q&A’s as of 4/27/2020
Q1: Are all furloughed and laid off CPT employees entitled to unemployment?
- It appears from IDES that past earnings must meet certain minimum thresholds (and correspondingly, there is a minimum required number of hours). Note that the 1-week wait to apply for benefits has been waived during the pandemic. Also waived in Illinois during the pandemic is the requirement for furloughed/laid off employees to be actively searching for work, since the assumption is that the furloughed employee will return to his/her employer in a short period after the business can fully open again.
Q2: When can/should the furloughed employee apply for UI?
- We recommend you start filing your unemployment claim right away according to the IDES rolling online availability (certain days of the week based on your last name). It has even been recommended to try to file at 3:00 am when the online system is less burdened.
Note this link from IDES providing five (5) common mistakes to avoid when filing your claim:
Q3: Will furloughed employees receive holiday pay for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25th? And will furloughed employees accrue PTO during the furlough?
- No to both questions. Using the same benefit guidelines as CPT’s personal leave policy, no holiday pay or PTO accrual will occur during furloughed periods.
Q4: Are Independent Contractors eligible for unemployment?
- Under regular unemployment rules, the incomes of self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors are not subject to unemployment taxes and so typically these individuals are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, during the pandemic, the eligibility for these groups has been included. As of April 9th, Governor Pritzker was quoted as saying that the state of IL can handle these additional groups “in the coming weeks,” but declined to offer a definite timeline.
Q5: Do I have to use my accrued PTO now? Or can I save it to use later in 2020?
- CPT does not require that you use your available PTO time now. In fact, a resource from IDES called UIPL_10-20 states that “an individual receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave is still receiving pay. Thus, generally speaking, the individual is not “unemployed”, so the individual is ineligible for UC.” We interpret this to mean that the state of IL Unemployment Compensation agency MAY NOT pay unemployment days on top of CPT’s PTO days.
Q6: How will return to work procedures unfold?
- As soon as the census improves in your building, seniority in that building will be considered as a “call back” factor. We plan to start callbacks first with the group that began their furlough on 4/27/20.
Q7: May I pick up any items from my assigned CPT building while I am on furlough?
- It’s fine to pick up any personal belongings. However, any patient related information such as files or any laptop computers should not be taken out of the facility.
Contact your furlough HR Business Partner from MRA:
Things to remember when reading and asking questions:
- Due to the nature of rapidly evolving information, the answers to these questions could easily change, sometimes even daily. Please start with the information on the top of the list as it will be the most current. You should also check announcements on the cptrehab.com/healthnews website for additional information. If you are concerned that the information you last received is no longer current, please ask your question again.
- Several of you have stated that you are talking amongst yourselves and with other buildings. We would encourage you to stop for several reasons:
You should not be sharing patient information of any kind with others not involved with that patient due to HIPPA regulations.
The entire thought process and actions taken at facilities regarding various patients are not being conveyed when talking amongst others and other facilities. It is causing undue stress as much of the information is not correct.
Each facility has its own set of nuances and circumstances. They will not always operate in the same manner so please don’t compare buildings.
- If you have specific questions about protocols in your building, you are to consult with your administrator. They are your best source of information regarding the operations in your facility. As a contracted entity in all the facilities where we provide services, we are obligated to follow the policies and procedures put in place in each one. They will most likely change as the situation evolves and more learning takes place.
- We at CPT along with all the facilities that your work in are working to keep you and your families safe. It is imperative that you adhere to handwashing and infections control procedures that are in place. Training has been provided in these areas and will continue to be.
April 6th, 2020
- What preparations is CPT taking in case of shortages of workforce occur?
In late March, CPT put together a staffing process which was approved by Alden. This includes a hierarchy of actions, including overtime, adjusting the length of treatment, using full time staff from other facilities where census is low and lastly using prn employees. The CDC, State and Local public health guidelines continue to change regarding this, which we monitor. Currently, IDPH allows for sharing of staff between facilities as long as efforts are made to minimize this as much as possible. Our current staffing process meets this guideline. We continue to monitor for any changes in this guidance.
- I have another prn job outside of CPT. Am I still allowed to work for CPT if I work at my prn job?
We currently do not have a policy that says you cannot work at place other than CPT. You do need to follow CDC and local health department guidelines and take every precaution possible to minimize your exposure to COVID-19. We would encourage all of you to take advantage of opportunities for overtime and travel between our facilities as a means for extra work if you wish. Please notify your supervisor if you have extra hours to give so your availability can be noted in our scheduling process.
- I am nervous treating patients with COVID-19. Can I refuse to treat these patients?
We understand that this is an uncertain and frightening time for all. As therapists, we are trained in the infectious disease process and appropriate measures to be taken. This is considered to be part of your job. Examples of this include MRSA, HIV, Influenza and Sepsis. It is important that you remember this. Staff will never be asked to treat any patient without the appropriate PPE. Should you have questions or concerns regarding PPE, you are to talk to your Administrator. You should also talk to your direct supervisor as well.
- I have a weakened immune system. Do I have to work?
First and foremost you need to consult with your physician. Depending on his/her recommendation and your request, CPT will work with our disability carrier to see if reasonable accommodations can be made.
Facility Related Questions
March 30, 2020
- How long should new admissions be seen in the room until they come to the gym? There seems to be discrepancies between buildings.
You will need to consult with your administrator at your building. There will most likely be discrepancies between building for specific patient reasons, hence do not compare your buildings to another.
- Should new patients be treated as if they are on isolation? Should we wear masks?
You will need to consult with your building administrator for this answer.
- When are we permitted to wear masks with patients?
You will need to discuss this with your administrator. The problem with wearing the same mask during the day is that it introduces another means to spread infection which is obviously a concern. You are however able to discuss this with your administrator to arrive at a mutual decision regarding this.
March 30, 2020
- We have been instructed not to come to work when we are sick. In these instances when are we cleared to return to work?
This is a decision that you will need to arrive at with your physician, whether the symptoms are COVID like or not. You physician will determine the process you follow. Please let your regional know in instances when you are sick. Need for a physician note will be on a case by case basis.
- Do we get paid for staying home when we are sick?
You are all currently non-exempt hourly employees and as such are eligible for overtime. You are paid for the hours you work. When you do not work, you are not paid in accordance with your non-exempt status. If you contract COVID 19 in the workplace, you would apply for workers compensation. The decision on whether or not you receive this is handled on a case by case basis by the workers compensation carrier and is not a CPT decision. If you contract COVID 19 outside of the workplace, you would apply for short term disability. The decision on whether or not you receive short term disability is handled by the insurance carrier and again is not a CPT decision.
- What if we are treating a patient with no symptoms who later tests COVID 19 positive?
In this case, public health will be notified, and the appropriate course of action will come from them. They will provide guidance regarding self-isolating, quarantining or any other course of action depending on the specific situation. They will also determine if testing is indicated.