March 22, 2020
Q. Is AIM/AOS going to allow associates to work from home?
A. Yes. We are implementing a social distancing policy on March 23rd for an initial two-week period. The goal is to protect our associates and their families, to help slow the larger spread, and to ensure the continuity of our business. Each functional manager will work with their teams to create a schedule that allows associates who are able to do their work remotely to work between their homes and the office. Associates working from home will need VPN access from IT.
Q. Are our factories operating on a normal schedule?
A. Yes. Our factories continue to operate on a normal schedule. Fortunately, customers continue to order our products and the government has classified manufacturing facilities as essential businesses to remain open. Most of the equipment in our facility is spaced far enough apart to allow for social distancing between associates. We have also rearranged the common areas so that associates can maintain the recommended distance while on breaks or lunch. Additionally, stringent cleaning protocols have been put into place.
Q. Has the company suspended all domestic and international business travel?
A. AIM/AOS has suspended all non-essential travel and we are following all the restrictions and guidelines put in place by the government. Domestic travel has been brought to a minimal amount and international travel has essentially stopped. The only international travel exceptions will be for critical or emergency situations, and all travel requiring airline or rail tickets must be pre-approved by the Managing Director and/or President before ticketing.
Q. If I travel for personal vacation within the domestic U.S. to an area or state that had an outbreak, but is not on the CDC travel ban list, will I be required to self-quarantine upon my return?
A. No. You may continue your personal travel within the domestic U.S. However, if at any time, your travel destination is listed on the CDC travel ban list, AIM/AOS will require that you self-quarantine for 14 calendar days prior to returning to work. If you cannot work from home, you will be required to use your PTO during this period.
Q. If I travel internationally to a country or province that has had an outbreak, but is not on the CDC travel ban list, will I be required to self-quarantine?
A. The CDC is now warning people not to travel to other countries or some U.S. states. The situation remains very fluid, but it is likely that AIM/AOS will require that you self-quarantine for 14 calendar days prior to returning to work. If you cannot work from home, you will be required to use your PTO to cover this time.
Please note that you may be required to self-quarantine when you arrive back in the U.S. per Customs enforcement at ports of entry. If his occurs, please contact your direct manager or HR representative.
Q. Will I need a doctor’s note to return to work if I self-quarantine?
A. No. To keep from burdening medical staff who have other priorities, we are not asking that you obtain a note at this time. We are asking everyone who does self-quarantine to keep track of time and to remain quarantined for the entire two weeks.
Q. If I have a seasonal cold and/or allergies, will I be asked not to come into work? If AIM/AOS is requesting that I do not come in, will I be paid, or will I need to take PTO? Will I need to bring a doctor’s note upon my return?
A. AIM/AOS are following the CDC’s guidelines by requesting that anyone who is feeling sick to stay home, or if you get sick at work, to leave and go home. If you are asked to go home, you will need to take PTO until you are well enough to return or work from home, if your position allows you to do so. As stated above, the medical system is burdened at this time assisting those with severe illnesses. Until restrictions are lifted, we have temporarily changed our 3-day policy and will not require a doctor’s note unless you are absent for more than 5 days.
Q. If a family member has been exposed to COVID-19, am I required to disclose this to my employer?
A. Yes. Please contact your manager or HR representative. If you have had direct contact with a family member or individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is displaying symptoms, or has been exposed, please stay at home and do not come into work. The CDC recommends that you do not go outside, but rather schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will make the appropriate recommendation regarding further testing or quarantine.
Q. If I need to provide care to a family member that has been affected, will I be eligible for FMLA?
A. Individuals who are quarantined, or are caring for family members who are quarantined, as a result of a possible COVID-19 infection may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave ACT (FMLA) of 1993, if the reason qualifies as a “serious health condition,” which includes a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days and the condition involves treatment by a healthcare provider. Similarly, some states have enacted paid sick leave and/or family medical leave based on certain eligibility requirements that differ from state to state.
Q. Will I be paid if I need to provide care to a family member?
A. These are exceptional times and we are currently reviewing our PTO policy to consider adjustments taking into consideration the challenges we are currently being faced with. As you have seen in the news, the government is currently working on a bill to support businesses to respond to these challenges. We are expecting an update within the next few days. We intend to communicate any short-term enhancements to our policy related to COVID-19 by the end of the week.
Q. If I contract the virus at work from a co-worker, would I be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits?
A. An individual may or may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if the virus is contracted “arising out of or in the course of employment.” Eligibility will be determined by our workers’ compensation provider.
Q. What is the protocol if I, or a co-worker, is displaying symptoms of COVID-19? Who should I speak to?
A. Anyone displaying symptoms of cold, flu or COVID-19 should notify their manager or their HR representative immediately and leave work.
Q. If I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.), what are my options with regard to receiving treatment/care?
A. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should call your physician or seek care via Telehealth to determine next steps. Since COVID-19 is highly contagious, it is not recommended you proceed to a medical facility without first alerting the facility that you will be coming (exceptions may apply in the event of an emergency). Please note that Telehealth is free of charge for BCBL members for the 90-day period that began on or around March 6th. If you are not enrolled in BCBL, many other U.S. insurers are following similar protocols. Please reach out to your insurer and discuss it with them.
Q. If I am quarantined and/or diagnosed with COVID-19, am I eligible for disability pay under our insurance plan?
A. Employees in quarantine exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and those diagnosed with COVID-19, will be evaluated against the terms and conditions of our insurance policy similar to any other confirmed sickness or disability.
Q. Are we allowing visitors, suppliers, customers and maintenance personnel, etc. to enter the building at this time?
A. While we are not encouraging visitors at this time, non-AIM/AOS associates will be asked to answer a susceptibility questionnaire upon arrival at our facility. If the visitor answers yes to any of the questions, he or she will not be permitted to enter the building. They will be asked to leave and to reschedule their visit in the future under improved circumstances. We may also email the questionnaire to suppliers and vendors in advance of arrival asking them to respond to the same questions prior to a site visit. Although most hiring has been put on hold, interviews for critical positions are being conducted via phone or Skype when possible.
Q. What other company events are being cancelled or postponed?
A. At this time, all company events have been cancelled for the 14-day period through April 4th as set by the local government. For the time being, we should operate as if all events scheduled for April will be postponed. Given the rapidly changing nature of this situation, we will regularly revisit the status of future events. Postponement or cancellation of events will be communicated to the affected teams.
Q. Where can I find the most recent update and posting regarding COVID-19 and AIM/AOS?
A. Announcements, guidelines and communication documents will be located at the top of the homepage on any device at https://aimmachines.com/covid. Announcements will also be posted on bulletin boards and communicated in smaller group settings (no more than 15 people).