Human Resources FAQs Regarding COVID-19

If you do not see an answer to your question(s) on the Frequently Asked Questions page below, please send an email with your question(s), to _DL-HRDirect@cfsny.org and we will post the answer(s) below as soon as possible.

During this time as we try to manage regular business, we realize that many of you have questions regarding carry-over vacation time, reduced hours, unemployment, benefit coverage, and other questions about working through the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to address some of these topics as our normal operations and processes are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these processes will be effective approximately through June 30th. However, this date may be subject to change at any time.

Accrued Vacation Time

I am approaching my anniversary date, and I cannot take my vacation at this time. Can I carry-over more than 10 days?

Yes, due to the COVID-19, we are waiving our vacation policy for carry-over days through June 30, 2020.

What about my discretionary days, will I lose any of those days?

No, we are waiving the process of losing discretionary days that are not used by June 30, 2020.

Reduction in regular hours

My supervisor has informed me that my regular work schedule is being reduced due to COVID-19. Am I eligible for unemployment?

Yes. If you are an hourly employee and experience a reduction in hours due to a lack of work, you are considered a furlough employee, and may be eligible for partial unemployment.

Should I inform HR that my hours have been reduced, and what do I need to apply for unemployment?

You should inform HR that you will be furloughed due to a reduction in hours due to COVID-19. Human Resources will provide you with a letter stating that your hours have been reduced, which you can present to the unemployment office.

Is there a waiting period when I apply for unemployment?

Due to COVID-19, the Department of Labor has waived the waiting period.

How can I apply for Unemployment?

You can apply for unemployment on-line. According to which state you are working in you will need to apply to the appropriate unemployment agency.

For New York employees, visit the New York State Unemployment/Department of Labor website at: https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm for more information and to file a claim.

For New Jersey employees visit the Department of Labor and Workforce Development website at: https://www.nj.gov/labor/ for more information and to file a claim.

Can I be assigned to perform work that is not normally part of my position?

During this COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that employees will remain flexible if asked to do work outside of their normal duties. Employees may be asked to perform work in a place of absent workers.

If my work schedule has been reduced due to a suspension of a program, can I be placed to work in another program, so that I can maintain a regular work week?

Yes.  If your work schedule has been reduced and you are interested in working in another program, please communicate with your supervisors and we will try to accommodate you. 

Benefit Coverage

What happens if my hours are reduced, will I lose benefit coverage?

If your regular work week hours are reduced as an hourly employee, and you have benefits with Cigna, your Cigna benefit coverage will not be affected. You will continue to have the bi-weekly benefit deductions taken from your paycheck, as you remain an active employee.

My work schedule has been reduced, and I still have benefit coverage. What happens if my paycheck cannot cover my bi-weekly deductions?

If you are affected by this, please contact Human Resources and we will address it with you.

I work in New Jersey, and I am not enrolled into Cigna’s benefit plans. Are there any other New Jersey State health plans that I may be able to enroll into now?

During this time, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Carole Johnson has made several healthcare options available for New Jersey residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the following websites to see if you may qualify for any healthcare plans:

  • NJ FamilyCare – New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program – includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion populations. For more information visit: Njfamilycare.org
  • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHCs) – You don’t need health insurance to receive care at a health center. They serve the uninsured as well as patients with Medicaid, NJ FamilyCare, Medicare and private insurance.  For more information visit:  https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/primarycare/fqhc/

I work in New York and I am not enrolled into Cigna’s benefit plans. Are there any other New York State health plans that I may be able to enroll into now?

  • The New York State Individual marketplace provides a variety of low-cost health insurance options. The website will also identify if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus or if you qualify for a subsidy to offset your monthly premium. Costs for coverage is based upon the type of plan you elect, the number of covered individuals and income. Special enrollment is through April 15th. Visit: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ to see if you qualify for any of the healthcare plans.

COVID-19

What if I begin to experience acute respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms while at work, what should I do?

You should alert your supervisor on how you are feeling. You should go home and seek medical advice.

Are the COVID-19 guidelines that we are following pertain to CFS’S policies?

No, the guidelines that we are adhering to are not CFS policies. We are following guidelines from the CDC and State Health Departments. However, these guidelines are subject to change at any time.

I have been absent for more than three days, when I return to work, do I need a doctor’s note to return to work?

Yes, CFS sick leave policy does require an employee to bring in a doctor’s note after being absent for more than three days.

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