NOTICE TO ALL TRAVIS INDUSTRIES EMPLOYEES- COVID-19 OPERATION NOTIFICATION
April 29, 2020
We continue to analyze and adjust our ability to bring workers back to work. To remind you of the procedures, we will call you personally to see if you are available to come back to work when it is time, so, PLEASE MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR CURRENT PHONE NUMBER ON FILE. (We had to pass on a couple employees we wanted to call back because of bad phone numbers or no returned messages). If you need to update your information, please email corrections to hr@travisindustries..com . Our first phase of increased factory workers are about 2 weeks behind us now and everyone is adjusting to the changes. Another small groups started Monday April 27. We are hoping the trend continues. If you have not received a phone call or documents informing you we are unfortunately not going to be able to bring you back to work(layoff- lack of work), you are still in layoff-standby status.
Construction on South Road and Harbour Reach Drive has begun. SOUTH ROAD ENTRANCE/EXIT WILL BE CLOSED AS OF 3:15PM FRIDAY APRIL 24. All traffic coming and going will have to enter/exit through the main gate. You will have to get to Travis by coming down Harbour Pointe Blvd and turning down Blue Heron Blvd. To get to the employee parking lots, you will have 2 choices: Stay around the outside perimeter of both buildings and enter the parking lot back by shipping, or as soon as you come through the main gate, turn right and head down towards the welding shop. We have added an entrance into the parking lot down between the welding and wood shops. KEEP YOUR SPEEDS DOWN, WATCH OUT FOR OTHER PEOPLE AND VEHICLES.
WHAT ABOUT MY HEALTH BENEFITS GOING INTO MAY?
If you currently have medical and/or dental, those benefits will continue without interruption through May, even if you are not called back. As long as your status is “Layoff- Standby,” your benefits will continue. If your status unfortunately changes to “Layoff-Lack of Work,” your benefits will end the last day of the month your status changes. Your portion of the premium we have not been able to collect because you have not worked will be paid by the company. If you would of become eligible May 1 for healthcare benefits, your ability to enter the plan is being delayed until we can (hopefully) get you back to work.
Thanks and I hope this update finds everyone safe and healthy.
April 13, 2020
Update for All Employees
The reality of the negative effects of COVID-19 on our business practices are real and we continue to adjust our strategies to best navigate these unprecedented times. Travis Industries qualifies as an essential business and as such has been in the process of determining when we can bring employees back to work. To do so we must first ensure a safe work place, second we need to have an updated business plan we project to be sustainable in this current economic climate.
On April 20, 2020, we will slowly start to bring additional employees back to work. If and when you are called back to work you will receive a phone call from the HR department letting you know when you are specifically scheduled to return. Starting dates and times will vary in accordance to our business needs. The harsh reality of our current and ongoing business plan is we are not going to be able to bring back all of our employees. The economy and demand for our products in the foreseeable future will not allow us to return at the same production rates as when this whole pandemic started. If you are part of this unfortunate group of employees you will receive notice through the mail changing your status from “layoff- standby” to “layoff-lack of work.” When you file for unemployment, you will need to make that change of status for your claim.
Assuming you return to work there will be some noticeable changes you need to be aware of. All employees will be required to adapt and conform to all factory changes in order to work safely. We expect these changes to last indefinitely as we continue to comply with the CDC and state guidelines of operating our essential business as safely as possible. Here is a list of most of the changes you need to be aware of:
- Do not come to work if you are sick. You must call HR and enter a monitored screening process.
- If you have been exposed directly or to a suspected COVID-19 individual, do not enter the workplace. Call HR for screening protocol in order to return to work
- If you have been sick and are feeling better, YOU MUST STILL COORDINATE THROUGH HR before returning to work.
- Random temperature checking will take place for all employees. Acceptance of this is a requirement in order for you to return to work.
- You must have no symptoms of being sick (any sickness, even outside of the COVID-19 symptoms) in order to work. HR will assess and determine your ability to return to work.
- A minimum 6 feet of social distancing must be maintained at all times while on the property. This includes, but is not limited to: workstations, punching in/out, lunch time, restrooms, before and after work, passing in hallways, meetings, production lines, office spaces, etc.
- You will see red dots or lines marking 6’ increments by time clocks, workstations and other areas.
- Restrooms will be monitored for access in order to only allow 3-4 people in the restrooms at a time.
- Start times, lunch times, and end times will be staggered at 6 minute intervals in order to help maintain social distancing standards. You need to pay close attention to your particular times assigned to you by your supervisor for starting work and your lunch break.
- Microwaves, refrigerators and vending rooms have been adjusted to maintain social distancing.
- When eating lunch, maintain the 6’ distance (cafeteria will no longer act as a lunch room where you can eat, plan to eat at your work station or in your car).
- All employees will be required to wear a facial covering (mouth and nose have to be covered) while on the production floor from the time of entering the building until the time they leave.
- These are coverings- not dust masks or N95 masks. THIS DOES NOT CHANGE SOCIAL DISTANCING STANDARDS!
- You will be required at times to disinfect your workstation.
- All commonly touched surfaces
- All tools, machinery, forklifts, etc.
- If you have to do a task within 6 feet of another individual:
- First, assess if there is any other way to complete the job safely by maintaining 6 feet.
- If you must be within 6 feet, both individuals must wear a N95 respirator (or higher) and eye protection.
- Important Note: FACIAL COVERINGS AND A N95 RESPIRATOR ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!
- The Restrooms between sheet metal and welding are BOTH MEN’S RESTROOMS until further notice.
Please be patient as we work through this next phase of our reality. It is imperative that we have your current contact information in order for us to contact you to return to work. Please EMAIL HR with address and phone number updates: HR@travisindustries.com . If you do not have email, you can call the Megan at 425.609.2761, but email is preferred. We feel we have safely prepared our factory such that you can perform any assigned duties safely and productively. If you are asked to come back to work, you have the option to say no. Depending on the circumstances your decision may or may not change your status with the Employment Securities Department. It also may or may not make you eligible for other available government mandated programs. The circumstances surrounding your choice not to come back should be discussed with HR so we can navigate all the new laws and regulations as accurately as possible, but the choice will remain yours.
Stay safe and healthy out there. Take your vitamins, eat healthy and get lots of rest to keep your immune systems as strong as possible. Hope to see you all again soon!
HR and Safety Director- Travis Industries, Inc.
April 10, 2020
We will be following the same protocol as last pay date for picking up checks-
- If you have a” live check” and wish to pick it up, you can retrieve in the HR office from 9am through NOON of Friday, April 10th.
- If you do not pick up by noon, we will put “live checks” in the mail for delivery.
- All direct deposit paystubs will be held in the HR office until we return to work.
April 6, 2020
Travis Industries will remain closed at this time, management will meet again early next week to assess and update you with our status. For unemployment purposes the week of April 5 you are still in layoff “standby” status with Travis Industries. As of this time we do not have a projected start-up date for production to resume. Please understand that when we do start back up, it will be in waves of necessary employees dictated by production needs at that time, we will not bring all employees back at the same time and are doing our best to make the best decisions possible (balancing safety with customer needs). When you are called back to work be aware that there are multiple factory changes necessary to support the safest work environment possible. Here is a list of items to consider and understand for when you are called back:
- You and your direct contacts must be healthy for you to return to work. If you are called back and this is not the case, you will need to contact the HR office directly.
- Do some research on making some barrier masks- they could be required or mandatory to return and it also may be required that you provide your own. Refer to this link for help: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html We do not have access to masks for everyone as they are all allocated to the Health Care Profession. Now that the CDC is recommending masks for when you are out in public where social distancing of 6’ is compromised you may want to get set up with your own protective mask’s.
- The House of Fire workplace has changed and new behavior will need to be practiced. 6’ foot social distancing as an example will have to be maintained at ALL TIMES and in ALL ACTIONS while on Travis Industries property. We will give you more specifics on this issue when we update this site next week.
Lots of change/thought are going into finding ways to productively and safely return workers to the workplace. Unfortunately, the time is not right now but we anticipate improvement in this area will be coming shortly but at this time have not assigned a date. Please stay tuned to this website for updates. We will post as soon as we have information to communicate further.
Thanks and hang in there, keep safe and healthy.
Employment Security video library
These videos will give you basic unemployment benefits information like:
Applying for unemployment benefits, submitting a weekly claim, appealing a benefits decision, and how to complete your job search log.
Take Me To The Video Library
March 26, 2020
Follow-up to managing the issues of PTO and applying for Unemployment Benefits
For those who do not have any healthcare benefits (medical or dental) :
No need to delay- get online today to start the process of applying for unemployment benefits.
- You can go online at esd.wa.gov 24 hours a day beginning Saturdays at midnight through 5:00pm on Friday’s to apply
- You can call 800-365-8969 Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm if you want to apply over the phone
- No PTO will be used even if you have some in your bank unless you notify your supervisor you want to use some to cover your missed time.
For those of you with healthcare benefits (medical and/or dental) :
- Unless we hear otherwise, we will automatically add the 5 – 6 days of PTO your timecard needs to fill the gap through April 1, 2020. NO NEED TO NOTIFY SUPERVISORS, we got it.
- If you want unemployment benefits, apply starting April 2, 2020 following the procedures outlined above.
- If you have additional accrued hours and are wanting to use PTO past April 1, you need to notify your supervisor to add the additional PTO day onto your time card.
If you cannot get a hold of your supervisor, you can call Sara in payroll at 425.609.2629 with requests, but please try your supervisor first, that is the preferred method.
FOLLOW-UP to 3/25/2020 Update
Dear Travis Employees:
As we navigate these uncharted waters together, I want to say I appreciate all the insight, questions and suggestions that many have brought forward. There is a lot of information that is changing daily, hourly in some cases, and I know the concerns our employees have about their employment are all valid.
We do not have all the answers on how this will all play out yet, but I do have some direction for what is going to happen in the short run, how it is going to affect your employment status, what happens if you have health benefits, and how we are going to communicate changes.
As of 3pm today, March 25, 2020, Travis Industries, Inc. will be shutting the factory down to all non-essential personnel. This will effect somewhere between 450-500 employees on all shifts. Essential personnel will be assessed and notified if they are not part of this shut down. The duration of this shut down will last a minimum of 2 weeks. Further length of any closure will be assessed towards the end of the two weeks.
Having our employees not lose healthcare benefits on March 31, just a few days after the mandate to shelter in place, was the most important hurdle for us to figure out how to get over. We knew if we could keep our workers working through April 1st , we could extend those benefits until April 30th. All employees losing benefits have an option of electing COBRA to continue benefits, but to cover yourself, the premium changes from $169.44/month to $691.32/month (COBRA cost for insurance). Travis subsidizes over $250,000 every month towards individual insurance premiums. Below is the best scenario we could come up with in order to sustain the 75% Travis Industries subsidy for your benefits the longest at this point with all the information that is currently available to us.
If you have health care benefits and want them to continue past March 31st here are the procedures you will need to follow:
- If you have PTO available, it will have to be used to cover days off between now and April 1, 2020. For 1st and 3rd shift, this will be 5 days and for 2nd shift, this will be 6 days.
- If you do not have PTO or do not have enough PTO available to cover the gap, you will be allowed to go negative on PTO. Up to 5 days for 1st and 3rd shift, 6 days for 2nd
- If you do not want to use your PTO, you do not have to, but your benefits will end March 31st, 2020.
- For those that have elected to maintain their healthcare benefits, on April 2, you can claim STANDBY through Employment Security Department (ESD). This will trigger unemployment benefits from the state to help cover lost wages.
If you do not currently have healthcare or chose not to continue healthcare, or want to elect COBRA now, you can go to the ESD site and claim STANDBY effective 3/26/2020 (3/25/2020 for 2nd shift) to start the process of unemployment insurance.
The website for ESD is www.esd.we.gov and their phone number 800-318-6022. You can apply for benefits online or over the phone.
For further updates and communications, it is best to check our website at www.travisindustries.com . There are a lot of moving and changing parts along with issues that have not been communicated to us yet by the state and federal government that might affect your benefits during this tough time. If there is anything that needs to be communicated to you, it will done primarily through the website. Keep checking it a few times a week.
PAYDATE Friday 3/27/2020
For the employees receiving a “live check” Friday, we will make those available for pick up in the HR office FRIDAY 9am-NOON only. After noon, all remaining “live checks” will be put into the mail for delivery. If you have direct deposit, we will hold on to those paystubs until we return to work.
THANKS EVERYONE, STAY SAFE
Thanks for everyone’s time, patience and understanding. We will get through this and figure it out together. Please know we are doing our best to protect and provide for our workforce to the best of our abilities. Keep your social distances 24/7 until this nasty virus is conquered.
A quick story of victory- my oldest daughter is a registered nurse at a children’s hospital. She found out last week that one of the nurses she works with had contracted COVID-19 and had been working directly with many other nurses, often touching and using the same equipment. All the other nurses have been tested and came up negative. My daughter says that is a loud testament for keeping things sanitized, wiped down and washing/sanitizing hands often. Keep your guard up and stay safe and healthy.
Update for Wednesday March 25, 2020
As of 2:30pm March 25, 2020, Travis Industries is closing its factory to what is deemed as all non-essential operations for a minimum of 2 weeks.
This means no 1st, 2nd or 3rd shift production effective as of 2:30pm today until further notice.
More information to follow, but an important note: we will be putting our employees on a standby status in order for them to facilitate applying for unemployment benefits, but if you have healthcare benefits and want them to continue past March 31, 2020, do not file for unemployment benefits yet. Instructions as to what that means to those individuals is coming shortly. If you do not have healthcare insurance, you may apply for STANDBY benefits starting today through the Employment Security Office (ESD) online at www.esd.wa.gov or over the phone at 800-318-6022
PAYCHECKS– For those that are receiving a “live check” Friday, we will make those available for pick up in the HR office FRIDAY between 9am and NOON ONLY. After those hours, all remaining LIVE CHECKS will be put in the mail for delivery. If you have DIRECT DEPOSIT, we will hold on to those paystubs until we return to work.
Direct Contact Line: 425-609.2562
Human Resource and Safety Director
Travis Industries, Inc.
To all Travis Industries employees,
I have confirmation from Senator Maria Cantwell’s office this afternoon that Travis Industries Inc. qualifies as an essential business during this Stay at Home directive state wide in Washington. The fact that our core business is residential home heating appliances and the supply of components to service a national network that has installed over one million of our appliances in homes throughout North America remains critical as winter still grips different parts of the nation. Therefore we will continue to operate all shifts.
Please follow all the safety measure we have implemented and keep a safe six feet apart at all times.I will keep you informed if anything changes.
Kurt Rumens, President
Travis Industries, Inc.