UPDATED: MARCH 26, 2020

To All Masters Gallery Foods Employees

As the COVID-19 situation progresses our communication will continue to evolve to ensure you know your role in helping to maintain a safe workplace. As always, human safety is our primary focus. Below you’ll find our latest update to keep you informed of this ever-evolving pandemic.

 

WHAT DOES SAFER AT HOME MEAN TO US?

Being a food manufacturer, we are deemed as an essential business. This means that you are able to work during The Safer at Home Order in order to provide essential food to consumers.

Additionally, we have received confirmation from local authorities that you are not required to show documentation to prove that you work at an essential business.

 

WAGE CONTINUATION FOR PERSONAL ILLNESSES

We are pleased to announce that any employee that has personally missed work due to exhibiting signs of sickness (sore throat, cough, fever of greater 100.4 ⁰F, shortness of breath, diarrhea, flu or cold like symptoms) will be eligible retroactively from March 13, 2020  to receive 67% of base wages for up to 80 hours total. This benefit will start on the 25th hour of absence and employees may use vacation or other paid time off to supplement wages for the first 24 hours of scheduled work. Part-time employees are eligible and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

This provision can be used for future qualified absences starting on the 25th hour but will be capped at a maximum of 80 hours. There will be no payout of unused wage continuation days. This 80-hour allotment is a one-time benefit.

The HR Department will be responsible for monitoring this provision and will communicate the details of any available payout to those employees who have qualified. This wage continuation is in effect until further notice and is subject to change.

 

SICKNESS/REPORTING

If you, or a family member are exhibiting signs of sickness (sore throat, cough, fever of greater 100.4 ⁰F, shortness of breath,  diarrhea, flu or cold like symptoms), do NOT report to work and make sure to follow normal call-in procedures. You will not be required to use unpaid personal hours/time for related absences through April 24, 2020.

• We can’t stress how important this is. If you come to work when you are sick, it jeopardizes many others and the company as a whole.  With COVID-19 being so contagious this is extremely important!

If you have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 or someone who has been ordered to be on a medically-ordered quarantine, contact the Masters Gallery Foods Pandemic Reporting Hotline immediately at (920) 400-1800.

If you are unable to work because of a school, childcare or adult care closure: You must use the normal call-in procedures. You may use vacation or other paid benefit time to supplement your pay.  You will not be required to use unpaid personal hours/time for related absences through April 24, 2020.

If you are part of a high-risk population, you have an underlying medical condition or an immediate family member has one, or you feel uncomfortable or unsafe working, contact Human Resources to discuss utilizing unpaid personal time, taking an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA), or other available options.

 

RETURN TO WORK FOLLOWING ABSENCE OR RETURN FROM PLANNED TRAVEL

We are requiring all employees RETURNING from a family or personal health absence (or) planned travel outside of the State of Wisconsin to contact the Masters Gallery Foods Pandemic Reporting Hotline at (920) 400-1800 between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. to receive authorization to return to work.

• Employees will not be allowed to return to work without this authorization.

• No authorizations will be provided outside of these scheduled hours.

• Employees who show up at work without authorization will be subject to corrective action.

 

RETURN TO WORK SLIP

Effective immediately we will return to our previous policy for personal return to work slips. You will still need to call the MGF Pandemic Reporting Hotline for authorization before being able to physically return to work with a doctors slip. Beginning after the 3rd day of absence, employees ONLY will be required to present certification from a health care provider that he or she is able to resume work before the employee will be permitted to return to work.  Return to work slips should be faxed to 920-893-6114 or emailed to HR@mastersgalleryfoods.com. They should not be delivered in person! This return to work slip requirement does not include absences related to family members who are sick.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

We know that there are some areas of our facility where maintaining a full six feet of social distancing is not possible. Due to that, we have looked for guidance from outside of our company. Below is a response from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the topic and how we are mitigating these concerns.

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How do I maintain social distancing in my food production/processing facility and food retail establishment where employees typically work within close distances?

To prevent spread of COVID-19, CDC is recommending individuals employ social distancing or maintaining approximately 6 feet from others, when possible. In food production/processing facilities and retail food establishments, an evaluation should be made to identify and implement operational changes that increase employee separation. However, social distancing to the full 6 feet will not be possible in some food facilities.

Workers in the food and agriculture sector fill critical and essential roles within communities. Promoting the ability of our workers within the food and agriculture industry to continue to work during periods of community restrictions, social distances, and closure orders, among others, is crucial to community continuity and community resilience. This was reinforced by DHS in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19.

The risk of an employee transmitting COVID-19 to another is dependent on distance between employees, the duration of the exposure, and the effectiveness of employee hygiene practices and sanitation. When it’s impractical for employees in these settings to maintain social distancing, effective hygiene practices should be maintained to reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

IMPORTANT: Maintaining social distancing in the absence of effective hygiene practices may not prevent the spread of this virus. Food facilities should be vigilant in their hygiene practices, including frequent and proper hand-washing and routine cleaning of all surfaces.

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Many of the changes we’ve put in place over the last few weeks have been to provide social distancing. Even with all those changes, there are some areas that we are unable to eliminate in our manufacturing process and still manufacture.

What does this mean for us?  It means that we need to be diligent in these key areas, especially where social distancing can’t be fully adhered to:

• ensuring that no one is allowed to come to work sick

• practicing good personal hygiene (proper handwashing and sanitizing)

• practicing frequent surface cleaning

 

ENTRANCE CHANGES

To reduce the touchpoints in common areas and keep a more consistent traffic flow, effective immediately the front office doors (to outside) will be locked from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. This will mean that the only point of entrance during that time will be the main employee entrances.

 

ZONING BEST PRACTICES

In order to help control the spread of the COVID-19 we ask you to reduce traffic patterns in our facilities.  This can be accomplished by:

• staying in your work area and avoiding travel to other areas of the facility. Whenever possible use technology when work can be done by phone or email.

• use amenities such as the lunchroom and restroom in the areas you frequent most.

• avoid unnecessary roaming inside the facility and only go to places that are necessary.

Always remember to wash and sanitize your hands before returning to work.

 

EARLY TO WORK

To control congestion and continue to promote social distancing, please do not enter the building earlier than 20 minutes prior to your shift. This creates extra traffic in the breakroom for extended periods of time and increases our risk by not allowing for effective social distancing.

 

PANDEMIC TEAM CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any member of the Pandemic Team or email the team at the Pandemic Team email address.

Members of the Pandemic Team are:

Tammy Flora @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 420 / tflora@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Vic Grimm @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 444 / vic.grimm@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Jodi Hermann @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 447 / jhermann@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Corrina Molinaro @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 424 / cmolinaro@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Andy Pfister @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 270 / apfister@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Paul Rutledge @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 429 / prutledge@mastersgalleryfoods.com

Sandy Toney @ (920) 893-8431 ext. 440 / stoney@mastersgalleryfoods.com

 

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**IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE THE MASS COMMUNICATION THAT WAS SENT OUT TODAY, FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020 AT 12:45PM, CONTACT HUMAN RESOURCES AT hrdepartment@mastersgalleryfoods.com **

The following information is a summary of all communications to date. The following does not include any new information.

 

UPDATED: MARCH 20, 2020

 

GUIDELINES FOR SEEKING CARE:

• If an employee, spouse or dependent is ill with cough, fever of greater 100.4 ⁰F, or any respiratory symptoms, please call Prevea at 920-892-4322 or your provider before coming in.

• Health care providers are triaging over the phone and deciding from there if patients can be seen in the clinic or seen elsewhere.

• Patients should not go direct to Urgent Care and should not go to the ER (unless it is a true emergency) for testing.

• Patients are asked to call Prevea or Urgent Care for triaging and further information to determine if they meet criteria for testing.

• Patients also have the option of using the Prevea Virtual Care Portal to be triaged.  The fee for the visit will be waived, should the visit be regarding Coronavirus screening and education.  This portal can be found at www.prevea.com/VirtualCare.

Testing is 100% covered under the Masters Gallery Health Plan.

If you have been IN CONTACT WITH someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 or someone who has been ordered to be on a medically-ordered quarantine, contact the Masters Gallery Foods Pandemic Reporting Hotline immediately at (920) 400-1800.

If you are unable to work because of a school, childcare or adult care closure: You must use the normal call-in procedures. You may use vacation or other paid benefit time to supplement your pay.  You will not be required to use unpaid personal hours/time for related absences through April 10, 2020.

If you are part of a high-risk population, you have an underlying medical condition or an immediate family member has one, or you feel uncomfortable or unsafe working, contact Human Resources to discuss utilizing unpaid personal time, taking an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA), or other available options.

If you are NOT experiencing symptoms and have NOT been exposed, it is extremely important that you report to work as scheduled.

 

PERSONAL TRAVEL

Given the contagious nature of this virus, we strongly advise reconsidering personal travel to restricted areas and travel where mass transit, such as air travel or confined areas like cruise ships, buses or similar forms of mass transit are used. If you have traveled to an area listed on the CDC restricted country/location list or affected area, you may be subject to the CDC recommended quarantine that is in place at the time of your return.

 

EMPLOYEE PRE-TRAVEL NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES

In our continued efforts to protect your safety and the safety of all of our employees, we must begin requiring all employees to notify Masters Gallery Foods of any PLANNED travel outside of the State of Wisconsin by contacting Tammy Flora at (920) 254-6744.

 

RETURN TO WORK FOLLOWING PANDEMIC-RELATED ABSENCE OR RETURN FROM PLANNED TRAVEL

We will also begin requiring all employees RETURNING from a pandemic-related health absence (or) planned travel outside of the State of Wisconsin to contact the Masters Gallery Foods Pandemic Reporting Hotline at (920) 400-1800 to receive authorization to return to work. Please note, this number should only be used for return to work authorizations from either pandemic-related absences or planned travel.

NOTE: Employees will not be allowed to return to work without this authorization.

 

PRACTICE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING AT WORK

Where practical, please take the time to clean work areas, before and after use. Examples of this are, wiping breakroom tables, shared working areas, desk, keyboard, mouse, etc.

In addition, our general area and office cleaning crew is stepping up their cleaning regimen in relation to COVID-19. This involves more frequent disinfecting of common area and common touch areas, like doorknobs, breakrooms, fingerprint reader, doors, etc.

 

SOCIAL INTERACTION

The latest information we have from the CDC and local health officials strongly encourages reducing potential public health risk by limiting all non-essential workplace functions.

In an overabundance of caution, we are issuing the following breakroom guidance to further limit social contact (where possible) until further notice.  Breakrooms pose more of a risk for person-to-person exposure while eating due to frequent mouth to hand contact.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, EMPLOYEES WILL BE ALLOWED TWO 20 MINUTE BREAKS TO COMPENSATE FOR TRAVEL TO ALTERNATE AREAS.

EMPLOYEES WILL ALSO NOT BE REQUIRED TO PUNCH IN AND OUT OF BREAK UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE SO AS TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FINGER SCANS.

In the Oostburg breakroom, please practice social distancing.

• This can be done by sitting at separate tables.

• You are also welcome to eat in your vehicle if you prefer – Remember to put booties on if you go outside.

In the Plymouth breakroom, please practice social distancing.

• We are aware that this breakroom is tighter on space and we are currently on target to be in the new breakroom mid-May.

• Please try to spread out as much as possible sitting across from each other at the tables.

• In addition, the Test Kitchen, Plant Conference Room and training kiosk workstations are available for you to use for break overflow.

• You are also welcome to eat in your vehicle or at the outside tables (if it is a nice day outside) if you prefer – Remember to put booties on if you go outside.

The company store will be closed.

All mass gatherings, meetings and classes should be postponed. We encourage the use of Zoom or alternate technology in place of in person meetings wherever possible.

We realize that there are other areas that are business essential that may pose similar risk; however, our focus is to reduce social interaction wherever possible. If you have concerns about other areas, please do not hesitate to contact the Pandemic Team.

 

POTLUCKS/SHARED MEALS

Due to COVID-19 being easily transferred from person to person or on common surfaces, we will be temporarily prohibiting potlucks, shared meals and other instances where employees are all able to eat from the same food supply (buffet type meals). These pose the risk of infecting higher numbers of employees, so this action will help reduce the risk of spreading of the virus.

 

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Given the contagious nature of this virus, we are limiting non-essential business travel for all employees. Effective immediately, any future business travel (trips that you have not taken yet) needs to be approved by the Pandemic Team by emailing the team at pandemicteam@mastersgalleryfoods.com.

 

VISITORS / CONTRACTORS

Non-essential visitors are not allowed into our facilities until further notice. If you have a visitor(s) planned and think it is business essential, please submit your request to the Pandemic Team.

 

WORKING REMOTELY

As we all learn more about COVID-19 and our responsibility related to “community spread”, we must reduce social interaction within our company wherever possible and have implemented the following:

We are asking employees in Salaried and Non-Exempt Office (hourly) roles to work remotely, when feasible. Your manager or department head will meet with you about remote work arrangements on Monday, unless previous discussions have taken place. It is important to note, normal work expectations are not reduced or changed because of this request – we are simply enabling work to be completed with less social interaction.

Speak with your Manager about the specific work you will be doing remotely, any resources you may need, and the way you will communicate/check in regarding your work progress.

• Use your Masters Gallery laptop.

• Use your company owned or subsidized cell phone and/or iPad. If you need to use your personal phone to conduct business, please discuss this with your Manager.

• Your remote workspace should have reliable internet access and phone service. If not, please discuss with your Manager.

• Enable call forwarding functionality from your desk phone to forward calls from your desk directly to your laptop or cell phone and access voicemails remotely. Also be sure to log on to – and use – Microsoft Teams.

• If you would be willing to consider working in a Manufacturing/Operations role temporarily if needed to cover during staffing shortages, please let your Manager know.

If you need help with any of these technologies, please contact the IT Help Desk at ext. 699

Office hourly employees who work remotely will be compensated for all time worked. Enter your hours in ADP, the same way you do today.

 

LAPTOPS

Part of our Business Continuity Plan is to be ready for a crisis at all times.  That plan states that issued laptops must be taken home nightly. This helps in the event that you are unable to work at the office.

 

SUMMARY

We continue to monitor information from the CDC (www.cdc.gov) and local public health departments and other sources to evaluate our practices and protocols.

This is unknown territory for us as a country and as a company. As the situation continues to evolve, it is likely we will need to make changes in our response plan.  We ask for your vigilance and your attention to these matters.  Please continue to watch for updates. Your patience and understanding are valued and appreciated.

If you have questions, please reach out to the Pandemic Team.