if employer is insisting you are essential report it. Covid-19

posted 3 days ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
502 posts
Busy bee

Love this.  I work at a law firm that’s allowed paralegals and attorneys to work from home, but the receptionist, secretaries and firm admin are still at work.  Granted, some of them are choosing to be, but some are not.  I’m hoping our firm administrator reports them.  It’s really colored how all of us see the company after this.

ETA: The amount of people in the firm at any given time is only 8, which is under our state maximum.  That’s what they’re using as their gauge as to what’s appropriate – which, to me, is inappropriate.  Stay home.

Post # 4
Member
502 posts
Busy bee

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mrsssb :  As someone not in the office right now, I guess I don’t feel like it’s my call?  Our firm administrator essentially runs the place so she’s “the boss.”  I feel like it would really be up to her to make that call and not me, especially since she’s actually still forced to be there by the partners.  And, technically speaking, it’s a “gathering fewer than 10” which doesn’t violate state laws.  Our state is mandating that ONLY the following “non-essential” businesses specifically are to close: theaters, gyms, barber shops and salons, and certain retail establishments.  Since offices aren’t specifically addressed, I’m just not really sure that if law enforcement were called, anything would happen.  Everyone is 6′ apart, there are fewer than 10 people, and it’s not one of the businesses specifically directed to close.  On paper, they’re not breaking any rules – it just feels so wrong.

But that’s just our state, I know other states have much more strict directives and mandates right now.  I have a feeling we’ll eventually get to that point because of behavior like this.

Post # 5
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I have a few friends that work as dispatchers for 911 and let me reiterate straight from their mouths – please DO NOT report a company for being open,  or a person for being outside, for not following orders. They literally get multiple 911 calls a day saying “someone is out driving and I don’t think it’s essential”. Even if you were to call the regular law enforcement lines instead of 911, they do not have time for citizen complaints. Not only does law enforcement have a million better things to do, it is none of your business what people are doing that are deemed essential. Are you willing to go to court for these companies to prove they should be closed? The states that have enforced laws have specific criteria that mandates what companies be open and closed, and it is not up to any common citizens to make that judgment and cloud up the hot lines by making BS complaint calls. Since the federal government hasn’t done much, each state / local area is making its own rules at the moment and you have no idea what constitutes an essential business by each state law. Not to mention, some employees are damn happy their companies are still open so we can work and pay our bills. Are you going to pay the bills of the people you put out of work for nosey complaining? 

Post # 6
Member
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

Well, I am the Director of Housing at a university and we are not mandating that our students leave yet.  We have moved all of our classes online, and we are trying to sort out who is here and who is not, how to refund students who are moving home, moving those students who leave out of the halls, making sure that those who are here have a point of contact at the moment.

I have worked a LOT of hours.  I am exhausted.  I am also a minister.  I did church as a live facebook feed from my front room on Sunday. 

Honestly, y’all, I am working really hard right now, I have fibromyalgia and I am exhausted and I feel so overwhelmed. Sorry to vent….

most of my staff are working from home.  Most of the university employees are working from home.  Eventually I will be, too.  Right now, I am not.  Sigh

Post # 7
Member
502 posts
Busy bee

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temeculabride :  To your point, the secretaries and receptionist at my firm are some of the few who are happy that the office is still open because they don’t have the ability to work from home.  This is why I didn’t personally take any action because I don’t feel like it’s my call to make, though I’m happy that I have the opportunity to be home and still be employed.  I do feel for those who worry about job security if they can’t come into the office to physically do their jobs.

Post # 8
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee

Also please don’t call 911. Call your local precinct, local phone number (311 or whatever), or the non emergency number. Police have a lot on their plate. Closing down a non essential business to write a fine/telling employees to leave their workplace probably won’t take precedence over other things. I am all for reporting but please don’t inundate the emergency dispatchers with reports of non essential businesses being open. 

 

Post # 10
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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krm1984 :  Yeah, I am luckily working from home too while my entire manufacturing plant is still there because they are essential manufacturing. But I know even though there are 1300 people at my work right now, they are mostly happy they are earning an income. My husband and mom on the other hand, have both been sent home without pay. I can see both sides, and I am so grateful I can work from home, but if I couldn’t you bet I’d rather be at work in public than not working. This situation is about to get soo tricky, with so many people out of work and not paying bills. Lets just hope landlords and mortgage companies are forgiving!

What made me think of this perspective was my aunt who takes care of her severely autistic grandson. She posted on Facebook that she was sad about her city rules only allowing to leave your homes for essential purposes and no driving around just because. Well she takes her grandson on drives everyday because he needs to get out of the house and change scenes or he will be a nightmare. We all commented back saying that her taking him on little road trips IS ESSENTIAL for both his and her mental health. They don’t get out of the car, they drive around and maybe go to a drive through for food and go home. No one would know by looking at them why they are out of the house, and it may not seem like essential to most, but it is 1000% critical to their health to  go for drives. Just different perspectives on what is deemed essential and it is no one to judge. 

Post # 11
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee

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temeculabride :  sorry I wrote my response while you were posting but I agree with everything you say.

Post # 13
Member
8743 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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krm1984 :  I work at a law firm and all of our secretaries are working from home. It’s totally possible if the firm is willing to get it set up! Laptops, VPNs, digital dictation – all of those things have helped us make the transition relatively smoothly. Lots of employees are also juggling a lack of child care and from partner to secretary everyone is being accomodated and being paid their regular salary even if the hours aren’t exactly the same but no overtime is being approved. 

Post # 14
Member
502 posts
Busy bee

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LilliV :  Another legal bee, hey!  To be honest I think that they are working on this by getting extra laptops for everyone.  I think the bigger concern for them is the learning curve as paralegals are used to working from home but secretaries aren’t.  But I think in this case it’s well worth it for us to all learn together to safeguard one another.  One of our secretaries is in her 60s and needs to be home.

Post # 15
Member
8743 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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krm1984 :  woot! We already all had laptop but were also sent home with extra monitors, full sized keyboard, etc so that it’s easier/more comfortable to work. I’m 30 weeks pregnant and my home chairs aren’t designed for sitting in 7+ hours a day so I actually went in over the weekend and swiped my office chair too because my back was killing me! 

I think a lot of business are going to learn that WFH is an option for more people than they previously wanted to admit! 

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