COVID-19 Employee Toolkit 5
Last updated: May 26, 2020 -2:00 pm

NEWS & INFORMATION

  • MPT Furlough Recall and Hire Memo 5-6-20
  • Official furlough letters were mailed to non-represented staff on April 16.
  • Official furlough letters were mailed to staff represented by Local 302 on April 20.

Questions? Contact Human Resources:
Trisha Yaden, (253) 305-1087
Angela Stuefen, (253) 305-1089

Employee Exit Checklists

Checklist for Exiting Employees

Return the following items to your supervisor or Human Resources

  • Laptops
  • Key(s) – building/office/file cabinet/car
  • Sonitrol Card/ID Card
  • Gate Key(s)/Access Key(s)
  • Credit Card/Gas Card(s)
  • Cellular Phone
  • Tools/Other Equipment
  • Uniform(s)
  • All other district-issued items

If you cannot return these to your supervisor please schedule a time to bring them to a Human Resources representative. Click here to schedule an appointment.

 

Checklist for Supervisors of Exiting Employees

Checklist for supervisors of laid off employees

  • Work with IT staff to close employee email accounts
  • Change passwords and codes as needed on facilities, software, etc.
  • Collect district-issued items:
    • Laptops
    • Key(s) – building/office/file cabinet/car
    • Sonitrol Card/ID Card
    • Gate Key(s)/Access Key(s)
    • Credit Card/Gas Card(s)
    • Cellular Phone
    • Tools/Other Equipment
    • Uniform(s)
    • All other district-issued items

FAQ for Employees Furloughed

How do I know if I’ve been furloughed?

  • If you are among the employees furloughed effective 4/19 you will receive a  phone call from your supervisor or director and a letter will be sent to the address you have on file.

What is a furlough?

  • A furlough is an employer-mandated temporary unpaid leave from work.
  • As a furloughed employee, you will retain your job but cease working and will not receive pay during the furlough period.
  • You will remain on the Metro Parks Tacoma books as an employee; however, you may not perform any work while on furlough status or that could jeopardize your unemployment benefits.

What does a furlough mean for unemployment purposes?

  • Furloughed employees are encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits through the Washington State Employment Security Department. The quickest and easiest way to apply is online. The other option is to apply via phone at 1-800-318-6022, although the agency is experiencing very high call volumes during the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit the unemployment website for more information.

Here are a few pointers to know about during the application process:

  • You will need to create an E-Services account to apply online.
  • Employment Security considers a furlough a form of temporary layoff for the sake of unemployment benefits. Furloughed employees should select “Leave of Absence” as the reason for separation.
  • When you get to the “Standby” screen please request to be put on Standby status.
  • Select June 30, 2020, for the expected return-to-work date. This does not mean that an individual’s furlough will end on that date but allows for flexibility. Employees must accept the call to return to active employment or permanently separate from service.

The federal CARES act that was recently approved by Congress expanded unemployment benefits for most workers. An additional $600 per week will be available to nearly everyone on unemployment through the week ending July 25, 2020. Employment Security is working to implement these changes in their system and expect claimants to start receiving that extra money in mid-April. If it is not updated when apply you won’t lose out on these extra payments. Once the system is updated the benefits will be provided retroactive from the time your claim started after the legislation went into effect on March 29th.

It takes about 30 minutes to apply online. You cannot apply for benefits using a date in the future, so you will need to wait to apply after your last work date.

When can I file for unemployment?

  • Employees cannot use a future date when applying for unemployment so they will need to apply on or after April 18.

When do I receive my last 2 paychecks — for this pay period and the following pay period?

  • You will receive your last 2 paychecks on the next scheduled pay dates, April 22, and May 7.

How will Legacy campaign contributions be handled?

  • Legacy contributions will be paused during the furlough.

What day will I return to work?

  • The District’s intention is to complete the furloughs and return employees to service by June 30, but there are too many unknowns at this time to guarantee the exact date you will return to work. Employees are likely to return in batches as various sites, programs and services are gradually set to restart. Your supervisor will contact you with your exact return date depending on your program and/or operation.

Can I choose to use my paid leave rather than take the furlough?

  • Unfortunately, this is not an option. The purpose of the furlough is to temporarily reduce spending in order rebalance the budget in light of lost revenue from the system closure.

What happens to my leave banks (vacation/sick/comp/floating holidays)?

  • Your leave banks will be frozen during your furlough period and will be restored when you return to work.

Will I earn any vacation or sick leave while I am furloughed?

  • You will not earn any additional paid leave hours while on the furlough.

Can I be paid out my leave banks at the time of the furlough?

  • While on the temporary furlough you are considered an active employee on unpaid leave. Leave banks are only paid out at the time of termination, so you will not be eligible for any payout of your leave banks while on the furlough.

What is the status of my medical and dental benefits?

  • You will maintain full access to your medical and dental benefits through June while on the furlough, as long as you pay your employee portion of the premium.

How do I pay my portion of my medical and/or dental premiums?

  • You will be notified of the amount you will need to pay, how to make payment and the due date in a separate communication. If you do not make the payment on time your health benefits may be terminated, so it’s very important you note the deadlines each month.

Will I continue to earn PERS/Retirement credits while on the furlough?

  • Under the state Department of Retirement Systems regulations, you must work at least 90 hours within a given month to earn a full PERS credit. Furloughed time is not considered work hours, so you will not receive PERS credit for the time you are furloughed.

Can I continue to participate in my deferred compensation/457 plan during my furlough?

  • No, since this amount is deducted from your paycheck you will not be able to participate during the furloughed time.

What happens to my AFLAC voluntary plans?

  • If you have an AFLAC policy you will receive separate communication on options you have to pay your premiums during the furlough.

What happens to my Flexible Spending Account and/or Day Care Spending account?

  • With a furlough, your FSA eligibility is tied to your medical eligibility so you will still be eligible. You cannot terminate your FSA election, however, you do have a few options on paying your contributions. If you have an FSA you will receive information on these options in a separate communication.

What happens to my email access, and keys and District cell phones?

  • We need to suspend all computer and email access so we can remove any temptation to work, which would threaten your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Your email account and network files will remain unaltered and will be reactivated when you return to work. You may hang onto your other District equipment during the furlough (though cell phone accounts will be suspended to save money).

Can I volunteer my time to help out as needed during the furlough?

  • While we appreciate the generosity, you are not authorized to perform any of your typical job duties during the furlough in order to maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

How will my seniority date be affected by the furlough?

  • Your seniority date will not change. The furlough will have no impact on your District seniority date.

I am on probation, so how will a furlough affect my probation date?

  • If you are on probation, the furloughed time will not count towards the probationary period. In other words, the probationary period will be extended.

I am a represented employee and my merit pay increase date is during the furlough, how will this be addressed?

  • You will receive the merit pay increase when you return to work.

Medical/Dental Insurance: How and when do I pay?

Payments are due on the 15th of the month (first payment is due May 15, 2020).

Payment methods are:

    • Personal check made payable to Metro Parks Tacoma
    • Cashier’s check made payable to Metro Parks Tacoma
    • Money order made payable to Metro Parks Tacoma

Payments can be mailed to:

Metro Parks Tacoma
Attn: Payroll
4702 S 19th Street
Tacoma, WA 98405

Alternatively, payments can be placed into a sealed envelope that’s marked “Attn: Payroll” and dropped into the mail slot to the left of the front door at HQ.

You should receive a letter to your home address with the exact dollar amounts for your premium payments by April 30, 2020.

Crisis Response Plan Summary

FAQ for Filing an Unemployment Claim

The Washington State Employment Security Department website was recently updated

Tips for using the Employment Security Dept website:

  1. Have patience. The ESD is experiencing a high amount of website volume and you may get kicked off the site.
  2. Save your work. As you go through the unemployment process try to save your work whenever possible in case you get kicked off the site.
  3. If our organization does not automatically populate try to be very specific about how you enter our organization name to find it in the system. Type in Metropolitan Park Distri to have us pop up. If you type in Metro Parks Tacoma or Metro Parks it does not populate.
  4. When asked for a job code you can perform a search and pick the code that is closest to the type of work that you conduct in your position. It does not need to be an exact match to your job title.
  5. Follow the ESD on Facebook. They post updates, tips, and information to help users navigate the application process.

Check out the refreshed ESD.wa.gov

Standby Info from the ESD website:
Standby is a tool that allows workers to collect unemployment benefits without needing to search for work because they will return to work with their employer. During the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” executive order, claimants will automatically be placed on standby. We have also made the work-search requirement optional, through the duration of the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. That means we do not need workers to request, or employers to authorize or deny, standby at this time. Once work search requirements are reinstated, we will once again require workers to request and employers to approve or deny standby.

(833) 572-8400
A new way to get answers

To prepare for a surge of new callers who need information about the new federal unemployment benefits and to allow claims agents to focus on processing claims, the ESD is making changes to the unemployment benefits phone system. Call volumes remain very high, so it is always best to start at esd.wa.gov when looking for an answer.

Join a webinar!
Want a guided tour of the unemployment and expanded benefits applications? Join the ESD for a webinar. Learn more

COVID-19 cares act flow chart from

Questions? Contact Human Resources:
Trisha Yaden, (253) 305-1087
Angela Stuefen, (253) 305-1089

FAQ for Filing Your Weekly Claim

What’s a weekly claim?

Weekly claims are how you get paid. 

  • You must submit a weekly claim every week to get paid every week.
  • Start submitting weekly claims the Sunday after you apply for benefits, even if your application is not yet approved.

Submitting a weekly claim? Start here:

3 things you can do to help level traffic and file faster

  1. This is a big ask, but it will help a neighbor in need: If you can afford to wait a couple extra days to get paid, please file after Monday.
    This will allow those who need the benefit most to file and get paid first.
  2. You can file online and by phone 24/7. Traffic is lowest late at night to early in the morning (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
  3. Submit your weekly claim via automated phone system – best after 6 p.m. (800-318-6022).
    Note: You cannot file backdated claims via phone. Please use your online account if you need to file more than one week at a time.

What about job search requirements?

  • On your weekly claim questionnaire, you can click, “No” when asked if you completed a job search this week.
    That requirement is optional right now and you don’t need to report job search activities to ESD.

If you have other questions, like:

  • When do I get the additional $600 per week?
  • Why am I getting letters that say something different than the website?
  • Where’s the link to file a weekly claim

      Head to ESD’s updated COVID-19 Worker Q&A

There’s always more at ESD.wa.gov

You may have noticed the changes to our website last week. We’re continually updating content and adding resources designed to help you navigate the newly available benefits. Head to esd.wa.gov and look for new details specifically for folks who:

FAQ for Seasonal and Part Time Non-Benefitted Employees

Are employees eligible for unemployment? If so, how do they file for unemployment?

  • Both the state and federal governments have taken action to expand unemployment eligibility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, your eligibility for unemployment benefits is not determined by the District, and will be determined by the Washington State Employment Security Department.
  • During the unemployment application process state that the reason for separation is “Laid off” effective 03/31/2020. Apply for unemployment
  • When applying for unemployment benefits please make sure the correct employer is listed. The employer should be Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma. If you accidentally select Metro Parks Foundation your claim will be denied and you will need to resubmit under the correct employer.


Will employees be able to access their work sites to pick up their belongings?

  • Yes, employees should work with their supervisors to do that.

What happens to my bank of accrued sick leave?

  • For non-career employees, all accrued and unused sick leave will be forfeited at termination of employment for any reason. If an employee returns to employment within a 12 month period their remaining balance at the time of separation will be restored in full. However, if the employee returns to work within a 12 month period, but their return occurs in the year following their original termination date they will receive the remaining balance in their account up to a maximum of 40 hours.

When will I get my final paycheck?

  • You will receive your final paycheck on April 7, 2020. If you participate in direct deposit, it will be directly deposited as normal.

Will employees who are laid off be able to access services through the District’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after they leave employment?

  • Our employee assistance program is a 24-hour service that is voluntary, confidential, and intended as a resource to help staff work through various life challenges every day of the week. Services include assessments, counseling, and referrals for additional services employees may need for personal and/or work-related concerns. For Access visit: wellspringeap.org. Click on Login Wellspring (username is MetroParks)

Will former employees be able to access this page (the District’s COVID-19 toolbox) after they leave employment?

  • Yes, this page is on the District’s public web site in the Careers section and is accessible to anyone.

When this situation improves, will former employees be able to apply for their previous positions? What will the process be?

  • As the situation improves, we will reopen the positions on our website job board for recruitment. We will not be sending out personal notifications on open positions. However, there is the ability to sign up for any job alert notification on the website.
  • Any former employees interested in returning to work will need to reapply for the open positions. If rehired, they will need to go through the onboarding process to get placed back on payroll.

FAQ About Reopening

When will our programs and facilities reopen?

  • Based on the current situation, we do not anticipate opening any facilities or offering any programs through May. We’d love to be surprised by improving conditions and begin reopening sooner, but we have to plan for the worst. We will be closely following the guidance of the governor and public health authorities in making our decisions. When this situation does begin to end, we will have a gradual start to our system to ensure that we have appropriate staffing in place.
  • As the situation improves, we will reopen the positions on our website job board for recruitment. We will not be sending out personal notifications on open positions. However, there is the ability to sign up for any job alert notification on the website.
  • Any former employees interested in returning to work will need to reapply for the open positions. If rehired, they will need to go through the onboarding process to get placed back on payroll.

Health, Retirement, Insurance and Leave Information

What should you do if you think you have COVID-19?

What should you do if you think you have COVID-19?

From Washington State Department of Health: What should I do if I have symptoms or have been exposed?

  • Call your healthcare provider, or call before going to the emergency room.
  • The CDC website has guidance available for people who have or think they may have COVID-19. Visit the CDC website.

You can also use the online Coronavirus Self-Checker Tool to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

If you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, do the following:

  • If you are 18 or older, complete an e-visit to get online care and advice for cold, cough, and flu; be evaluated for coronavirus, and get treatment for your symptoms if necessary. To get started, click here, sign in to the Kaiser Permanente app or visit wa.kaiserpermanente.org.You may also call (800) 297-6877 or (206) 630-2244 (TTY 711) to talk to an Advice Nurse 24/7.
  • If you are not a Kaiser Permanente member CHI Franciscan and other healthcare providers offer virtual urgent care visits. Learn more

Insurance Benefits - Career Employees

Benefit Guide (for Career Employees)

Medical

Career Employees have the option of 3 medical plans offered through Kaiser Permanente:

Dental

Career Employees have the option between 2 dental plans:

Tax Free Health Accounts:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    Available for High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) members only through Bank of America .
    An HSA is what makes high deductible health plans so popular. It helps with your current healthcare expenses and helps you build a safety net for the future. Unused money rolls over year after year, earns interest, and can even be invested like a 401(k). Deposits, withdrawals for eligible healthcare expenses, and earnings are federally tax-free. You own the account, even if you change jobs.
    To open an HSA, you must be enrolled in a qualified HDHP and you may not:

    • Have non-HDHP medical coverage, including: Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare.
    • Be a tax dependent.
    • Have a healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through you or your spouse, unless it’s a limited purpose FSA for dental and vision expenses only.

Click here to watch a short informational video on HSA’s.

  •  Navia Benefit Solutions
    • Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
      You can set aside money from your pay, pre-tax, and use it for medical, dental, and vision expenses any time during the plan year.  You can use the account for yourself, your spouse, your children under age 27 as of the end of the tax year, and your legal tax dependents.You don’t have to enroll in one of our medical plans to participate in the healthcare FSA. The catch is that you need to estimate carefully. If you set aside more than you need and don’t spend it by the deadline, you may forfeit some or all of your remaining account balance.Note: If you or your spouse participate in an HSA-compatible plan, you are eligible for the Limited Purpose FSA which you can use for dental and vision expenses only (medical is excluded).
  • HSA Related Documents and Forms
  • Dependent Care FSA from Navia Benefit Solutions
    A dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can help families save potentially hundreds of dollars per year on child care. It allows you to set aside money, before taxes, to pay for eligible work-related daycare expenses. These expenses include not only daycare, but also before-and after-school care programs, preschool and summer day camp for children under age 13. The account can also be used for care for a spouse or other dependents who live with you and is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. You can set aside up to $5,000 per household per year and get reimbursed up to your current account balance, tax-free. Estimate carefully!  Money contributed to a dependent care FSA must be used for expenses incurred during that plan year. Any remaining account balance will be forfeited. If you use the dependent care FSA, the IRS will not allow you to claim a dependent care tax credit. Consult your tax advisor if you have questions about the federal tax credit.

Life and Accidental Death/Dismemberment Insurance:

  • Basic Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) are covered for Career Employees through Unum.Career Employees are provided Life Insurance up to 1 times their annual salary to a maximum of $200,000. Basic Life Insurance pays your beneficiary a lump sum in the event of your death.AD&D (Accidental Death & Dismemberment) provides another layer of benefits to either you or your beneficiary if you suffer from loss of a limb, speech, sight or hearing, or in the event you experience an accidental death. The cost of coverage is paid in full by the company.

Insurance Benefits - Part-Time Benefits Eligible Employees (working 30-35 hours per week)

Benefit Guide (for Employees who work 30-35 hours per week)

Medical:

Part-time Benefits Eligible Employees working 30+ hours per week  have the option of 3 medical plans offered through Kaiser Permanente.

Tax Free Health Accounts:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    Available for High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) members only through Bank of America .
    An HSA is what makes high deductible health plans so popular. It helps with your current healthcare expenses and helps you build a safety net for the future. Unused money rolls over year after year, earns interest, and can even be invested like a 401(k). Deposits, withdrawals for eligible healthcare expenses, and earnings are federally tax-free. You own the account, even if you change jobs.
    To open an HSA, you must be enrolled in a qualified HDHP and you may not:

    • Have non-HDHP medical coverage, including: Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare.
    • Be a tax dependent.
    • Have a healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through you or your spouse, unless it’s a limited purpose FSA for dental and vision expenses only.

Click here to watch a short informational video on HSA’s.

 

Insurance Benefits - Part-Time Employees (working 25-29 Hours per week)

Benefits Guide (for Employees working 25-29 hours per week)

Medical:

Part-time Benefits Eligible employees working 25-29 hours per week have the option to enroll in our part-time HMO plan offered through Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Info and Tips

Kaiser Permanente Info and Tips
You may be feeling concerned about COVID-19. If so, you’re not alone.

COVID-19 is a contagious virus that can cause a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The symptoms are like the common cold, but it can lead to a more serious illness. Watch this 40-second video to learn more.

How to get care if you are showing symptoms

Tips

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick (except to get medical care). Keep sick children home from school or daycare.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you use a tissue, wash your hands afterward.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular household cleaners are effective.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.

If you or a family member has traveled recently to an area of risk, or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus and have symptoms of respiratory illness, you should call the advice number on your Kaiser Permanente membership card for further instructions.

  • It’s important to call ahead of time rather than going directly into one of Kaiser’s facilities or making an appointment online.
Guidance for people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness
  • Public health agencies recommend that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This includes concert venues, conventions, sporting events, and crowded social gatherings.
  • People at higher risk include those:
    • Over 60 years of age
    • With underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • With weakened immune systems
    • Who are pregnant

There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In fact, most confirmed cases have occurred in adults. Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult their doctor about whether their children should stay home.

Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for COVID-19 should call the advice number on their Kaiser Permanente membership card.

Testing and Costs

For patients who meet the criteria, Kaiser will make appropriate arrangements for testing. As a member of Kaiser Permanente, you will not have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing.

Kaiser Permanente will not charge member cost-sharing (including, but not limited to, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance) for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. This policy applies to the cost of the visit, associated lab tests, and radiology services at our hospital, emergency department, urgent care, virtual care, and provider locations where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19.

In the event you are diagnosed with COVID-19, additional services, including hospital admission (if applicable) will be covered and charged according to your normal plan coverage rules.

Prescriptions

It’s a good idea to fill your prescriptions through our mail order service, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, not only because you can avoid standing in line at the pharmacy but also because with most prescriptions you can get 3 months’ supply for the price of 2 months. Sign up here and receive your medications in about 3 to 5 business days.

For urgent prescriptions, you should visit your closest Kaiser Permanente medical center pharmacy. In response to the governor’s emergency order in Washington state, Kaiser will allow early refills in both Oregon and Washington. Unless there is clinical concern, early refill requests for non-controlled substances will be allowed when you have a current supply of 30 days or less on hand. All usual copays apply in accordance with your benefit plan.

Masks

For more information, please visit the CDC website for the latest COVID-19.

Benefit Provider Updates

COVID-19 Update: Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) closed to in-person visits

DRS is closed to in-person customer visits and onsite services. Online services and phone/email contacts are still available. As always, customers can apply for retirement online.

While most DRS team members are now working remotely, we are responding to customer inquiries via phone and email as normal, and the agency continues to process retirement applications and benefit payments per the usual schedule.

DRS has suspended in-person retirement planning workshops scheduled around the state and replaced them with live online webinars covering the same topics.

Willamette Dental Group

Non-Emergency and Ortho Appointments Expand, Office Hours Update in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington

PERS and Deferred Comp Information

PERS eligible positions can access withdrawal forms and information at:


How can I change make changes such as direct deposit, change in withholding, change to my deferred compensation contribution?

You can also schedule a time to obtain these forms from a Human Resources representative. Click here to schedule an appointment.

Paid Sick or Family Leave for Specified Reasons Related to COVID-19

US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) provides employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Under the Act, Metro Parks Tacoma will provide:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work (including telework) because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work (including telework) because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
  • Up to an additional ten weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work (including telework) due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

You will need to provide your supervisor with notice of leave as soon as possible. After the first workday of paid sick time, we may require you to follow reasonable notice procedures to continue receiving paid sick time.

Please review this required notice from Department of Labor regarding your rights as an employee. If you have questions about what the Act covers or need to discuss your unique situation, please contact an HR representative at hr@tacomaparks.com.

US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Updates to Dependent Care FSA, Healthcare FSA and Health Savings Account

COVID-19 has changed daily life for many people. If you have additional health care expenses or changes in your dependent day care expenses, you may have some flexibility in your FSA and HSA accounts. Read the tips below to find out what you can—and can’t—change.

Ensure that your Day Care FSA Meets Your Current Needs
Many of you have children at home or in alternative care arrangements because of school or day care facility closures. If you have had to change day care providers in reaction to the COVID pandemic, you can enroll in or adjust your Day Care FSA election to help pay for your new care arrangement. If you no longer have dependent care expenses, you can stop your contributions. You can also use your Day Care FSA funds to pay a family member to watch your children, as long as the family member is not your spouse or a dependent under the age of 19.

Take Advantage of Newly Eligible Over-the-Counter Health Products
As a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed into federal law on March 27th, 2020, many new health care products are now eligible for purchase with FSA and HSA funds. Feminine/menstrual care products (tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, etc.) are now medically eligible products, and over-the-counter drugs (antihistamines, antacids, cold medications, etc.) no longer require a prescription to be purchased with FSA/HSA dollars.

If you purchased these items after January 1st, 2020 and have kept your receipts, you can file a claim for reimbursement from your spending account. Most stores and online retail outlets will be updating their inventory and point-of-sale systems to reflect these new changes on or before the end of May 2020, which will allow you to use your Navia Benefits Card to purchase these items on an ongoing basis.

Can I Change My Healthcare FSA Contributions?
No, Unless You Experience a Change in Status
Generally speaking, increased medical expenses or changes in work arrangements due to COVID-19 do not allow you to change your healthcare FSA contributions. However, if you have experienced a qualifying event such as a change in marital status, birth/adoption of a child, or change in employment affecting your eligibility or coverage, you may make changes to your healthcare FSA account. Cancelled elective surgeries or dental appointments do not qualify as a change in status.

Can I Change My Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions?
Yes, you can change future payroll contributions to your Health Savings Accounts (HSA) at any time. Submit changes to HR.

You may submit Healthcare or Dependent Care FSA changes to HR by completing the Navia Form within 30 days of the qualifying event.

Please note the change, for example enter a $0 under the deduction column for Day Care FSA if you no longer have any qualifying expenses.

You may submit Health Savings Account changes to HR by completing the HSA Change Form at any time.

MPT Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Enrollment Form
Health Savings Account (HSA) Change Form – Salary Reduction Agreement

If you have any questions about these updates please contact Trisha Yaden at trisha.yaden@tacomaparks.com.

Washington State’s Paid Family & Medical Leave

Washington State’s Paid Family & Medical Leave

Washington State’s Paid Family & Medical Leave

 

Questions?
Contact hr@tacomaparks.com

Employee Toolbox

Your Technology Needs - Tools to Work Remotely

We have limited capacity for remote access to internal systems. As a result, supervisors and directors will authorize such usage. If you have received approval to work remotely, please adhere to the following guidelines.

Business Software Applications

The following applications can be used from any computer. No special VPN or remote access needed.
Although it is possible to do so, please do not use VPN to access these services.

Click here if you need links to any of these

  • Check your email
  • ACTIVE Net Staff Login
  • Better Impact Staff Login
  • Phone System Portal
  • MPT Intranet
  • VPN Client Access & Download
  • Tyler (Munis) Dashboard
How to access your work voicemail from any phone
  • Call your phone number (e.g. 253-305-1083)
  • When the voicemail greeting begins press the * key
  • Enter your extension and PIN

**For users with an assigned extension, voicemail messages will be directed to your MPT email.**

How to remotely forward your desk phone to another line
How to access network drives
Audio and Video Conferencing

Your Finance Needs

Payroll
  • Deadlines are still in effect. Please continue to adhere to timesheet submittals and payroll batch approval timelines.
Vendor Payments
  • Invoice submittals are still due according to Department Deadlines.
  • The following individuals will have authority to approve all invoice payments on behalf of supervisors/managers:
    • ZEED – Vickie
    • P&R – Yana
    • B&I and S&G – Erwin

**After March 31, 2020, vendor payments will be processed every other week effective April 1.**

Purchase Card Reconciliations
  • Due according to Department Deadlines.
  • Use of purchase cards should NOT be used for non-essential purchases.
    • Department Finance Staff will ensure proper paperwork is secured and deadlines are met.
Revenue Reports
  • Due according to normal timelines
    • Department Finance staff are making sure these are submitted to reflect activities through March 13
Contract Review and Approval
  • No new contracts will be processed
  • Possible public works contracts should be initiated since all of our facilities are closed.
  • Once there is a clear path to reopening MPT facilities, Finance will be prepared to address your contract needs at that time.

Finance is reviewing options to implement electronic signatures for contracts, especially the immediate needs for public works contracts. We are looking at Docusign as a possible tool.

Your Human Resource Needs

Contact Human Resources
  • Trisha Yaden, (253) 305-1087

Due to high call volumes, please leave a message and your call will be returned by an HR representative.

If you need assistance and want to meet with an HR representative, sign up here to be added for a Zoom or in person meeting.

Career Recruitments

Vacant positions are currently on hold and are subject to review and approval by Directors or their designees.

Staff Onboarding/Orientation

HR is not scheduling any onboarding effective March 17 and will be on hold for the near future.
NeoGov online onboarding link

Employee Relations

Ongoing communication with Local 302 is active.
If you have any questions regarding represented staff issues/concerns, please reach out directly to Trisha Yaden (253) 305-1087.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP assists employees with personal and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being.

Your Business Intelligence Needs

Mapping, Data and Dashboards

Will be addressed on an as-needed basis – via email and through the BI webpage.

BI Training

Training has been canceled.

District dashboards

Updates are placed on pause unless a specific priority request is being provided to Amy Johnson.

Your Workplace Health and Safety Supplemental Guidance for COVID -19

Metro Parks Tacoma is committed to the health & safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We recognize these challenging times can be unsettling, particularly as information evolves around personal protection from the COVID-19 virus in the workplace and community.

As MPT continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to share the very latest information and guidance to help protect you, your colleagues, the animals in our care and the public we may encounter in carrying out our work.

We will provide updates as new and evolving information from local, state and federal authorities undoubtedly unfolds or as shifts in our operations occur and will update this guidance as either circumstance may warrant.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Supplemental Guidance

Our Current Organizational Incident Command Structure (ICS)

Our current ICS structure was designed by identifying the primary activities or functions necessary to effectively respond to the impacts that COVID-19 has had on our normal operating structure. As incidents become more complex, difficult, and expensive, the need to provide a temporary revised operating structure becomes more necessary.

This document explains our most current MPT ICS and Emergency Response & Recovery Roles & Responsibilities and will be revised as our operations shift through various phases of response and recovery:

MPT ICS Emergency Response & Recovery Roles & Responsibilities

Every position in the ICS model has back ups who rotate in positions to ensure continuity of the team. This org chart will be updated weekly to reflect the changes in staffing currently overseeing each key area:

MPT ICS Emergency Response & Recovery Org Structure

State & County Coronavirus Info

Contact Human Resources

Questions? Do you have questions that aren’t answered? Please email us or schedule an appointment to speak in person or via Zoom.

Make an Appointment  Visit the HR/Employee Resources Page