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COVID-19 and its Effects on Employment

COVID-19 and its Effects on Employment

EMPLOYER ACTION STEPS FROM CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

Cornell Cooperative Extension's Agricultural Workforce Development has provided guidance and employer action steps to help protect employers and their employees from coronavirus.  That guidance can be found here.  Highlights of the actions steps include:

  • Talk with your employees about coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent getting infected.
  • Print the CDC factsheets and posters, post in your workplace and employee housing facilities.
  • Clean and disinfect your workplace, and provide cleaning supplies.

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DOCUMENTATION OF ESSENTIAL WORK FUNCTION

Kansas Farm Bureau has made available a resource that employees may wish to carry with them to help document their essential work function.  This form can be adapted and signed by employers and provided to their employees, and may be useful if an employee comes in contact with an authority that questions their essential function.  That form can be found here

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STATE OF KANSAS ESSENTIAL WORK FUNCTIONS

For a copy of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order pertaining to essential functions, which include agricultural operations, click here.  Functions relative to agriculture and listed as essential under Executive Order No. 20-15 include (this is not a complete list):

  • Produce and Provide Agricultural Products and Services
  • Produce and Provide Human and Animal Food Products and Services
  • Maintain Supply Chains for Essential Functions and Critical Infrastructure (as defined by DHS)
  • Transport Cargo and Passengers by Rail
  • Transport Cargo and Passengers by Road

While many, if not all, local jurisdictions issuing stay-at-home orders have exempted these functions, the Executive Order supersedes any local orders that may conflict.  Local issuing authorities must grant—and do not have the discretion to deny—exemptions from the restrictions of any local “stay home” or similar order to requesting companies or other organizations for the performance of essential functions.

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DHA GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The Department of Homeland Security's CISA office has also issued Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.  Click here for that document (on mobile devices, scroll down for the text following page headings).  Highlights of that document include:

  • “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” 
  • CISA recognizes that State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are ultimately in charge of implementing and executing response activities in communities under their jurisdiction, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role. As State and local communities consider COVID-19-related restrictions, CISA is offering this list to assist prioritizing activities related to continuity of operations and incident response, including the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions. Accordingly, this list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.