Donate to Brookdale
MyBrookdale

April 27 Employee Announcement

Updated May 11, 2020

Employee Announcement – April 27, 2020

Hello to all Brookdalians!  I hope this message finds you and your families well.

STAY AT HOME ORDER CONTINUES

As you probably know by now, the Governor’s daily news conference today included a plan for the “road back.”  According to NJ.com news, “Murphy’s plan did not include any timetable and he warned that the current stay-at-home, social distancing and business closure orders will remain ‘in its entirety until further notice.’”

The good news is that hospital admissions are declining so keep up that social distancing to keep yourself, your family, and your fellow New Jersey residents safe.

NEW JERSEY FAMILY LEAVE ACT EXPANSION

In the last employee announcement, a chart was included with the allowable reasons for using Family First sick leave and the required documentation that must be submitted to Michelle Kneute with each request.

Since then, we received further advice from Legal Counsel regarding state law changes for the use of NJFLA leave during the state of public health emergency.  Below is a short summary of the changes and the required documentation for use of the expanded benefits:

On March 25, 2020, the State of New Jersey enacted S2304, which expanded the New Jersey Family Leave Act (the “NJFLA”) so that employee rights to reinstatement would be provided to workers who take leave due to the epidemic-related cases, such as COVID-19. The March 25, 2020 law also expanded the scope of the New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance (“TDI”) so that workers may obtain TDI or Family Leave Insurance (“FLI”) benefits for COVID-19 related illnesses.

On April 14, 2020, the State of New Jersey enacted S2374, which clarifies and expands the NJFLA and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law (the “TDL”).

EXPANSION OF PERMITTED FAMILY LEAVE

Specifically, the definition of “Family leave” has been expanded to permit leave for an employee to provide care to a qualifying family member in the event of the Governor’s declaration of emergency or by the Commissioner of Health due to an epidemic of a communicable disease.  The reasons for the leave and the required documentation are listed below.

Reasons for Expanded Leave Documentation  Required
(a)   requires in-home care or treatment of a child due to the closure of the school or place of care of the child of the employee, by order of a public official due to the epidemic or other public health emergency; If closure is by order of a public official due to the epidemic or other public health emergency, the date on which the closure of the school or place of care of the child of the employee commenced and the reason for such closure;
(b)  prompts the issuance by a public health authority of a determination, including by mandatory quarantine, requiring or imposing responsive or prophylactic measures as a result of illness caused by an epidemic of a communicable disease or known or suspected exposure to the communicable disease because the presence in the community of a family member in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or The date of the public health authority’s issuance of the determination requiring or imposing responsive or prophylactic measures and the probable duration of the determination;
(c)   results in the recommendation of a health care provider or public health authority, that a family member in need of care by the employee voluntarily undergo self-quarantine as a result of suspected exposure to a communicable disease because the presence in the community of that family member in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others. The date of the health care provider or public health authority’s recommendation, the probable duration of the condition, and the medical or other facts within the health care provider or public health authority’s knowledge regarding the condition.

INTERMITTENT FAMILY LEAVE

The NJFLA was also amended to permit an employee to take leave intermittently during the COVID-19 pandemic if:

  1. The employee provides the employer with prior notice as soon as practicable
  2. The employee schedules the leave so as to not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer and, if possible, provides the employer, prior to the start of the intermittent leave, with a regular schedule of the day or days of the week on which the intermittent leave will be taken.

EXPANSION OF FAMILY LEAVE INSURANCE

FLI has been expanded to permit benefits for illnesses caused by COVID-19 during the state of emergency for the following reasons:

  1. The issuance by a healthcare provider or the commissioner or other public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the family member may jeopardize the health of others; and
  2. The recommendation, direction, or order of the provider or authority that the family member be isolated or quarantined as a result of suspected exposure to a communicable disease.

EFFECTIVE DATE

These amendments take effect immediately and apply retroactively, back to March 25, 2020

Source:  Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC Client Alert, April 17, 2020

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS UPDATES

In the past month, Brookdale’s Member Engagement Rate on the KnowledgeWave Training website (https://members.knowledgewave.com/login) has increased to 45% from an average 12-13% in the prior year.  Since mid-March, 2020, 349 Brookdale employees are now registered users of KnowledgeWave including an additional 42 new registrations since 3/23.  In the last 4 weeks, Brookdale employees have attended 130 webinars on Technology and Career Skills/Professionalism topics and have watched 169 instructional videos.

NOTE:  If you are in a FT/PT Brookdale employee in a benefit receiving status who has not yet registered for your free KnowledgeWave employee account, please email Linda DeButts @ ldebutts@brookdalecc.edu to have your invitation email re-sent to you.

Recommended YouTube video:  “7 Zoom Meeting Tips Every User Should Know!” is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNxhkq9jjVo.

Remember that our Teaching and Learning Center provides documentation and recorded webinars for using Zoom at Brookdale at https://www.brookdalecc.edu/tlc-for-faculty/.

NJ COUNCIL OF COUNTY COLLEGES SPONSORED WEBINARS

A recording of the April 21st, 2020 webinar “Engaging Students in an Online Environment” sponsored by the New Jersey Community College Distance Education Affinity Group can now be accessed through the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABoLh-eHEBQ&feature=youtu.be.  This 1-hour webinar provides an overview of what community colleges across NJ have been doing to transition to remote learning during this pandemic.  Included are suggestions for engaging students remotely as well as recommendations for online instructional tools being successfully used by community college educators throughout our state.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Kristen Roldan, Financial Advisor at TIAA Financial Solutions, is  available for phone/virtual retirement investment counseling sessions. If you would like to set up a meeting, please contact Kathy Lee at 609-243-6019 or klee@tiaa.org .

SUPPORT SERVICES

The College has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides confidential support to employees 24/7.  While this program usually requires a supervisor referral, the EAP is open to any employee who may need help without a referral.  The contact number for the EAP is 1-800-955-6422.

Another service, available 24/7, if you are having thoughts of suicide or harming yourself or others, is Monmouth Medical Center Psychiatric Emergency Services @ (732)923-6999.

Community Resource Information:

  • Fulfill NJFood Bank: Resources in Monmouth County LINK
  • Interfaith Neighbors: Rental/Mortgage assistance resources LINK
  • Monmouth County Department of Health LINK
  • NJ State LibraryPublic services Information Resource Center LINK
  • NJEDA: Resources for NJ Businesses affected by COVID-19LINK
  • NJ Mental Health Cares:Mental Health support resources LINK 
  • NJ Human Services:Food assistance for vulnerable families in New Jersey LINK

Stay well and be safe.

Important Information:

  • FDA Approves First At-Home Saliva Collection Test for Coronavirus  LINK
  • Expanded Access at New Jersey’s Community Based Testing Sites LINK
  • NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development Extends Facility Closings  LINK
  • DEP Commissioner McCabe Issues Reminder For Visiting State Parks & Forests  LINK

NJ State Government/Governor’s Actions:

  • Executive Order #140 Governor Murphy Names Restart and Recovery Advisory Council
  • Executive Order #139 Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day

NJ Testing Sites News:

  • New Plasma Collection Sites in Northern New Jersey  LINK
  • COVID-19 Tests Offered at 14 Local Pharmacies  LINK
  • NJ Public COVID-Testing Sites & Information LINK
  • NJ 211 List of Testing Sites  LINK

COVID-19 Information Resources:

  • Mental Health and COVID-19 Resources LINK
  • CDC Website: LINK
  • NJ COVID-19 Website: LINK 
  • NJ Department of Health Website: LINK 
  • NJ COVID-19 Disinformation Prevention Website: LINK
  • Monmouth County COVID-19 Website LINK