CRONA Newsletter: October 14, 2020

 

Monthly CRONA Membership Webinar

Monthly membership webinar is Wednesday, October 14 from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. We usually do not hold membership meetings in the month of October because that is when we hold the annual CRONA Convention, but there is so much going on this year that we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to provide information and take your questions. It’s a week later than the monthly meeting usually is because after Convention we needed a bit of time to recover. See you Wednesday evening!

COVID Updates – the Law

 

What is this new code CASLP, and what happened to Paid Admin Leave?

Last month, California passed AB 1867, a CA Supplemental Leave Program law intended to cover the gaps left by the federal CARES Act, which provided for COVID-19 related paid time off but excluded employees of companies with 500+ employees. This new law establishes requirements for minimum amounts of paid leave related to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this state-mandated minimum leave time is less that what was being provided by the hospital. The hospital cancelled its previous paid administrative leave program after AB 1867 was passed. This new CA Supplemental Leave Program will be in effect only through December 31, 2020. It provides a bank of paid hours – coded as CASLP on your pay check – that may be used for absences related to COVID-19. This includes work time missed if you must miss work due to COVID-19 symptoms, due to actual COVID-19 infection, and quarantine. If you have already received paid administrative leave related to COVID-19, those hours will be subtracted from your total available CASLP hours. . If you do not have hours in the CASLP bank and you are required to stay out of work pending COVID testing, you will have to use your PTO. Your total CASLP hours are based on your actual worked hours in the last 6 months, not your base FTE.

 

New Legislation – SB 1159

Another new state law makes it easier to have a workers compensation claim related to COVID-19 approved. Rather than placing the entire burden on the employee to prove that a COVID-19 infection was work-related, it:

  • Creates a rebuttable presumption for healthcare workers that certain illnesses from COVID-19 are work-related and entitle workers to workers’ compensation.
  • Presumption applies if the employee tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after a day the employee performed work at the employee’s place of employment, on or after July 6, 2020.

If you are infected with COVID-19, the hospital will automatically file a workers compensation claim on your behalf. You must contact Occupational Health to discuss your claim and complete any necessary paperwork. The phone number for Occupational Health is 650-723-5922.

 

Time Off for Voting – It’s the Law

Many large and small companies are providing paid time off for employees who volunteer to work the polls this election year, or providing paid time off in excess what the state of California requires in order to support voting. CRONA asked, months ago, if the hospitals would consider joining other companies such as Old Navy, Facebook, Target, and Bue Apron in supporting voting with paid time off to vote and/or work the polls. The hospital waited to respond until the schedule request period including Election Day was closed, and the response was no. CRONA is very disappointed in the hospitals’ decision to stick with providing only what they are required by law to provide, and no more.

Fortunately, California state law does provide 2 hours paid time off – not from your PTO – for voting, if your work schedule does not allow you time to vote. This year, many polling places are open multiple days to accommodate voting. Check with the Registrar of Voters in your home county for more information.

 

Please make a plan to vote on Election Day. If you request time off to vote in accordance with the law and are denied, let CRONA know immediately.

 

Holiday Scheduling

It is the time of year to request your holiday work schedule. Per our contracts, “The Employer will make a good faith effort to post the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s schedules at least four (4) weeks in advance of the schedule period.” (SHC, Section 18.4; LPCH, Section 17.10) This means that schedule requests may now be open into December.

 

You cannot be required to work both the holiday and the holiday eve unless your unit voted by September 1 of this year to “bundle” the holiday and holiday eve shifts. We asked the hospital to provide corrections to units at SHC that told nurses they must work both the holiday and holiday eve shifts – that is not correct unless the unit voted to bundle the holiday and holiday eve.

 

For LPCH, units that voted to bundle would have voted to bundle the two designated winter holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s (CRONA-LPCH contract, Section 19.3.1). Each LPCH unit has two of these three holidays designated as its winter holidays and may vote every year to select which two holidays are the designated winter holidays. All votes to decide which holidays are the designated winter holidays must take place by September 1 of each year.

 

For SHC, units that voted to bundle would have voted to bundle for the winter holidays of Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.

 

For those units that are closed on holidays, you may ask to have the holiday as part of your commitment and you may take the day as PTO, ATO, or unpaid time. For example, a nurse who works four 10-hour shifts on a unit that is open Monday through Friday, but will be closed on December 25 (Friday), the nurse may request to work only three scheduled shifts during Christmas week, counting December 25 as part of her/his commitment. The nurse may elect to take PTO, ATO, or no pay. Your manager may deny your request to include the holiday within your commitment if staffing does not permit, but should not unreasonably deny such a request. (LPCH Section 9.1.4.j.; SHC Section 10.1.4.j.)

 

Kin Care/CESLA – How Much Time is Protected?

Per California Labor Code, Regular Nurses have protected time off equal to half of the PTO that would be accrued in a year, based on FTE and not hours worked. In API it is called Kin Care; in KRONOS it is called CESLA.

 

For What Purposes May I Use Kin Care/CESLA?

CA Labor Code, Division 2, Part 1, Chapter 1, Article 1.5, Section 246.5:

(a) Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer shall provide paid sick days for the following purposes:

(1) Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member.

(2) For an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the purposes described in subdivision (c) of Section 230 and subdivision (a) of Section 230.1.

Who is a Family Member?

Subsection 245.5 defines “family member” as:

(1) A child, which for purposes of this article means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis. This definition of a child is applicable regardless of age or dependency status.

(2) A biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.

(3) A spouse.

(4) A registered domestic partner.

(5) A grandparent.

(6) A grandchild.

(7) A sibling.

Do I have to accrue the PTO within the year I use it?

No. You have your full annual Kin Care/CESLA time eligibility starting January 1 of each year.

Can I use Kin Care/CESLA Protection if I don’t have enough PTO to cover my shift?

No. You must have enough PTO in your bank to cover your entire shift. If you do not have enough hours, your absence is not protected and you will receive 2 attendance points.

 

How do I calculate how many hours of Kin Care/CESLA time I have for the year?

PTO per our union contract: First, you need to know your PTO accrual rate. Your PTO accrual rate varies depending on your years of employment. Look up the PTO accrual table in our contract. For LPCH, it is Section 9.1.3 on pages 23-24; for SHC it is Section 10.1.3 on pages 24-25.

 

Sample Calculation: Let’s look at an example of Kin Care/CESLA time calculation for a 0.9 FTE, 12-hour shift nurse within the first year of employment. As a 0.9 FTE nurse in the first year of employment, you accrue 0.1000 hours of PTO per hour. To calculate how much time you may use for Kin Care absences, you would do the following:

  1.  Calculate total annual paid hours in one year based on your 0.9 FTE:
    • 36 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = 1872 hours worked as 0.9 FTE
  2. Calculate total hours of PTO accrued in one year as a CRONA Nurse in first year of hospital employment:
    • 1872 paid hours x 0.1000 hours of PTO per paid hour = 187.2 hours of PTO
  3. Calculate number of Kin Care hours available in the year.
    • 50% of 187.2 hours of PTO = 93.6 hours of PTO may be counted as Kin Care
  4. Calculate number of shifts that may be counted as Kin Care absences
    • 93.6 hours of Kin Care divided by 12 (hours in 12-hour shift) = 7.8, or 7 full 12-hour shifts plus 9.6 hours

Once you start your second year of employment, your PTO accrual rate will increase to 0.1193 hours of PTO per paid hour. There are a few caveats about what constitutes a paid hour; these are specified in the contract language.

 

Kin Care: Your available Kin Care hours reset every January 1st. It doesn’t matter as much how many times you call out Kin Care, it is how many hours used. If you call out Kin Care for two shifts in a row, per the attendance policy that is one occurrence, but for purposes of Kin Care counting you used 24 hours, or 2 of your 7 full shifts for the year.

 

Attendance Policy: For purposes of discipline, attendance is counted using a point system looking back over a rolling 90-day period. For an absence occurrence (absent from shift or late more than an hour), you receive 2 points; for a tardy (late less than one hour) you receive one point. As a 12-hour, 0.9 FTE employee, having 5 points within 90 days is considered excessive. This means if you have two occurrences of absence and no tardys, you have 4 points and are OK. If you call out a third time within the rolling 90-day period, you will have 6 points and that is deemed excessive. If you have two occurrences of absences and one tardy of less than an hour, you will have 5 points and that is deemed excessive.

 

FMLA/CFRA/Leave of Absence: Once you have worked at the hospital for a year (and meet the other requirements of the FMLA/CFRA laws), you may be able to use FMLA/CFRA, which is protected time and not subject to discipline. If you will be absent for more than 7 calendar days, you must file for a Leave of Absence through The Hartford (the hospital’s 3rd party absence management vendor) and they will determine your eligibility for FMLA.

 

Where to find more information:

  • Hospital policy. The policy that lists points is the Employee Attendance/Tardiness Compliance Policy and it is available on the hospital intranet. Because we have protective language in our contract, the hospital is not currently able to change the policy (and make it even more restrictive, which they’d like to do).
  • Look up state law about Kin Care (also called CESLA, which is another search term you may use) and CFRA, federal law about FMLA.

 

Attention Night Shift and Weekend Shift Nurses:

Starting November 2, 2020, Stanford University will start conducting a 24/7 parking enforcement at all university parking lots and garages  (Roth Way Garage, Stock Farm Lot and Garage, Searsville Lot, etc.) to comply with the California Department of Health requirement to limit the number of external visitors at higher institutions.

 

Hospital lots and garages are not affected by this change. Hospital staff who need to park on campus after 4pm on weekdays or any time on weekends are encouraged to park in hospital lots or garages (Pasteur Staff Garage, Hoover Pavilion Garage, etc.)

 

For staff that want to park in a university parking garage/lot in the evenings or weekends (like at Roth Way Garage), they must now apply for a new courtesy after-hours and weekends parking permit by going to the university Permit Ordering Portal.

 

#CRONAStrong

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