R-V Industries’ COVID-19 Action Plan (download in PDF)
- Monday, March 26, 2020
- Monday, March 23, 2020
- Thursday, March 19, 2020
- Sunday, March 15, 2020
- Friday, March 13, 2020
Monday, March 26, 2020
A Message from Kirk Putt, and Free Personal Financial Webcast
We all continue to adjust to daily changes, both personally and at work, due to the COVID-19 virus. I appreciate how our team has continued to keep our operations running. Many others are not so fortunate:
- 3 million people filed for unemployment in the U.S. last week, more than four times the prior weekly record of 700,000 in 1982.
- 70,000 people filed for unemployment in a single day in Pennsylvania last week. The highest prior weekly record was 61,000.
The stock market has experienced historic volatility. The S&P 500 index has lost more than 30% YTD, causing most of us to incur significant losses in our 401k accounts. I encourage you to remain invested, not because I am an investment expert, but because if you sell now, you will lock in those losses with little chance of recovery.
I’m not reporting these bleak statistics to increase unease or fear, quite the opposite. If you accept the worst-case scenario and develop plans how to deal with that, your outlook will improve. Accept the stock market will likely experience a few more significant (10%+) declines before it reaches a bottom, but it will recover, whether that takes six months or six years. And whether you are 27 or 67, you should be planning to generate investment income for a minimum of another 20+ years during which time the market will improve. “Safe” options such as money market funds, certificates of deposit, U.S. treasuries, etc. will likely all generate less than 1% returns for some extended period. Investors who have sold in panic will have to buy stocks again to generate acceptable returns following this crisis, which will drive prices higher along with your account balances.
Dave Ramsey, a popular financial advisor, is offering a free webcast tonight at 8 p.m. EST called “A Message of Hope” to address personal finance questions related to this crisis. I encourage you and your families to check it out https://www.daveramsey.com/
Our Pandemic Committee had a virtual meeting today. Below are a few items of interest:
- Approximately 50% of our office team is now working remotely to ensure social distancing and redundant capabilities should anyone become sick.
- Along with everyone else in the country, sanitizing supplies and personal protective equipment are challenging to find. We should have all our facilities restocked with spray disinfectant in the next few days and hand sanitizer within the next week. Please continue to use soap and water in the interim.
- Outside visitors to our facility have been reduced to a couple of 3rd party inspectors. All others require Executive approval prior to gaining access.
Today should have been Opening Day for Major League Baseball, which along with the 1st day of Spring last week, generally lifts everyone’s spirits after Winter. While that may be delayed by COVID-19, the better weather and better times are still coming, just a little bit later than normal.
Thank you for your part to keep everyone safe and productive.
Monday, March 23, 2020
Update Regarding Governor Wolf’s Stay-At-Home Order
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued a “stay-at-home” order effective tonight at 8 p.m. restricting travel for residents in seven counties (Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe and Montgomery). This order does not restrict your travel to and from work at R-V. We are a “Life-Sustaining Business” and exempt from this order. No special paperwork is currently required for you to travel to work. If it later becomes a requirement, we will supply one. While not traveling to and from work you are expected to comply as outlined by the Governor if you live in one of those counties.
I know the constant stream of local, state, and federal facts and rumors is stressful and challenging to digest. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed of the facts and how they apply to you. Here are some updates:
- Several people have asked about additional “hazard” pay, something they have seen implemented by a few companies in the media. We will not be implementing any premiums as we do not believe our workplace places you at increased risk of virus exposure beyond typical public life, and business volume will not support any pay premiums. Our goal is to keep you all employed in this extremely volatile market by continuing our critical role serving clients who generate our electricity, prescriptions, vaccines, food, water, and medical imaging. If you have concerns with working during the pandemic, you may take a voluntary leave of absence with no negative attendance impact. This time will be unpaid unless you have unused vacation.
- Currently R-V does not have any confirmed employee cases of COVID-19. We have instructed several employees to self-quarantine based on reported symptoms or had friends who may have been exposed to the virus. All testing has been negative. I expect we will have a team member or extended family test positive for the virus at some point. We have procedures drafted for such an occurrence, which includes quarantines, and possibly department or plant closures. Please continue to communicate any concerns or known exposure and continue to stay at home if you are feeling sick or have a fever.
- The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed by President Trump and goes into effect April 2nd. What this means to you:
- We will be posting the full details later this week when the government releases the posting
- Paid COVID-19 testing.
- Up to (80) hours of paid sick time, either at full-pay (maximum $511 daily) or two-thirds pay (maximum $200 daily) depending on the reason for your sick leave.
- Up to (12) weeks of FMLA leave to care for your child whose school or childcare facility is closed due to COVID-19. The first (10) days will be unpaid and the balance would be paid at two-thirds pay up to a maximum daily amount of $200.
- The U.S. Senate is working on another relief bill called the CARES Act which will likely get passed this week. This will likely provide several additional benefits:
- Direct payments of $1,200 per person ($2,400 per couple, and $500 additional per child) to anyone making below a designated income limit.
- Business loans to help companies continue to pay employees if they are either mandated to shut down or negatively impacted by government closures provided, they do not layoff employees.
- Enhanced unemployment options.
A special thanks to our Pandemic Committee. This group has had to support some significant business changes with limited time to interpret and implement various government directives while maintaining their general day-to-day responsibilities.
May all of you and your families stay healthy as we manage these unprecedented challenges together.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
A Message from Kirk Putt, R-V Industries President to our Employees
Thank you all for your cooperation as we implemented a lot of changes during the past week to keep everyone safe while continuing to service our clients. Things continue to change on a daily, sometime hourly, basis but the commitment of our company has not wavered.
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued an order today mandating the closure of all businesses that are not considered “Life Sustaining” by midnight on March 20.
R-V Industries is considered “Life Sustaining” under the several categories and will remain open. As part of a “Life Sustaining” company allowed to remain open we must practice social distancing and other mitigation actions as defined by the CDC. The steps we implemented last week as part of our COVID-19 Action Plan 3-13-20 comply with the CDC suggestions. For your reference, the CDC recommendations are attached (see page 6).
All of us are learning to live within this new reality of health risks, non-stop media reports, chaotic financial markets, restricted social activities, children attending virtual classes, and no sports. Despite these challenges, you have continued to adapt and make a difference every day serving our clients in critical industries. This is what makes our company and our country great – the will to overcome difficult challenges. To use a boxing analogy, we continue to get off the mat when it would be much easier to lay down and listen to the referee count to ten.
We are blessed to remain open when a lot of small businesses have been forced to close and layoff their employees. The designation of “Life Sustaining” is very fitting because not only are we serving clients actively developing solutions to prevent/treat the COVID-19 virus, we are also the primary income source for hundreds of team members and your families.
Things will continue to get more challenging in our country and our company, but we will do everything in our power to keep you safe and actively employed.
A few parting suggestions: take a deep breath, exercise, enjoy the extra time with your family, and stay in the stock market. “The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” To all employees, you can always call or email me with questions. My phone number is (484)532-6030.
Thank you for your support,
Sunday, March 15, 2020
The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health has issued a letter of guidance with regard to Governor Wolf’s recommendation to temporarily close non-essential businesses in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. Here are links for your reference:
Because we are not a business that interacts with the general public as those listed in the recommendation, we are taking the position that we will remain open and follow our current COVID-19 Action Plan. Please take time to read the entire Action Plan below.
Friday, March 13, 2020
The global status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving daily, and R-V is taking a thoughtful, deliberate approach to the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the many families around the world who have been affected by this crisis. We are especially mindful of our own families for
whom this issue may be a prominent worry or concern.
We have created a very thorough Pandemic Crisis Plan. This Action Plan is intended to outline key items/activities from that plan. Our team is continually monitoring news reports as well as governmental and health agencies’ communications such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor COVID-19 and is actively working to ensure that the most up-to-date CDC guidance is quickly and accurately disseminated. Below are some key actions to be taken immediately. Updates will be posted on our website and distributed via Swift 911, our emergency contact system.
- Follow standard call-off procedures. Anyone who has 1) been diagnosed 2) exposed to someone who has been diagnosed or 3) is experiencing symptoms is not to report to work and should notify HR.
- Starting Next week, the Company will request or permit select employees to work remotely to minimize business interruption. This will be determined as technology and work priority dictate. You must follow established approval and out-of-office calendar requirements. All employees working remotely should ensure your office phones are forwarded to your mobile phone or an alternate phone number should be left on your voicemail.
- No attendance points will be incurred if you choose to self-quarantine due to suspected COVID-19 exposure, diagnosis, or care of a family member.
- All outside visitors should be limited until further notice (Suppliers, Customers, Employment Candidates, Family Members). All visitors must be approved in advance by a member of an Executive Management Team.
- Delivery drivers are excluded from this notice requirement but should be restricted to the loading dock areas. Shippers/Receivers will be fitted for respirators to reduce exposure from outside delivery personnel.
- Employment Candidates – Phone and video interviews are preferred.
- Customer visits
- Limit client visits to those deemed a necessity.
- Trade Shows – We will not be exhibiting at trade shows until further notice.
- Clients will be notified we are considering the pandemic a force majeure (“Superior Force”) event, which could impact deliveries depending on the magnitude of disruption to operations. This is a requirement in most contracts when causes out of our control could affect deliveries. Clients should communicate with their R-V contact for specific details.
- Evaluate possible material supply interruptions and make recommendations to VP Finance for inventory buys to minimize work impact.
- Ensure HVAC system filters are optimized to minimize virus impact and replacements are completed per manufacturers suggestion.
- Ensure cleaning staff performs daily sanitization of all high use communal items such as door handles, bathrooms, desks, phones, stairwell handrails, etc.
MEETINGS / LUNCH
- Reduce in-person meetings and schedule virtual meetings or conference calls wherever possible. In-person meetings should be limited to small groups to ensure the recommended distance of six feet can be maintained between participants.
- Avoid typical gatherings in lunch areas and eat in your own workspace.
- Eliminate communal sharing of food/drink items.
PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS IN OUR FACILITIES
A concentrated focus on prevention and precautionary measures will continue to help protect our employees:
- We are purposely educating employees about best hygiene practices to help decrease the spread of any flu or virus. We have issued a tool-box talk and notices about handwashing techniques, covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home if sick.
- We will supply sanitizing supplies as available.
- Respirators are available for shop employees as an additional precaution.
STEPS TO AVOID ILLNESS
In several prior emails, we have shared common, practical protocols to avoid illness. Best practices to help prevent or minimize illness include:
- Getting a flu shot and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then drying them completely. If you cannot wash your hands, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended.
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If no tissue is available, attempt to cough or sneeze in the crook of your arm.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – germs easily spread!
- Monitoring your symptoms.
We encourage you to educate yourself on the topic to avoid unnecessary anxiety. The resources listed below may be helpful in how to best understand and explain the current crisis.
Thank you for your continued cooperation. Be assured we are focused on preventing this virus at our facilities and thoughtfully preparing for various scenarios that promote a healthy workplace.