January 4, 2021

Sick Time and COVID-19

The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Expired 12/31/2020 and the federal government did not pass an extension or replacement, so this is no longer relevant. Please check your policies as any mention of the FFCRA will need to be removed.

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

This law aims to "guarantee job protection and financial compensation in the event they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation." The key phrase here is "a mandatory or precautionary order." If you read the FAQ, all libraries would be subject to uphold this leave: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/covid-19-paid-leave-guidance-employers

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/COVID19. Click through the slides under the Paid Sick Leave heading to see if/how much leave your library is required to give. It is important that you know what type of library you are as you assess and apply this information. Likewise, some libraries have special agreements/contracts with their municipalities. If this is the case, you should consult with your municipality to see how the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law applies to your library.

Additional information can be found here: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/covid-19-paid-leave-guidance-employers
and here: https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/factsheets/pdfs/covid-sick-leave-employers.pdf

New York Paid Sick Leave

The COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave is separate from the New York State Paid Sick Leave. New York Paid Sick Leave mandates that certain employers provide up to 40 hours of sick leave (depending on the size and type of your organization). Information can be found here - https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-paid-sick-leave and in a slide deck that can be found here.

Here is a sample policy from our HR consultants NY PSL Policy Template.docx.This is the policy we will be using as a template at the System to comply with the law. Not all regulations have been released by the state, so there are still some unknowns.

Moving Forward

Because so much of this is specific to individual organizations, you will need to discuss specific situations with your library board and attorney prior to approving any updated policies to make sure you are covered. Please read through this information in order to develop the appropriate policies and benefits for your library.

Delivery Update from Suzanne

The new Delivery schedule started today. There may be a few things that pop-up as we adjust to new start times, tweaked routes, etc., so we thank you in advance for your patience.

In case of inclement weather and a run has to be delayed or canceled, an email will be sent to the Directors and circ emails ( [libraryabbreviation]circ@pls-net.org ) for the libraries on that run. Please be sure to clear all walkways, steps, and entranceways for the Drivers. Drivers will not deliver if accessing your library is hazardous.

All of the Delivery documents can be found in this folder. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

CARES Act Library Funding: Deadline Friday, January 15th from Andrea

The January 15th deadline is approaching quickly.

CARES Act funding is available to libraries through PLS & the NYS Library to support library efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This could include projects such as hotspots, PPE, and virtual programming support. Click here for grant guidelines, timeline, application information, and project ideas.

Any questions? Let me know! My goal is to make this as easy as possible for each of you.

Advocacy Day February 26, 2021

This year NYLA is hosting Advocacy Day Online. I'm not exactly sure what it will look like yet, however, they have put a call out for people to "apply" for the meetings with legislators. I encourage directors and trustees to fill out the form if you can make it that day. I will also be checking with the offices to see if they are interested in meeting with us individually (online). Once I have a better grasp on NYLA's strategy I will let you know. Here is the message they sent out last week:

Our Annual Library Advocacy Day will look a little different in 2021. With an all virtual format, library advocates across New York will have the opportunity to engage with their community, peers, and legislative representatives in new and exciting ways.

From social media superstars to advocacy letter writers, to our champions who will speak with their Senator or Assemblymember – everyone who wishes to participate in Library Advocacy Day 2021 will have the opportunity to do so. And, I am so excited to share more details about our special day in the weeks ahead.

As part of our planning process, we are asking NYLA members to fill out the below survey if you are interested in participating in a virtual meeting with your elected officials on February 26, 2021.

The link will direct you to Survey Monkey where you will be asked five questions. Please fill out the form by Tuesday, January 26.

Register For Library Advocacy Day 2021!

While I know many will miss the Well and seeing their colleagues from across the state, I truly believe Advocacy Day 2021 will be phenomenal!

And just think – no waiting in line at security, for the elevator, or in the concourse for lunch!

Grow with Google Grant Update from Andrea

Job Seeking in a Virtual World Series

Macedon Public Library and Pioneer Library System have received a Grow with Google Grant to host a four-part workshop series in January about jobseeking in a virtual world that is open to all OWWL library community members. All sessions are free and open to all. Please help share the events on your library's website and social platforms. Registration is here.

Records Retention Policy

Back in November, you may remember me mentioning that the NYS Commissioner of Education issued a new uniform records retention and disposition schedule that must be adopted by all public library systems and public libraries in New York State by January 1, 2021. The new schedule (LGS-1) replaces the current schedule (MI-1.)

If you haven't done so already, you're going to want to update your policy as soon as possible. To help with that, here is the DRAFT System policy (Records Retention Policy Draft.docx). You can check this link for the full schedule - http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/local-government-record-schedule/lgs-1-title-page

Questions of the Week - Vaccine Edition

COVID-19 Vaccination Phases

Question: Will front-line library employees be included in the early phases of vaccine distribution?

Answer: Probably not. Libraries were overlooked when looking at closing and reopening guidance, so I doubt they will add us to any type of vaccination list. We are still in Phase 1A for vaccine distributions, which will take us to January 11, 2021. Phase 2 plans were due on January 1, however, I have not seen the full rundown of eligible individuals. If you would like to keep up to date on the schedule you can visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine#phase-1a

Having Staff Recieve the Vaccine

Question: Should we think about requiring staff to receive the vaccine?

Answer: This question comes from a recent NYT article about the EEOC saying that employers could potentially require employees to receive the vaccine. The answer to this is complicated, but my opinion is that a policy mandating your employees to receive the vaccine probably is not a good strategy right now. Keeping an eye on what other industries are doing and how vaccine rollout progresses will give us clearer guidance on this issue, but for now, it seems like an incredibly complicated process to take on.

This Email Has Been Sent To…

Directors, PLSHQ Staff, and the PLS Board President. As always, feel free to share this with your board if that would be helpful.
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