What Shelter-In-Place Means for Employees

April 8, 2020

Across the country, many state and local governments are issuing Shelter-In-Place or Stay-at-Home orders in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). But what does this mean for our drivers, heavy equipment operators, technicians, scale operators, BU leadership and others who are heading into work to provide an essential service each and every day?

A Shelter-in-Place or Stay-at-Home order basically means as the name implies: stay at home. However, there are exceptions. People who work in services that are considered “essential,” including Republic Services employees, are able to go to work. Additionally, people are allowed to leave their house to go the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, or other food source, and can go outside to exercise (as long as they are keeping at least six feet away from other people). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face masks when in public. Keep in mind, the rules may vary by city, county or even state.

While some employees, including our CRC agents, have jobs that enable them to work from home, we have many employees who are showing up every day to keep our business running and serve our customers. THANK YOU!

As an essential service provider, select Republic employees, including drivers and other key positions, are expected to continue working.  Solid waste industry workers have been identified as part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce in guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, which has recommended to state and local governments that they be given permission to operate in restricted conditions  If you live in a region with curfew restrictions or a shelter-in-place order that bans non-essential travel, it is recommended you carry your FEMA placard, employment designation letter and the DHS Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During Covid-19 Response. These documents identify you as an essential service provider and should permit you to proceed past any imposed restrictions within your communities.  For more information, talk to your immediate supervisor or HR partner.

For employees at work, be assured that we are taking extra precautions to help keep you safe. Here are just a few examples:

  • Getting cleaning and disinfecting supplies to our employees everywhere
  • Cleaning and sanitizing our facilities multiple times per day
  • Staying flexible on how we handle crew in, crew out, breaks, etc.
  • Conducting tailgate meetings outside where possible
  • Practicing social distancing throughout the business and restricting meeting sizes to a maximum of 10 people
  • In the process of providing face masks to employees for use on a voluntary basis to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 from individuals who are infected to those who are not

As a reminder, the best ways to protect yourself and others include washing your hands often, putting at least six feet of distance between you and other people, and staying home if you are feeling sick. For additional guidance, visit CDC.gov.