COVID-19 QUESTION AND ANSWER FOR BILSTEINERS
Questions & Answers for the State Ordered “Stay at Home” Order
3/23/20 thru 4/6/20
Question #1 – Why are we closing the plant?
The closure of our business is in response to the State of Ohio’s “Stay at Home” order that closes all businesses and operations in the State except for essential businesses and operations. As a manufacturer of dampers, our OE and AM businesses do not fall under the category of essential. However, both SPV and limited shipping/receiving functions are considered essential critical infrastructure workforces and will remain in operation. SPV will produce as long as they have the resources to do so. Any employees working in SPV or shipping/receiving that are not comfortable coming to work will not be required to do so and will be treated the same as all other employees that will not be working over the next two weeks.
Question #2 – What is a “Stay at Home” order?
To halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the State has ordered that all individuals living in the state stay at home or at their place of residence. Individuals may go outside for physical exercise or such items but must at all times maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person with the exception of family or household members.
Question #3 – When and how long will the plant be closed?
The Hamilton Plant will be closed, except for SPV and shipping/receiving, for two weeks beginning at 6:00 pm Monday, March 23 and ending on Monday night April 6. Pending any extension of the order by the State, production will commence with the 1st shift on Tuesday morning April 7.
Question #4 – Who is affected?
All employees, except those that work in or directly support SPV and specific identified individuals in shipping/receiving in the BLC.
Question #5 – Will I be paid these two weeks?
All employees, other than those employees designated by their managers as critical to the business and are to work, will be required to take 80 hours of PTO to cover the two-week shutdown. If you do not have 80 hours of PTO, you may go negative in your PTO bank up to a total of 40 hours. You will not be permitted to go negative for more than 40 hours. If you are already in the negative, you will only receive the difference. As an example, if you have an accrued balance of 32 hours PTO, you would receive 40 hours of pay for the first week of the shutdown and 32 hours of pay for the second week of shutdown. If you do not have enough PTO to cover all 80 hours, including the 40 hour PTO loan, any time not covered will be unpaid.
Please do not request PTO through the eTime system for the next two weeks as your supervisor/manager will enter all PTO for affected employees up to what you have accrued. Only HR, as system administrators, can add negative PTO to an employee’s time card and will do so to ensure that employees who want to go negative get a full 40 hours.
Question #6 – If I do not want to go into the negative on my PTO can I just take the time unpaid?
Yes. Please inform your manager/supervisor if you do not want to go negative on your PTO.
Question #7 – If I have PTO scheduled for later in the year, do I need to cancel it and take my PTO now?
Yes, if want to take PTO now and you do not have the required 80 hours of accrued PTO.
Question #8 – What if I do not want to use PTO and, instead, draw unemployment?
You cannot draw unemployment if you have PTO to cover the 80 hours as you will not be eligible per the State’s unemployment eligibility rules.
Question #9 – Can I apply for unemployment if I do not have enough PTO to cover the two weeks?
Yes. State of Ohio has extended benefits to workers whose employers have temporarily shut down. You can file and aTo speed up the process, use the following mass layoff & shutdown number when applying – 2000180.
Question #10 – If I go negative on my PTO what will happen if I get sick later in the year?
We will address this question with each individual case when and if it happens.
Question #11 – How will we know when we should return?
If there should be any change to the return date mentioned above in Question #3, we will post new information on www.bilsteinrocks.com and record an announcement on the Call Off Line – 513.881.7881.
Question #12 – Do I have benefit coverage during the shutdown?
Yes. There will be no disruption to your benefits.
If you have any additional questions that have not been answered on this page, please email questions here and someone from Leadership and/or HR will respond.