Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Issues New Guidance for Executive Branch Employees

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today issued new guidelines to Executive Branch employees to ensure core state government functions are able to continue and key services are able to be provided to residents during the COVID-19 outbreak, while protecting the health and safety of the Executive Branch workforce and the public.

Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the following protocols shall apply to state employees working in Executive Branch agencies:

Non-emergency employees who have the capacity to work remotely shall continue to do so;

Employees performing core functions that must be done at their workplace will be contacted by their manager and will be expected to report to work so that essential state government services can be maintained. Appropriate social distancing practice will be observed in both internal and public-facing offices;

Employees who are not performing core functions and who do not currently have the capacity to work remotely will be contacted by their manager for an alternative work assignment. During this time, the Commonwealth will continue to pursue technology to enable remote work. Managers will notify employees as that technology becomes available.

Any employee who is working remotely and needs to collect a computer or other work items shall contact their manager. Managers shall structure pick up times so that an employee’s time in the office is brief and staggered to maintain desired social distancing.

These protocols shall remain in effect until April 3, 2020, at which time this guidance will be revisited.

The Commonwealth has taken numerous steps in recent weeks to increase cleanings of state office buildings and promote personal hygiene and care. Over the past few weeks, over 400 educational posters have been placed in state buildings, bathrooms have been stocked at more frequent intervals with hand washing materials and sanitation products, and there are now increased cleanings of high-touch areas such as doorknobs, surfaces, and elevator buttons.

As a result of these new guidelines and the increased usage of telework, there will be closures of some public-facing government services and walk-in offices; these services will be made available online as appropriate.

Members of the public should continue checking www.mass.gov/covid19 for the latest information on impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to view the status of in-person Executive Branch office locations effective March 18, 2020.