Metrc COVID-19 Employee Resource
Team Metrc: we’ve created this page to provide you with a central source of information during this crisis. It includes guidance from the CDC, some internal policies, and – most importantly – resources for you and your family. Please use the links below to navigate to each section or scroll through each individually.
In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, Metrc has implemented the following CDC guidelines on how to minimize exposure to COVID-19. We ask that all employees working in or visiting the Lakeland office review and adhere to the guidelines provided below. You can access additional information on the CDC website.
Know how it spreads
Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads
COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface.
You could spread, and it is possible for others to spread, COVID-19 even if a person does not show symptoms or feel sick.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. That is how germs enter our body.
Always cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces is important to minimize the spread.
Clean your workstation at the beginning and end of each workday.
Maintain a clean workspace throughout the day.
Use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol.
Spray alcohol on work surfaces and tools, allow to stay on surface for at least 30 seconds.
For IT equipment such as a keyboard, spray a paper towel with alcohol to wipe down surface, or use alcohol wipes.
Once you touch an item, clean it: stapler, tape dispenser, cabinet door.
Employees may choose to bring the following supplies from home to reduce the need to handle commonly items in the office: dish gloves for cleaning, desk cleaner, hand sanitizer, and a water/coffee cup with a lid.
A list of disinfectants and the applicable time to leave on surfaces can be found here.
Avoid close contact/Practice social distancing
Social distancing (also called physical distancing) helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminatedsurfaces and infected people outside the home.
To practice social or physical distancing:
Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
Do not gather in groups
Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
During the workday, employees are requested to:
Do not congregate in work rooms, pantries, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize.
Bring lunch and eat at your desk or away from others (avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants).
Avoid meeting people face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone, online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building.
If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, minimize the meeting time and choose a large meeting room or meet outside. Sit at least one yard from each other if possible.
Metrc’s large conference room will be limited to 7 people while practicing social distancing protocol
Avoid shaking hands or any greetings that do not respect social distancing
Reduce the chance that a contaminated surface travels with you. Do not carry things from home to the office
.Do not carry around your laptop in the office or at home.
Abandon desktop phones were possible. Desktop phones have proven to be one of the highest risk areas for surface transmission.
Do not have deliveries sent to the office (amazon, magazines, mail, etc.).
Use Face Coverings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that individuals wear face masks "to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others," Face coverings should be used when you are unable to remain sick feet apart.
Metrc has purchased face coverings for your use or you may use your own.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Monitor Your Health
Monitoring your health is an important part of limiting the spread of the virus. If you or someone living with you shows signs of infection, do not come to work and seek medical advice immediately.
Be alert for symptoms. Self-monitor on a daily basis for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. A copy of the self-monitoring protocol has been provided to you.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Do not take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
FAQ’s regarding returning to work in the office
Do I have to come in?
We are asking employees to return to the office with precautions. If, however, you don’t feel comfortable or have concerns about returning, please reach out to HR@metrc.com or your supervisor to discuss. We will do our best to accommodate any requests to continue to work-from-home.
How will you keep me safe?
Metrc wants to be sure to keep our employees as safe as possible. We have taken numerous steps in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our workplace.
Our offices have remained closed to all but essential personnel until government restrictions and guidelines deemed it safe for others to return. We are reopening the offices using a limited schedule in order to limit the number of people working in the shared space and give employees time to get used to the new protocols. Return to a full in-office schedule will only occur when restrictions have been further lifted across Florida.
In addition, we are enhancing our cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout the office, including more frequent cleaning and we are asking employees to clean their workstations daily. We have installed signage and social distancing markings to help remind employees of the precautions we all need to be taking including frequent hand washing, social distancing, self-monitoring for symptoms, and the use of face coverings. All employees are being provided information on how to follow these precautions as well. Face coverings are being provided to everyone and additional hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the office.
We are also limiting visitors to our facilities, access to the warehouse, and are propping open doors between the offices in order to eliminate the need to touch handles.
Does the company have the right to ask about my health history and take my temperature?
Employers are allowed to ask about coronavirus-related symptoms and take the temperatures of employees under guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and some states now require it.
The EEOC also permits employers to mandate that employees be tested for the virus before entering work under certain circumstances. The pandemic has changed workplace cultures around working when sick: There's no question anymore that employees who are ill need to leave.
Will everyone wear a mask? Do I have to wear one?
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommending that individuals wear face masks "to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others," Face coverings should be used when you are unable to remain six feet apart. Metrc has purchased masks for your use while in the office. You may also use a face covering of your own.
What happens if I get sick? Will I get paid for time off? What if someone in my family gets sick and I have to care for him or her?
In March 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides paid sick leave for people affected by COVID-19, as well as paid emergency family leave. This leave is available in addition to sick leave you may have available through Metrc. Employees have been provided with a copy of Metrc’s Emergency Sick Leave Policy, which includes the leave from this legislation. Information is also posted on the Employee Resource Page and in the Lakeland office. Please feel free to reach out to HR if you have questions or feel you may need to make use of this leave.
What if a co-worker gets sick? How will I know? Will you do tracing?
Despite all precautionary measures, there is always a risk of workplace exposure to communicable diseases. Should an employee contract COVID-19 and expose others in our workplace, we will immediately inform all employees of the possible exposure. Employees who have been potentially exposed will be sent home and asked to telework for 14 days. A thorough cleaning of the workspace used by the infected individual will be conducted after the area has been closed off for at least 24 hours.
FAQs from the COVID 19 Town Hall
Is Metrc considered “essential”?
Metrc was designated an essential business in Lakeland. This puts us in a stronger position to continue business as usual and support our clients during this time of uncertainty and disruption. Use of Metrc is required in law and, across the country, licensees have been mostly deemed essential.
Several of our customers submitted letters to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressing the essential nature of Metrc to their operations. It is energizing to get so much support from our customers, and it is a testament to how hard you all have worked to establish strong working relationships with our agencies and industry licensees. That effort has paid off during this time.
Do we have enough tags, printer ribbon, and shipping materials to fill upcoming orders?
The short answer is yes. We have not experienced any disruptions so far, and our RFID tag roll suppliers have indicated they will remain operational even if a shelter-in-place order were ordered in the cities where they manufacture. The longer answer is this has been an area of focus when we talk about business continuity. We have focused on creating the safest possible work environment for our provisioning employees, constantly monitoring our supplier’s ability to provide tag rolls, building up our tag roll inventories, ensuring we can ship tags through UPS and communicating to customers and cannabis licensees that we are open for business. We feel like we are on strong footing here, but we are not leaving anything to chance.
How has the current situation impacted the Metrc System?
The biggest impact that we are noticing is in some of the larger states is an increased use of the system. We are seeing our infrastructure have up to 25% more traffic than before. We are actively monitoring all servers to make sure we have enough resources allocated.
How has working from home impacted the development team?
It has been a culture shift in how we operate. The biggest impact of working from home is the limited in-person interaction within the team. We aren’t able to as easily have someone come over to take a look at some code or troubleshoot a problem. To help solve that, we are more proactive about chatting on messenger and responding quickly. We don’t have one solution, but we’ve been scheduling GoToMeetings and are getting used to the remote communication between each other.
Are we on a hiring freeze? Are we planning to fire or furlough employees?
The short answer is no. But at times like these, it is important to understand that we can’t predict how long the pandemic and its effects will last. Given that uncertainty, we will be fiercely protective of you, our employees, and our financial positioning. Our strategy right now includes precautionary measures to pump the brakes on expenditures, many of which already decreased naturally such as travel and conference expense.
If we can hold off for a short period on filling vacancies, we probably will do so to passively reduce payroll expenses. We are actively slowing down hiring of new positions and will be thoughtful and strategic in how we proceed. If we have any new vacancies during the pandemic, we will work consider next steps on a case-by-case basis.
Bottom line, we are in precautionary mode and proactively reducing expenses until circumstances surrounding the pandemic become clearer. At that point - depending on the circumstances - we can proceed with our pre-pandemic expenditure plan or continue with further expense reductions.
Does Metrc have a written infectious disease plan?
Yes, but like many companies, it is not something that we have had to make use of. We are in the process of putting it on the employee resource page.
When the Lakeland office re-opens, will we still have daily sanitation procedures and disinfectant wipes available?
It is hard to predict what changes may occur on the other side of this time, but we want to implement any new COVID policies that turn into best practices.
Will there be a complete cleaning/disinfecting of the building before employees return to work?
The entire office was sanitized immediately after employees began working remotely. Having a smaller crew in the office over this time has allowed us to focus on keeping the areas that are being used especially clean. While other areas of the office have limited to no use, we will ensure another thorough cleaning before all staff return to the office, followed up by routine cleanings and sanitization.
What happens if an employee is infected after returning to work?
As always if you feel sick then stay home. If any employee believes they have been exposed, they should immediately be isolated. Notification will be given to all employees who may have been exposed to that person, and the entire work area will be vacated and disinfected.
Will an employee who has been exposed but is not showing symptoms be allowed to return to work?
Our priority is your health and the health of all our employees, but it is difficult for us to know each and every exposure that occurs. In other words, we are relying on you to let us know if you believe you are sick or may have been exposed. If an employee is known to have been exposed, we will follow CDC guidelines regarding these types of situations.
What personal steps can the employees take to minimize risk of transmission?
We all need to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC, including social distancing and local or state stay at home orders. It is also important to wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as your cellphone screen and doorknobs. Additionally, CDC is advising optional use of facemasks while in public.
Should we get sick are we required to take FMLA or Short-Term disability?
You are not required to. They are benefits should you need more than paid sick time. HR can assist you in determining if you should make use of either of these options
Is our payroll company ADP able to support us and continue fulfilling our pay checks?
ADP is fully functional and able to process payroll as usual. There should be no interruptions in service however, there may be some delays in reaching customer service. Our finance team is also able to process payroll, pay vendors, and receive payments while working remotely.
Is United Health Care fully operational?
Yes, United is fully operational and their emotional support line and Health Advocate are considered a priority. You can reference the employee resource page or the back of your insurance card for contact information.
All visits relating to diagnosis and testing for COVID-19 are mandated to be provided to patients for free. Treatment for any illness related conditions after testing is provided and covered under your normal health plan provisions.
When will the current Metrc business travel restrictions be lifted?
We do not expect to get an “all clear” nationally, so there would not be a moment when we say, “OK, it is safe to resume travel.” We are unsure when we will begin business travel again; it may be on a rolling basis as different parts of the country begin re-opening their statehouses and agencies. We will base any policy changes on CDC guidance, and we will also take the lead from our customers to assess their needs and openness to in-person meetings.
Are we making use of any of the stimulus funds?
The stimulus bills address multiple issues including additional sick leave for COVID-related illnesses, expanded unemployment benefits, and small business loans. We are on strong financial footing but with considering the disruption and record-low interest rates, we applied for an SBA loan. It is smart to consider all our options available to us.
We are continuing to update this page with relevant questions. Please don’t hesitate to email HR@metrc.com with any questions you may have. We will do our best to address questions anyone has in a timely manner. Thank you for all you do every day and continue to stay safe.
COVID-19 Town Hall
What is COVID-19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are common in people and a variety of animals. In this case, an animal coronavirus infected people and then spread from person to person. The CDC reports that people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (showing the most symptoms). However, individuals who are asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms) may still have COVID-19 and may be able to spread it to others.
The CDC believes that the disease is spread between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) of one another or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. (These tiny droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby individuals or possibly be inhaled through the lungs.) The droplets can also land on surfaces; many media outlets report that the virus can live on plastic or metal surfaces for up to three days. If an individual touches an infected surface and then touches a mucus membrane (such as their eyes, mouth, or nose), they may contract the virus.
There is currently no vaccine or widely available and proven treatment for COVID-19, so health agencies are pursuing containment and prevention strategies. This is why the below recommendations are so important.
How to protect yourself
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between you and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
If you're feeling sick
Stay home, except to get medical care
Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, are experiencing any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people in your home. This is known as home isolation
Stay away from others as much as possible. Create a specific “sick room” and stay away from family members and roommates. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
See COVID-19 and Animals is you have questions about pets.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone (telemedicine).
If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
If you think you might have Coronavirus
Monitor your symptoms
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention.
If you are having trouble breathing, seek medical attention but call first.
Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
Wear a facemask: If available, put on a facemask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a facemask, cover your coughs and sneezes. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people in the office or waiting room.
Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.
Plan your Vote – Map of US listing voter registration deadlines, vote by mail options by state, early voting, and ballot tracking
U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Help America Vote – How to become a poll worker – U.S. Election Commission
USA.gov – resource for voting terms, explanation of election process, how to register to vote, how to confirm you are registered to vote and more
How to Vote in Your state – via Washington Post
SHRM Election Resources – Sponsored by Society for Human Resources. Site lists congressional and gubernatorial races by state along with links to additional resources.
How to vote in each state – Via Axios
How to Vote Early, Safely, and By Mail in all 50 States
Payroll Tax “Holiday"
On Aug. 28, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-65, allowing employers to temporarily defer withholding the employee's portion of Social Security payroll taxes for pay periods starting Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020, as directed by an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump. Unless Congress passes additional legislation forgiving the repayment of this tax deferral, employees would be required to repay the taxes by doubling the employee's Social Security tax paycheck withholding to 12.4 percent during the first four months of 2021.
ADP (and therefore Metrc) has decided not to stop the withholding of Social Security taxes from employees' pay at this time. This decision was made due to the administrative challenges of implementing changes to [our/our vendor's] payroll software on such short notice, coupled with feedback from employees with concerns about the significant reduction in take-home pay that would occur during the first four months of 2021.
In the event that Congress passes legislation forgiving the tax repayment or the Treasury Department issues guidance regarding the ability of employees to make individual choices regarding participation in this tax deferral, we will reassess this decision and employees will be promptly notified of changes, if any.
Should you have any further questions, please contact HR or Payroll.
Gives you 24/7 access to health care providers for urgent care treatment of illnesses including the seasonal flu, allergies, and pink eye from the comfort of your home. These virtual visits cannot test or treat COVID-19, but they can help determine if you should seek local resources for testing. Cost-sharing is waived for COVID-19-related telehealth visits.
United Health Care Telehealth Services (for those enrolled in UHC Sign into your UHC account)
United Health Care Health Advocate call 866-695-8622 or the number on the back of your ID card
Health Advocate can assist with questions regarding your health benefits, help in finding a healthcare provide, or connect you with a nurse to speak with. This is a free service available to you as a Metrc employee.
If you are not covered under a Metrc health plan, check with your healthcare provider or your health plan for Telehealth services.
If you believe you might have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider right away. Only health care providers can order a COVID-19 test.
Healthcare providers are required to waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and related visits during this time, regardless of where testing is conducted. Care or treatment for COVID-19 will be covered in accordance with your health benefits plan.
We know this is a stressful time and encourage you to use these emotional support lines. They are confidential and free of charge.
ADP Employee Assistance Program – free of charge and open to all employees Call 1-866-574-7256 (1-800-873-1322 TTY) and mention Metrc company code 7AF. log in to My TotalSource© and click Myself > Benefits Program > Life Management >EAP portal
United Health Care Emotional Support Call 866-342-6892 free of charge and open to anyone
Florida Crisis Service Call 1-800-273-8255 Or visit Orlando Area Mental Health Resources
Protected and Paid Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been expanded to allow leave in order to care for a child if childcare is unavailable at this time.
Employees are allowed up to 80 hours (10 days) of paid sick leave in addition to the standard sick pay that has already been provided by Metrc.
Employee will earn regular pay rate if they are:
under federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19;
advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID–19;
experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
Employee will earn two-thirds of regular pay rate if they are:
caring for an individual subject to under federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation OR advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID–19;
child’s school or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID–19 precautions.
experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
Reporting requirements: Please note that in order to receive the above listed benefits, any incidence of illness or need for leave from your regular work schedule must be reported to your supervisor and human resources as soon as possible and proper documentation will need to be completed.
Reminders to keep yourself healthy (dealing with stress also)
Take the following steps to cope with a disaster:
Take care of your body– Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
Stay informed– When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
Avoid too much exposure to news– Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
Seek help when needed– If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or contact ADP or UHC resources listed in the helpful resources section