Egg producer contingency planning guidance

March 26, 2020

During these unprecedented times, employees in food production should know you are there for them. Food and agriculture workers are considered essential employees and are permitted to work, even under state or federal shelter-in-place orders.

However, the well-being and safety of your employees should be the top priority as we all continue to work through this global pandemic.

It’s important for companies not to panic, but rather to plan and prepare.  We strongly recommend you create an emergency contingency plan that will support your company should available staffing become limited.  Outline the steps the organization is taking on behalf of its employees, such as:

  • Providing a summary or review of your current emergency preparedness plan
  • Summarizing emergency company policies, including healthcare plan coverage, sick time, illness/absentee reporting, paid time off, payroll continuation, travel and group meetings
  • Quickly and accurately reporting all employee illnesses and requiring sick employees to stay home
  • Providing an essential worker letter or essential agriculture worker card (available in English and Spanish) that working employees may carry with them when traveling to and from work
  • Establishing policies and practices to limit face-to-face meetings and encourage social distancing and heightened cleanliness
  • Preparing to identify inefficiencies and adapt business practices to maintain critical operations
  • Cross-training employees to perform multiple essential functions
  • Limiting on-farm traffic and travel between farms and other locations
  • Prohibiting non-essential business travel and encouraging employees to delay leisure travel
  • Addressing childcare concerns during school and daycare closures, including helping to identify daycares that have a temporary pandemic certification

As employers, it is imperative that you are constantly communicating with your employees, especially as most of them are essential workers and will continue working through the pandemic.

Your employees are your most important asset. Without proper guidance and communication, your business cannot function properly during this time. Take care of your employees so that they can continue to serve our customers, communities and businesses.