COVID-19 UPDATE: WHAT SUNSTATES SECURITY IS DOING
Updated May 12, 2020
In accordance with the government’s “Opening Up America Again” initiative, Sunstates Security is taking steps to return to normal operations.
- Staying in communication with furloughed officers, assisting with funding options, checking on their well-being, and providing updated information as it becomes available on when their positions may return.
- Continuous communication with active employees to check health, ensuring site safety protocol compliance, and collecting feedback on how we can best support their specific operation.
- Preparing for gradual return to work in Phase 1, including employee training & screening, workplace modifications to accommodate social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and limitation of visitors and contractors.
- Continued evaluation of federal, state & local government regulations by our legal & compliance team as it relates to shelter in place, stay at home, PPE guidelines, etc.
- Actively recruiting and increasing our talent pipeline to ensure we have the resources to respond quickly to increased site coverage requirements as the economy begins to reopen.
- Implementing automated processes for electronic issuance and approval of invoices and payment options for all clients.
- Collaborating with client management teams on return-to-work processes and procedures to ensure the safety of their employees, clients, visitors, vendors and contractors while continuing to enforce security protocols.
- Continued sourcing of new pipelines for procuring PPE and sharing resources with clients as necessary.
Sunstates Security continues to focus on the health and well-being of our employees and the safety of those we serve while fulfilling our service commitments.
On the following pages we have included a timeline of actions the company has taken since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and which we continue to maintain as the scenario unfolds.
Summary of Actions Taken to Date
For our employees…
Sunstates appreciates our employees, and our first and foremost concern is their safety and well-being. Our goal is to keep people employed, while providing a safe workplace and clear operating protocols in line with CDC guidelines.
- Ongoing Safety Communications/Resources:
- As needed, provisions of PPE, cleaning and sanitizing supplies provided for offices and posts while maintaining an updated inventory by region.
- Ongoing and regularly scheduled conference calls including Legal & Compliance, Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Training, and Executive Management Team members to discuss COVID-19 updates, hygiene practices, evolving client requirements and operational processes.
- March 16 – Sunstates began providing ongoing communication to educate employees, including COVID-19 Safety & Preparedness Bulletin, Hand Washing & Sanitizing Guidelines, and Social Distancing Strategies Protocol.
- March 20 – CEO Kathryn Burrell communicated to all employees regarding safety and employee resources.
- March 23 – Sunstates issued a bulletin regarding security employee classification as essential employees by the DHS and provided officers with a letter to carry, along with their state licenses, when traveling to/from work.
- March 26 – Human Resources sent communication regarding medical coverage, including availability of Telemedicine visits and COVID-19 testing.
- April 17 – Rolled out an employee pledge campaign asking all officers to commit to social distancing and other COVID-19 recommended safety guidelines; participation will be tracked through the LMS system.
- COVID-19 Training: Sunstates launched a mandatory COVID-19 training module for all employees on March 16, easily accessible and tracked through our online LMS.
- April 1 – Released new training module regarding use of PPE with enrollments based upon management request; updated information released on April 10.
- April 13 – Released new training module regarding vehicle cleanliness; managers send job numbers to the training department to auto-enroll officers with driving positions.
- April 20 – Released new training module for conducting temperature checks including important guidance on maintaining proper social distance, utilizing permanent barriers and incorporating technology such as thermal imaging cameras that achieve safety, accuracy and efficiency. This training is mandated for all employees performing this function.
- Continued Employment: Sunstates is doing everything possible to retain employees who may have been affected by reductions in coverage by cross-training at other locations, refining schedules, adjusting to 32-hour work weeks, and offering opportunities to fulfill additional service requests through the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT) program.
- Employee Benefits: On March 20, our Human Resources Department distributed information on government benefits. We have also expanded company policy to allow those whose positions are negatively impacted by COVID-19 to retain employee status with the ability to resume work at Sunstates without having to reapply or losing tenure once the emergent situation has passed. Continue to share information about virtual health care resources, EAP information, and communications from Empower for those enrolled in the Sunstates Security 401(k) program.
- New Protocol for Recruiting & Onboarding to Ensure Safety and Social Distancing:
- Phone and/or video interviews, using multiple platforms, such as Skype & Facetime.
- Staggered timing for hiring events, in-person interviews, sizing for uniforms, etc., to limit the number of people and to allow for six-foot distancing.
- Changes in location or size of training classes to allow for adequate distancing; implementation of live-stream video training for state licensing (where approved by state licensing agencies) as well as Sunstates orientation.
- Employee Recognition: Special recognition of officers who are going above and beyond the call of duty during this challenging time.
For our clients….
Sunstates Security continues to serve our clients, adjusting coverage requirements as needed. As the situation evolves, Sunstates is exploring creative solutions to fulfill client requirements and to meet our internal quality standards, while ensuring safe social distancing and compliance with CDC guidelines.
- March 16 – Implementation of Virtual Quality Assurance Checks.
- April 9 – introduced new COVID-19 specific virtual QA check to ensure proper use of PPE and compliance with social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
- Scheduled and impromptu video meetings and calls with clients.
- Continued consultation with clients to develop protocol and share best practices regarding new pandemic-related requirements such as social distancing measures, use of PPE, sanitary standards, temperature checks, etc. in ways that mitigate risk for our clients and our officers.
- Provide PPE, cleaning & sanitizing supplies for officers at client sites when needed.
- Proactive planning for additional coverage requirements through expanded recruiting and enrollment with the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT). In the past 60 days enrollment has increased substantially, providing an enhanced emergency coverage resource for Sunstates clients.
Such strategic changes to our processes and operating procedures will allow us to continue taking care of our employees and clients, while stimulating the economy by creating new employment opportunities throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Please reach out to the Sunstates management team or search for employment opportunities on our website.