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03.20.20

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information and Guidance for the Workplace

This page lists COVID-19 information and appropriate precautions for workplaces where IFPTE members work, including guidance for U.S. federal government agencies, healthcare and frontline workers, and links to provincial and state government information.

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NOTE: IFPTE's legislative advocacy and economic policy response to Coronavirus/COVID-19 can be found here


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National and local government health agencies in the U.S. and Canada as well as the World Health Organization are coordinating a response to mitigate and limit the outbreak of an upper-respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms called "2019 Novel Coronavirus" or COVID-19. In the midst of this global pandemic, health authorities across the globe are urging communities, workplaces, working people and the public to prepare, cooperate, and help mitigate the impact in their communities and minimize the harm to the most vulnerable.

Personal hygienic practices for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection are vitally important and similar to those for seasonal influenza:
  • thorough hand washing
  • covering your mouth and nose when coughing
  • avoiding hand contact with your face
  • staying home when sick
  • cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces in shared and communal spaces
  • limiting contact with people who are infected

Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, health experts are urging the public to practice aggressive "social distancing" to slow the spread of the disease and "flatten the curve". The means for "flattening the curve” through social distancing includes wide-scale implementation of telework and temporary office and business closings, canceling public events and meetings, suspending school and college classes, and limiting contact in public settings. See this factsheet on social distancing [PDF] from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

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IFPTE Local Union Resources and Statements on COVID-19


  • National Association of Immigration Judges/Judicial Council 2: Immigration Judges, Prosecutors and Attorneys Call for the Nationwide Closure of All Immigration Courts - Joint statement from NAIJ, AFGE Local 511, and American Immigration Lawyers Association calling for the emergency closure of the Immigration Courts throughout the U.S.

  • Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (ESC/IFPTE Local 20): COVID-19 Updates and Resources - Resources from the employer and from coalition unions, as well as links to public health resources

  • IFPTE Local 21: Organizing Against COVID-19 - Local 21's statement and demands from public sector employers in response to the ongoing health emergency

  • Nonprofit Professional Employees Association/IFPTE Local 70: NPEU President to Nonprofit Managers: Move All of Your Staff to Remote Work - NPEU's statement calls on managers in the nonprofit sector to put their responsibility to public health and to their employees first by implementing telework and enabling nonprofit workers to practice social distancing.

  • The Society of United Professionals/IFPTE Local 160: A Message from President Scott Travers - The Society’s communication to members directs members to contact local union representatives, lists public health agency resources, a call for solidarity and aid for vulnerable people in the community.

  • TEAM/IFPTE Local 161: A COVID-19 Message from TEAM - As staff at TEAM shift to teleworking remotely, the Local’s staff update members on their operating status and on Bell holding off its downsizing under the current circumstances.


Employers’ Duty to Provide a Safe Workplace and Workers Rights


Under Canadian and U.S. law all employers have a "general duty" to provide a safe workplace for their employees. This includes existing standards for workers rights and employer responsibility that protect workers from retaliation for raising concerns about workplace health and safety.



U.S. Federal Employee Guidance on COVID-19




Information for Workers in General Workplace Settings and Front Line Settings




Factsheets, Posters, and General Information




State and Provincial Public Health Resources and Response to COVID-19


In the U.S. and Canada, state and provincial governments have been at the forefront of the response to COVID-19 outbreaks and containment in local settings. For a comprehensive list of U.S. state government responses to COVID-19 can be found on the National Governors Association website.



Combating Xenophobic and Racist Responses to COVID-19


IFPTE joins with unions, public health agencies, and working people throughout Canada, the U.S., and the rest of the world in urging the public to refrain and reject any stigmatization, scapegoating, racism, or xenophobia towards any population and communities.

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