Coronavirus: Updates from the Animation Guild
The safety and wellbeing of the animation community is a top priority. We have been actively reviewing California state, federal and global recommendations as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We recognize that many members may have questions and concerns and we’d like to address some of the most pressing issues.
What will happen if someone at my workplace tests positive for COVID-19?
This situation is fluid and news is prompting new discussions and changes every day—many studios are already moving to Work From Home scenarios. The Animation Guild leadership is drafting a letter to all union employers strongly urging them to move towards allowing employees to work remotely. It is best to direct any questions regarding policies at your workplace directly to your employer. Please keep in mind that everyone plays a part in maintaining a healthy work environment. Check out the CDC’s flyer on “Stop the Spread of Germs” to be reminded of best practices. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please consider staying home and call your doctor to assess your condition.
California is providing enhanced benefits. What are they?
The California Employee Development Department (EDD) is encouraging individuals who are unable to work due to exposure to COVID-19 to file a Disability Insurance claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
Events and gatherings are being cancelled, is the General Membership Meeting still happening on March 31?
In an abundance of caution, leadership is considering the cancellation of the March 31 General Membership Meeting to avoid possible transmission of the coronavirus in our community. However, we are constitutionally compelled to nominate delegates for the D2 Convention to be held in June. As of today, the convention has not been cancelled and we will need to proceed with the nomination process via email. Please look for more information through email in the near future.
What about Committees? Are they still meeting?
Each committee is evaluating their unique circumstances to determine whether or not to hold in-person meetings or events. Some groups are opting for video conferencing solutions, others are still holding regular events while adhering to CDC protocols. Please reach out to the chairs of the committee for further details. Contact information is available on the Committee page.
Is the annual party still taking place in April?
Governor Newsom has advised the cancellation or postponement of all gatherings over 250 people. In light of this recommendation and the unpredictable nature of the situation, we have decided to cancel the party.
What about the Animation Guild office – are you planning any closures?
At the present time, the Animation Guild has no plans to close the office. However, we want to keep visitors to the office at a minimum to avoid the possible spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our employees. Members are encouraged to call or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. The membership will be duly notified of any schedule changes or closures.
Don’t people take classes at the Animation Guild? Are classes being suspended?
The American Animation Institute has taken steps to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff and most of the courses have been cancelled. There are a limited number of classes that will continue; however, that may change as new developments arise.
California Employment Development Department
California Department of Public Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration