If we have to temporarily lay off tasting room staff, is there any other form of aid other than unemployment? To claim unemployment, they must be completely out of work for one full week (formerly two weeks), correct? Do they get compensated the same regardless? Or is based on their earnings and or number of hours worked per week?
Additionally, we need to keep our vineyard crew going or else we fall behind in the vineyard where we can not afford to without risking the 2020 crop. We can either let people go or reduce their hours. In both cases, this solves an immediate financial problem, however it creates a new problem I just described in the vineyard: needed timely work is not getting done. Another option, and here is the question, is it possible/permissible to have an across the board pay cut? In our case, everyone would be hourly, no salaried workers. Many of them are at minimum wage.
Related question, is there anything in the works to have a temporary waiver of overtime pay for agricultural workers? This would be to address all the reasons above.
Answer and Resources Available from DOL:
Regarding unemployment insurance benefits for people out of work due to COVID-19 closures/quarantine, the state is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people out of work due to COVID-19 closures/quarantines.
On the hour and wage issues, this link is to a new publication that will answer those questions: https://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/dipa/p130.pdf.
Additionally, there is a shared work program that may help in some situations: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/sharedwork1.shtm.