You will be providing direct care and support—including assisting people with the daily tasks of living—in a variety of residential facilities for people with disabilities, older Vermonters, and others receiving specialized services for substance use disorder, mental health concerns, or other conditions. You will be working in a setting where there has been at least one positive case of COVID-19. We are looking for people who are new to the field as well as skilled and entry-level healthcare workers such as Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs), Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), and others (including kitchen/laundry/housekeeping help).
Experience is not required, but for licensed positions like RNs, LPNs, and LNAs, proof of current licensure or certification is required.
If you return to work on a full-time basis, 35 or more hours per week, even if that work is temporary, you would not be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. When employment ends, you can reopen your unemployment claim online at www.labor.vermont.gov and click on “Reopen Your Claim” under the “Quick Links” on the right side of the page.
If you return to work on a part-time basis, you may still be able to receive partial unemployment benefits. Each week when you file your weekly certification claim, you will report your gross earnings and the number of hours you worked during that week, Sunday through Saturday. You must report hours worked and wages during the week work is performed, even if you have not yet been paid.
Temporary work, either full or part-time, can extend the duration of unemployment benefits, as you are drawing less money from your unemployment balance, so the balance lasts longer. In addition, in order to requalify for a future unemployment claim, you must have returned to work and had new earnings that equal or exceed four times your weekly benefit amount.
For more information regarding your unemployment benefits, rights and responsibilities, please refer to your claimant handbook and Frequent Asked Questions that can be found on our website at www.labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance. If you still have questions, please contact Claimant Assistance at 877-214-3332.
No. You will be an employee of the temporary staffing firm.
Yes. All positions require applicants to clear national and state background checks.
You will be provided necessary training to perform the work, depending on the type of facility, persons served and your role (RN, LPN, LNA, or Direct Care Support).
You will be provided the necessary personal protective equipment to safely perform your job by the provider (the facility). This may include: Mask, gloves, face shield, gown. The staffing firm will provide you with N95 masks if necessary (and conduct needed N95 fit testing).
Direct support positions pay up to $25 per hour, LNAs can receive up to $30 per hour, LPNs can make up to $40 per hour, and RNs can make up to $55 per hour. Depending on how far you need to travel to the assignment, travel expenses are provided. Positions also include health insurance and other benefits.
The type of facilities where you will work include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, small group homes, substance abuse treatment facilities, mental health facilities, and other residential support programs that are currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, and are in need of staffing assistance. These locations may be located anywhere within the state of Vermont. If you are able to travel, you will be provided lodging and reimbursement for meals for the duration of your assignment. Travel expenses will be covered as part of your compensation. It is possible that you may be deployed to other locations requiring staffing supports for Vermont’s COVID-19 response.
Each individual assignment lasts between one day and two weeks. This emergency staffing program lasts until March 26, 2021, after which, these positions will end. The current need for temporary help is great so you can anticipate that you will be able to work multiple or sequential individual assignments.
Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to quarantine/isolate in accordance with Vermont Department of Health guidelines to avoid spreading the virus to others.
If you contract COVID-19 during the time you are working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Notify your staffing service employer and the facility where you’re temporarily assigned as soon as possible after developing symptoms you think could be COVID-19. Keep a record of when you developed symptoms and when you notified your employer of those symptoms. Provide a copy of the test results or the diagnosis to your employer or your employer’s insurer. If you are working in a facility where COVID-19 is present, and contract COVID-19, Vermont law presumes that you contracted it while working and you are entitled to workers’ compensation. For assistance, contact the Vermont Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation & Safety Division at 802-828-2286 or email the Workers' Compensation Division at: LABOR.WCComp@vermont.gov.
You may accept a permanent position with your temporary employer, but you and provider will negotiate the rates for the position you accept.
No, there must be at least one active case with either staff or residents.
A State of Vermont rapid response team of experts on long term care facilities will discuss with you the planning undertaken or underway to address the COVID-19 staffing crisis. Your organization’s leadership should develop a detailed plan for the steps you will take to ensure people receive services from you remain safe from COVID-19 infection. Some of the considerations for your contingency plan should include:
Contingency plans should also identify critical business functions, maximum tolerable downtimes of those functions, and strategies to focus resources on the most important aspects of a business to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people receiving services.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed Nursing Assistant
Unlicensed Direct Care Support Worker
In the event of an identified confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19, a rapid response team comprised of representatives from the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living will consult with you about outbreak response, to include a detailed review of staffing needs and available resources. You should plan to work with the rapid response team to help determine the right number of temporary workers for your site. The Emergency Staffing Pool can provide temporary staff for up to 14 days until permanent staff can return to work following an outbreak of COVID-19. This staffing pool cannot help with a staffing crisis that is not caused by COVID-19. This staffing pool is not intended to provide ongoing staffing resources for your entity; it is a limited emergency resource intended to supplement staffing shortages associated specifically with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providers applying for emergency staffing are not responsible for background checks. The vendor will conduct required background checks and verification of required licensure (RN/LPN/LNA) for workers being deployed to your facility.
There is no guarantee that temporary staff will be local residents. The vendors under contract with the State are required to make reasonable efforts to hire people from Vermont and bordering states.
The State of Vermont will pay for up to 14 days per the number of workers approved using funds designated for this purpose. Providers will be required to report information on your organization’s use of the Emergency Staffing Pool at the conclusion of the deployment, and to work with the rapid response team to update needs as the situation progresses.
The vendor determines the rate of pay for their temporary workers. Because the temporary workers are required to work in COVID-19 positive environments, travel all over the state and the temporary/time limited nature of the work, it’s likely they will be earning more than a similarly situated person working on your permanent staff. Rate of pay for temporary workers:
Registered Nurse — $55 per hour
Licensed Practical Nurse — $40 per hour
Licensed Nursing Assistant - $30 per hour
Direct Care Support Worker — $25 per hour
The vendor is the employer of record for temporary staff and will be liable if something happens to temporary staff during their engagement at your site. Please communicate problems or concerns about temporary staff as soon as possible with our rapid response team.
Your organization should determine if there is specialty training required for your facility and indicate that requirement in consultation with the rapid response team. Certain types of highly specialized skills are harder to meet on a short time frame during a global pandemic. If it’s possible to meet the legal licensing requirements of your service needs and license type with low-skill or unskilled direct support staff under supervision, that should be pursued.
You should work with our rapid response team to identify alternative staffing resources for your organization if your staffing crisis is likely to last beyond 14 days. The State’s Emergency Staffing Pool cannot provide temporary staff for a longer period, but you may be able to pay the State’s vendor directly for continuation services, when necessary.
The actual start date can be very soon after referral. Staffing agencies have a short window to fulfill requests, but how soon staff are sent will depend on the amount of available staff at any given time against the overall statewide needs. The rapid response team will work closely with you to get temporary workers in as soon as reasonably possible – from the emergency staffing pool, volunteer resources, and other arrangements as available and appropriate.
You can end the deployment of a temporary worker at any time. Consult the rapid response team to request deployment of an alternate temporary worker.
Yes, it’s the provider’s responsibility to make sure that all staff working in the facility have adequate PPE. If the provider is unable to provide PPE due to an emergency beyond their control, the State may be able to secure PPE during the outbreak. The rapid response team will work with you to assess your PPE needs and secure additional PPE as appropriate.
Yes. The staffing vendor will have fit tested all temporary staff, and these staff will arrive to your location with a supply of N95s for their personal use.