WILDHORSE EMPLOYEE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DURING COVID-19 CLOSURE

Here are some of the things we’ve been working on to protect the health and safety of our employees and guests! 

Golfers, great news! The Wildhorse Golf Course is now OPEN for public play.  You can call today to book your tee time. For details on the course safety guidelines, please CLICK HERE.  Play it safe with a little space.  Book your tee time today! Plus, the Clubhouse Grill is now OPEN for dine-in or takeout.

Dear Wildhorse Employees, it has come to our attention that some of you are having difficulty with the Oregon State Unemployment when attempting to file for unemployment.  We suggest that you call the local number 541-276-9050.  If you continue to have problems contact Wildhorse HR at 541-966-1543 and leave a message, someone will return your call.  HR can verify if your claim has been processed.

PRESS RELEASE

Oregon state officials apologize for unemployment claim delays, offer explanations

PORTLAND, Ore — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to apologize to Oregonians waiting for their unemployment claims to be processed.

She wrote: “I hear your frustration. I’m sorry for the delays. I’m committed to ensuring that eligible Oregonians receive the maximum benefits available, as quickly as possible. These benefits are critical during this stressful time.

The governor went on to say: “Thank you for your patience as the Oregon Employment Department processes an unprecedented 333,700 applications and prepares to launch benefits for gig workers. They’ve added phone lines and increased from 106 to 520 staffers, with a goal of 800. They’re working hard to be as efficient as they can.”

OED has been overwhelmed with people filing for unemployment insurance benefits and many people tell us the process has not been smooth.

In a statement Monday, Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek said the department had handled over 230,000 initial claims over five weeks. However, a “long queue” of initial claims have not even been processed.

“Under normal circumstances, it takes three weeks to get a payment, but some folks are now looking at four or five weeks for their first payment,” Kotek said. “The system won’t recognize weekly claims until the initial application is processed, and that’s why people are getting confusing computer messages.

“When the initial claim is approved, benefits will be retroactive and people will get all the benefits they are owed, including the $600 per week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation,” she said.

Email responses have been taking longer than a week, she acknowledged, and phone call wait times are still averaging over 100 minutes.

The claims system is expected to be ready to process self-employed and 1099 contract applications for CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance next week.

State officials have admitted that antiquated computer systems have contributed to the problem.

State officials have admitted that antiquated computer systems have contributed to the problem.

Early last week, many people were told they had to restart their claim when they went to file online. But OED says that issue has been fixed.

Gov. Brown’s deputy communications director Charles Boyle said in a statement Sunday that the governor recognizes these are incredibly difficult times for Oregonians.

“At the same time, the Employment Department is working through some challenges with a legacy computer system coupled with an unprecedented number of claims,” Boyle said.

He said OED is working “extraordinarily hard to process claims” and over the past month the agency has more than quadrupled the amount of staff processing claims. As the governor said in her tweet, OED plans to add even more staff.

To accommodate that, the state has sped up the process of securing an office lease on behalf of OED. The department chose a building in Wilsonville.

Oregon Employment Department data released Thursday shows 333,770 Oregonians filed for unemployment in a five-week span.

The week of April 13, OED paid out $87 million in unemployment benefits to Oregonians. If you include the $600 weekly stimulus from the federal government, $119 million in benefits were paid out that week.

“Even though our system is a few decades old, it is continuing to successfully process the bulk of claims, record numbers of them every single day. And that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty to do, “ Gail Krumenauer, spokeswoman for the OED, said last week.

For the third week in a row, the highest number of claims continue to come from the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants.

The federal government told states to find a way to get unemployment and stimulus money to self-employed workers not normally a part of the unemployment system.

Oregon’s Employment Department is working to set up a system from scratch to pay self-employed Oregonians and “gig economy” workers like Uber and Lyft drivers. It says it’s been challenging to get the program integrated into Oregon’s old online system but expects to be ready to start accepting and processing those claims by the end of the month.

The governor’s office said part of the state’s ability to set up that system relies on coding.

“Governor Brown has also directed OED to determine a path forward to waive the waiting week for unemployment benefits, another change that will require significant coding work. The Governor is committed to working with OED to ensure that all eligible Oregonians receive the maximum benefits available to them,” Boyle said.

OED said people will still get paid for the weeks they were unemployed but unable to file. However, it would take thousands of hours to reprogram their outdated computer system and doing so would delay claims it is currently processing.

“Replacing that legacy system will take a significant investment of time and resources, so the department is focused on solutions that can be implemented more immediately, such as the coding and staffing changes I’ve referenced,” Boyle said. “Given these circumstances, the Governor appreciates the patience of Oregonians as we work to increase the amount of staff dedicated to processing claims, the time in which it takes to complete the processing of those claims, and the speed in which Oregonians receive their benefits.”

In the past five weeks, 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. This marks the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record and means that roughly one in six workers have lost their jobs in that time.

Resources

To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to Oregon.gov/employ or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI. For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to WorkSourceOregon.org.

OED also suggests people try emailing oed_covid19_info@oregon.gov for help.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

Wildhorse is currently working with the CTUIR “Re-opening the Tribes Committee”, to develop and finalize the plans needed for the Casino Resort.  This plan
will include the transitions needed for the near future and for the long run.  It is in support of the this plan that Wildhorse will not re-open on April 27, as originally targeted.

Oregon and CTUIR officials are indicating that  parts of the State and the CTUIR could be ready to ease – but not eliminate – restrictions that have closed most businesses. Chuck Sams, CTUIR  Incident Commander, established the “Reopening the Tribes Committee” to conduct the necessary research, evaluation and recommendations to re-open CTUIR.  Some of the goals of the  Committee include:

  • Develop a phased approach to restarting/reopening operations of tribal entities
  • Review all epidemiology data available to determine correct timing to reopen entity operations
  • Reconstitution and resumption of normal operations
  • Recommendations for Long Term Recovery
  • Develop timelines and operational needs for the restarting/reopening of tribal entities

 

Wildhorse will provide updates regarding the re-opening to employees and guests. Priority for the plan is to protect WRC staff, guests and our communities. 

WRC CLOSURE & FURLOUGH

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Wildhorse Resort & Casino started closing operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 18, 2020. Since then, we have officially moved to a furlough stage for WRC employees until April 26, 2020. The following FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) are provided to help employees understand what is happening, how things will work, what are the impacts, when, why and where…

A furlough is used when a company must reduce labor costs due to business needs, while maintaining benefits and an anticipated return to work date for it’s employees. WRC started furloughing employees as different parts of the resort were closed, and anticipates a return to work the last week of April 2020 if COVID-19 is under control.

The furlough does not impact your employment status – FT or PT, job position, date of hire, seniority date, evaluation date, etc. All that remains intact.

These furloughs laid off staff while paying them for scheduled hours from March 18-31, 2020. The furlough period from April 1-12, 2020 allowed employees the option of using accrued sick or vacation leave, or, to file for unemployment benefits. This current furlough period places all non-essential employees on unpaid leave from April 13- 26, 2020, during which time employees can file for unemployment benefits.

Essential staff working part time hours from April 13-26, may file for unemployment benefits to supplement their work hours. They must report these hours in their weekly reporting.

Employees working or receiving paid hours will have their deductions continue as usual. Employees on unemployment, or those working a partial work schedule and collecting unemployment, will not have hours to collect for these deductions. Under this circumstance, most deductions will have to wait until a return to work is implemented. Any 401(k) loan payments will not go into default by a “skipped” payment, nor will voluntary payments for life insurance, AFLAC, FSA, etc.

The only deduction that WILL need to continue is any dependent care costs for the medical/dental plan. The employee is responsible to make that payment by sending a check or money order to the Benefits Specialist in HR. Non-payment may cause that medical coverage to lapse.

You can go to the Oregon State Unemployment website for complete information about unemployment benefits. You can register for benefits on line (easy 5 minute process) or by phone. There is a one week wait period once you have filed for UE benefits that is not paid. The website answers all your questions about UE benefits, including the legislation to increase the weekly benefit amounts under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). Access site: https://govstatus.egov.com/ORUnemployment_COVID19

Employees can call the HR office  at 541-966-1543 and leave a message.  An HR staff member will return the call.  They can help with questions and verify if an employee claim has been processed.

Yes, if you elect to use accrued sick and vacation leave and run out before the April 12 leave use period end date, you can file for unemployment benefits.

Employees in their 90-day probationary period do not have access to accrued leave and leave taken is LWOP. Probationary employees can file for unemployment for these unpaid periods. WRC is allowing vacation leave donation to probationary employees that may be applied during the leave use furlough.

Yes, employees can cash out accrued vacation leave up to 50% of their balance. The cash out form is available on this website. You will need to complete the form and drop at the back security podium for payroll. Payroll will have a check ready the next business day, which you can pick up at the same security podium. Be aware that vacation cash out is considered as payment by unemployment, and it may impact your benefits payment.

Employees should reach out to their department head for any questions. Managers will be checking messages and return calls as needed. If you are unable to reach your department, you can leave a message on the HR reception desk – 541-966-1543. Messages are checked daily, Monday – Friday, and your call will be forwarded or handled as appropriate.

PREMIUM PAYMENT INFORMATION

Employees wanting to make their premium payments for the following coverage should address a check or money order to:

a.     Medical/Dental – WRC

b.     FSA – CTUIR

c.      AFLAC – AFLC

d.     Life Insurance – Lifemap 

WILDHORSE TEAM MEMBER ONLY EMPLOYEE FACEBOOK PAGE

1. Go to the Wildhorse Resort Facebook page.
2. On the left you will see a “Groups” option.
3. Select WRC Employees Team Only group and request to join.
4. You will be accepted within 24 hours.
Great way to stay informed! 

Downloadable Forms

If you have more specific questions please contact your direct supervisor or HR at 541-966-1543. Stay safe, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together! #TeamWild