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fall foliage at US capitol building in Washington dc

Washington D.C. Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Thank you for your inquiry. We are very appreciative that our Cast has been patient during this time, and we know how difficult it has been with so many unknowns. Unfortunately, we don’t have many answers right now about when we would call specific Cast members back.

We have only reached out to initial Cast Members, most of whom have worked with us for a very long time. Given the current political and economic instability in DC, we really can’t predict precisely how and when we will proceed further.

We deeply regret it when dedicated Cast Members seek jobs elsewhere, and yet we understand and respect that everyone needs to make a living, and if necessary, pursue other options.

This situation has been unfortunate and unprecedented, and we truly wish that things were different than they are. We hope that you will continue to stay in touch regardless of your next steps.

Dear William, Thank you for your inquiry.
We appreciate and understand the desire to have some clarity about when and how we will re-open. In Eric Holmes’ newsletter from Friday, May 22, there is as much information about the re-opening as we know right now. He is still trying to get clarity from local government officials. Some have us listed as “essential” in the transportation sector, which would enable us to open sooner. Others have us as a part of “ride-sharing,” which would require more wait time. As Mr. Holmes gets more clarity from officials, he will share the plan and timeline with the Cast.
Please feel free to submit any other questions. We appreciate the inquiries form the Cast, and very much want and hope to see us up and running again soon.

We are looking forward to bringing members of our CAST back as soon as possible and working with our HTA Human Resources Department, we have instituted a rapid re-hire package which will streamline the process and avoid many of the time-consuming elements of the “normal” hiring process. This will make it much easier for folks to return to work when that time comes.

Your COBRA eligible benefits (medical, dental, and vision) as well as Teladoc and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are in effect until 3/31/2020. Information about COBRA will be mailed to the address on file in Paychex. Please refer to the HTAF-161 Final Paycheck and Benefit Continuation document for instructions on continuing these benefits after 3/31/2020. This document also has a list of contact phone numbers and websites for all of the benefits offered to you.

If your Paychex account shows a sick leave balance, it will stay there for up to one year. When our operation reopens and CASTmembers are rehired, that sick leave balance will be available to you in accordance with the attendance policy.

We appreciate the achievement of these sales goal and feel strongly that we can and should reward you for their achievement once we can afford to do so. As noted in our Operations Manual, this incentive is normally paid out in May, but given the uncertainty of our industry and our business at this moment, we cannot commit to a specific timeframe for the distribution. While our Operations Manual also speaks to the cessation of payments of bonuses during severe economic and natural crises, we are hopeful and confident that when we “right the ship” and see our business and industry recover, we will be able to provide this payment.

Once we are allowed to reopen our businesses we will recall as many CASTmembers as we can, but under what settings or set of circumstances we honestly do not know, as the economic damage to the tourism industry is unknown at this time. We are doing everything we can to stabilize our company during this unprecedented and unforeseen business closure and to prepare for our eventual return to work. Please continue to stay connected with us, check in whenever you’d like and we will continue to reach out to you and provide information as it becomes available.

We understand that rent responsibilities are a significant challenge during this time. We are doing all we can to work with our CAST to minimize this burden but are asking that all rent questions be directed to our Property Management Department and Director of Real Estate Joyce Unke at junke@historictours.com.

Our contract with Cigna requires a 60-day waiting period upon rehire which cannot be waived. We are inquiring with Cigna in an attempt to get this waived. The good news is that you will have an opportunity to customize your coverage upon rehire that you would normally have to wait for December to have. This may be particularly helpful with regard to reducing costs for you

No, you will not have to wait for open enrollment, however, you will need to login to Ingham.com and restart your deferral.

SICK LEAVE- If your return to work is within 1 year, you may use the remaining balance of your annual accrual immediately. So, if you did not use the entirety of your balance prior to separation from the company, upon your return that will be made immediately available to you.

VACATION PAY: Your entire vacation pay balance was paid to you upon separation. Accrual of vacation time will begin immediately upon rehire and as that time accrues, you will be able to use it.

CASTmembers who were continuously employed with HTA for 90 days or more and rehired within one year of the termination date will retain their previous date of hire for the purposes of vacation accrual.

Paychex does retain your Direct Deposit information, but when you are rehired, please advise your HR Leadager if that information has changed.

Because we are obligated to notify the appropriate governmental departments that the garnishment will no longer be active, they were removed and will need to be re-entered upon rehire.

We received a stop work order from our Contracting Officer at ANC. We will start operating again once the government permits operation.

Upon separation, all vacation time was paid out to the CASTmember (please refer to HTA 161 for COBRA information). Sick time is not paid upon separation and any balance that was remaining upon separation will be restored to CASTmembers employed for more than 90 days if/when the CASTmember returns to work (if that is within one year).

Please refer to the HTA 161 that accompanied the information you received upon separation as all COBRA information is contained therein. We have provided a link to that form here.

All Arlington National Cemetery Tours (ANC) wages are reported to the State of Virginia because ANC is a State of Virginia company. Therefore, ANC CAST must apply in VA for Unemployment Insurance regardless of their state of residency.

State law dictates how & where unemployment benefits are processed. Those who earn wages outside of DC would not be eligible for DC UI benefits or vice versa.

It is our hope to resume operations in all of our cities, and to proceed with normal operations and programs like certification bonuses, however, given the uncertainty of the economy in the U.S. and globally, it is impossible for us to definitively determine at this point how we will move forward. Please know, however, that we are doing everything in our power to make this feasible. As we learn more, we will update the CAST. Please continue to check back frequently.

Thank you for your question. It’s a very good one. Some CDL training will be required for all conductors when we re-open, however, we hope to pick up where we left off on the script training. The decision will depend on each individual’s time training and competency level. We will continue to post updates as we gather more information. Please continue to check back on the site.

We are working hard to figure out how and when to re-open our operations in every city. We’d ideally like to be in a position to hire as many Cast Members back as we can. While it’s too early to know the details, we will do our very best to keep everyone updated as we know more. Please continue to check back on the site. We appreciate your patience.

Leadagement is working hard on trying to plan for a re-opening when the COVID-19 crisis is over, but unfortunately, we don’t yet have enough clarity on when and how our cities will open. We can promise you that when the time comes, Leadagers in each city will contact all Cast Members with details on rehiring. We will do our very best to give everyone as much notice as possible. We’re sorry that we don’t have a timeline in place at this time. There simply isn’t enough information about how things will transpire in each city yet. Rest assured, we will continue to post updates and contact all Cast members as soon as we know more. Thank you for your question and your patience.

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