Dear Tooth Family Member,
We have been in business for almost 24 years, enjoyed enumerable laughs and cries, good times and bad, and enough epic stories to fill the pages of many books if one of us would take the time to write it all down. But nothing in our storied pasts can prepare any of us for this unprecedented health and economic crisis. By Municipal Mandate, all restaurants, bars, and gyms must be closed to the public. Without the ability to continue our normal operations, we cannot in good faith promise your on-going employment. Although this closure is “officially” for only 2 weeks, looking at developments around the world suggest a prolonged shutdown is highly likely. Even To-Go, which we will pursue vigorously as a possible business lifeline, may be shutdown. There is already precedence for complete restaurant shutdowns in some US communities. To this end, it is with great sadness, but ultimate hope for recovery, that The Moose’s Tooth and Bear Tooth make the following recommendations for ALL HOURLY STAFF, whether you are currently scheduled for any shifts or not:
- File immediately for unemployment through the State of Alaska. Ideally over the phone since the on-line process can be challenging. Your unemployment claim does not preclude you from taking shifts if we have any available, and will allow you to start receiving benefits by the end of March (if you apply this week). Call the Unemployment Claim Center at (907) 269-4700 and tell them, ‘I want to open an unemployment claim,’ and they will take it from there. You can also file online at: http://my.alaska.gov/NewAccount.aspx
- All employees currently on our employer insurance (medical, dental, vision, life) will have coverage through the end of March. However, any employees who are not meeting our regular eligibility requirements (3 shifts a week for part time and 4 shifts a week for full-time) will lose coverage starting April 1st . Anyone losing coverage will have the opportunity to stay on our plan by going onto COBRA or enrolling in a plan on the Market Place https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/.
- The State of Alaska offers a hotline for community resources, 211, that you can call for information about a wide variety of social service issues. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Of course, our own HR/Admin office can also offer help through this process. Just call 222-1560 for any questions regarding insurance, vacation pay, 401k and 401k loans, etc. We are here to offer support in any way possible.
- We are working on a communication platform where you can hear directly from myself and Warren as well as post questions for us. More on this as the week develops.
Moving forward, we will schedule people to the best of our ability based on available work, job title, and seniority. Remember that things change daily and even if you have shifts now, you might not be in a week. Be proactive and file for unemployment this week!
Finally, as a valuable member of the Tooth Family, we will continue to look for any way possible to offer assistance and aid to you and your family through these difficult months. We will be looking daily at the health of the company and hope we can find a stable, survivable existence. Obviously, the number one priority is that we all have a job to return to when this is over, and it will be over! Unfortunately, our cash flow went from millions of dollars a year to almost nothing in 1 week. It really hasn’t left us with many options. Be healthy and strong. Lots of love to you and your families.
Peace and Love,
Rod and Warren