ASG to determine if it continues paying workers for a full 40 hours
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ASG employees’ current work format under the Code-Blue threat level, which includes working from home for many employees, is being reviewed and it’s one of the issues that will determine the next move when the current amended declaration lapses on May 1st, according to the ASG Coronavirus Task Force chairman Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.
During a Mar. 23rd cabinet meeting, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga — who at the time participated via teleconference because he was home quarantined — explained the government’s staggered work hours, which included a 20-hours work week, some being required to work from home, and that they would all be paid their full 40-hours a week for 4-weeks.
After the 4 weeks, ASG would look at its incoming revenues and budget before deciding on continuing to pay workers the 40-hours a week, he said, noting that even those working from home are to get their full 40-hours a week during the four weeks.
Asked if there has been a review of this regulation since it is now past four-weeks, Iulogologo explained that the working format is continually being assessed by agency directors relative to the impact on the quality of government services to the people.
He said this issue is one of the items being reviewed to determine the next course of action when the Third Amended Declaration lapses on May 1, 2020.
“This reflects the American Samoa Government's commitment to practicing social distancing which has been deemed the most effective method to stop and slow the spread of the COViD-19 in the United States,” he explained.
Iulogologo points out that the task force and its working group are currently assessing all of the existing restrictions to facilitate preparation of its report and recommendations on the Next Step COVID-19 Protection and Mitigation Plan for the next 30 days.
The governor had issued a verbal warning that government employees required to work from home will be strictly monitored and will not be paid if the person does not comply with set regulations — that they do not venture outside except to carry out essential tasks.
Earlier this month, Human Resources director, Eseneiaso Liu said that government employees working from home under the current Code-Blue work schedule format, are prohibited from working in the private sector or another workplace other than from home. (See Samoa News edition Apr. 9th for details.)