May 27, 2020


Phase One: Retail Curbside Pickup & Remote Fulfillment Rules...

But what’s next?

Non-essential retail stores are limited to curbside pickup and remote fulfillment in Phase One of Governor Charlie Baker’s Reopening Plan.  Download the retail operating rules here

RAM continues to communicate with the Governor’s office regarding a possible expansion of the rules to allow for limited in-store appointment retail services prior to Phase Two.  Retail, restaurants, lodging, and personal services such as nail salons and spas, remain scheduled for opening in Phase Two, with expected restrictions and capacity limitations still to be determined.  For all of the information on the Reopening Plan, including current status, general business guidance, sector-specific protocols and best practices, click here.



MA Dept. of Unemployment Assistance Targets Fraudulent Claims


The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has posted a new site for the reporting of fraudulent unemployment claims.  Criminal enterprises using stolen personal information from earlier national data breaches have been attempting to file fraudulent unemployment claims through the DUA system. This is part of a national unemployment fraud scheme.

To report fraud, go to:


New Law Protects Employers’ Experience Rating from COVID-19 UI Claims


Gov. Baker signed a new law this week to expand certain benefits for the unemployed and to protect employers from negative impacts to their experience ratings due to the COVID-19 crisis.  The law expands the current claims period from 26 to 30 weeks of benefits for those eligible and lifts the cap on dependency benefits.  More importantly, the law affirmatively answers the question RAM and our members have been asking since the beginning of the crisis – will the state hold employers harmless for the crisis related surge in unemployment claims.  Language in the law clearly states that current crisis related claims will not be charged to an employer’s account and will not be included in the calculation of an employer’s experience rate. 

The state's unemployment rate for April stood at 15.1%.

Guest Article from Cove Risk Services,
the third party administrator of RAM's self-insured workers' comp group


Things to Think About as You Prepare Your Safe Business Reopening Plan During COVID-19 


As businesses start to reopen it’s important to keep focus on the seriousness of COVID-19 by taking every possible precaution for keeping employees and customers safe.

There’s new information emerging daily, and government leadership, local authorities, and industry regulators will be continuing to update procedures and protocols related to your business. Be prepared to plan, revise your plan, have alternative plans available, and keep your options open. Protections you take to open your business in May or June might not be the same as you need in July, August, September, or beyond. Employee feedback will be important, and you should plan to hear their concerns and ideas.

Cove Risk Services is dedicated to staying updated on government guidance, best practices for safety and health, and risk management related to COVID-19. We’re available to answer questions, give advice, and assist as you resume or reconfigure business operations.

Click here to continue reading.

CDC Foundation Retail Strategy Seminar


NRF and the CDC Foundation invite RAM members on Thursday, May 28, 12 - 1:30 p.m. ET to an online seminar, "Tools to evolve your COVID-19 retail strategy." The seminar will provide a discussion on how the virus works and spreads, offer best practices to help retailers analyze the risks in their unique settings and address relevant scenarios with public health experts. You can register for the seminar here.

The featured speakers will include:

  • Dr. Judy Monroe, President and CEO, CDC Foundation
  • Governor Mike Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Margaret Kitt, Deputy Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Matthew Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation
  • Brian Dodge, President, Retail Industry Leaders Association
  • Graham Luce, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, BJ's Wholesale Club
  • Christine Brandt, Senior Principal-Senior Counsel, Macy's