COVID-19 Self-reporting


Attached is a BNSF Connect article regarding a new COVID-19 Self-reporting tool that launches today and is available via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage on the employee portal, through Workforce Hub and through BNSF Connect

If an employee has been exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19 they should report the matter immediately to their supervisor and BNSF in order to prevent the spread of the virus and apply for required leave.

This new COVID-19 Self-Reporting Tool is another option for employees to notify us of their conditions; they still have the option of emailing the Leaves team directly at

Let us know if you have any questions.

Andrea Smith
General Director – Transportation
BNSF Railway Labor Relations

[COVID Self Reporting]



What if I need to stay home because I’m sick or I have to take a leave of absence related to COVID-19? Will we be compensated for that time off?

BNSF has relaxed our policies for anyone contracting COVID-19 or directed to quarantine. We will not discipline anyone for following quarantine guidelines. We can do this because we’re confident that our teams know the importance of doing our jobs to fulfill our critical role in the supply chain.


RRB Pays Extended Unemployment Benefits

RRB Pays Extended Unemployment Benefits under CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, recently signed into law by President Trump, authorized extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for railroad workers sidelined during the COVID-19 pandemic.After making necessary programming changes to agency systems, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) began processing and paying extended benefits on May 11.

The CARES Act authorized payment of extended UI benefits to rail workers who received UI benefits from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. Under the legislation, railroad workers with less than 10 years of service may be eligible for up to 65 days of extended benefits within 7 consecutive 2-week registration periods. Workers with 10 or more years of railroad service, who were previously eligible for up to 65 days in extended benefits, may now receive benefits for up to 130 days within 13 consecutive 2-week registration periods. No extended benefit period under this provision can begin after December 31, 2020.
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Unemployment Securities Department

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As of Sunday, April 26th, workers eligible for the new pandemic unemployment assistance program filed their first claims. There is an unprecedented volume of claims expected to be received by the Employment Security Department (ESD), some workers may benefit from guidance on how to access unemployment during covid-19. I invite you to share the ESD talking points with all whom you know are affected in your network of family, friends, etc., with the websites, and social media content (below)

Additionally, for your reference, below is the email that hundreds of thousands of workers received from ESD in the last Friday / Saturday.

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HB 1841 – Establishing Minimum Crew Size on Certain Trains / Signed into Law

Brothers and sisters,

At 2:30pm Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law HB 1841 – Establishing Minimum Crew Size on Certain Trains, which sets into place long overdue crew size minimums for freight and passenger trains. This is a huge win for us all; it recognizes what we see in our work every day, that worker safety and public safety go hand in hand, and that we need strong laws to guarantee both. After seven long years of work, BLET and SMART-TD are proud to have secured the strongest crew size law in the country!

We did not need the coronavirus to tell us what we already know: railroad workers are essential, and so is our safety. The new crew size law makes sure that worker safety is not optional, and the Washington State Legislative Board will continue to fight, through this public health crisis and after, to make sure working men and women are safe and healthy, on the job and off. We continue to work with the Governor’s Office, state agencies, the Washington State Labor Council and others in the enforcement and to bring about awareness of state statute(s) concerning Railroad Companies – Sanitation, in your behalf.

In the 480-66 WAC’s the overall theme of the statutes listed is clean & sanitary conditions, in good repair, free of rodents, and vermin. In efforts of taking necessary precautions of not allowing the spread and therefore the infection of personnel using these area’s in question by COVID-19. I am asking for it to be determined as reasonable for the application of these WAC’s, in the argument against the minimal or non-existent methods of properly addressing this pandemic by the Class I rail carriers in our state; assisting in the efforts of the General Committee. (More information to be forthcoming)
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Recent developments help support railroaders during COVID-19 response

Recent developments help support railroaders during COVID-19 response

​​Railroad workers included in prioritization for COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance that cites critical infrastructure workers—which includes railroaders—in its new guidance as priority for those who should be tested for COVID-19.

This is great news for our employees and our company as we continue to address COVID-19. BNSF has been advocating at all levels of government to ensure railroad employees—who have a critical role in our nation’s supply chain—were appropriately prioritized for COVID-19 testing as it becomes more readily available.
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CDC Guidelines

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