DHS Updated Guidance:
On March 28, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency issued additional guidance about types of construction activity deemed essential services during the COVID-19 crisis. This list is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.
CARES Act Emergency Aid:
ABC is working to prepare webinars for members and chapters to attend on the recently passed into law CARES Act and other critical policy including guidance on essential services for states and local communities.
Stay tuned for alerts from ABC as we continue to work to provide critical updates on information from our government agencies. Additional COVID-19 resources are also available at https://abc.org/coronavirus.
Principal amounts on PPP loans, for the first 8-week period from when the PPP Loan is made, may be forgiven, if loan funds are used to cover payroll costs, interest payments on mortgages (not including prepayments or principal), rent and utilities.
The amount of a PPP loan that may be forgiven cannot exceed the principal amount of the loan. The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.
Paycheck Protection Program Overview:
OSHA Recording and Reporting of Cases of COVID-19
Many employers are now asking whether they must record cases of COVID-19 on their Occupational Safety and Health Administration 300 Logs or report the cases to OSHA. ABC is aware of concerns expressed by ABC members on this issue.
As a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, ABC sent a letter to OSHA today regarding the agency’s recordkeeping and respirator enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please refer to the attached letter.
ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson P.C. has written an article that covers the following questions:
Read the Littler analysis here.
Additional information can be found on the OSHA webpage.
See also ABC’s Coronavirus Update webpage.
Staff will continue to work with OSHA and provide future updates.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
Last Wednesday, the President signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. ABC was joined by a number of organizations in a letter to the Senate (attached) expressing concerns with the bill’s mandated leave provisions and ABC also sent a key vote letter (attached) in support of a Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) amendment to replace the mandated leave requirements with unemployment insurance capped at $1000 a week. Unfortunately, the Senate set a 60 vote threshold on amendments to the bill and the Johnson amendment failed by a vote of 50-48.
While the House was required to issue technical corrections to the bill they passed over the weekend, the bill would require businesses with 500 and fewer employees to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave. An overview of the bill’s employer paid leave requirements from the House Ways and Means Committee can be found here and a Littler explainer here.