Updated September 22 2020
New guidance on face masks and COVID-19 CDC Updates Timeline for COVID-19 Quarantines
FFCRA Documentation Requirement Rule Struck Down 4 COVID-19 Legal Questions You Should Answer
CDC Reverses Controversial Coronavirus Guidance
Trump administration releases Covid Vaccine Distribution Plan
ILMA signs onto coalition support letter for H.R. 777 – Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act
CDC IssuesGuidance on Self-Isolation Following Onset of Symptoms
The new CDC guidance on self-isolation following the onset of symptoms or a positive test no longer requires two negative tests be conducted, instead shifting to timed symptom-based guidance. Asymptomatic individuals with a positive test should self-isolate for ten days. People with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate for ten days after onset, or 24 hours after their fever has broken. The changes arose following research demonstrating “viral shedding,” which can result in false positives up to three months after becoming non-infectious.
House Republican introduces bill to provide tax credit to businesses for PPE
The credit is limited to $1,000 per employee for a business’s first 500 employees, $750 per employee for the next 500 employees and $500 for each employee after that. For example, if a restaurant with 40 employees spends $60,000 on PPE, testing, disinfecting and plexiglass shields, it would receive a $30,000 tax credit against its payroll.
SBA Eases Loan Forgiveness Restrictions
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a new Interim Final Rule (IFR) to incorporate more of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPFA) for small business owners who have received aid through that program. In addition, SBA updated its loan forgiveness application, and issued an "EZ Form" for borrowers who meet certain criteria.
DFC Announces Loan Applications Being Accepted for Re-Shoring Strategic Resources
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced it is now accepting loan applications for the purpose of assisting in re-shoring U.S. production of strategic resources needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility requirements were also issued. President Trump issued an executive order in May that provides for the agency to move forward with the loans under the Defense Production Act. Per the executive order, loans must be used to “create, maintain, expand, or restore domestic industrial base capabilities supporting the national response and recovery to the COVID-19 outbreak; or the resiliency of any relevant domestic supply chains.”
Tools and Strategies for Reopening
The CDC has released a new resource with tools and strategies to deploy ahead of office reopenings. It is intended to supplement the regularly updated CDC guidance for businesses and employers. For manufacturing settings, it is vital to continue following the CDC and OSHA’s interim guidance for manufacturing workers and employers, and you can find information for cleaning and disinfecting workplaces here, along with printable resources. You can also refer to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Leadership Council’s "New Operational Practices to Consider in the Time of COVID-19" for ways manufacturers are meeting and exceeding CDC and OSHA guidelines.
“Throughout the pandemic, as essential businesses ILMA members navigated through the challenges of providing a safe workplace by implementing effective social distancing and other measures in their manufacturing plants," says ILMA CEO Holly Alfano. "Now, as the country opens up, and manufacturers bring more employees into their plants, members must not let their guard down. There's no question that some of the CDC safety practices are challenging and costly, especially for smaller operations. However, encouraging employees to maintain social distancing, wear masks, wash hands frequently and avoid large crowds are simple yet highly effective strategies for a safe workplace."
With greater numbers of employees at your operation, there will undoubtedly be human resources challenges, Alfano adds. ILMA has addressed many of these issues in its document, FAQs: Workplace Issues for COVID-19.
ILMA COVID-19 FAQs
ILMA has been fielding member member questions about the effects of the COVID-19
disease outbreak on their operations. The following are some of the more frequent
questions we have received and the answers we have given. If you have a question
that you do not see addressed, please contact us at email@example.com.
OSHA Reverses Recordability Requirements
The CDC, in conjunction with OSHA, has launched a comprehensive guidance to assist
manufacturers in reducing the spread and impact of COVID-19. Lubricant manufacturing,
along with industries reliant on lubricants like metalworking, is specifically named. This
new guidance supplements existing guidance on safe return of employees, and existing
factsheets and advice remain important. In order to effectively implement COVID-19 safety
procedures, CDC recommends appointing a workplace coordinator and developing an
assessment and control plan making use of existing recommendations. Several unique
issues for manufacturing should be considered in your plan, including public spaces,
proximity and duration on a production line, and objects that can spear aerosols such as
SBA and Treasury Announce Enhanced Transparency Regarding the PPP
In an effort toward transparency, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a bipartisan agreement to disclose information regarding companies that borrowed $150,000 or more under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). That information will give business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported, and loan amount ranges from $150,000 to $10 million, accounting for 75% of approved loan.
ILMA Requests COVID-19 Liability Protections
Workplace Issues for COVID-19
ILMA has joined a NAM-drafted letter, asking congressional leaders working on another COVID-19 stimulus bill to include coronavirus liability protections for essential businesses, including ILMA-member operations, that have remained open to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The letter delivered to Capitol Hill requests targeted and limited “safe harbors” for businesses who have done their best with rapidly evolving federal, state and local rules and guidance and who may become the target of coronavirus-related lawsuits. These lawsuits, even when baseless, can hamper the rebuilding and reopening of the country, and further stress the businesses that kept the country running. Senate Leader McConnell (R-KY) has already indicated that the Senate will not pass any stimulus bill that does not include language protecting essential businesses.
Steps to Take to Prepare for Enforcement Visit
- EEOC COVID Q&A on reasonable accommodations for employees, adjusting normal business operations
- EEOC announced on May 7 that due to COVID-19, employers will not be required to submit EEO-1 Component 1 data until March 2021. The Commission will notify businesses of a specific date when it becomes available. The Commission has also provided a resource on employer responsibilities to prevent discrimination during COVID-19.
- Employer Requirements Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA) supports businesses with fewer than 500 employees and their workers affected by the COVID-19 disease outbreak. The FFCRA provides certain employees with emergency paid sick leave and/or partially paid public health emergency leave. To help pay for these paid leaves, affected employers are eligible for refundable credits toward their share of quarterly Social Security and Medicare taxes.The FFCA includes two major sections: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and emergency Family and Medical Leave Extension Act (E-FMLA).
Governors around the country issued a series of executive orders, closing non-essential businesses in their states. A complete state-by-state analysis is available here. As we interpret these orders, in most states ILMA Manufacturing Members are considered essential or life-sustaining and can continue physical operations. For ILMA Distributor Members, we believe they can continue to operate in most states as either "Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchants Wholesalers” or based on their ability to "enable operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.”