Mid-Hudson Enters Phase Three Today!
Governor Cuomo has announced that the Mid-Hudson region has been cleared to enter phase 3 of reopening Today, June 23rd, 2020. Also note that gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed in Phase 3.
Trump Announces New Visa Restrictions on Immigrant Workers but Exempts Agriculture, Food Service, Health
President Trump on Monday expanded a measure restricting visas to the United States to target many more temporary foreign workers, limiting immigrants from coming to the country for employment in industries including technology, academia, hotels and construction.
The order primarily affects H-1B visas, broadly set out for high-skilled workers; H-2B visas, for seasonal employees; L-1 visas, for corporate executives; and J-1 visas, for scholars and exchange programs, restricting new authorizations through Dec. 31. The new measure takes effect Wednesday.
SBA Provides Guidance on Using PPP Loan Proceeds to Refi EIDLs
The Small Business Administration issued a procedural notice on Friday night providing guidance on using Paycheck Protection Program loan proceeds to refinance an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, as well as providing instructions for PPP lenders on the procedure for remitting to SBA any PPP loan funds designated for an EIDL refinance.
Specifically, SBA said, a PPP loan may not be used to refinance an EIDL if the borrower received the EIDL before Jan. 31, 2020, or after April 3, 2020. EIDLs may be refinanced but are not required to be refinanced with PPP loans when the EIDL was received between Jan. 31 and April 3 and the PPP borrower used EIDL proceeds for purposes other than payroll.
SBA Issues Guidance and Updated Documents for Extended 24-Week Covered Period, Releases Simplified PPP Forgiveness Application, and Announces All PPP Loans Over $150,000 Will Be Publicly Disclosed
Our friends and Associate Members at Bond Schoeneck and King provide more explanation about the Small Business Association’s (SBA) guidance on June 17, 2020 pertaining to changes made to the PPP. While some questions remain, the SBA provided key guidance regarding the extended 24-week covered period, as well as issued a new Form EZ Forgiveness Application.
Furthermore, on June 19, 2020, the SBA and the Department of Treasury announced that in the interest of transparency to the public, the SBA will disclose the business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported and loan amount ranges for all PPP loans over $150,000. For loans below $150,000, totals will be released, aggregated by zip code, by industry, by business type and by various demographic categories.
Pandemic Leads to Accommodation Claims Under Federal and State Laws
The New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently commented that it had received an increasing number of charges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of which alleged violations of the reasonable accommodation mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the number of filings was not disclosed, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the City Commission also indicated a growing number of such complaints, many alleging refusal to recall workers with disabilities due to health and exposure.
CDC and OSHA Continue to Release Manufacturing Related Guidance
The CDC and OSHA continue to provide updated safety guidance so manufacturers have the information needed to keep workers and communities safe. The NAM together with other major trade associations have requested CDC expand its current Frequently Asked Questions page to allow businesses and employers to submit specific questions to which they need detailed answers.
One of the most recent guidance and recommendations is on Testing Strategies. The document outlines potential testing strategies in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the workplace, including organizing employees by risk categories, contact tracing to help identify possible spread, taking action in the event of multiple positive cases and recommendations on when exposed employees can return to work.
Looking Ahead to Phase Four – Guidelines for Reopening Higher Education
On Monday, the Governor’s Office released higher education guidelines. The guidelines are meant to help higher education institutions reopen and operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The five-page document, which includes 20 mandatory and 29 recommended best practices, is meant to be a guide for institutions who will be required to develop and submit their own plan. According to the Governor’s Office, the guidelines are intended for all types of in-person higher education, including, but not limited to, community and junior colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, medical schools, and technical schools.
The Fight for Liability Protections
The NAM continues to advocate, both at the state and federal level, for time-limited and reasonable liability safe harbors to protect good actors from a flood of marginal COVID-19-related lawsuits. On the federal level, we remain in close contact with Senate leadership for the inclusion of liability protections in the upcoming “Phase Five” Coronavirus relief package. State activity has ramped up significantly, with Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee recently passing or enacting comprehensive liability protections. We are collaborating with our state partners to provide whatever assistance we can to help move the debate forward in additional key states.
U.S. Department of Labor to Host Compliance Assistance Webinars
The U.S. Department of Labor will host four webinars in June and July – including one for Manufacturing and Construction – to discuss how the Department is helping workers and employers by reducing regulatory burdens and making it easier to understand and comply with the law. The webinars will also provide an opportunity for workers, employers, and state and local governments to ask questions and discuss how the Department can expand and improve access to its compliance assistance materials.
Manufacturing and Construction
Guest Speaker: Occupational Safety and Health Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt
Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT
Register at Link Compliance Assistance Webinar 2
CI Podcast: Jason Bram, Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
In this episode Harold King speaks with Jason Bram, Economist and Research Officer at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks which, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The Fed, as the system is commonly called, is an independent governmental entity created by Congress in 1913 to serve as the central bank of the United States.
Harold and Jason talk about the research the New York Fed has been conducting related to the pandemic and manufacturing. Jason’s past research has focused on both the recent trends toward urbanization, and the effects of natural disasters on regional economies – both highly relevant today. Jason and Harold also talk about remote work, lessons from the 1918 flu and possible recovery scenarios.