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Daily Update – 97

Post: Jun. 30, 2020

Cuomo on Phase Four, NYC Phase 3, Indoor Dining and Malls

The Western New York region will enter phase four today, June 30th. Phase four industries include higher education, low risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment, media production, and professional sports without fans.

Phase four industry guidelines that have been released at this time can be found here.

New York City is on track to enter phase three on Monday, July 6th. Phase three guidelines for New York City have not yet been released.  Complicating this opening, the Governor said, is a lack of compliance with social distancing in New York City travelers entering New York City from other states with high infection rates. Due to these complications, indoor dining may be delayed for New York City as it enters phase three.  The State is reviewing data and consulting with stakeholders to determine the safety of indoor dining. The Governor said that outdoor dining is working well and can continue. The State will issue a final decision on indoor dining in New York City by Wednesday, July 1st.

The State will mandate that malls install air-conditioning filters with a MERV rating capable of filtering COVID-19 in order to reopen. The Governor recommended all offices and businesses also upgrade their filtration systems.

Read the press release

Monday Economic Report: As COVID-19 Worries Linger, Economy Tries to Charge Forward

As the nation continues to grapple with lingering COVID-19 worries, the data last week reflected bounce backs in activity, suggesting that the economy is trying to charge forward. These “green shoots” provide some encouragement that the U.S. economy will rebound in the second half of this year, even as it is also clear that activity remains well below pre-recessionary levels.

Monday Economic Report 2020-0629

U.S. Lawmakers Unveil Bid to Boost Domestic Chipmaking Industry

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday introduced a measure aimed at strengthening chip manufacturing in the United States, adding to efforts to champion the sector and lure high tech supply chains back into the United States. The measure, backed by top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and key Republican Tom Cotton, would offer $15 billion in federal grants to states to build, expand or modernize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D facilities.

“The U.S. semiconductor industry drives economic growth through technological breakthroughs and plays a critical role in the nation’s security,” said John E. Kelly III, Executive Vice President, IBM. “IBM strongly supports the American Foundries Act of 2020 because this important legislation would sustain American leadership in semiconductor technology and establish a national strategy to move it forward. We thank Senators Schumer and Cotton for their leadership on this bill and urge the Senate to pass it quickly.”

Read more 

More Details on EEOC Guidance That COVID-19 Antibody Testing Cannot Be Required to Return to Work

Council friend and Associate Member Jackson Lewis, LLP report that the EEOC’s guidance came in response to the CDC’s earlier statement regarding antibody testing.  In adding Question A.7, the EEOC stated:“An antibody test constitutes a medical examination under the ADA. In light of CDC’s Interim Guidelines that antibody test results ‘should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,’ an antibody test at this time does not meet the ADA’s ‘job related and consistent with business necessity’ standard for medical examinations or inquiries for current employees. Therefore, requiring antibody testing before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace is not allowed under the ADA. ” 

Read more at Jackson Lewis

The full set of EEOC Technical Assistance Questions and Answers can be found here.

US DOL Announces Coronavirus Leave Tool For Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave due to the coronavirus. The tool guides workers through a series of questions to help them determine if the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to their employer. If the provisions do apply, the tool helps them learn whether they qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law.

Information and a link to the tool are here 

New Yorkers Who Visit a State With a High COVID-19 Infection Rate Are Ineligible for Paid Sick Leave

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Saturday that strips the paid sick leave protections for New York employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states after June 25.

“If we are going to maintain the progress we’ve seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility,” Cuomo said in a statement. “That’s why I’m issuing an executive order that says any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave.”

Read more at the Democrat and Chronicle

Lockheed Paid Suppliers $1.1 billion, Added 8,300 Jobs Since Pandemic

Lockheed Martin has hired 8,300 workers and spent $1.1 billion supporting its supplier network during the coronavirus pandemic, with thousands of more hires planned for this year. “In this volatile environment, it is more important than ever before to maintain the operations of the defense industrial base and support our men and women in uniform,” said President and CEO Jim Taiclet.

Read more at Defensenews

FAA Begins Test Flights for Boeing 737 Max 

The Federal Aviation Administration will reportedly start test flights for the re-certification of the Boeing 737 MAX airliner this week. The troubled aircraft was grounded by regulators around the world last year after two crashed, killing 346 people. Given the collapse in demand for air travel, some analysts wonder whether airlines will still want them when they are re-certified.
Read more at Market Watch