In response to the rapidly developing situation around COVID-19, both the federal and state governments working around the clock to support the needs of both employers and employees during these trying times. As information is constantly in flux and many groups are offering support measures, we are doing our best to keep what you need to know on one page. Jump to the information you need more quickly by clicking one of these links:
We are here for you! If you are a small business located in Southwest Michigan and are seeking guidance before you take action, you are invited to connect with a member of the Southwest Michigan First team by calling 269.553.9588.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center also stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website: www.michiganbusiness.org or call 888.522.0103.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $350 billion for 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans for eight weeks of assistance to small businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals are also eligible for these loans.
- Loans can be forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities.
- SBA-certified lenders and non-SBA lenders would be authorized to make Payment Protection loans. All lenders participating in the Payment Protection Program, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions will be moved to delegated authority which allows lenders to process loans quickly without SBA approval.
- The Secretary of the Treasury would have authority to work with the SBA to expedite the approval process and bring new lenders into the program.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a Shelter-in-Place order for the State of Michigan. All Michiganders are required to stay home, with the exception of essential service workers, through midnight on April 13, 2020.
If you are either an essential services employer or critical lifeline company, you are exempt from the shelter-in-place protocol. Please review both of the federal websites linked to see if your company/workforce function meets the designation. If you are exempt from the Shelter-in-Place order, you are encouraged by Homeland Security to continue to operate to maintain our country’s critical infrastructure.
If you meet the definition of essential services employer or critical lifeline company, you should document that designation with an official letter on your company’s letterhead. We encourage you to give this letter to your employees. In addition, if you procure products or have customers in a shelter-in-place state, this documentation may be required.
Who Fits the Description of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers?
The list from the federal government can be found here. It identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.
To comply with the Governor Whitmer’s directive, businesses must determine if they are essential or non-essential. If you have questions about your status, we suggest you consult your corporate legal counsel OR employers and employees are asked to submit any questions about the order via email to LEO-Coronavirus@michigan.gov.
What Does a Letter Supporting Travel for a Vendor or Employee Look Like?
If an individual is supporting one of the industries defined as essential critical infrastructure, they are allowed to travel for their work during shelter-in-place restrictions. Here is a sample letter that can be modified to fit your needs. It should be printed on company letterhead and signed by a ranking company representative.
Other Executive Orders
Other Executive Orders issued by the governor and pertinent to business owners include:
- Expanced Unemployment Benefits: Unemployment benefits have been expanded to sick workers, workers caring for loved ones and first responders; extends benefits to 26 weeks; extends the application eligibility period; and suspends in-person registration and work search requirements.
- Enhanced Restrictions on Price Gouging: The governor has temporarily impose enhanced restrictions on the excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies, and consumer food items.
- Enhanced Support for Deliveries: This executive order lifts the seasonal weight restrictions and other delivery-related restrictions for vehicles carrying essential supplies as a result of COVID-19.
- Disaster Relief Child Care Services: Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-16 expands the capacity for childcare services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce.
- Screening Guidelines & Visitor Restrictions: To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders and this state’s health care system and other critical infrastructure, the governor has temporarily limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.
- Use of Places of Public Accommodation: To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the governor has imposed limited and temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation.
- Prohibition of Large Assemblages: This executive order prohibits the assemblage of more than 50 people in a single indoor share space.
- Temporary Enhancements to Operational Capacity of Health Care Facilities: The state must ensure that there is an adequate supply of health care providers and facilities and may license temporary or mobile facilities for health care purposes.
Small Business Tools & Programs—Federal
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available to residents in declared disaster areas. To view the full list of disaster declarations, click here.
To apply for a disaster loan unrelated to COVID-19, click here.
Federal Stimulus Support Through Paycheck Protection Program
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act which, among other things, allocated $350 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 outbreak. These loans can be up to 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs (not to exceed $10 million) and can be used for expenses like payroll, rent on a leasing agreements and payments on utilities.
To learn whether your business qualifies for this loan, more information about how it could help your business and request a consultation with Southwest Michigan First, click here.
Section 4003 of the CARES Act: Loan Programs for Larger Businesses
The Treasury Department is authorized to provide a total of $500 billion in loans or loan guarantees to, or other investments in (i) three designated industry-specific businesses — passenger air carriers (and related businesses), cargo air carriers, and businesses critical to maintaining national security (collectively, the industry-specific businesses) and (ii) programs or facilities established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) designed to support lending to businesses (other than the industry-specific businesses), states and municipalities. Industry-Specific Business Lending Program. Section 4003 of the CARES Act makes available the following amounts for loans and loan guarantees to industry-specific businesses: $25 billion for passenger air carriers (and related businesses). $4 billion for cargo air carriers, and $17 billion for businesses critical to maintaining national security. Learn more about the qualifications here.
SBA 7(a) Loan
The 7(a) Loan Program is SBA’s primary program for helping start-up and existing small businesses with financing guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. SBA does not make loans itself, but rather guarantees loans made by participating lending institutions. In this way, taxpayer funds are only used in the event of borrower default. This reduces the risk to the lender but not to the borrower, who remains obligated for the full debt, even in the event of default.
Small businesses under SBA size standards should apply through their SBA-approved lender or bank for up to a $5 million loan.
SBA Express Bridge Loan Program
The Express Bridge loan program allows SBA Express lenders to provide expedited financing to small businesses located in declared disaster areas. Express Bridge loans are intended to be interim loans. Businesses use these short-term expedited of up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes while they apply for and await long-term financing.
Only lenders that were already participating in the SBA Express program at the time of the disaster can issue Express Bridge loans. These lenders may issue Express Bridge loans only to eligible small businesses that had an existing banking relationship with the lender at the time of the disaster. Lenders can issue Express Bridge loans up to six months after the disaster declaration. Lenders may require a borrower to pay down or pay off the Express Bridge loan if the borrower is approved for long-term disaster financing that may be used to reimburse the Express Bridge loan.
To be eligible for an Express Bridge loan, a small business must be located, at the time of the disaster, in a county that’s been declared as a disaster area, or any contiguous county. The loan must be used to support the survival and/or reopening of the small business within the affected county. Read the program guide for complete details about the Express Bridge loan program.
Small Business Tools & Programs—State of Michigan
Michigan Strategic Fund Support
Economic assistance for small businesses around Michigan that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus gained approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced March 19, 2020. The Michigan Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses negatively impacted. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce. Funds for the program are expected to be available no later than April 1, 2020.
“We understand small businesses across our state are facing unprecedented challenges as we take every step possible to mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Through decisive actions like those taken today by the MSF Board to authorize relief for small businesses throughout Michigan, we are leveraging every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by this outbreak.”
You can read the full release here. Southwest Michigan First is currently with its economic development partners on strategies for executing the program.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
In March, Governor Whitmer’s request to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration was approved. This designation unlocks critical financial resources for small businesses to access the $1 billion in funding authorized by Congress for low-interest EIDL loans from the SBA. These loans will provide vital capital for businesses facing temporary economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses apply for this EIDL directly with the SBA at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants Program
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) program has launched a new grant program providing a total of $1 million in grants to Michigan’s small manufacturers looking to retool and produce critical health and human service supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The PMBC COVID-19 Emergency Access and Retooling Grants program will award grants of $10,000 to $150,000 to companies that can quickly and effectively manufacture critical health and human service supplies. Michigan small businesses (per SBA size standards ) and established nonprofits are eligible to apply. Businesses can use the funds to support the purchase of equipment necessary to manufacture critical supplies, logistics and shipping costs of procuring necessary equipment, technology upgrades and other costs related to operationalizing new product lines. While the program does not guarantee sales channels, the PMBC team will assist grantees by connecting them with demand identified through the COVID-19 Virtual Procurement and Donation Assistance portal. To qualify, companies must submit an application here.
Michigan SBDC to Host Free Webinars to Guide Business Owners
The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting free webinars over the next two weeks to help guide business owners amid COVID-19.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for businesses and private non-profits in declared zones. Click here to learn how to apply for a disaster loan.
Note: As of March 17, 2020, EIDL loans are not yet available in Michigan. Sign up here to receive an alert from the SBDC when they open!
Small Business Association of Michigan Daily Briefings
The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) is hosting daily briefings on Facebook at 3:00 pm to help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Afterwards, they replay at sbam.org.
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
This program assists bartenders that have experienced a catastrophic event or emergency hardship impacting their ability to work.
State of Michigan Updates
Viist org/covid19 to sign up for the MEDC’s COVID-19 resources newsletter and to stay up-to-date on the programs and support available for small businesses impacted by the virus in the state.
From the Treasury: Small Business Taxpayers Provided Tax Assistance
Small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Effective immediately, small businesses scheduled to make their monthly sales, use and withholding tax payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. The state Treasury Department will waive all penalties and interest for 30 days. Read the full press release here.
Small Business Tools & Programs—Local
Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund (SBLF)
The Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund, a partnership between the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and city of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence, provides urgent relief to small businesses via low-interest loans of between $5,000 and $50,000 with approval and payment expected in a matter of days. Loans could be used to cover operational expenses, payroll and benefits. The SBLF is available to all businesses that provide support to impacted employees, are located within the city of Kalamazoo, have 50 FTE employees or fewer, need working capital for payroll or operational expenses, and can demonstrate an income loss related to COVID-19.
The total term of each loan will be 36 months. No payments will be required for six months, followed by a fully amortizing 30-month term at an interest rate of 1%. Applications will be reviewed for approval by an advisory board consisting of economic development and community representatives. Review is expected to take place weekly with a goal to wire funds as early as two days after receiving an application. This program is emergency relief and is intended to be temporary, with loans being made until approved grant funds are exhausted or its closure by the partners. Find complete information and apply entirely online at www.changethestory.org/kalamazoo-small-business starting at 8:00 am on April 1, 2020.
The program was designed by the UWBCKR and City of Kalamazoo based on national best practice models and local assistance from the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, and the Michigan Small Business Development Center. The strong community partnerships that exist in Kalamazoo made it possible to move this program from inception to execution in less than two weeks. It complements other relief programs that are also available to community members, including the UWBCKR Disaster Relief Fund and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation Urgent Relief Fund.
“This program aims to offer immediate life-lines to small businesses and their workers, especially those in the category of “asset limited, income constrained, employed” (ALICE), and retain workforce capacity in this time before state and federal programs to show impact,” said Chris Sargent, President & CEO of the UWBCKR.
United Way’s Disaster Relief Fund is Available to Help Nonprofits in Kalamazoo
The United Way’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Community Urgent Relief Fund (DRF) are a unified effort to fundraise and deploy emergency response funds has been created in which the Gryphon Place’s Kalamazoo County Response Consortium (KCRC), will be the entry point for funding access. Funders are working to create a simple and unified process to coordinate and expedite the distribution of funds to community non-profits. Gryphon Place is convening weekly calls with community partners to help determine the most pressing needs and strategize solutions that can be implemented nimbly.
LISC and Verizon Partner on $2.5 Million Grant Fund for Businesses and Nonprofits in Kalamazoo’s Under-Resourced Core City Neighborhoods
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), in partnership with Verizon, is offering $2.5 million in grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Businesses and nonprofits that are located within and/or serving the city of Kalamazoo’s under-resourced core city neighborhoods are encouraged to apply for up to a $10,000 grant in the initial round of funding from this national pool of funding at www.lisc.org/VerizonFund. Applications are due April 4, 2020.
Economic Relief for Small Businesses in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared Berrien and Cass Counties disaster areas under COVID-19. This means that small businesses and private non-profits located in these counties are now eligible for financial assistance up to $2 million dollars under the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Get additional information and apply here.
Additionally, Cornerstone Alliance is an SBA intermediary that provides microloan funding for small businesses. Microloans are available for $500 to $50,000 to businesses located in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties. Microloans can be combined with the SBA EIDL loan program. If you have an existing microloan, you may be eligible for additional financial assistance under the microloan program. Click for more information about the microloan program or contact Dubelsa Mata-Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have an existing microloan and you are having a hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for payment relief. Complete this survey to submit your request.
Berrien County Rent and Mortgage Payment Program (RAMPP)
Cornerstone Alliance, Berrien County’s lead economic development agency, has partnered with the Berrien Community Foundation and the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council to create a zero-interest loan program for Berrien County businesses and nonprofit organizations that have a rent or mortgage payment due in April and May of 2020. Resources provided through the Rent and Mortgage Payment Program (RAMPP) are now available to small business owners and nonprofits upon application. Business owners and nonprofit organizations who have a physical presence in Berrien County and can find the full program details and apply here.
City of Battle Creek Resources
For businesses located in the City of Battle Creek please visit Battle Creek Unlimited’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Virtual Procurement Assistance
Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) Virtual Procurement Assistance is sourcing health and human service supply needs amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. The PMBC is looking for both buyers and suppliers of critical health and human service supplies across a broad range of product categories. Potential items to supply could include cleaning supplies, equipment, food and water, medical devices, paper products, pharmaceuticals, testing supplies, textiles, vitamins, and more. Potential buyers are childcare facilities, community centers, education institutions, food distribution centers, healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, municipalities/government, nonprofit, etc. Join in this important effort by starting here.
Unemployment Benefits Increased and Expanded as of March 30, 2020
Governor Whitmer today has announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, you DO NOT need to reapply at this time.
New Filing Schedule
The new system uses alphabetical order to manage web visits and calls. It is being implemented as UIA has moved nearly all of its staff members to customer service positions in order to faster assist Michiganders in filing for benefits. At the same time, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget is working to expand capacity and infrastructure of the State’s online systems. Potential benefit recipients can help alleviate the system overload by following a few simple steps:
- If you have a computer and the internet, please use the website, not the phone system, to apply for benefits: Michigan.gov/UIA.
- Log onto the website during off-hours for better access – late at night or very early in the morning.
- Please be patient. If the page is loading slowly, DO NOT refresh. Give it a few minutes to load.
- View the online tool kit and frequently asked questions before you apply to ensure that you have the appropriate information and documents you will need on hand.
- If you must use the Call Center, please observe the alphabetical system outlined below beginning this Sunday to help ease the burden.
Online Filing Schedule
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
To fill online, visit Michigan.gov/UIA.
Call Center Filing Schedule
- Last names beginning with the letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Last names beginning with the letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Fridays (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
The Call Center number is 1.866.500.0017.
When you file will NOT affect whether you are approved for benefits or the amount of payment. You will be compensated from the date you were laid-off or released from your employment. You have 28 days from your last day of work to apply for benefits. UIA understands the urgency that benefit recipients are experiencing, but the fastest way to secure benefits is to follow the UIA guidelines.
The current situation is unprecedented, and UIA is doing everything in its power to ensure that those who are eligible for benefits receive them. Our team is working as quickly as possible to process applications and approve benefits. Your assistance is essential to maximizing our efficiency as we work to help all Michiganders get the financial support they have earned.
Self-Employed Workers, Gig Workers, 1099-Independent Contractors and Low-Wage Workers
Update as of April 1, 2020: Self-Employed Workers, Gig Workers, 1099-Independent Contractors and Low-Wage workers should not apply at this time for unemployment. Applications will be open in the next few days. If you already applied for unemployment benefits, you DO NOT need to reapply.
- Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found here.
- Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found here and for workers here.
Guidance for Employers Contemplating Layoffs
What To Do If You’re an Employer
On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. Under the order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. You can view executive order 2020-10 here.
Read this summary to better understand the governor’s order which extends unemployment benefits to:
- Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill.
- Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immuno-compromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
- First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.
As of March 18, 2020, the state is giving guidance to employers contemplating potential layoffs. Work Share and Temporary Leave are encouraged. Here’s the latest update.
“We know that many families and businesses are and will experience economic pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. “Through Governor Whitmer’s executive action and existing state programs, there are resources for employers affected by COVID-19. We are also strongly urging job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.”
Expanded Work Share Program in Michigan
The same order also expands the State’s Work Share program. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. With the plan, eligible employees work a reduced number of hours in the work week and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits. Participation in Work Share allows employers to retain trained employees and avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
More information about Work Share can be found here.
With the volume of impacted employers experiencing closures, it is impossible for Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to keep up with the demand and response to all layoffs currently. The following information and resources below should assist in providing information.
It is important to prioritize permanent layoffs of 50+ employees first, then those with less than 50 employees second.
The following information should be shared with employers and employees impacted as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The attached guidance materials include:
- Unemployment Insurance 101 One-Pager
- Worker Layoffs Due to COVID-19: What You Need to Know One-Pager
Federal law requires employers to provide at least 60 DAYS NOTICE to employees and certain goverment agencies and officials – but there are THREE EXCEPTIONS to that requirement:
- “faltering company” applies to plant closings, but not to mass layoffs and should be narrowly construed.
- “unforeseeable business circumstance” – Applicable for COVID-19 – applies to plant closings and mass layoffs caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the 60-day notice would have been required.
- “natural disaster” applies to plant closings and mass layoffs due to any form of natural disaster.
Notice must be provided as soon as is practicable even when these exceptions apply, and the employer must provide a statement of the reason for reducing the notice requirement, in addition to fulfilling other notice information requirements.
Please refer to the Worker Layoffs Due to COVID-19: What You Need to Know One-Pager linked above regarding submitting written notice.
If you have any questions or comments, please email your TAA/RR State Coordinator or email LEO-RapidResponseCommunications@michigan.gov. Attached is the TAA/RR State Coordinator contact list. Staff will collect questions and continue to provide guidance to the field.
Financial Relief Measures
Financial institutions across Michigan have announced steps they are taking to alleviate economic injury experienced by consumers and businesses. Here are links to programs that have been passed along to our team:
Kiva, a non-profit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world, is also answering the call to support struggling businesses looking for a 0% interest load up to $15,000 prepared. If your businesses is not already a Kiva Trustee-endorsed project, local members of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) can help you get an endorsement. Contact a LISC member that supports your type of business to learn more to start your application:
Legal Task Forces
Law firms are rising to cope with this unprecedented challenge to everyday life. In addition to challenges to their own services due to court closures and community responses limiting face-to-cace contact, they are tackling concerns as contractual agreements and supply chain matters. Many closely monitoring policies affecting labor and employment relations, policies to govern self-quarantine, and how to handle business immigration issues that may arise. We invite you to research what those with a presence are doing to best serve your needs.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Guidelines: Read OSHA’s recommendations and guidance for preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
- Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act: Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to respond to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. Read the Q&A.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19 affected employees. Employers should remember that guidance from public health authorities is likely to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Therefore, employers should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety.
- Fair Labor Standards Act Q&A: This Q&A addresses the use of volunteers in the workplace, wages due to employees, and much more.
- Homeland Security: Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers: This memorandum identifies the initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local 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.
Employer Best Practices
A Confirmed Case: What to Do Next