Senate Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Senate voted 90-8 passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please see the Member Benefits section of ASA InfoHub for a memo regarding the Act's Paid Sick Leave Provisions. The President is due to sign this legislation immediately and the Act's provisions will not become law until 15 days after it is signed.
Despite ASA's opposition to this Act, we would like to thank the 144 ASA members across 15 states, who took action and emailed 30 Senators to oppose it. Well done and please remain safe.
ASA Opposed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
ASA opposed the House-passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was voted on by the Senate on Wednesday, March 18th. While we appreciate the efforts of Congress and the Administration to provide necessary and timely relief to small businesses and their employees during the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), FFCRA would impose unsustainable mandates on subcontractors.
Additionally, we are concerned that employers with fewer than 500 employees would be required to provide employees with 10 days of fully paid sick leave and provide up to 12 weeks of family leave at two-thirds pay. Although this legislation does permit the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirements, the process to achieve such a waiver is ambiguous on how companies could apply or what process the DOL would use to evaluate requests. Placing this mandate on the backs of subcontractors in an uncertain economy would exacerbate a precarious situation for small employers already struggling to stay in business during these unprecedented times.
Even though FFCRA’s paid family and medical leave requirements sunset one year after enactment, many subcontractors already facing cash flow and supply chain issues simply cannot afford the cost of this new government mandate.
ASA Coronavirus Resource Guide
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and has now emerged in almost 90 locations internationally, including 500 confirmed cases within the United States as of March 9, 2020. With the complete clinical picture of COVID-19 not fully known along with the CDC’s expectation that the number of confirmed cases will continue to rise, members of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) may have concerns regarding the disease and how to handle employment matters during this outbreak. As the situation is emerging and continually evolving, ASA will monitor all federal agency developments and guidance to supply our members with the most up to date information available. The ASA has collected numerous materials from a wide variety of sources and developed this Coronavirus Resource Guide to provide our members with a comprehensive resource to best prepare for employment disruptions as COVID-19 cases continue to be discovered.