Good morning Empire Chapter Members,

With ever increasing speed, the Coronavirus is sweeping across the state and our industry. Ever evolving data and day-to-day updates have made it challenging to stay in front of all of the changes and new information. After surveying members across the New York, it's clear no corner of the state has been spared. From little change on some essential sites to workforce reduction for many to complete site shut downs, it has been a challenging few weeks for construction in New York like we have never seen before. Likely the coming weeks will bring even more surprises and obstacles for us all to overcome. Together we are up for the challenge. 

We have the latest survey of members from across the state and the findings have been organized for you below. How is everyone complying with new guidelines for contamination control? Are there any positives in our ranks yet? What are members doing to fight back? ABC continues to find the answers to keep us all ABC Merit Shop Strong. 

Jason R. Ashlaw
Associated Builders and Contractors
Empire State
Statewide Director of Safety, Craft Training, and Workforce Development
Best Practices for Members Continuing to Work
How to keep your jobsites clean:
  • Cleaning crews are sterilizing the sites daily
  • One person is assigned the task of being the designated cleaner all day and disinfectanting touch surfaces and tool handles. 
  • For more information on how to clean tools, click here:

Mitigation techniques being used:  
  • Following CDC and NIH guidelines.
  • Scanning workers and staff for signs and symptoms. For a daily employee health questionnaire, click here.
  • Mandating lunch and breaks be spent at a distance or alone in vehicles
  • Banning the sharing of tools
  • Utilizing hand washing stations and posting instructions of proper handwashing
  • All job sites and vehicles are equipped with hand sanitizers, gloves, N95 masks and cleaning supplies
  • Using COVID-19 specific Tool Box Talks (FOUND BELOW)
  • Mandating full time face covering
  • Staggering trades by floors/days where possible – crews are 50% staffed to promote social distancing but extending production timelines
  • Employees carrying disinfectant wipes
  • Laying off employees that are uncomfortable working during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Using hand sanitizer on all equipment/lifts before & after use to avoid cross contamination
  • Mandating one person at a time in job box or per 100 sq ft of space
Essential Employee Verification Letter
With the New York PAUSE Act enforcing tighter restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees may need to provide evidence that they work for an essential business.

The Empire Chapter is providing this fillable template for members to provide to their employees in the event that they are asked for proof of employment with an essential business.
Best Practices for Members with COVID-19 Positive Employees
How to adapt to a positive case on the jobsite:
  • Shutting down and having the entire jobsite professionally cleaned and sterilized before reopening. For information on how to safely shut down a project, click the link below:
  • An open air bridge project is temporarily shut down for cleaning and sterilization and will resume in 2 weeks after a site visitor tested positive. For tips on how to safely shut down a site, either temporarily or permanently, click the link below:

When an employee contracts COVID-19 and recovers:
  • Workers that tested positive are kept off the jobsite for a 14-day period, required to be re-evaluated by a medical professional and provide written medical clearance prior to returning to work.
  • Until more information is provided by the CDC, one member company is not allowing any workers to return after a positive test, regardless of how much time has passed since diagnosis.

*90% of survey members have not had a positive case yet but plan to allow return to work after 14-day quarantine and note from doctor.
Empire Chapter Offers Supplemental Health and Safety Plan to Address Novel Coronavirus 
The personal safety and health of each employee is of primary importance. We believe that employees are our most important assets and that their safety at the worksite is our greatest responsibility. As such, the Empire Chapter is offering members a Supplemental Health and Safety Plan to address Novel Coronavirus  

How to Shut Down a Project
For guidance on shutting down a jobsite, please visit the links below:

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Empire Chapter Statewide Director of Safety, Craft Training, and Workforce Development, Jason Ashlaw at
ABC has assembled Emergency Preparedness and Response Resources to help our chapters and members quickly access state and federal agency websites that have the latest information and guidance. 

COVID-19 & Contractors: Navigating Workforce Issues in Uncertain Times
Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Description: Overview of what contractors who are working should do to protect their people and jobsites, and how to juggle the onslaught of new laws, regulations and Executive Orders in a way that minimizes legal exposure
Webinar Speaker, Russell McEwan:

Russell J. McEwan combines real world business experience, legal acumen and pragmatism to effectively manage labor and employment law issues faced by clients in a wide variety of industries, including the construction, manufacturing, retail, service, and transportation industries. His practice entails representation of clients in federal and state court litigation, before labor arbitrators, at the bargaining table, and before regulatory agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U. S. Department of Labor, and numerous state departments of labor.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m EDT
Length: 60 minutes
Speakers:  Anthony Huey, Reputation Management LLC

Moderator:  Mike Bellaman, ABC National

ABC Members Only
Join crisis communication expert and international keynote speaker Anthony Huey for this timely and energetic webinar that provides contractors with pragmatic insider tips on communicating clearly during the current coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Learn how to quickly and effectively communicate with critical audiences in a crisis, including owners, employees, subs, vendors, partners, the news media and more.

Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT
Length: 60 minutes
Speakers:  Maury Baskin, Littler Mendelson P.C.

ABC Members Only
Two major laws dealing with the COVID-19 virus, along with dozens of state and local orders, are severely affecting the construction industry. As of April 1, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandates new paid leave for employees, while the CARES Act offers federal stimulus to help employers retain their employees in the face of mounting layoffs. ABC general counsel Maury Baskin will describe the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board and state and local agencies to help contractors understand the new rules governing all construction workplaces.

Supplemental Unemployment Plans can provide compensation to employees beyond state unemployment insurance during lay off periods. SUB plans can help ease the financial stress of layoffs, generate peace of mind and worker loyalty, and offer significant tax advantages compared to severance pay.

To learn more, click here to listen to our podcast where we discuss how a SUB plan can be beneficial in such a difficult time.
With Stay at Home orders issued around the region, new federal regulations for paid family and sick leave, and the ongoing COVID19 state of emergency, contractors have numerous questions. ABC Heart of America Legal Counsel Denise Delcore, JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, a Shareholder at Polsinelli, will address some of the most pressing concerns and assist members in understanding the implications of the new orders on you and your business.

Speakers: Jack A. Callahan, CPA , CohnReznick LLP; Cristi Lewis, CPA, CohnReznick LLP

COVID-19 has thrown world markets into a tailspin, and it’s time for construction to reposition and survive. This session will help contractors of all sizes understand critical considerations, including contractual issues, cash flow and overhead management, as well as where to look for opportunities for well-positioned, well-capitalized companies.


Moderator:  Mike Bellaman, President and CEO, ABC National
 Speakers: Representatives from JLG, Southwire, Tradesmen International, United Rentals and Viewpoint
Hear from a panel of ABC’s strategic partners about how contractors and supply chain partners can collaborate with a win-win attitude to plan for and execute construction business continuity today, tomorrow and over the next few months as we battle COVID-19.

Moderator:  Mike Bellaman, President and CEO, ABC National
Speaker: Brian Robertson, Fringe Benefit Group 

Company owners and human resource managers will receive an overview of pressing employer regulatory and employee benefits issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and legislative response. Topics to be covered include special enrollment periods and well as premium grace periods for the fully insured, as well as self-funded group health plans and an overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice.
Cornerstone Training Institute
Offers Three Web Based
COVID-19 Training Courses
2 Hour COVID-19 Awareness
This brief awareness level training is geared for employees that will be returning to the workplace and will be responsible for light cleaning and disinfection in their work space. The objective of this course is to raise the awareness of COVID-19 with factual information and simple steps that employees can take to avoid spreading the disease within the workplace and spreading it home
$65/pp (group discounts always apply)
April 9 8:00am-10:00am
April 9 12:30pm- 2:30pm
April 10 8:00am-10:00am

4 Hour COVID-19 Disinfection Worker Certification
This half day session is geared toward janitorial, custodial, cleaning and remediation contractors and employees that are working diligently with the main focus of deep-cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and entire facilities. This training touches on Hazard Communications and Personal Protective Equipment, however, it is highly recommended that individuals that attend the class have some additional experience and training in a remediation field. This course isn't intended to meet and OSHA requirements.
$105/pp (group discounts always apply)
April 8 8:00am-12:00pm
April 9 12:30am- 4:30pm

8 Hour COVID-19 Disinfection Supervisor Certification
This in depth, full day interactive seminar is the perfect event for building & grounds managers, property managers, construction project managers, custodial managers, remediation managers, and many more. We will cover in depth, the importance for creating and implementing an effective cleaning and disinfection regimen. We will discuss the various classifications of exposure (per OSHA) and how to manage this within your facility. The program will discuss what situations you might consider bringing in a professional decontamination/disinfection contractor, such as if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace. The multitude of disinfection methods will be discussed in depth. We will also discuss a way to effectively communicate to all building occupants about the serious measure that the facility is taking.
$175 (group discounts always apply)
April 7 8:00am-3:30pm

Use Code: ABC2020
To register, call: 585-319-3625 email:
For an overview of Phase 3 of the COVID-19 CARES stimulus relief bill and how it effects you and your business, click here.

Highlights include:

• A $350 billion forgivable loan program designed to ensure that small businesses do not lay off employees
• A 50% refundable payroll tax credit on worker wages will further incentivize businesses, including ones with fewer than 500 employees, to retain workers
• Looser net operating loss-reduction rules that will allow businesses to offset more
• A delay in employer-side payroll taxes for Social Security until 2021 and 2022
• Sole proprietors and other self-employed workers could be eligible for the expanded unemployment-insurance benefits the bill provides
• A portion of the $425 billion in funds appropriated for the Federal Reserve’s credit facilities will target small businesses
New York Offers a Free Mental Health Hotline to Help with the Emotional Trauma of the Coronavirus
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of a free mental health hotline for New Yorkers. It is staffed by thousands of mental health professionals, all volunteers.

Anyone can call the hotline and schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for free. Callers to the hotline will hear an introduction to the "New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline," and then will be directed to a trained volunteer.

You can reach the hotline at 1-844-863-9314 .