VICTORY! Printers & Packagers Added to CISA Essential Workforce Guidance
Printers and packagers have now been specifically included as essential workers in the updated  Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce  by the United States Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) released this afternoon.
Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the affiliates petitioned the agency to recognize printing and packaging's essential nature along with the myriad of printed materials necessary to support the nation's other critical infrastructure sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key elements used in the lobbying was an infographic (see below)  showing print's essential nature at the core of other essential industries that are at the bedrock of American infrastructure. PIA utilized the below infographic to assist in persuading the DHS to update the CISA guidelines to include PRINT.
Essential Employee/Business Letters
PIASD has a letter template can be used and given to your employees to keep with them when traveling to and from work. Include your logo or put on your letterhead, and list the specific things that your company does that are reflected in the CISA guidelines as justification for remaining open.
More COVID-19 resources can be found on our website.  
Check on Status of IRS Economic Impact Payment
As a part of the stimulus package, individuals are eligible for payment up to $1,200 per person from the federal government. To check on the status of this payment and/or input updated direct deposit or mailing information, visit the IRS website at the link below.   
PPP Loans Extremely Popular with Members
Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans are hugely popular with our members. Our recent Flash Poll results show that 55 percent of you have applied or are in the process of applying.
These loans turn into grants if you maintain your payroll during the two months leading up to June 1.

Many loans have been approved by the SBA through banks and approved lenders, but we've been told that few have yet seen the funds.

The SBA says they've approved loans totaling over $200B of the $359B approved by Congress. They predict this initial funding will run out this week.

The good news is our national government affairs staff predict another $200B in funding is likely. Senate Republicans will try again.

New PPP loan provisions clarify details around 1099 workers, loan terms, and an American-made commitment requirement.
Advocate for Additional Paycheck Protection Program Funding
As of April 16, the Paycheck Protection Program is now out of congressionally-authorized funds and new applications are now no longer being accepted by financial institutions. PIASD and its partners are strongly urging Congressional leaders to authorize additional funding for this critical program. Too many small businesses are short on time and money, and can't afford a delay in any more funds being appropriated to the program.
Your members of Congress needs to hear directly from businesses and their employees. Use this tool to send a pre-written message to your members of Congress. You can also share it with your employees, colleagues and friends. The louder the voice of small businesses (particularly in the manufacturing realm), the sooner Congress will act. 
OSHA Won't Require COVID-19 Cases to Be Recorded
Federal OSHA announced on April 13 that it won't be enforcing COVID-19 recordkeeping requirements.
The announcement reverses an earlier decision requiring that transmission of the virus in the workplace, unlike the flu or common cold, would be considered a recordable injury for the sake of OSHA reporting.
The agency said it would only require the reporting of COVID-19 cases for non-frontline employers if there was objective evidence that a case may be work-related without an alternative explanation and the evidence was reasonably evident to the employer.
It said the new order would allow companies to "focus on implementing good hygiene practices rather than "making difficult work-relatedness decisions."
Some employers are still required to record COVID-19 cases among their staff, including health care entities, emergency response outfits and correctional institutions.
OSHA Complaints Rise
The change comes as OSHA is flooded with COVID-19 complaints from workers reporting safety breaches in relation to the pandemic, across a range of industries and regions of the country.
Employment law attorneys say that shortly after the outbreak got a foothold in the U.S., OSHA started receiving complaints and began sending letters to employers telling them to respond by a certain time. But the agency has seen such a flood of complaints that the letters no longer require a response, and instead direct businesses to OSHA guidance and resources on how to address COVID-19 risk in the workplace.
The federal agency has received thousands of inquiries regarding COVID-19. And individual state OSHAs also report a spike in COVID-19 complaints by workers against their employers. Most are from health care workers, but others are from workers in other essential industries like grocery stores, warehouses, delivery operators, and more.
But while Fed OSHA may not be requiring employers to respond to complaints concerning coronavirus safety complaints, many state plans are in fact requiring employers to provide in-depth responses - and some are actively investigating complaints.
What Employers Should Do
If you have employees who are not working from home and are being exposed to the coronavirus to some degree while at work, you should have in place a plan to reduce the possibility of exposure. Your controls could include:
  •    Shields around workspaces or workers.
  •    Requiring the use of face masks and surgical gloves.
  •    Placing sanitizing gel in strategic locations in the workplace.
  •    Using personal protective equipment.
  •    Spacing personnel apart from each other to ensure appropriate distancing.
  •    Staggering work shifts.
  •    Frequently wiping down high-touch areas with an alcohol-type solution.
The key to protecting your workers and being able to provide a defense should OSHA conduct a workplace investigation is to show that you did all you could to mitigate hazards to your employees.
There are no guidelines for COVID-19 in OSHA's regulations currently, but its General Duty Clause requires that you take appropriate precautions to protect your workers.

COVID-19 Webinar
The Path Forward for the Economy + Print Markets 
Thursday, April 23  I  11am-12pm  I  Members: FREE   
COVID-19 has severely disrupted the economy and print markets. This webinar examines current trends in the economy and analyzes the impact on the economy and print over the next 12 months.
You Will Learn:
  • How deep will the recession be?
  • How long will the recession last?
  • What will be the impact on print sales?
  • What will happen to printers' profits?
  • Will there be longer-term disruptions and shifts in print demand and printer operations?
Who Should Attend:
  • Owners
  • CEOs
  • CFOs
  • Upper-level managers
Webinar Presenters
Dr. Ronnie H. Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Printing Industries of America
David Wilaj, MA, Economist, Printing Industries of America