GPCA Bug Bytes
By Connie Rogers
March 23, 2020
In this issue: Essential Services and FREE Webinars
Heather Gooch |  March 20, 2020

On March 19, the  U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)  director, Christopher Krebs, published a “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” that confirms pest control is an essential industry during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The memo can be viewed as a PDF  here .

In an email to members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), which has set up an online resource at  PestControlCoronavirus.com , NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf, CMP, CAE, noted that “This document classifies our industry as essential, which is an important step should the Federal Government issue a shelter-in-place mandate.”
Pest management professionals, among other service providers,  made a Yahoo News list  of what services may be considered essential, according to various governments including San Francisco, Calif., Miami, Fla., and New York state.

The NPMA also has been closely following the paid leave bill President Donald Trump signed into law this week. A stimulus package is expected to be discussed in Congress next week, “collectively pushing proposed funding to fight COVID-19 over $1 trillion,” according to the NPMA.

In another email to members, the association breaks down several features of the new law and its possible impact on pest management firms as follows. The information can also be found  here :
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) changes are available if an employee has worked 30 calendar days with your company. Sick leave is available immediately. These programs are for companies with 500 employees or less, except for several possible exceptions noted for businesses either under 50 or under 25 employees.
Paid leave is now available only for if they are caring for a child or another dependent because of a school or care facility closing and are unable to work or telework as a result. Payment is $200/day or $2,000 in the aggregate.

The bill also grants the Department of Labor the ability to provide an exemption for businesses with 50 or less employees who find allowing employees off work to care for a sick child or dependent would jeopardize the business.

Paid sick leave available to employees will be limited to $511/day or $5,111 in the aggregate if the employee is home due to his/her own isolation/quarantine. Employers may require “reasonable notice” from an employee after the employee has triggered paid sick leave under this section. Should an employee’s hours vary from week to week, the bill sets out a formula to determine at what rate the employee shall be compensated. The bill outlines an exception for employers with less than 25 employees if the employee’s job no longer exists due to the coronavirus pandemic, which requires employers to make reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position over a one-year period.
Looking for Hours?

FREE UGA Webinars
 
To help facilitate CEU acquisition for Georgia Pest Management Professionals, the University of Georgia is offering two free webinars. On Thursday, April 2 from 2 to 5 PM UGA will host a 3-hour webinar for operators needing WDO hours. On Friday, April 3 from 2 to 5 PM UGA will host a second, 3-hour webinar for operators needing HPC hours. If you want to attend both, you must register for both. The Registration links are below:
 
WDO Webinar Registration (April 2, 2-5 PM): https://specialgtbopwebinar0402.eventbrite.com
HPC Webinar Registration (April 3, 2-5 PM): https://specialgtbopwebinar0403.eventbrite.com
 
Sign In Sheet for Both Webinars (everyone must sign in): https://gtbop.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Sign-In-Sheet-Structural.pdf
 
Companies may do group registrations, where more than one office from the same company may register and have employees watch and receive credit. To arrange for this, contact Ms. Beth Horne at bhorne@uga.edu .
 
Everyone watching the webinar, and wanting CEUs, must sign the sign in sheet and return it to Ms. Beth Horne at gtbop@uga.edu as soon as the webinar is finished.
 
Hope you are all well and stay safe.
 
Dan Suiter and the Center for Urban Ag Webinar Team