“You know, people talk about this being an uncertain time. All time is uncertain. I mean, it was uncertain back in 2007, we just didn’t know it was uncertain. It was uncertain on September 10th, 2001. It was uncertain on October 18th, 1987, you just didn’t know it.” (Warren Buffett) 

Think back to the economic forum we had with the Concrete Coalition just a few months ago. It was very positive. I don’t think anyone left the resort that day feeling uncertain about 2020. However, times were uncertain, we just had no idea. Our 2020 convention is cancelled. Our meetings for the near future are cancelled. I could never have dreamed this scenario up. 

One thing is certain. FICAP is going to continue to work to protect our members and protect our industry. FICAP, FC&PA, our lobbyist Dave Ramba, the home builders and many more banded together to fight for our industry to be deemed essential. That was a huge win for all of us. I can only imagine how many businesses are going to disappear because they did not get that designation.
The FICAP website has become a bastion of information in this storm. Log in and check out both the forum and the news. We have loads of information to help our members navigate the constantly changing regulations, government rulings, and available assistance. It is also a great place to communicate with other members during this shutdown. You are able to post your own topics and news items to help your fellow members. We will continue to monitor the information and news and pass it on. 

As we have seen in this crisis, our Political Committee has become paramount to our association. Thank you Wade and Adell. The relationships developed there and the insight we have gained really helps our members in times like these. Don’t forget the PC raffle. It is going to be harder for us to sell the tickets as we are going to have less events. Please consider contacting the FICAP office to get tickets sent to you to sell. They are also available for direct purchase on the website. This is a major fundraiser for the PC, and the PC is going to need this income to keep protecting your interests. 

FICAP is an incredibly knowledgeable, resourceful, helpful organization. If you or your company need any assistance, don’t hesitate to call another member, myself or Michele. Or, simply post a question on the website forum. These are the times that makes FICAP shine and so important to all of us. 

I can’t wait to see you all at the next meeting. 

Mark Smith
President, FICAP
Owner, Bell Concrete Products
PC Raffle Tickets on Sale

We're moving forward with our political
committee raffle and hope you plan to
join us. Additional information available
through our website .

Consistency is Key

As things settle into a somewhat normal routine, the mantra I’m hearing is consistency is key . Last Friday I joined a webinar by a law firm sharing insight and wisdom into employee relations during COVID.

My first take away is this…employees are people. It helps that the moderator said it at least 20 different times during the 2 hour webinar and he stressed that we should remember employees are people, and they share the same fears and concerns, they’re watching the same news, and they are struggling with the reality of COVID.

All speakers shared the same belief that the first lawsuits to emerge in post COVID will relate to discrimination; wage and hour claims, are you testing all visitors/employees temperature, etc. Everything we’re doing will have consequences and they advise us to stay consistent. 

Time was spent discussing workers compensation in relation to COVID. It is their belief that transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace could be a workers’ compensation covered event. It is the firms recommendation that a prudent employer would provide the workers compensation forms to any employee claiming they caught COVID-19 at work and then report the injury to the insurance company. The reason is to preserve coverage. The burden is on the employee to prove their illness is related to work and the firm believes you should let the insurance company fight it out with the employee. Of course they issued a disclaimer: Seek legal counsel and work with your personal attorney and your insurance company to establish a policy…and be consistent.

I mentioned temperature checks above. In normal times, this is a huge no-no, but these are not normal times. Employers may check temperatures and you may ask if the employee lost their sense of smell. Be consistent. Everyone gets tested and everyone is asked. If someone refuses to have their temperature tested, you don’t allow them on the site. You must pay employees while they wait in line to have their temperature tested and to ask any questions related to COVID.

This one surprised me. You must reimburse employees working from home for their expenses, including a portion of their rent/mortgage, electricity, internet, etc. Most businesses are offering a flat fee to cover reasonable business expenses while working from home. Again they stressed, consistency is key.

The last item I will share from the webinar relates to unemployment. A few have heard from employees that they would make more from unemployment so they quit. According to this firm, the Department of Labor will not accept that as a claim; they’re simply not allowed to say that. However, as overwhelmed and overburdened as the DOL is right now, chances are great some will get through. They wrapped up this section of the program with a discussion on furloughing employees. The moderator talked about the fact that they are not numbers or just employees, but people. He shared a firm who planned to furlough their staff reached out to the State unemployment office and pre-qualified all workers, then they distributed the unemployment forms to all 1600 people to make the process easier on them. That’s class.

There are so many resources available. We’ve tried to post as many as possible on the website. If there’s something you would like to share with anyone visiting the FICAP website, log in and post the news story under News . If you would like to start a conversation with FICAP members, log into the website and post the topic in our members forum. This is an awesome time to visit the website and get familiar with the resources available to you. If you've never spent time in the site and would like to get familiar with what's available to you, please watch this video . It's missing info for the forum and the news feed (which are recent), but it does help you understand the various links. If you need assistance, please don't hesitate to call or ask.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces again.
Michele White
Director, FICAP
Concrete Room Saves Family

With a tornado bearing down on their rural home,
Andrew Phillips told his wife to grab their two children
and get into the safest place they had: A small room
built from concrete blocks.
FDOT to Fast Track I-4 Rescontruction,
Other State Projects Read More
FDOT Accelerates Critical Infrastructure Projects Valued at 2.1 Billion Read More
Housing Isn't As Doomed As It May Seem

Opening Up America Again
Political Corner

With active campaigning on hold, there's certainly no face to face activity, but once things settle down, candidates will need our help, both with promotion and finances. We will keep you posted on a regular basis and will schedule some visits with a few of our favorites.

DOL Updates

SBA Releases 2 Interim Final Rules Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program effective April 15, 2020.

1st Rule - General Description & Regulations

2nd Rule - General Guidance

FICAP Events

It's true. We've cancelled all FICAP events through to the end of August, including the Annual Convention. We're disappointed too, but know it was the right call. If you made a room reservation, Longboat will honor our reduced rate or they will allow you to cancel. It's your choice. If you need help with this, please let Michele know.
Click on the beach picture below for a beautiful
slideshow of Florida. We live in a wonderful place.