June 10, 2020
MWFPA is closely monitoring changing news about COVID-19 and has created a resource page to assist food manufacturers and supply chain partners.

The MWFPA COVID-19 Update is Underwritten by Alliant Energy
Two months ago, the IMA and IRMA filed a lawsuit and blocked Governor Pritzker’s emergency rules that would have created a rebuttable presumption that the workplace was the cause of COVID-19 infections. It was estimated that these rules would have cost employers nearly $4.4 billion, more than doubling the cost of the system. Those roles made it nearly impossible for an employer to defend their business.
In response, the General Assembly negotiated a bill with the business community led by the IMA and IRMA and organized labor. That agreement was signed into law by the Governor on Friday afternoon as Public Act 101-633 .  While this new law allows all essential employees to receive a rebuttable presumption, it makes it far easier for employers to rebut those claims using an ordinary level of rebuttal. This means that an employer simply has to show “some evidence” that the employee could have contracted the virus elsewhere or that the employer engaged in best practices. The law and legislative intent includes the following provisions:
  1. All essential workers can receive the rebuttable presumption. Labor’s original proposal would have allowed all workers (not just essential workers) to get benefits.
  2. Employers can use the lowest standard (ordinary presumption) to rebut the rebuttable presumption. An employer simply has to show that they were following CDC or IDPH guidance and practices. Labor’s proposal sought to impose a “clear and convincing” standard that was included in the Governor’s rules.
  3. The employer’s experience modification will not change due to COVID.
  4. A home or residence is not the workplace.
  5. The presumption ends of December 31, 2020. Labor originally sought no end date.
  6. Employers receive a TTD offset for employees that were on paid leave or extended FMLA.
  7. The employee has to have been exposed and contracted the virus. Simple exposure does not qualify. Labor’s proposal, and the Governor’s rules, did not even require an employee to show that they had contracted the virus.
  8. Before June 15, an employee has to have a positive diagnosis or medical test; on or after June 16, a positive test is required. Again, the Governor’s rules and labor’s proposal did not require a positive diagnosis or test to get benefits.
There were three competing proposals on this table with this comparison chart showing all of the provisions and where the final negotiation landed and click here for a copy of the legislative intent that is now part of the official record.
While this is not a perfect law, it will make it far easier for businesses to defend claims and will be a very significant reduction in costs from the Governor’s emergency rules that were stopped in court. It was a difficult negotiation because lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were reticent to vote against benefits for nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and other workers during this public health crisis.

Source: Illinois Manufacturers Association


Hoarding cash during a pandemic might seem prudent, but America’s packaged food companies are finding it’s better to stock up on stuff they can sell.

Businesses are spending more on raw materials like oats and sugar so they can maintain production in case supply lines get disrupted or imports are held up.

Campbell Soup Co., the maker of Goldfish crackers and Pacific broths, is buying more ingredients amid a boom in demand for pantry staples. Bobo’s, a Boulder, Colorado-based producer of snack bars and toaster pastries, has stocked up on organic oats, sugar and coconut oil, Chief Executive Officer TJ McIntyre said in an interview.

“We just wanted to have an insurance plan for our business. If we ran out of oats, we’d be in trouble,” he said. “In a first-time situation like this pandemic, there’s a lot of questions we can’t answer.” MORE

Source: Financial Post
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to issues guidance to assist employees and employers maintain safe and healthy working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. We encourage you to regularly check CDC and OSHA websites for updated guidance. OSHA also frequently issues guidance tailored to specific industries. Read this memo from Hogan Lovells that summarizes all recent guidance from FDA and CDC to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently published guidance below:

Source: AFFI

The federal government will distribute non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) to support phased reopening of the Nation’s workplaces and restarting of the American economy.

Source: AFFI


MWFPA member PC Faceshields designed and manufactures disposable face shields in Wisconsin. The disposable Face Shields are easily assembled onto the headband for use, which provides comfort for lengthy all-day wear. Shields are designed to firmly stay in position during use, and allow for easy replacement as needed. The optically clear shields are equipped with anti-scratch masking that is to be removed prior to use.

Visit www.pcfaceshield.com to learn more .


Alliant Energy understands the uncertainty that many are facing during this time. Throughout the pandemic, the company continues to be a reliable partner for businesses and communities. In addition to offering support and assistance, Alliant Energy is committed to helping businesses and communities continue to grow.

Alliant Energy has an experienced economic development team that offers solutions for businesses to grow and attract new customers, including development-ready sites throughout communities in Wisconsin and Iowa.

Beaver Dam Commerce Park is one available site that is ideal for a large industrial company. Located in Beaver Dam just 35 minutes northeast of Madison, this 520-acre site is one of the largest available business properties in the state. The property sits in a prime location adjacent to U.S. Highway 151 with quick access to airports. 

The Beaver Dam area includes a good mix of food processing, printing, distributing and manufacturing businesses. Beaver Dam Commerce Park offers scalable opportunities for users of all sizes.

To learn more about Alliant Energy’s Economic Development options, visit alliantenergyeconomicdevelopment.com.
Midwest Food Products Association | Ph: (608) 255-9946 | Fax: (608) 255-9838
Web: www.mwfpa.org