Good Morning Empire Chapter Members,

Much like our recent communications, this Merit Messenger will be dedicated to the evolving COVID-19 public health crisis, as it relates to the construction industry.

Unfortunately, lawmakers are using this crisis as an opportunity to expand the state’s costly prevailing wage mandate. With so much economic uncertainty, now more than ever, we need our leaders in Albany to protect jobs and support businesses any way they can.

That's why we need you to reach out to your elected officials through our new Voter Voice campaign.


Your participation is critical in helping protect and strengthen the merit shop. Please share this link with your friends, family and employees and ask them to contact their legislators to oppose efforts to expand prevailing wage to private work. 




Brian Sampson, President
Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter
Never miss a merit shop call to action by downloading the ABC Action App
*Hosted by Littler Mendelson P.C., ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin's firm*

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Time: 12 p.m. EDT
Length: 90 minutes
Speakers:  Alexis C. Knapp, Littler Mendelson P.C; Jeff Nowak, Littler Mendelson P.C; Jim A. Paretti, Jr., Littler Mendelson P.C

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which aims to provide initial relief to American workers of certain covered employers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This new law requires covered employers to offer emergency paid leave in the form of a new mandatory paid sick leave benefit and expanded paid leave under the FMLA.
Targeted for an effective date of April 2, 2020, this new law raises just as many questions as answers. The speakers will offer an analysis of the new FMLA and paid sick leave provisions of the law and deliver practical counsel for employers navigating the requirements of the law.


Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Time: 3 p.m. EDT
Length: 60 minutes
Speakers: Mike Bellaman, ABC National, Joel Pickering, Lend Lease; Frank Trujillo, Miller & Long; Jorge Vasquez, Marek; Steve Wiltshire, ABC National (Moderator: Greg Sizemore, ABC National)

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION
ABC Members Only
ABC National Safety and Health Committee members discuss proactive approaches and share best practices employers and employees can implement to maintain a safe and healthy jobsite during the coronavirus pandemic.


Date:Thursday, March 26, 2020
Time: 3 p.m. EDT
Length: 60 minutes
Speakers: David Chapin, Willmar Electric Service; Chuck Goodrich, Gaylor Electric; Mike Holland, Marek; Brett McMahon, Miller and Long (Moderator: Mike Bellaman, ABC National)

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION
ABC Members Only

Hear how leaders from ABC’s Top Performers list are leading their organization, addressing employee and jobsite health and safety challenges and managing their client concerns related to coronavirus.

*The recording is available to ABC members in management positions on the  Academy site *

Length: 60 minutes
Speakers:  Maury Baskin, Littler Mendelson P.C.; Brad Hammock, Littler Mendelson P.C.
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION
ABC Members Only
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and we are already hearing about construction employees testing positive on jobsites. Join ABC general counsel Maury Baskin and ABC OSHA counsel Brad Hammock for a webinar providing guidance to ABC members and chapter staff on employer and employee responsibilities as well as OSHA reporting and recording.

*The recording is available to ABC members in management positions on the  Academy site *

Length:60 minutes
Speakers:  Anirban Basu, ABC Chief Economist
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION
ABC Members Only
Get the latest data on the spread of COVID-19, market responses and economic consequences from ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

*The recording is available to ABC members in management positions on the  Academy site *

Length: 60 minutes
Speakers:  Aron Beezley, Bradley; James Collura, Bradley; David Pugh, Bradley
WEBINAR DESCRIPTION
ABC Members Only
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and we are already hearing of employees testing positive on projects across America. Do you know what the impact of COVID-19 is on your contracts? Join David Pugh, partner at Bradley, for a webinar providing guidance to ABC members and chapter staff on the impact of coronavirus on contracts.

EFFECTIVE TODAY:
NYC Department of Buildings Stops I n-Person Appointments
Beginning today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, there will be no in-person appointments with New York City Department of Buildings plan examiners.  NYC DOB are continuing to reduce in-person interactions between industry professionals and Department personnel in response to the COVID-19 Virus. Please see the bulletins below for more guidance.

COVID-19 Emergency Aid Package: ACTION NEEDED – CALL YOUR U.S. SENATORS
 
On Sunday night and again Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats blocked a procedural motion to continue to the bill that would carry the Senate's Phase Three CARES Act legislation. The bill would provide approximately $350 billion in small business interruption loans and contains tax provisions to delay payments and assist businesses through this crisis.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who negotiated the Phase Two deal with Speaker Pelosi last week, continues to work with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a deal and Senate Majority Leader has committed to remaining in session until a deal is passed. Speaker Pelosi has also proposed her own, 1000+ page bill to address the crisis, though many see it is an unserious proposal and are hoping to modify the Senate legislation for passage.

Many Democrats have publicly stated support for including provisions in the bill that would limit executive compensation, prevent stock buybacks, ensure employee retention, beef up transparency measures, and check the wide discretion of Treasury Secretary in the legislation. Expanding leave and sick time benefits have also been a common refrain from Democrats as negotiations continue. Bipartisan negotiations will continue today on the coronavirus relief bill.

Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act
 
Last Wednesday, the President signed into law H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill would require businesses with 500  and fewer  employees to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave. An overview of the bill’s employer paid leave requirements from the House Ways and Means Committee can be found here and an explainer from ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson P.C. can be found here .
OSHA Recording and Reporting of
Cases of COVID-19
 
Many employers are now asking whether they must record cases of COVID-19 on their Occupational Safety and Health Administration 300 Logs or report the cases to OSHA.

As a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, ABC sent a letter to OSHA regarding the agency’s recordkeeping and respirator enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak. We will update members when a response is received.
 
ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson P.C. has written an article that covers the following questions:
  • Is COVID-19 Considered an “Illness” Under OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rules?
  • When Is a COVID-19 Case Considered Recordable?
  • When Is a COVID-19 Case Reportable?
 
Read the Littler analysis   here .
 
Additional information can be found on the   OSHA webpage .
 
See also ABC’s Coronavirus Update webpage.