Dear Empire Chapter Members,

As we continue to move forward through the effects the Coronavirus has had on construction, we have seen many new concepts being implemented on how work is performed and beyond. The efforts to keep our jobsites not only free of hazards, but also preventing viral contaminants, is at an all new high. 

It is imperative that construction continues, so we must do all things within our power to do so, while simultaneously creating an environment for the workforce that is considerate of the circumstances that could infect our workers. We have seen simple techniques like increasing hand washing stations and having workers keep a 10 foot distance from each other, to measures of onsite medics and total jobsite decontamination. Any and every technique deployed is a step further down the path of compliance as well as sending a message to the workforce that we value everyone’s health. Let’s continue to work together to defeat the idea that we are unable to create safe work environments in this age of viral warfare. 

Below are images and more suggestions to consider for you and your company moving forward. No idea is unworthy of consideration. All members of our companies and firms can contribute, because communicating these ideas together causes us all to rise. 

Stay healthy and stay safe.

Jason R. Ashlaw
Associated Builders and Contractors
Empire State
Statewide Director of Safety, Craft Training, and Workforce Development
What ideas has your company developed? 
Let us know and we can all stay ABC Merit Shop Strong.

  • Stagger crew arrival/departure times to prevent all workers showing up at the jobsite at the same time
  • Create a “Fit for Duty” protocol to screen workers health as they return to duty
  • Develop a Questionnaire asking about any health concerns
  • Have you had a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, etc. recently
  • Do not allow visitors to a jobsite unless the visit is purpose driven to control unnecessary quantities of people on a jobsite.
  • Develop new work techniques that do not allow workers to work over or under each other
  • Maximize technology for communication purposes to reduce onsite people and jobsite traffic
  • Zoom, Facetime, Text, Email, Phone conference, etc.
Date: Friday, March 27, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM

With Stay at Home orders issued around the region, new federal regulations for paid family and sick leave, and the ongoing COVID19 state of emergency, contractors have numerous questions. ABC Heart of America Legal Counsel Denise Delcore, JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, a Shareholder at Polsinelli, will address some of the most pressing concerns and assist members in understanding the implications of the new orders on you and your business.
 
This webinar is free to ABC Member Executives and their team. Please click below to register. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with all the details you need to join the webinar.
 
Please call Tanner Schmidt if you have any questions, (585) 730-1814. 



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.


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.

*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.

*Hosted by Littler Mendelson P.C., ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin's firm*

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.

COVID-19 Federal Emergency Aid Package Update
 
Late Wednesday night, the Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus package. The House is due to vote on the bill on Friday  before it reaches the President's desk. Since several House members  have tested positive for Coronavirus , leading lawmakers are pushing for a voice vote, which would avoid forcing all members to return to Washington for a roll call vote. 

What's actually in the package ? The bill would send $1,200 checks to every American adult who makes less than $75,000 and $500 for every child. Higher income levels will receive reduced checks. However, Americans who make more than $99,000 will not get cash assistance. Retirees qualify for the money, which will be sent to Americans via direct deposit or mailed check. Student loan payments would be suspended through September. The airline industry would get billions in support, as would hospitals.  The arts would get a little help, too , with $100 million in relief.  The bill will also create a $150 billion relief fund for state and local governments with $5.1 billion to New York state. Governor Cuomo said $1.3 billion of that will go to New York City, while the remaining $3.8 billion will support the rest of New York state.

The package isn’t sitting well with Governor Cuomo, who blasted it as “terrible” and a “drop in the bucket.” The Governor’s reaction prompted Sen. Chuck Schumer to respond, saying Cuomo was wrong. 
Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New York small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on March 17, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of New York.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela . Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (1) 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For complete details on SBA, visit www.sba.gov .


FAQs FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A BUSINESS IS SUBJECT TO A WORKFORCE REDUCTION UNDER RECENT EXECUTIVE ORDER ENACTED TO ADDRESS COVID-19 OUTBREAK

In an effort to provide clarity regarding Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” Empire State Development has issued the following bulletin with frequently asked questions. This bulletin has been and will continue to be updated frequently, as questions or concerns arise.
 
New York Offers a Free Mental Health Hotline to Help with the Emotional Trauma of the Coronavirus
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of a free mental health hotline for New Yorkers. It is staffed by over 6,000 mental health professionals, all volunteers.

Anyone can call the hotline and schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for free. Callers to the hotline will hear an introduction to the "New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline," and then will be directed to a trained volunteer.

You can reach the hotline at 1-844-863-9314 .
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 record keeping 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.