Our Fight to be Included as an "Essential Business"

Many of our printer-members are trying to keep operating under the provision in the County Shelter-in-Place Orders that allows serving Essential Businesses. What the industry really need is to be included as an Essential Business, ourselves.

We have responded with a statewide effort. Along with our sister associations in Southern California and Northern California, we and our professional lobbyist, sent this letter to the State of California demanding that the list of Essential Businesses include print and print related services. We are also coordinating efforts with PIA, our national association, to affect changes nationally, since all states are now fighting this same battle to help our local government recognize the critical importance of print.
If you are active on social media, please help by sharing the graphic included below, contact us and we can provide the file and you can add your company logo. 

Business Relief and Support In San Diego 
To ensure the resiliency of local businesses and assist in job retention, the City of San Diego has established a Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF) to provide grants and forgivable or low- to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital. Visit the Economic Development Department Business Relief and Support page.
PIA Coordinates Fight to Save USPS
In another epic legislative effort, Printing Industries of America is battling to save the United States Postal Service. The COVID-19 slowdown of mail has created a gap in funding requiring a $15b appropriation from Congress to keep it going through the end of the year. Through PIA, we have set up an email campaign to Kamila Harris, who sits on the Homeland Security committee to encourage a yes vote. It takes only a minute to send an email to share your thoughts.
New Mandate Gives Workers New Paid Sick Leave Benefit
Effective April 1, 2020, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) or H.R. 6201, all small businesses in the country will be required to give employees two-weeks paid sick time related to COVID-19 causes. The law also provides up to ten-weeks off to care for a child whose school has closed for reasons related to the disease.

The Act lists specific COVID-19 reasons that would result in full pay or a 2/3rds of normal pay benefit, but in any case, the benefit is capped at $511 per week (about $26,500 per year).

The cost of providing this benefit will be reimbursed by the federal government with two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse employers, dollar-for-dollar. An explanation of how to get reimbursed through payroll is expected soon from the IRS.

California State law generally mandates at least one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked that typically works out to 10 days per year (two weeks) for a full-time employee.  It would appear taking the FFCRA benefit with government dollars first, up to the $511 cap, and then adding employer dollars to a person's full pay, would make sense and satisfy both requirements.
Please read these recently released documents: Fact Sheet for Employees, Fact Sheet for Employers, and Questions and Answers. 
New Labor Law Posters 
The Dept of Labor has just put up the links for the posters that must be posted in your workplace to give notice of the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  Here are the links:
For more info on HR issues regarding Coronavirus, click the button below.
COVID-19 Insurance Basics
A lot of members are asking these questions re: insurance coverage and the virus.
  • Business Interruption Insurance
    Most, if not all insurance policies do have business interruption coverage providing for loss of income, continuing expenses, and extra expense due to the suspension of operations. However, the suspension of operations must be caused by a covered cause of loss that results in direct physical loss of or damage to the covered property. Therefore, unfortunately, policies are not responding to losses from the Coronavirus. 
  • Workers Comp
    Generally, Workers Comp would cover the virus if it were contracted at work, however, this might prove impossible to prove.
  • Medical 
    Medical insurance (including disability coverage if available) is covered like any other illness. Click here for more.
  • Unemployment Insurance
    If an employee is laid off, they will be entitled to unemployment benefits. Currently, Congress is working on a substantial expansion of these benefits because of the virus emergency. View link here.
COVID-19 Sick Leave Basics
Members also have questions regarding employees' eligibility for sick leave. Here's the summary:
2 Weeks Paid Sick Leave
Who gets it?: People being tested, diagnosed, or treated for coronavirus OR people told to stay home because of exposure and symptoms.   
How Much?: That depends. There are variable rates, but payments are capped at $511 a day.    
2 Weeks Paid Leave For "Impacted" Workers
Who gets It?: Workers with family members affected by coronavirus.
How much?: Two-thirds of their pay, limited to $200 a day per person.
  10 Week Paid Family Leave
Who gets it?: Those whose children's schools have closed.  
How Much?: Two-thirds of their pay, limited to $200 a day per person. 
Free Webinars Provide Answers
Many associations, lawyers, and HR firms are providing free webinars on important COVID-19 topics. Here are some examples we've liked; most are recorded and can be accessed later. Many are reoccurring. We will post these to our COVID-19 Resource Page. If you hear of one you like or would like to share any COVID-19 resources you hear about, please email megan@piasd.org.  
If you have your commercial insurance with PIASD, you can access Think HR and we can help provide a log in for you.  If you don't, we'd like to work with you to move your commercial insurance (Workers Comp, property liability, commercial auto, etc.) and you can have the added benefit of access to Think HR. 
Best regards, stay safe, remain vigilant.  Our industry and nation will get through this!