NIA Informs
COVID-19 Information for the Insulation Industry. Click here to read the latest online.
April 1, 2020
We Need Your Input for a Quick 2-Minute Survey
Last Day to Make a Difference!
To help ensure that local, state, and federal governments do not take actions without considering the insulation industry, NIA has partnered with several insulation industry organizations. To better represent your needs, we ask you to take 2 minutes to complete an anonymous survey. Please note that this survey is going to a broad industry audience, so as a NIA Contractor member, please answer the questions from a commercial and industrial perspective. We know you have incredible demands on your time and we appreciate your input.

Action: Write a Letter to Congress
NIA has been advocating for the insulation industry on your behalf. If you would also like to advocate for yourself, we have drafted a letter for you to personalize and send to your members of Congress. Insulation is a critical product to a construction industry that is essential to the economic health of the U.S. and the safety of its citizenry, and Congress needs to hear from you. Click here to download a letter to personalize.

Click here to read the letter our insulation industry council sent last week. We will keep fighting and will keep you posted on any new developments.
Legal Update for April 1
Important Update on Furloughs, Closures, and Employee Leave Eligibility after April 1 from NIA Legal Counsel, Gary Auman, Auman, Mahan & Furry:

We actually have 2 pieces of good news to report to employers. First, the U.S. Department of Labor has now clarified that an employee who is furloughed/laid off due to lack of work on or after April 1 will not continue to be eligible to receive paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The employee’s remedy after furlough/lay off will be limited to unemployment benefits, and the employer will only be responsible for paying federal leave the employee used before the furlough/lay off. Second, the DOL has also clarified that if an employee’s worksite is closed (whether due to lack of business or pursuant to a federal, state, or local government directive), even if the closure is only short term, the employee will not be eligible for federal leave after the closure. Here again, the employee will be limited to unemployment benefits, and the employer is only responsible for paying federal leave the employee used before the worksite closure.

These clarifications are important for employers who were justified in thinking that they needed to make many all-or-nothing decisions prior to April 1. Now, according to the DOL, even if employers elect to retain employees and not close their worksite(s) by the time April 1 is here, they will not be responsible for paying the full leave (i.e., 80 hours paid sick leave or 12 weeks expanded family and medical leave) if they later decide to furlough/lay off employees for lack of work or close. These clarifications show that the DOL is strictly interpreting the language in the Act, as opposed to the more liberal interpretations we normally see from the DOL. As with all furlough/lay off decisions, employers still need to have nondiscriminatory business reasons why they selected certain employees and not others, if some employees will be retained. Therefore, we recommend consulting labor and employment counsel prior to making any furlough/lay off decisions.

The DOL is continuing to update its Q&A page regarding new federal leave under the Act, which is the source of the clarifications above and now had 37 Q&As as of March 27. Some of the newest Q&As also provide important clarification regarding whether leave under the Act can be used on an intermittent basis – i.e., not all at once. Generally, the answer is that only leave for certain purposes can be used intermittently, and even then only if approved by the employer. The DOL’s Q&A page can be found here.

Continue to look for updates from us and consider periodically checking the DOL’s Q&A for updates on these and other issues related to the Act while we wait for formal regulations. More information to come!
COVID-19 Call with Legal Counsel for NIA Member Companies
Auman, Mahan & Furry is offering a free 30-minute call on COVID-19 during April for NIA member companies. For more information, contact Auman, Mahan & Furry’s Labor and Employment Group at 937-223-6003.
Where to Find the Latest Resources
NIA is curating the information and resources we send to members on our website, including legal updates, article resources, calls to action, and more. Please click here to find the latest updates.
We thank you for your ongoing commitment to NIA. Please take care of yourself, your family, and your business. If we can be of service to you and your business during this time, please contact NIA at niainfo@insulation.org .