Bipartisan Healthy Workplaces Act Introduced in House of Representatives

March 16, 2021 Bipartisan Healthy Workplaces Act Introduced in House of Representatives

ISSA, in coordination with its more than 50 coalition partners, thanks U.S. Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) for introducing Healthy Workplaces Act to provide a tax credit for critical expenses associated with protecting employees from COVID-19. This bipartisan, bicameral bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) (S. 537).

If enacted, the Healthy Workplaces Act would establish a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50% of an employer’s qualified employee protection expenses, including testing for COVID-19, protective personal equipment (PPE) and cleaning products or services, qualified workplace reconfiguration expenses, and qualified education and training expenses.

Businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals would all qualify for the tax credit. In each calendar quarter, qualified expenses are based on a sliding scale according to the average number of employees (Summary).

“The pandemic has led to a new standard of cleanliness as well as financial hardships for many organizations,” said John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs. “This tax credit will help businesses uphold cleanliness, protect employees, and restore the confidence of consumers.”

“Small businesses around the country are working to ensure that they are as clean and safe as possible for employees and customers alike. This tax credit can help alleviate some of the costs of this increased cleanliness and sanitation by making it easier for small businesses to hire commercial cleaning crews and purchase cleaning supplies and protective equipment. This policy will be a huge benefit to America’s 733,000 franchise small businesses and their more than 8 million employees,” said Matt Haller, International Franchise Association senior vice president of government relations and public affairs.

“Leading retailers continue to make significant investments in order to keep their employees, customers, and communities safe. These investments in physical stores, distribution centers and retail operations have allowed American families to have access to the products necessary for their families to adapt to our new circumstances,” said Michael Hanson, Retail Industry Leaders Association senior executive vice president. “Defraying some of these extensive costs as contemplated in the legislation introduced by Representatives Murphy, Panetta, Rice, and LaHood recognizes the important role retailers play in the nation’s fight against COVID-19.”  

“This type of federal support is exactly what is needed right now to provide businesses with the support they need to prioritize health and safety in their workplaces,” said Rachel Hodgdon, International WELL Building Institute president and CEO. “This is such a critical first step for getting our economy back up and running.”

For more information about the healthy and safe workplace tax credit and its supporting organizations, visit