Coronavirus Government Response Update—Department of Labor Publishes More Guidance

March 30, 2020

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on additional U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance regarding paid leave, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updating its guidance on essential workers, U.S. President Donald Trump planning a three-month tariff suspension, and more.

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes More Guidance
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when the law takes effect on April 1. The new guidance includes questions and answers addressing critical issues such as how to qualify for the small business exemption, what documents employees can be required to submit to their employers to use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, whether workers can take paid sick leave intermittently while teleworking, and whether workers whose employers closed before the effective date of the FFCRA can still get paid sick leave.

CISA Updates Guidance on Essential Workers
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. As more states issue their own stay-at-home orders or other actions to fight the spread of COVID-19, this guidance is meant to help state and local officials determine how to protect their communities, while also ensuring the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure. After CISA released its first memorandum on critical infrastructure, ISSA worked with the agency to ensure the full spectrum of the cleaning industry was sufficiently represented in the guidance, including adding a “Hygiene Products and Services” section, as our industry continues to deliver critical supplies and provide critical services across the nation during these uncertain times.

Trump Plans Three-Month Suspension of Import-Tariff Collection
The Trump administration is preparing to suspend collection of import tariffs for three months to give U.S. companies financial relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to administration officials. “Customs duties will be suspended for three months,” a senior administration official said. Companies would still be liable for the tariffs at a later date, which hadn’t been determined, another official said. Officials said there would be no formal changes to tariff policy. ISSA has been pushing the administration for tariff relief.

Trump Signs Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus
President Trump signed into law a US$2 trillion stimulus package as the American public and the U.S. economy fight the devastating spread of COVID-19. The far-reaching legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history. It represents a massive financial injection into a struggling economy with provisions aimed at helping American workers, small businesses, and industries grappling with the economic disruption.

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