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Coronavirus Government Response Update—Paid Leave Virtual Town Hall

March 23, 2020

Welcome to the new 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 ISSA participating in a paid leave virtual town hall, high-stakes negotiations beginning on a US$1 trillion economic rescue, and more.

ISSA Participated in Paid Leave Virtual Town Hall
ISSA participated in a paid leave virtual town hall hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The department will administer the paid family and sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law on March 18. The following are salient points from the town hall for ISSA members:

  • Relevant regulations will go into effect no later than 15 days after FFCRA enactment and will sunset December 31, 2020
  • Exemptions for small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) will be available for both emergency leave and sick leave requirements pending DOL regulations
  • DOL will authorize exemptions to small businesses if implementing the emergency leave and sick leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business
  • Sick leave requirements apply to both full- and part-time workers
  • Several townhall participants asked how small businesses should demonstrate that the requirements would jeopardize the viability of their business. DOL will incorporate the answer to this question and others raised during the town hall into subsequent regulations and guidance.

High-stakes Negotiations Begin on $1T Economic Rescue
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump administration officials descended Friday on Capitol Hill to launch high-stakes negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats racing to draft a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package amid the coronavirus outbreak. The closed-door convening is the biggest effort yet from the federal government to shore up households and the U.S. economy as the pandemic and its nationwide shutdown hurtles the country toward a likely recession. Mnuchin wants Congress to vote by Monday.

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