ISSA Seeking Broad Application of Small Business Exemptions

March 31, 2020

On March 30, ISSA sent a letter  to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Eugene Scalia, urging the department to apply as broadly as possible the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) exemptions for small businesses.

The full spectrum of the cleaning industry is fulfilling its important role in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. For the industry to continue to do so, there is an acute need for guidance from the DOL on how new requirements imposed on the industry, particularly on smaller building service contractors and residential cleaners, by the FFCRA will be implemented.

“As these regulations are considered, we urge you…to ensure that the exemption for small businesses—demonstrating that complying with the paid leave requirements of the act will jeopardize the viability of the business—be applied as broadly and as least burdensome as possible,” wrote John H. Barrett, ISSA Executive Director. “Employers with fewer than 50 employees, like many of our building service contractor and residential cleaning members, have been particularly hard-hit by this health crisis and the subsequent, mandated stay-at-home orders now in place across the country. Many of these small businesses lack the necessary liquidity to comply with the act’s paid leave requirements.”

ISSA is working diligently to support the full spectrum of the cleaning industry, in the United States as well as worldwide, during this COVID-19 emergency. The association launched an advocacy campaign to urge elected officials to recognize the cleaning industry supply chain as essential. ISSA also created the Coronavirus Government Response Update to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the pandemic. Additionally, ISSA is analyzing and engaging with lawmakers on federal legislation related to the current emergency and continues to be in discussions with federal, state, and local policymakers about the essential need for keeping the cleaning supply chain open during this crisis. Stay up to date on our ongoing advocacy efforts by becoming an “Advocate for Clean” today.

For questions regarding ISSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact John Nothdurft, ISSA’s Director of Government Affairs, at

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