Each Thursday, we are offering a free weekly business and industry-related discussion forum for contractors, via Zoom. These forums will be hosted by Arcade Wayfinding and ABC of Western Washington and will be focused on addressing current challenges facing contractors (with a special initial focus on the COVID-19 pandemic). You may register for upcoming forums by visiting our event page.
Missed a session? Watch any time. The following links will take you to recordings and available related resources from previous sessions:
Andrew Cates, Moss Adams
Terry Polyak, Insperity
Jason Jocson, BBSI
Karen Forner, K-Solutions Law
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Important Clarification Regarding Gov. Inslee's Stay Healthy, Stay Home Order 25-20
On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Stay Healthy, Stay Home Order 25-20 clarifying that construction is NOT considered essential, other than exceptions for limited circumstances.
We are advising construction companies to:
We urge our members to ensure that they are FULLY compliant with standard health and safety regulations along with the COVID-19 specific notices provided by WA DOH, CDC, and local jurisdictions. There will be efforts from various sources to identify non-compliance, which could involve financial consequences and having your projects shut down if job sites are anything less than 100% compliant.
If you do not feel that you can operate under these guidelines and achieve full compliance, it may be advisable to shut your operations down until you’re able to comply or the Governor issues new directives.
Enforcement of Policies
Please Adhere to State Guidelines for the Safety and Well-being of Your Employees
Who is still allowed to work?
Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)
Families First Coronavirus Response Act—DOL Resources
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):
Washington State Department of Health (DOH)
Employment Security Department
King County Public Health
King County Public Health General Information Page.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Other Misc Resources
Essential Work Templates
Although law enforcement is not currently requiring workers to carry proof that they're commuting to/from essential construction work we created a letter template for your employees to use when traveling to and from work. You may modify this template to fit your own letterhead. If you do not have .PDF editing software you can simply copy the text from the letter, into your own document:
We know that the Governor's Order raises many questions, and we're working with industry partners and trade unions to clarify how the Order applies to the industry. Please direct questions to Andy Kaplowitz, Vice President of Government Affairs.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans are now available. Visit their site to learn how you may qualify.
Coronavirus Emergency Relief Legislation:
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion bill that will provide relief to states and enhance federal assistance programs to address the ongoing health crisis. The U.S. House is expected to take up the measure on Friday. The legislation would send $1,200 checks to many Americans under a certain income threshold, create a $350 billion loan program for small businesses, and establish a $500 billion lending fund for industries, cities and states. Other provisions include payroll tax delays and other tax fixes for businesses and, importantly, $140 billion for hospitals. Here is a copy of the final bill and a section-by-section analysis. Additional information and links on the bill are included below.
ABC's Legal Action Committee Input on Navigating Essential Status Questions
NOTE: The concepts expressed herein are opinions of the Legal Action Committee and, as such, must not be relied upon instead of upon the State documents themselves. If after reviewing the State documents, you remain unclear whether particular work is exempt, consider consulting with qualified legal counsel.
Governor Inslee’s Stay Healthy, Stay Home Proclamation and accompanying list of Essential Activities on Monday left many questions for the construction industry as to what activity is permissible. Wednesday’s Construction Guidance memo from the Governor clarified that construction is NOT considered essential, other than exceptions for limited circumstances.
1. Read the Proclamation, list of Essential Activities, and Construction Guidance Memo
2. Use the Legal Action Committee’s Scope of Exemptions analysis to help determine whether specific construction activity may fall within areas eligible to proceed while the Stay in Place Order is in place. Consulting legal counsel to ensure compliance with the Order before proceeding is recommended.
3. Confirm that specific projects or elements within construction projects are either included in Essential Services, support Essential Services, or petition to have such projects confirmed as permissible activity. To clarify status, or to petition to be added to the Essential Services list, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Companies that proceed with construction activity should refer to ABC of Western Washington’s COVID-19 Employer and Employee Resources for updates, and in particular review Important Clarification Regarding Gov. Inslee's Stay Healthy, Stay Home Order 25-20 along with all safety directives and guidance.
Legal Action Committee Attorney Members have agreed to provide an initial consultation at no charge to ABC members, and you should discuss terms to engage further before proceeding. Access the LAC Attorney Member Directory.
Legal Blogs from Member Companies:
Federal Law Mandates Significant Additional Employee Benefits for Employers with Fewer Than 500 Employees:
There are many provisions in the law. Some key components employers should be aware of are an additional required 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees (on top of any existing paid leave policies or requirements) as well as paid FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) benefits. (Courtesy of Employer Solutions Law)
Considering reducing your workforce?
If you are considering reduction to your work force in the form of permanent, temporary or partial layoffs, please reach out to Karen Galipeau Forner with Employer Solutions Law for guidance on how to navigate this decision without violating employee’s protected leave entitlements.
*Information provided under the legal information section is for general information purposes only
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