COVID-19 UPDATE

RECT - COVID-19

          

COVID-19: Important Updates


FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020


COVID-19: RELIEF OPTIONS AND YOUR BUSINESS WEBINAR
Thank you to those who participated in our recent webinar with Dickinson Law Firm. We received great feedback and are offering a new opportunity – COVID-19: Relief Options and Your Business.

Business owners are in a tough position during the COVID-19 pandemic; they must look to their bottom line at a time when little revenue is being generated, while at the same time take into consideration what’s best for the health and safety of their employees and customers alike. Join Dickinson Law Business & Real Estate Attorney Jeff Baxter and Labor & Employment Attorney Melissa Schilling as they discuss relief options under The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act and one of its principal provisions, the Paycheck Protection Program which provides expanded loans for small businesses, as well as the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which enacted the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSL”) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (“EFMLA”) for eligible employees.

They’ll discuss how these various relief options work and how they can interact to help you and your business weather the coronavirus storm. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Click here to register.


 

FREE LEGAL ADVICE

ABC of Iowa members that have legal questions relative to the Families First Act or the CARES Act passed by Congress in the past two weeks, have access to free consultation regarding these new laws and regulations courtesy of ABC of Iowa member law firm Dickinson Law. To gain access to this free consultation service, you must contact Greg Spenner at 515-985-1171. 

Please note that if legal services are required beyond answering a member’s questions via a phone call then the cost for future guidance/representation by Dickinson Law attorneys will be at the member’s expense.



MOVING OUR EDUCATION ONLINE

Apprenticeship
At the beginning of April, all of ABC of Iowa apprenticeship classes were moved online to ensure classes will be finished in time for apprentices to be available to work this summer. Our team has been working diligently to set up a system utilizing Zoom online conferencing along with our current platform for online homework. We are excited to bring new technology into our program to keep our students and employers on track.

Continuing Education
We also to continue to remain committed to offering Continuing Education opportunities during this time which is why we are now offering ALL of our CEU classes online. Registration for these classes is open now and we’d encourage you to let your employees know of the opportunities available to them through ABC of Iowa.

You can find details here
or contact Ginny at (515) 985-1175.

 


A MESSAGE TO ABC FROM
LT. COL. DAN ROONEY OF THE FOLDS OF HONOR

"I hope you are staying safe during these unprecedented times. In the spirit of finding a positive perspective when life challenges us, I produced a short message of hope to share with your team as a thank you from Folds and a positive perspective as we all fight to get through this challenging time."

Godspeed, 
Lt Col Dan Rooney
Click Here for the Video Message


 

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020
 

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
GUIDANCE AND APPLICATION

The federal government announced information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program which will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. It will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020. Visit 
SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Paycheck Protection Program
• For a top-line overview of the program, 
click here.
• If you’re a borrower, click here.
• The application for borrowers can be found here.
• Learn more here.

 

MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2020

 

CARES ACT
(CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT):

Monday, March 30th, Iowa Workforce Development announced that it has implemented updates to its leave policy for filing unemployment insurance benefits following the enactment of the CARES Act. Effective immediately, employees who are or will be laid off, or are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, will no longer be required to use all paid leave prior to being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

This change is not retroactive and claims will not be backdated prior to the week of March 29, 2020, for new or existing claims by individuals who work for employers. 

Helpful Links:
COVID-19 Related Updates
CARES Act FAQs


 

PMSB ISSUES GUIDANCE ON LICENSING PROGRAMS
On March 22, 2020 Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation, pertaining to licensing programs in Iowa during the COVID-19 global pandemic, which directed programs to issue rules or guidance as needed. The Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board (PMSB) is one of many licensing programs affected by that proclamation, and along with the Licensing and Exam Committee and the CEU Committee issued the following guidance:

  • All CEUs can be completed through computer-based education courses. The Governor's proclamation suspended 641 - 30.(2). Also, all currently approved in-person courses can now be offered through webinars, web conferencing, or other similar technology that allows for remote access for students. This guidance is effective through the 2020 renewal period and ends on September 1, 2020
     
  • Individuals that are currently approved for an exam, but are not able to test due to the closure of the testing locations, will be given extra time to take the exam. Pursuant to 641 - 29.6. The amount of extra time is not known at this time since it is unknown how long the testing locations will remain closed. Be assured that the Board will allow ample time to complete exams for those individuals who have already been approved. The Board will continue to assess the situation and take appropriate action as necessary to ensure individuals are able to take the exam.
     
  • The current expiration date and related renewal dates are not changing at this time. However, given that these are unprecedented times, these timelines are something the Board will monitor closely.

The following are still the relevant dates for this upcoming renewal:

May 1, 2020
The renewal period opens.
This is the first day individuals and businesses can renew their licenses.

June 30, 2020
All licenses expire.

July 31, 2020
This is the last day licenses can be renewed without penalty.

August 1, 2020
Late fees begin. Initial late fees will be $60 through the month of August.

September 1, 2020
$100 late fee applies. All licenses with an expiration date of June 30, 2020 are no longer valid for practice.


Beginning on May 1, 2020, email notifications containing information, directions and links on how to complete the renewal process will be sent to all individuals and business regarding renewal. Throughout the renewal timeline, outlined above, similar email notifications will be sent to those that have not completed the renewal process.

This guidance does not alter any Board rules except as set forth above. If the Governor's proclamation is extended, or if the Governor issues another proclamation addressing additional rules, or if circumstances otherwise change, the Board will issue further guidance.


 

WEBINAR RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE

COVID-19 Mandated Emergency Leaves: Employers with Less Than 500 Employees 

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Iowa employers in uncharted waters. Join Jill Jensen-Welch and Melissa Schilling, two shareholder employment attorneys of Dickinson Law, for a webinar recording on Mandated Emergency Leaves. If you have less than 500 employees, you won’t want to miss this. Please note: the webinar begins at the 5:10 mark.
Watch the Recording 


 

UPCOMING COVID-19 WEBINARS

Tuesday, March 31, 2:00 p.m. CDT
Insights and Strategies to Help Contractors Respond to COVID-19

COVID-19 has thrown world markets into a tailspin, and it’s time for construction to reposition and survive. This session will help contractors of all sizes understand critical considerations, including contractual issues, cash flow and overhead management, as well as where to look for opportunities for well-positioned, well-capitalized companies.
Register Now

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2:00 p.m. CDT
Coronavirus Impacts on HR and Employee Benefits

Company owners and human resource managers will receive an overview of pressing employer regulatory and employee benefits issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and legislative response. Topics to be covered include special enrollment periods and well as premium grace periods for the fully insured, as well as self-funded group health plans and an overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice.
Register Now

 

Thursday, April 2, 2:00 p.m. CDT
Contractors and Supply Chain Partners:
Thinking and Delivering "Win-Win" Supply Chains

Hear from a panel of ABC’s strategic partners about how contractors and supply chain partners can collaborate with a win-win attitude to plan for and execute construction business continuity today, tomorrow and over the next few months as we battle COVID-19.
Register Now
 

Thursday, April 16, 2:00 p.m. CDT
Technology Can Help ABC Contractors as Coronavirus Disrupts the Industry

Which technologies can help your business succeed during the coronavirus pandemic—and immediately improve your bottom line when you are back up and running at full capacity? Hear about collaborative technologies that will improve productivity and learn which solutions could work best for different contractors. Plus, discover simple tech solutions you can implement to jumpstart and help scale your business your business after we overcome the COVID-19 challenge.
Register Now



FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020

 

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)

Due to the recently passed, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FCCRA), all employers must post notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Please note, an employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.

You will find several resources regarding this requirement here: 
•    Posting Requirements—FAQs
•    Fact Sheet for Employers
•    Required “Employee Rights” Poster - English
•    Required “Employee Rights” Poster - Spanish/Español

 

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020


MENTAL HEALTH PROTECTION RESOURCES DURING COVID-19

During these rapidly changing, unpredictable and stressful times, adapting business operations to stay viable and keeping our employees safe from COVID-19 are top of mind and demanding great attention.  What can’t be forgotten is the impact these events are having on the mental health of our employees and the potential risk for suicide related to situations like this. Protecting the emotional wellbeing of our teams needs to be given as a high of priority as protecting their physical health. 

To help you in providing the help they need, we have created a resource page with tools and information to build the protective factors into your COVID-19 response plans that will help protect your employee’s mental health. As more become available we will post them, so please check back often.  And, please share these resources with others to help ensure protection of the entire workforce. 
 
If you have not already taken the pledge to STAND up for Suicide Prevention, there is no better time than now to declare your commitment to full worker safety. Taking the pledge not only demonstrates your support but ensures you will continue to receive updates and resources as a CIASP stakeholder

 

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020

 

EXCELLENCE IN CONSTRUCTION RESCHEDULED

The 2020 Excellence in Construction Awards Gala (originally scheduled to take place on Friday, April 17th, 2020) has been moved to Tuesday, July 14th, 2020. Registration details to come.


FREE WEBINAR - FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH

If you have less than 500 employees, you won’t want to miss this free, informational session covering mandates in the law.

Friday, March 27th, 12:00 p.m. CDT
COVID-19 Mandated Emergency Leaves: Employers with Less Than 500 Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Iowa employers in uncharted waters. Join Jill Jensen-Welch and Melissa Schilling, two shareholder employment attorneys of Dickinson Law, this Friday, March 27th from Noon to 1:30 p.m. for a webinar on Mandated Emergency Leaves. Members will have the opportunity to ask their specific questions when completing their registration. These will be answered during the webinar session.
Register Here



TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2020

 

LICENSURE INFORMATION

This weekend, Gov. Reynolds signed another proclamation which made mention of professional licensures. However, yesterday’s proclamation is only in effect starting now and running through April 16th. Since the mechanical/plumbing licenses do not expire until June 30th, the proclamations that have been issued to this point do not change the June 30th expiration date. We will continue to monitor this for you and keep you updated. 


IOWA TAX CHANGES RELATED TO COVID

In an effort to bring relief to Iowa’s small business owners amid COVID-19 concerns, Gov. Reynolds announced Monday, that first quarter unemployment tax payments that are due April 30th will be delayed till the end of the 2nd quarter, July 31st, 2020.  Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees. 

To Elect For An Extension:
1. Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees.
2. Employer must be current on all quarterly tax payments before the 1st quarter of 2020 regardless of whether or not they are seeking an extension of tax payment. 
3. Employers must file Quarterly Employers Contribution and Payroll Report electronically by 4:30 on April 24th to avoid late report filing penalty.
4. Call Unemployment Insurance Tax division at 1-888-848-7442
OR send an email to
Q1tax@iwd.iowa.gov. 
Email is recommended as there is a high volume of calls during this time that may lead to extended wait times.  

To Qualify For Additional Time:
1. Eligible employers include those employers with 50 or fewer employees.
2. Employers must notify IWD of intent to delay payment by Friday, April 24th at 4:30 pm.
3. Call Unemployment Insurance Tax division at 1-888-848-7442
OR send an email to Q1tax@iwd.iowa.gov
Email is recommended as there is a high volume of calls during this time that may lead to extended wait times.



RESOURCES FOR YOUR COMPANY

We have compiled Toolbox Talks on the Coronavirus for you and your team.

Download and share these Toolbox Talks with your team.
•    Know The Facts [
Part 1 | Part 2
•    Protect Yourself [
Part 1 | Part 2
•    
Protect Your Jobsites
•    COVID-19 in the Construction Workplace

Additionally, we continue to add helpful webinars created by ABC National


LOAN INFORMATION

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has provided relevant information for small business owners. Please read carefully. 
Gov. Kim Reynolds recently announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a disaster declaration that allows pandemic-impacted small businesses to apply for low-interest support loans.

Who Qualifies?
1. Small businesses (500 or fewer employees).
2. Private nonprofit organizations of any size.
3. Small agricultural cooperatives & small aquaculture enterprises that were established by Jan. 31, 2020 and have been financially impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19.
Note: This assistance is available only to small businesses when SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

Where do I apply?

Click here to apply! You must submit the completed loan application and a signed and dated IRS Form 4506-T giving permission for the IRS to provide SBA your tax return information.

How much is available?
Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance (per business) and can be used to pay fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.


CORONAVIRUS LAWS REQUIRE PAID EMPLOYEE LEAVE

ABC National’s Insurance Trust sent information regarding the many changes were just enacted as part of Coronavirus relief legislation. 

Some of the biggest takeaways include: 
•    Employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide 12 weeks of FMLA leave for child care reasons related to COVID19. 
•    New FMLA leave must be compensated after the first 10 days, at two-thirds of an employee’s wage, up to $200 per day.
•    Employers must also provide 80 hours of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. 
•    Employers with 500 employees or more are exempt from the laws. 

Read more here.


MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2020

 

URGENT REQUEST FOR PPE DONATIONS
University of Iowa Hospitals makes
urgent request for donation of PPE - especially face masks.
Can you help?
 

CORONAVIRUS WEBINAR OFFERINGS
ABC has created a webinar series with industry experts to provide insights and guidance about the legal, safety and economic impacts of COVID-19. 

March 24th, 11:00 a.m. CDT - Practical Issues for Employers in Navigating the New Federal Emergency Paid FMLA and Sick Leave Mandates
In a 90-minute webinar, Littler attorneys Alexis Knapp, Jeff Nowak and Jim Paretti will offer an analysis of the new FMLA and paid sick leave provisions of the law and deliver practical counsel for employers navigating the requirements of the law.
Register Here


March 24th, 2:00 p.m. CDT - COVID-19 and Its Impact on Jobsite Health and Safety
ABC National Safety and Health Committee members discuss proactive approaches and share best practices employers and employees can implement to maintain a safe and healthy jobsite during the coronavirus pandemic.
Register Here

March 26th, 2:00 p.m. CDT - Navigating COVID-19 From the C-Suite Leader's Perspective
Hear how leaders from ABC’s Top Performers list are leading their organizations, addressing employee and jobsite health and safety challenges and managing their client concerns related to coronavirus.
Register Here


FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020


A CALL FOR HELP
We have received a call for help from the Iowa Department of Public Health to donate extra personal protective equipment (PPE) to assist health care providers and facilities in responding to the COVID-19 virus here in Iowa.

While any PPE materials will be welcomed, they are particularly looking for gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks. 

To donate PPE, please contact your county public health department or local emergency manager. 

  • For County emergency management agency information, click here.
  • For local health department contact information, click here.

This is a great opportunity to step up for our communities and our state. If you do donate PPE, please shoot us a note or a photo so we can highlight what you’re doing. 


PLUMBERS AND ELECTRICIANS DEEMED ESSENTIAL WORKERS
In case you missed it, the president and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued Coronavirus Guidance for America, identifying electricians and plumbers as essential critical infrastructure workers.



DICKINSON LAW OFFERS SUPPORT, GUIDANCE DURING UNCHARTED TIMES

As the COVID-19 situation continues to change around the state of Iowa, our firm wants to be part of the solution for our clients. We are writing to let you know that we are temporarily moving to a remote working environment at the close of business today for the safety of our employees and clients, however our firm remains committed and available to assist with any and all of your legal needs during this crisis.

Additionally, the team at Dickinson Law can advise clients on issues across different industries that may arise at this critical time, including:

  • HR and Employment
  • Insurance & Benefits Disputes
  • Business Litigation
  • General Corporate Issues
  • Cybersecurity, Data Breach, & Privacy
  • Family Law
  • Corporate Governance/Business Law
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Bankruptcy, Corporate Restructuring, and Creditor’s Rights
  • Trusts & Estates
     

We’ve also recently released COVID-19 blog entries to help you and your business navigate these uncharted times:

·    Trump Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act: How It Will Impact Employers*

·    SBA Disaster Business Loans – A Financial Lifeline for Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

·    Update: House Makes Significant Changes to Families First Coronavirus Response Act

·    House Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act: How It Will Impact Employers

·    Even in Divorce, the Coronavirus is Everywhere

You can contact Dickinson Law at 515-244-2600, email them here, or visit their website, here.


THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020


IOWA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SURVEYING BUSINESSES
Members: The Iowa Economic Development Authority is asking for your participation in their survey to help them assess the impact of the pandemic in Iowa. Please visit the 
survey link to weigh in. The agency has provided a guide for completing the survey, which was developed by the University of Northern Iowa Institute for Decision Making. The IEDA will use the information collected in the survey to inform its public policy in response to the crisis, as well as potential assistance to businesses. The deadline to complete the survey is March 23 at 5 p.m.
Click here to complete the survey.

ABC NATIONAL CREATES CORONAVIRUS UPDATE PAGE
In order to keep up ABC chapters and members up to date and provide access to accurate information from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ABC's general counsel, Littler Mendelson, ABC has create the Coronavirus Update webpage.
Visit the webpage here.


 

TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020


EXCELLENCE IN CONSTRUCTION POSTPONED
The 2020 Excellence in Construction Awards Gala has been postponed, and will no longer be taking place on April 17th, 2020. Additional updates to come as more information becomes available.


CORONAVIRUS WEBINAR OFFERINGS
ABC has created a webinar series with industry experts to provide insights and guidance about the legal, safety and economic impacts of COVID-19. 

March 18th, 3:00 p.m. EDT - Construction Employer Responsibilities and OSHA Compliance During the Coronavirus Emergency
The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, and we are already hearing about construction employees testing positive on jobsites. Join ABC general counsel Maury Baskin and ABC OSHA counsel Brad Hammock for a webinar providing guidance to ABC members and chapter staff on employer and employee responsibilities as well as OSHA reporting and recording.
Register Here


March 19th, 3:00 p.m. EDT - The Economy in the Time of Coronavirus: The Near- and Longer-term Outlooks for the Economy and the Markets
Get the latest data on the spread of Covid-19, market responses and economic consequences from ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
Register Here

March 20th, 3:00 p.m. EDT - Contract Issues and the Coronavirus
Do you know what the impact of Covid-19 is on your contract? Join David Pugh, partner at Bradley, for a webinar providing guidance to ABC members and chapter staff on the impact of coronavirus on contracts.
Register Here


 

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020


ABC OF IOWA CLASSES POSTPONED
Following the recommendations of Gov. Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC, ABC of Iowa classes at all of our training centers are postponed for a minimum of 2 weeks due to the COVID-19 virus.


IN-HOUSE CLASSES
If you are an ABC of Iowa member who participates in in-house classes, we do encourage you to follow the recommendations but ultimately, we will leave class scheduling to your discretion. If you continue to hold class, please have students sit a safe distance apart, sanitize the desks/tables and of course, don’t allow anyone to attend who is sick.

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION 
At this time, our Continuing Education classes have been cancelled until the April 24th – 25th class in Ames. We will be in touch with those who have already registered to help them reschedule. Check our website for other opportunities for Continuing Education classes

 

We will continue to assess the situation and work with Iowa’s elected officials to move forward in a way that serves our ABC of Iowa members and the health of our students. Please check back to this page or follow our social media accounts for more updates - Facebook and Twitter

•    For information regarding ABC National’s Safety Committee recommendations, please visit ABC of Iowa's Safety website.

•    For Iowa-specific information, please visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.

•    For more information about protecting yourself from COVID-19, visit the visit the Center for Disease Control’s website


Current students and employers with questions may reach Ginny at (515) 985-1175 or ginny.shindelar@abciowa.org.