COVID-19 News

NIA Free COVID-19 Business Management Webinars

NIA is now hosting webinars on business topics that will help navigate the stimulus packages, new regulations, working remotely, and more. After the initial presentation, webinars are archived online so that you can watch them at your convenience. Visit our webinar web page or scroll to the bottom of this page for the topics.


Free Articles on Coronavirus/COVID-19 for Employers from NIA Legal Counsel

We would like to share several resources for employers related to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from NIA Legal Counsel, Gary Auman of Auman, Mahan & Furry.

 

October 2020 Update: OSHA State Plan States amid COVID-19

If you perform work in an OSHA State Plan state, remember the rules in that state govern the work you perform, even if your company is based in a different State Plan state or a state where safety is governed by federal OSHA. For example, Virginia has adopted a very detailed Emergency Temporary Standard for employee exposures to COVID-19. Other State Plan states have either adopted emergency guidance or are in the process of adopting emergency temporary standards. Be aware that guidance in a State Plan state, if more strict than the guidance relied on by federal OSHA to protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, will govern all employers working in that state no matter what the guidance or rules are in the state in which the employer is based. Also, if you are going work in a State Plan state, familiarize yourself with the state’s safety standards that will govern your work, as well as the procedures established in that state for challenging any citations you may receive there.

August 31, 2020 Update: Childcare-Related Leave Under the FFCRA

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced its position on three questions regarding schools and employees’ leave eligibility under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The answers are important, and some may surprise you. Most notably, the DOL’s position is that employees who have chosen remote learning for their children, when given a choice between that and in-person school, are NOT eligible for paid FFCRA leave. The DOL’s reasoning is that these children’s schools were not “closed” due to COVID-19-related reasons; they were open for the children to attend. This is significant because if these employees are not eligible for paid FFCRA leave, then employers also would not be eligible for tax credits if they provide the paid leave to an ineligible employee.

The DOL announced this and other positions as part of three new Q&As that the DOL posted to its FFCRA Q&A website on August 27, 2020. The Q&As are pasted below for your convenience, and the full list of Q&As can be accessed here. As a reminder, employees who ARE eligible for childcare-related leave under the FFCRA can receive 2/3 pay for up to 12 weeks, subject to statutory caps. Employers then become eligible for and can apply for certain tax credits based on having provided the paid leave to eligible employees.

If you have questions about this or any other FFCRA-related issue, please reach out to Amy Mitchell (acm@amfdayton.com) or Matt Bakota (mjb@amfdayton.com) from AM&F’s Labor and Employment group.

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My child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis. The school is open each day, but students alternate between days attending school in person and days participating in remote learning. They are permitted to attend school only on their allotted in-person attendance days. May I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? (added 08/27/2020)

Yes, you are eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA on days when your child is not permitted to attend school in person and must instead engage in remote learning, as long as you need the leave to actually care for your child during that time and only if no other suitable person is available to do so. For purposes of the FFCRA and its implementing regulations, the school is effectively “closed” to your child on days that he or she cannot attend in person. You may take paid leave under the FFCRA on each of your child’s remote-learning days.

  1. My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? (added 08/27/2020)

No, you are not eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA because your child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID–19 related reasons; it is open for your child to attend. FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not entitled to FFCRA paid leave. However, if, because of COVID-19, your child is under a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine, you may be eligible to take paid leave to care for him or her. See FAQ 63.

Also, as explained more fully in FAQ 98, if your child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis, you may be eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA on each of your child’s remote-learning days because the school is effectively “closed” to your child on those days.

  1. My child’s school is beginning the school year under a remote learning program out of concern for COVID-19, but has announced it will continue to evaluate local circumstances and make a decision about reopening for in-person attendance later in the school year. May I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? (added 08/27/2020)

Yes, you are eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA while your child’s school remains closed. If your child's school reopens, the availability of paid leave under the FFCRA will depend on the particulars of the school’s operations. See FAQ 98 and 99.

Source:  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

Previous Updates:


Free Call with NIA's Legal Counsel to Discuss Your COVID-19 Questions

Auman, Mahan & Furry's Labor and Employment Group is offering a free 30-minute call on COVID-19 for NIA member companies. Get your questions answered by calling Auman, Mahan & Furry at 937-223-6003.


Advocacy: NIA is Working on Your Behalf

NIA has been advocating for the insulation industry on your behalf during this very difficult time. Below is a listing of recent activities and calls to action.

July 17: NIA urged the U.S. Senate Finance Committee leadership to consider proposals for new refundable tax credits covering 30% of home and business improvement expenses as a necessary step to stimulate the economy and help get Americans back to work by investing in our homes and businesses. 

May 1: NIA partnered with 53 other construction industry organizations to sign and send letters to Congress and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support additional federal resources for virtual capabilities for code departments.

In spring 2020, NIA's Congressional Fly-In Became a Call-In: NIA and industry members advocated for the industry, especially regarding stimulus packages and their needs during COVID-19. At this critical time, members of Congress heard how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting your business and our industry. Click here to visit the Insulation Industry National Policy Conference web page.

April 21: NIA sent a letter to Governors in the Northeast about Reopening Their Economies Responsibly with the Construction Industry

April 7: Sign the letter to the government to address the problems for the insulation and construction industry when applying for the SBA loans.

March 30: Write a Letter to Congress. If you would also like to advocate for yourself, we have drafted a letter for you to personalize and send to your members of Congress. Click here to download a letter to personalize.

March 23: NIA urged modifications to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce so that insulation industry manufacturers and installers are deemed essential as part of this nation’s critical manufacturing and public works infrastructure. 


COVID-19 Ongoing Survey Efforts to Measure Impact on Insulation Companies

The associations representing the insulation industry have been are surveying contractors to gain insights on how COVID-19 is impacting our industry. Due to the fluidity of this situation, and how much changes from day to day, and week to week, some questions will be repeated in each survey so that we can monitor the changes our members are experiencing. We appreciate your participation in them.

See how other companies are being impacted by viewing the past survey results: March 25, April 4, April 17 Commercial and Mechanical, April 17 ResidentialMay 22 Residential and Light Commercial Insulation, May 22 Commercial and Industrial Insulation, August 7 Commercial and Industrial Insulation, August 7 Residential and Light Commercial


NIA Informs

NIA Merges Digital Newsletters to Streamline Industry Updates: As of mid-September, to better serve members and streamline communications, NIA is increasing the frequency of the E-News Bulletin to twice a month and merging it with NIA Informs! You can now find COVID-19 information related to the mechanical insulation industry, along with other NIA news and updates in one email! COVID-19 updates will continue to be posted to this web page.  Catch up by reading the NIA Informs archives below.

Virtual Training during Workplace Distancing

Vimeo On-Demand Training Portal

NIA's Archived Educational Webinar Series are free for NIA members and can be accessed through NIA's Vimeo on Demand Training Portal. NIA’s popular Mechanical Insulation Installation Video Series (English and Spanish) is also available for streaming via Vimeo. Click here to view NIA's On-Demand Training Portal.

NIA's Educational Center

NIA and our partners have created a variety of training and educational resources for the industry. Click here to learn more.