Breaking News affecting our Industry:
NECA / IBEW UPDATES:
JANUARY 22, 2021: NECA Contribution on Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Update. Please click on the link below for a recent update concerning NEBF contribution / FFCRA update.
JANUARY 14, 2021: COVID-19 Updates - NECA PPP Legal Alert, Borrower Application, and Second Draw Form. Please click on the links for the following COVID-19 updates regarding a NECA Legal Alert concerning a PPP Loan update and Second Draw Process, as well as copies of the revised PPP Borrower Application Form and a copy of the PPP Second Draw Borrower Application Form.
January 7, 2021: COVID-19 Update – Don’t Let Your Guard Down. Now that the holidays are over, the CDC has published guidelines to stay diligent in efforts to prevent future exposures to COVID-19. The recent surge in cases due to family gatherings and crowds celebrating the holidays have kept the pandemic in the forefront of daily activities. Staying vigilant and aware is the best defense against this worldwide pandemic.
December 29, 2020: NECA LEGAL ALERT: COVID19 STIMULUS BILL The president signed the new COVID-19 Stimulus Bill into law on 12.27.2020. Prior to
the new Stimulus Bill, the FFCRA paid leave program was set to expire on 12.31.2020. Of particular importance to NECA members, the new statute amends the FFCRA allowing employers to receive payroll tax credits for payments made under the FFCRA on or before March 31, 2021.
However, the amendments to the sick and care leave provisions of the original law DO
NOT mandate employer participation after December 31, 2020. If an employer does
continue to participate, in whole or in part, they will receive the payroll tax credits, up to
the maximums provided in the FFCRA, for payments made prior to April 1, 2021.
December 22, 2020: NECA Legal Alert - Labor and Employment Issues
Related to COVID-19 Vaccines. As the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines broadens, so will the workplace and safety issues related to the actual administration and usage of these measures by individual employees. NECA members are well-advised to develop internal protocols on how the use (and non-use) of the vaccines will he handled in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) has put out guidance concerning civil rights laws such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during the pandemic. Most recently, the EEOC updated this guidance—found here—to address discrimination laws as they relate to COVID-19 vaccinations. There are important provisions and concepts in this guidance, which are summarized HERE.
December 18, 2020: COVID ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ANNOUNCED
As we are all well aware, 2020 has been a very trying year for everyone, contractors and employees alike. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electrical Contractors' Association of City of Chicago (ECA) and Local #134 (#134) have worked together along with the Electrical Insurance Trustees (EIT) to provide relief to those employees that have needed it, in the way of relaxed eligibility rules and a temporary increase for the supplemental unemployment benefit fund (SUB). Read More.....
December 3, 2020: Take Action on PPP Loan Forgiveness
NECA and a coalition of organizations have signed a letter urging Congress to enact legislation before the end of the year that includes a technical correction addressing the tax treatment of loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES Act clearly stated that any portion of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that qualified for loan forgiveness "shall be excluded from gross income" for tax purposes. In contradiction to Congressional intent, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32, which specified that "no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code…if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the [CARES Act].” NECA encourages you to Take Action and tell your Representative to act before the end of the year to ensure PPP loan forgiveness is not considered taxable income.
September 21, 2020: NECA Legal Update Regarding Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) Rule - September 16, 2020. NECA legal update from Jef Fagan, as the U.S. Department of Labor has issued further guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) in the form of a rule that became effective September 16, 2020 in an effort to clear the ambiguities in the current regulations and interpretations.
July 23, 2020: NECA's Legal Webinar 3 Update - PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules & Procedures (Q & A) Please click on the link below for an update to the third NECA Legal Webinar: PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules & Procedures -- Question and Answers.
July 10, 2020: NECA Legal Alert: COVID19 Testing, Quarantine, and Legal Issues
June 9, 2020: NECA's Legal Webinar 2 Update - PPP Loan Forgiveness. Please click on the link below for an update to a NECA Coronavirus Legal Webinar Q&A update, effective 6/8/20. Question # 40, pertaining to the SBA Interim Final Rule regarding the rehire exception in the PPP loan forgiveness process has been updated.
May 23, 2020: NECA Update: Guidance Regarding PPP Program - Loan Forgiveness / Borrower & Lender Responsibilities. Please click on the link below for the most recent update from NECA regarding the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program - Loan Forgiveness / Borrower & Lender Responsibilities.
May 20, 2020: NECA Update: Summary of the OSHA Revised Guidance regarding COVID-19 being a recordable incident on the jobsites. Please click on the link below for the Summary of the OSHA Revised Guidance regarding COVID-19 being a recordable incident on the jobsites. Included in the Summary is a direct link for the OSHA Guidance Memorandum.
May 19, 2020: Updated Guidance Regarding PPP Program - Loan Forgiveness - (NECA Outside Counsel) Please click on the link below for the most recent update from NECA's outside Counsel (Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP) regarding the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program - Loan Forgiveness.
Information in the update includes:
-Link to Loan Forgiveness Application
-Key Takeaways to Consider
-Forgiveness Application Process
May 6, 2020: FFCRA / NEBF Update Please be advised that the Trustees of the National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF) and the National Employees Benefit Board (NEBB) have agreed to a temporary amendment to the Trust Agreement. This temporary amendment will waive the requirement for the 3% NEBF contribution on federally mandated sick pay due to the COVID-19 virus. The waiver is for up to a maximum of 80 hours and it is effective for the period of April 16, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please click on the link below for a copy of the summary.
May 4, 2020: NECA Legal Webinar 2 Q & A Updated -- CARES Act PPP
Please review an updated Q & A from a recent NECA Legal Webinar regarding PPP Forgiveness Guidance.
May 1, 2020:
April 28, 2020: FFCRA (Clarification of Benefits) Please click on the link for a copy of a letter sent to all signatory contractors regarding a clarification of benefits concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
April 9, 2020: NECA LEGAL ALERT: COVID-19 AND CONTRACTOR LIABILITY
April 1, 2020: NECA FFCRA Q & A Update. Please click the link below for the updated NECA Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ Update.
March 30, 2020: Please review the CARES Act updates from NECA, which includes the following information:
NECA Contractors’ Guide to the CARES Act + Gov’t Affairs Webinar Q&A
The $2 trillion Phase III package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, contains scores of provisions providing relief to large segments of the United States economy decimated by the crisis. Specifically, for NECA contractors, the CARES Act includes assistance to small businesses in the form of several loan options through the Small Business Administration (SBA). It is important to note that Congressional enactment of this legislation is only the first step in the process. After passage, departments and agencies across the federal government will be responsible for implementation, a process that could be challenging for newly created or significantly expanded programs. We will be monitoring these developments and provide updates.
NECA has compiled several helpful documents to better understand your business options as a result of this new law:
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship: The Small Business Owners’ Guide to the CARES Act
Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Small Businesses Guidance & Loan Resources
NECA will keep you informed as more information becomes available through guidance issued from federal agencies. The best course of action for NECA contractors right now is to review the different loan options available and determine the best choice for your company. Please continue to visit the ECA website at www.ecachicago.com (Latest News) and also the NECA website at: www.necanet.org under the COVID-19 Resource Center, for much more information.
March 30, 2020: NECA SAFETY OFFERS TWO NEW SAFETY - COVID-19 DOCUMENTS
Please review two new documents from NECA Safety: “Risk Assessment Process and Checklist for Work Impacted by COVID-19” and “NECA Example Exposure Control Plan (ECP)." Links to these documents are below and can also be found on the NECA website at: www.necanet.org under the COVID-19 Resource Center, along with much more information.
March 26, 2020: Template letter from National NECA that you may find useful in dealing with your customers concerning construction impacts resulting from COVID-19.
March 26, 2020: NECA - Understanding Contract Rights Related to Construction Impacts from the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 25, 2020: NECA FACT SHEET: Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ
March 24, 2020: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and is scheduled to go into effect on April 2, 2020. Please use these links for a summary and FAQ concerning the FFCRA from NECA National.
NATIONAL DISEASE EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGREEMENT:
As a result of ongoing discussions and to address the recently declared National Emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak, NECA and the IBEW have reached agreement for a national agreement to address the COVID-19 pandemic (or similar diseases) and potential emergency situations created by it. This has been reviewed and approved unanimously by the NECA Executive Committee and is now available for use, as it was immediately effective March 16, 2020. The COVID-19 threat is ongoing and must be continually monitored by the Parties who agree to discuss any new legislation or regulation related to the coronavirus or similar disease that may impact this Agreement.
Please click on the links below for a copy of the “National Disease Emergency Response Agreement (NDERA),” as well as the jointly created NDERA Question and Answers: Original Q & A and Updated set (3/30/2020). Please review the Q & A sheets. These will assist firms in complying with the agreement.
In regard to compliance with the NDERA, the Electrical Joint Arbitration Board (EJAB) has submitted a clarification regarding the Recall scenario concerning lay-off of employee(s). Please click on the link below for the EJAB notice.
The EJAB has also adjusted the Trainee Referral Procedure. Please click on the link below for the Trainee update, which goes into effect March 29, 2020.
MIDWESTERN REGION NECA UPDATE –(coronavirus – related: potential delays, suspensions on projects)
October 30, 2020: IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING TEMPORARY BENEFIT CHANGES DUE TO CONTINUING IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS. Please be advised the temporary Health and Welfare eligibility changes that were agreed to in March and extended in late August are again being extended through March 31st, 2021. We also want to inform you that the temporary SUB Fund eligibility changes and the 13-week benefit extension will be extended through March 31st, 2021. As of January 1st, 2021, the “A” Member SUB fund benefit amount will revert to the pre-March amounts of 300.00 per week for journeymen and apprentice levels 6-10 and $225.00 per week for apprentice levels 1-5. As stated above, we are reverting to the previous benefit levels for the “A” Members.
Please click on the link below for the EIT notice on the Temporary Benefit Changes Update due to the continuing impact of the coronavirus.
August 27, 2020: IMPORTANT EIT UPDATE! TEMPORARY BENEFIT CHANGES DUE TO IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS. Please click on the link below for an EIT notice on the Temporary Benefit Changes Update due to the impact of the coronavirus.
March 31, 2020: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Please click on the link below for a copy of a letter to all signatory contractors regarding interim guidance as to how the paid leave requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for employers with 500 or fewer employees will be handled.
March 24, 2020: Temporary Benefit Changes Due to Impact of Coronavirus:
Please contact the ECA with any questions at: (708) 531-0022.
Legislative / Government Updates
LEGISLATIVE / GOVERNMENT UPDATES:
November 24, 2021: NECA Government Affairs team Announces PPP Program Updates
November 12, 2020: The City of Chicago launches “PROTECT CHICAGO”, a strategy to mitigate further spread of COVID-19. Read the full Release from Chicago Mayor Lightfoot's office. Please keep in mind that this notice is advisory and that it does not “close down” the city and that it does not affect our construction jobsites.
July 9, 2020: New DOL Tool for Determining FFCRA Eligibility:
Do the requirements and benefits provided for in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to you? This tool will quickly walk you through a handful of options to determine your eligibility as an employee for paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave, or your obligations as an employer to provide paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave.
May 21, 2020:
New credits fund employers for Coronavirus-related paid leave
May 21, 2020 IMSCA Update: Illinois General Assembly Back In Session - Workers' Comp. Mechanics' Lien, PPE Act, among others areas discussed. Please click on the link below for a clink to a copy of an IMSCA update regarding the Illinois General Assembly getting back in session.
May 15, 2020 CARES ACT PPP Update - Loan Forgiveness Application. Please click on the link below for a recent update concerning the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program - Loan Forgiveness Application.
May 13, 2020 CARES Act PPP Update Please click on the link below for an update regarding the CARES Act PPP concerning the questions of: "How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?" and Extension of the Safe Harbor Date.
May 6, 2020: PPP Safe Harbor Extension The Treasury Department just issued additional guidance (#43 on FAQ) on the Paycheck Protection Program. The Treasury department postponed the Safe Harbor repayment deadline to May 14, 2020, as requested by NECA. NECA is still waiting for final guidance, but the extension allows more time for PPP borrowers to review the required certification and determine if they would like to repay the loan in full. The additional guidance is detailed below:
Question: FAQ #31 reminded borrowers to review carefully the required certification on the Borrower Application Form that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA guidance and regulations provide that any borrower who applied for a PPP loan prior to April 24, 2020 and repays the loan in full by May 7, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith. Is it possible for a borrower to obtain an extension of the May 7, 2020 repayment date?
Answer: SBA is extending the repayment date for this safe harbor to May 14, 2020. Borrowers do not need to apply for this extension. This extension will be promptly implemented through a revision to the SBA’s interim final rule providing the safe harbor. SBA intends to provide additional guidance on how it will review the certification prior to May 14, 2020.
April 28, 2020:
IMSCA Update - Illinois Workers Compensation Emergency Rule (COVID-19 related) - Emergency Rule Withdrawn - The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) held an emergency meeting via conference call on April 27, 2020. The Commission voted unanimously to withdraw the April 16th emergency rule that created a right for injured workers to a rebuttable presumption if they contracted or were exposed to COVID-19. The IWCC Chairman stated the rule is withdrawn due to the unknown financial costs that would be associated with pending litigation. While the withdrawal of this rule is an important step, IMSCA does not believe this is final action on this issue. The Chairman further stated a committee/task force will be formed to advise the IWCC on their response to issues related to the COVID-19 public health crisis. In addition, it is possible legislation seeking to address this issue will be filed with the Illinois General Assembly.
Ensuring essential and front-line workers are protected against the COVID-19 virus is still a top priority of Governor Pritzker. IMSCA hopes that with this issue being placed back in to more traditional methods of creating public policy, the importance of not issuing a “one size fits all” approach for every industry can be highlighted.
IMSCA will offer updated information as it becomes available. If you have any specific questions, you can contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361
April 24, 2020: Capital Development Board (CDB) Revised Bidding Process
As previously reported, the Capital Development Board (CDB) created a revised bidding process in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Bids will be accepted by mail/delivery service and by email, and in-person submittals will not be allowed during this time. For those of you who participated in Monday’s (April 20) webinar with the CDB to learn about this revised bidding process – some revisions have been made to the process based on the questions and feedback received from the Industry session on Monday. Please click on the link below for a revised version of the April 20, 2020 webinar PowerPoint presentation. The revisions to the process are highlighted in the PowerPoint.
The biggest revisions to the process are:
The bid receipt deadline is Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
CDB will be using a State of Illinois File Transfer website for the sending of bid forms. This will provide confirmation that the file was uploaded and allows the monitoring of the files for download.
For those of you who were unable to participate in the webinar, please review the attached PowerPoint to learn about the revised process. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361.
April 24, 2020: IMSCA Update - Illinois Workers Compensation Emergency Rule (COVID-19 related) As you are aware, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission recently adopted an amended Emergency Rule on April 15, 2020. The rule essentially states any employee of an “essential business” as defined in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order (including construction) is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. This change will make it difficult for employers to defend claims and prove exactly where a worker was infected with the virus.
Please be aware that the Illinois Department of Insurance is not including COVID-19 claims in the employers experience modification (EMR) rating. The NCCI updated their FAQ document on their website which reflects this as well. This information is included in item 16 on the NCCI FAQ which can be read by clicking on the following link: https://www.ncci.com/Articles/Pages/Insights-Coronavirus-FAQs.aspx. While this is a positive development, the IWCC’s emergency rule still has the potential to negatively impact contractors in Illinois. The EMR is just one factor used to calculate insurance premiums; contractor’s will not be shielded from thousands of dollars of workers’ compensation costs. IMSCA will continue to keep everyone updated and will inform you of ways you can participate in this issue.
Sangamon County Judge John M. Madonia had issued a Temporary Restraining Order on April 23, 2020 following a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association earlier this week related to emergency amendments filed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission seeking to change substantive provisions under the Workers’ Compensation Act. While the lead plaintiffs on this case are the IMA and IRMA, more than two dozen business groups from every segment of the economy are supporting this effort.
Again, IMSCA will offer updated information as it becomes available. If you have any specific questions, you can contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361.
April 20, 2020: UPDATED INFORMATION: URGENT! IMSCA Needs Your Assistance! ACTION NEEDED concerning the Illinois Workers Compensation Rule Change! (COVID-19 related)
Please click on the link below for information regarding what assistance is needed to aid IMSCA is regard to altering the current Emergency Rule!
April 16, 2020: NECA Submittal to Congress -- Request for Continuance of Appropriations for SBA (COVID-19 related) / Current Status of SBA Appropriations Please click on the link below for information regarding a NECA Submittal to Congress -- Request for Continuance of Appropriations for SBA (COVID-19 related) / Current Status of SBA Appropriations:
April 16, 2020: Follow-up from IMSCA Regarding Illinois Workers Compensation Rule Change (COVID-19 related) Here is a follow-up from the Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA), the lobbying group ECA utilizes in regard to matters involving the Illinois General Assembly, issues affecting subcontractors in Illinois, regarding the recent change to Illinois Workers Compensation benefits.
The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission held an emergency meeting on April 15, 2020 to adopt another version of the emergency rule originally adopted on April 13, 2020. The changes approved on April 15, 2020 do not make significant changes to the previously approved rule. The approved changes include Section a) 2) and re-writes the definition of “COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker” and states this definition means, “The term "COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker" means any individuals employed as police, fire personnel, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics and all individuals employed and considered as first responders, health care providers engaged in patient care, corrections officers, and the crucial personnel identified under Section 1 Parts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Executive Order 2020-10 dated March 20, 2020”.
The amended rule can be read in its entirety by clicking this link:
As a reminder, Construction was deemed an “essential” business in Sections 9 and 12h of Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 10-2020 issued on March 20, 2020. This emergency rule adopted by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission will be effective for 150 days beginning April 16, 2020. Many business groups have publicly stated that the approval of this emergency rule is illegal. Their arguments are based on that this emergency rule violates state statute since an agency cannot make substantive policy changes in the rule-making process, and this change is an overreach of the Commission. In addition, there is a contention the adoption of the rule was made in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The conference call that was held on April 15, 2020 to adopt a new version of the emergency rule was intended to remove the argument that this was accomplished in violation of the Open Meetings Act. IMSCA was able to participate in the call, and many members of the public participated, as well.
It is IMSCA’s understanding that trade associations who represent employers and the business community (Illinois Manufacturing Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce) plan to take the lead in seeking legal action against the State in an effort to overturn this new emergency rule. These groups will be seeking supporters to participate in signing on to an amicus brief. Like many other situations contractors are facing, this is fluid and is far from being resolved. IMSCA will continue to offer updates as this situation continues to unfold and will inform you of ways to participate in opposing this rule.
Again, IMSCA will offer updated information as it becomes available. If you have any specific questions, you can contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361.
April 14, 2020: Illinois Workers Compensation Rule Change (COVID-19 related) Update from IMSCA. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission issued an emergency rule on April 13, 2020 that makes a significant change to workers’ compensation benefits. The new rule states any employee of an “essential business” as defined in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order (which includes construction) will likely be able to get workers’ compensation benefits if they are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. This new rule will make it difficult for employers to defend claims and prove where exactly a worker was infected with the virus. The emergency rule can be read in its entirety by clicking the link below. Business industry associations such as the Illinois Chamber, are organizing efforts to oppose this emergency rule. They contend this is an egregious overreach of the Commission and this emergency rule may have been made in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. IMSCA will offer updated information as it becomes available. If you have any specific questions, you can contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361.
April 4, 2020: U.S. Treasury new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application Form (CARES Act). Please click on the link below for the Treasury Department's new version of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application. Please disregard the previously distributed form.
April 4, 2020: U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) temporary regulations regarding clarifying how the "Stay-at-Home" Orders affect the FFCRA. Please click on the link below for the DOL's temporary regulations applicable to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act clarifying how local, state, or federal “shelter in place”/“stay at home” orders affect entitlements to FFCRA leave.
April 3, 2020: Listing of State-by-State Executive Orders (A NECA compiled listing)
April 2, 2020: Small Business Administration Loan Programs. Press release from NECA: SBA and Treasury Begin Effort to Distribute $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital
April 1, 2020: CARES Act Information and Provisions for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Small Business Administration: PPP Checklist
April 1, 2020: Paycheck Protection Program Information provided by Holland & Knight LLP for the Chicago Building Congress
March 31, 2020: As a direct response to COVID-19 and the strain it is placed on the city’s small businesses, The City of Chicago established a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. Learn more: https://www.connect2capital.com/partners/chicago-small-business-resiliency-fund/
March 30, 2020: Please click on the link below regarding an update from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce concerning the recently enacted CARES Act. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has now published, the “Coronavius Emergency Loans Small Business Guide & Checklist.” Stay tuned for much more information on the CARES Act.
March 27, 2020: On March 26, 2020, the Senate passed “Phase III” of the Coronavirus Response Package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in a 96-0 vote. The House is expected to pass the $2 trillion bill on Friday, March 27, 2020. A full summary of the CARES Act and the full CARE Act can be found by clicking on the links.
March 26, 2020: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REQUIRES EMPLOYEE RIGHT'S POSTER - The Department of Labor requires you to hang this poster in your workplace, regarding EMPLOYEE RIGHTS: PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
March 21, 2020: Chicago Department of Buildings Important Update
March 23, 2020: Construction deemed "Essential" in Illinois' Shelter in Place Order: Please review this memo explaining the Order from the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO).
March 20, 2020: Illinois Governor issues Executive Order: Stay at Home Act
March 19, 2020: White House Issues Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure
March 19,2020: CDB Temporarily Suspends Construction on CDB Projects
March 19, 2020: Phase II of Coronavirus Response Package to be Signed Into Law: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201) Use this Link to find the full text of the bill, the full taxation implementation, and an executive summary of the bill.
EMPLOYER RESOURCES: ECA LEGAL TEAM, ERS-EAP .....
December 2, 2020: US Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker Update.
Baker & McKenzie is pleased to make available their updated US Shelter-in-Place / Reopening Tracker, which identifies the relevant state-wide shelter-in-place orders and their related expiration dates as well as the state-wide reopening plans, and whether local (county/municipal) orders also apply, in each of the 50 United States and Washington, DC. The Tracker is updated weekly, so please check back for updates.
This week, the tracker reflects these latest developments:
The following states extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina and Utah.
The following jurisdictions imposed more stringent limitations on gatherings and/or reduced capacities for certain businesses and establishments: Nevada and Washington, D.C. Once again, no states moved to the next phase of their reopening plans.
New Jersey is no longer using the former Tri-State travel quarantine list. Instead, travelers from all states except Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania are required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New Jersey.
July 28, 2020: US 50 State Reopening Tracker / "Shelter-in-Place" Update(s). We are pleased to make available the Baker McKenzie US 50 State Shelter-in-Place / Reopening Tracker, which identifies the relevant state-wide shelter-in-place orders and their related expiration dates as well as the state-wide reopening plans, and whether local (county/municipal) orders also apply, in each of the 50 United States. Please click on the link below for the State Re-opening Tracker.
Towards the end of July, 2020, the tracker reflects these latest developments:
- Starting with this week's update, the Tracker now includes links to the applicable quarantine requirements or recommendations for incoming travelers in each state plus Washington, D.C. The following states have in place such travel restrictions or recommendations as of July 24, 2020: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts (requirements take effect August 1, 2020), Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
- The Governor of Iowa and the Mayor of Washington, D.C. extended their shelter-in-place/emergency declaration orders.
- The Governors of Arkansas, Minnesota and Oregon issued new orders requiring face masks to be worn in certain public and/or indoor spaces.
- Idaho and North Carolina delayed moving to the next phase of their reopening plans while New York proceeded to the next phase of its plan.
May 28, 2020: Reopening safely - Guidelines for relying on EPA and state polices providing relief from environmental compliance during COVID-19. Please click on the link below for a copy of the Baker McKenzie report, "The Reopening Playbook" focusing on Reopening safely - Guidelines for relying on EPA and state polices providing relief from environmental compliance during COVID-19.
May 20, 2020:
US 50 State Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker
Provided by Baker McKenzie, ECA's legal team
Shelter-in-place or stay at home orders have been prevalent throughout the United States since March 2020 as state and local governments have sought to protect their citizens from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With the spread appearing to slow in parts of the US, several states are now implementing plans to relax these orders and re-open their economies. Keeping up with the evolving nature of these orders and plans is critical to the functioning of all businesses throughout the country.
April 14, 2020: Electric Association Industry Survey Results (COVID -19)
157 industry organizations responded to a survey conducted by the Electric Association (EA). The survey concerned business operations working under the uncertainty of COVID-19. Please click on the link below for the survey results.
April 3, 2020: In accordance with the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), employees may be eligible for up to 80 hours or 10 days of paid sick leave. Employees are required to request the sick leave from their employer. To help with this we have had the ECA counsel, Baker McKenzie, put together a template request form and letter that you may choose to use for this purpose.
April 2, 2020: Please click on the link for a CARES Update:
"SBA and Treasury Announce Mobilization for Paycheck Protection Act, Signaling Swift Steps Toward CARES Act Relief."
April 2, 2020: ECA FFCRA Webinar (3/30/2020) Q & A Update
During our FFCRA webinar held Monday, March 30, one of the issues addressed was when an individual qualified for the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave (EPSLA). At that time (Mon 3/30) the DOL had indicated that the “IL Stay-at-Home Order” did not meet the definition of a State or local quarantine or isolation order. The presenter noted this during the presentation. Unfortunately, as of yesterday, Wednesday, April 1, the DOL issued Temporary regulations and in so doing changed the definition of a quarantine or isolation order to include “shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home orders issued by any Federal, State or local government authority”. This now means that in theory the “IL Stay-at-Home order” could qualify an individual for paid sick leave (EPSLA). However, because the Illinois Stay at Home Executive Order excludes the construction industry, from the stay-at-home requirement because construction is considered as essential, employees who are essential workers do not qualify for the paid sick leave based on this criteria alone. Please note that (1) employees who are not essential are eligible for the two weeks of emergency sick leave unless their work site is closed for reasons unrelated to COVID-19; and (2) essential workers remain eligible for emergency leave under the remaining criteria. The Government's response to COVID-19 is a very fluid and evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
April 1, 2020: On-Demand Webinar Available: “COVID-19: 3 Key Areas for U.S. Employers to Master Now.”
CLICK HERE to view the 40-minute on-demand webinar -- COVID-19: 3 Key Areas for US Employers to Master Now
March 31, 2020: Department of Labor releases explanation of exemption: Less than 50 Employees, FFCRA
March 30, 2020: ECA Webinar (Recording) FFCRA Discussion
"Stay-at-Home" Order clarification (Baker McKenzie, ECA Legal team)
"Employer Tax Credits under Covid-19 Paid Leave Obligations under the FFCRA" (Baker McKenzie) Please click on the link below for information regarding IRS, DOL and Treasury Issue Joint News Release On Employer Tax Credits for COVID-19 Paid Leave Obligations Under The FFCRA from the law office of Baker McKenize. ECA utilizes the services of this major Employment and Compensation law firm.
Illinois Stay-at-Home order - letters for Employees and Clients, prepared by ECA legal team: Employee form letter / Customer form letter
NTECH Temporarily Closed The IBEW-NECA Technical Institute (INTECH) has informed the ECA that given the evolving concerns around the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and to help support the community health management efforts, INTECH will be closed to all education and training effective today through at least April 6, 2020. The INTECH office will be operational with a staggered or minimal office staff. If you have education or training questions or concerns, please contact INTECH at: (708) 389-1340.
The Chicago & Cook County Chapter, NECA Safety Committee and the Northeastern Illinois Chapter, NECA Safety Committee jointly sponsored a complimentary morning Safety Forum that was held on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the IBEW Local 701 Hall in Warrenville, Illinois. The half-day session called, "Excavation Hazards in Construction" was a safety training program designed to educate workers about the risks and liabilities associated with trench-related work. Participants learned to identify potential hazards and avoid unsafe conditions when operating in and near an excavation site. The session was conducted by Paul Satti, Construction Safety Council Instructor.
Training topics include:
- OSHA trenching and excavation safety standards (29 CFR 1926 Subpart P)
- Definition and responsibilities of a Competent Person
- Material and equipment inspections
- Installation and removal of shoring systems
- Soil testing in the field
We thank the ECA Safety Committee, the Northeastern Illinois Chapter, NECA and the Chicagoland Safety Council (CSC) for coordinating this important program. The next Safety Forum is anticipated for Spring 2021.
Pictured above are attendees getting ready for the seminar.
Pictured above is Paul Satti, Chicagoland Safety Council (CSC) Instructor.
NECA Safety Updates - COVID-19 Related
April 10, 2020: Slow the Spread of COVID-19 with Proper Cleaning of Electrical PPE: Due to the cross-contamination challenges impacting our industry caused by COVID-19, Enespro has updated our Care and Maintenance Guidelines for Electrical PPE, incorporating important CDC guidelines and references to ASTM F496.
Please click on the link below for a number of NECA Safety updates, including information regarding:
- Coronavirus Risk Assessment Checklist;
- Coronavirus Construction Site Guidelines;
- Coronavirus Safety Talk - Social Distancing;
- Coronavirus Safety Talk - Worksite Recommendations;
- Coronavirus Safety Talk - Symptoms of COVID-19;
- Coronavirus Safety Talk COVID -19 and Other Communicable Diseases;
- NECA Infectious Control Policy; and
- FFCRA Safety Poster.
US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ISSUES GUIDANCE ON RESPIRATORY PROJECTION DURING N95 SHORTAGE
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim enforcement guidance to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 facepiece respirators (N95 FFRs). This marks the department's latest step to help ensure the availability of respirators. Read the full press release here https://hubs.ly/H0ph7Nc0
April 8, 2020: A new OSHA chart outlines safety steps to take based on worker exposure risk by industry.
Workers have the right to report an unsafe workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Quick Tips Videos: Three new animated videos provide quick tips on social distancing, disinfecting workplaces, and industry risk factors to keep workers safe from COVID-19.
March 25, 2020: NECA Safety Talk - COVID-19 WORKSITE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
March 26, 2020: MOST PBC WORK CONTINUES BUT WITH PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE
June 30, 2020: NECA has announced that registration is open for a complimentary webinar called, "PPP Loans: Updates on Loan Forgiveness Rules and Procedures." The program is to be held as follows: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (ET). The Paycheck Protection Program is a maze of rules, requirements and restrictions and new guidance continues to come out. This webinar will discuss the latest updates, rules and procedures to ensure that NECA members who are taking advantage of these loans take the right steps to achieve loan forgiveness.
This webinar will be presented by:
--James Fagan, General Counsel, NECA
--Joseph A. Apa, Senior Partner The Capital Group
--Andrew Beardall, Corporate Counsel, The Capital Group
--Dan Wahlberg, CPA, Partner, Hertzbach
--Mike Stankus, CPA, Partner, Hertzbach
June 9, 2020: Baker McKenzie's "Resilience, Recovery & Renewal" Podcasts Available. Baker McKenzie has launched a podcast series called, 'Resilience, Recovery & Renewal,' which aims to offer you key insights as you continue to navigate the business and legal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series features Baker McKenzie's legal experts and other thought leaders discussing the topics at the top of mind for businesses right now, ranging from immediate crisis management to the stabilization of operations and business model transformation. Please click on the link below for the podcast information.
June 3, 2020: Crain’s Chicago Business FREE Webinar with Sen. Dick Durbin regarding “COVID-19’s Impact on Illinois.” The session is today at 2:45 pm. Please click the link below for registration information concerning the complimentary webinar.
June 18, 2020: ECA Leadership Series with Alex Willis: Session 3 - Building High Performance Teams. ECA members can get a recording of this webinar by contacting Carrie Spaeth: email@example.com
June 4, 2020: ECA Leadership Series with Alex Willis: Session 2 - Change. ECA Members - if you would like a copy of this webinar, please contact Carrie Spaeth: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 28, 2020: ECA Leadership Series with Alex Willis: Session 1 - Resilience. ECA Members - if you would like a copy of this webinar, please contact Carrie Spaeth: email@example.com
May 13, 2020: ECA May Membership Meeting / Webinar featuring NECA Innovation Team - Josh Bone and Lonnie Cumpton. ECA Members - if you would like a copy of this webinar, please contact Carrie Spaeth: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 12th: NECA Education / ELECTRI Study None of us could have ever anticipated the extraordinary worldwide chaos caused by the COVID-19 virus. The direct impact on NECA contractors has been substantial as many segments of construction shut down completely. The coming impact on cost and schedule will also be significant. Yet, right now, there are very limited tools available in the market that you can use to quantify and substantiate management decisions and to develop a defensible approach to pricing the impacts. To assist our electrical contractors -- all sizes and scopes -- with your recovery, ELECTRI International commissioned a significant and comprehensive study that includes research that highlights productivity and hours lost due to new social distancing and PPE guidelines. The report also provides information to help you, our Chapter members, calculate the impacts on your own projects. Visit the NECA website for a copy of this webinar.
During the webinar, NECA will share crucial information that will provide additional access to a user-friendly calculator that you can use to price change orders and quantify the impacts on jobsite productivity. This tool will serve as the starting point of negotiating, as well as defining any equitable adjustment of stimulus or other funding received through PPP and EIDL loan programs.
How to Step Up and Lead in a Crisis: April 28, 2020 @ 4:00p.m.
You don’t have to be the boss to be a leader. In fact, now, more than ever, the way you approach your work, the business landscape and the very real challenges we all face define you as a leader – or someone who needs to be led. It’s time to step up and show your team, your customers and suppliers how you solve problems and keep the business moving forward. ECA Members - if you would like a copy of this webinar, please contact Carrie Spaeth: email@example.com
ECA WEBINAR: "How to Help & Serve Your Customers in a Virtual World NOW & Seamlessly Transition Back to Business as Usual LATER."
Live Webinar Free to ECA Members: April 30th @ 3:00p.m.
The Electrical Contractors' Association of City of Chicago (ECA) Research and Education Committee is proud to present an upcoming live webinar called, "How to Help & Serve Your Customers in a Virtual World NOW & Seamlessly Transition Back to Business as Usual LATER." The session is to be presented by Kelly McDonald. Please join us THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2020 - 3:00 PM (CST).
ECA Members - if you would like a copy of this webinar, please contact Carrie Spaeth: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 20, 2020: Capital Development Board (CDB) Webinar - Changes to Bidding Process (COVID-19 related) The Capital Development Board (CDB) has created a revised bidding process in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Bids will be accepted by mail/delivery service and by email, and in-person submittals will not be allowed during this time. The Illinois Construction Industry Committee (ICIC) is hosting a webinar TODAY - Monday April 20th at 2:00 p.m. The webinar will feature CDB’s Chief Procurement Officer and staff members who will provide details of their new special bid instructions. All IMSCA members are invited and encouraged to attend this webinar. Arthur Moore and Carey Mayer will be providing an update to the industry and a review of the Special Bid Instructions developed jointly by CDB and the CPO to allow for bidding of CDB construction projects during the COVID-19 Emergency. Bids will be accepted by mail/delivery service and by email, and in-person submittals will not be allowed.
Please click on the link for the registration information below for the "Capital Development Board: Revised Bidding Process during the COVID-19 Emergency" webinar.
April 9, 2020: Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity / Illinois Chamber of Commerce - Complimentary Webinar A complimentary webinar is available from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm. The webinar is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. The session will feature DCEO Director Erin Guthrie, Illinois Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Todd Maisch and Accion Chicago CEO Brad McConnell discussing state and federal programs being offered to small businesses in the area.
Again, the FREE webinar is scheduled as follows:
Small Business Programs Webinar
Thursday, April 9, 2020
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. CDT
To register for this FREE call with DCEO on Small Business Programs, please go to: https://zoom.us/s/111857831 or email Lanae Clarke at: email@example.com.
Members are invited to take advantage of these free NECA Webinars:
April 7, 2020 | 12:00-1:00 PM ET (11AM TO NOON CST) | CARES Act and Small Businesses Webinar
This webinar will discuss the provisions of the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which are most important for you to know about now with a special emphasis on the Paycheck Protection Program. Please note this webinar is offered by a 3rd party organization and promoted by NECA.
April 7 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET (1PM CST) | Stress Management and Self-Care.
As you aim to protect your business, keep your family and employees safe, you must also recharge to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward. Join this webinar to gain the necessary skills to manage stress and to develop a self-care plan that will energize your mind, body and business.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET (1pm CST): Finance Considerations Amid COVID-19 Webinar
- What changes should you be making to your financial statements
- How you should be communicating with your bank
- What the bonding company is going to expect
- What you should you do with your insurance – typically your second largest overhead expense behind payroll
- What tax opportunities were created with all the new legislation
Staying on top of these key issues is difficult at best. The webinar will unpack these finance related issues and provided actionable outcomes contractors should be taking advantage of.
Thursday, April 9, 2020 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET (1pm CST): NECA Safety Update: Infectious Exposure Control Plans, Risk Assessments and COVID-19 Webinar
The current coronavirus pandemic, has shown us how important it is important it is to have an Infectious Exposure Control Plan and perform proper Risk Assessments. This session will discuss how to create your plan, the steps to take for risk assessments and proper recordkeeping procedures. There will also be a discussion on job-related duties and state directives pertaining to stay-at-home orders in addition to an updated review of NECA Resources for your use.”
This session will be presented by Michael Johnston, NECA’s Executive Director of Standards and Safety and Wesley Wheeler, NECA’s Director of Safety.
March 30, 2020: "The Legal Issues in the Electrical Contracting Industry Related to COVID-19 Webinar" is scheduled for 2:00 pm (ET) March 31, 2020. This is a FREE webinar that will be able to answer many of your questions on the COVID-19 pandemic, the numerous pieces of legislation that have been passed recently, and how all of this is affects your business. The session is to be conducted by James (Jef) Fagan, NECA General Counsel.
NECA Members: Instructions on how to access a recording of this webinar:
- Option #1: If you have registered for the live webinar and want the recording.
- How to access: Go back in to the NECA Learning Center and go to the “My Courses” page. You can then click on the webinar and see the recording.
- Option #2: If you didn’t register in advance, but still want to view the webinar.
- How to access: In the “Course Catalog” of the NECA Learning Center there is an orange button that says “Past Webinar Recordings.” From here, you can select the recording you want to register for.
April 1, 2020: Complimentary CARES Act Webinar
Please click on the link below for registration information for a complimentary webinar sponsored by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. regarding the new CARES Act and its impact on employers. The session is open to the ECA membership. The ECA is also looking to develop a CARES Act session in the near future, if possible. Again, the webinar scheduled for April 2, 2020 at 3:00 pm (CT) will address the requirements and impacts of the CARES Act on employers.
April 2, 2020: EQUIFAX WEBINAR PROGRAM –Available for ECA Membership
“Helping Employers Understand Recent Changes in Unemployment Benefit Programs”
Friday, April 3, 2020
12:00-12:30 p.m. CST
Please click on the link below for an Overview of the Session:
Please click on the link below for Registration:
Guidelines for managing unemployment claims are changing quickly. Learn what employers need to know and how the states are starting to interpret the new legislation. Join the upcoming webinar to get the latest insights from their Unemployment Cost Management experts.
Attend the FREE webinar to learn more about:
Overview on Emergency Funding to Help Stabilize Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment guidance included in the recently-signed Families First Coronavirus Response Act
An update on state-issued unemployment insurance rule changes
Best practices on how to manage claim volume and more