Today’s update will be short and brief. It will focus on recent developments and issues regarding COVID-19:
- Globally, there are 520360 cases (up 187,430 since my last update), 23,593 deaths (up 9,084 since last update) and 123,321 recoveries (up 19,573 since last update).
- Nationally, 79,082 cases (up 32,797), 1,143 deaths (up 555) and 1,864 (up 1,677) recoveries. Texas, 1,326 case, 18 deaths (up 9) and 21,424 people tested (up 10,257).
- Bexar County, 84 cases (up 27) with 36 being travel-related (up 8), 12 by close-contact (up by 5), 27 by community transmission (up by 11), 9 under investigation (up by 3) and three deaths (up by 2).
- San Antonio, total tested by Metro Health Lab – 498 (up 98), 447 negatives (up 247) and 50 positives (up 8).
Treasury, IRS, and Labor announced a plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave | IRS. Information can be found at:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Paid Sick Leave and FMLA Expansion)
Yesterday, DOL announced an initial set of guidance concerning the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This is the law that substantially expands FMLA rights and requires employers to provide paid sick leave under certain circumstances. Of note, the guidance sets the effective date of the FFCRA as April 1, 2020.
Additionally, DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin announcing a Temporary Non-Enforcement Period. In effect, DOL will observe a temporary period of non-enforcement from March 18 through April 17, 2020, so long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the Act. “Good faith” exists when violations are remedied and the employee is made whole as soon as practicable by the employer, the violations were not willful, and the Department receives a written commitment from the employer to comply with the Act in the future.
It should be noted this non-enforcement announcement does not impact private litigation for violations of the FFCRA.
DOL probably will release additional guidance in the coming days, as it continues to receive feedback regarding the FFCRA.
The guidance, posters, and FAB are available on the Department of Labor’s website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
An employer can satisfy the notice requirement for FFCRA by “emailing or direct mailing [the] notice to employees, or posting [the] notice on an employee information internal or external website.”
COVID-19 Updates & Resources for Texas Businesses
Governor Greg Abbott recently announced that the State of Texas is seeking supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other resources to aid Texas’ response to COVID-19. If you have products and equipment available for donation or procurement, visit the Supply Chain Strike Force Portal at https://texas.gov/covid19.
SAMA Trade Show
The May 6th trade show is postponed. We will be looking to hold it in September. A brief survey will be sent shortly asking exhibitors if they will be able to exhibit on September 30th. We kindly ask exhibitors to take the survey and submit it.