AGC Chapter Response to Coronavirus Measures
AGC COVID-19 Questionaire and Tips
CDC What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 fact sheet
CISC Sample Plan for COVID (3.31.2020)
CMD COVID-19 Safety Checklist v2
COVID-19 Impact Survey Results
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
EO142 Sign PDF
EO142 Sign Powerpoint
FFCRA CBA Employees -- Updates and Additional Guidance
FFCRA Employee Rights Poster
FFCRA Employee Rights Poster - Spanish
FFCRA Guidance on Assessing Employee Count
FFCRA Questions & Answers March 30 2020
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Memo
Fraud Warnings Related to COVID-19
Guidance for MTA Projects
HazTek COVID19 Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Updates
CohnReznick Coronavirus Resource Center
Conner Strong & Buckelew COVID-19 Resource Center
Conner Strong & Buckelew "What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine" Webinar
DHS announces flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance
Gallagher Return to Workplace Guide
LiUNA Health & Safety Fund
NJ Department of Health Updates
NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance
OSHA COVID-19 - Control and Prevention for Construction Work
World Health Organization (WHO) Updates
Withum COVID-19 Resource Page
VID-19 UpdatesUseful documents
Mask Message from ACCNJ
MTACD COVID-19 Contractor Protocols
MTACD COVID-19 General Safety Info Rev20200422
MTACD COVID-19 Project Safety Checklist v20210119
NYCDOB BB Suspended Sites April 20 revision
NYC DOB COVID-19 Response: License and Permit Expiration Dates
NYC DOB COVID-19 Stop Work Orders Rescission
NYSDOT Construction Project Guidance
OSHA4045 - worker safety & health guidance for reopening non-essential businesses
OSHA on Protecting Workers During a Pandemic
Preparedness and Resilience Bulletin
Recommended Job-Site Practices from Oregon Columbia
Return to Work Policy
Safety Products: Masks and Hand Sanitizer
SBA’s Interim Final Rules – Detailed Breakdown of PPP Round 2
SBA PPP Loans under CARES Act
Union Cleaning Companies
What to Expect After COVID-19 Vaccine
What to Expect After COVID-19 Vaccine ENGLISH
What to Expect After COVID-19 Vaccine SPANISH
Workplace Stalled Site Plan
COVID-19 Updates from ACCNJ
For more information on the information below, access the bulletins in the members-only section at accnj.org.
OSHA FAQ Updated: Will Not Enforce Vaccine Side Effects
The Governor’s office has officially updated workplace rules regarding facemasks in outdoor settings through the issuance of Executive Order 241 (“EO 241”). EO 241 was issued in response to last week’s CDC Guidance (May 13), which significantly relaxed facemask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals.
Here is what you need to know about EO 241:
- Outdoor construction sites are no longer subject to a mandatory masking requirement.
- EO 241 has removed masking requirements in most outdoor settings, and this includes outdoor business settings (including construction sites).
- EO 241 does not change indoor masking requirements. Contractors should continue to follow EO 192 and EO 142 for indoor rules.
- EO 241 does not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. It applies regardless of vaccination status. Citing the difficulty in verifying vaccination status, EO 241 makes clear that businesses and employers may lift mask mandates for all employees, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
- ACCNJ sought and received clarity from the Governor’s Office on whether EO 241 superseded the industry specific masking requirements in EO 142 for construction sites. The Governor’s Office confirmed it does. Contractors can follow the new dictates of EO 241 and are not required to have their employees mask outdoors, regardless of social distancing or vaccinated status.
Finally, a note on OSHA. OSHA has yet to update its COVID-related guidance for facemask requirements. OSHA's Website indicates they are reviewing the new CDC guidance and will update OSHA’s guidance accordingly. Until OSHA has completed its updates, they advise employers to refer to the CDC guidance for measures appropriate to protect fully vaccinated workers. CDC guidance makes clear that employers can follow local directives. Therefore, ACCNJ believes employers can follow the dictates of EO 241 while we await additional comment from OSHA.
On May 13, the CDC released GUIDANCE that largely exempts fully vaccinated persons from wearing facemasks (both indoors and outdoors). The guidance has created significant confusion in the employment setting. According to CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. As you are likely aware, Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders 142 and 192 laid out masking requirements for construction and businesses generally. As of this afternoon, those Executive Orders are still in effect. OSHA also has existing guidance that conflicts with yesterday’s CDC updates. At a Friday press conference, Governor Murphy announced masks will no longer be required outdoors, but still remain in effect indoors. We expect NJ and OSHA to implement additional changes soon. Until that happens, ACCNJ encourages employers to continue following the mitigation procedures outlined by EO 142, 192 and OSHA.
ACCNJ Sample Vaccination Policies
As vaccines are becoming readily available and employers are contemplating next steps regarding employee vaccinations, ACCNJ has compiled a collection of sample COVID-19 vaccination policies to help guide members on the basic requirements that should be included in an employer’s policy. Members can contact the Association Office for a copy of these policies at their convenience.
EEOC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccinations
On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance specific to the COVID-19 vaccine. Part 1 highlights key takeaways from that guidance and Part 2 discusses information and resources currently available on New Jersey’s vaccination plan.
Part. 1 EEOC’s Vaccination Guidance.
The EEOC’s new guidance related to the COVID vaccine can be found in Section K of the EEOC’s Technical Assistance Questions and Answers. Members are encouraged to read Section K in its entirety as it provides valuable insight on several vaccination issues involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). As you will see, the EEOC unequivocally approved an employer’s right to mandate COVID vaccinations. However, the EEOC’s guidance also highlights pitfalls with doing so – mainly the need to provide accommodations, exceptions, and the implications a mandatory program will have on the ADA’s rules for disability related inquiries. It is also important to remember that a mandatory vaccination program will require collective bargaining prior to its implementation when union employees are involved. Members looking to implement mandatory programs should contact ACCNJ prior to doing so.
Here are key takeaways from the EEOC’s Vaccination Guidance:
- An employer can require vaccinations or proof of a vaccination, subject to exceptions discussed below.
- Administering the vaccination is not a medical examination under the ADA, nor is requesting proof of a vaccination.
- However, prescreening questioning will be subject to the ADA’s rules for disability related inquiries and GINA’s prohibition of inquiries soliciting genetic information. Under the ADA, the employer will have to show that the prescreening questioning was “job related and consistent with business necessity.” However, the employer will not have to meet this standard if the vaccination program was: (1) voluntary, or (2) administered by a third party (who is not contracting with the employer to administer vaccines). Similarly, GINA will not apply if (1) the program is administered by a third party not contracted by the employer, or (2) the questioning does not solicit genetic information.
- Exceptions must be made for employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a (1) disability, or (2) sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance.
- Employers may request supporting medical documentation when the disability and/or need for accommodation is not known or obvious. In the context of religious beliefs, the employer can ask for supporting information if an employer has an objective basis for questioning the sincerity of a belief, practice, or observance.
The employer is not required to make an exception if the employer can show:
- The unvaccinated employee will pose a “direct threat” due to a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others; AND
- There is no “reasonable accommodation” that can be provided without experiencing “undue hardship” (significant difficulty or expense).
The EEOC indicates that telework may be a reasonable accommodation for an unvaccinated employee depending on the circumstances. Further, the employer must engage in the interactive process to determine the availability and appropriateness of an accommodation before they prevent an employee from entering the workplace or terminating them.
Part 2. New Jersey’s Vaccination Plan (Resources and Information)
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has a COVID vaccination webpage that includes (1) FAQs, (2) the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, and (3) an Executive Summary of the plan. Key aspects of the plan are also summarized in NJ's COVID Information Hub and in NJ DOH’s list of Priority Groups.
Distribution will take place in phases. Phase 1A will focus on healthcare workers and long-term care residents. Discussions with the Murphy administration indicate that Phase 1A will take approximately 35-40 days to complete. Phase 1B will include essential workers. NJ DOH’s list of Priority Groups does not expressly list construction under the “essential workers” category – however, this list is preliminary and subject to reclassifications (see PG 43 of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan). ACCNJ sought clarification on this issue and received feedback indicating a likelihood that construction will be explicitly referenced by the time Phase 1B is ready to be carried out. We will continue to monitor NJ’s classifications as they evolve and report information as it becomes available.
What benefits can employees claim if they have exhausted FFCRA leave?
COVID cases are increasing across the country and employee quarantines are on the rise. For some employees, this may not be the first time this year. This can be problematic because leave benefits provided under the Family’s First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) are cumulative and not per occurrence. For example, an employee that received 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) under the FFCRA in the Spring could not claim EPSL this fall even if they experienced another eligible reason for FFCRA leave.
So, what other options are available in New Jersey? The answer depends on the reason for leave, but in many cases, the employee will likely need to pursue Unemployment or Temporary Disability. New Jersey Earned Sick Leave is also an option, but not for individuals employed in the construction industry under a CBA. New Jersey has a few resources that can help employers and employees understand the various programs available for COVID-related leave. The first is the NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: Benefits Eligibility Tool. This tool allows an individual to describe their scenario and see the possible programs that can provide relief. The tool lists the programs in “suggested priority” so that a user can determine the optimal order for the various options. A second resource is the Dep't of Labor and Workforce Development's Website - "Worker Benefits, Protections and the Coronavirus: What NJ Workers Should Know". On this website, users will find answers to commonly asked questions and links to additional resources like the Department’s COVID-19 Scenarios & Benefits Chart. The chart serves as a quick reference tool of benefit options available for a particular scenario. ACCNJ will continue to monitor these resources and bring you the latest updates on leave related issues impacting our state.
AGC of America Files Suit to Block PPP Loan Necessity Questionnaire
AGC of America filed suit yesterday to compel the SBA and the OMB to revise the questionnaire being used to reassess whether companies were eligible for PPP loans. AGC asserts that the process that produced the form, and the form itself, violate the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Administrative Procedures Act, and that the federal agencies failed to meet the minimum standards for due process. AGC is requesting the court to declare that the questionnaire is arbitrary and capricious, and to declare that the SBA cannot lawfully use the information that the form generates to find a company ineligible for a PPP loan or deny a company’s application for forgiveness of its loan.
A copy of AGC’s press release can be found here, and a copy of the complaint can be found here.
Executive Order Signed for Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Data
On Friday, December 4, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 207, which will enhance the State’s ability to capture COVID-19 immunization data. The New Jersey Immunization Information System (“NJIIS”) is the State’s existing electronic registry for tracking vaccination data. However, under the existing system, NJIIS previously captured a person’s vaccination information only if that person opted-in to the program. Individuals born prior to January 1, 1998 had to affirmatively opt-in to participate – while individuals born after January 1, 1998 were automatically enrolled and given the option to affirmatively opt-out. Executive Order 207 changes this by automatically enrolling individuals in NJIIS when they receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The change is aimed at ensuring proper administration of the vaccine, which is expected to require two doses to be effective. Executive Order 207 cites this logistical challenge and the State’s interest in tracking the rate of vaccination among the population as justifications for the change.
Below, we have highlighted key takeaways from Executive Order 207:
- All individuals, regardless of age/DOB, are enrolled in NJIIS when they receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The change is effective during the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and for 30 days after the PHE ends.
- An opt-out still exists. A person can only submit an opt-out request after receiving a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccination. The Department of Health (DOH) will then honor that request beginning 30 days after the PHE ends. EO 207 authorizes the DOH to issue additional guidance on how to effectuate the opt-out procedures.
- EO 207 does not require anyone to get vaccinated. The scope of EO 207 is limited to information intake to facilitate administration and mitigation efforts.
ACCNJ will continue to monitor the activity surrounding our State’s vaccination program, especially as it relates to any specific guidance impacting the employment relationship.
Murphy Signs A4852, Expanding Extended Unemployment Benefits
In New Jersey, extended Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits offer claimants with up to an additional 20 weeks of UI benefits if the claimant: (1) was eligible for regular UI benefits prior to exhausting those benefits, AND (2) was paid wages during the base year of the claimant’s applicable benefit year that were 40 times the claimant’s weekly benefit rate. A4852, signed by Governor Murphy on Friday, changes this by only requiring claimants to satisfy one of the two criteria for extended eligibility. The legislation is in response to a growing concern that much of the federal aid that was established under the CARES Act and FFCRA leave programs will expire by years end. The Murphy administration cites this concern, along with a growing number of New Jersey citizens exhausting UI benefits, as primary driving forces behind A4852.
ACCNJ will be closely monitoring extensions and expansions of COVID-related benefit programs at the state and federal levels.
CDC Updates Official Quarantine Guidance
The CDC has updated its official quarantine guidance. The CDC is still recommending a 14-day quarantine following a “close contact” exposure. However, the updated guidance now includes two (2) options for reducing the length of quarantine to either 10 or 7 days. The new guidance is outlined below.
- Option 1 (Symptom Free) - Quarantine can end after 10 days if you have been symptom free during daily monitoring.
- Option 2 (Symptom Free + Test-Out) – Quarantine can end after 7 days if you have been symptom free AND you received a negative test result. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after day 7.
In both cases, an individual should continue monitoring symptoms through day 14 and practice prevention measures (e.g., social distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene). The CDC’s new guidance reminded individuals that local authorities ultimately make the final decisions about quarantine length based on local conditions and needs. As of the date of this writing, New Jersey has not yet updated its quarantine publications to reflect the new CDC guidance. However, this is expected as New Jersey’s guidance typically mirrors CDC recommendations.
The CDC’s full write-up on shortening the length of a quarantine can be found here.
SBA Issues Loan Necessity Questionnaire
As many of you know, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) required Borrowers to make a good faith certification that “economic uncertainty made the loan request necessary.” Later guidance by the SBA created a safe harbor for loans under $2million in the sense that “good faith” would be presumed (See PPP FAQ #46). Last week, the SBA issued a notice expressing its intent to issue certified loan necessity questionnaires to PPP Borrowers with loans of $2 million or greater. There are two new forms: (1) Form 3509 (for-profit entities), and (2) Form 3510 (for non-profit entities). These forms will be sent by PPP lenders to PPP borrowers who received a principal loan amount of $2 million or more, and borrowers will have ten days to complete it. If you have PPP loans of $2 million or greater, we encourage you to consult with your advisors to complete the questionnaire and properly document the financial and operational impacts of the pandemic. For reference, associate member, CohnReznick recently issued their own update on the new questionnaire and stressed the importance of highlighting the additional costs all contractors experienced while trying to operate during COVID.
CDC Changes Guidance for Close Contact
In an October 22 Safety Email, we detailed to members the CDC issued revised guidelines regarding “Close Contact” as it pertains to COVID-19. The prior definition stated Close Contact was with an infected person for 15 minutes or more. It was not cumulative. The updated definition is as follows: someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection), until the time the patient is isolated.
Governor Murphy Issues Executive Order 192 to Protect NJ's Workforce
On October 28th, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 192, which will impose mandatory health and safety protocols for all industries in the private and public sectors. The new safety protocols go into effect at 6:00am, Thursday, November 5th. Executive Order 192 performs three primary functions: (1) establishing minimum safety protocols applicable to all industries; (2) providing mechanisms for those protocols; and (3) establishing compliance and safety training.
DOL Responds to NY Court Ruling
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule that will revise existing regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The new rule is in response to a New York Federal District Court ruling on August 3, which invalidated certain provisions of the DOL’s initial regulations. As previously reported in our September 2nd Legal & Insurance Update, the scope of the NY Ruling was unclear. The new rule, together with some additional FAQ guidance (see FAQs 101-103), indicate the DOL viewed the NY Ruling as having nationwide application in need of a response.
The DOL’s responses to the various provisions impacted by the NY Ruling are outlined HERE. The new rules become effective September 16th. We will continue to monitor new developments.
PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY – IS IT VOLUNTARY FOR EMPLOYERS?On August 8, 2020, President Trump, via a Presidential Memorandum, directed the Treasury Secretary to defer the withholding and payment of the employee’s share of certain social security taxes for September 1 through December 31. Employers who elect to defer must pay the deferred tax by April 30, 2021. The program produced several tough choices for employers. Chief among them is whether employers need to offer the program to employees. The IRS Guidance issued on 8/28 did not address this issue, but the prevailing view is that participation is voluntary and up to the employer. First, the Treasury Secretary said participation was voluntary in a mid-August interview. Second, the program is being administered under 26 U.S.C. §7508A, which gives the Secretary authority to postpone certain deadlines, but does not provide any mechanism to require employers to delay the payment of taxes. Accordingly, it appears employers may choose to withhold and deposit the employee share of social security taxes as they normally would.
Employers electing to participate need to consider several key items. For example, employees will see temporary increases in their take home pay this fall but smaller paychecks in early 2021. What's more, employers are responsible for paying the deferred taxes back if the employee doesn't. This will be an issue if an employee leaves or is laid off by early next year. Employers will have to scramble to withhold much of that person's last paycheck or cover the bill themselves. For these reasons, ACCNJ is encouraging members to carefully weigh these considerations before making a final determination on the matter.
Updated July 9, 2020
ACCNJ has been able to gather information regarding state travel restrictions during the pandemic. This source is currently cataloging the restrictions: States with Travel Restrictions
The following chart is a travel matrix that includes hyperlinks to each State’s latest information on its travel restrictions (including the list of restricted states). This will allow you to link directly to a particular State’s COVID travel advisory landing page. UPDATED TRAVEL MATRIX
Travel Quarantine Advisory Q&A
Distributed July 1, 2020
As an updated Travel Quarantine Advisory was issued for individuals traveling to New Jersey from 16 States (Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah), ACCNJ has prepared a Q&A based on the State’s Executive Orders and/or other guidance.
Q&A: Travel Quarantine Advisory
Summer Program Closures Added to Emergency Paid Leave Qualifications
Updated July 1, 2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently issued a Field Assistance Bulletin addressing paid sick or expanded family and medical leave eligibility under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Specifically, Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 provides guidance on when an employee qualifies to take paid leave under the FFCRA to care for his or her child based on the closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program or other summer program for coronavirus-related reasons.
DOL also recently launched an interactive online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover time away from work for reasons related to the coronavirus. The tool guides workers through a series of questions to help them determine if the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to their employer. If the provisions do apply, the tool helps them learn whether they qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law. An employer tool has been announced, but is still pending release.
Below is clarification on some questions that were raised with the issuance of this Field Assistance Bulletin that may be helpful:
Q&A: Closure of Summer Camp Guidance
PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules
Distributed June 23, 2020
The SBA and Treasury have released a revised PPP loan forgiveness application as well as a streamlined “EZ version” of loan forgiveness application that may be used in limited circumstances.
OSHA Issues Guidance as Non-Essential Businesses Reopen
Distributed June 22, 2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued GUIDANCE to assist employers reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
The guidance supplements the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ previously developed Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The guidelines provide general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During each phase of the reopening process, employers should continue to focus on strategies for basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibility, and employee training.
ACCNJ Highlights from EEOC Guidelines Published as of June 17, 2020
Distributed June 19, 2020
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to provide guidance on various employment issues developing as a result of COVID. The complete EEOC guidelines can be accessed here: “Complete EEOC Guidelines”. For convenience, ACCNJ has reviewed the Q&A guidelines published as of June 17 and summarized a few central themes that may be helpful to our members, which we distributed in a safety email on June 19.
In-Depth Summary: Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
Distributed June 9, 2020
On Friday, June 5, 2020, we advised you President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (“PPPFA”) which amends certain provisions of the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), to provide businesses greater flexibility in using their PPP loan proceeds and obtaining forgiveness of the loan principal.
Attached is a more in-depth summary of the pertinent provisions of the PPPFA provided to us by ACCNJ Member and Labor Counsel, Susanin, Widman and Brennan, P.C. IN-DEPTH SUMMARY: PPPFA
EDA Announces Phase 2 of Small Business Emergency Grant Program
Distributed June 5, 2020
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced that applications for Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available June 9, 2020 beginning at 9 AM. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
During Phase 2 of the Grant Program, $5 million will be used to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1 and $45 million in CARES Act funding will provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
To support the NJEDA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, $15 million of the funding will be reserved for businesses located in New Jersey’s Opportunity Zones.
There are significant eligibility changes for Phase 2 including:
- An increase in employee cap from 10 to 25 full-time employees;
- Removal of the NAICS code restrictions;
- Inclusion of home-based businesses, sole proprietorships and some non-profit organizations.
AGC of America Action Alert: PPP Flexibility
Updated on June 4, 2020
In an email alert on June 1, we asked members to take action and encourage their U.S. Senators to pass the AGC-backed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. In an update on June 4, we informed members the legislation was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Overview & Analysis of the Latest PPP Regulations
Email Blast distributed: Tue 05/26/2020 4:04 PM
AGC of America recently released their analysis of the SBA’s recent interim final rules (IFRs) on PPP loan forgiveness, safe harbor and loan review process.
They present the information in an accessible and organized manner and include any legislative or regulatory updates on specific areas of interest relating to these IFRS.
AGCA ANALYSIS OF SBA's IFRs
PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules and More
Email Blast distributed: Tue 05/26/2020 7:30 AM
The SBA issued several important interim final regulations on the Paycheck Protection Program that we wanted to pass along. These include:
- Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness;
- Interim Final Rule on SBA Loan Review Procedures and Related Borrower and Lender Responsibilities; and
- Interim Final Rule on Second Extension of Limited Safe Harbor with Respect to Certification Concerning Need for PPP Loan and Lender Reporting
OSHA Adopts Revised Enforcement Policies For Coronavirus
Email Alert distributed: Thu 5/21/2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s requirements with respect to coronavirus as economies reopen in states throughout the country.
First, OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. The new enforcement guidance reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have begun to reopen in areas of lower community spread.
Second, OSHA is revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, coronavirus is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of the coronavirus, if the case:
- Is confirmed as a coronavirus illness;
- Is work-relatedas defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; AND
- Involves one or more of thegeneral recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.
Executive Order #142 Posting Requirements
Email Blast distributed: Fri 5/14/2020 11:33 AM
As you know, Governor Murphy's Executive Order #142 lifting the restrictions on "Non-Essential" Construction will go into effect Monday, May 18, 2020, at 6:00am.
As part of the Executive Order, construction sites are required to post the operative section of the order as it relates to construction.
To assist members, we have created a sign for you to post. It is in both a pdf and PowerPoint version if you would like to add your own logo or make any additional changes.
EO #142 Posting Requirements: PDF PowerPoint
Any additional posters you may need to comply with the order (ie: handwashing) can be found at the top of this page under useful documents, on the CDC website or OSHA website.
Executive Order #142 Lifting "Non-Essential" Construction Restrictions Released
Email Alert distributed: Thu 5/13/2020 4:31 PM
As you may know, Governor Murphy lifted “non-essential” construction restrictions through Executive Order #142.
The order’s provisions take effect Monday, May 18, 2020 at 6am.
A copy of E.O. #142 can be viewed by clicking HERE.
Non-Essential Construction Restrictions Lifted in New Jersey
Email Alert distributed: Thu 5/13/2020 1:46 PM
ACCNJ is pleased to report Governor Murphy has announced plans to lift restrictions on all “non-essential” construction effective this coming Monday, May 18, 2020, at 6:00am.
After a series of discussions with the Murphy Administration throughout the past several days, ACCNJ was successful in applying the jobsite COVID-19 protocols previously established in E.O. #122 to today’s executive action.
In addition, Governor Murphy’s announcement called for minimized congregation around construction material deliveries, identification of areas on a jobsite where craftworkers could congregate to prohibit any gathering, making portable washing stations available and posting of a COVID-19 response plan at projects.|ACCNJ recognizes our members have been following these protocols alongside even higher self-imposed safety and health standards since this pandemic began to impact our State.
Governor Murphy's Restart & Recovery Advisory Council
Email Blast distributed: Fri 5/8/2020 3:36 PM
This afternoon, Governor Murphy signed E.O. #140, which announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders to advise on New Jersey’s economic restart related to COVID-19.
ACCNJ’s CEO, Jack Kocsis, has been appointed by Governor Murphy to serve on “New Jersey’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council.”
According to the Governor’s Office, “the council will bring together leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to advise state leadership on economic issues impacted by the pandemic. The advisory council will take a microeconomic view of the recovery, determining the individual challenges that each sector faces. The advisory council is expected to remain empaneled for as long as necessary to advise the Governor on the state’s recovery.”
The advisory council will begin virtual meetings next week. The nine subcommittees within the council are Facilities and Construction; Government; Health Care; Main Street; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Professional Services; Social Services and Faith; Tourism and Entertainment; and Transportation and Infrastructure.
We will continue to keep members updated on New Jersey’s economic recovery efforts.
AGC of America Urgent Action Alert
Email Alert distributed: Thu 5/7/2020 11:51 AM
Tell the Trump Administration and Congress to fix Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to save construction jobs. Confusing guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA), and inflexible rules written by Congress threaten the ability of construction businesses to access, hold onto, and use PPP loans to protect construction jobs.
Unless the Trump Administration provides clearer, well-defined guidance about who qualifies for PPP loans, and how exactly these loans can be forgiven, many construction firms will face the difficult decision of returning their loan funds and cutting staff, or keeping the loans and risking a government audit. Similarly, Congress needs to waive the affiliation rules for loan eligibility and provide maximum flexibility for loan forgiveness to help protect construction jobs now and later.
Click the "Take Action" link below and simply submit the pre-written message as is to President Trump, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Small Business Administrator Carranza and your members of Congress or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer.
OSHA's New Video and Poster On Proper Workplace Use of Respirators
Email Blast distributed: Wed 5/6/2020 1:24 PM
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new video and poster for employers and workers on how to properly wear and remove a respirator.
The video and poster – in English and Spanish – demonstrate and describe seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator.
You can also visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage frequently for updates and more information.
FORM I-9 ANNOUNCEMENT: COVID-19 Temporary Policy for List B Identity Documents
ACCNJ Email Alert distributed: Mon 5/4/2020 12:42 PM
Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Find out more information about the temporary policy here.
AGC of America Two-Part Webinar Series
AGC of America is hosting a two-part webinar series, Building Contractors - Preparing Yourself and Your Jobsites for the Impact of COVID-19. The webinar will take place on May 11, 2020, at 2PM and May 14, 2020, at 11:30AM, and will cover various topics and answer questions in regards to the life cycle of a project while operating through COVID-19. Find out more here.
AGC of New York State Recovery Plan
The Associated General Contractors of New York State has submitted a "Recovery Plan" to Governor Cuomo's Office. The plan details site procedures to prevent and limit the transmission of COVID-19, liability protections for general contractors and more. Read the full plan here: AGC NYS NY Forward Plan 042720.
Governor Murphy's Road Back to Economic Health
On April 27, Governor Murphy announced his Administration's plan - "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health."
During his daily press conference, the Governor outlined six benchmarks to guide the process for restoring our State's economic health.
Governor Murphy's stay-at-home edict, which has been in effect since March 21st, will remain in effect until further notice.
According to the Administration, the attached document "will guide the process for lifting restrictions and restoring New Jersey's economic health."
ACCNJ remains actively engaged with the Governor and his senior staff on construction industry issues and related impacts of COVID-19.
To view, click here: New Jersey's Road Back to Economic Health
ACCNJ Events Update
Reaching out to members to support ACCNJ programs and events in the coming months is not something we feel comfortable doing. Therefore, ACCNJ has cancelled the majority of its programs and events for the balance of the year.
Should our Country’s efforts in social distancing payoff and we see light somewhere in this tunnel, we will certainly revisit our options of including programs for the fall and winter.
Emergency Contribution Relief Matrix
The Emergency Contribution Relief Matrix below provides you with a summary of those trades and the applicable temporary changes to their respective collection policies:
EMERGENCY CONTRIBUTION RELIEF MATRIX or (pdf)
As previously indicated, once the Memorandums of Agreement for each trade are fully executed, we are and/or will be providing them to you for the trades for whom you have assigned your bargaining rights to ACCNJ, as the provisions are only applicable to ACCNJ members.
Benefit Extension - Non-Working Wages/Hours
Please be advised the following trades have agreed to temporarily extend the due date for fringe benefits by 30 days:
State Building Laborers, Locals 3 & 77
Heavy/Highway Laborers, Locals 472 & 172
EAS Regional Council of Carpenters
Ironworkers, Local 11
Operating Engineers, Local 825
In addition, the following trades, whose collective bargaining agreements require fringe benefits on all hours paid, have agreed employers may make wage payments to employees FOR TIME NOT WORKED without paying fringe benefit contributions, except those required by law, for such payments:
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Locals 4 & 5
State Building Laborers, Locals 3 & 77
EAS Regional Council of Carpenters
Ironworkers, Local 11
Ironworkers, Local 399
Operating Engineers, Local 825
(This does not apply to Heavy/Highway Laborers, Locals 472 & 172 as fringe benefits are based on hours worked.)
Copies of the MOUs outlining further terms and conditions will be sent out to members who have assigned their bargaining rights to ACCNJ for the respective trade(s). We are also in the process of compiling a matrix of payment terms and conditions addressing these changes.
Pennsylvania Revised Construction Start Date
Email Alert distributed: 4/24/2020 10:00 AM
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued a revised construction start date, moving the May 8th date originally outlined in his plan to May 1st. Please see the press release for details:
GOVERNOR WOLF PRESS RELEASE
PA Governor's EO Amendment Addresses Resumption of "Limited Construction Activity"
Email alert distributed: Tue 4/21/2020 1:39 PM
On April 20, 2020, Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf issued an amendment to the original Executive Order issued March 19th. The amendment mentions the resumption of “limited construction activity.” In the press release, it was stated that, “Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting Friday, May 8th, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the administration shortly. Construction projects already deemed life-sustaining may continue while adhering to social distancing, personnel limits and other guidance as announced by the administration.” The safety guidance has not yet been issued.
To view the Press Release CLICK HERE
To view the Amendment to the Executive Order CLICK HERE
AGC of America Working Safe Website
AGC of America has developed a new website designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. This new site: workingsafe.agc.org highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers and includes photos of different examples of these practices.
URGENT: AGCA ACTION ALERT
ACCNJ Alert distributed: Thu 4/16/2020 10:26 AM
Tell the Trump Administration and Congress to include immediate funding for state departments of transportation (DOTs) in future COVID-19 relief legislation! Thousands of construction jobs may be on the line if they do not act soon.
Due to the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, state DOTs are beginning to delay projects until the next fiscal year and consider cancelling others, as transportation revenue projections show significant declines nationwide. Without immediate federal funding to state DOTs to help ensure these projects can move forward, the threat of significant layoffs grows exponentially.
Click the "Take Action" link below and simply submit the pre-written message as is to President Trump and your members of Congress or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employees.
Currently, projections show a 50 percent vehicle traffic decline and, in certain states, toll road traffic down 67 percent. Specific impacts of these declines include individual state transportation revenue losses as high as 45 percent in the next 18 months. Already, state DOTs are delaying transportation projects that were previously set to move forward, including but not limited to:
- North Carolina DOT reduced proposed construction projects from 131 to 38 for the upcoming budget year, a $2 billion reduction;
- Ohio DOT delayed two major interstate construction projects for the upcoming fiscal year;
- Missouri DOT postponed 18 road and bridge projects, with as many as 299 additional projects, valued at $785 million.
The Trump Administration and Congress must provide state DOTs with additional funding to help backfill lost state transportation revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic to combat the threat of further project delays, cancellations and, ultimately, construction worker layoffs.
OSHA Further Clarifies Employer Requirement to Record & Report COVID19 Cases
Email blast distributed: Sat 4/11/2020 7:57 AM
On April 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued temporary guidance for recording cases of COVID-19 that provides relief to the construction industry.
In an earlier letter to OSHA leadership, AGC of America, along with industry partners on the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), requested the agency re-evaluate its decision to treat cases of employees contracting COVID-19 as recordable incidents. In the letter, industry representatives recommended that only healthcare providers, and similar professions, should be required to report these cases on their logs because they are routinely in direct contact with people with confirmed cases and are at greatest risk.
In line with the request, yesterday’s announcement provides certainty to the construction industry and helps contractors focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.
Specifically, the agency states that in areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations.
To view OSHA’s full enforcement memo, click here.
Designated Essential Project Signage
Email blast distributed: Fri 4/10/2020 10:33 AM
As you know, in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order #122, all non-essential construction sites must shut down or begin shutting down as of tonight - Friday, April 10, 2020, at 8 p.m.
As many jobsites are deemed “Essential”, we are providing you with a sign you may wish to consider posting on your projects, as enforcement of the Executive Order is likely to begin this weekend.
ESSENTIAL PROJECT SIGN: (PDF) (PowerPoint)
We are also attaching the safety protocols from EO #122, which must be adhered to on all essential construction sites: SAFETY PROTOCOLS EO #122
Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order #122
Email blast distributed: Wed 4/8/2020 8:19 PM
As you know, ACCNJ has strongly advocated for the union construction industry in many different ways during the current COVID-19 health crisis.
Our labor and government advocacy maintained the continuation of construction operations here in NJ for the past four weeks, while neighboring states swiftly halted segments of the construction economy.
Per ACCNJ’s email alert yesterday, we anticipated that Governor Murphy would soon announce an executive order curtailing some construction activity. Throughout the past 36 hours, our Association, alongside our labor partners, worked with the Murphy Administration to further expand “essential” projects.
This evening, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order #122 which halts “non-essential” construction work.
The definition of “essential construction projects” contained in E.O. #122 covers large portions of construction markets in New Jersey which will be allowed to continue.
Please see the operative section of E.O. #122 here.
Please see Executive Order #122 here.
Murphy Administration Announcement
Email Blast distributed: Tue 4/7/2020 1:09 PM
As you know, ACCNJ has been in constant communication with the Murphy Administration to keep the construction industry operational and “essential” in NJ while the State continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19. Those daily discussions with leaders in government will continue throughout this current health crisis.
ACCNJ wants to alert members that Governor Murphy is planning to make an announcement tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8, 2020 about the status of “essential” projects in NJ.
We anticipate Governor Murphy will issue a more defined executive order, during tomorrow’s press conference, which may be prescriptive in what types of projects can continue under these circumstances.
While details have not been finalized, ACCNJ, alongside our labor partners, will continue to strongly advocate for our industry.
We will update members as to when “essential” versus “non-essential” construction designations have been finalized.
CohnReznick On-demand webinar: Contractors guide to managing through the Covid-19 environment
As contractors (and the world) adjust to COVID-19, Jack Callahan, CohnReznick’s national construction industry leader, and Bob Briant, chief executive officer of the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA), discuss what is facing contractors.
SBA PPP Loans Under CARES Act
Attached is a primer on the SBA PPP loans/grants that are going to be available under the CARES Act, prepared by ACCNJ member Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
Click here to view the document: SBA PPP Loans Primer
CohnReznick COVID-19 Financial Relief Webinar On-Demand
The on-demand version of CohnReznick's March 31st webinar, Obtaining COVID-19 Financial Relief: An Overview of SBA, CARES, and Alternative Financing Strategies, is now available for on-demand viewing.
Access the webinar here:
AGC of America Free AGC Member Webinar
AGC/A will be conducting a free* AGC Member webinar Friday, April 3rd at 2 PM EDT, that will include a panel of experts answering legal and labor relations questions that particularly affect union construction contractors during the coronavirus outbreak.
The panelists will discuss how to navigate the new paid sick and family leave mandates, expiring collective bargaining agreements, and layoffs and furloughs while staying compliant with the National Labor Relations Act, the WARN Act, labor contracts (including benefit fund), and more. The webinar will also address what Congress is considering for future relief and how union contractors might be impacted.
* Non-Member Webinar Fee: $499
When: Friday, April 3, 2020 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (EDT)
Steve Sandherr, Chief Executive Officer
Denise Gold, Associate General Counsel
Jim Young, Senior Director, Congressional Relations for Labor, HR, and Safety
Ogletree Deakins Representatives/Shareholders:
Eric Stuart, Grace H. Ristuccia, Thomas Vasiljevich and Carol Poplawski
There will be a live Q&A session at the end of the presentation, so bring your questions and take advantage of the opportunity to engage directly with the experts.
If you can’t make the live webcast, register to watch it on-demand when it’s most convenient for you. The on-demand version is usually available 24 hours after the live event, but you must register for the webinar in order to see it on-demand.
PPE Donations Needed
Posted: 2/20/2020 2:20 PM
As you know, supplies for hospitals and health care professionals is dwindling as the need for PPE continues to escalate. The list includes: N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, coveralls, and protective gloves. If you have any PPE to donate, please visit www.covid19.nj.gov/ppedonations
US Army Corps of Engineers Update on COVID19 Response
Email blast distributed: Mon 3/30/2020 2:14 PM
As you know, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently undertaking efforts to support FEMA, state and local authorities to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among these efforts is assisting other agencies in assessing potential sites for suitability as alternate care facilities and to rapidly engage contractors to prepare them for medical use.
In New Jersey, US Army Corps of Engineers has already identified sites.
“Pop-Up” Hospital Sites in New Jersey will be located in Secaucus (Former Meadowlands Stadium), Edison (NJ Convention Center) and Atlantic City (Location TBD).
After ACCNJ’s discussions with the Murphy Administration on this topic, the following guidance below is relevant for ACCNJ Members:
- The site agreement includes that all work must be completed at Federal Davis Bacon rates.
- The State is OUT of contractor selection process. That process will go through the developer (Secaucus - Hartz Mountain; Edison - Summit Associates; Atlantic City - CRDA).
- Governor Murphy’s Office has sent strong signals to the developer community that the Administration expects the work to be completed by union craftworkers.
- Work being done on site is largely fit-outs.
AGC of America conducted a webinar on this topic late last week.
The AGC/A presentation can be found here: AGCA USACE PRESENTATION
Please see an overview below:
- Army Corps working with each State and USACE is in charge of specific sites
- Project timelines will have a quick turnaround
- USACE will handle issues with states regarding work shutdown or if workers are being stopped in route to jobsites
- Project delivery method will differ project to project (will be specific to each site)
- Projects will have fixed “ceiling” price
- Contractors should email capabilities statements to [email protected]
- and highlight specific capabilities based on these needs below:
- Build-out or retrofit of existing space (arena, convention centers, dormitories, hotels or other facilities) into alternate care facilities
- Field Medical Units
- Temporary Medical Enclosures
Federal Stimulus Package Update
Email blast distributed: Sat 3/28/2020 1:39 PM
As you know, Congress passed and President Trump quickly signed a $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
New Jersey will get at least $5.8 billion from the federal stimulus package.
Of significance within New Jersey’s construction community, NJ Transit will get a total of $1.76 billion. The agency’s coffers have been hit hard by a 90% loss in ridership since mid-March. Without federal intervention, the already beleaguered commuter corporation would’ve had limited options to function.
Equally important, Amtrak will receive more than $1 billion to help fund the Northeast Corridor line and to assist in protecting Amtrak functions and employees.
The State will receive $3.4 billion from a federal fund set up to help states combat the coronavirus.
Nationally, AGC of America reports the new stimulus law will establish loan programs to help many construction businesses pay employees and overhead costs. Some of those provisions include:
- Advanced-refundable tax credit for employers implementing new federal paid leave mandates in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act;
- Delaying the payment of employer payroll taxes through January 1, 2021, which will provide relief for businesses’ cash flow during this crisis;
- Allowing companies to “carry back” their net operating losses for up to 5 years, which would inject much needed cash into struggling businesses;
- Suspending the limitation on pass-through business losses, which will allow owners of pass-through businesses to fully deduct any losses they incur this year;
- Suspending the application of the limitation on interest expense deductions, which will avoid penalizing businesses for borrowing during this crisis.
AGC/A will be conducting a webinar Monday, March 30th at 4 PM EDT, that will provide an analysis of the recently passed coronavirus relief legislation and what it means for construction firms.
AGC/A CEO Stephen Sandherr will address how firms can take advantage of the tax credits and lending programs outlined in the law. In addition, AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson will provide his latest analysis of economic conditions and the impacts of the pandemic on the industry. REGISTER HERE for the Webinar.
ACCNJ will continue to monitor federal and state legislative responses to COVID-19 and relay vital information to members.
No Changes to Construction Operations in NJ
Email blast distributed: Fri 3/27/2020 4:01 PM
ACCNJ has held the line with the Murphy Administration to keep construction going in New Jersey throughout the past 15+ days, demonstrating our industry’s efforts to keep jobsites and craftworkers safe. That advocacy work continues daily.
ACCNJ spoke with the Murphy Administration this morning and again this afternoon, as things in New York changed, to further firm up and bolster the messaging that construction should remain essential and operations should continue.
Governor Murphy just concluded a 2pm press conference where NO changes to construction operations in New Jersey were announced. Throughout the weekend, we will continue to advocate strongly on why the construction industry is essential and continue to emphasize the safety and economic concerns associated with shutting down projects.
Thank you for your continued support and patience during these challenging times.
Election Law Annual Business Entity Disclosure
Email blast distributed: Fri 3/27/2020 1:55 PM
As you know, the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) requires business entities with public contracts of $50,000 or more in a calendar year with State agencies, the Legislature, counties, municipalities, school boards or fire commissions to disclose all political contributions in excess of $300 to the New Jersey Election Law Commission. Public contractors have until March 30, 2020 to complete the form.
Please see updated message from ELEC below which lays out a process for business entities who need more time to file due to COVID-19 variables:
“Business entities are advised to file as soon as possible by the deadline if they are currently operational or otherwise able to file.
ELEC recognizes some business entities contracting with the State may have difficulty filing FORM BE because of closures and limited access to records.
In light of these closures and access to records‚ ELEC will provide a grace period for any business entities during their period of closure if a business is affected by the current public health emergency. To receive the grace period a communication via email to [email protected] is required.
Please indicate the business entity and the duration of the closure if known. The business entity’s communication may be supplemented with further closures as they are known to the entity.”
NJDCA Local Construction Inspection Guidance
ACCNJ has been strongly advocating for local construction inspection guidance from the NJ Department of Community Affairs (NJ DCA) since the COVID-19 outbreak impacted the State.
We are pleased to report the Murphy Administration and NJ DCA just released a memo, which states “local enforcing agencies cannot restrict code officials from performing their obligations under the Uniform Construction Code.”
Access the memo here: NJ DCA Memo
ACCNJ Asks Members to Take Action
Email blast distributed: Mon 3/23/2020 6:30 PM
In an email blast, ACCNJ asked members to tell President Trump and Congress to treat the construction industry and the work it performs as vital and essential to the critical industries that must remain in operation to respond to this pandemic and crises to come. To ensure this is the case, the federal government must issue guidance classifying construction as a critical infrastructure industry whose workers are essential.
CLICK HERE to submit the pre-written message as is to President Trump and your members of Congress or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer.
Construction Deemed Essential in New Jersey
Email blast distributed: Sat 3/21/2020 2:41 PM
Governor Murphy has implemented additional restrictions in response to COVID-19. The Administration laid out the State plan during a press conference this afternoon.
Please note - ACCNJ has confirmed with the Front Office that construction will not be included in these enhanced restrictions that will aim to shut down all non-essential businesses.
Specifically, non-essential retailers will be closed indefinitely. All other businesses are recommended to go to 100% telecommuting from home, where feasible.
Examples of occupational sectors in NJ where telecommuting is NOT feasible INCLUDES the CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.
Again – CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE IN NJ.
California Governor Names Construction Essential
Update posted: Fri 3/20/2020 12:12 PM
California Governor Newsom's Administration has updated their Executive Order. Construction, including housing construction, is listed as an essential need during this crisis.
Pennsylvania Governor Orders All Construction to Stop
Update posted: Fri 3/20/2020 7:38 AM
On March 19, the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered that all non-life-sustaining businesses close their physical locations. Construction has not been deemed a life-sustaining business under this order. All businesses that do not comply will be cited, fined or have their licenses suspended. Enforcement of this order will begin on March 21, 2020 at 12:01am.
NJ BPU Emergency Order
B-41-2020 distributed: Thu 3/19/2020 3:47 PM
On March 19, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) held a special meeting by telephone to discuss emergency measures to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 by those under the direction of the BPU. The BPU Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the emergency order. Most importantly, Board discussion before the vote resulted in these points being agreed upon by the Commissioners:
• Clarification that contractors can complete work while exercising caution and limiting social interaction.
• Clarification that utilities and their contractors are covered by this emergency action.
Bergen County Executive Order Rescinded
Email blast distributed: Thu 3/19/2020 11:24 AM
Please be advised that Bergen County’s Executive Order has been rescinded.
According to Bergen County Officials, after further discussions with the Murphy administration, EO #2020-1B will not be implemented on Saturday March 21st.
The Murphy Administration further stated the only closures that could be enforced were those issued by the Governor.
Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order #202.6
Posted: 3/19/2020 9:35 AM
On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued E.O. 202.6, to reduce on-site workforce by 50%. Essential services, which includes construction, are excluded from that mandate. Read the Executive Order here: NY-EO202.6
Governor Murphy's Press Conference
Press conference held 3/17/2020 2:00 PM
On March 17, Governor Murphy held a formal press conference to update NJ residents about the State’s response to COVID-19. After several discussions with the Murphy Administration, ACCNJ was pleased to hear the following message from the Governor.
According to Murphy, “We will override local and county actions to make sure we are consistent in our approach.” He also specifically addressed ensuring the continuity for ongoing construction projects and appealed to county and local governments to coordinate with the state.
Governor Murphy's March 17 Press Conference
Northeast Carpenters Funds Contributing Employers:
Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic and during this volatile time The Northeast Carpenters Fund office may at some point be closed. Therefore, remittance reports and accompanying checks will not be processed until the office is re-opened. If you are not already, please take this opportunity to utilize the Fund’s iRemit system to submit remittance reports electronically and the corresponding benefit payments online. Attached is an informational flyer on how to use the iRemit system.
The iRemit website can be found at https://employers.ncf.fund/
Prior to logging in for the first time you will need to submit an email request to [email protected] to be set up with a user name and password.
If you have any questions please contact the fund office by email at the following address: [email protected]. During the time period that the Fund Office is closed we will be responding to e-mails remotely and can help you set up the process of your account and aid in the transmission of any reports.
AGC/A Action Alert Opposing Federal Paid Family Leave
Bulletin 39-2020 distributed: Tue 3/17/2020 12:58 PM
AGC/A sent all members an URGENT ALERT asking them to let their Senators know they OPPOSE H.R. 6201 - the recently House-passed coronavirus emergency bill. AGC/A opposes the employer-fronted paid leave mandates included in the House bill as they could lead to mass layoffs, employer bankruptcies, and supply chain issues that could delay delivery of medical and emergency response facility projects across the construction industry. AGC/A recommends and ACCNJ agrees that the federal government—not construction employers—is best equipped to administer and front compensation for COVID-19-related illness leave.
Bergen County's Executive Order 2020-1B
Bulletin 38-2020 distributed: Tue 3/17/2020 10:56 AM
On March 16, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco issued a county-wide executive order which halts activity on construction sites within county lines, which was set to take effect Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 8:00am.
ACCNJ immediately began discussing the detriments of this action with Bergen County Officials as well as pursuing the legality of this County-level action superseding Governor Murphy’s Statewide Executive Order, which exempted construction activities from shutting down.
Bergen County E.O. 2020-1B
OSHA Revises COVID-19 Reporting Requirements
Bulletin 37-2020 distributed:Tue 3/17/2020 9:33 AM
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provided guidance requiring the recording and reporting of workplace exposures to COVID-19. The requirement would have been a logistical nightmare with detrimental effects on worker's compensation plans and employer safety ratings. On Thursday, March 12, 2020, AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr spoke one-on-one with U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on this issue noting AGC’s deep concerns with and opposition to such broad guidance. This led to OSHA issuing new guidance that limits when COVID-19 can be a recordable illness to medically confirmed cases of COVID-19 that fall within a narrowed field of incidents that employers could then presume occurred on the jobsite.
Governor Murphy Issues E.O. on COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts
Bulletin 36-2020 distributed: Mon 3/16/2020 3:49 PM
On March 16, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order #104, which implements “aggressive social distancing measures” to combat the spread of COVID-19. ACCNJ successfully communicated with Murphy Administration staff to ensure construction sites are exempt from the limit on gatherings to 50 persons or fewer. Read E.O. #104 here: https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-104.pdf