CWHBA Resources & Response re: COVID-19
Late on June 11, the Governor’s office rescinded the Construction COVID-19 Job Site Requirements, first introduced in May 2020. However, job sites and construction offices must still comply with DOSH Directive 1.70, which outlines Coronavirus safety requirements for all businesses in Washington.
What does this mean for employers in the construction industry?
The following are no longer required:
- Having specific COVID-19 control, mitigation and recovery plans at each job site.
However, COVID-19 safety must still be included in required Accident Prevention Programs. (DOSH Directive 1.70)
- Designating a COVID-19 site-safety supervisor.
However, employers are still responsible for COVID-19 safety compliance. (DOSH Directive 1.70)
- Holding weekly COVID-19 safety classes.
However, COVID-19 must be included in other required safety training. (DOSH Directive 1.70)
- Wiping down tools shared between co-workers.
However, a sanitation and disinfection schedule of the site is still required. (DOSH Directive 1.70)
- Maintaining 10-foot distancing with customers in occupied homes.
- Enforcing a quarantine of employees who travel out of state.
Multiple COVID safety requirements still remain
Earlier today, BIAW confirmed with the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) that the following safety requirements do continue for all industries, including construction (DOSH Directive 1.70):
- Conducting daily employee screening as the required “system for preventing sick employees to be present at work.”
- Providing basic education on COVID-19 prevention, including communicating daily, hanging posters/signs and providing meaningful ways for workers to express concerns and offer ideas;
- Maintaining six-foot social distancing requirements for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or those whose status is unknown;
- Requiring appropriate masks/respirators for workers who work or travel with others and are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or of unknown status;
- Requiring face coverings of customers or clients unless they are vaccinated or otherwise exempt;
- Making hand-washing stations available for employees on every construction job site;
- Maintaining a schedule for, and conducting, adequate workplace cleaning;
- Verifying vaccination status of employees to reduce social distancing or allow workers to stop wearing masks. Employers do not need to verify status if they choose to continue requiring social distancing and masks for all employees.
Resources for Those Affected
Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA has created robust programs that include bridge loans, debt relief, Paycheck Protection and economic injury disaster loans. Find out more » The CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses, is accessible now for small businesses.
- Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities and is available until June 20, 2020.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan: This loan advance, which does not have to be repaid, will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. UPDATE 4/8/2020: SBA has decided to implement a $1,000 cap per employee on the advance, up to a maximum of $10,000. So, a business with 3 employees, would be eligible to receive only $3,000 up front, as opposed to the originally stated $10,000. Learn more »
Tax Credit Programs
B&O Tax: The Washington State Department of Revenue is allowing businesses to request a one-time, 24-month penalty waiver if you have not owed a late penalty in the last 24 months. Also, businesses can request a 30-day extension of B&O taxes without payment or 30+ days with deposit. Find out more »
IRS Extends 2020 Tax Filing Date: The tax-filing deadline will remain July 15, but the IRS will waive penalties and interest on tax payments for 90 days. Learn more »
Excise Tax Filing Assistance: The Washington State Department of Revenue will work with businesses that cannot file or pay their excise taxes on time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Affected businesses may qualify for filing extensions or penalty waivers. Learn more »
The Washington State Department of Revenue: A helpful guide that outlines frequently asked questions about how to file and pay online, audits, and more. Learn more »
The US Department of Labor (DOL): More information will be coming out with further guidance for granting small business exemptions from the Response Act that require employer-paid sick and medical leave. NAHB will be voicing our ideas for this guidance with the agency and will keep you in the loop as DOL develops and publicizes its criteria. Learn more »
SharedWork Program: SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. This is a little known but powerful program to help workers stay employed while drawing needed benefits. Learn more »
Washington State Unemployment: If you or an employee is affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. The agency has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine for workers and businesses. Learn more »
SharedWork Program: SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. Learn more >>
Department of Financial Resources Institutions: Here is a list of financial resources for Washington Residents impacted by COVID-19. Learn more >>
State – Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML): If an employee is sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that they are unable to work in order to qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave. Quarantine (and school closures) are not qualifying events under this program. Learn more »
Federal – Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Learn more »
Health Insurance: Apply for or renewing a health insurance plan through Washington Health Plan Finder (through April 8) »
Crisis Connection: Connects people with crisis services like applying for food, child care, cash, long-term care and health care. Get help »
- Find the most up-to-date announcements from Governor Inslee here.
- COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers
- Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Common Questions
- Evaluating Your Contracts in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Washington State Hospital Association – Where to donate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- SBA Disaster Assistance
- Association of Washington Businesses
- Workers’ Compensation Coverage
- WA Small Business Development Center
Advice From Experts
- Tips for Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Crisis Read More >>
- COVID-19 Has My Teams Working Remotely: A Guide for Leaders Read More >>