COVID-19 Important Information

As our industry faces new movement and business restrictions across the region, your NCAT team will continue to monitor the evolving situation and update this page with practical information about Covid-19 (Coronavirus), including job site exemptions, and other protocols, like social distancing, that can impact operations.

  • NCAT will be keeping normal business hours but our employees are working from home until further notice.
  • Please call our office at 510-428-9486 to be routed to the appropriate staff member.
  • We will update our new COVID-19 resource as we have information to share. Continue to look for email updates as pertinent information becomes available.
  • As always, we remain unified in our commitment to serving you.

*The information provided below is to address the overall industry and is not tailored to be specific to each company. We highly recommend contacting your company's attorney for any questions or issues you may have about circumstances unique to your situation.*


DOL ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE EXPLAINING PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020. Click here to read more.


DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RELEASES MANDATORY SICK LEAVE POSTER

On March 25, the Department of Labor released the required notice for The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You must post this notice and for those with employees that are working from home you may post on a company intranet or employee portal. The poster can be found here.


WORKER LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAVEL TO/FROM JOBSITES

People who are experiencing issues with law enforcement while traveling to or from essential construction projects can provide this "letter of authorization" for clear passage. Click here for a sample template of the letter.
 


FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY ACT EFFECTIVE DATE MOVED TO APRIL 1

The Department of Labor has provided an updated page with questions and answers. Click here to read more.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR COVID-19

The $2 trillion stimulus package agreed on by negotiators for the White House and leaders of both parties in Congress in the early hours of Wednesday includes a big expansion of both the length and amount of unemployment insurance (UI) available. The deal even expands UI to cover gig workers, independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed. Read more here.


COVID-19 COMPREHENSIVE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY RESOURCES UPDATE

Things are constantly changing regarding the Coronavirus and how it is affecting our contractors in the Bay Area, both personally and professionally. Association staff will be continuously updating this webpage as we receive new information. 

 
COVID-19 Government Informational Website
California has launched a comprehensive COVID-19 public awareness website that highlights critical steps people can take to stay healthy and resources available to Californians impacted by the outbreak, including unemployment and other benefit information and assistance.
 
Statewide Shelter in Place Order
In an effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, California has issued a Statewide shelter in place “Stay-at-Home” Order. Construction, including housing construction, is considered an essential need during the COVID-19 crisis. The directive reads as follows: “The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.” This important clarification allows our industry to continue working.

Executive Order N-33-20 took effect March 19th, 2020 and shall stay in effect until further notice. 
 
The directive is consistent with the federal Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response, which was also issued March 19th, 2020.
 
We are still working to determine whether the Governor’s order supersedes local orders already in place.
 
Worker Safety
Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to protect workers exposed to airborne infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. Cal/OSHA has posted general industry guidance to help employers comply with these safety requirements and to provide workers information on how to protect themselves. We encourage contractors to review the Cal/OSHA provided guidance.
 
Helpful State Agency Information 
California Department of Public Health:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
CDPH News Releases 2020

California Employment Development Department (EDD):
Information about filing for paid family leave, state disability insurance or unemployment insurance.

California Labor Commissioner’s Office:
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – FAQs on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office

Cal/OSHA:
Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
 

Helpful Covid-19 Legal Briefs
EEOC - Employers Allowed to Take Temperatures During Pandemic
Congress Finalizes COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Act
California "Suspends" Its WARN Act Under Certain Circumstances Amid COVID-19 Crisis


PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER DESIGNATES "ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS" 

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Californians. In accordance with this order, the State Public Health Officer has designated the following list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

Click here to see the list of "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers".


NCAT/NCPFC/NCGMA SIGNS ONTO INDUSTRY LETTER TO OSHA

NCAT signed onto an industry letter organizations to Chief Doug Parker of Cal/OSHA / Division of Occupational Safety and Health, seeking urgent clarification of regulatory policies related to the COVID-19 health crisis. Specifically, we are seeking clarification from Cal/OSHA on where and when virus related illnesses become recordable or reportable events for construction employers. The letter also included critical questions and concerns faced by our industry for him to address.

A copy of the signed letter can be found here.

Chief Doug Parker's response:

"Thank you for your letter. You are correct that an exposure must be occupational and it must fit the criteria for a reportable illness under our regulations to be reportable. Those changed in February to include, among other things, injuries and illnesses that require hospital admission regardless of length of time. The construction industry is not covered by Section 5199, the ATD Standard. While we do have authority to designate additional industries as subject to the standard, there are no plans to do so at this time.

We are currently attempting to respond to a number of requests for guidance, and in the near future will post more specific guidance on our website regarding reporting that will hopefully answer your more detailed questions. I appreciate that there are compliance questions and challenges in these circumstances. 

In the interim I encourage your members to visit our webpage and review the general industry guidance (which in this context includes construction) and the links to CDC guidance on protecting workers from coronavirus." 
 


FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY ACT

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act was signed into law. Here are some fast facts about the Paid Sick Leave portion of the Act:

Paid Sick Leave

  • It only pertains to employers with less than 500 employees.
     
  • Companies with fewer than 50 employees MAY get an exemption by the the Secretary of Labor who has the authority at their discretion to issue regulations for good cause, including:
    • (B) to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of section 102(a)(1)(F) when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. 
       
  • Companies that fit the criteria above must provide 80 hours (10 days) of paid sick leave if their employees are unable to work due to the Coronavirus, quarantined, experiencing symptoms, caring for someone who is ill or caring for a child whose school/daycare is shut down.
  • This only applies to workers that are employed with your company on April 2, it does not apply to employees that you have already laid off.
     
  • Employers must compensate employees for any paid sick time they take at the higher of: their regular rate of pay, the federal minimum wage, or the local minimum wage. This is maxed out at $511 per day.
     
  • Paid sick leave under the Act must be taken first before using paid sick leave acquired previously through the employer.
     
  • Employers will receive tax credits to offset this cost within three months.
     
  • Provisions will go into effect April 2, 2020 April 1, 2020 (updated 3.25.20) and will expire December 31, 2020.
     
  • A copy of the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act can be found here.

JOB SITE SHUTDOWN PROTOCOL

The recent Shelter in Place Orders for AlamedaContra CostaMarin, SacramentoSan FranciscoSanta ClaraSan MateoSanta Cruz and Solano counties have created disruptions on the job sites, and in many cases has shut job sites down.

Two provisions in the Order that apply to our industry are Sections 10 C for workers on the job site and 10 G for employees in the office:

Section 10 C: “For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of “Essential Infrastructure,” including, but not limited to public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computer services, business infrastructure, communications and web-based services), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible.

Section 10 G: “For the purposes of this Order, “Minimum Basic Operations” include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible while carrying out such operations:

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences."

It is important to stay in communications with your General Contractor or Owner to be better informed on whether job sites you are doing subcontracting work for will be impacted by this Order.

  • If you do hear that a job site will be shut down, you should provide employees with a notice of the layoff. If direct deposit is not available, make arrangements to mail their final check to the employee’s home address on record. It would not be prudent or safe to have workers report to a closed job site to pick up their final check.
     
  • Once the mandatory lockout is lifted, employers will have to re-dispatch the employees that were laid off.

Please contact Association staff with any questions you may have by calling the office at 510-428-9486 or emailing Brooke Fishel at bfishel@alliedtrades.org