Chamber Members:

Today’s update will be a light one as we want to make sure that you’ve seen our earlier invite to join a webinar we’ll be holding this Thursday, April 9 at 10:00 am with Kevin Courtois of the US Chamber of Commerce. Here are the full details in case you missed them:

Understanding & Utilizing The Federal Cares Act

Join this free webinar hosted by Kevin Courtois from US Chamber of Commerce on how you can understand and implement the benefits from the Federal Cares Act.

Topics will include:  PPP Loans, Paid Sick Leave, EIDL Loans, FMLA Leave and more!

We are limited to only 250 participants, so please make sure to arrive a few minutes early.

Date:   April 9, 2020
Time:   10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT
Website:   http://jolietchamber.com
Location:   Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/738303717

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3412

Access Code: 738-303-717

Contact:   Mike Paone
Email:   mpaone@jolietchamber.com
Date/Time Details:   Thursday, April 9th at 10am CST
We are limited to only 250 participants, so please make sure to arrive a few minutes early.
Fees/Admission:   FREE! We are limited to only 250 participants, so please make sure to arrive a few minutes early.

Click Here for More Information

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Reports out of Washington D.C. mention that Senate leadership is going to move quickly with a possible approval this Thursday for additional aid to small businesses. After the PPP rollout at the end of last week, it has become evident that more aid will be needed. Leaders are discussing a possible increase of $200-$250 billion. Bank of America alone reported yesterday that it had received more than 178,000 applications worth almost $33 billion, which is almost 10% of the total announced in the CARES Act.

We’ve covered a little bit about Phase 4 or now being called CARES 2 and it seems as if talk is moving away from transportation funding. With the news of the record unemployment filings which could realistically bring nationwide unemployment up to 12%, Democrats are pressing for more funding for new medical equipment; another round of direct cash payments, an expansion of both food stamps and unemployment benefits, an extension of paid leave to cover more affected families, and tougher work-safety protections for medical personnel, firefighters and other front-line workers. Additionally, talk remains on including provisions to provide free medical care to all coronavirus patients, expand health coverage for laid off workers through the COBRA program, and increase the federal share of Medicaid payments.

The Department Of Labor continues its efforts to clarify the circumstances under which paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA must be provided to eligible employees. A full text of the DOL’s Q&As can be found here. Highlights from the fourth set include:

  • Quarantine or isolation orders include shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders.
  • An employee’s decision to self-quarantine must be supported by a directive or advice from a health care provider.
  • Paid sick leave to care for another person is limited
  • Paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave are available to care for disabled children over the age of 18.
  • Paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave may not be available where another parent is already caring for the child
  • Schools are closed, even if teaching is being handled remotely.
  • At this time there are no “substantially similar conditions.”
  • Paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave are generally not available with other forms of leave.

DOL enforcement will be retroactive to April 1, 2020. Although the DOL announced it will not enforce the FFCRA from April 1 through April 16, it expects employers to make good faith efforts to comply and will retroactively enforce violations that are not remedied before April 17

Attached is a sample application for Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Finally, some more information about Unemployment Benefits:

On Monday, April 6, 2020, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with officials from the Department of Labor and Illinois Department of Employment Securities (IDES). Director Thomas Chan discussed via webinar the vital information for businesses on unemployment requirements for employees and contractors as outlined in the recent federal CARES Act. The recording can be found here. Additionally, frequently asked questions and answers can be found on the Department of Labor’s website and also via IDES’s website. To view the Federal Stimulus Package Unemployment Benefits click here.

Stay well,

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors

 

 

Mike Paone

Vice President – Government Affairs

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry

mpaone@jolietchamber.com

815.727.5371 main

815.727.5373 direct