COVID-19 Resources for SMACNA Colorado Members
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal, State, and Municipal actions are moving rapidly. Below is a comprehensive collection of all resources and information that we have compiled, to date. We will be updating this list in real-time as new information and resources become available.
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This Section will always show the newest and most up to date information. As new information is being released daily, this section will be updated on a daily basis. When information in this section is inevitably replaced, it will still be available in the section it relates to below.
Updated & Extended Safer-At-Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Order
The Governor released a newly updated Safer-at-Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors phase of the pandemic response, encouraging Colorado residents to get outdoors while practicing proper social distancing.
Updated OSHA Guidance
OSHA has just issued revised guidance for enforcement related to COVID-19, covering inspections, illness reporting and recording, and complaint investigations. The new procedures take effect 5/26/2020, and include sample letters to employers and draft violations to be issued under OSHA’s General Duty Clause. They also issued revised guidance for recording COVID-19 illness cases on your OSHA log of injuries and illnesses.
SBA Issues PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued the much-anticipated Loan Forgiveness Application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES Act established the PPP to provide forgivable loans to small businesses and charitable nonprofit organizations to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The SBA has provided detailed guidance for borrowers regarding the criteria for PPP loan forgiveness. Borrowers are required to submit to their lender the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and PPP Schedule A; the Form also includes a PPP Schedule A Worksheet and an optional PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form.
Joint Statement from SMART, SMACNA Leadership on COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant and unprecedented challenges to our industry. Please be assured that SMART and SMACNA are actively monitoring health and industry updates in order to protect the safety and health of our employers, members, and families.
Both SMART and SMACNA understand that this is a highly complex and evolving situation that requires a flexible and common-sense approach to all the issues presented. Labor and management are equally concerned with keeping everyone in our industry safe and healthy, while also recognizing that the critical work performed by our signatory contractors, members and employees needs to continue with as little disruption as possible.
Because of the great variations in the severity of the outbreak, there is no “one size fits all” approach to the issues faced locally. We are encouraged by, and proud of, the cooperative approach taken by many of our local unions and contractor associations to address their unique local situations. It is critical that SMART local unions and SMACNA chapters continue to meet and work together to address concerns as they arise. We encourage parties to share the steps taken and agreements made that may be valuable to other areas addressing similar issues.
Federal and state authorities are issuing guidelines and orders that will dictate many of our actions. However, as individuals, we must assess our own risk factors for health, family and community safety and act accordingly. Employers must take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of the workplace and should rely upon guidance from the CDC, DOL, OSHA, EEOC and state and local governments as those steps are taken.
In addition, the local parties should closely analyze and take advantage of federal, state, and local legislation providing all forms of relief and assistance to individuals and employers so that our industry can recover as rapidly as possible. Both SMACNA and SMART will continue to provide information and analysis to facilitate utilization of these programs.
Our collective hard work at the Partners in Progress Conference and through this pandemic will be the solid foundation that we will work from in the coming weeks. Our strong labor-management partnership will serve us well during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
If SMART and SMACNA can provide any assistance to you during this time of crisis, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us. Most importantly, we hope that you and your families are safe and healthy.
Joseph Sellers, Jr.
SMART General President
Angela Simon, P.E.
National COVID-19 Resources
SMACNA has put together a dedicated webpage for providing up-to-date resources for handling the fallout of COVID-19.: Website: ASHRAE’s Position Document on Airborne Infectious Diseases
State COVID-19 Resource Page
The state has compiled an extensive list of public health orders, industry guidance, and other resources to educate, inform, and provide assistance to both small businesses and residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Click the link for more information.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Work-Share Program
The CDLE Work-Share Program is designed to help avoid lay-offs and keep workers at work with reduced hours by covering the lost hours with Unemployment Insurance benefits. Currently, this program covers lost wages for a minimum loss of 10% to a maximum loss of 40% of normal work hours.
Essential Business Letter
Having documentation readily available for your workers may make any encounters they could have with law enforcement easier, less stressful, and less time consuming. Follow the link for an Essential Business Letter Template Word Doc that has been shared with our construction coalition for your use.
COVID-19 Safety Guidance
Most Up-To-Date OSHA Construction Guidance
This link has the most recent OSHA Construction Guidance Updates at all times.
OSHA COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance
The Department of Labor sent a bulletin advising SMACNA National personnel of new OSHA COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance. Link to full bulletin provided.
CDPHE COVID-19 Updated Construction Guidance
CDPHE released updated COVID-19 Construction Guidance on May 5th. Document provided for download to the right.
COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan
SMACNA has provided a template COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan policy document for use by SMACNA Members. Click the link to open a Word Doc that has been shared for your use.
Cleaning Tools to Prevent Transmission of COVID-19
Should a tool need to be cleaned that does not have blood or visible bodily fluids on it, Milwaukee® recommends the following protocol. This protocol is subject to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), OSHA, and those of State and Local health departments. Please follow applicable guidelines of these agencies.
DIY Masks & Temporary Solutions
Both Colorado (see below) and the CDC have recommended wearing face coverings in public and have urged voluntary compliance. We urge you to encourage your employees on the jobsite and in the shops to bring face coverings to their workplaces where community spread is possible. In particular, Colorado has emphasized DIY masks through the Colorado Mask Project.
Most people have the tools handy in their own homes to assemble one quickly, and it can be as simple as a bandana and two hair ties. Rubber bands also work. Other options are neck gaiters, thin towels, do-rags and other similar items used for hiking, hunting, skiing, biking and working. A quick look at Home Depot’s website this morning also shows gaiters available.
The CDC has provided guidelines and an FAQ on masks which includes a tutorial, and we have also provided a video for a no-sew fabric mask.
For those a little more handy with a needle, we also found a mask-making option.
SBA Funding Webinar
The funding passed by Congress contains many favorable provisions for employers to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. The webcast covers a host of loan and grant opportunities that employers will be able to take advantage of.
SMACNA Webinar (Recorded): COVID-19 Labor Law and Implications of Federal Stimulus Package
Watch this thorough explanation of COVID-19 related labor law and the implications of the Federal Stimulus Package coordinated by CAMPC and MEP, presented by Fisher & Phillips LLP.
Fisher & Phillips COVID-19 Webinar Part 2
Fisher and Phillips LLP provided a second webinar on COVID-19 resources which covered a quick refresher on Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Emergency Family and Medical Leave and its expansion of FMLA rights and responsibilities, How to manage sick and family leave requests, What to do to keep your employees safe, Latest guidance from the USDOL, and Components of the Federal stimulus package. We have provided the full Webinar and the PowerPoint they used in the presentation.
The US Senate has passed the US House Bill H.R. 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the President has signed into law. This is the first of several pieces of legislation that will provide aid to those affected by the disaster. Families First Coronavirus Response Act chart detailing eligibility and benefits is attached. I further expect an analysis from SMACNA National soon regarding implications for our labor force as there are some provisions exempting those covered by multiemployer benefit funds. The paid leave provisions of the FFCRA do not go into effect until “15 days after the date of enactment,” which means the paid leave provisions will take effect on April 2, 2020. Felhaber Larson has also provided a summary of the IRS FFCRA Clarifying Guidance for SMACNA Members. We have also provided a FFCRA Leave Decision Tree to help determine eligibility.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was approved on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act contains many tax provisions that are aimed to help reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to taxpayers. The focus of this post is on several business-specific components. Part of the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program, detailed in the US Chamber Summary and Guidance document. We have also provided the SBA application forms and the link to the Treasury Department’s website.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued additional guidance to help employers and employees better understand the law.
Original Safer-At-Home Order
This is the Original Safer-At-Home Order and Guidance from Governor Polis.
The Office of the Governor has issued an Economic Forecast detailing the expected impact of COVID-19 on the Colorado economy. Slides from the Governor’s press conference and the Economic Forecast are provided to the right.
Social Distancing Order
Governor Polis has issued a Public Health Order restricting gatherings to no more than 10 individuals. While there is no specific carveout for the construction industry, there is also no specific restriction on the construction industry and plant operations where social distancing is already in place are exempt. The construction industry has shared a letter with the Governor and other key officials asking for an exemption if additional orders are received. We are not aware of additional imminent orders, however, as you know, these things are changing rapidly.
Medical Priorities Order
The Governor signed an executive order today temporarily suspending elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures to preserve important medical equipment, like personal protective equipment and ventilators, needed to combat COVID-19. The executive order is in effect from March 23 to April 14, with the exception of rural and critical access hospitals.
Governor Polis’s Statewide Stay Home Order Press Conference
This evening, Governor Polis issued a Statewide Stay Home Order to go into effect at 6am on Thursday March 26th, 2020 and to stay in effect until April 11th, 2020, unless otherwise extended or rescinded. With the release of the text format order, we now know that the Construction Industry is classified as Essential Business. Follow the links to see the full 9News press conference, the full text of the Updated Stay Home Order, or the FAQs (updated 03.31.20) provided.
Governor Polis Extends Colorado Stay at Home Order to April 26th, 2020
The statewide stay-at-home order will now last through April 26, Gov. Jared Polis announced in an address to the state Monday night. He said that he hoped the state could lift restrictions sooner than the current federal guidance, which lasts through April 30, expressing concern for the state’s economy.
Governor Polis Instructs Coloradans to Wear Masks
Gov. Jared Polis has instructed Coloradans to wear face masks when they leave their home for essential functions.
Englewood City COVID-19 Small Business Support & Recovery Grant
In response to the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Englewood has developed a COVID-19 Small Business Support and Recovery Grant Program. This program provides grants up to $2,000 for businesses that have been significantly impacted by this pandemic.
City of Arvada Emergency Business Recovery Initiative
The City of Arvada announced proactive steps to help the local business community survive the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Included in the Arvada Emergency Business Recovery Initiative, are funds for “bridge loans” of up to $10,000 for local, for-profit businesses with fewer than 50 employees. These loans are intended to help small businesses stay afloat until the Federal funds flow into the community.
Public Health Orders
A number of public health orders have been issued by various government entities in Colorado. Below are links to each of the orders currently in place. These will be updated as new Public Health Orders are issued. Most municipalities and counties rescinded their Public Health Orders following the Statewide Stay at Home Order, except Pitkin County and Denver.
Denver’s Stay at Home Order has been extended to April 30th, 2020.
Union Sheet Metal Contractors
Special SASMI Eligibility for union members affected by COVID-19
Qualifying participants displaced because of conditions related to COVID-19 will be eligible for pay at their normal rate at 40 hours per month for March through June. The trustees will determine later whether the benefit will be extended. Participants may not receive SASMI benefits if they are otherwise being compensated by an employer and are not working. Receiving state unemployment does not affect eligibility and receiving SASMI does not disqualify an employee from receiving state unemployment. Most Local 9 journeyworkers and apprentices who are employed with signatory contractors will be eligible. Generally, classified workers and material handlers are not covered.
COVID-19 Guidance for Union Employers
Employers continue to grapple with how to respond to the constantly changing circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. For employers with a unionized workforce, following the terms of their collective bargaining agreements and the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) adds another layer of complexity.
SMACNA COVID-19 Resources & Community Discussion
SMACNA has put together a community discussion board for members who are seeking guidance from peers concerning various aspects of business that are impacted by COVID-19.
Downright Dangerous Decisions: Developing Strategy Amid Uncertainty
SMACNA 10 Tips for Leadership During a Crisis
A recent article published in Inc. stresses that leaders like yourself are called upon in this time of uncertainty to lead. The article goes on to give ten useful tips for leaders to make something good when it seems impossible, and how they can rise to the challenge of the Coronavirus crisis. For more information click the Crisis Leadership link.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Contract Obligations
As we face continuing disruptions and possible mandatory quarantines, businesses are wondering about their obligations under previously executed contracts. More specifically, many companies are wondering what their rights are in the event of their, or another party’s, nonperformance or inability to perform under a contract.
Does Insurance Cover COVID-19 Losses?
SMACNA has provided some guidance on insurance coverage of business losses resulting from COVID-19 related shutdowns. For more information, click the COVID-19 Insurance link.
COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
SMACNA members who are concerned about cash flow can draw from government programs now and in record amounts with less documentation and increased funding. For more information click the Small Businesses link.
COVID-19 Paid Leave FAQs
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act H.R. 6201 creates two new types of paid leave: (1) Public Health Emergency Leave (“Emergency FMLA”) and (2) Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“Emergency PSL”). For more information on these these new types of leave, click the Paid Leave link.
SMACNA Essential Business Status Request
SMACNA and its industry partners have asked officials at all levels to treat construction as essential services that should be continued during a time of national crisis. Further, SMACNA has applauded public officials for recognizing the vital role of HVAC and commercial refrigeration specialty contractors to countless clients building and maintaining facilities impacting the national defense, healthcare, public infrastructure in times of crisis, SMACNA have petitioned local, state and federal lawmakers to include HVACR technicians and engineers as essential businesses for continued roles in national commerce.