COVID News & Resources

Every individual, business, and community is experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency. In an effort to support our contractors and the industry, we are offering helpful links and resources for information. The situation and environment is changing rapidly, so check back regularly for updated information.

Chapter Services

In an effort to keep our members, guests, and association staff healthy and safe during the COVID-19 public health emergency, we are following local, state, and federal guidelines.

The Oregon-Columbia Chapter is following local and state guidelines. At this time our office is physically closed, but we are still open for business! Any scheduled in-person meetings will be rescheduled and held virtually. Feel free to contact us, 503-682-3363. We will update this information as conditions change.

Here’s the Latest in News

Grant Funding Available to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties

[Sept 17] Business grants are available for businesses in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. Applications will be available until all funding is no longer available. A business must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

    • The Business is headquartered in Oregon and has its principal operations in Oregon.
    • If required by Oregon law to be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business in Oregon, the Business is so registered.
    • The Business has 25 or fewer employees.
    • The Business was adversely affected in either one of the following two ways:
      1. For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that were prohibited from operation as directed by Executive Order 20-12.
      2. For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses that can demonstrate a one-month decline in sales of50% or more, incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in the month of March 2020 up to the date of this application as compared against sales in the month of January 2020 or February 2020, or as compared against the same period of time in 2019.

Click here to apply.


FAQs About PPP Loans and Forgiveness

[Sept 17] Attorneys on Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt‘s CARES Act task force have created a series of videos to answer some of the most frequently asked questions around Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans and forgiveness.

PPP Loan Flexibility Act: Do You Need to Amend Your Loan Documents? with Charmin B. Shiely
Shareholder Charmin Shiely talks about potential changes needed on borrowers’ PPP loan documents in light of the PPP Loan Flexibility Act.

Maintaining Proper PP Loan Documentation with Omar Contreras
Associate Omar F. Contreras gives an overview for PPP borrowers on the most important loan documentation considerations.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Covered Period with Savannah Wolfe
Associate Savannah Wolfe explores questions around the PPP Loan Forgiveness Covered Period.

To view more articles, videos, and resources, we encourage you to visit Schwabe’s PPP Portal.


Paid-leave program to help some employees who need to quarantine

[Sept 14] A new program starts this week to help people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program was created with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregon respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

People who qualify will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time they are required quarantine.

Employees can apply online starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, at oregon.gov/covidpaidleave.

The application form is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to electronic applications can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in a language other than these three can call 503-947-0131 for help.

DCBS and the Department of Revenue are collaborating on the new program to ensure employees meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for the program:

    • Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
    • Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected, or isolating because you have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
    • Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
    • Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
    • Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
    • Are not applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
    • Are not applying for or receiving workers’ compensation claim benefits due to quarantine or isolation.
      Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
    • Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
    • Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
    • Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.

Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period.

For more information or to apply, go to oregon.gov/covidpaidleave or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also contains an eligibility quiz to help people who are not sure if they qualify.


Governor Kate Brown Extends COVID-19 State of Emergency for 60 Days

Labor Day weekend marks critical moment to prevent outbreaks at beginning of school year

[September 1] Governor Kate Brown today extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until November 3, 2020. The declaration is the legal underpinning for the Governor’s COVID-19 executive orders and the Oregon Health Authority’s health and safety guidance. The Governor reviews and reevaluates her emergency orders every 60 days. She issued the following statement:

“When I last extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in June, I told Oregonians that we were at a crossroads: we could work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, or we could watch infections and hospitalizations spike.

“Now, six months after this crisis began, we have made progress. Together, we have slowed the spread of this disease. Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. But, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come.

“This Labor Day weekend is another critical moment in this crisis.

“We can work together to stay safe and put Oregon on the path to return more students to classrooms. Or, we could see Labor Day celebrations unknowingly sow the seeds of COVID-19 outbreaks that could set us back for months. Until there is an effective vaccine for COVID-19, this disease can spread like wildfire if we let our guard down.

“Small social get-togethers like barbecues and family celebrations have fueled wider community outbreaks in counties across Oregon. This weekend, you have a choice. Please, stay local this Labor Day, and practice safe COVID-19 habits. Wear a face covering, watch your physical distance, and wash your hands.

“We know this can work. We have seen it work in rural and urban communities that have experienced significant outbreaks. Last week, Multnomah and Hood River counties came off the Watch List. All we need now is the will to follow this through to the end.

“We have come this far together. And that’s the only way we’ll get through this––working together, day by day, to keep each other healthy and safe until we reach the day that there is an effective vaccine or treatment for this disease.”

The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the Governor has issued to keep Oregonians healthy and safe throughout this crisis, including her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential health and safety protections, as well as orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect.

The Governor reviews and reevaluates each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded. The findings of this review process are listed in the executive order.


First Month of Statewide Enforcement Efforts Finds Businesses Largely in Compliance with Face Covering, Physical Distancing Requirements

Over 3,600 businesses inspected since July 4th, statewide weekend inspections and enforcement to continue

[August 5] One month after announcing that state inspectors would be conducting weekend spot checks in bars, restaurants, breweries, tasting rooms, and other establishments that serve alcohol to enforce state face covering and physical distancing requirements, Governor Kate Brown today thanked Oregonians and the vast majority of business owners who have helped to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“One month ago, at the beginning of the July 4th weekend, I told Oregonians that we stood at a crossroads: we could either stop the spread of COVID-19, or watch infections and hospitalizations rise across Oregon, leading to the closure of businesses and counties again,” said Governor Brown. “We still have a long road ahead of us. Infections continue to rise. But I’d like to thank Oregonians, business owners, and local officials for stepping up to the plate to help make sure we are all wearing face coverings, keeping our physical distance, and working together to keep our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians safe.”

Since July 4th, Oregon Liquor Control Commission inspectors have spot checked over 3,600 licensed establishments. More than 93% have been found to be in compliance with physical distancing and face covering requirements. Of the small number found not to be in compliance, the vast majority took steps to implement corrective measures when given instructions by OLCC about how to achieve compliance. Only about 1% of spot-checked business were referred to Oregon OSHA for further investigation.

Likewise, Oregon OSHA has fielded over 3,400 COVID-19 related complaints from the public and others about businesses and workplaces since the week of July 4th and found only a small number of businesses to be in violation of COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

Since March, Oregon OSHA has conducted over 5,000 spot checks of businesses, initiated more than 60 inspections based on COVID-19 related complaints, and have found it necessary to issue 14 citations and five Red Warning Notices. Red Warning Notices apply to businesses that appear to be in willful violation of Oregon’s COVID-19 health and safety guidance or who refuse to take corrective measures. Such businesses are closed until the hazardous condition is remedied. Violation of a Red Warning Notice results in stiff penalties.

OLCC inspectors have reported some business owners are continuing to choose not to follow health and safety requirements. For those businesses, OLCC has the ability to suspend licenses for failing to follow face covering and physical distancing requirements. OLCC took action yesterday and suspended the liquor license of a Rogue River bar and restaurant.

Governor Brown added: “Let me be clear: businesses that do not follow the health and safety guidance established by the Oregon Health Authority are putting their employees, their customers, and their communities at risk, risking community-wide closures for other businesses as well if a COVID-19 outbreak starts to spread out of control.”

OLCC will post regular inspection updates to its website on a rolling basis. Oregon OSHA COVID-19 workplace guidance and resources are available here.

Contractors in Oregon have been able to continue to work throughout the pandemic, with new federal and state safety and health guidelines. AGC continues to encourage contractors to follow those guidelines; visit our COVID Safety & Health webpage for updates and resources.


Oregon Health Authority Launches New COVID-19 Test Site Locator

[July 24] This week, the Oregon Health Authority announced the creation of a COVID-19 test site locator to help Oregonians across the state find testing sites in their community. The interactive map is available on pages in both English, Spanish, and multiple other languages.

You can view the tool here.

The announcement came as Oregon surpassed 15,000 confirmed cases.

“Removing barriers to testing is important to help Oregonians stay healthy and to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dean Sidelinger, MD, state epidemiologist and state health officer. “This new resource can help people find ongoing testing locations in their community, which is especially important for people who don’t have a primary care provider.”

People who experience COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should contact a health care provider to discuss whether to be tested. Health care providers determine whether testing is appropriate based on symptoms and test availability in their area. Information provided by Oregon Business & Industry.


PPE Supplier

National Safety, Inc.
Matt Strand
www.nationalsafetyinc.com
360-253-7378
(c)360-949-5223
matt@nationalsafetyinc.com

Archived Information & Related Links

COVID-19 Job Site Practices Poster

• 8.5 x 11 Jobsite Practices Poster

• 11 x 17 Jobsite Practices Poster


New! COVID-19 Job site Be Smart: Stay 6 Feet Apart Banner (3′ x7′)

Job site banners are available now. If you are a participant in the AGC/SAIF workers’ comp program, you should have been contacted by your safety management consultant. Contact your safety management consultant or Lisa Wisler, 503-685-8306.


Updated FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Issues

[June 30] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding new policies at the federal and state level.

Click here for the updated version of the document.


Five Things to Know From the SBA

[July 6] The SBA began accepting new PPP applications this morning. Here’s what you should know:

  1. The new deadline to submit a PPP application is Aug. 8, 2020.
    In response to the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, the SBA began accepting new PPP applications at 6 a.m. PDT this morning. Connect with one of thousands of PPP lenders to submit an application for this forgivable loan now. Find a lender.
  2. More than $130 billion in PPP funding is available. Use the new how-to guide to calculate your maximum PPP loan amount.
    The PPP loan is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs (at least 60% of the forgiven amount), interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. And important to the Pacific Northwest, fishing boat owners may include payroll costs that are attributable to crewmembers. Check out this recently released guidance to assist you in calculating payroll costs. Calculate PPP loan amount. 
  3. Several types of organizations and individuals are eligible to apply for the PPP.
    More than just small businesses are eligible for PPP funds. Tribal businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, sole proprietors, independent contractors and those who are self-employed are among those who can benefit from this forgivable loan program. Eligibility has also been expanded for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions. Who can apply
  4. PPP is keeping millions of Americans employed.
    More than 200,000 small businesses in the Pacific Northwest Region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) have received nearly $23 billion in PPP funds. In fact, approximately 79% of estimated small business payroll in the Pacific Northwest was covered by PPP loans. Nationally, the PPP supports 51.1 million jobs. View PPP results
  5. Forgiveness applications and instructions have been simplified.
    PPP loan forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. The loan forgiveness form and instructions were recently revised to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers. This includes step-by-step instructions and an EZ Loan Forgiveness Application option. Start forgiveness process

SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

[June 17] The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

• Are self-employed and have no employees; OR

• Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR

• Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.

• Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.

Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application.


PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules & More

[May 23] The SBA issued several important interim final regulations on the Paycheck Protection Program. 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

AGC of America has provided an initial analysis of those interim final rules, which you can view here.


*Updated* FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Issues

[May 18] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding new policies at the federal and state level.

Please see the updated FAQs including answers to the questions below:

• How do I count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

• What should I do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath)?

• If employees have been exposed but are not showing symptoms, should I allow them to work?

• Do my employees need to wear cloth face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as N95 respirators, gloves) to protect themselves while working?

• Has OSHA issued any guidance specific to the construction industry?

View the document.


SBA Releases PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and Detailed Instructions

[May 18] The SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The SBA will soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers including:

• Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles.

• Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan.

• Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.

• Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30.

• Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined.

The documents released May 15 will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans.

Download application.


AGCA Succeeds in Securing New Paycheck Protection Program Guidance From Treasury Department

[May 13] The Treasury Department’s new Paycheck Protection Program guidance offers the kind of information we have been seeking to provide many employers with additional clarity on how to proceed with their loans. Importantly, the Department has opted to provide a safe harbor provision for firms that self-certified their need for loans that totaled less than $2 million. In addition, the new guidance provides a mechanism to allow firms that received loans of $2 million or more and are later found to have not met the Department’s need-standard to repay, seemingly without penalty, those loans.

While the new guidance is helpful, it does leave several important questions unanswered, including about the timing and condition of those possible loan repayments, as well as what criteria the SBA will use to determine if a loan should be repaid. AGC will continue to push Treasury officials to answer those questions as quickly as possible. That being said, today’s new guidance will clearly help save many jobs.

Here is the guidance:

46. Question: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?

Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loans with respect to this issue: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates,20 received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.

SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns.

Importantly, borrowers with loans greater than $2 million that do not satisfy this safe harbor may still have an adequate basis for making the required good-faith certification, based on their individual circumstances in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance. SBA has previously stated that all PPP loans in excess of $2 million, and other PPP loans as appropriate, will be subject to review by SBA for compliance with program requirements set forth in the PPP Interim Final Rules and in the Borrower Application Form. If SBA determines in the course of its review that a borrower lacked an adequate basis for the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request, SBA will seek repayment of the outstanding PPP loan balance and will inform the lender that the borrower is not eligible for loan forgiveness. If the borrower repays the loan after receiving notification from SBA, SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement or referrals to other agencies based on its determination with respect to the certification concerning necessity of the loan request. SBA’s determination concerning the certification regarding the necessity of the loan request will not affect SBA’s loan guarantee.21

Click here for the full list of questions and answers from the Treasury Department on PPP loans.


PPP Packet to Help Contractors Document Market Conditions

[May 6] AGC of America has prepared a packet of information to help document current market conditions that helped influence many firms’ decisions to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The intent of this packet is to provide a snapshot of media coverage starting on March 27 – the launch of the initial round of Paycheck Protection Program loans – covering topics like declining demand, growing layoffs, and general worries about market conditions for the construction industry. Please see packet HERE.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Progress Report

[April 29] Yesterday morning the SBA resumed processing PPP loans with additional funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act signed into law April 24. The following is a national snapshot progress report of PPP loan approvals made yesterday through this morning:

• More than 475,000 loans valued at more than $52 billion processed by more than 5,100 lenders were approved.

• Small lenders are leading the way. More than 331,000 – or nearly 70% of all loans approved – are from small lenders with fewer than $10 billion in assets, typically community financial institutions and smaller federally-insured banks and credit unions.

• When combined with medium lenders who have assets between $10 and $50 billion, 87% of all approved loans have been made by small and medium lenders.

For more information about the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program, please click here.


Contact Your Banker: SBA PPP Borrowing Guidelines Changing

[April 28] The AGC of America has provided more insight on the new guidance for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This is the first guidance that the Small Business Administration (SBA) or Treasury has issued about the “necessity” certification for PPP loans. This guidance states that the requirement to consider alternative liquidity is retroactive. If borrowers applied for loans before this guidance they have time to repay the loans if the necessity is no longer valid in light of the new guidance. Please watch the ConstructorCast COVID-19 Special Edition Ep. 5 – Paycheck Protection Program Loans.


SBA & Treasury Issue Important New PPP Loan Guidance

Puts Borrowers on Notice of “Good Faith” Need for PPP Loans

[April 23] New guidance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury puts Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers and potential borrowers on notice that they should be able to prove in “good faith” that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support [their] ongoing operations” to be eligible for the loan. The guidance specifically uses the example that it would be “unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate [emphasis added] to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification.” This appears to be a warning to PPP borrowers of the possibility of federal audits and investigations to come. The guidance goes on to state that any “borrower that applied for a PPP loan prior to the issuance of this guidance and repays the loan in full by May 7, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith.” For more information, see question #31 of the guidance found here.

Learn more


FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Updates

[April 23] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding the new policies in place at a federal and state level.

View the document.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Kuenzi.


Preparing for a Slowdown/Shutdown

[March 23] Prepared by the Oregon-Columbia Chapter Legal Operating Committee: Steps a contractor should be considering when evaluating impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


SAIF Safety Fund Application Reopens With $15 Million Boost

[April 13] SAIF’s coronavirus worker safety fund is again accepting applications after the fund was refreshed today with $15 million.

SAIF is encouraging customers to submit applications as soon as possible, as the first round of funding for the program was used within five business days. SAIF will accept submissions from all SAIF policyholders (including those in the assigned risk pool) until all funds have been expended or until the fund is terminated. They don’t anticipate additional funding.

The fund is designed to support employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease exposures by helping businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Eligible expenses could include:

• Safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce exposure and transmission

• Cleaning services and supplies for disinfection

• Worksite redesign or modification to respond to transmission risk

• Employee clinic modification or staffing for virus-related treatment

• Mental health and wellness initiatives for concerns linked to the crisis

• Coronavirus and job reassignment safety training and communication

• Ineligible expenses include telecommuting and regular staffing expenses, including labor costs for employees reassigned to new positions.

More information, including the application, can be found at saif.com/safetyfund.


New Trump Administration Guidance Allows Firms With 500 or Fewer Employees to Qualify for Paycheck Protection Program Loans

[April 7] The Associated General Contractors of America announced that the Trump administration released new guidance that now allows firms with 500 or fewer employees to qualify for the new Paycheck Protection Program Loans. Association officials noted that the administration released the new guidance after the association raised concerns over the weekend that many firms that employ 500 or fewer employees appeared to be excluded from the program. Read more


AGCA Working to Fix Flaw in Paycheck Protection Program Qualifications That Appears to Exclude Many Construction Firms

[April 6] We wanted to alert you to a potentially very serious flaw in the way the Small Business Administration has crafted the qualification guidelines for its new Paycheck Protection Program loans and the steps we are taking to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.

Congress and the administration were clear when enacting the coronavirus relief measure that any firm employing 500 or fewer people should be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program loans. The purpose of these loans is to keep businesses open so they can continue to operate and employ millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the Small Business Administration is needlessly delaying the loan applications of thousands of construction firms that clearly would meet the statutory threshold of 500 employers or less because the agency appears to have added a secondary qualification that is not part of the statute. That secondary qualification is the average annual receipts size standard used for construction.

Applying that second standard will severely undermine the purpose of the new loan program by excluding many member firms from qualifying for the loan program. Click HERE to view some additional analysis of the flaw and what it means for member firms.

That is why we have contacted officials within the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the White House and urged them to fix this flaw immediately. You can view a copy of our letter HERE. We have also alerted the media to this flaw, and you can read our media statement HERE.

We will alert you as we work to have this flaw fixed. You can also learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program loans and the requirements for applying at the following Treasury Department site, and at the following link from the Small Business Administration.


Federal Emergency Small Business Loan Starts TODAY

[April 3] Beginning April 3, qualifying businesses can apply for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was part of federal legislation signed into law last week and includes up to $10 million per business to help with employee retention and operational expenses.

It is first-come, first-served so call your bank, credit union or or financial institution TODAY to start the process. Approved SBA lenders will handle the loans.  For a full list of SBA lenders in Oregon, click here.

A few quick FAQs:

How do I apply?

• Loans will be made through financial institutions that are already Small Business Administration qualified lenders. Your first call should be to your bank or credit union.

When can I apply?

• Small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) and sole proprietorships can apply for loans starting today, April 3.

• Starting April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply, according to the Treasury guidelines.

Who qualifies?

• Businesses and entities in operation on February 15, 2020

• Small Businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, 501(c)(19) veterans organizations or tribal businesses that have fewer than 500 employees or otherwise meet the SBA size standard

• Businesses in the accommodation and food service sector that employ 500 or fewer employees per physical location

• Businesses that have already received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) but have not used it for the same purpose

What will the loans look like?

• Loan amounts up to 2.5x average covered monthly payroll and selected overhead expenses, not to exceed $10 million

• Potential for loan forgiveness for eligible payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities during the covered eight-week period after origination

• No fees and no prepayment penalties

• No business collateral or personal guarantee required

• Payments are deferred for six months

• The U.S. Chamber of Commerce have created this helpful overview of the PPP and what it means for small businesses across the country.


DJC: Q&A: How to Get Aid for a Small Business Hit by Virus Crisis

[April 3] The DJC posted an article answering questions about financial help available through the government and other sources. Read it here.


Emergency FMLA Now in Effect

[April 3] The federal emergency Family Medical Leave Act and sick leave related to COVID-19 went into effect on Wednesday, April 1. The U.S. Department of Labor outlined these requirements for employers to provide to their all their employees:

• Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay if an employee is quarantined or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis

• Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee needs to care for an individual in quarantine, or if a school or childcare provider is closed for COVID-19 related reasons.

If the employee has been working for more than 30 days, the employer must provide:

• Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed for COVID-19 related reasons.

Employers must provide employees with information about the new benefits. Read more at the Department of Labor’s webpage here, and download the required poster.

Eligible employers can claim a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that will help with these new leave requirements. Visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website to learn more.


U.S. Small Business Administration Bulletin

[April 3] The SBA sent out an email bulletin with information and links for the four funding options available for small businesses:

• Paycheck Protection Program

• Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance

• SBA Debt Relief

• Express Bridge Loan

View the email bulletin.


Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

[April 2] Governor Kate Brown has announced the launch of the Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator. This tool will assist small businesses with financial support and information they need to stay in business through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Resource Navigator will include a hotline and a website containing comprehensive information on key programs for small businesses, available at oregon4biz.com, with access to:

  1. Small Business Association programs established by the recently passed federal CARES Act, including: the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Debt Relief programs
  2. State of Oregon programs, including the Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund
  3. Local government programs, such as the South Central Oregon Economic Development District
  4. Economic Relief Loan Fund for Small Businesses
  5. More resources will be rapidly added to the Resource Navigator website on an ongoing basis
  6. A hotline and email will be available for small business owners to get more information on accessing financial support at the local, state, and federal levels

More information on the Resource Navigator is available here:

• Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

• Guide to federal, state, and local resources


AGC of America Update on New SBA Loan Program

[April 2] More information has come out on the new Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program. Click here for their updated analysis.


U.S. Department of the Treasury Summary and FAQs: Federal Paid Leave Mandates for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

[April 2] The U.S. Department of the Treasury posted a summary and FAQs on the refundable tax credits from the new federal paid leave mandates for small and mid-sized businesses. You can find this information here.


FFCRA Tax Credits

[April 1] The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides businesses with tax credits to cover certain costs of providing employees with required paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. This link from the Internal Revenue Service provides information on the tax credits and answers FAQs.


SBA Loan Assistance Available: Act Now

[March 31] The U.S. Small Business Administration has several options to help. Click here to read our blog, and check out a couple of online resources:

• Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

• COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application

• Paycheck Protection Program

• AGC of America CARES Act Analysis


Portland Small Business Relief Fund

[March 30] The Portland Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants and no interest loans to support Portland small businesses experiencing hardships related to COVID-19.

The goal of the fund is to provide immediate relief by helping business owners retain their businesses and their employees as a bridge of support before additional state and federal resources become available in the coming months. For more information or to apply, visit the website.


AGCA’s Comprehensive Analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

[March 30] AGCA has updated their CARES Act analysis as it applied to small business eligibility for the new SBA loan program. AGC is working on addressing what it fears will be significant confusion among the industry as it relates to newly enacted programs/mandates and the multitude of ways employees may be counted under them. Read the analysis.


USDOL Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

[March 30] The US Department of Labor has issued more guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. They are continuing to update this website with new guidance.


US Chamber of Commerce: Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans

[March 30] On Friday March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The package allocates $350 billion to assist small businesses in the midst of this pandemic and resulting economic downturn. Those eligible include: small businesses with fewer than 500 employees or otherwise meets the Small Business Administration’s size standard, a 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees, individuals operating as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or those self-employed carrying on any trade or business. For a more in-depth review of what this means for your business, click here.


Portland Small Business Relief Fund

[March 30] The Portland Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants and no interest loans to support Portland small businesses experiencing hardships related to COVID-19.

The goal of the fund is to provide immediate relief by helping business owners retain their businesses and their employees as a bridge of support before additional state and federal resources become available in the coming months. For more information or to apply, visit the website.


Oregon Secretary of State: Coronavirus Resources for Business

[March 26] Our office is working directly with businesses seeking answers and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to address some of the questions being asked, we’re providing this Frequently Asked Question sheet. Please know that there are many resources available, and local resources may differ from those offered by the state or federal government. For information about a specific program, it’s best to contact the provider of that resource directly. Read the document


Oregon Department of Revenue Announces Extension of Tax Filing Deadlines and Payment

[March 25] The Oregon Dept. of Revenue announced today that it will be extending personal income tax deadlines from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Corporate income taxes will be extended from May 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

For more information, view the DOR’s press release.


SBA Emergency Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL) for Small Business and Non-Profits

[March 22] At the request of Governor Brown’s Regional Solutions Coordinator, a group of regional economic development partners has been formed to encourage efficient information sharing with the business community as resources are developed to help mitigate financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This CORE group (Coordinated Organizations for Recovery Efforts) is composed of the regional representatives of Mid-Valley Regional Solutions, Business Oregon, the Willamette Workforce Partnership, the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and SEDCOR. We want to inform you that a new resource has now been made available to help Oregon businesses. Contact Dean Craig, Willamette Workforce Partnership for more information.


Rogue Workforce Efforts

[March 21] Rogue Workforce knows that businesses and workers are rapidly responding to the COVID-19/ Coronavirus circumstances. Many businesses are looking for help to access the resources that might be available to them to sustain their enterprise. Impacted workers are looking for help to sustain income and meet essential needs. Meanwhile the national landscape on resources being made available is changing daily, as Congress passes new legislation to address the needs.

Here’s an update on what our team at Rogue Workforce Partnership has been working on this week with partners in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Beaverton Pledges Money to Help Small Business

[March 20] In response to some of the changes small businesses are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Beaverton and the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce have launched an Emergency Business Assistance Program. Read more


All of Oregon, Most of Washington and Parts of Idaho are Eligible for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

[March 20] Businesses in the following areas are eligible to submit an application for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

Oregon: all counties

Washington: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima and newly added today Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum

Idaho: Adams, Benewah, Canyon, Cassia, Clearwater, Fremont, Idaho, Latah, Nez Perce, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, Washington

Apply now

We anticipate a declaration for the remaining counties in Washington, Idaho and Alaska are coming soon. The SBA also provides additional financing, exporting and advising resources to support business impacted by COVID-19. Check out the SBA COVID-19 Resources page.


The City of Hillsboro Looks to Help Businesses and Residents Struggling

[March 20] To offset some of the short term financial impacts of COVID-19, the City of Hillsboro is allocating $500,000 in grant funding to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Read more


Governors, SBA & Loans

[March 18] Though many states/territories have declared an emergency—those declarations in some instances have been limited to certain counties in those states. For contractors in the entire state—not just located in particular counties—to be able to apply for SBA disaster loan assistance, your governor must make a written request of the SBA to do so. (See here)

Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

To determine if all of your state’s counties and members are currently able to apply for such loans statewide click HERE. If you see your state listed, please be sure to click the “Coronvirus (COVID-19)” link under the “Incident: Column” next to where your state is listed under the “States Affected.” From there you will be able to determine if all of your counties are covered or not. If they are not, contact your governor’s office IMMEDIATELY.

*Updated* FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Related Employment Issues

[May 18] In light of new employment laws relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing these FAQs from Amanda Gamblin and Annyika Corbett at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. This guidance is intended to assist you in understanding new policies at the federal and state level.

Please see the updated FAQs including answers to the questions below:

• How do I count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

• What should I do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath)?

• If employees have been exposed but are not showing symptoms, should I allow them to work?

• Do my employees need to wear cloth face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as N95 respirators, gloves) to protect themselves while working?

• Has OSHA issued any guidance specific to the construction industry?

View the document.


HR Answers FFCRA Quick Reference Sheets

[April 10] HR Answers has posted some quick reference information sheets that have been put together based on the most recent information provided by the Department of Labor. Read more


FMLA Q&A

[March 31] The U.S. Department of Labor continues to update its websites in advice for employers dealing with coronavirus-related questions. It has a Q&A website for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is available by clicking here. It includes clarification on which employees are eligible to take sick leave, or leave, to care for a family member, when an employer must grant leave, legal responsibilities for employers and more.

Emergency FMLA rules go into effect April 1. Don’t forget to download this required poster.


HR Answers Update

[March 27] Today’s updates are brief. We have posted an updated slide presentation based on the Department of Labor Guidance. Please don’t forget employee notices will need to be provided by Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Posters are provided by the DOL. Remember, if your employees are working some place different than usual, you will need to make sure they get the notice. We do believe you should also post physical posters as these provisions will continue through the end of the year. We are hoping to have employees back in our places of work long before the anticipated expiration.

This information and more can be found on our website.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) Employee Rights Poster

[March 25] Like other labor and employment postings, this must be posted in a conspicuous place where covered employees will see. For remote workers, most employers will post electronically; alert them to the new posting and confirm e-access by each employee. Click here for full information.

• Download the poster

• En espanol

• Federal Employe Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

• En espanol

• Frequently Asked Questions on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act


Employer Resource for Determining Leave Eligibility Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

[March 25] We know the pace and complexity of the changing leave regulations during the coronavirus emergency is overwhelming.  To help you administer the new leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, we have created a flow chart for determining eligibility.  Regulations from the Department of Labor (“DOL”), expected in the next week, will provide clarity on this process.  We plan to re-release this tool on April 1 to reflect these regulations, but in the meantime, we hope this tool helps you prepare for April 1. Click here for the leave eligibility tool. Provided by Barran Liebman Attorneys


Help in Navigating Human Resources issues during COVID-19

[March 24] HR Answers has been in full swing and is creating and updating a series of resources to assist companies in navigating COVID-19 related human resource related issues, particularly related to new state and federal mandates. This includes:

• Sample furlough and layoff letters

• Federal Department of Labor – link to Employer and Employee guidance, Q & A, required posters and more.

• State specific Work Share Program links

• State specific Insurance Regulator links

• State specific OSHA links

As a partner of AGC Columbia-Oregon Chapter, HR Answers’ services are free to AGC members. For more information, visit their website.


Breaking Down the New Federal Emergency Paid-Leave Entitlements

[March 20] President Trump has signed HR 6201, federal legislation providing emergency paid and family leave in certain circumstances. The final bill has significant differences compared to the original. Make sure you know what’s included… Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP Blog


COVID-19 Employment Update: New Federal Leave Requirements

[March 19] On March 18, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed into law HR 6201, a broad-ranging response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Two principal provisions of HR 6201 will impact employers—a temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid leave for employees unable to work due to closure of schools and child-care facilities and temporary paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. HR 6201 will become effective April 2, 2020 (15 days after enactment). Click here to learn more. (Information provided by Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt)


Furlough, Layoff, or Reduction in Force in Light of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Effective April 2, 2020

[March 19] HR Answers, AGC’s human resources partner is providing a free webinar on March 23, 10 am–Noon. Click here to register.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed yesterday by our president. This is an economic stimulus plan aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Americans and introducing paid sick leave and an expanded family and medical leave act to the nation’s employers impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for individuals with COVID-19. HR Answers published this alert with information about the provisions that impact employers and their responsibilities to employees. Click here to learn more.


Layoffs & Mandatory Closures: What Employers Need to Know & Consider

[March 18] Barran Liebman Attorneys blog


Coronavirus in Construction Webinar: Key Issues and Best Practices for Projects and Personnel – RECORDING

Original Broadcast Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
Recording available for viewing

This complimentary webinar for owners, contractors, subcontractors, and designers will discuss rapidly evolving legal issues about how a COVID-19 outbreak affects your rights and duties with employees and with your projects. Questions are arising about how to be best prepared for delay claims, suspension or termination, price escalations, and defenses. Experienced construction and employment attorneys will be available to provide updates on legal topics related to:

    1. Employment practices when facing an epidemic
    2. Knowing your contracts and using them
    3. When is delay justified? When are damages available?
    4. Sudden cost increases and material unavailability
    5. Labor & CBA issues
    6. Defending against opportunistic claims

Following the 45-minute update, the attorneys will remain available to address questions.

Recording available for viewing


COVID-19: Changing Times? Yes…
Change What You Are Doing? Maybe…

[March 17] HR Answers, AGC’s human resources partner, provided information about HR policies and COVID-19. Read the blog.

Safety is our biggest concern for jobsite workers. Please visit the COVID-19 Safety & Health page for resources.


AGC of America Launches New Website

[April 14] AGCA’s new website, workingsafe.agc.org, is designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. It highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers, and includes photos of different examples of these practices. Check it out!


Ergonomics for the Home Office

Working from a home office can put stress on our backs, necks, arms, and hands that lead to discomfort, fatigue, or soreness. SAIF has collected resources to help workers in non-office environments.


Cybersecurity Best Practices for Remote Workers

[March 26] The global response to the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a drastic increase in companies empowering their teams to work remotely. While this technological interconnection is a great opportunity to keep people working, it’s also an opportunity for hackers trying to gain access to your valuable data.

As we shift to remote work it’s important to keep cybersecurity at the forefront. Here are some tips to equip remote workers to protect yourself from emerging security threats. Read more


Which Remote Meeting Platform Works Best for Me?

[March 25] Six feet apart doesn’t have to cancel your meeting or event! There are a variety of webinar/remote platforms that are available to still get your message out. Here’s a quick review of what Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and GoTo Meeting offer.


Best Practices for Working Remotely

[March 23] We live in a unique moment when technology allows us to remain connected during times of uncertainty. Digital platforms create opportunities to continue our work even when we can’t connect in person. As many companies rush to mobilize a remote workforce due to complications from the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to implement these technologies in a way that not only empowers but protects your company and your teams. Read more (information provided by Convergence Networks)

Legal Implications of COVID-19

[March 18] We are all adjusting to a “new normal” and trying to stay on top of key legal issues that are coming to the forefront for our clients across industries. As part of that effort, at Schwabe we’ve put together a COVID-19 website that includes resources (articles, short videos) about these legal issues and other topics; it’s located at www.schwabe.com/covid-19.

For the real estate and construction industry, Michael Herbst (a shareholder in our Seattle office) shares some good information and ideas about how to deal with project complications and associated legal theories. He also gives his thoughts on how COVID-19 may affect the development market.

Stephanie Berntsen (another shareholder in our Seattle office) provides an overview of employment-related issues. There is other information, and we will be regularly adding to this content. I think you’ll find these resources helpful.

During this time of quarantine, separation, and possibly isolation, it’s important that people check in on family and friends via phone, video chat, text, or email. If you or someone you know needs help and support, there are free resources available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for those experiencing a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide.

Click here for a list of more construction-specific information.

• Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

• Support in Spanish: 888-628-9454

• Text: “HOME” to 741741

• 503-988-4888

• Toll-free: 800-716-9769

• Hearing-impaired dial: 711

• Lifeline: 800-273-8255

• Text: “273TALK” to 839863

• Teen-to-teen services from 4–10 pm daily

• Youthline: 877-968-8491

• Text: “TEEN2TEEN” to 839863

• Email: YouthL@linesforlife.org

• Specific to LGBTQ youth

• Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386

• Text: “TREVOR” to 202-304-1200 from noon–7 pm

  • County Mental Health Call Centers

• Clackamas County: 503-655-8585

• Multnomah County: 503-988-4888

• Washington County: 503-291-9111

• Clark County: 360-696-9560 OR 1-800-686-8137

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announces ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people, outdoor mask mandate (Oregonlive)

[July 13] Oregon is banning indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and will require people to wear face coverings outdoors when they cannot maintain a 6-foot distance from people outside their households, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday morning.

The new limit on indoor gatherings does not apply to churches and businesses, the governor said in a press conference via teleconference and video.

Brown announced the new measure as Oregon’s coronavirus transmission rate has increased dramatically and threatens to spiral out of control, with cases projected to triple in the next six weeks.

Read full article.


Oregon Gov. Brown Signs Tax Technical Corrections Bill Into Law

[July 9] The Oregon Legislature, in special session in late June, passed HB4202, the Corporate Activities Tax (CAT) technical corrections bill. This was exactly the same language negotiated in the bill supported by the business community in the February “short” session, but which failed to pass. Because the special session was generally bipartisan and noncontroversial, it passed both houses easily and was signed by the governor on June 30. It will take effect Sept. 25.

The Legislature did not take up the matter of reconnecting Oregon’s state tax code to the federal tax code in the special session, although that was also considered noncontroversial in February. With the advent of the COVID-19 situation and the passage by Congress of the CARES Act, there is discussion about disconnecting from some provisions of the CARES Act. That was pushed until later because of this new complexity, and will be watched carefully.


Governor Kate Brown Extends Face Coverings Requirement Statewide

Face covering requirements apply to indoor public spaces, take effect on Wednesday, July 1

[June 29] Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.

“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.

“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.

“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.

“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.

“I do not want to have to close down businesses again like other states are now doing. If you want your local shops and restaurants to stay open, then wear a face covering when out in public.

“Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVD-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday. Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.

“Oregonians have all made incredible sacrifices over the last several months that have saved thousands of lives. The actions we take now can protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians from this disease, and prevent the need for another statewide shutdown. We are truly all in this together.”

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead, along with other state and local agencies, in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.

View updated guidance documents.

Click here for an article in OregonLive.


Temporary Rule Allowing Deferral of License Renewal September 14, 2020

[June 15] Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board is allowing additional time for contractors to temporarily defer the renewal of their contractor license through September 14, 2020. While contractors are encouraged to renew on time, CCB understands that due to the busy season and COVID-19, circumstances are certainly unusual at this time. If you have questions, call 503-378-4621 or email ccb.info@state.or.us.


28 Oregon Counties to Move to Phase 1 Reopening May 15

[May 14] Of the 33 Oregon counties that applied to enter the first phase of Gov. Brown’s reopening plan, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has approved 28. Oregon has 36 counties.

Click here to see a list of counties allowed to start reopening. Two counties submitted applications and were not approved, Marion and Polk. Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties have not yet applied, and are not expected to begin reopening until late May or early June.

This Phase 1 reopening includes limited reopening of restaurants and bars, personal services like hair salons and barbers, gyms, and malls. Gatherings of up to 25 people allowed for recreational, social, cultural, civic or faith events – with physical distancing requirements. Employees that have been teleworking or working from home must continue to do so even if the county has been accepted under Phase 1. Read more here.

The 28 approved counties have proved that they can meet certain criteria, including:

    • A decline in diagnosed COVID-19 cases, or fewer than five hospitalizations
    • Sufficient testing and contract testing capacity
    • Established plans for isolation and quarantine of new cases
    • Hospital capacity to handle a potential surge in cases
    • Enough personal protective equipment for health care workers

If you live or work in Clackamas, Jefferson, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Umatilla or Washington counties, the governor’s stay home order still applies. It is unclear when those counties will be approved to enter Phase 1, but information is expected soon. The governor’s office clarified what businesses and gatherings are allowed in those counties that are still sheltering in place:

    • Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and credit unions, and gas stations are all open.
    • Restaurants are open for take-out service only.
    • Stand-alone retail operations are open provided they meet required safety and physical distancing guidelines. Indoor and outdoor malls are closed. At many malls, curbside pick-up has been instituted.
    • Local outdoor recreation activities are open, including many state parks.
    • Non-emergency medical care, dentist offices and veterinary care are open and operating, provided they meet required safety guidelines.
    • Local cultural, civic and faith gatherings are allowed for up to 25 people provided physical distancing can be in place.
    • Local social gatherings over 10 people are prohibited and those under 10 people must use physical distancing.
    • Personal care services such as salons and barbers, as well as gyms, are closed.

Childcare is open under certain restrictions, with priority placements for children of health care workers, first responders, and frontline workers. Information provided by Oregon Business & Industry.


Counties home to Bend, Eugene, Medford approved for Phase 1 reopening amid coronavirus outbreak

[May 14] Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Malheur, Wasco and Yamhill counties have have been approved for Phase 1 reopening, according to announcements and news reports.

Read more


Oregon Announces Phase-One Reopening Beginning May 15

[May 7] Governor Brown announced new guidance and a three phase plan regarding the reopening of Oregon (view the governor’s presentation slides here). Specifically, counties that meet certain pre-requisites may reopen on May 15, along with restaurants and bars, personal care facilities including salons and gyms, retail shops, and childcare facilities including some summer schools and summer camps. The announcement stated that concerts, sporting events and festivals will not be permitted in Oregon until effective prevention and treatment for COVID-19 (such as a vaccine) is available. Accordingly, Governor Brown stated such events should be canceled or modified through the end of September. The announcement outlined general guidance for Oregon employers (Information provided by Cascade Employers Association). Read more


PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies Not Subject to CAT

[May 6] The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not commercial activity under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax.

The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies. More information can be found in the Beyond the FAQ section of the CAT page on the department’s website.

Read more


Official Department of Revenue Guidance Regarding First Quarterly CAT Tax Payments

[April 29] The Oregon Department of Revenue is adjusting requirements of businesses making estimated quarterly payments of the Corporate Activity Tax.

Beginning immediately, Revenue has revised OAR 150-317-1300, dated April 27, 2020, to reflect a change in the threshold for making estimated tax payments from $5,000 of annual tax liability to $10,000 of annual tax liability for the first year of the tax. This means businesses that will owe less than $10,000 are not required to make quarterly estimated tax payments during 2020.

Revenue also won’t assess penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if businesses don’t have the financial ability to make the estimated payment.

If businesses know they’ll owe $10,000 or more in annual Corporate Activity Tax in 2020 and can pay, they should make estimated quarterly payments and comply with the law to the fullest extent possible.

Information and a worksheet for calculating quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the agency website under the Beyond the FAQ “When are estimated payments required?” The information has recently been updated to reflect the higher threshold of $10,000 or more.

The Department of Revenue will honor a business taxpayer’s good-faith efforts to comply and not assess penalties if they document their efforts to comply, including how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

If businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and are finding it difficult to calculate or pay an estimated quarterly payment, they should keep documentation showing:

• Their inability to pay a quarterly payment because of insufficient funds due to COVID-19.

• Their inability to reasonably calculate a quarterly payment or annual tax liability due to their business being impacted by COVID-19.

• That the taxpayer is unclear at this time whether the business will owe Corporate Activity Tax in April 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts, after taking into consideration exclusions and subtractions in the law.

Businesses uncertain about their economic future due to the COVID-19 crisis, or those that have been closed during this crisis and have no ability to determine that they will owe a tax this year, won’t be penalized.

Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT via email to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov or call 503-945-8005.


Oregon Gives Businesses a Break on New Corporate Activity Tax

[April 29] The state of Oregon is not backing off on implementing a new $1 billion business tax this year, but it is giving businesses a break on quarterly payments.

The Department of Revenue announced Wednesday that businesses with an annual liability of less than $10,000 for the corporate activity tax will not be required to make quarterly payments. The move raises the liability threshold for quarterly payments from $5,000.

The department also said it would not assess penalties on businesses if they cannot make a payment now.

Read full article in the Portland Business Journal (subscription required).


CAT Update – No Delay for Implementation

[April 24] This week Governor Brown stated that she does not support delaying implementation of the CAT (Gross Receipts Tax), even after hearing from AGC and dozens of other business associations and interests regarding the severe cash flow issues and their ability to stay open for business. The governor did relay that Oregon will waive penalties for first quarter payments as companies face challenges but hopes they’ll do “the best they can” making CAT payments. Oregon’s Department of Revenue will be issuing additional official guidance on this in the coming days and we’ll be updating the website accordingly.

Click here to view the COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable held Thursday 4/23 to hear directly from Governor Brown.


Governor Brown Announces Three-Phase Framework for Reopening Oregon

[April 23] Oregon Governor Kate Brown has released a more detailed three-phase framework identifying the criteria that will be followed to begin reopening Oregon’s businesses and allowing for more normal social interactions. The governor’s framework can be downloaded here.

AGC will continue to post updated information about this process as it becomes available to us.


DJC: Officials Starting to Check Out Oregon Workplaces

Published on djcoregon.com

[April 16] The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division is set to begin conducting spot checks of workplaces to verify compliance with state-mandated coronavirus safety measures.

The spot checks are being undertaken in part to ensure that employers are implementing proper social distancing protocols in response to workers’ complaints, which have flooded the agency at unprecedented rates. Between March 2 and April 12, Oregon OSHA received 2,887 coronavirus-related complaints. It usually fields just over 2,000 complaints in a year.

The complaints included allegations from construction workers that contractors weren’t adhering to social distancing guidelines on some of the largest job sites in the state. Other complaints alleged that contractors didn’t provide proper handwashing and sanitation facilities, and that a worker displaying COVID-19 symptoms was threatened with termination for not reporting to work.

In response to the complaints, Oregon OSHA has asked employers to address workers’ specific allegations and, in 12 cases, opened on-site inspections to determine whether employers are complying with safety regulations.

A formal inspection and decision on whether to issue a citation can be a weekslong process, so the agency has introduced the new system as a faster method of determining whether employers are in compliance. The spot checks will be conducted in addition to the more time-intensive on-site inspections.

Oregon OSHA is continuing to screen complaints, which have tapered off since April 6, it said. Moving forward, the agency will focus on more recent complaints and those containing specific allegations, and will prioritize enforcement actions affecting employers most likely to continue noncompliance.


Construction Industry and State Agencies Partner to Keep Workers Safe Amid COVID-19

[April 3] The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) has partnered with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to develop a comprehensive list of COVID-19 jobsite safety recommendations. Read more.


Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

[April 2] Governor Kate Brown has announced the launch of the Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator. This tool will assist small businesses with financial support and information they need to stay in business through the COVID-19 crisis.

The Resource Navigator will include a hotline and a website containing comprehensive information on key programs for small businesses, available at oregon4biz.com, with access to:

  1. Small Business Association programs established by the recently passed federal CARES Act, including: the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Debt Relief programs
  2. State of Oregon programs, including the Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund
  3. Local government programs, such as the South Central Oregon Economic Development District
  4. Economic Relief Loan Fund for Small Businesses
  5. More resources will be rapidly added to the Resource Navigator website on an ongoing basis
  6. A hotline and email will be available for small business owners to get more information on accessing financial support at the local, state, and federal levels

More information on the Resource Navigator is available here:

• Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator

• Guide to federal, state, and local resources


Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division FAQs

[April 2] The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division posted answers to frequently asked questions on their website. These provide guidance for how to proceed with complications from COVID-19 restrictions that impact existing workers’ compensation claims. The FAQs page can be found here.


BOLI Temporary Administrative Orders

[March 26] BOLI has released new temporary administrative orders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first temporary rule expands the Oregon Family Leave Act to include caring for a child whose school or childcare is closed as a result of a statewide public health emergency.

The other temporary administrative order gives apprenticeship committees a “reasonable and practicable timeframe”  to submit their minutes, instead of the previous 14 day requirement.

• Rule expanding Oregon Family Leave Act

• Apprenticeship committee change


ODOT Addresses Common Concerns and Questions

[March 26] ODOT has put a document together to outline concerns as well as, questions to answers presented in a recent teleconference related to the impacts of COVID-19. To view the document from ODOT’s Construction Section, click here.


Oregon State Police Respond to Questions

[March 24] In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police has posted some answers to frequently asked questions. View their post on Facebook.


DMV Offices Open Only for Commercial Drivers by Appointment

[March 24] Under the Governor’s March 23 Executive Order, only six Oregon DMV offices will be open, by appointment only, for commercial driver knowledge tests and commercial driver license issuance beginning Wednesday, March 25.

Many DMV services remain available through OregonDMV.com and through the mail. With the exception of commercial driver knowledge tests and commercial driver license issuance, no other services will be available at DMV offices.

Limits on public access will be in effect until April 28, unless conditions allow DMV to open more offices sooner.

CDL holders and new CDL applicants may schedule an appointment for a knowledge test or commercial driver license issuance by calling their local DMV office phone number, 503-299-9999 in the Portland area, or 503-945-5000 elsewhere.

How to schedule a CDL drive test link.


ODOT Consultant and Contractor Message

[March 24] Existing ODOT A&E and construction contracts are continuing to move forward. We understand there is concern that the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt supply chains, labor forces, or impact projects. We are working closely with our consultant and contractor partners to assess the state of each project as the impact of COVID-19 unfolds. Read more


New Temporary Building Codes Division Rule – Inspections

[March 21] The Oregon Building Codes Division recently enacted this temporary rule for COVID-19 Response Inspection Flexibility:

OAR 918-098-4000 Inspections During COVID-19 Emergency

(1) The purpose of this rule is to provide greater flexibility to building departments to meet demand and provide services to Oregonians during the COVID-19 emergency without compromising safety. (2) Notwithstanding OAR 918-098-1015, 918-281-0020, and 918-695-0400, a person with an Oregon Inspector Certification and a code certification issued by the Building Codes Division may perform inspections and review plans beyond the scope of work for their code certification if both of the following conditions are met:

(a) The relevant building official determines the person has the skills necessary to perform the specific inspection or plan review without compromising safety; and (b) The relevant building official authorizes the person, in writing, to perform the inspection or plan review.
(3) Consistent with ORS 455.020 and the discretion granted to building officials, nothing in OAR Chapter 918 should be construed to limit the ability of building officials to employ creative solutions and technology in service delivery, including but not limited to the use of virtual inspections, drones, electronic signatures, pictures, granting of written request to reconnect an electrical installation pursuant to ORS 479.570 and OAR 918-311-0070, or any other solution designed to provide service delivery while maintaining safety.

(4) Authorizations under (2) are only valid while this rule is in place. No authorization under (2) may be in effect beyond the effective date of this rule.

Statutory Authority: ORS 455.020, 455.030, 455.720 Statutes Implemented: ORS 455.720


Notice of Temporary Rule – COVID-19 Inspection Response Flexibility

[March 21] To ensure plan reviews and inspections may continue in a safe manner, the Oregon Building Codes Division has issued a temporary rule allowing local jurisdictions additional flexibility. Click here for more information.


DMV Partners With Law Enforcement to Keep Oregonians at Home

[March 21] ODOT’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown. Oregon’s law enforcement agencies and associations agreed to exercise flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver licenses, registrations, and ID cards. Please note: DEQ has suspended vehicle emissions testing which is relevant for drivers in the Portland metro area and Medford.

While DMV offices are still open, there are many actions that may be taken online including,

• Renewal of vehicle registration (if your tags just expired, you can renew online and print the receipt to take in your car as proof of registration)

• Update your address – if you move within Oregon, you must report your new address to DMV within 30 days

• Report the sale of your vehicle – if you sell your vehicle, you can take an extra step against future parking tickets and towing/storage fees on that car by reporting the sale to DMV online

• Get a trip permit if your tags are expired or license plates are lost or stolen, or if you’ve just bought a car without current plates

The DMV also accepts many transactions through the mail, and phone agents (503-945-5000) are available to help people prepare for a DMV visit, if required.

DMV online services:

Latest on your local DMV


Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB)

[March 19] Given the actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board has taken the necessary steps to allow contractors to defer their renewal of existing licenses through June 30, 2020. To view the temporary rule language, click here. To view the CCB FAQ on temporary rules, click here.


Oregon Employment Department

• COVID-19 Related Business Layoffs, Closures, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

• COVID-19 Resources for Oregon Businesses, Employers, Workers & Job Seekers
This document contains a variety of resources to assist businesses through the current COVID-19 crisis. It includes links to resources and information that cover: financial assistance, guidance and planning, temporary layoffs, closures and unemployment insurance, permanent businesses closures, small business support, and local area business support.

Oregon Health Authority

• COVID-19 Updates

Oregon Health Sciences University

• Coronavirus and COVID-19 Resources for Oregon

Oregon OSHA

• Guidance on preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (publication)

Construction Contractors Board

• COVID-19 Information and Updates for CCB Contractors

Bureau of Labor and Industries

• BOLI website

• Oregon Sick Time

• BOLI hotline to help employers understand Oregon employment laws: 971-673-0824 or email bolita@boli.state.or.us

State of Oregon

• Business Oregon

• Governor Kate Brown

Portland Bureau of Development Services

Services Accessible Online

Many of our services are available to you from your home. Using Development Hub PDX, you can apply online for electrical, mechanical, or plumbing permits that do not require plan review. You can also schedule inspections for trade permits obtained online, update contact information, pay a variety of fees and download billing statements all from a computer or mobile device. BDS also offers a Remote Video Re-inspection service for simple on-site inspections involving minor corrections.

For the latest information on our service availability (for the week of March 30), please click on the links below according to your interest.

    1. New Permit Intakes
    2. Plan Review for Current Permits
    3. Corrections to Plans
    4. Inspections
    5. Land Use Services
    6. FIR and FPP Programs
    7. Questions about Property, Projects and Records
    8. Trade Permits
    9. Payments
    10. Property Compliance – Enforcement and Liens
    11. Permitting and Inspections Services from Other Bureaus
Oregon Association of Nurseries

• OAN Coronavirus Resource

 

Governor Kate Brown Issues Moratorium on Commercial Evictions

[April 1] Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-13, placing a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions for nonpayment, in light of the impacts on business owners caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The order also strengthens Governor Brown’s previous ban on residential evictions, and prohibits landlords from charging tenants late fees for nonpayment of rent during the moratorium. To view Executive Order 20-13, click here.


Governor Kate Brown Statement on Federal Disaster Declaration for Oregon

[March 29] Governor Kate Brown today issued the following statement on the White House’s disaster declaration for Oregon:

“This declaration is an important first step towards unlocking all available federal resources for Oregon’s state, tribal, and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I appreciate the responsiveness of Vice President Pence and federal administration officials to our requests for aid.

“However, this is far from everything Oregon needs from the federal government to actively and effectively combat this crisis. We have a number of significant requests pending with the federal government, first and foremost Oregon’s request for more personal protective equipment from the national stockpile.

“In addition, a significant part of our disaster declaration request was for individual assistance for all Oregon counties and tribes—including child care assistance, crisis counseling, disaster case management, disaster legal services, and disaster unemployment assistance for Oregonians. That request is still also pending, and would provide significant relief to Oregon families if approved.

“This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands a coordinated national response, backed by the full resources of the federal government. I will continue to work with the White House and Oregon’s congressional delegation to fight for access to every tool available to keep Oregonians safe from COVID-19.”

Today’s Major Disaster Declaration by President Trump for the State of Oregon, retroactive to January 20, 2020, allows for the activation of FEMA’s Public Assistance program for reimbursements of emergency actions taken by state, territorial, tribal, and local government entities, as well as certain non-profit organizations.

Organizations eligible for recovery efforts on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures include, but are not limited to:

  1. Management, control and reduction of immediate threats to public health and safety;
  2. Emergency operation and coordination costs;
  3. Disinfection of eligible public facilities;
  4. Medical sheltering;
  5. Purchase and distribution of food, water, medicine and other consumable supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment.

Oregon’s original request to the federal government for a disaster declaration is available here.


Defend Your Businesses and Oregon’s Construction Industry Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

[March 27] A special Oregon legislative session is expected early next week. Any coronavirus recovery package passed by our state legislators must include measures to protect local businesses and assist communities with recovery. If you’d like to contact your legislators and share your personal impact from COVID-19, please do so. Read more


Governor Brown Executive Order

March 23, 12:24 pm

This morning, as expected, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order (EO 20-12, attached) ordering all Oregonians to stay at home, outlined a list of non-essential businesses that are closed, imposing 6-foot social distancing requirements, and all businesses to immediately implement telework or remote work arrangements when possible.

Because construction was not listed as a “non-essential business,” your construction company may continue operations in Oregon as currently scheduled and underway. By midnight tonight, Monday, March 23, 2020, your company must immediately designate a Social Distancing Officer to oversee and enforce social distancing requirements at the job site level. It is critical to our industry that your company take the social distancing requirements seriously.

Summary of the order:
  1. All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained.
  2. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.
  3. It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, heaters, and yoga studios.
  4. It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.
  5. It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.
  6. It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
    It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.
  7. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.
Related Documents

• Governor Brown Executive Order

• Governor Brown Press Release – EO

• COVID-19 Job Site Practices

• COVID-19 Job Site Practices (Spanish)


Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) Update

[March 23] There are ongoing discussions to delay CAT (Corporate Activity Tax) payments into the second quarter. We will update this post if/when those changes are official.

Congress Passes New Coronavirus Relief Package; Trump to Sign Into Law

Billions in new SBA PPP Program Funding Included

[April 23] On April 23, the Congress passed a $480 billion coronavirus relief package that included $310 billion in new funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. AGC has been pushing for the new funding due to construction firms struggling to maintain existing payrolls amid declining demand for construction services. This measure comes as welcome news as last week AGC successfully pushed for clarification of the eligibility requirements that allow construction firms that employ 500 or fewer people to qualify. While no changes were made to simplify PPP loan eligibility—such as waiving SBA’s affiliation rules—or how borrowers may or may not use the funds (and have them forgiven), AGC continues to press for such changes as additional pandemic relief legislation is already under discussion.

President Trump has said he will sign the bill into law.

Learn more


Updated USDOL Guidance on Paid Leave

[March 27] Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added to its published guidance to provide information to employers about meeting their requirements to offer emergency paid sick leave and paid family medical leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

Specifically, WHD added to its original Questions and Answers document. The new Q&A’s (see questions 15-37) address critical issues, such as recordkeeping, documentation requirements, when an employee is unable to telework, intermittent leave, worksite closures, furloughs, UI interaction, health coverage requirements, and multiemployer collective bargaining agreement implications.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) Employee Rights Poster

[March 25] Like other labor and employment postings, this must be posted in a conspicuous place where covered employees will see. For remote workers, most employers will post electronically; alert them to the new posting and confirm e-access by each employee.


US DOL Publishes New Federal Paid Leave Guidance Families First Coronavirus Response Act

[March 24] Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employers about meeting their requirements to offer emergency paid sick leave and paid family medical leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.


COVID-19 Relief Act Signed by the President

[March 20] Moss Adams Blog


OSHA Provides Guidance on Recording Workplace Exposures to COVID-19

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 (link is external) mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information (link is external) on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5 (link is external); and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (link is external) (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

For more information, click here.


Links

AGC of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)
US Small Business Administration

The SBA is working diligently to meet customer demand for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and make the process as user-friendly and easy as possible for you.

As we make changes, we will have update periods where things will be in flux. While this is happening now, we still want to make sure you have a way to fill out and submit your application.

Details to apply now

If you are having issues accessing the website, try clearing your browsing data/cache. As things are improved, we will update you accordingly with the new information.

Additional Resources to Support Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The SBA also provides additional financing, exporting and advising resources to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

For example, new information is available about the SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program along with other guidance and resources. Check SBA.gov/coronavirus regularly for more updates.

Report of the June 2020 AGCA Board of Directors Meeting

[July 9] The AGC of America Board of Directors met on June 18 and 19. They reviewed reports on AGC membership, finances, and on association and industry matters including: AGC Political Action Committee (PAC); AGC Construction Advocacy Fund (CAF); chapter support services; chapter executives’ activities; programs, products and services (PPS); construction leadership council programs; legislative activities; and government relations. The Board of Directors closely monitored the association’s internal administration and contact with other governmental, association, and business interests aided by reports from the association’s chief executive officer and other staff members.

A Summary Report of the recent Board of Directors meeting can be found here.

In addition to this meeting report, it’s a good time to take this opportunity to share some additional information about how AGC of America has been responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the extraordinary efforts that are being made on our member’s behalf.

In the past few months, we have seen how remarkably adaptable our members, chapters and AGC of America staff have been. Even as our chapters and national AGC office have been forced to react to stay at home orders and countless other unforeseen emergencies, we have found a way to accomplish a tremendous amount on behalf of member firms. Some highlights of these accomplishments include:

• Successfully lobbying to have federal officials identify construction as an essential economic activity and getting local officials to keep construction activity underway in much of the country;

• Keeping our members up to date – even as details about the coronavirus and its impact on the industry changed by the day, by the hour and in some cases, by the minute. AGCA provided constant updates on national events;

• Securing relief for hard hit firms by successfully lobbying for measures like the Paycheck Protection Program and local equivalents;

• Educating members and ensuring that they knew how to operate safely and protect workers, and the broader public, from the spread of coronavirus;

• Working with chapters to launch a Working Safe digital advertising campaign and organize a national safety stand down;

• AGCA has converted our meetings to virtual format and have increased attendance; and

• AGCA has developed a virtual delivery option for AGC curriculum.

These are only a few highlights from the past few months. And we believe that this time will be reflected as one of the association’s finest moments as we showed our members just how essential AGC membership is to the success of their business.


AGC of America Launches New Website

[April 14] AGCA’s new website, workingsafe.agc.org, is designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. It highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers, and includes photos of different examples of these practices. Check it out!


ConsensusDocs Provides COVID-19 Resource Center

[April 6] ConsensusDocs is providing helpful sample documents to help contractors navigate some of the contract and employment issues that have arisen out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the documents.


AGCA Paid Leave Mandates Summary

[March 18] A short time ago, President Trump signed into law new paid leave mandates that will take effect on April 2, 2020, and sunset on December 31, 2020. Nearly 7,000 AGC members from around the nation sent about 14,000 emails to their U.S. Senators in opposition to these mandates—the highest grassroots engagement on any issue we have seen in at least a decade. Thank you all for your efforts in pushing those action alerts.

Click here for a summary of the mandates. While it is a helpful document, I am sure you and your members will have many, many questions. Stay tuned for details on a webinar we will host on this topic next week to help answer those questions, along with more information.

There remains opportunity to make improvements to these new mandates, as the Senate considers a third COVID-19 relief bill, with rumors of a fourth on the horizon. AGC of America will continue to press for avenues to make such improvements via legislative and regulatory means.

With this new bill under consideration, AGC of America will also be pushing for expedited public owner payments to contractors for losses associated with COVID-19-related project impacts to keep cash flows going, robust investments in infrastructure funding, and the protection of multiemployer pension plans, their participants, retirees and contributing employers—among other policy objectives.

Click here for the summary

OAME Annual Trade Show and Luncheon Postponed

[March 31] The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs’ 32nd Annual Trade Show and Luncheon is being postponed to October 8, 2020, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health threat being so unpredictable at this point. As this is the only OAME fundraiser and major event held, please plan to join them in October.


Dozer Day Vancouver/Portland Update

[March 25] Despite the current situation, preparations for Dozer Day 2020 in Vancouver, Wash., on May 16 and 17 continue. If the need to maintain social distance persists, they have secured the alternative weekend at the Clark County Fairgrounds of September 26 and 27. Visit the website for updates.


Update on Northwest College of Construction

[March 22] In an effort to complete as many spring classes as possible without going too far into the summer, Northwest College of Construction is setting up hybrid and online webinar options for most of their classes. Their goal is to complete as much training as possible for spring term through flexible options, anticipating a possible “Stay at Home” order. NCCER courses require in-person testing so they have a plan in place for small group testing upon completion of the coursework, with the space being cleaned between testing groups.  If the Stay at Home order occurs, testing will have to be deferred. Contact Laurie Emery or Kevin Athey at NWCoC with questions or concerns, 503-256-7300.

2020 Oregon State University Engineering Expo Cancelled

[April 10] Pursuant to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-12, “Stay Home, Save Lives,” Oregon State University faculty, staff, and students are required to remain at their places of residence, with few exceptions. Therefore, the on-campus 2020 Engineering Expo is canceled.

The college will offer an optional virtual research project event online this spring term for all College of Engineering students, industry partners, alumni, and area high school students. Please watch for communication about this new event in the near future.

For questions, contact Brad Canfield, Oregon State University College of Engineering Outreach Programs and Events Manager, at brad.canfield@oregonstate.edu.

Washington’s Inslee Announces Statewide Mask Mandate

[June 24] Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman today announced a statewide mandatory face covering order that will take effect Friday, June 26.

The order comes after a Saturday announcement of a mandatory mask proclamation for Yakima County starting this week. The order was in response to reports of increasing case counts and a potential overwhelming of the county’s health care system.

After subsequent reports of cases increasing in additional counties, the governor and Wiesman extended the face covering requirement today to include the entire state of Washington.

“As necessary economic activity increases and more people are out in their communities, it is imperative that we adopt further measures to protect all of us,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “Until a vaccine or cure is developed, this is going to be one of our best defenses.”

Starting Friday, every Washingtonian must wear a facial covering when in a public space, as mandated by the public health order signed by Wiesman. This includes both indoor and outdoor public spaces.

“The science is clear that when we use face coverings, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze. While some of us are wearing face coverings in public, we must increase usage to best control the virus. Washington’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if, together, we act safely and follow health recommendations,” Wiesman said.

Read the full story on the governor’s Medium page.

This announcement comes on the day that Oregon began requiring face masks in seven counties.


Inslee issues additional guidance for construction, others in Phase 2

[May 15] Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in phases, with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks.

Additionally, counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Nine counties have received the variance.

For counties granted variance to move to Phase 2, all construction, including new work, is allowed, effective May 15.

Guidance documents:

• Memo: Resuming Construction

• Phase 2 Construction COVID-19 Job Site Requirements

Full list of guidance for all current businesses.


Governor Jay Inslee Announces Plan to Restart Construction in Washington State

[April 24] Late this morning, Governor Jay Inslee released a plan to restart construction activities in Washington State. In late March, the construction industry was effectively shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only projects deemed to be “critical” were allowed to proceed.

The plan was drafted under the guidance of a team assembled by Governor Inslee’s office. Representatives from AGC of Washington, the Washington Building Industries Association, and the Washington State Building Trades participated in the development of the plan. A link to a downloadable copy of the plan can be found here.

For additional information, please contact AGC of Washington at 206-284-0061.


Much of Construction is Shut Down in Recent Washington Governor’s Order

[March 26] This letter from David D’Hondt, executive vice president of AGC of Washington clarifying recent Washington governor’s new guidance. Read more


Links

Washington State Stay Home – Stay Healthy Proclamation

• Washington Stay Home – Stay Healthy Proclamation

• List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Washington State Department of Health

• 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

• Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

• Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) Resources

• Keeping Construction Workers Safe & Healthy During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Clean Hands Save Lives

These videos were created as part of Health Matters, a series for the general public and public health professionals. View the videos.

PPE Supplier

National Safety, Inc.
Matt Strand
www.nationalsafetyinc.com
360-253-7378
(c)360-949-5223
matt@nationalsafetyinc.com


COVID-19 Resources: Real Estate and Construction

List of real estate and construction-focused resources, including articles, videos, and resource suites. Information provided by Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. View list.

Related Resources

COVID Safety & Health

COVID-19 safety and health information, resources, and links

See updated COVID-19 safety information »
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COVID News & Resources

Information, updates, and links to local, state, and national COVID-19 resources

View the resources »

Chapter Calendar

Our calendar includes chapter events and meetings, plus related organization training and events. Many are offered online!

Take a look »