On Wednesady, April 22 IECRM held its weekly Member Forum that explored the issues related to reopening our economy and the next steps for electrical contractors to be thinking about. Click here to view the live recording.
Guidelines for Opening Up America Again is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect lives.
The big news this week is everyone’s excitement or concerns about re-opening businesses and adjusting to “next”
Colorado defines these phases as Response (where we are), Stabilization (where we are going), and Recovery
Updates to policies for return to work and stay at home
New Federal Guidance on SBA PPP and other loan programs
Tax treatment of Federal COVID-19 Relief
New COVID updates and impacts to benefits, paid time off, and leave considerations
OSHA & CDC new workplace safety protocols
Communication and adaptation to a new company culture
Contractor Top of Mind Issues
Managing revenue and projects
How OSHA is looking at job sites
Reviewing how teams interact and work together in new settings
Continuing social distancing
Fisher Phillips has published comprehensive guidance for business recovery including assessing business operations, bringing employees back to work, and ensuring a safe workplace.
The time is now to begin thinking about these next steps as they come with a whole new set of labor and employment challenges.
An employees’ right to refuse to do a task is protected if all of the following conditions are met:
Where possible, he/she have asked the employer to eliminate the danger, and the employer failed to do so; and
He/she refused to work in “good faith.” This means that he/she must genuinely believe that an imminent danger exists; and
A reasonable person would agree that there is a real danger of death or serious injury; and
There isn’t enough time, due to the urgency of the hazard, to get it corrected through regular enforcement channels, such as requesting an OSHA inspection.
He/she should take the following steps:
Ask your employer to correct the hazard, or to assign other work;
Tell your employer that you won’t perform the work unless and until the hazard is corrected; and
Remain at the worksite until ordered to leave by your employer
New Federal Guidance on PPP and other loan programs
Rules and provisions for COVID-19 stimulus packages are rapidly evolving, and the measures and interpretations described here may change. This analysis represents the best interpretation and recommendations based on where things currently stand.
April 13, 2020: The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury have once again updated their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), revising their April 6 guidance for borrowers and lenders. The SBA has made it clear that the U.S. government will not challenge actions by lenders that conform to the Interim Final Rule, supporting guidance, and FAQ document.
Both the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provide financial relief to businesses that retain employees. Unfortunately, you can’t take advantage of both. You have to choose.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit that operates as an alternative to PPP loans – or relief to companies that don’t qualify for SBA programs. The credit works by letting a business recover 50 percent of the wages paid to an employee (up to $5,000), which can then be deducted against the employer portion of social security taxes, under 26 USC 3111(a). A business, however, cannot take the tax credit if it has already received a PPP loan. The programs compensate for the same things.
Since this program operates as a refundable tax credit and not an “advance,” it will not be taxable as income at the federal or state levels in future tax years. It merely affects the dealer’s tax liability for the tax year 2020. The impact should be limited to this year.
Communications to support a culture of TRUST. It’s important to ensure a clear message from the top-down, here are some thoughts to keep it consistent and authentic:
Create a communications message and be sure to nuance it to the rest of the organization.
Start with the senior leadership team and make sure you cascade the message to the entire organization so that the message is consistent across the board and appropriate for all employees.
Stress your company’s values and mission, especially around safety, health, and security at this time as transparently as you can to support a culture of trust.
Make sure that jobs are clearly defined.
The logic of “WHY” (why, what, how): use the “why” question in crafting your organizational message and consider running it through the following questions and also answer the question everyone is thinking about, “How does this affect or impact me?”
Why are we changing?
Why are we changing now?
What is changing?
What is not changing?
What is the risk of not changing?
How are we going to accomplish all of this?
How does this affect or impact me?
Time and Stress Management: Stephanie has an audio version of her book “Own Your Time” that provides practical concise skills for business professionals to become more productive, reduce stress, increase profits, and have a more balanced life.
Leaders should especially find a way to manage their own levels of stress so that they can be best for employees.
NOTE TO CONTRACTORS: What additional questions do you have? Are there questions that you would like to ask DORA about licensure and inspection challenges in the midst of COVID-19? Send them to Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about the Forum, or suggestions for future Member Forums, please contact IECRM CEO Marilyn Akers Stansbury at email@example.com or 303-848.2513.