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Dept. of Labor Guidance

Below are three news releases issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), regarding new DOL guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and a new OSHA poster aimed at reducing workplace exposure to the coronavirus.  Please scroll down for each release; additional information can be found here: https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=4628.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Matthew C. Larsgaard, MBA
President/CEO
Pioneer Equipment Dealers Association

1411 32nd St S, Fargo, ND 58103
Office: 701-293-6822
Email: matthew@pionereeda.com


U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

News Release | U.S. Department of Labor | April 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) 16-20 providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, are eligible for PUA benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020.

PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, as defined in the CARES Act. Benefit payments under PUA are retroactive, for weeks of unemployment, partial employment, or inability to work due to COVID-19 reasons starting on or after January 27, 2020. The CARES Act specifies that PUA benefits cannot be paid for weeks of unemployment ending after December 31, 2020.

Eligibility for PUA includes those individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation (PEUC), including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. Covered individuals also include self-employed individuals, those seeking part-time employment, and individuals lacking sufficient work history. Depending on state law, covered individuals may also include clergy and those working for religious organizations who are not covered by regular unemployment compensation.

The UIPL also includes guidance to states about protecting unemployment insurance program integrity. The department is actively working with states to provide benefits only to those who qualify for such benefits.

For more information on UIPLs or previous guidance, please visit: https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/.
For department resources on COVID-19, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

The Employment and Training Administration administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

The mission of the department is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.  

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Media Contact:
Emily Weeks, 202-693-4681, weeks.emily.c@dol.gov
Release Number: 20-577-NAT 

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).


U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

News Release | U.S. Department of Labor | April 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Guidance Letter 15-20 (UIPL) providing guidance to states for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Under FPUC, states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2104 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020.

“The $600 weekly unemployment compensation boost included in the CARES Act will provide valuable support to American workers and their families during this challenging time,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “The Department will continue to provide guidance and support to the States so they can administer the important new benefits under the CARES Act while guarding against fraud and abuse in their Unemployment Insurance systems.” 

This program allows states to provide an additional $600 per week benefit to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)), as well as the following unemployment compensation programs:  Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); Extended Benefits (EB); Short­Time Compensation (STC); Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA); Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); and payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program. FPUC benefit payments are fully federally-funded.

To provide assistance and assurance to those eligible, the benefit payments under FPUC may begin as soon as the week after the execution of a signed agreement between the department and states. The timeline for these payments will vary by state. As states begin providing this payment, eligible individuals will receive retroactive payments back to their date of eligibility or the signing of the state agreement, whichever came later. All states have executed agreements with the department as of March 28, 2020. The CARES Act specifies that FPUC benefit payments will end after payments for the last week of unemployment before July 31, 2020.

The UIPL also includes guidance to states about protecting unemployment insurance program integrity, as the provisions in the CARES Act operate in tandem with the fundamental eligibility requirements of the Federal-State UI program. The department is actively working with states receiving funding under the Act to provide unemployment insurance benefits only to those who are entitled to such benefits.

For more information about UIPLs or previous guidance, please visit: https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For department resources on COVID-19, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus.

The Employment and Training Administration administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

The mission of the department is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

# # #

Media Contact:
Emily Weeks, 202-693-4681, Weeks.Emily.C@dol.gov
Release Number: 20-576-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).


U.S. Department of Labor Publishes New OSHA Poster Aimed At Reducing Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus

News Release | U.S. Department of Labor | April 6, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new poster listing steps all workplaces can take to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

The poster highlights 10 infection prevention measures every employer can implement to protect workers’ safety and health during the coronavirus pandemic. Safety measures include encouraging sick workers to stay home; establishing flexible worksites and staggered work shifts; discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks and other work equipment; and using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals with label claims against the coronavirus.

The new poster is available for download in English, or Spanish.
Visit the OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.

The release is the latest effort by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. In response to President Trump’s action to increase the availability of general use respirators, OSHA has issued a series of guidances that expand access to respirators in the workplace. OSHA has also published Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, a guidance aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.

Visit OSHA’s coronavirus webpage frequently for updates. For further information about coronavirus, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

# # #

Media Contact:
Emily Weeks, 202-693-4681, weeks.emily.c@dol.gov
Release Number:  20-581-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

Sophia Laila Cabana
Special Assistant
Office of Public Liaison
U.S. Department of Labor
Office: 202-693-6452
Cell: 202-631-1785


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