National Resources & Guidance | ACA Advocacy & Messaging
This page was last updated on Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:30 am (EDT)
This page includes resources and links to external information and guidance from federal agencies related to COVID-19 impacts on business operations. Topics covered include CDC & OSHA guidance; Small Business Administration Loans & IRS information; Department of Labor & EEOC guidance; and EPA & DOT guidance.
In addition to these resources, the page highlights ACA’s interpretive guidance and messaging that the Coatings Industry is an ESSENTIAL participant in the COVID-19 response.
NOTE: Where links are provided to the specific state order and any guidance issued thereto, members should look to the specific language of the order when deciding whether their business may continue with manufacturing, distribution, research or retail operations.
Click on the following headings to navigate to these sections of this resource page.
National Governors Association (NGA) Coronavirus Resource Page: The NGA Coronavirus Resource Page offers a comprehensive overview of all state emergency orders issued and is updated frequently.
Coronavirus Construction Limits Tracker by State: This dashboard tracks how states with a stay-at-home mandate classify Construction and Building Material Suppliers.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CDC Categories of Essential Workers: This links to CDC’s mapping of List of Categories of Essential Workers Mapped to Standardized Industry Codes and Titles) to CDC’s recommendations for vaccines distribution. On Dec. 22, 2020, the CDC recommended that in Phase 1b and Phase 1c, which may overlap, vaccination should be offered to Essential Workers.
- CDC Notice: Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination for Essential Workers
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19
- Question & Answer on Manufacturing Facility Protocols
- Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
- Do’s and Don’ts for Employers and Employees Related to COVID-19 Exposures
Department of Homeland Security
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
- COVID-19 Recovery CISA Tabletop Exercise Package (CTEP)
- FEMA’s Best Practices for Personal Protective Equipment Preservation
- FEMA Fact Sheet Addressing PPE Needs in Non-Healthcare Settings
- FEMA COVID-19 Fact Sheets & Guidance Documents
- FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control
Department of Labor Paid Leave Guidance
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS); November 5, 2021
- Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace Issued by OSHA Jan. 29, 2021
- CDC and OSHA Joint Guidance for COVID-19 Protective Measures in Manufacturing Industry (Manufacturing Workers and Employers – Interim Guidance from CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – May 12, 2020): CDC and OSHA joint manufacturing-specific guidance detailing the steps companies must take to protect their workforce.
- ACA Webinar Recording: Workplace Safety — COVID Duties, Planning and Response: Replay this May 14 webinar led by Jonathan L. Snare, Esq. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, and Bob Adams, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, Principal at Ramboll. The webinar covers current best practices and legal obligations with respect to OSHA and CDC Guidance; personal protective equipment (PPE); cleaning & disinfecting; changes to the workplace; employee screening & testing; and employer training & communications.
- OSHA COVID-19 Website
- OSHA’s Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease (effective May 19, 2020)
- OSHA’s Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (effective May 19, 2020)
- OSHA Guidance to Employers on Preparing Workplaces for COVID 19
- Worker Exposure Risk to COVID-19
- Worker Protections and Health Related Complaints
- Enforcement Guidance Related to Respiratory Protection
- OSHA Standards Related to COVID-19, including Form 300 Reporting of COVID-19 Cases
- Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
- OSHA COVID-19 Related Daily Enforcement Data
- OSHA COVID-19 Related Whistleblower Data
- Temporary Enforcement Guidance Regarding Tight-Fitting Powered Air Purifying Respirators (published October 2, 2020)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for enforcing federal workplace anti-discrimination laws, has issued updated guidance that addresses practical return-to-work COVID related issues that employers and employees will face during this transition, including medical examinations, confidentiality of medical information and reasonable accommodations. Specifically, EEOC’s guidance allows employers to follow the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or state and local regulations relating to COVID-19.
Inquiries and Medical Examinations: ADA-covered employers may ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, are permitted to measure the body temperature of employees entering the workplace, as well as, implement mandatory COVID-19 testing of employees prior to returning to work. (Employee medical information must remain confidential and be stored separately from personnel records.) More information is available through the following links:
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play: EPA and CDC have updated guidance to properly clean and disinfect spaces.
- Read the Guidance
- Read News Release
- EPA List of Disinfectants for use Against Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- PHMSA Notice Highlighting Existing Options Related to HazMat Shipping Papers and Social Distancing
- PHMSA COVID-19 FAQs
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Coronavirus Information & Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
- Employee Retention Tax Credit: The CARES Act provides a refundable payroll tax credit. The employee retention credit is available to eligible employers that retain employees, despite experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. “Eligible employer” is an entity whose operation (1) is fully or partially suspended in response to governmental orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings or (2) has experienced a significant decline in gross receipts, defined as a decline of 50% or more in quarterly receipts when compared to the prior year quarter, including tax-exempt organizations. The retention credit is determined by taking 50 percent of the “qualified wages” from each employee during the eligible period (March 12, 2020 to January 1, 2021). The maximum amount of qualified wages that can be used for the credit is $10,000 – meaning the credit cannot exceed $5,000 per employee. Note, the credit is not available to employers receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Further guidance may be found here.
- Payroll Tax Deferral: This deferral also available under the CARES Act allowing employers to defer their share of the 6.2% Social Security tax that would otherwise be due for the period from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Fifty percent of the deferred amount must be paid by December 31, 2021, and the remainder must be paid by December 31, 2022. Any employer that has to pay an employer’s share of the 6.2% Social Security tax is eligible. However, an employer cannot defer payment of these 2020 payroll taxes if the employer also receives an SBA loan under the new Paycheck Protection Program that is later forgiven in full or in part. The deferral does not apply to federal income tax withholding, the Medicare tax, or the employees’ portion of Social Security tax.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Refundable tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) for employers with fewer than 500 employees. Credits reimburse employers the cost of paid sick and family leave wages for employee leave related to COVID-19. The refundable tax credits apply to qualified sick leave and family leave wages paid during the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, allows FFCRA-covered employers to voluntarily extend paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to employees until March 31, 2021. These eligible businesses (private businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees) that elect to do so, will continue receiving tax credits through March 31, 2021.
Additional guidance on both the Employee Retention Tax Credit and Payroll Tax Deferral may be found here.
UPDATED ACA Interpretation Guide for CISA’s Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Version 2.0 (March 28, 2020): This guide is intended to assist members in applying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce to your business. CISA’s Guidance was updated on March 28, 2020 and ACA’s guide incorporates CISA’s recent changes.
ACA Webinar Recording: PPP Program Update and Forgeiveness Issues: This hour-long webinar held Aug. 5, led by the PPP team lead at Cozen O’Connor law firm, reviewed changes to the PPP program revolving around eligibility, funding, loan amounts, use of proceeds, and loan forgiveness.
ACA Webinar Recording: Employee Benefits in the Time of COVID-19: This hour-long webinar held May 21 reviewed legislative changes, regulatory guidance, and practical considerations related to employee benefits during the COVID-19 crisis. Presenters from Venable law firm addressed retirement and health benefits.
ACA Webinar Recording: Workplace Safety — COVID Duties, Planning and Response
This hour-long May 14 webinar was led by Jonathan L. Snare, Esq. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, and Bob Adams, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, Principal at Ramboll. The webinar covers current best practices and legal obligations with respect to OSHA and CDC Guidance; personal protective equipment (PPE); cleaning & disinfecting; changes to the workplace; employee screening & testing; and employer training & communications.
ACA Webinar Recording: Interpreting CISA Guidance for Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers & Compliance with State Emergency Orders
This hour-long webinar held April 3, includes a Q&A CISA Assistant Director Brian Harrell, in which he addresses ACA-member submitted questions. It also covers recommendations and best practices for compliance with CISA and other state orders.
ACA Webinar Recording: Business Interruptions and Coronavirus – Force Majeure and Other Contract and Insurance Considerations
This hour-long webinar held April 10 was led by Cozen O’Connor counsel and addressed the coronavirus business impact disruptions from a contractual perspective.
ACA Webinar Recording: CARES Act Loan Programs and Tax Relief
This hour-long webinar held April 16 was led by Cozen O’Connor counsel and addressed the Paycheck Protection Program, Employee Retention Tax Credit, and the Payroll Tax Deferral.
Coatings Are Essential Business Fact Sheet: This fact sheet communicates the urgent message that the coatings industry is essential to numerous other industries, including those on the frontline of the coronavirus response. The industry supports health care, hospitals, defense, food, hygiene, agriculture, energy, public works, and information technology systems, as well as others. Industry needs to be able to operate to participate in the COVID-19 response.
The coatings industry is prepared to do its part for families, industry and the nation during this time to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection. Read its letters to Governors and the White House.
Multi Industry Letter Supporting DHS CISA Critical Infrastructure: ACA joined with more than 100 organizations to support a consistent definition of “critical infrastructure” across the country.
Coalition Letter to DOT on Critical Infrastructure: ACA and a coalition of interested parties underscored to DOT the need for uniformity in Essential Business Designations.
ACA Legal Bulletin: Antitrust Considerations During Coronavirus Pandemic
The FTC and DOJ have warned businesses against exploiting the current pandemic to engage in anticompetitive conduct. In particular, the agencies warned against agreements to restrain competition through increased prices, lower wages, decreased output, or reduced quality. Tips for businesses to avoid antitrust risks while engaged in collaborative pandemic response activities are included in this ACA Legal Bulletin.