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COVID-19 Updates

AGC San Diego will update this page with latest news. Click here for a Resource list.

Update Quick Links: May 8 | May 6 | April 29 | April 23 #2 | April 23 | April 21 | April 17 | April 8 | April 7 | April 6 | April 3 | April 2 | March 31 | March 30 #2 | March 30 | March 23 | March 21 | March 20 #2 | March 20 | March 19 | March 16 | March 13

May 8, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Governor Issues Executive Order Extending Deadlines Impacted by COVID-19

Extends Wage and Cal OSHA Claim Deadlines and Public School Inspector Certification Requirements

Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an Executive Order that extends some critical deadlines that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the extended deadlines relevant to the construction industry:

  • Extends by 60 days certain procedural deadlines of the Department of Industrial Relations, including the deadline for workers to file wage claims with the Labor Commissioner; the deadline for employers to appeal Cal/OSHA citations; and the deadline for Workers’ Compensation Administrative Law Judges to issue decisions.
  • Extends deadlines for certification requirements for public school project inspectors who previously passed an initial evaluation, as well as Certified Access Specialists who ensure compliance with disability access in properties and businesses.
  • Gives the State Fire Marshal 60 days to publish lists of building materials requirements and registration renewals for flame-retardant fabrics and applications.
  • Extends for 60 days the expiration dates for notaries public whose commissions are set to expire. The order also makes it clear that notaries public can use an expired Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s license or identification card to confirm identification, consistent with prior action that extended expiration dates for driver’s licenses and identification cards.

For more information about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, click here.


May 6, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order N-62-20 Creating a Workers' Comp Presumption for COVID-19 Claims

AGC has been engaged in discussions with the Governor’s office about our concerns regarding an Executive Order (EO) creating a workers’ compensation presumption for COVID-19 illness contracted at the workplace for essential workers. As you know, we sent an Alert to AGC members requesting that you contact the Governor and your legislators about the negative impact a workers’ compensation presumption would have on overall costs. Thank you to those who supported this effort.

Today, the Governor issued the EO, which creates a rebuttable presumption on all employers for any employee that contracts COVID-19 regardless of their employer or industry. The presumption would apply to any worker who reported to work outside of the home at the direction of their employer and received a positive test or a diagnosis from a California licensed physician with a diagnosis for COVID-19 within 14 days of the worker's last day working outside the home. Note that if the claim is based on a physician's diagnosis it would require a subsequent positive test within 30 days to continue to the claim.

  • The EO presumption rules will be in place from March 19 to July 5.
  • Diagnosed workers would receive all workers' comp medical and indemnity benefits. Rules on apportionment would remain unchanged as would the UR/IMR process. It would not include things like housing and living expenses (these are included in some of the proposed legislation).
  • The EO reduces the timeframe to make a compensability decision from 90 days to 30 days. It also permits denials after this timeframe based on new information.
  • Injured workers would only be eligible for TD benefits after the worker uses all available state and federal sick leave benefits.
  • There would be no death benefit.

This was not an easy decision for the Governor, and to his credit he has attempted to reach a middle ground considering workers’ interests with the potential cost impact such an order would have on employers. We commend the Governor for listening to our concerns. Our preference is to have no presumption; however, if there is to be one it needed to have limits. The presumption could have been conclusive and open ended, but instead it is rebuttable and of limited duration. Lastly, it includes limitations to reduce costs by ensuring that sick leave benefits are credited against the workers’ compensation benefit.

Impact on Rates: A recent Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau study on a more expansive version of a presumption legislation indicated that it would cost the system roughly $11.5 billion. There has been no such cost impact done on the Executive Order. The order attempts to contain costs by placing limits; however, it will still likely to be significant. It is also uncertain if claims will affect individual policy experience modification rates.

Going forward: Contractors should diligently follow adopted safety protocols and PPE to minimize exposure. The more documentation employers have on safety protocols in the workplace, the stronger an employer’s case will be to rebut those cases that you believe were not contracted at the workplace. Construction by nature has virtually no exposure to the general public at the workplace. This reality, coupled with our safety and health protocols and personal distancing protocols, should limit legitimate claims relative to other industries.


April 29, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan Released

AGC San Diego has partnered with local construction associations and the San Diego County Building Trades Council to publish the Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Construction has continued to operate during this crisis as an essential industry and contractors have been effective in implementing safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to build critical infrastructure in San Diego. The Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan is a consolidation of those Best Practices based on direction from health experts and boots-on-the-ground experiences from construction safety professionals.

While each jobsite is different, and contractors will adapt to each situation, we are hopeful this plan provides some uniformity for contractors, workers and owners all working to protect construction personnel, and the general public. With greater consistency in approach, these safety measures will become more universal and effective.

The rules can change daily, but some form of enhanced safety measures will be in place for the long-haul of the COVID-19 crisis. The Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan will be regularly updated to comply with the latest mandates in San Diego County.


April 23, 2020 - COVID-19 Update #2

SBA & Treasury Issue Important New PPP Loan Guidance
Puts Borrowers on Notice for Possible Audits and Investigations

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.


April 23, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

City of San Diego Issuing New COVID-19 Rules for Construction

The City of San Diego is issuing new guidance for all construction, public and private, within City limits. The draft rules, which can be found HERE, will be finalized tomorrow and enforced starting on Monday. AGC San Diego and several San Diego County construction associations met virtually with City staff to discuss these rules and their implementation.

Key aspects of the new rules include the following:

  • COVID-19 Supervisor – contractors must designate a site-specific supervisor to implement the comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control plan. This supervisor role can be designated to existing project personnel and must always be present on the construction site during construction activities.
  • All workers and visitors are required to wear face coverings while performing their work.
  • Contractors will be encouraged to increase the number of restrooms available to workers and the frequency of cleaning restroom facilities.
  • The City recommends temperature readings as a screening tool for workers and visitors coming on site.

City inspectors will be directed to enforce and comply with these protocols to protect the health and safety of workers, and the general public while keeping projects underway. For more information on how to comply with these rules, visit the AGC San Diego COVID-19 Resources page.


April 21, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Deal Imminent in Washington, DC to Replenish Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

It appears a Congressional deal has been struck to approve a new package that would replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, which was part of the $2 trillion stimulus approved late last month. Funds for the program ran out last week, but PPP negotiations have been focused on allocating an additional $310 billion to the program
.
In addition to the PPP funding, the deal includes $50 to $60 billion for a separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan program; $75 billion for hospitals, with a significant portion aimed at those in rural areas; and $25 billion for virus testing.

Over the past several days, AGC members have been emailing their Congressional Representative asking them to add more funding to and simplify the eligibility requirements for the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs so construction firms and their employees can get needed coronavirus relief. First, the eligibility requirements were simplified, and now it appears more funding is on the way.

The Senate is scheduled to meet at 4 PM (Eastern Time), and if the measure is approved there, a House vote could be taken as soon as Thursday.


April 17, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Governor Newsom Unveils Key Indicators to Modify Stay-at-Home Order for California

Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled six key indicators that will guide California’s thinking for when and how to modify the stay-at-home and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor noted that the progress in flattening the curve, increased preparedness of our health care delivery system and the effects of other COVID-19 interventions have yielded positive results. However, these actions have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. Any consideration of modifying the stay-at-home order must be done using a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework.

“While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order,” said Governor Newsom. “As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before.”

California’s six indicators for modifying the stay-at-home order are:
• The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;
• The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;
• The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges;
• The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;
• The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and
• The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

The Governor said there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, but that these six indicators will serve as the framework for making that decision.


HR Information & Resources for Construction

By Nancy Erickson, AGC HR Practices 2020 Chair

It goes without saying that the past few weeks have presented us all with challenges never before imagined. The state of our world today is unprecedented and leaves much uncertainty. However, we believe we will get through this, and while it may not be easy, in the long run we will thrive again.

Today the AGC Human Resources committee would like to share some resources and information with our construction industry partners surrounding COVID-19.

A QUICK RECAP:

• March 12 – Disneyland announced it was closing, March Madness was cancelled, and it was clear our lives were about to change dramatically.
• March 18 – The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law leaving many questions for us all.
• March 19 – Governor Newsom issued a Stay-at-Home order for the State of California. As a result, many businesses were forced to temporarily shut down or find alternative ways of doing business. In the construction industry, many of us were deemed Essential Businesses and have been able to continue building our projects and keeping our employees working.
• March 27 – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was enacted.
• April 1 – FFCRA went live.

All of this has left business owners and HR professionals scratching their heads. Click here to download the HR COVID-19 Guidelines created by the AGC HR Practices committee.


News & Resources from AGC of America

In case you missed it, President Trump named AGC of America CEO Steve Sandherr to serve on the new “Great American Economic Revival Industry Group,” which will advise the president and his administration on the best ways to restart the broader economy. (Read article)

AGC of America has developed a new website designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. This new site, workingsafe.agc.org, highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers and includes photos of different examples of these practices.

For updates and resources visit the AGC of America coronavirus website.


April 8, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

New Guidance about the Paycheck Protection Program Loans

After pressure from AGC of America, the U.S. Department of Treasury released new guidance about the Paycheck Protection Program loans. That guidance provides that a construction company can qualify for the new loan program if the company has 500 or fewer employees, even it if does not meet the small business size standard (which is an average annual revenue standard for most construction companies).

At AGC’s request, one of Washington’s leading law firms, Crowell & Moring, has provided the association with an analysis of the latest guidance. Click HERE to read. In addition to the 500 or fewer employee threshold, a construction company should also consider the impact of the SBA’s affiliation rules on its eligibility.

Additional article on topic:
AGC Secures New Administration Guidance that Now Allow Firms with 500 or Fewer Employees to Qualify for Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Webinar Today - How to Maintain Cash Flow During the COVID-19 Crisis

Today at 1 pm PDT (4 pm EDT), AGC of America will be hosting a webinar on how to maintain cash flow during the COVID-19 crisis. This webinar will provide an overview of how construction firms can take advantage of recent federal programs created to support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, including the new Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and revisions to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, as well as some tax relief and tax deferral programs created in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Click HERE to register for the webinar.


Participate in AGC of America Safety Stand-down on April 9

AGC of America has called for a national safety stand-down to combat COVID-19 on Thursday, April 9 at 10 AM. Click here to download event flyer. AGC of America has provided resources to contractors to update staff on safety measures while practicing social distancing, click here to download resources.

AGC San Diego encourages all contractors to participate in this safety stand down on Thursday at a time(s) that will be most safe and effective for your operation.

AGC San Diego has also provided local resources:
A Toolbox Talk jointly endorsed with the San Diego Building Trades Council as well as safety measures promoted by 19 construction associations across California.

AGC will continue to provide updated information at the direction of health experts and in compliance with changing state and local requirements.


April 7, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

AGC of America Safety Stand-down

AGC of America has called for a national safety stand-down to combat COVID-19 on Thursday, April 9 at 10 AM. AGC of America has provided resources to contractors to update staff on safety measures while practicing social distancing, click here to download resources.

AGC San Diego encourages all contractors to participate in this safety stand down on Thursday at a time(s) that will be most safe and effective for your operation.

AGC San Diego has also provided local resources:
A Toolbox Talk jointly endorsed with the San Diego Building Trades Council as well as safety measures promoted by 19 construction associations across California.

AGC will continue to provide updated information at the direction of health experts and in compliance with changing state and local requirements.


AGC Urges Quick Fix to Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) $349 billion program to provide loans to small business during COVID-19 has qualification guidelines that are flawed, and AGC of America is urging a quick fix so construction firms employing 500 or fewer people can be eligible for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

The purpose of the loans is to keep businesses open so they can continue to operate. SBA is needlessly delaying the loan applications of thousands of firms that clearly 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 (the average annual receipts size standard used for construction).

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

AGC of America has contacted officials within SBA, the Treasury Department, and the White House to urge them to fix this flaw immediately. Click here to view the letter. We will continue to monitor the situation and will alert you when the flaw is fixed.

You can learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program loans, and the application process at this Treasury Department website, and at this SBA website.


NAVFAC Provides Further Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19

The Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) has issued additional COVID-19 guidance since the letter he sent to contractors two weeks ago.

Rear Admiral John Korka’s April 6 letter provides clarification on 1) screening programs for employees as they report to work; 2) guidance for return to work of personnel who have been exposed to, or who have recovered from COVID-19; and 3) guidance on the use of face coverings on Department of Defense property and installations.

AGC and its member firms have a good working relationship with NAVFAC, and as Rear Admiral Korka states in his letter:

“Your actions to date on employing practices and measures to protect our people is commendable, but one where I need further help involves screening of employees before they come to work…”

"...I ask for your continued leadership in ensuring that you stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 guidance and facts; and continue to communicate with your government contracting teams on any issues that affect performance of contracts that are a vital part of the national defense mission.”


April 6, 2020 - Monday Morning Quarterback - Read Online

Construction Projects Moving Ahead in San Diego
Mike McManus, Director of Engineering Construction & Industry Relations

AGC San Diego has been reaching out to leaders in Public Works here in the San Diego region to make sure they are aware of the efforts going on in the construction industry to slow the spread of COVID-19, and to assure local officials that the industry appreciates the partnership of our local and state agencies.

California Governor Gavin Newsom's order implementing effective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in California has been crucial, as has the continued delivery of critical infrastructure in the state. The construction industry is united in this effort, and we are checking in with this region's agency officials to ensure that that Governor Newsom's order is consistently implemented throughout the San Diego region and across California.

Local agencies are doing their part to allow for necessary Public Works and inspection staff to operate under modified circumstances - without this partnership, critical infrastructure projects would not be able to continue per the state order. We have received no reports lately of the shutting down or delay of any projects in San Diego County. During the first few days of the stay at home order, there was some confusion, however, things are back to normal, sort of.

The County of San Diego reported that their active construction projects are a go, once it stops raining. County engineering staff have been equipped to work remotely. So, the next round of projects are being designed by staff that is mostly at home except for a skeleton crew. The City of San Diego is also reporting that the City is moving ahead, and giving priority to staffing construction projects first, and still planning to deliver the next round of projects to be bid on by the industry.

Caltrans officials in Sacramento have stated that they are considered an essential workforce and are keeping the active construction projects on schedule, as well as delivering their planned projects for future construction. The Chief Engineer, has issued some instructions for contractors that you can read here. Caltrans has also sent instructions to their districts and resident engineers to consider extending work hours to accelerate project construction as the freeway traffic around the state is at much lower volumes than we have seen for many decades. That measure should also be considered by local agencies here in the region. Caltrans also has announced they are suspending in-person toll collections on the Bay Area toll bridges in another effort to slow down COVID-19.

Please click here for a letter signed by the major construction industry associations in the San Diego region and the building industry trade unions. This letter represents a united labor-management front in continuing to deliver critical infrastructure in the San Diego region, while implementing the enhanced safety measures and best practices to ensure worker safety at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Face Protection Now Required for City of San Diego Construction Contractors
Brad Barnum, Executive Vice President

Effective today, the City of San Diego Public Works Department will be enforcing its newly issued face protection order for all contractors working within the City of San Diego. This is different from the San Diego County Order which at this time, does not apply to construction.

San Diego Public Works Order Covid-19 - Required Monday April 6
Face Covering - See CA Dept Health recommendations below:


What is a cloth face covering? A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

At this time, we have been advised they will be flexible in the short term and will assist with compliance. However, if you do experience a job site suspension, please contact Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or 858-204-4794 immediately.

Read Monday Morning Quarterback Online


April 3, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Clarification on Facial Masks for Essential Workers

There have been a few rumors about the newly issued San Diego County mandates and orders relating to facial coverage. Note that this does NOT apply to construction, and it only applies to the specific businesses listed in the order which directly deal with the public. We have verified this with the County of San Diego.

See list described in actual order below, or click here to download the full order. Please remember to continue practicing the required COVID -19 safety requirements on all jobsites, and keep social distancing.

As of April 4, 2020, all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, restaurant or food establishments, convenience store or gas station are required to wear a cloth face covering while at work as an additional measure to help “flatten the curve” in the San Diego region. If you witness an essential employee not covering their nose and mouth, please complete the form below which will be directed to your law enforcement agency.


April 2, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

Construction Remains Essential in California Order

This afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that construction will continue as essential activities under the current “shelter-in-place orders” while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. “The conditions in New York are very different than the conditions in the state of California. We put out guidelines a few weeks ago that we think are appropriate as baseline guidelines as it relates to construction in the state of California.”

 

Contractors Continue to Ramp Up Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19
This week, contractors across the state are pausing their work to make sure everyone in their operation is adhering to strict new safety guidelines to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

All contractors are urged to make these updates a regular feature of their work schedule using the AGC and Building Trades Council TOOLBOX TALK for COVID-19.

Contractors should also continue to implement the safety policies adopted by 19 construction unions and associations in San Diego: Coalition COVID-19 Safety Letter.

 

Federal CARES Act Provides Support for Contractors

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides financial support for businesses, including contractors. The CARES Act includes a loan program that can be used for “payroll support, such as employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent, utility payments, or interest on debt incurred prior to February 15, 2020.” The loans will be forgiven if certain criteria are met, most importantly; keeping staff employed.

For more up-to-date information on the CARES Act, visit AGC of America’s dedicated page that has analysis and recommendations.

 

April 3rd Webinar - Ask the Experts: Impact of Coronavirus on Union Contractors

AGC of America is conducting a free* AGC Member webinar, April 3rd at 11 AM PDT (2 PM EDT), that will include a panel of experts answering legal and labor relations questions that particularly affect union construction contractors during the coronavirus outbreak. *non-member rate available REGISTER HERE


March 31, 2020 - Take a Break for 10 COVID-19 Safety Measures

From Eddie Sprecco, CEO

Since construction has been considered essential by the state of California, contractors have the utmost responsibility to protect their workers, public agency staff and the general public from COVID-19.

This week contractors across the state of California are pausing their operations, to make sure every single person in their organization understands and adopts strict safety measures. This can be done by putting everything on hold to go over the 10 most crucial COVID-19 best practices – while maintaining social distancing.

AGC San Diego and the San Diego Building Trades Council have jointly endorsed this effort to ensure jobsites continue to operate in a safe manner. Please use these guidelines in the following memo to reeducate your workforce on COVID-19 safety: AGC and Building Trades Council TOOLBOX TALK for COVID-19

As rules and best practices evolve, we will continue to revise these guidelines – please make these updates a regular feature of your work schedule and continue to implement the safety policies adopted by 19 construction unions and associations in San Diego: Coalition COVID-19 Safety Letter.

It is up to all of us to ensure the health and safety of our friends, colleagues and family.


March 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update 2

Construction Industry United by Importance of COVID-19 Safety
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

President Trump announced yesterday that the federal social distancing guidelines, aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, will be extended through the end of April. This new timeline indicates that our state and nation is in this crisis for the long-haul. California Governor Gavin Newsom, despite his differences with the Trump Administration, has worked well with the federal government to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak while keeping critical industry sectors in operation - including construction. While there have been bumps in the road during the COVID-19 response, the recent bi-partisan cooperation at the Federal, State, and local level is commendable and necessary in this time of crisis.

Now, more than ever, it is important for unity across the construction industry, with management, labor, and public agencies continuing to enhance their safety practices to protect workers and the general public. To that end, AGC has joined with fourteen San Diego area Contractors Associations and Labor Unions to implement COVID-19 enhanced safety practices in construction. While many contractors have already put these practices into use, their adoption is most effective when universal. With a united front, the construction industry will do its part to safely deliver the infrastructure deemed essential by the Federal and State Governments.

Read full letter and safety practices here: COVID-19 Safety Measures for Construction

 

AGC San Diego Working Remotely
AGC offices will remain closed through April 30th, in accordance with new shelter-in place guidelines. All in-person classes, events, and meetings have been cancelled or moved online. The AGC Chapter and Apprenticeship offices will continue to serve our members with the resources they need to continue field operations. While most AGC staff is working remotely, there will be staff in the building to handle essential paperwork following shelter-in-place guidelines. However, the Ferris Square headquarters remains closed to walk in traffic. Please continue to call or email to your regular AGC email contacts.

 

COVID-19 Updates:
Please share the MMQB sign-up page with anyone interested in receiving San Diego construction industry specific COVID-19 resources.


March 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

1 PM Webinar Today - Latest Economic, Legislative & Regulatory COVID-19 Related Impacts on Construction
AGC of America will be conducting a free AGC Member webinar today, March 30th at 1 PM PDT (4 PM EDT), that will provide an analysis of the recently passed coronavirus relief legislation and what it means for construction firms.

AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr and Vice President of Government Affairs Jimmy Christianson will address how firms can take advantage of the tax credits and lending programs outlined in the legislation. They will also cover the new paid sick and family & medical leave mandates and how those apply to construction firms. In addition, AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson will provide his latest analysis of economic conditions and the impacts of the pandemic on the industry. REGISTRATION CLOSED


NEW! Updated AGC CARES Act Analysis

Based on member inquiries, AGC updated the CARES Act analysis as it applies to small business eligibility for the new Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. For COVID-19 Updates from AGC of America, click here.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today 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 (link is external) 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.


Proof of Essential Worker Exemption

Federal and State orders have recognized working construction as critical or essential to the continued critical infrastructure viability, and therefore have exempt construction workers from the mobility and other restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Essential business employees should be permitted to travel to and from work without violating the new "Stay Home" Executive Order N-33-20 issued by Governor Newsom. AGC has developed an Exempt Worker Verification Form (a Word file download) for all employees that verifies exempt workers accommodating their work travel.

Please keep this in your vehicle, along with your business card or badge. It is intended to serve as guidance only, and does not guarantee compliance with law enforcement or local ordinances.

 

Register Now for Live Instructor Led Web-Based Training Classes for March and April by AGC San Diego
The AGC San Diego Chapter is now offering web-based training featuring a live instructor and interactive format starting tomorrow.

Online training will be available for the following classes:
Microsoft Project Workshop – March 31
Project Management Boot Camp – April 1

Business Writing and Construction Correspondence – April 2 and 29
Construction Scheduling for Construction Professionals – April 7 and 15
Construction Estimating Basics – April 8 and 22
Better Meetings By Tomorrow – April 14

These programs that were normally 7-hours in length have been condensed to a 4-hour web-based training program. The content is the same, some of it will be condensed but you will still be receiving quality training that you always expect from AGC San Diego. These are not recorded trainings, but they are LIVE instructor led and interactive. In addition to presenting course material and content, our online training will allow students the opportunity for live interactions and real-time feedback with your instructor.

For more information and to register, click here.


March 23, 2020 - Monday Morning Quarterback - Read Online

Construction Industry Cautiously Back to Work
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

The last two weeks have been a roller-coaster ride of news, government action and impacts to the construction industry in response to COVID-19. First, we saw the closure of major events, then sports leagues, and schools. Last week came limits to gatherings, local "shelter-in-place" orders, followed by a statewide order that was later amended to exempt construction as essential.

With that news, contractors are back to work today, but questions remain. Our goal at AGC is to get the most up-to-date information to you, after it is verified and understood. You may see more emails coming from AGC - hopefully fewer than last week, as we all settle into the reality of the Coronavirus crisis. Please subscribe anyone who would benefit from reading these updates to the MMQB list.

A few quick updates for this morning...

 

AGC Staff Working Remotely
AGC staff is working remotely for the time being, and the AGC headquarters building remains closed. A limited number of staff will be in the office regularly to maintain business functions such as paying bills and IT support for remote workers. While it is unclear if AGC functions qualify as essential under the new state health order, we will continue to follow guidance that all employees that CAN work from home, be able to do so.

Our goal is to continue serving members seamlessly, and calls or emails to the office should be returned as if we were all sitting happily down at Ferris Square. If we fall short of that goal, please feel free to email your feedback to esprecco@agcsd.org so we can improve upon our remote operationals.

 

Construction Exempted Statewide - Local Rules May Apply
Governor Newsom last week revised the statewide shelter in place order to exempt construction. https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/ While the rules have been clarified, local rules could apply. For more clarity on this front, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP has provided an analysis of the "shelter in place" order and other impacts to the industry.


Read Monday Morning Quarterback online


March 21, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates

UPDATE: Newsom Administration Issues Full List of Essential Workers Clearly Exempting Construction from Shelter-In-Place Order
Late last night, Governor Newsom's office issued an update to the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list on the State of California COVID-19 resource page.

The list of Essential Workers was published to add clarity to those exempted from California’s Shelter-in Place Order. While specific areas of construction are called out throughout the 14-page document, the most direct language can be found on page 11:

"Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)."

While construction workers are exempted from the statewide order, local ordinances may apply. AGC will continue to provide updates as these orders change.

Contractors are encouraged to continue to enhance health and safety measures and social distancing, while providing workers with additional flexibility to stay home due to illness, to care for family members or protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19. Any reduction in availability of workforce due to COVID-19 should be thoroughly documented.

We will continue to update you with the latest news and resources as they happen. For more information, contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.

 

Navigating the Outbreak: An Eight-Part Webinar Series Starts Next Week
AGC of America is launching an eight-part webinar series exploring many aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the impacts on the construction industry.

"Navigating the Outbreak: An Eight-Part Webinar Series on the Factors that Construction Companies Need to Consider, as They Strive for Business Continuity"

The webinar will be held daily from Monday, March 23 through Wednesday, April 1 with a start time of 2:00 PM EDT. REGISTRATION CLOSED


March 20, 2020 - Coronavirus Update 2

Governor Newsom Amends Shelter-In-Place Order to Exempt Construction as Essential
Late last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the shelter-in-place order from earlier in the evening to specifically exempt construction activities. Prior to the revision, the shelter-in-place order exempted only the construction sectors identified in the Trump Administration’s list of federal Critical Infrastructure Sectors.

The original signed order includes notice that the Governor may “designate additional sectors as critical in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.”

At 10:37 the Governor used that authority to add “critical government services, schools, and construction, including housing construction” to the list of sectors exempted from the shelter-in-place order. Governor Newsom has since added “childcare” to the exempted sectors as noted on California’s official website dedicated to California’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/

AGC will continue to seek information from the state of California on how to best implement this new directive and what impact, if any, it will have on local measures.

While construction is currently allowed to continue under the State order, Contractors and Owners must be making every effort to maintain social distancing, provide proper safety equipment, additional wash stations and keep sick workers and non-essential personnel at home.

For more information, contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.


County’s Private Development Construction Inspection Continues

We have been assured by San Diego County staff that private development construction inspections will continue. There was some initial internal miscommunication, which led to at least one customer being informed that inspections may be discontinued temporarily. The issue has been corrected, and they are making efforts to ensure that all construction customers know that they will continue this essential function.

 

Tax Day Moved from April 15 to July 15
Good News! The Trump administration has announced that most individuals and businesses will be allowed to delay paying their federal tax bills for 90 days as part of an emergency relief plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for an article about what it means for tax filers.

Also, the California State Income Tax deadline has been extended until July 15.


San Diego County Air Pollution Control District Offices are Closed to Public Access
Effective today, the offices of the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District are closed to public access. However, they remain working behind the scenes and are prepared to continue to serve you effectively. They are reachable in several other ways during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, will do their best to serve you during this time of an emergency.

For general inquiries call 858-586-2600, or go to www.sdapcd.org
FAX #s Main Office: 858-586-2601; Compliance Division: 858-586-2651

Click to read full email.


Call to Action – Tell Congress to Support the Construction Industry!
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on construction businesses necessary for building and maintaining critical infrastructure. Congress needs to understand the severity of this issue to the construction industry, and we are asking you to write to them for immediate action to:

1. Enact policies and programs that ensure all construction employers’ cash flows so they can pay workers and maintain their essential operations;
2. Ensure public construction markets have immediate-term access to additional federal funds to build critical infrastructure; and
3. Lay the foundation for the long-term recovery of the industry and its markets through enacting multi-year public infrastructure investments.

Click here to Take Action and simply submit the pre-written message as is to your members of Congress or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer.


March 20, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

Governor Newsom Amends Shelter-In-Place Order to Exempt Construction as Essential

Late last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the shelter-in-place order from earlier in the evening to specifically exempt construction activities. Prior to the revision, the shelter-in-place order exempted only the construction sectors identified in the Trump Administration’s list of federal Critical Infrastructure Sectors.

With this change, needed infrastructure across California will be delivered while taking measures to protect workers and the general public from the spread of Coronavirus. AGC San Diego will continue to work with State and Local governments to implement updated protocols, so that contractors can safely complete these essential projects.

For more information contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.


March 19, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

County of San Diego Clarifies Construction Rules
The County of San Diego sent out a memo today to Public Works contractors, advising them to continue projects as planned, while complying with a County Health Order that restricts gatherings of 10 or more. Click here for County Health Order.

County staff has also confirmed to AGC that the latest Health Order in response to Coronavirus allows public and private projects to continue as long as “social distancing” is maintained – keeping six(6) feet of separation between workers, among other safety measures. The ban on gatherings of ten(10) or more does not apply to the entire jobsite, but to jobsite safety meetings, break areas, etc. These gatherings of any size should be avoided, if possible, and social distancing maintained on jobsites, in trailers and in the office. County staff also reiterated that workers should be reminded to stay home if sick.

AGC is aware that some local owners have mandated contractors to track and report workers sent home from jobsites due to illness of any severity in an effort to stop the spread of Coronavirus as well as address the impact to projects. Contractors are encouraged to adopt this practice, within state and federal law, even if not yet mandated by owners.

AGC has asked the County to provide construction specific definitions in any future health orders to avoid any remaining ambiguity for contractors and owners. Consult with legal counsel on how to best implement these requirements.


Sheppard Mullin Provides Update to Employers on H.R. 6201 the “Families First Coronavirus Act”
On March 18, 2020, shortly after it was passed in the Senate by a vote of 90-8, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “Act”) into law.

There are two paid leave provisions of the Act that employers with fewer than 500 employees should be aware of: (1) the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act; and (2) the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The Act also provides, among other things, $1 billion in grants to states for emergency unemployment insurance and refundable tax credits for employers providing paid emergency sick leave or paid FMLA. Further, for those who have been closely following the trajectory of this bill, it is worth noting that there are key differences as highlighted below between the original version of the bill passed by the House on March 14 and the final law, which are the result of several “corrections” that the House made to the bill on March 16 before sending it to the Senate. Read entire memo HERE.

 

AGC and 14 Other Construction Associations Ask Lawmakers Not to Shut Down Construction Projects
The COVID-19 virus has created uncertainty throughout the construction industry, and we understand the importance of balancing the need to complete critical infrastructure projects with the safety of the construction workforce and the public. The industry and government leaders need to work together to accomplish this goal. With that said, AGC and 14 other construction organizations in San Diego and across the State of California have asked city and county leaders to consider some of the unique aspects of the industry before considering any shutdown of projects, public or private. Click here to read the letter.

In particular, suspending projects creates additional public safety hazards at a time when we are all working to reduce risks and additional disruptions to residents. The hazards of suspended projects include obstacles near traffic lanes, open trenches, temporary water supplies vulnerable to outages, and stormwater protections that go without maintenance.

Recent “shelter in place” orders have included exemptions for construction personnel after construction activities have been deemed as essential; an example of exemption language is enclosed with this letter. We encourage this approach to continue the critical work of building California’s infrastructure, without creating additional hazards in the fight against Coronavirus.

 

Friday Webinar - Briefing on the Latest Developments on the Coronavirus and What that Means for the Construction Industry
Tomorrow at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM PST, AGC of America will hold a Webinar update on the Coronavirus, including the latest information about the federal response, an updated economic analysis of its impacts, and an overview of the latest legal, HR, safety and risk measures being put in place because of the Coronavirus.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Sandherr will lead the discussion, which will include remarks by the Safety Director, Legal Counsel, Employment Policy and Practices Director Chief Economist, and the Vice President of Government Relations.

On Saturday, March 21, a recording of the session will be available in this link.

AGC of America has assembled some general guidelines and links to information from federal agencies and health organizations. Click here to view.


March 16, 2020 - Monday Morning Quarterback - READ ONLINE

Strong and Practical Measures Needed to Halt Coronavirus
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

Coronavirus is dominating the news, dinner table conversations, and the minds of decision makers worldwide and here in San Diego. These are not easy decisions to make - and, while doing nothing is too costly to consider, the actions taken must be thoroughly considered.

Coronavirus is having a growing impact on the construction industry; as announced Friday, AGC San Diego has canceled in-person meetings, events, and classes through April 3rd and will continue to follow the advice of health experts as the Coronavirus pandemic plays out.

While the country is taking strong steps to address the crisis, it is also important that decision makers recognize the costs of sweeping shutdowns and quarantine orders. Schools, sports leagues, and major events have been shuttered in the past week, forcing millions to quickly get past their disappointment to scramble for childcare, travel arrangements, and groceries.

In construction, local governments and agencies are now considering shutting down their entire operations for an extended amount of time. If those shutdowns include departments that handle inspections and payments, the construction industry - both public and private - could be put on hold. While it may make sense to mothball classrooms, libraries, and sports arenas, the decision becomes less obvious for construction.

Construction sites are a unique workplace with their own levels of "social distancing" built in. Despite that, contractors are already taking additional steps to fortify workplaces against the spread of Coronavirus and await further direction from Cal-OSHA and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Department.

The downside to public agencies potentially halting construction activities are many, first and foremost the loss of income for 80,000 San Diegans working in the construction industry. Public agencies would also disrupt contracts, pay for demobilization, be responsible for securing construction sites and temporary water supplies, while creating an unlimited number of legal claims for injuries or damages at unfinished and unprotected sites.

Again, these are tough decisions to make - which is why leaders need to have the facts on the ground. Any agency considering a suspension of their general operations should ask these questions:

*What is the risk of Coronavirus spread on construction sites?
*What extra precautions can reduce the risks of spread?
*What are the impacts to public safety, residents, costs and legal liability of suspending operations?

Upon answering these questions, some public agencies have already considered construction activities, along with Police and Fire, as essential services - where suspending the activity during a crisis will be more disruptive than continuing under modified circumstances.

AGC will continue to provide information to local decision makers, who have the difficult job of balancing these priorities, and assist in implementing whatever action is taken to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus in San Diego County.

For more information on how to protect workers from Coronavirus, visit: Cal OSHA

San Diego County Office of Health and Human Services


March 13, 2020 - AGC San Diego Gatherings Canceled Through April 3rd

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), AGC San Diego will not hold in-person meetings through April 3rd. All Committee Meetings, Events and Classes* will be canceled or postponed to a later date. (*The Fall Protection and Traffic Control Classes scheduled to start Monday, March 16th will be held as planned, with extra precautions taken.)

The County of San Diego has recently issued orders prohibiting large gatherings among other restrictions to present the spread of the virus. The County also has coronavirus resources available on their website including notices to employees and workplace posters - click here to view.

AGC will continue to provide updates as they are made available from County Health officials, and will make a determination on in-person events beyond April 3rd, when more information is available.