Tag Archives: Life-Sustaining

COVID-19: PA makes $50M available for Hazard Pay Grants to Life Sustaining Occupations

Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” said Gov. Wolf. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

• Businesses
• Healthcare Non-profits
• Public Transportation Agencies
• Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO)

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:

• Healthcare and Social Assistance
• Ambulatory Health Care Services
• Hospitals
• Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
• Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
• Food Manufacturing
• Food Retail Facilities
• Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
• Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jon Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

PA – Modifications to the Life-Sustaining Businesses List on 3-24

Good afternoon and we hope you and yours are keeping up your spirits and remaining in good health.

Earlier this afternoon, March 24th, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development updated their List of Life-Sustaining Businesses and now include on the list of approved businesses (along with those previously approved):

Manufacturing – Veneer, Plywood and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing and Other wood product manufacturing

Manufacturing – Aerospace Product and Parts for defense industrial base and transportations manufacturing under CISA advisory is permitted

Wholesale Trade – Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers

Retail Trades – Health and Person Care Stores are NOT permitted BUT pharmacies are now permitted

Non-Store Retailers – NOT permitted except fuel sellers and bottle water sellers ARE permitted

Information – Telecommunications – Telecommunications resellers are now Permitted – Note that retailers selling devices at physical locations are still NOT permitted

Educational Services – all are still marked as Prohibited but now there is direction to the PA Department of Education guidance at education.pa.gov/COVID19

Healthcare and Social Assistance – update to Child Care Services which are Prohibited but now reference Stay at Home Guidance

Leisure and Hospitality – Food Services and Drinking Places – Drinking Places are still Prohibited but reference to takeout and delivery is Permitted

Attached is the updated list of life-sustaining and non-life sustaining businesses as of 2:30 pm on 3-24-20 – NOTE that this list has been modified 3x since original date of publication on Thursday so please make sure you are looking at the most up to date list – https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinesses

The updated list is available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-2-30pm-March-24-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance

We will continue to track local and national information and report as new news becomes available through our COVID taskforce. If you care to look directly, go to www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us via email and we will call you back to discuss your concerns.

We can be reached at any of the following email addresses and will direct your inquiry to the appropriate person within our COVID Taskforce – bamolotsky@duanemorris.com; emincer@duanemorris.com; slcaffrey@duanemorris.com; or dcanderson@duanemorris.com.

Be safe.

PA – “Non-Life Sustaining” Business Closure of Physical Locations Questions and Waiver Process – Required Shut Downs

As you are likely aware, on Thursday, March 19th, by Executive Order, the Wolf Administration ordered the physical location shut down of all “non-life sustaining” businesses in order to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A list of what qualifies as “non-life sustaining” was published on line and is attached for your review. Some businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, e.g., are very logical, others are a bit more surprising (e.g., beer and liquor sales).

Per Governor Wolf’s and the Department of Health’s orders, businesses that were non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19, at 8:00 PM.

As of last evening, March 20th, these orders are still effective, however, the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM.

If you are not sure if your business falls within a GREEN area (one that is permitted and life sustaining) or a RED area (one that is not deemed to be life sustaining and therefore must close your physical location) per the Commonwealth’s chart, there is a process to inquire, ask questions, and ask for a waiver.

Questions and Waiver Requests:

Those businesses requesting clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should check the list, https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-Industry-Operation-Guidance-March-20-2020 and can email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) customer service resource account at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select option 1 to reach DCED staff.

Please note that the list has been modified since its original posting on Thursday and some additional notes have been added (including some construction related notes).

For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application.

When a business completes a waiver form, a team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified via email if their operations may re-open.

NOTE – Per updates issued last night, businesses applying for a waiver are REQUIRED to remain closed until a decision is made about their application. This is NEW.

Also, please be aware that DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available.

In addition, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Attaching the updated list of life-sustaining and non-life sustaining businesses as of 5:45 pm on 3-21-20 – NOTE that this list has been modified 2x since original date of publication on Thursday so please make sure you are looking at the most up to date list –  https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinesses

To list is attached and available here: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-5-45pm-March-21-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance

We will continue to track local and national information and report as new news becomes available through our COVID taskforce. If you care to look directly, go to www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us via email and we will call you back to discuss your concerns.  We can be reached at any of the following email addresses and will direct your inquiry to the appropriate person within our COVID Taskforce – bamolotsky@duanemorris.com; slcaffrey@duanemorris.com; jsegal@duanemorris.com or dcanderson@duanemorris.com.

Be safe.