Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.

Reopening America’s Economy:

  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Scalia Highlights Reentry Grants and American Manufacturing in Tennessee – “As we work to safely re-open our economy, our focus must be on providing opportunities for all Americans to participate in the workforce,” said Secretary Scalia. “Organizations like Knoxville Leadership Foundation and their partners do so by helping those who have served their time in the criminal justice system transition back into their communities and the workforce. Businesses like McNeilus Steel advance opportunity by creating jobs and training workers to fill them. Together, public resources and private sector ingenuity will be catalysts for an American economy even stronger than before.”
  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Scalia Addresses Economic Re-opening and Workplace Safety During Visit to North Carolina – “The resilience of the American worker is on display here in North Carolina,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “President Trump positioned us for a strong economic bounce back in North Carolina and across the country thanks in part to his negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is expected to create as many as 500,000 or more jobs. I thank Ranking Member Foxx for joining me today and for her invaluable leadership on the House Education and Labor Committee.”
  • U.S. Department of Labor Awards $3 Million Dislocated Worker Grant In Response to the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency – The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of one Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) totaling $3,000,000 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the public health emergency related to the coronavirus. This latest award to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation follows seven previous waves of funding, bringing the total amount awarded to states and territories to $248,249,950.

Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:

  • U.S. Department of Labor Statement on D.C. Circuit Court Ruling – Solicitor of Labor Kate O’Scannlain and Assistant Secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) David G. Zatezalo issued the following statement regarding the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. “We are pleased with the decision from the D.C. Circuit, which agreed that MSHA reasonably determined that an emergency temporary standard was not necessary in light of the agency’s existing mandatory safety and health standards and regulatory tools. MSHA will continue to evaluate the developing situation with COVID-19, enforce the law, and offer guidance to mine operators and miners to keep America’s mines safe.”

Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave and Wages Earned:

  • U.S. Department of Labor Launches Public Service Campaign to Promote Workers’ Rights to Paid Sick Leave, Safe Workplaces and Lawful Pay – The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of a public awareness campaign to remind workers that the Department’s Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring their workplace rights during the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure that employers know their responsibilities.
  • U.S. Department of Labor’s PAID Program Helps Workers and Employers as America Reopens – The Wage and Hour Division’s Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program continues to provide an avenue to get workers the wages they are owed, bring employers into compliance and accomplish both goals with an efficiency that saves taxpayers money, with more than $7 million in back wages found for more than 11,000 workers. “PAID is a common sense program that helps employers comply with the law while ensuring workers get the money they’ve earned,” said Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella. “As more Americans come back to work, the PAID program provides an effective tool for the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure workers around the country are being made whole.”
  • U.S. Department of Labor Offers Webinars for Business Owners, Employers and Other Stakeholders on Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave – The Wage and Hour Division, the IRS and the U.S. Small Business Administration are presenting a series of webinars on paid sick leave, and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for employers and business owners. The Wage and Hour Division also hosted a similar webinar for Michigan employers this week.
  • U.S. Department of Labor Offers Webinars for Employers, Employees in Mandarin, Cantonese on Paid Leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – The Wage and Hour Division announced that it will offer webinars on July 23, 2020, to help employers and employees in Southern California’s Chinese communities understand the benefits and protections provided by the paid sick leave provisions of the FFCRA. Webinars will be offered in both Mandarin and Cantonese. The webinars will focus on FFCRA paid leave requirements, including workers’ eligibility for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and will explain tax credits available to covered employers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor is focused on protecting the safety and health of American workers, assisting our state partners as they deliver traditional unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, ensuring Americans know their rights to new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, providing guidance and assistance to employers, and carrying out the mission of the Department.

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