Manufacturers Fighting for, Winning Essential Business Designations
At the urging of the NAM, last week the federal government declared manufacturing an essential industry. The NAM held a teleconference call today with the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency officials to discuss the latest developments across the country as states take their own positions on what industries are deemed essential to the workforce. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, two of the NAM’s state partners, were critical to winning broad “essential” designations for manufacturers in those states. The NAM continues to help members address the troublesome restrictions in Pennsylvania (see my letter to the governor here) while working with our state partners in states like Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida and Kentucky—among other places—to help ensure manufacturers’ ability to deliver their essential work.
Manufacturers can help improve the guidance that many states are adopting by emailing CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov and email@example.com with detailed examples of why all manufacturing and supply chain is critical, life-sustaining infrastructure.
View federal guidance from DHS here.
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
Manufacturers are also facing an unprecedented challenge with respect to their ability to meet reporting, testing and other regulatory compliance requirements in this time of crisis. There is an urgent need for general enforcement discretion regarding routine and nonroutine regulatory compliance due to travel and shelter-in-place restrictions for employees and others. To help companies navigate the regulatory climate during these turbulent times, the NAM will be hosting a compliance and enforcement conference call on Wednesday, March 25, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Labor Department Announces 30-Day Compliance Window for COVID-19 Relief Bill
The Department of Labor announced that it will issue a nonenforcement policy for 30 days after the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18, goes into effect. The 30-day period will give manufacturers time to come into compliance with the law, and the DOL will focus on compliance assistance rather than enforcement for manufacturers that have acted in good faith to comply.
To learn more about the FFCRA and the new paid leave requirements for businesses with fewer than 500 employees, see the DOL’s announcement here.
Contact the NAM’s Drew Schneider if you have any questions.
The NAM continues to work closely with the White House to coordinate manufacturers’ response to COVID-19. We have heard from many of you and have shared that information with the White House. The administration has once again called on manufacturers to produce and distribute supplies critical to our country’s response to this crisis. Thank you to those that have already volunteered to aid in this effort, and at the urging of the White House, the NAM renewed our call to manufacturers on Saturday.
If your company can help produce vital supplies and component parts, fill out the Creators Respond form here.
We are also actively informing the American public, policymakers and the press about manufacturers’ efforts. Please send us your stories, social media posts and other ways we can share your efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Phase Three” COVID-19 Legislation
Debate has continued through the weekend and into this week as the Senate works toward a “phase three” bill to help Americans and businesses overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as we did during the “phase one” and “phase two” debates, the NAM is ensuring manufacturers’ voice is heard in the halls of Congress as policymakers work toward a solution.
Read manufacturers’ plan here.
As always, visit nam.org/coronavirus for the latest information, including state-specific resources, on ensuring the health of your employees, the NAM’s policy leadership and more.