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Apr 06

April 6, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #16

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 4:21 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Has anyone developed simplified guidance on the process for seeking FEMA reimbursement for Coronavirus expenses?


Yes, the law firm of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta prepared a memo outlining the process. The memo provides an excellent summary of the FEMA reimbursement process. 


Further Updates


Has the federal government released funding information for any of the city-related programs funded by the CARES Act?


Yes. Several federal agencies have released CARES Act allocations for certain programs. These include the following city-related programs:


-The Federal Transit Administration apportionments for the $25 billion of transit funding can be found here. Included are the exact amounts allocated to Texas cities over 50,000 in population as part of the urbanized area apportionments. The information also shows Texas receiving over $143 million in rural area apportionment.

-Local governments that were eligible for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants in fiscal year 2019 are also eligible for funding under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program solicitation. The listing of Texas jurisdictions eligible for this funding can be found here. More information about the program and application requirements can be found in this U.S. Department of Justice guidance.

-Funding allocations for the additional amounts dedicated under the CARES Act to the Community Development Block Grant program and homelessness assistance grants available through the Emergency Solutions Grant program can be found here.


Has the Department of Labor issued additional guidance on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?


Following its publication of a final rule implementing the FFCRA, the Department issued, on Friday April 3, additional guidance (questions 60-79) that provides - among others - answers to the following questions: (1) what is a “place of care” and a “child care provider; (2) can an employee take paid emergency sick leave to care for someone else’s child; (3) how to calculate the pay for seasonal employees with irregular schedules; and (4) how the FFCRA interplays with workers’ compensation and short-term disability. 


Additionally, the Department has prepared a webinar that can be accessed here (also see webinar slides) which provides a general overview of the FFCRA.


Has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance on the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act and COVID-19?


Yes. The EEOC recently updated its guidance on pandemic preparedness in the workplace and the ADA to address its application to COVID-19. The guidance addresses, among other things, the following questions:


-How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic?

-When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?

-Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the COVID-19?

-When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors' notes certifying their fitness for duty?

-If an employer is hiring, may it screen applicants for symptoms of COVID-19?

-May an employer take an applicant's temperature as part of a post-offer, pre-employment medical exam?

-May an employer delay the start date of an applicant who has COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it?

-May an employer withdraw a job offer when it needs the applicant to start immediately but the individual has COVID-19 or symptoms of it?


Has the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) reached out to state municipal leagues for assistance in fighting the Coronavirus?


Yes, NYCOM sent the following request this morning:


As you know, New York City is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. They have an urgent need for personnel, ventilators, and PPE and are asking for our help to spread the word on how fellow local governments, states, and individuals from across the country can support New York City.


Please widely share this information on how to help New York City. Visit HelpNowNYC to donate or volunteer and COVID Suppliers for companies looking to sell medical supplies (e.g., gowns, masks, ventilators, face shields).  


Thank you for considering this request. I certainly understand that for some of you, medical supplies in your states/municipalities are in very limited supply right now, and you may not be able to even consider this request. Either way, thanks to all of you for your efforts to support your local governments in the fight against this borderless killer. And rest assured, New York City and all of New York will be there for your municipalities and state in their time of need.


Peter A. Baynes

NYCOM Executive Director


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.