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COVID-19 Resources

(updated: 11:00 AM 08/27/21)
Illinois indoors mask mandate effective Monday, Aug. 30

A statewide mask mandate is returning to Illinois effective Monday, Aug. 30, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced yesterday. The mandate will require all Illinoisans 2 and older — even fully vaccinated people — to wear masks when indoors in all public places.

Chicago’s mask mandate returned Aug. 20, and suburban Cook County put one in place Monday. Under federal rules, masks are required when on public transportation and in health care settings, schools and correctional and congregate settings such as nursing homes and prisons.

Officials hope the mask and vaccine mandates can slow the spread of coronavirus, which has surged in recent weeks due to the highly contagious Delta variant. Illinois’ health care system is at risk of being overwhelmed in certain regions due to the quick spread of COVID-19, especially among unvaccinated people, Pritzker said.

"Wearing a mask continues to be one of the simplest, cheapest ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "The bottom line is masks are effective. Vaccines are effective.

"But until more people are vaccinated, we need to take the steps to protect our health care workers, protect our hospital resources and protect our most vulnerable" people.

Pritzker said Tuesday the state could bring back more safety measures if the surge worsens. In the past, the state used capacity limits at businesses, social distancing rules and other measures to try to slow the virus’s spread.

In addition to the mask rule, all K-12, health care workers and higher education employees and students must get at least the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 5 or face getting tested at least once a week, the governor announced.
 
Required Workplace Poster
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Dealership Notice to Customers
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CDC Health Infographic
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CATA COVID-19 Response Plan: PDF

PPP Loan Forgiveness Refresher

OSHA Releases New Guidance to Help Employers Identify and Mitigate Risks of COVID-19 Exposure

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has released new guidance for employers and workers designed to help identify risks of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and to help determine appropriate control measures to implement. The guidance states that employers should implement COVID-19 prevention programs in the workplace to mitigate exposure risks including several elements such as:
  • conducting a COVID-19 workplace hazard assessment;
  • ensuring that infected or potentially infected workers are separated and sent home from the workplace;
  • communicating COVID-19 policies and procedures to both English- and non-English-speaking workers; and
  • explaining that face coverings and social distancing remain important practices for vaccinated workers.
Each of these elements, as well as other protective measures, is discussed in detail in the guidance. Like other OSHA guidance published in the last year, this guidance is not mandatory and creates no new legal obligations. However, OSHA has considered an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards and guidance when determining whether to cite a violation. This guidance is likely the first step toward increasingly detailed and possibly mandatory requirements by OSHA to address COVID-19 in the workplace. Dealerships should have already taken many of the steps in the guidance to ensure the safety of their employees and customers, but should review it for ways to strengthen their current workplace safety programs.
 
Many states have OSHA-approved plans with health and safety standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA’s but with different or more stringent mandates. Most states and many local governments have instituted emergency COVID-19-related measures and have imposed stricter or different employment laws applicable to dealership operations. State and metro dealership associations can provide specifics on these state and local requirements. For more information, see NADA’s Coronavirus Hub, including FAQs: Dealership Health and Safety Concerns During a Pandemic, or contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org.

SBA Issues New PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance

SBA has announced availability of the following Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidance and documents related to loan forgiveness.

All dealer PPP borrowers must file the new controlling interest disclosure form (Form 3508D). PPP borrowers who applied for forgiveness prior to Dec. 27, 2020, must file Form 3508D with their lenders no later than Jan. 26, 2021. PPP borrowers who have applied, or that will apply, for forgiveness on or after Dec. 27, 2020, must file Form 3508D within 30 days of doing so. 
 
Dealer PPP borrowers who have yet to apply for loan forgiveness should carefully review the new loan forgiveness IFR, as it replaces all prior IFRs addressing loan forgiveness (see above). It is laid out in question-and-answer format and, among other things, lists forgivable expense items added by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act).
 
Dealer PPP borrowers who have yet to apply for loan forgiveness should also make sure to use the appropriate revised forgiveness application when they do so (see above). Reminder: to avoid having to make loan payments, PPP borrowers should file for forgiveness no later than 10 months after the end of their covered periods. 
 
See SBA’s Website for other information related to PPP loans, including specifics related to the reopened program which, in accordance with the Economic Aid Act, extends until March 31, 2021. Existing and prospective dealer PPP loan borrowers should consult legal counsel, accountants, and lenders regarding program specifics.

SBA Stands up New PPP Loan Program

The Small Business Administration is reopening the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) this week in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act by making $284 billion available to new (First Draw) and certain existing (Second Draw) borrowers. First Draw PPP loan applications are being accepted starting today, Jan. 11, by a limited number of community financial institutions. Lenders will start accepting Second Draw PPP Loan applications this Wednesday, Jan. 13.

The SBA has issued the following new PPP loan guidance:
Under the new PPP loan program:
  • there may be a time lapse between loan application and loan funding, but the loan forgiveness process should be quicker;
  • the maximum potential loan amounts for Second Draw PPP loans is $2 million per loan and $4 million per corporate group;
  • borrowers can adopt covered periods of between eight and 24 weeks;
  • in addition to previously allowed expenses, new loan proceeds may be used for certain operational, property damage, supplier and worker protection expenditures;
  • in addition to eligible business entities, potential PPP borrowers now include 501(c)(6) nonprofits and several other specialized organizations; and
  • certain First Draw PPP Loan borrowers are eligible to modify their loan amounts.
A PPP borrower is generally eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP loan if it:
  • has received a First Draw PPP loan and fully uses the proceeds for authorized expenses only;
  • has no more than 300 employees; and
  • can show at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable calendar quarters in 2019 and 2020.
Important: Dealerships applying for a new PPP loan must certify that the loan is "necessary to support ongoing business operations in light of current economic conditions." This parallels the certification dealerships made when applying for PPP loans in 2020. But for many dealerships, current market conditions and economic circumstances are better than what they were when PPP loan applications were filed between April and August 2020.
 
SBA is expected to issue additional guidance on the new PPP. Meanwhile, dealers interested in applying for a new PPP loan should take the time to consult with legal counsel, accountants and prospective lenders.

Dealership Advice from CATA Labor Relations Attorney

60 Day Notice of Substantial Layoffs May Be Required Under WARN Laws

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, many dealers are anticipating the potential need for a substantial layoff or reduction of their workforce, particularly after the loan forgiveness period expires for dealers that have received Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. The purpose of this bulletin is to remind larger dealers or dealer ownership groups (those with more than 75 employees) that they may be required to provide employees with 60 days’ advance notice of layoffs where the layoff is substantial and there is a possibility that the layoffs will extend beyond 6 months or become permanent. This includes situations where the dealership is closing. Where required, failure to provide this 60 day notice can trigger awards of back pay, back benefits, and other penalties.

The requirement to provide 60 days’ notice of a substantial layoff is imposed by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN" laws) that exist at both the state and federal level. The Illinois state WARN law applies to any employer that has 75 or more employees (the federal WARN law applies to any employer that has 100 or more employees). The headcount of "employees" includes part time employees working more than 20 hours per week. Generally speaking, dealerships with common ownership and control are combined for the purposes of determining whether the dealer has enough employees to be covered by these WARN laws.
 
For dealers that are large enough to be covered, both WARN laws require 60 days’ advance notice of a "mass layoff." Generally, this means that 60 days’ notice is required in the following circumstances:
  • Under the Illinois WARN law, layoffs or furloughs constitute a "mass lay off" if at least 25 employees who constitute at least 33% of the workforce at a single location are laid off or furloughed for more than 6 months (the federal WARN law has a similar definition with higher thresholds).
  • Importantly, layoffs that are separated in time can be aggregated in certain circumstances to determine whether 60 days’ notice is required.
  • WARN notice may also be required where a dealership is closing.
  • If WARN notice is required, written notice must be provided with specific required content to all employees as well as certain local and state government officials. Unionized dealers may also be required to provide written notice to the relevant Unions.
Beyond this general summary of WARN laws, there are complex rules relating to the calculation of the relevant time periods, how and when employees are counted that are part of any WARN analysis, and other related issues. Also, if there is a question as to whether or not WARN applies to a particular action being contemplated by a particular dealer, it is often recommended that the dealer provide a "conditional" WARN notice so that the dealer can establish WARN compliance in any event. Dealerships or dealer ownership groups who may be large enough to be covered by WARN laws and are anticipating the possibility of substantial layoffs or reductions-in-force lasting more than 6 months are encouraged to contact us directly to discuss potential WARN compliance issues and strategic options.
 
CATA Temperature Screening Toolkit/Training Guide
 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate, one issue that has drawn increasing interest from employers is the concept of conducting temperature screening of all employees and other persons who enter the employer’s premises. As you may know, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued guidance approving the use of temperature screening in the context of this global pandemic, subject to certain terms and conditions. In deciding whether or not to implement such a procedure, there are a variety of pro’s and con’s for an employer to consider.

In this regard, as the CATA’s designated Employee Relations Counsel, we are pleased to announce that we have developed a Temperature Screening Toolkit and corresponding Training Guide for CATA member dealers. These materials provide comprehensive information for any interested dealer, including a summary of the applicable legal parameters, a model protocol, announcement materials for employees and vendors, and detailed guidance for conducting the temperature screening. We are also prepared to advise unionized dealers on how to proceed in discussing this issue with your respective unions. If you are seriously considering temperature screening for your dealership, we invite you to contact us to further discuss the matter and obtain a copy of the Toolkit and Training Guide. CATA has arranged for these materials to be delivered free of charge to any interested dealer, and we stand ready to work with you to conform the materials to fit your business and your circumstances.
 
If you are interested in these materials and services, please feel free to contact any one of us at any time. Thank you, and stay healthy and safe!
 
Dave Radelet, dradelet@littler.com, 312-795-3244
Chris Johlie, cjohlie@littler.com, 312-795-3230
Terry Creamer, tcreamer@littler.com, 312-795-3233
Staci Rotman, srotman@littler.com, 312-795-3232
Mary Dokianos, mdokianos@littler.com, 312-795-3292

COVID-19 Legislation

CARES Act
  • SBA Publishes New EZ Forgiveness Application for PPP Borrowers  The SBA issued an updated version of the Standard Forgiveness Application with instructions. This revised application conforms with changes made by the PPP Flexibility Act. SBA and Treasury also issued a simplified new EZ Forgiveness Application and instructions for PPP borrowers who can demonstrate: 
    • They qualify to avoid any pay-level-based reduction in loan proceed forgiveness; and 
    • They qualify for either the headcount-based forgiveness reduction safe harbor or the reduced business activity forgiveness reduction safe harbor.
Note: SBA and Treasury have indicated that borrowers may evaluate their eligibility for the head count and pay level forgiveness reduction avoidance safe harbors as of the date their forgiveness applications are filed. 
  • On Wednesday, June 4, the U.S. Senate passed HR 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020; the act includes several significant modifications to the PPP established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Signed into law today by President Trump, these modifications are important to dealers who have applied for and received PPP loans and intend to have their loan proceeds forgiven. NADA's forgiveness analysis lists the PPP Flexibility Act modifications and reviews important issues involving PPP loan proceeds use and forgiveness in light of (1) those modifications and (2) the guidance and forgiveness application materials issued to date by the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department. Further guidance is anticipated. For now—and certainly before applying for forgiveness—dealers with PPP loans should contact their legal and accounting experts regarding how these new modifications will apply to their specific circumstances. Dealers should also contact their lenders with specific questions.
  • NADA Updates Analysis of PPP Loans: Use of Proceeds and Forgiveness Today NADA updated its analysis of Paycheck Protection Program loans to reflect the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department’s forgiveness application documents published on May 16. NADA urges dealers to review these items carefully and provide the application and accompanying documents to their legal and accounting advisors. NADA’s analysis will be updated as more federal guidance is released.
  • NADA Publishes Guidelines for PPP Borrower Certifications  New rules from the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department require borrowers to certify they need the funds from Paycheck Protection Program loans. The analysis in the NADA Loan Certification Guide provides helpful guidance for certifications dealers have made. 
    • In the PPP FAQs, question 46 establishes a new safe harbor for borrowers who received PPP loans of less than $2 million (and effectively removes the prior May 14, 2020, repayment deadline). 
    • For loans in excess of $2 million: Borrowers will likely be audited (expected to have basis for a good-faith certification). 
    • If the SBA deems that a borrower’s certification was not justified, the PPP loan will not be forgiven and must be repaid. 
Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA)

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Cleaning/Disinfecting Guidelines

The CDC provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas occupied by those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19.
 
 
These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities such as schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, and community centers that do, and do not, house persons overnight. The CATA has identified two companies that can provide these approved cleaning services.
 
United Services: (312) 446-7686, contact Vickey Rosen: United Services Company is a full service janitorial company that has a relationship with the CATA performing facility cleaning at McCormick Place for the Chicago Auto Show. They are qualified to handle standard janitorial functions and have the expertise in specialized "Deep Cleaning" of facilities when viral pathogens have been detected in a facility.
 

Servpro: (855) 981-2398 - The SERVPRO Industries, LLC, franchise system is a national leader of fire, water, mold and other specialty cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO franchise professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC.

Employee Relations & Small Business Guidance

CDC Resources

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus website.

Illinois-Specific Information

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