This morning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) filed a hotly-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) related to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and face coverings in the workplace. This follows an announcement by President Biden on September 9, 2021, directing OSHA to develop a rule to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Details are posted on the OSHA website, but here are some of the key highlights:
ETS is effective immediately, as of 11/5/2021.
Employers must comply with all requirements, except testing, within 30 days. Testing compliance within 60 days.
ETS applies to employers with 100 or more employees. In Minnesota, along with other states with an OSHA approved State Plan, the ETS applies to public sector workers employed by state and local governments, including educators and school staff.
Employers must determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain proof of vaccination status, and maintain records.
Require employees to notify the employer of a positive COVID test or diagnosis. Employers must then remove the employee from the workplace.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated must be tested at least weekly if the employee is in the workplace at least one day a week.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated must wear a face covering when indoors or in a vehicle with another person for work purposes.
ETS does not require employers to pay for testing or face coverings. Employers may assume costs if they so choose.
ETS does not apply to 100% remote employees or employees who work exclusively outdoors.
Requires employers to provide up to four hours of paid time to receive each vaccination dose, and reasonable time and paid sick leave to recover from side effects experiencing following each dose.
Greater Mankato Growth staff is continuing to monitor this announcement. We will provide additional details and resources as they become available.
Minnesota’s 92nd legislative session ended their 2021 regular session on May 17th without a budget. The Governor and Legislative leaders instead released a budget framework with a target of $52 billion for the next biennium. Lawmakers worked for four weeks on final details largely outside of the public eye until they convened a special session on June 14th. All spending bills were passed and signed into law by June 31st.
The need for a special session was largely due to a late infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. Roughly $8.5 billion was allocated in the bill to the State of Minnesota for various programs.
A final budget of $52 billion was signed into law on June 31, 2021. This biennial budget is an increase of approximately $1.3 billion over the previous budget – much of that one-time funding from ARPA. Included in the bill are direct tax cuts of $644 million to people who lost jobs and employers who kept people working during the pandemic.
Paycheck Protection Program
The final tax bill included full conformity to federal tax law with regards to the Paycheck Protection Program at a cost of roughly $375 million in fiscal year 2022. Businesses and organizations that received PPP loans will not be subject to either federal or state income tax on the amount of the loan received.
Today, Greater Mankato Growth sent a letter to Governor Tim Walz providing statistics to create awareness of talent challenges facing our region.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development has taken great strides to ensure that individuals receiving unemployment insurance are aware of the job opportunities that exist across the state.
We asked that the State implement measures to supplement the work that is being done surrounding awareness of job availability by creating enforcement measures, while offering flexibility for those still impacted by COVID-19 considerations. You can read the full letter here.
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Greater Mankato Growth has partnered with the Minnesota Ready Coalition lead by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to call on Governor Tim Walz to provide immediate support to those businesses and their employees most impacted by the issuance ofExecutive Order 20-99. Greater Mankato Growth joined 90 partner chambers and associations across the state in sending theGovernor a letterthis weekregarding the urgency in supporting these businesses/organizations. Our organization continues to follow and educate members on proposed relief plans and take action to support local businesses through a variety of initiatives.Continue reading “Greater Mankato Growth Signs on to Minnesota Ready Coalition Letter”→
In general, the order calls for the following measures:
Limits all social gatherings (indoor or outdoor) to 10 people and all social gatherings involving members of more than 3 households (regardless of the size of the gathering).
Bars, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, taverns, brewery taprooms, wineries, golf courses and clubs, dining clubs, tobacco shops, and other places of public accommodation offering food, beverages, tobacco products for on-premises consumption, are required to close by 10 p.m. every day, starting Friday, November 13. Delivery service, or curbside pick up options already in place for certain industries in this group is still allowed.
Venues that host celebrations, receptions, and gatherings will be capped at 50 people, effective November 27 at 10 p.m.
No bar seating service.
This figure is reduced to 25 people on December 11at 10 p.m.
The Governor also announced a proposal for $10 million in additional funding to businesses that have already applied for relief through the Small Business Relief Grant Program. This program provides $10,000 grants to impacted businesses.
Today Governor Walz announced a new EO-20-81-Final implementing a statewide requirement to wear facial coverings when inside indoor businesses and indoor public settings. This requirement will be effective beginning July 25. You can find general information and FAQs on the mask mandate here. In addition, below are FAQs provided by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development relating specifically to business questions. Continue reading “Governor Walz Announces Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate”→
Beginning Friday, July 10 the Mankato City Council’s emergency declaration ordinance requiring face coverings goes into effect. The City has published a website with details about the ordinance and compliance, including FAQs and optional signage businesses can utilize.
The City of Mankato Council last evening passed an emergency ordinance which will require the use of a mask or face covering in places of public accommodation. The ordinance will take effect Friday, July 10, 2020 and be in effect for 60 days (starting July 6) unless modified by Council. The full ordinance can be viewed here. You can view additional information about the ordinance and compliance at the City of Mankato’s Website. The site includes FAQs as well as optional signage businesses can utilize.