Non-Essential Construction Shutdown: As of Friday, Governor Cuomo has amended his Executive Order by halting all non-essential construction. The guidelines from New York State are below:
- All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow it to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
- Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
Stimulus Package Passed: A $2 trillion economic relief plan went into effect late last week. Local 3, the Joint Board, and the signatory employers are still combing through the details to understand all the effects this package has on our members.The initial impacts will be seen in direct stimulus payment to those who are eligible, an expansion of unemployment benefits in both money, timing, and scope, and adjustments to the regulations on retirement accounts, amongst other changes. Not every item may apply to every individual and things are changing everyday.
- Unemployment: There will be an additional $600 per week for eligible workers above the state unemployment benefit, effective through July 31. The bill also provides eligible workers an additional 13 weeks (up to a total of 39 weeks). These expanded coverage weeks will last until December 31.
- Retirement Accounts (i.e. 401(k)): The IRS has waived the 10% penalty for early withdrawals up to $100,000, as long as it is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Withdrawn money will still be taxed, however, anything withdrawn due to the outbreak can be spread out over a three year period. For 2020, there will be no required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts. Also, you can borrow up to $100,000 (up to 100% of your 401(k) account balance) for the next 180 days as long as you have been affected by the outbreak. Existing loans that were to be repaid by December 31, 2020 can be extended by one year.