|April 2, 2020
Government Affairs Alert
FMCSA Statement on Local Restrictions
FMCSA released a statement providing guidance for states and localities that have implemented travel restrictions and shelter-in-place-orders. The suggestions draw on lessons learned from state, local, and territorial actions to date, as well as federal guidance recommending unrestricted movement and access for critical infrastructure workers. FMCSA recommends states and localities align their lists of essential workers with those identified by CISA, which includes truck drivers; maintenance and repair technicians; warehouse workers; truck stop and rest area workers; DMV employees; towing/recovery services; roadside assistance workers; intermodal transportation personnel; and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure; and other transportation/logistics/agriculture-related workers. Additionally, FMCSA noted the CDC guidance for truck drivers delivering supplies during this pandemic and highlighted a CDC Advisory which stated that drivers “have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules.”
FMCSA CLP Waiver
FMCSA published a waiver related to Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). The waiver does the following:
· Waives the requirement that a CLP holder be accompanied by a CDL holder, with the proper CDL class and endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder operates a CMV on public roads or highways.
· Under the waiver, a state may elect to administer a driving skills test to any nondomiciled CDL applicant, regardless of where the applicant received driver training.
CARES Act Stimulus
Recently signed by President Trump, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows small-and medium-sized businesses to receive federal loans to cover payroll and other expenses. It also expands unemployment benefits for workers impacted by the pandemic, while extending unemployment eligibility to many who might otherwise not be entitled to receive such benefits. Read the full summary from the US Chamber of Commerce
Expanded SBA Disaster Loan Program
Following passage of the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program was streamlined and expanded for COVID-19 applicants. Since CTA’s previous summary of the program, the loan has been made available to all states, localities and territories within the US and a loan advance of up to $10,000 has been made available. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Learn More | Apply here
Temporary FMLA Rule
The Department of Labor instituted a temporary rule to implement public health emergency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and emergency paid sick leave for working families affected by COVID-19. The leave is effective 4/1/2020 – 12/31/2020.
UCR Recommending Delayed Enforcement Due to COVID-19
State enforcement of UCR registration typically begins on January 1; however, the opening of the 2020 registration period was postponed by several months due to a delay in the approval of fees, so UCR recommended states delay enforcement. While the fees have been approved and registration is open, with the recent crisis brought on by the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, UCR is requesting that states further delay enforcement until July 1, 2020.
Food Service Franchises Accommodating Truck Drivers
The International Franchise Association has assembled a list of fast food restaurants that are catering to the needs of truck drivers by offering mobile ordering, curbside delivery and even special discounts as a small thank you for keeping the country moving.
CLP Exam Process DMV Office Closures
As you know, the DMV has closed all field offices and is currently not offering any services for obtaining CDLs or CLPs, which has become a significant barrier for motor carriers to keep up with the increased demand and to keep essential goods moving throughout the state. CTA is working with the agency to develop a temporary solution. This week, CTA submitted a proposal for the agency to consider which would allow approved Employer Testing Program (ETP) participants to administer a proctored CLP exam in a private setting with complete oversight by an individual approved by the California DMV. The agency is currently reviewing the proposal.
Executive Order Provides Relief to California Small Businesses
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses. The executive order allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. That means small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns. Additionally, the order extends the statute of limitations to file a claim for refund by 60 days to accommodate tax and fee payers. Read the press release | Read the executive order
LA Passes Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers
This week in Los Angeles, an ordinance was passed and is awaiting the Mayor’s approval, which will require employers with 500 or more employees nationally to offer Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for various COVID-19 related reasons. Under the ordinance, covered employers must offer 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave to employees who perform work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. However, the ordinance caps the total amount to be paid to no more than $511 per day and no more than $5,110 in the aggregate. Read the full story
Weekly COVID-19 Coordination Calls
As a reminder, we will hold Friday COVID-19 information exchanges for at least the next two weeks to ensure we are providing you the latest information and receiving feedback about your operational needs in the field.