Mail in Ballot

There are options to apply for a ballot to be sent to you from Minnesota for federal, state, and county elections with all the talk about safety with voting in this time of the pandemic. Not only does this allow you to vote early, but it also saves you time from having to wait in line. There is a simple online application you can fill out. With the primary coming up 8/11/2020 being the first one, you can get sent to you. An easy 2 step application is online that takes minutes to fill out and send in. if you have any questions, please reach out to me Justin Pruett, 1(507)577-1109 or by email Justinp@IBEWlocal343.org

https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/ABRegistration/ABRegistrationStep1.aspx

 

Wage Allocation Vote

Keep an eye on your mailbox. The wage allocation ballots were mailed today. If you have any questions follow the directions that are enclosed. If you do not receive a ballot, contact the office and we will put you in touch with the Head Teller. Stay safe everyone

Survey

Please take a moment to take this survey. We want to hear from you and how the COVID-19 has been affecting you. Individual responses and contact information will be kept confidential.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ibew343

2020 NEC Adoption Postponement

2020 National Electrical code adoption has been delayed because the board has received 25 valid requests for a hearing regarding the adoption of the code. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing has been moved from May 4th to Aug 19th, 2020. As of now, all permits, installations, inspections, and examinations will continue to be under the 2017 NEC. At this time, there is no information on when the 2020NEC will come into effect in Minnesota.

Online CE Classes for Journeyman!

ATTENTION: 90 DAY EXTENSION

From the DOLI:  Anyone whose license expires in MARCH, APRIL or MAY 2020 still have to RENEW to avoid late fees.  If you do not have your Continuing Education credits you are given 90 days to get them in after your renewal.  So you have 90 days after your license renewal to get a code class in.

At this point Code Class sizes will be limited.  First come first come first serve.  If you do not call and register you CANNOT JUST SHOW UP.  If you do not need your CE class to renew in the next several months please push back your class to later in the year.

 

If your LICENSE EXPIRES in APRIL or MAY, you can take an online class and get reimbursed for it by submitting the cost and completion certificate to the JATC

3 CLASSES ARE APPROVED FOR REIMBURSEMENT:

1:  Tradesmance.com   16 ceu’s  $288

2:  Pacepdh.com  16 ceu’s  $300

3:  Nfpa.org  16 ceu’s  $99

 

IF YOU DO NOT CALL 507-529-7721 TO REGISTER YOU CANNOT JUST SHOW UP AND EXPECT TO SIT IN AN RECEIVE CREDIT. 

New Grant for Veterans

A new grant is available for veterans or surviving spouses who are negatively impacted by COVID-19 and pertains to financial constraints, such as paying utility bills, rent, mortgage, medical bills, auto repairs, etc. People that qualify could receive a one-time financial relief grant for $1,000. There is no set end date for applying for the grant, as it depends on the length of the peacetime emergency and the availability of the funds. Visit https://mn.gov/mdva/blog/?id=1066-425565 for more detailed information and links for the application.

Latest Update

The latest updated on receiving unemployment insurance for people that are newly applying and the extra 600

What you need to know:

  • The first week for which you can get the additional $600 is the week beginning March 29th.
  • You can request the week of March 29th on or after April 5th.
  • You do not need to do anything to get the additional $600. they will automatically add it to your payment AFTER you request benefits for the week of March 29th (and every week after that you are eligible).
  • If you are receiving your unemployment benefits via direct deposit, the additional amount will show up on your bank statement as a separate transaction as of now, and this could change.
  • You don’t need to tell them you have exhausted your benefits – just continue requesting benefits every week.
  • Once they get instructions from USDOL, they will be able to detect everyone eligible for Extended Benefits and add those benefits to their account.
  • They can then automatically pay you for any weeks you had requested.
  • They will let you know if they need additional information from you.

 

Information I have been given says it may take up to two to three weeks until you get your first payment, April 21st could be how long you could wait, and affect new people applying for benefits as well.

If there are any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email me Justin Pruett 1(507)577-1109 justinp@IBEWlocal343.org

Added UI Clarification and Paid Sick Leave

Here is some added information to UI for individuals that can receive these benefits if available for work, but are unemployed or unavailable to work because:

    • the individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • the individual is diagnosed with COVID-19, or has symptoms of COVID-19 for which the individual is seeking a diagnosis;
    • a member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • the individual is providing care for a family member or a member of individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • a child or other person in the household for whom the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of COVID-19, and such school or facility being open is required for the individual to work;
    • the individual is unable to reach their place of employment because of a quarantine;
    • the individual is unable to reach their place of employment because they have been asked to self-quarantine by a health-care provider;
    • the individual was scheduled to commence employment but is unable to reach the job or no longer has the job because of COVID-19;
    • the individual has become the breadwinner or major support for their household because the head of household has died as a result of COVID-19;
    • the individual has to quit their job as direct result of COVID-19;
    • the individual meets any other, additional criteria established by the Secretary of Labor for unemployment assistance.

Paid Leave Under FFCRA:  The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)

 

These two laws provide paid leave to employees who cannot work for COVID-19-related reasons. Both:

 

  • Apply to employers with fewer than 500
  • Are effective on April 1, 2020.
  • Do not apply if your employer has closed down before April 1, and only apply while your employer is open for business. If your employer is closed, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation
  • Employers may take a credit against payroll taxes worth 100% of the amount they pay in required benefits (through Dec. 31, 2020).
  • Employers in multiemployer bargaining units have option of satisfying their obligations by paying into a multiemployer benefit plan if the plan provides employees with the required benefits.

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

  • Benefits are available to all employees, regardless of length of tenure with the employer
  • Requires employers to pay – for up to 80 hours (pro-rated for part-time):
    • Regular wages, capped at $511/day ($5110 maximum) for employees unable to work because:
      • Employee is subject to a public COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation order;
      • Health care provider has advised employee to self-quarantine; or
      • Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis.
    • 2/3 of regular wages, capped at $200/day ($2000 maximum) for employees unable to work because the employee is:
      • Caring for an individual subject to a public quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised to self-quarantine;
      • Caring for a son or daughter if the school or childcare facility is closed or childcare provider is unavailable; or
      • Experiencing similar conditions, as specified by HHS.
      • DOL can provide an exemption for employers with fewer than 50 employees from the childcare provision if complying would jeopardize the employer’s business.
      • DOL can exclude certain healthcare workers and first responders. Employers of healthcare workers and first responders can elect to exclude them as well.

 

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

  • Available to employees who have been employed for 30 days with the employer from which they are requesting the leave.
  • Requires employers to provide 10 days unpaid leave and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave to care for son or daughter whose school or childcare facility is closed or childcare provider is unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons.
  • Paid leave is 2/3 of regular wages, capped at $200/day ($10,000 maximum)
  • Employees can elect to use EPSLA leave or accrued vacation, personal, medical or sick leave for the unpaid portion.
  • DOL can provide an exemption for employers with fewer than 50 employees if complying would jeopardize the employer’s business. DOL can exclude certain healthcare workers and first responders.

Covid-19 Stimulus

With the president signing the Covid-19 Stimulus Package on Friday, here are some things that you need to know:

– You do not need to apply for the stimulus check if you fit the criteria to get one. You will receive a check, or have it deposited into your account depending how you received your taxes. The criteria for receiving the full $1,200 check is if you made less than $75,000.  There is a sliding scale from $75,000 to $99,000.

– For example, if you are single and made $85,000 you would receive $700. Here is a link to an online calculator to figure out your personal amount: https://grow.acorns.com/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-calculator/

– Most payments will take up to 3 weeks and you will not have to pay income taxes on this check.

– Even if you’re already receiving unemployment benefits or you have exhausted your benefits for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus, Minnesota benefits would be extended by 13 weeks and you would also gain the extra $600 weekly benefit from the federal government.  Payments would last for up to four months, covering weeks of unemployment ending July 31.  It’s unclear how long it would take to process claims, especially with Minnesota offices strained by a flood of claims, so please be patient. It is not clear if Minnesota will split the payment into 2 checks or give it in one, but you should get them on a weekly basis.

– The bill would put a temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities. This will last for 120 days starting March 27, 2020.  Landlords cannot charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.  You should contact your personal mortgage lender to see if you are eligible for an extension as benefits may differ from lender to lender.

Please be aware that updates are occurring frequently on both state and federal levels.  If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email me:

Justin Pruett

1(507)577-1109 or justinp@ibewlocal343.org