Author: grace@bamn.org

DOLI’s Advice for Business

UPDATES related t0 COVID-19 from the DOLI’s Website

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions – Word document | PDF (April 30, 2020)

The completed business preparedness plan is not required to submitted to DLI for approval, but needs to be made available upon request.

Checklist guidelines for creating a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan – Word document | PDF (April 30, 2020)

Frequently asked questions for employers and employees related to COVID-19 (April 27, 2020)

Minnesota OSHA printable handouts and resources related to COVID-19

Minnesota worker resource guide for employees in processing and manufacturing plants (May 1, 2020)

Worker protections related to COVID-19 (April 13, 2020) – English | Hmong | Somali | Spanish

Workers’ compensation bill: Bill language | Bill summary | Frequently asked questions (updated April 14, 2020)
Legislation creates a presumption for workers’ comp coverage for first responders and certain health and child care workers who contract COVID-19. View related information from MWCIA.

Unemployment insurance: Visit www.uimn.org. Labor and Industry does not oversee this area. Inquiries must go to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

No walk-in customers or visitors at offices: Labor and Industry is no longer allowing walk-in customers and visitors at our office locations until further notice. For assistance, contact our staff members via phone or email from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Hmong | Somali | Spanish

Labor Standards
Frequently asked questions for employers and employees related to COVID-19 (April 27, 2020)

Construction trades information, exams and licenses
DLI license exams: All exams are suspended indefinitely. Learn more.

Continuing education: Deadlines have been extended 90 days for licenses that expire in March, April, May and June 2020.

License renewals must still be submitted prior to the current expiration date. Late fees will apply to renewals submitted after the expiration date. Renew a license here.

License applications: Until further notice, we are unable to process applications that are dropped off or mailed. Apply or renew online for the fastest processing.

Construction inspection requirements for municipalities and help for contractors.

Building and plumbing plan review: Electronic plans and paper plans submitted prior to March 27, 2020, will continue to be reviewed. Paper plans submitted after March 27, 2020, will not be processed until the Stay at Home order is lifted. For the quickest review, submit plans online.

Inspections and permits: Updates for electrical, high-pressure piping, boiler, manufactured structures, building and plumbing permits and inspections:

Online permits will continue to be issued. No paper permit applications will be processed until the Stay at Home order is lifted.

Inspections to critical sectors exempt from the Stay at Home order will continue. These include residential and non-residential building construction.

Plumbing: Guidance about flushing building water systems after periods of low or no water use.

Board and council meeting cancellations and updates.

2020 National Electrical Code adoption delayed.

Apprenticeship
Event postponements.

For apprenticeship program sponsors: Guidelines for suspending or postponing training operations.

Apprenticeship Advisory Board cancellations.

Minnesota OSHA
The Excavation Safety Stand-down has been moved to June 15 through 19, 2020.

Workers’ compensation
Administrative conferences, mediations: As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Department of Labor and Industry will conduct administrative conferences and mediations remotely by telephone or video conference. Parties also have the option of rescheduling events to a later date. Contact us at dli.workcomp@state.mn.us or 651-284-5032, or contact your assigned mediator, for more information.

Copy file review: DLI’s Copy File Review team will be contacting citizens who have appointments scheduled to look at their workers’ compensation files, so they can reschedule their appointment 30 days or more in the future. If it is imperative they see their file at their scheduled appointment time, DLI will limit the individual’s access to a singular room and the Copy File Review team will ensure social-distancing practices are followed.

Emailing documents: Emailing of certain documents temporarily allowed

Rehabilitation consultations: Until further notice, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) will not take any enforcement action under Minnesota Rules 5220.0130 against any qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) who conducts a rehabilitation consultation with an injured worker by telephone or video, rather than in person. DLI encourages QRCs to limit in-person meetings and implement social-distancing measures when providing a rehabilitation consultation and other rehabilitation services to injured workers. Placement vendors and their staff members, who meet with injured workers, are also encouraged to conduct meetings by phone or video.

Work Comp Campus: The Workers’ Compensation Modernization Program (WCMP) will continue to work on implementing Work Comp Campus as scheduled. We remain available to address questions you have at dli.wcmp@state.mn.us.

Workers’ compensation bill: Bill language | Bill summary | Frequently asked questions (updated April 14, 2020)
Legislation creates a presumption for workers’ comp coverage for first responders and certain health and child care workers who contract COVID-19. View related information from MWCIA.

 

Links to this all this information: https://www.dli.mn.gov/updates 

From the desk of Howard Zetah …

March 19, 2020
The Honorable Tim Walz
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Nancy Leppink
Commissioner
Department of Labor and Industry

Dear Governor Walz:
First and foremost we would like to express that we stand with you and other public officials as you begin to implement appropriate measures toward containing COVID-19. We are grateful that you are doing everything in your power to minimize that devastating impact across all industries and social activities. We understand these are unprecedented times and we are eager to find an innovative solution during this unsettling period in our State’s history.

As a representative of nearly 2,000 residential builders who employ 45,000 workers across Minnesota, our builders primarily work on borrowed money and interest that must be paid regardless of a work stoppage. Not only are we looking for the workers’ interests, but also the thousands of homeowners who rely on this work to quickly and efficiently move into their homes.

Like many other industries, this virus outbreak poses an all too familiar threat of economic disaster for the residential construction industry. With an ominous job market looming resulting from whispers of a likely recession, keeping 65,000 Minnesotans employed is the second most important action at this moment. As states and cities across the nation begin to limit interaction with the public we ask that officials be aware of the unique impact felt by the residential construction industry, some of the challenges and concerns include: permit hearings, building inspections, access to land records, and ability to record deeds and mortgages. Fortunately, there is an option that could allow us all to move forward safely and proactively.

As of March 16, 2020, Emergency Executive Order 20-01 (“Executive Order”) and the declaration of a peacetime emergency became effective as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Order states that “Minnesota has taken proactive steps to ensure that we are ahead of the curve on COVID-19 prevention and response.” One such proactive step that would curtail the effects of COVID-19 is by ensuring that individuals have the ability leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of residential infrastructure, including, permitting, inspection, construction, transferring and recording of ownership of housing. Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 3 (10). Allows the Governor to “alter or adjust by executive order, without complying with sections 14.01 to 14.69, the working hours, workdays and workweek of, and annual and sick leave provisions and payroll laws regarding all state employees in the executive branch as the governor deems necessary to minimize the impact of the disaster or emergency, conforming the alterations or adjustments to existing state laws, rules, and collective bargaining agreements to the extent practicable.” This statute gives you the authority to allow this vitally important industry to continue operations.

Our immediate concern is to abide by the restrictions set forth by the CDC. Specifically, meeting the social distancing requirements and limiting group gathering sizes to fewer than ten people. Construction, by nature, is a practice of social distancing because most projects have workers dispersed on tasks located more than 6 feet apart. Our organization is eager to partner with local government agencies to ensure that permit reviews, inspections and construction are carried out on time while still satisfying the local jurisdiction’s need to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of their staff and the community at large. Some suggestions on how to accomplish this goal would be contracting with other jurisdictions that may be unable to perform the inspections, contracting a licensed building inspector to be designated by the Department of Labor and Industry, and contacting the Department of Labor and Industry to determine if they have inspection resources available to perform the inspection.

We appreciated the time taken to review this letter. Respectfully, request that you consider residential construction an essential service, so that individuals may continue to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of Minnesota’s infrastructure, including permitting, inspection, construction, and transferring and recording of deeds.

Respectfully,

Howard Zetah
BAM President