COVID-19 has already taken a toll on construction projects across the nation. Construction industry participants, including general contractors, now face risks and challenges that are exceedingly difficult to anticipate and plan for. The spread of this virus has and will continue to create new labor force issues and amplify existing ones.
On March 18, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6021, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which, contains provisions related to mandatory paid leave for employers with fewer than 500 employees. This legislation and the substantial obligations it imposes apply to the overwhelming number of general contractors in the nation—those with less than 500 full-time employees! The bill mandates up to 80 hours of “emergency paid leave” related to COVID-19, and not just for those who contract the illness. However, contractors with less than 50 employees may seek exemption.