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COVID-19 Update: OSHA Relaxes Compliance, PUA Explainer, Federal Aid Shaming

By Net Assets posted 04-21-2020 01:14 PM


(From Conn Maciel Carey) On April 16, OSHA issued a temporary policy to relax enforcement of many existing regulatory obligations that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, assessments, inspections, or testing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The policy applies broadly to employers engaged in good faith compliance efforts. OSHA will also expect to see that the employer demonstrated further attempts to return to compliance as soon as possible following the re-opening of the workplace, renewed availability of third party services, and/or the relaxing of the various social distancing related policies.

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(from CUPA-HR) Schools looking to help those who qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) may turn to a new interactive map that outlines basics by state. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, e.g., independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities; those seeking part-time employment; individuals lacking sufficient work history; and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

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(From Newsweek) Last week, the Department of Education reported that Harvard University will receive nearly $8.7 million in federal aid as part of the new coronavirus relief program, prompting some to criticize the allocation in light of Harvard’s $40 billion endowment. Harvard administrators responded by releasing an FY19 financial report and explaining, “There is a common misconception that endowments, including Harvard's, can be accessed like bank accounts, used for anything at any time as long as funds are available. In reality, Harvard's flexibility in spending from the endowment is limited by the fact that it must be maintained in perpetuity and that it is largely restricted." Administrators also clarified that the aid hinges on half of the money being held in reserve for emergency financial aid grants to students.

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