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May 3, 2020

ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts to Help American Workers
And Employers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.

Engaging Stakeholders:

  • Roundtable with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Scalia, and Industry Leaders – Secretary Scalia remarked, “I have been very pleased to hear the discussion among this group about all the steps that companies are taking to keep their workers safe. I think we all appreciate that confidence on the part of workers that they will be safe in the workplace is going to be an important part of the reopening, as well as confidence in the part of business about what needs to be done, and that when those steps are taken, they will have satisfied their obligations.”
  • Secretary Scalia Participates in Call with the American Legislative Exchange Council – Secretary Scalia joined a conference call to update state legislators and stakeholders on the Administration’s coronavirus response efforts. The Secretary noted the progress made by states in distributing the enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as well as the department’s focus on unemployment insurance program integrity. He also reiterated the department’s commitment to workplace safety requirements and highlighted the extensive guidance provided to employers by OSHA.

Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:

On Unemployment Insurance:

Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave

New Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans

  • U.S. Department of Labor Issues COVID-19 Relief and Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans – “EBSA will continue to safeguard the employee benefits of American workers while ensuring that employers and plans have the flexibility they need to continue delivering benefits during this challenging time,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA, Preston Rutledge. The notice issued by EBSA extends certain deadlines related to coverage under COBRA, giving participants adequate time to make key healthcare decisions during this time of uncertainty.

Opening America’s Workplaces

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor is focused on protecting the safety and health of American workers, assisting our state partners as they deliver traditional unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, ensuring Americans know their rights to new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, providing guidance and assistance to employers, and carrying out the mission of the department.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

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Media Contact:

Emily Weeks, 202-693-4681,

Release Number: 20-850-NAT

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