On Wednesday, March 18, President Trump signed into law a bill that will give paid leave benefits to millions of Americans affected by the pandemic. The legislation also provides for free coronavirus testing for anyone, boosts healthcare funding, and boosts nutrition programs such as food stamps.
Workers at companies with less than 500 employees are entitled to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave if they have been affected by the coronavirus. Sick leave will be paid at the usual pay rate, while family leave is capped at two-thirds of the usual pay rate. A tax credit will be provided for businesses to cover the cost.
In a document sent to Senate Democratic leadership yesterday, the NRLCA, NPMHU, NALC, and APWU urged leaders to address how COVID-19 will affect the Postal Service in the coming months. Key request included a public service appropriation that would provide $7.1 billion per year to the USPS for two years to combat the oncoming recession, repeal of the healthcare pre-funding mandate, funding to build a new fleet of 210,000 delivery vehicles, appropriation of $5 billion for facilities maintenance, and expansion of vote by mail to ensure open access to voting during the upcoming election.