Wed. 4/8/20: COVID-19 Daily Update


We added new information to our Local 5 Resource Page on the economic impact payments that the IRS will be sending out to most taxpayers. View the flyer here.


Cluster of workers at Maui Memorial Medical Center have contracted coronavirus, sources say (Star Advertiser, April 8, 2020)

At least 15 employees are COVID-19 positive at the island’s largest hospital, and potentially 300 to 500 more people may have been in direct contact with the workers.  The concern is that employees being tested at the hospital will need to quarantine for 14 days, leaving a shortage of health care workers on island. The report claimed that Kaiser Permanente banned workers from wearing personal protective equipment unless caring for coronavirus patients, leaving them open to infection.

Agency scrambles as Hawaii’s jobless claims top 194,000 (Star Advertiser, April 8, 2020)

The DLIR stated:

  • On average, claims processing is taking 21 days, a number the department is working hard to reduce.
  • Eliminated the requirement to wait five days for employers to verify a claim before processing starts.
  • Eliminated requirements for employers to certify partial unemployment claims.
  • Eliminated need for applicants to post resumes and search for jobs.
  • Regarding the federal $600 weekly UI bonus, US DOL reports backdate startsas of the signing of a state’s agreement with the Federal government, or a person’s state UI eligibility date (whichever comes later). But as of March 28, all states have signed the agreement. This law blog analysis implies the $600/week eligibility would apply to UI claims from April 5, 2020 to July 31, 2020. This other law blog makes it clear the $600 is taxable.

Under Trump the NLRB Has Gone Completely Rogue (The Nation, April 7, 2020)

This article details some of the long-running programs in place by the Republican-dominated NLRB (zero Democrats are on the board) to dismantle worker rights. For example, the NLRB is in the process of changing the standard so employers can push more disputes into arbitration. Another example: the Trump General Counsel has urged the NLRB to allow employers to undermine the bargaining process by unilaterally imposing discretionary discipline without bargaining with the union.

See the article’s chart for a full list of the NLRB’s progress on fulfilling the US Chamber of Commerce wish list of NLRA rollbacks. The article also reports on some of the more recent COVID-related actions taken by NLRB, including election rules.

Trump: GOP should fight mail-in voting because it ‘doesn’t work out well for Republicans’ (Politico, April 8, 2020)

Trump said on Twitter, “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to statewide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

Republicans will claim voter fraud as the reason when studies have shown it is literally not a problem. But Trump has now revealed the real reason is that when more people vote easily, Democrats tend to win (while states use faulty electronic voting machines developed by shady companies that lobby for use of machines that undermine democratic processes) .

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: Cases: 1.48M (+50k).  Deaths: 88.5k (+6.4k).  Recovered: 330K (+29k)

USA: Cases: 431k(+31k).  Deaths: 14.8k (+1.9k).  Recovered: 23.9k (+1.5k)

Hawaii: Cases:  435(+25).  Deaths:  5 (0).  Hospitalized: 42 (0). Recovered: 113 (0)