MCIT Bulletin: COVID-19 Special Edition
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MCIT Commits to Providing Critical Member Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

MCIT is committed to providing critical services to its members and partners during this time of national concern regarding the spread of COVID-19. MCIT is also concerned about the health and safety of its employees, the ability to respond to member expectations, as well as legal and financial obligations of the organization. Like so many other organizations, MCIT has implemented a business continuity plan.

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Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 Explained

When the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Statute was enacted, some illnesses or exposures were specifically excluded, including “ordinary diseases of life.” For most employers and employees, illnesses such as COVID-19 (coronavirus), the flu, the common cold and heart disease are not compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Statute. However, some employees may be covered for COVID-19. In addition certain individuals, though truly volunteers in the sense of receiving no remuneration, may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

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Woman participating in speakerphone meeting, Link to: Data Practices, Open Meeting Requirements During Emergency

Data Practices, Open Meeting Requirements During Emergency
by Minnesota Department of Administration, Data Practices Office

The Data Practices Office has developed guidance for government entities on how best to meet the requirements of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and Open Meeting Law during an emergency. The Data Practices Office is available to assist members as they navigate these challenges and continue to meet their obligations under the law. Please do not hesitate to contact the office by e-mail at info.dpo@state.mn.us or by phone at 651.296.6733 or 800.657.3721.

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Land Use Decisions, Public Hearings During Health Emergency
By Scott T. Anderson, Shareholder, Rupp, Anderson, Squires, Waldspurger, P.A.

Minnesota Statutes, Section 15.99 requires a local government unit to approve or deny a written application related to various land use issues within 60 days. As is, the law does not allow for a suspension of the deadline under the current health emergency. Public hearings about land use issues can be modified to adhere to a health emergency.

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Woman Sick on Couch, Link to Federal Government Provides Emergency Sick Leave

Federal Government Provides Emergency Sick Leave

The federal government recently enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The Act and its requirements take effect no later than 15 days after its enactment, which is April 2. MCIT provides a synopsis of the key provisions. Members should consult with the county attorney or labor counsel regarding its specific application to their entities.

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Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

As a response to school and day care closures due to the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), the federal government passed the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. The Act and its requirements take effect no later than 15 days after its enactment, which is April 2, and provisions end Dec. 31, 2020. MCIT summarizes the key provisions.

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Man Telecommuting, Link to Telecommuting: Address Safety, Liability of Home-based Workers

Telecommuting: Address Safety, Liability of Home-based Workers

Working from home, also known as telecommuting, is one solution to maintain work flow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers should consider potential exposures arising out of telecommuting and how to mitigate them when developing a policy allowing employees to work from home.

Read More: Federal Government Provides Emergency Sick Leave

Safety Checklist for Telecommuting

A checklist that can be used as a self-audit to evaluate and take corrective actions in the home work space.

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OSHA Resources Regarding COVID-19

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a series of resources regarding the COVID-19 virus that can be referenced as members protect their employees.

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Man Training from Home, Link to Training for Employees Working from Home

Training for Employees Working from Home

Streaming videos available through the Minnesota Safety Council in partnership with Aurora Pictures is a good way to provide training for employees working from home.

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Minnesota Safety and Health Conference Rescheduled

The Minnesota Safety Council has rescheduled its annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference from May 11-13 until Oct. 19-20 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More: Training for Employees Working from Home

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