A Note From Daylin
In a 6-3 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender. While workers in at least half of the country have been protected by local legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there has been no federal law ever passed to explicitly bar LGBTQ workers from being fired on that basis.
This is a huge win for members of the LGBTQ community and for all Americans. I introduced the first gay marriage bill back in 2009 and while that bill never technically passed, I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made on this issue over the last decade, both legislatively and in the courts. Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by President Trump, authored the court’s opinion. In it, he wrote:
“An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions. That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”
This decision is great news, but at the same time, long overdue. There is still much work to be done. June marks the beginning of summer, but it’s also something much more significant, the time to celebrate Pride Month. If you’re interested in learning more about Pride Month and ways you can help, please visit https://nationaltoday.com/pride-month/.
I hope you all had a great weekend. Given that many counties here in southeastern PA started moving to yellow two weeks ago, perhaps some of you considered trying out some patio/outdoor dining or maybe even had a chance to visit some of the state parks that recently reopened. Even with fewer restrictions, Pennsylvanians are still asked to use caution to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
I know these have been difficult times, but it’s because of your selflessness and your commitment that we’ve seen a decrease in the amount of reported cases. Please let me know how I can best serve you as we all get through this together. If my office can help you with anything, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.768.4200.
The Latest News
Justices Rule LGBT Community Protected from Job Discrimination
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.
Gov. Wolf Announces $225 Million Grant Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Office of Governor Wolf
The funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the recently enacted state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.
Delaware County urging coronavirus vigilance in move toward 'green'
As Delaware County settles into the “yellow” phase of reopening amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, officials are warning citizens not to let their guard down. “Right now, our biggest threat is complacency,” said health care advocate Rosemarie Halt, who has been acting as a liaison between the Chester County Health Department and Delaware County, which does not have its own health department.
Montgomery County officials still counting primary election ballots
The Times Herald
Montgomery County election officials continue to count ballots from the June 2 primary election and said they don’t expect to have a final tally before next week. County Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., who is also chairman of the county Board of Elections, said Thursday that the county received 126,000 mail-in ballots during the primary election.
Montgomery County Community College 2020 annual student exhibition available online
The Times Herald
Visual art at Montgomery County Community College is alive and well, especially in the face of a global pandemic. Due to the closure of all College facilities, the 2020 MCCC Annual Student Exhibition is being held via the online art gallery Behance. Eighty-three pieces are on display by more than 30 student artists including paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, 3D pieces, design work and video.
The Virus Will Win
Americans are pretending that the pandemic is over. It certainly is not.
What ICU doctors have learned about COVID-19 — and how they're prepared for a 2nd wave
From keeping patients off ventilators to trusting that their PPE will keep them safe.
Coronavirus 2nd Wave? Nope, The U.S. Is Still Stuck In The 1st One
Just weeks after parts of the U.S. began reopening, coronavirus infections are on the upswing in several states, including Arizona, Utah, Texas and Florida. Dramatic increases in daily case counts have given rise to some unsettling questions: Is the U.S. at the start of a second wave? Have states reopened too soon? And have the recent widespread demonstrations against racial injustice inadvertently added fuel to the fire?
Bringing Back Delco Webinar
The Bringing Back Delco Task Force is hosting a free webinar on Friday, June 19 at 10am. The presentation will include information on the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Program and Round #2 of Delco Strong Grants.
More details and a link to register can be found here.
The Department of Labor and Industry continues to pursue resolutions on a number of outstanding PUA related claims processing issues with the vendor. The fraud-related issues have presented a major obstacle to us completing those upgrades in a timely manner and has delayed planned resolution.
However, once those remedies are in place, claimants will be able to address the vast majority of outstanding issues on their own and a number of issues will be automatically rectified. These include claims backdating, Claim Effective Date, holds issued for incorrect response to claims questions, identity holds and several others.
While the Department can’t provide a specific date for completion of the upgrades and system enhancements, we are hopeful a solution is nearing. When completed, tested and implemented, claimants will receive an email form advising of the solution with instructions as to what can be done to correct filings and receive payment.
In addition, PUA claimants will notice a federally-required change in the weekly claim application for benefits, which was added to Pennsylvania’s PUA application on Friday, June 12. The U.S. Department of Labor requires individuals to certify for each week of PUA benefits claimed that they are unemployed for at least one of the COVID-19 reasons provided in Section 2102 of the CARES Act.
If at any time you are no longer unemployed for one of the COVID-19-related reasons included in Section 2102 of the CARES Act, or your unemployment is due to reasons other than one of these specific pandemic-related reasons from Section 2102 of the CARES Act, then you are no longer eligible for PUA benefits. At that point, you should simply stop filing for weekly PUA benefits.
As an important reminder, because individual situations may change over time, the reason(s) for unemployment which you initially provided is not required to match the reason(s) you remain unemployed.
For more information, check out these resources.
Newly Released Guidance for Cosmetology Salons
Yesterday, it was announced that cosmetology salons will be permitted to operate in the green phase. The Governor’s Office has issued guidance for these places of business, to ensure the safety and health of employees and the public.
You can find the guidance here.
Newly Released Restaurant Guidance
The Governor has issued new guidance for the restaurant industry.
Red phase: Carry-out and delivery only
Yellow phase: Outdoor dining permitted (effective 6/5)
Green phase: Indoor dining permitted with strict safety guidance in place
The Govenor’s new guidance can be found here.
Summer Recreation Guidance
As the commonwealth continues to reopen, the Governor's office released new guidance to help families stay safe this summer.
See the full guidance here.
Progress to Green
The Chester County Health Department’s website now includes a new “Progress to Green” icon. Residents can click on the icon to view data that is being used to measure Delaware County’s progress towards entering the Green Phase of Governor Wolf’s three-phased approach to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. The data outlines the metrics that indicate an ability to move to the Green Phase.
The new data can be found here.
Guidance for Delaware County Organized Sports during the Yellow Phase
On June 11, 2020, The Delaware County Council and Chester County Health Department announced that Delaware County organized sports and athletics will be permitted to begin practices during the “yellow” phase of the Governor’s reopening plan. No organized competition and games are allowed until the “green” phase of the Governor’s plan, except for pre-K to 12 school sports under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PISAA).
The Chester County Health Department provides the following guidelines to organized sports seeking to begin practices.
- Limit practices to 25 or less players and coaches.
- Outdoor practice should be prioritized over indoor practice.
- Spectators, parents, volunteers, and nonessential staff must remain outside the practice area.
- Conduct temperature and symptom screening of all players and coaches prior to beginning practice.
- Educate coaches and players about which symptoms should be monitored.
- Require players and coaches to wash or sanitize their hands prior to, and after, practice.
- Modify practices so players can work on individual skills, rather than on competition. If working in small groups, be mindful of keeping the players with each other, rather than switching groups or mixing groups.
- No equipment should be shared among players and/or coaches; if sharing equipment cannot be avoided, proper sanitation must be done between uses.
- All equipment must be sanitized after each practice, following current disinfection procedures.
- Coaches must wear face coverings throughout practice sessions.
- Coaches and players must practice social distancing at all times to include no physical contact such as handshakes, fist-bumps, high-fives, etc.
- Spitting or chewing gum by players and coaches is not allowed.
- Require individual water bottles/beverages for all players and coaches.
- Prepackaged or boxed food should be used rather than a buffet or self-serve from a congregate bowl of snacks; reinforce the use of handwashing or sanitization before eating or drinking.
- Ensure the staggered use of restroom and locker-room facilities whenever possible and disinfect facilities between groups of users.
- Recommend players and coaches do not carpool; if carpooling is not avoidable, it should be only limited to members of the same household, or require the use of masks while carpooling.
- Provide signage and reminders about healthy behaviors, proper hand hygiene, how to wear a face covering, etc.
- Follow current procedures for players or coaches who test positive for COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact to an individual with COVID-19.
Bringing Back Delco Task Force Offering Second Round of PPE to Local Businesses
Discounted PPE kits restocked and available June 22 and 23
The Bringing Back Delco Task Force is offering a second round of PPE purchases and distributions to the Delaware County business community.
As the County prepared to enter the Yellow Phase on June 5, the Task Force offered an online small business support store to help businesses procure the supplies they needed to reopen safely, many of which are in short supply. Items included: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, masks, six-foot floor markers, and Plexiglas barriers for counters.
Due to the high demand, two additional distributions have been set up. Business owners can order these items online at a discounted price and pick up the kits on either June 22 or 23 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the Broomall Fire Department (1 N. Malin Rd., Broomall, PA)
COVID-19 Updates and Resources