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ASA Partners With RILA to Address Critical Need for U.S. Retail Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

ASA and the Retail Industry Leaders Association are joining forces to offer an innovative solution to address the immediate, acute need to fill openings for retail workers at essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies that provide critical services during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASA now provides an online, searchable directory, at, to connect RILA member retailers to ASA member staffing agencies that can fill high-demand roles like warehouse workers; store clerks for unloading, stocking, cleaning, and sanitizing; cashiers and greeters; forklift selectors and pickers; and delivery drivers.

“The U.S. staffing and recruiting industry is ready to source and deploy talent wherever and whenever it is needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “ASA is proud to work together with RILA as part of the staffing industry’s commitment to ensuring that America has access to a skilled flexible workforce to support the uninterrupted flow of essential goods and services during this unprecedented time of challenge to our nation and our world.”

Free ASA State of the Industry Webinar Next Week

In a time of uncertainty, how can your firm navigate industry trends to maintain operations in the year ahead? ASA and ClearlyRated, the association’s satisfaction survey partner, will present the first ASA State of the Industry webinar of 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. This first session of the year will share insights into the latest industry research and provide legislative updates.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Paid Leave Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor yesterday issued its first round of guidance on the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 1. The guidance consists of a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and Questions and Answers.

The Q&As address key threshold questions regarding how employers must count their employees to determine whether they are subject to the paid leave requirement and when separate entities must be combined for purposes of the headcount test. The paid leave provisions apply only to businesses that, at the time an employee’s leave is taken, have fewer than 500 full-time and part-time employees, including temporary employees. Because staffing firm headcounts can fluctuate significantly from week to week—which could cause firms whose headcounts are close to the 500-employee threshold to move above and below the threshold—ASA will propose that firms that have fluctuating headcounts be permitted to use a fixed prior period for making the determination—for example, its average weekly headcount in the immediately preceding calendar year.

ASA will seek clarification of these and other issues in subsequent DOL fact sheets and Q&As.

Seyfarth Publishes Return to Work Protocol

Companies may have concerns about employees returning to work after being exposed to, or testing positive for, COVID-19. Seyfarth Shaw has developed a protocol that employers can use in those instances where employees have been required to remain home from work due to illness or a voluntary quarantine. It includes a questionnaire for employees to complete prior to re-entering the workplace.

The document is the newest resource available at, the association’s COVID-19 microsite that is continuously updated with tools staffing companies can use to address the safety of their workforces and find reliable information about the coronavirus.