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Update March 18 - National Relief; Emergency Leave; Unemployment; State Guidance

Wednesday, March 18, 2020  
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During this extremely challenging time, every team member on Illinois Restaurant Association staff is 100% focused on providing assistance for Illinois' restaurant community and their team members.

The IRA is advocating tirelessly for an exhaustive list of financial and regulatory relief measures for restaurant employees and operators.

We will continue to provide frequent updates on our advocacy efforts on your behalf. Click here for a list of requests that are being directed at local, state, and federal officials.

We urge you to forward our updates to your colleagues, and have them sign up for email updates from the IRA.

Please be sure to check our website for the latest coronavirus updates, and see the below resources and information for your business - updated as of 5:55 p.m. Wednesday, March 18.



Federal Paid Emergency Leave Bill Passes in Relief Package, President Trump Expected to Sign into Law


Moments ago, the U.S. Senate approved a House-passed coronavirus relief package that includes provisions for free testing for COVID-19 and paid emergency leave, clearing the measure for President Trump's signature.

Click here to read more from CNN. We will provide an in-depth analysis of the legislation as soon as possible. 


Frequently Asked Questions - Unemployment and Layoffs During COVID-19


On March 16, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order providing that, until (at least) April 8, the provision of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act requiring a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance claims is suspended for claimants who are unemployed and otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  

Hinshaw & Culbertson has developed a two page guide of frequently asked questions for IRA restaurant operators related to unemployment and layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis. Definitions of temporary lay-off, permanent lay-off, furlough, and more are included.

The choice each business owner makes related to their individual staffing will depend greatly on the unique situation facing each business.

Click here to download the guide.

Click here to learn more about unemployment insurance from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Below is a link that employees can use to register a claim for unemployment with the state of Illinois.

Click here to begin to file a claim for unemployment insurance. Employees must scroll to the bottom of the page to begin the process.

This information is provided as a service for restaurant operators, and is not intended as legal or professional advice or counsel. Any local, state, or federal rules, regulations, or laws summarized are subject to change. The IRA strongly encourages readers to consult with their attorney or competent professional prior to taking action based on this information.


State of Illinois Issues FAQ for On-Premise Restaurant Dining Ban


The state of Illinois had provided an FAQ on the Governor's Executive Order banning the sale of food and beverage for on-site consumption at Illinois restaurants.

The FAQ addresses questions about delivery, catering, safety measures, and more.

Click here to read the FAQ from the state of Illinois.

Restaurants located in the city of Chicago should also reference the notice and FAQ from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP)


National Restaurant Association Demanding Federal Relief


The National Restaurant Association is working alongside all state restaurant associations to urge the federal government to immediately pass a wide array of financial relief measures for restaurants and their employees.

Click here for a sample of requests that are being directed at local, state, and federal officials.

Click here to read the letter to President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McConnell from the National Restaurant Association urging immediate action.

Expect a major digital campaign effort that will launch tomorrow morning. We need every foodservice professional across Illinois to be engaged!

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