New legislation passes related to COVID-19


March 20, 2020

Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Photo:


UPDATE MARCH 25, 2020: The National Pest Management Association published an information page titled “Essential Services – What You Need to Know” for U.S. and Canadian pest management professionals. Click here for the latest version, updated at 6 a.m. today.

Editor’s Note: Per the National Pest Management Association, “the federal government currently does not have a nationwide shelter in place mandate. However, should the President order a nationwide restriction, pest control and extermination services have been deemed essential by the United States Department of Homeland Security in their Memorandum released [March 19]. This means that our industry will likely be deemed essential in any federal order.” As for questions about the new paid leave law, the news resource has a great FAQ article

On March 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director, Christopher Krebs, published a “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” that confirms pest control is an essential industry during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The memo can be viewed as a PDF here.

In an email to members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), which has set up an online resource at, NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf, CMP, CAE, noted that “This document classifies our industry as essential, which is an important step should the Federal Government issue a shelter-in-place mandate.”

Pest management professionals, among other service providers, made a Yahoo News list of what services may be considered essential, according to various governments including San Francisco, Calif., Miami, Fla., and New York state.

The NPMA also has been closely following the paid leave bill President Donald Trump signed into law this week. A stimulus package is expected to be discussed in Congress next week, “collectively pushing proposed funding to fight COVID-19 over $1 trillion,” according to the NPMA.

In another email to members, the association breaks down several features of the new law and its possible impact on pest management firms as follows. The information can also be found here:

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) changes are available if an employee has worked 30 calendar days with your company. Sick leave is available immediately. These programs are for companies with 500 employees or less, except for several possible exceptions noted for businesses either under 50 or under 25 employees.

Paid leave is now available only for if they are caring for a child or another dependent because of a school or care facility closing and are unable to work or telework as a result. Payment is $200/day or $2,000 in the aggregate.

The bill also grants the Department of Labor the ability to provide an exemption for businesses with 50 or less employees who find allowing employees off work to care for a sick child or dependent would jeopardize the business.

Paid sick leave available to employees will be limited to $511/day or $5,111 in the aggregate if the employee is home due to his/her own isolation/quarantine. Employers may require “reasonable notice” from an employee after the employee has triggered paid sick leave under this section. Should an employee’s hours vary from week to week, the bill sets out a formula to determine at what rate the employee shall be compensated. The bill outlines an exception for employers with less than 25 employees if the employee’s job no longer exists due to the coronavirus pandemic, which requires employers to make reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position over a one-year period.

Read more COVID-19 coverage here:


About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

Leave A Comment

  1. Robert Clark says:

    Some companies in my area(Manhattan KS) are doing exterior pest control only. Is this something we all should be doing?

    1. Heather Gooch says:

      Based on input we’re hearing from PMPs (as reported in “How PMPs handle coronavirus concerns”), many are pivoting to exterior pest control as much as they can.

      We also suggest visiting, the NPMA’s online resource, to see if they have information that can help. They are helping both members and non-members during this crisis, and hopefully would be able to give you guidance. Good luck.