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A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced the Healthy Workplaces Act to provide a tax credit for critical expenses associated with protecting employees from COVID-19.

The act was introduced by Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA). The bipartisan, bicameral bill was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and is supported by ISSA and its more than 50 coalition partners.

If enacted, the Healthy Workplaces Act would establish a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50% of an employer’s “qualified employee protection expenses,” such as testing for COVID-19, protective personal equipment (PPE), and cleaning products or services; “qualified workplace reconfiguration expenses;” and “qualified education and training expenses.”

Businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals would all qualify for the tax credit. In each calendar quarter, qualified expenses are based on a sliding scale according to the average number of employees (Summary).

“The pandemic has led to a new standard of cleanliness as well as financial hardships for many organizations,” said John Nothdurft, ISSA's director of government affairs, in a press release. “This tax credit will help businesses uphold cleanliness, protect employees, and restore the confidence of consumers.”