Late Sunday evening, a new Executive Order and new DECD guidance were both released clarifying the “Stay at Home. Stay Safe” rule that goes into effect Monday at 8 p.m.

Executive Order 7J amends the Friday order in two important ways:

  1. It permits non-essential retailers to be staffed on site, provided that they may only offer remote ordering (e.g. phone, internet, mail, dropbox) and delivery or curb-side pick-up,
  2. It permits non-essential businesses and nonprofits to allow staff or third patties on site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance, and receipt of mail and packages, or other services deemed essential in implementing guidance issued by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

This answers some questions we received over the weekend regarding mail and security services. IT services also now appear to fall within this as explained in the next guidance.

Also Sunday night, DECD released its guidance on what businesses are deemed “essential” as well as services deemed essential.  It’s a big list so I’m not going to recap it here tonight but if you thought your business might qualify, you should re-look at the list because there are some definite changes.

It’s important to note that all manufacturing and the supply chains that go along with it, including aerospace are exempted. Moreover, companies are asked NOT to submit something if it is apparant that they fit within an exempt category.  Thus, good faith compliance seems to be carrying the day.

The guidance also clarifies that employees of Essential Businesses whose duties are not critical to an Essential Business function should still telecommute or utilize any work from home procedures available to them.

The guidance also clarifies that any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt.  This will help a lot of solo offices who were waiting for additional guidance on this issue.

My firm will have more tomorrow as we continue to analyze this.  Be sure to check out the Shipman & Goodwin Coronavirus Resource page here.

Also over the weekend, Treasury, IRS and Labor announced a plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for businesses.  My firm will have guidance on this tomorrow but in the meantime, I recommend Jon Hyman’s post from this weekend. 

Finally, I want to highlight three programs that might be of interest to you:

  • On Monday morning, I will be appearing on WNPR’s Where We Live to talk about the employment law implications that keep arising out of the pandemic. (It’ll be rebroadcast as a podcast too.) I’ve been on this gem of a show before but we’re going to do it this time via Zoom.
  • On Tuesday morning, I’ll be moderating and presenting a free webinar with Interlaw on how global employers are addressing the pandemic with speakers from Europe and China to talk about what we in the United States can expect as well.
  • And finally, for your listening pleasure, several employment lawyers and HR professionals teamed up for a special episode of the “Hostile Work Environment” podcast.  I was able to join the conversation and it’s great fun amid a tough time. You can find it on all podcast channels and also on YouTube here. 

It looks like another busy week ahead for everyone.  Remember: Stay at Home. Stay Safe.