COVID-19: How to Determine If Your Business Should Remain Open 
COVID-19: How to Determine If Your Business Should Remain Open 

There is a fair amount of confusion among California businesses regarding Governor Newsom’s “stay home” order and which facilities should remain open.  Unfortunately, Executive Order N-33-20 does not provide much guidance. It does, however, refer to the list of federal government's critical infrastructure sectors posted by the Department of Homeland Security and except those individuals “needed to maintain the continuity of operations” of those sectors. In addition, the state’s website clarifies that critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction, should continue.  

More recently, the Newsom administration posted a 14-page report that provides a more detailed explanation on which businesses and workers are considered essential to a critical sector and exempt from the stay home order. The report also provides additional guidance on personal activities that are permitted.  

Those businesses or workers still unsure of their “stay home” status should dig a little deeper.  The Department of Homeland Security’s list of critical infrastructure sectors includes a link to a sector-specific plan for each sector that sheds further light on which businesses are included.  For example, the Financial Services Sector plan includes a lengthy discussion of the service providers essential for this critical sector. The plan makes clear that the Financial Services Sector includes a wide variety of businesses and workers that might not otherwise as be considered as exempt for the stay home requirements. 

There has also been some confusion over the fact that Executive Order N-33-20 seems to conflict with some city or county orders that may be more or less restrictive.  In response, state health officials have issued this statement:  “This is a statewide order.  Depending on the conditions in their area, local officials may enforce stricter public health orders.  But they may not loosen the state’s order.”  Thus, when it comes to COVID-19, the more restrictive order will apply. 

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2020. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.

Tags: COVID-19

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