2020 COVID-19 Employment Tracker (Archived) | Practical Law

2020 COVID-19 Employment Tracker (Archived) | Practical Law

This Practice Note only contains federal, state, and local COVID-19 developments through December 31, 2020. For COVID-19-related laws, regulations, directives, and guidance beginning January 1, 2021 through the present, see Practice Note, COVID-19: Employment Law and Development Tracker.

2020 COVID-19 Employment Tracker (Archived)

Practical Law Practice Note w-034-0111 (Approx. 216 pages)

2020 COVID-19 Employment Tracker (Archived)

by Practical Law Labor & Employment
Law stated as of 31 Dec 2020ExpandAlabama, Alaska, Arizona...Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, USA (National/Federal), Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
This Practice Note only contains federal, state, and local COVID-19 developments through December 31, 2020. For COVID-19-related laws, regulations, directives, and guidance beginning January 1, 2021 through the present, see Practice Note, COVID-19: Employment Law and Development Tracker.
A Practice Note containing key federal and state employment laws, regulations, and other directives passed in 2020 in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The laws and developments generally address paid leave, unemployment insurance, lay off and plant closing requirements, and other issues related to COVID-19 affecting private employers.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic. On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global span, speed, and depth of disruption caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented, leading employers and the public into uncharted territory.
This Practice Note contains key federal and state employment laws passed in response to COVID-19 during 2020. It also contains federal administrative agency regulations and guidance and other official state directives issued in 2020 to address workplace and other employment-related issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For COVID-19-related laws, regulations, directives, and guidance beginning January 1, 2021 through the present, see Practice Note, COVID-19: Employment Law and Development Tracker.
This Note covers developments affecting employers' and employees' rights and obligations, including paid leave, unemployment insurance, mass layoffs, and related WARN Act and mini-WARN Act issues. It does not cover laws specific to employee benefit plans. It also does not cover state-specific declarations of emergency, general health directives (such as shelter-in-place or work-from-home orders), economic relief packages, or orders directing businesses to close. However, those developments are often covered in the websites with state-specific information related to COVID-19 linked below (see State Laws and Directives). For a list of important state websites related to COVID-19 measures, including emergency orders and business closure orders, see Practice Note, State Resources Chart for COVID-19 Emergency Measures Monitoring.
For more information on COVID-19 and employment issues, see Employment Global Coronavirus Toolkit. For more information and resources on COVID-19 generally, see Global Coronavirus Toolkit.
This note is organized by jurisdiction, starting with federal laws and administrative agency developments, followed by state developments organized alphabetically by state. Developments are listed in reverse chronological order. Links to each agency and jurisdiction covered are available in the Table of Contents.

Federal Laws and Executive Orders

  • December 27, 2020: President Trump signs the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the Act), a $2.3 trillion bill that includes $900 billion in a second round of COVID-19 related stimulus relief. For more information on the Act, see Legal Update, Congress Passes and Trump Signs Year-End Appropriations and COVID Stimulus Bill with Key Employment Benefits. Among other things, the Act:
    • allows employers to continue to take tax credits for qualifying FFCRA leave through March 14, 2021;
    • extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits under the CARES Act through March 14, 2021;
    • allocates federal funds to reimburse nonprofits, state and local government entities, and federally recognized Indian tribes for 50% of costs incurred in paying unemployment benefits between December 31, 2020 and March 14, 2021;
    • continues the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program by providing direct payments of $300 per week for weeks of unemployment between December 26, 2020 and March 14, 2021;
    • reimburses 50% of a state's cost of waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits for weeks of unemployment between December 31, 2020 and March 14, 2021;
    • expands Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits from 13 to 24 weeks;
    • provides an additional $100 per week in Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation for individuals who receive a combination of traditional wages as employees and at least $5,000 per year as independent contractors or freelancers;
    • extends CARES Act funding to states that currently have or choose to implement work-share or short-term compensation programs from December 31, 2020 through March 14, 2021;
    • extends federal funding of extended unemployment compensation under the FFCRA through March 14, 2021;
    • extends tax credits from December 31, 2020 through March 31, 2021 for employers and self-employed individuals who voluntarily provide paid sick and family and medical leave that would have otherwise qualified as FFCRA leave; and
    • extends employee retention tax credits to wages paid before July 1, 2021.
  • August 14, 2020: President Trump signs Safeguarding America's First Responders Act of 2020 (S. 3607), which creates a presumption that a first responder diagnosed with COVID-19 within 45 days of their last day on duty is entitled to disability or death benefits. The presumption is effective between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
  • August 8, 2020: President Trump signs Presidential Memorandum which, among other things, extends the offer of supplemental unemployment benefits at a reduced rate of $400 per week, comprised of a $300 federal contribution and a $100 state contribution. The extension of the supplemental benefits will continue until the earlier of December 6, 2020 or until the Disaster Relief Fund reaches $25 billion. Eligible employees may claim the supplemental unemployment benefits retroactively from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020.
  • August 8, 2020: President Trump signs Presidential Memorandum which defers the withholding, deposit, and payment of the OASDI portion of the Social Security taxes that certain employees will owe during the period between September 1 and December 31, 2020 ((85 Fed. Reg. 49587, (Aug. 8, 2020)). The deferral is limited to employees whose bi-weekly pay is generally less than $4,000 on a pre-tax basis.
  • March 27, 2020: President Trump signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136, 2020 H.R. 748). The bill is a $2 trillion stimulus package that, among other things, provides small businesses with loans of up to $10 million, offers a tax credit to businesses that retain employees during a shutdown or significant loss of revenue, advances the tax credit available to employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and boosts unemployment benefits. The CARES Act also modifies the FFCRA by including rules for providing paid sick leave to rehired employees and allowing the Office of Management and Budget to exclude certain federal employees from paid leave requirements. The Act creates a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that extends benefits to employees who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed workers and independent contractors. Eligible employees will also receive an additional $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits, for a period of up to four months. Unemployment benefits will also be provided for an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if they are not receiving any paid work or paid leave benefits and they:
    • have been diagnosed with or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
    • have a household member diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • are caring for a family member with COVID-19;
    • have to care for a child due to school and child care closures;
    • are subject to imposed quarantine or are advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • have become the household breadwinner due to the head of household's death from COVID-19;
    • had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • work for an employer that is closed due to COVID-19; or
    • are self-employed, seeking part-time work, do not have sufficient work history, or otherwise do not qualify for unemployment benefits under state or federal law.
For more information on unemployment benefits, see Practice Note, Employee Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
  • March 18, 2020: President signs the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127, 2020 H.R. 6021). The law is designed to provide support for those impacted by the COVID-19 public emergency, and includes, among other provisions:
    • the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (H.R. 6201, Division E, §§ 5105 to 5111). This law covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees and all government employers and provides 80 hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees for specified purposes;
    • the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (H.R. 6201, Division C, §§ 3101 to 3106). This law amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid and other protected leave to covered employees with a qualifying need related to a public health emergency regarding COVID-19 declared by a federal, state, or local authority; and
    • an effective date for both paid leave laws on April 1, 2020 (per DOL FAQs) with an expiration on December 31, 2020.

Federal Administrative Agency Regulations and Guidance

Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

  • December 31, 2020: WHD adds questions 104 and 105 to its FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions, which address FFCRA obligations after the paid sick and expanded family and medical leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020. The new questions provide that:
    • employers are not required to provide FFCRA leave to employees who were eligible for but did not use any FFCRA leave prior to December 31, 2020; and
    • the WHD will enforce the FFCRA for leave taken or requested prior to December 31, 2020 and direct employees who have not been paid for such leave to file a complaint with the WHD.
  • December 31, 2020: WHD issues two opinion letters regarding compensable time for certain teleworkers and in-home caregivers:
    • FLSA2020-19 states that time spent traveling between home and work for employees who telework for part of the day and work at the office for part of the day is not compensable worksite-to-worksite travel; and
    • FLSA2020-20 provides that employers of in-home or live-in caregivers who typically work shifts of 24 hours or more can exclude overtime payments from the regular rate and credit those toward any overtime owed as long as there is an agreement or understanding (written or unwritten) between the employer and the caregiver.
  • December 29, 2020: WHD announces two new Field Assistance Bulletins (FABs) to maximize the benefits of telework arrangements and virtual communication during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • FAB 2020-7 provides guidance to WHD field staff regarding the posting of required notices electronically (by email, internet, or intranet website) under federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Section 14(c) of the FLSA (Section 14(c)), the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), and the Service Contract Act (SCA); and
    • FAB 2020-8 provides guidance to WHD field staff regarding the use of telemedicine to establish a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • September 15, 2020: WHD submits information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) seeking authorization to collect information related to FFCRA leave for three years (85 Fed. Reg. 59330-02 (Sept. 21, 2020)).
  • September 15, 2020: WHD issues Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-6, which states that the WHD will not bring enforcement actions against seasonal establishments for violations of the FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements in 2020 provided that such establishments:
    • canceled or limited their regular seasonal programming or operations due to COVID-19;
    • adopted related alternative programming or operations solely for 2020;
    • paid their employees at least the same wage rates that they received when the establishment was regularly operating; and
    • have taken steps to abandon those alternatives and return to their normal operations in 2021.
  • September 11, 2020: WHD publishes new temporary rule regarding FFCRA paid leave, which revises and clarifies the guidance provided by the initial rule that was struck down by the Southern District of New York (85 Fed. Reg. 57677-01 (Sept. 16, 2020)). Among other things, the new rule:
    • narrows the definition of "health care provider" to include only employees who are health care providers under the FMLA and those providing diagnostic, preventive, treatment, and other necessary patient care services;
    • affirms that leave can only be taken when employees have work available from which to take leave and applies the work-availability requirement to all FFCRA qualifying reasons for leave;
    • affirms that employees must obtain their employer's consent to take intermittent FFCRA leave;
    • clarifies that employees should provide documentation to support their FFCRA leave to their employers as soon as practicable; and
    • clarifies that employers can require employees to provide notice for EPSL only after the first day of leave taken and notice for EFMLA as soon as practicable.
  • August 27, 2020: WHD adds questions 98-100 to its FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to address school-related concerns, including whether parents are eligible for paid leave if their child's school:
    • only partially reopens;
    • opens but parents choose remote learning; and
    • offers only remote learning but may reopen for in-person attendance at a later time.
  • August 24, 2020: WHD issues Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-5, which provides guidance regarding employers' obligations under the FLSA to track the number of compensable work hours performed by employees working remotely.
  • August 3, 2020: WHD issues FAQs providing guidance for employers with federal government service contracts covered by the Service Contract Act and federal construction contracts covered the Davis-Bacon Act. The FAQs provide answers regarding what employers must pay when employees take either Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA.
  • July 20, 2020: WHD adds questions 94-97 to its FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to address concerns regarding employees returning to work after FFCRA leave or furlough, including:
    • returning to work too soon and potentially exposing staff to COVID-19;
    • taking additional paid sick leave under FFCRA; and
    • extending furlough for employees that may need to take FFCRA leave.
  • July 20, 2020: WHD publishes additional guidance for employers and employees on how the protections and requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the FFCRA affect workplaces as they reopen.
  • July 13, 2020: WHD launches public service campaign to promote workers' rights to paid sick leave, safe workplaces, and lawful pay. The campaign will use public service announcements in English and Spanish to provide information about benefits under the FFCRA and will include educational videos, digital guides, stakeholder outreach, and social media to educate employees about their rights.
  • June 26, 2020: WHD issues Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 providing guidance for WHD investigators regarding employees who request FFCRA leave due to summer camps and summer programs being closed due to COVID-19. Employees may take FFCRA leave for summer camp closure if:
    • their child was enrolled in the camp or program prior to closure;
    • they had applied to enroll or submitted a deposit prior to closure; or
    • the child had attended the same camp in the past and would still be eligible to attend if the camp remained open.
  • June 24, 2020: WHD issues Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-2 stating that it will no longer pursue prelitigation liquidated damages in settlements in addition to any back wages found due. Effective July 1, 2020, the WHD will not assess prelitigation liquidated damages if any of the following circumstances exist:
    • there is no clear evidence of bad faith and willfulness;
    • the employer's explanation for the violation shows that the violation was the result of a bona fide dispute of unsettled law;
    • the employer has no previous history of violations; or
    • the matter involves individual coverage only, complex section 13(a)(1) and 13(b)(1) exemptions, or state and local government agencies or other non-profits.
  • May 2020: WHD adds questions 89-93 to its FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to address:
    • domestic workers;
    • temp agencies;
    • teleworking;
    • documentation for COVID-19 diagnosis; and
    • summer school closures.
  • April 20, 2020: WHD ends temporary non-enforcement period for FFCRA paid leave protections. The WHD stated that it will continue to provide educational outreach to ensure compliance with the law and maximize benefits for workers and employers.
  • April 17, 2020: WHD updates FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to clarify:
    • how to calculate rates of pay and hours worked (questions 80 through 85);
    • when an employer may require an employee to use existing leave under a company policy (question 86);
    • eligibility under stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders versus orders to quarantine and isolate (question 87); and
    • the amount that employees can recover when their employer refuses to provide paid sick leave (question 88).
  • April 10, 2020: WHD publishes correction to temporary rule regarding FFCRA paid leave. The correction revises certain preamble and regulatory text that was published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2020. (85 Fed. Reg. 20156-02, (Apr. 10, 2020).)
  • April 3, 2020: WHD hosts FFCRA webinar. Links to the webinar recording and slides are available on the DOL website.
  • April 1, 2020: WHD announces temporary rule regarding FFCRA paid leave (85 Fed. Reg. 19326 (Apr. 6, 2020)). The temporary rule provides direction for the effective administration of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and further defines key provisions of the FFCRA. The temporary rule is operational as of April 1, 2020 and effective April 2, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  • March 30, 2020: WHD updates FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to:
    • clarify the definitions of "health care provider" (questions 55 and 56) and "emergency responder" (question 57); and
    • explain the requirements employers with fewer than 50 employees must satisfy in order to be exempt from the emergency paid sick leave and expanded family leave provisions (questions 58 and 59).
  • March 27, 2020: WHD updates FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions to address, among other things:
    • access to FFCRA benefits for employees who are laid off, furloughed, or on reduced hours (questions 23 through 28). The WHD has clarified that these employees are not entitled to FFCRA benefits, but may be eligible for unemployment;
    • documentation an employee must provide their employer to get paid sick leave or expanded FMLA leave (question 16);
    • teleworking (questions 17 through 19). Employees whose employers agree to let them work their total hours outside of normally scheduled hours are considered able to work and are not eligible for FFCRA benefits; and
    • intermittent leave (questions 20 and 21). Employees who are teleworking and unable to meet their total number of hours may take paid sick leave or expanded family leave intermittently. Employees who are working at their usual worksite are not allowed to take either leave intermittently and must take it in full-day increments.
  • March 25, 2020: WHD publishes required FFCRA posters, which employers must post in a conspicuous place by April 1, 2020. Posters are available for federal and non-federal employers.
  • March 24, 2020: WHD issues FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions on its COVID-19 webpage, which also provides:
    • information regarding employee rights and employer requirements under the FFCRA;
    • FAQs regarding the FLSA and FMLA; and
    • posters for employers to include in their workplaces to notify employees of their rights under the FFCRA.
  • March 24, 2020: WHD issues guidance regarding the temporary non-enforcement period applicable to the FFCRA. The WHD will not bring enforcement actions against any employer for violating the FFCRA for the first 30 days of enactment (i.e., through April 17, 2020), provided the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply. An employer will be found to have acted reasonably and in good faith where:
    • the employer remedies any violations, including by making all affected employees whole, as soon as practicable.
    • the violations were not willful; and
    • the employer provides a written commitment to the DOL to comply with the FFCRA in the future.

Department of Labor: Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

  • August 27, 2020: The ETA issues Change 3 to UIPL 16-20, which provides guidance for evaluating eligibility for PUA for employees who are caregivers when:
    • a child or other person in their household is attending a school that is operating in a hybrid environment with alternating in-person and remote learning;
    • they choose remote learning for their child when in-person instruction is available; and
    • their child's school remains closed due to COVID-19.
  • May 14, 2020: The ETA issues UIPL 24-20, which provides guidance related to the Federal-State Extended Benefits (EB) Program in accordance with the FFCRA.
  • May 11, 2020: The ETA issues UIPL 23-20, which includes guidance for states on maintaining weekly certification processes to ensure the integrity of the unemployment compensation program.
  • May 9, 2020: The ETA issues Change 1 to UIPL 15-20, which includes additional guidance on the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. The guidance includes questions and answers regarding:
    • issuing payments;
    • overpayments and recovery; and
    • financial information and reporting.
  • May 6, 2020: The ETA announces the award of six Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) totaling $10,012,821 to help address workforce-related impacts of COVID-19, bringing the total amount awarded to $171,469,995. The ETA also stated that these DWGs may be used to fund contact tracing activities to help slow and stop the spread of the virus.
  • April 30, 2020: The ETA issues WARN Act Frequently Asked Questions, which address, among other things:
    • required notice;
    • furloughs and temporary layoffs;
    • exceptions for permanent layoffs due to COVID-19; and
    • notification by email.
  • April 27, 2020: The ETA issues Change 1 to UIPL 16-20 which includes questions and answers addressing employers' concerns about employees returning to work. It clarifies that employees with only generalized concerns about COVID-19 exposure or those who prefer to receive unemployment benefits rather than return to work are not eligible for benefits.
  • April 16, 2020: The ETA publishes Frequently Asked Questions for individuals with questions about unemployment benefits.
  • April 15, 2020: The ETA announces the award of the first installment of 26 DWGs totaling $131,384,557 to help address the workforce-related impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • April 10, 2020: The ETA announces Pandemic Emergency Compensation (PEUC) Program guidance. The ETA issued UIPL 17-20, which provides states with operating, financial, and reporting instructions for the PEUC program.
  • April 5, 2020: The ETA announces Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) guidance. The ETA issued UIPL 16-20, which outlines key provisions of the PUA program and provides instructions to states on implementing the program.
  • April 4, 2020: The ETA announces Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) guidance. The ETA issued UIPL 15-20, which instructs states on administering the additional $600 weekly benefit pursuant to the FPUC program.
  • April 2, 2020: The ETA announces CARES Act guidance for state unemployment insurance programs. The ETA issued UIPL 14-20, which outlines relevant provisions of the CARES Act related to the administration of and eligibility criteria for state unemployment insurance programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for employees not typically eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • March 12, 2020: The ETA announces new guidance for unemployment insurance flexibility. The ETA issued UIPL 10-20, which permits states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance to employees affected by COVID-19. Specifically, states may pay unemployment benefits where:
    • employees are out of work because the employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19;
    • an employee is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
    • an employee leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

Department of Labor: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

  • August, 2020: ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) publishes strategies for returning individuals with disabilities to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance offers solutions for limiting the risk of COVID-19 exposure and addressing physical distancing and communications needs for workers who have impairments that place them at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

  • December 16, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance includes information about how a COVID-19 vaccination interacts with the legal requirements of the ADA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The guidance confirms that employers may mandate that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as long as:
    • it is administered by a third party that does not have a contract with the employer; and
    • employers accommodate disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs.
  • September 8, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance incorporates information from other agency resources and clarifies the EEOC's position on administering COVID-19 tests prior to admitting employees in the workplace and allowing employees to request disability accommodations in advance of returning to work.
  • August 3, 2020: The EEOC announces that it will lift the suspension on charge closure documents and resume issuing Notices of Right to Sue letters. The Notices will be sent by mail and issued over the next six to eight weeks beginning with those that have been in suspense the longest.
  • June 17, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance clarifies that the ADA does not allow employers to require antibody testing before allowing employees to reenter the workplace.
  • June 11, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and EEO laws. The updated guidance now addresses accommodations to avoid exposing a high-risk family member, pandemic-related harassment, accommodations for alternative health screenings, age discrimination due to being high-risk for COVID-19, and sex discrimination during the pandemic.
  • May 8, 2020: The EEOC delays EEO data collections due to COVID-19, advising EEO-1, EEO-3, and EEO-5 filers to begin preparing to submit data in 2021 (85 Fed. Reg. 27414-01, (May 8, 2020)).
  • May 5, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance now addresses examples of reasonable accommodations for high-risk employees and how those employees should request such accommodations.
  • April 23, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance now addresses whether an employer may administer a COVID-19 test prior to permitting employees to enter the workplace.
  • April 17, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance now includes a "Return to Work" section that addresses ADA-compliant procedures for screening workers who return to work and accommodations for workers who request modified protective gear. The guidance also updated its answers regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship issues, and potential harassment and discrimination of workers.
  • April 9, 2020: The EEOC updates its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO laws. The updated guidance now addresses:
    • procedures for screening employees who enter the workplace;
    • reasonable accommodations;
    • confidentiality of medical information; and
    • workplace harassment due to the pandemic.
  • April 6, 2020: EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) issues memorandum regarding the processing of federal EEO complaints. Among other things, the OFO:
    • will allow agencies and complainants to agree in writing to extend EEO processing deadlines;
    • directs agencies to continue processing and investigating EEO complaints to the fullest extent possible;
    • requests that agencies not issue final actions on EEO complaints unless the investigation is complete and the complainant requests the final action be issued; and
    • will only issue appellate decisions via email (not US mail) to complainants who request the decision in order to preserve complainants' rights to file civil actions in court.
  • March 27, 2020: EEOC posts webinar addressing questions about COVID-19 and anti-discrimination laws. The webinar answers questions submitted by the public about COVID-19 and anti-discrimination laws such as the ADA, ADEA, Title VII, and GINA.
  • March 21, 2020: EEOC updates administrative guidance about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19. The guidance updates the EEOC's 2009 publication on pandemic preparedness in the workplace and answers several new questions directly addressing the interaction between COVID-19 and the ADA. It includes a finding that the current presence in the workplace of individuals with COVID-19, or symptoms of it, creates a significant risk of substantial harm or "direct threat." An individual with a disability who poses a direct threat despite reasonable accommodation is not protected by the nondiscrimination provisions of the ADA. For information on hiring and workplace practices during a pandemic, see EEOC: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • November 18, 2020: OSHA updates COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to clarify that cloth face coverings do not provide sufficient protection to qualify as personal protective equipment under OSHA's PPE standard (29 C.F.R. §1910.132).
  • November 7, 2020: OSHA issues guidance and accompanying one-page document that provide available resources for employers to address the most frequently cited standards during COVID-19 related inspections. The one-page document provides examples of employer requirements, including:
    • providing a medical evaluation before a worker is fit-tested or uses a respirator;
    • establishing, implementing, and updating a written respiratory protection program with required worksite-specific procedures;
    • training workers to safely use respirators and/or other PPE in the workplace;
    • properly storing respirators and other PPE to protect from damage and contamination; and
    • keeping required records of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illness.
  • November 5, 2020: OSHA issues guidance on workplace ventilation which recommends that employers:
    • ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional;
    • remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from person to person;
    • use HVAC filters with a minimum MERV rating of 13 or higher;
    • increase the HVAC system's outdoor air intake and open windows where possible;
    • ensure that exhaust air is not pulled back into the building; and
    • consider using HEPA fans and filtration systems to increase clean air.
  • October 30, 2020: OSHA issues respiratory protection guidance for employees in nursing homes, assisted living, and other long-term care facilities which, among other things:
    • recommends that everyone in healthcare facilities wear face coverings at all times, even if the wearer does not have COVID-19 symptoms;
    • requires providers in close contact with a resident with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection to use a NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator; and
    • encourages employers to reassess their engineering and administrative controls, such as ventilation and physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cleaning practices, to avoid over-reliance on respirators.
  • October 19, 2020: OSHA issues updated guidance clarifying that N95 respirators are effective at protecting workers from COVID-19, stating that when worn correctly, these respirators will filter out at least 95% of particles.
  • October 2, 2020: OSHA issues temporary enforcement guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers for enforcing initial and annual fit-testing requirements related to tight-fitting powered air-purifying respirators. The enforcement discretion policy permits health care personnel and other employees working in high exposure risk activities to use National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved tight-fitting powered air-purifying respirators against COVID-19 when fit testing is infeasible due to supply shortages.
  • October 2020: OSHA issues updated guidance clarifying the circumstances under which employers must report COVID-19 cases involving a hospitalization or fatality to OSHA. According to the guidance, employers must report:
    • hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning that the employee has been hospitalized and that the hospitalization occurred within 24 hours of the work-related incident; and
    • fatalities within eight hours of learning that the employee has died and that the cause of death occurred within 30 days of the work-related incident.
  • September 2020: OSHA issues guidance on using cloth face coverings in hot and humid conditions while:
  • August 11, 2020: OSHA and the FDA issue Employee Health and Food Safety Checklist for human and animal food manufacturers to consider when continuing, resuming, or reevaluating operations due to COVID-19, which includes considerations for
    • ensuring employee health and a safe workplace;
    • employee screening;
    • investigating exposure and determining when employees should be tested; and
    • workplace configurations to help minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 among workers.
  • August 3, 2020: OSHA updates its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to include information supporting the use of face coverings in the workplace, stating that wearing medical masks or cloth face coverings does not cause unsafe oxygen levels or harmful carbon dioxide levels to the wearer.
  • June 25, 2020: OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issue interim guidance for the seafood processing industry, which includes information regarding:
    • modifying workstations to ensure workers are at least six feet apart;
    • staggering shifts;
    • analyzing sick leave and incentive programs to insure sick workers stay home and aren't penalized for taking leave; and
    • screening and monitoring workers for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • June 18, 2020: OSHA issues Guidance on Returning to Work, which provides general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, including basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee training.
  • June 10, 2020: OSHA issues Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators in the workplace. The new guidance outlines the differences between the equipment and when they should be used, and notes the need to continue social distancing even when face coverings are used.
  • May 26, 2020: OSHA launches webpage with COVID-19 related guidance for construction employers and workers, which includes information regarding:
    • exposure risk levels associated with certain construction tasks;
    • training for construction workers;
    • using physical barriers to separate workers for individuals experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19;
    • limiting the length of and the number of persons attending in-person meetings;
    • screening indoor construction work assignments prior to sending a worker to perform construction activities;
    • requesting that shared spaces in home environments and occupied buildings under construction have good air flow; and
    • staggering work schedules to reduce the number of employees on a job site at a time.
  • May 19, 2020: OSHA issues Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 that provides instructions to Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers for handling COVID-19 related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. The updated response plan includes:
  • May 19, 2020: OSHA adopts revised enforcement policies for COVID-19 to:
    • increase in-person inspections at all types of workplaces; and
    • require employers to record cases of coronavirus and make reasonable efforts to determine if each case is work-related.
  • May 1, 2020: OSHA issues guidance for restaurants and beverage vendors offering takeout or curbside pickup, which encourages such businesses to, among other things:
    • train workers in proper hygiene practices;
    • allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth;
    • encourage workers to stay home if they are sick;
    • avoid direct hand-off when possible;
    • provide a place to wash hands and alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol;
    • routinely clean and disinfect surfaces; and
    • practice social distancing by maintaining six feet between co-workers and customers.
  • April 26, 2020: OSHA and the CDC release joint interim guidance for meatpacking and meat processing workers and employers. The guidance includes information regarding:
    • screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the workplace;
    • managing workers who are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
    • cleaning shared tools;
    • using appropriate personal protective equipment; and
    • implementing appropriate engineering, administrative, and work practice controls.
  • April 16, 2020: OSHA issues memorandum advising compliance safety and health officers to evaluate an employer's good-faith efforts to comply with health and safety standards when determining whether to cite a violation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officers should evaluate whether the employer:
    • explored all options to comply with applicable standards, such as using virtual training or remote communication strategies;
    • implemented interim alternative protections, such as engineering or administrative controls; and
    • rescheduled required annual activity as soon as possible.
  • April 16, 2020: OSHA issues guidance for the manufacturing industry workforce. The guidance provides tips on keeping manufacturing workers safe, such as encouraging employers and workers to establish flexible work hours, wearing masks, discouraging workers from using others' tools and equipment, and training workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, take off, and maintain protective clothing and equipment.
  • April 13, 2020: OSHA announces interim enforcement response plan to protect workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The response plan contains procedures for addressing workplace hazard reports and procedures and sample documentation for compliance safety and health officers to use during inspections.
  • April 13, 2020: OSHA issues guidance to package delivery workers. Among other things, the guidance encourages employers and employees in this industry to establish flexible work hours, minimize interaction between drivers and customers, provide access to handwashing and cleaning supplies, and practice social distancing in the workplace.
  • April 10, 2020: OSHA issues interim guidance for enforcing recordkeeping requirements for COVID-19 cases. Employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if the case is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness and, pursuant to OSHA regulations, is "work-related" and meets the general recording criteria. Because of the difficulty in determining whether workers with COVID-19 contracted the virus at work, OSHA will not require employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases except where:
    • there is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and
    • the evidence was reasonably available to the employer.
  • April 8, 2020: OSHA issues COVID-19 guidance for retail workers. The guidance provides tips to retail industry employers, such as pharmacies, supermarkets, and big box stores, regarding reducing employee exposure to COVID-19.
  • April 8, 2020: OSHA reminds employers that they cannot retaliate against employees who report unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA encourages workers to file whistleblower complaints online if they believe their employer has retaliated against them.
  • April 6, 2020: OSHA publishes workplace poster highlighting measures employers can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
  • March 9, 2020: OSHA issues Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. OSHA published "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" to help employers respond to the coronavirus. In addition to the guidance, OSHA launched a COVID-19 webpage that provides infection prevention information to workers and employers.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

  • December 13, 2020: CDC issues post-vaccine considerations for healthcare personnel to minimize the risk of systemic signs and symptoms, including:
    • vaccinating health care personnel preceding 1-2 days off, during which they are not required to be in the facility;
    • staggering delivery of the vaccine to healthcare professionals in the facility so that not all employees are vaccinated at the same time;
    • informing healthcare personnel about short-term, post-vaccination signs and symptoms and options for mitigating them;
    • developing a strategy to timely assess healthcare professionals who do exhibit post-vaccination signs and symptoms, including rapid COVID-19 testing; and
    • offering nonpunitive sick leave options for healthcare professionals who develop post-vaccination signs and symptoms.
  • December 4, 2020: CDC issues revised public health guidance, which recommends, among other things:
    • the universal use of face masks, especially when indoors and when outdoors and within six feet of others;
    • maintaining physical distance of at least six feet and limiting contacts outside of household members; and
    • avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor settings.
  • December 2, 2020: CDC revises COVID-19 quarantine guidance, offering the following alternatives to shorten the 14-day recommended quarantine period:
    • quarantine can end after day 10 without testing if no symptoms are reported during daily monitoring; or
    • quarantine can end after day 7 if a COVID-19 test is negative within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation.
  • November 16, 2020: CDC updates critical infrastructure response planning guidance, noting that critical infrastructure employers should allow asymptomatic workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 to continue working only as a last resort and in limited circumstances, such as when cessation of operations may cause serious harm or danger to public health or safety.
  • November 10, 2020: CDC issues scientific brief regarding community use of cloth masks which states that, in addition to preventing the spread of COVID-19, cloth face masks can also protect the wearer by filtering "fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns."
  • October 21, 2020: CDC updates contact tracing guidance, indicating that people should be considered at risk of contracting COVID-19 if they were within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period either:
    • during the 48 hours before the infected individual exhibited symptoms; or
    • if asymptomatic, 48 hours before the COVID-19 test was administered.
  • September 18, 2020: CDC revises COVID-19 testing guidance to reinforce the need to test asymptomatic persons, including contacts of a person with a documented positive COVID-19 result.
  • August 24, 2020: CDC launches a webpage offering resources and trainings for businesses to prevent violence toward workers that may occur when they implement policies and practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including policies that:
    • require masks to be worn by employees and customers;
    • require customers to follow social distancing rules; and
    • limit the number of customers allowed in the facility at a time.
  • August 7, 2020: CDC updates guidance for wearing face masks with new evidence showing that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. The CDC recommends that all people ages two and over wear masks in public settings and around non-household members when social distancing is difficult to maintain. The guidance does not recommend using masks with exhalation valves or face shields as a substitute for masks.
    • outlines actions employers can take to share key COVID-19 messages with their employees;
    • suggests key messages employers can use in their communication efforts to help employees protect themselves and their families and communities; and
    • provides links to existing CDC communication materials that have been translated into multiple languages.
  • July 3, 2020: CDC issues interim guidance for employers regarding strategies for testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including:
    • testing individuals with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
    • testing asymptomatic individuals with recent known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to control transmission;
    • testing asymptomatic individuals without known or suspected exposure to the virus for early detection in special settings;
    • testing individuals previously known or suspected to be infected for suitability to return to work; and
    • public health surveillance for the virus.
  • June 1, 2020: CDC and the DOL issue interim guidance for the agriculture industry regarding:
    • COVID-19 assessment and control plans;
    • screening workers for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • managing sick workers and addressing return to work after COVID-19 exposure;
    • social distancing measures;
    • cleaning and disinfecting measures;
    • employee training on COVID-19 prevention strategies;
    • personal protective equipment (PPE); and
    • shared housing and transportation considerations.
  • May 27, 2020: CDC provides guidance for office building employers to protect workers and clients, which includes, among other things:
    • checking the building to ensure it is ready for occupancy, including the ventilation systems, circulation of outdoor air, and mechanical and life safety systems;
    • identifying potential hazards that could increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission;
    • developing hazard controls, including modifying workstations to ensure six feet between employees, improving ventilation, considering daily employee health checks, staggering shifts, and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces;
    • encouraging employees to wear face coverings in all areas of the building; and
    • training employees regarding protecting themselves and others.
  • May 14, 2020: CDC provides workplace decision tree to assist employers in making reopening decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 12, 2020: CDC and OSHA issue interim guidance to assist businesses in developing plans to safely continue operations and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Interim guidance is issued for:
  • May 3, 2020: CDC updates its FAQs for Businesses, which provides useful information for employers regarding:
    • addressing suspected of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the workplace;
    • reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, including the best way to screen employees for symptoms and perform temperature checks;
    • social distancing measures and allowing sick employees to stay home; and
    • cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • April 29, 2020: CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue guidance for cleaning and disinfecting to assist businesses in developing disinfecting plans after reopening.
  • April 8, 2020: CDC issues interim guidance for implementing safety practices for critical infrastructure workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers, including law enforcement, hazardous material responders, janitorial staff, and workers in the food, critical manufacturing, information technology, energy, and transportation industries, may continue working even after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 as long as they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are taken. Employees who become sick during the day should be sent home and information regarding those who had contact with the ill employee should be compiled. If a worker may have been exposed to COVID-19, employers should:
    • check the employee's temperature and assess symptoms prior to entering the facility;
    • require the employee to self-monitor under the supervision of the employer's occupational health program;
    • require the employee to wear a mask at all times in the workplace for 14 days after the last exposure;
    • require the employee to maintain six feet of distance from others in the workplace; and
    • clean and disinfect all workspaces, common areas, and equipment.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

  • December 18, 2020: FDA announces that it has granted EUA approval for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • December 11, 2020: FDA announces that it has granted EUA approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) for individuals 16 years of age and older.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • February 1, 2021: DHS issues statement on equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and distribution sites for undocumented immigrants which:
    • encourages all individuals, including undocumented immigrants, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; and
    • states that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites.
  • January 31, 2020: DHS Acting Secretary David Pekoske issues a National Emergency Determination that enables the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement President Biden's Executive Order regarding COVID-19 safety in domestic and international travel. The TSA will require all persons to wear a mask at TSA screening checkpoints and throughout the commercial and public transportation system.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • April 14, 2020: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) publishes Safety Advisory 20-01 recommending that transit agencies take certain actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including implementing policies and procedures for:
    • transit agency employees and passengers to use face coverings;
    • routine cleaning and disinfecting;
    • creating physical separation greater than six feet; and
    • reinforcing healthy hygiene practices.
  • March 25, 2020: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues guidance regarding drug and alcohol testing. The guidance, effective through June 30, 2020, recommends that employers:
    • document reasons for delays and efforts to conduct random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and follow-up tests;
    • not allow employees to perform safety-sensitive duties until the employee tests negative; and
    • ensure that random testing is completed by the end of 2020.
  • March 23, 2020: The DOT issues Guidance on Compliance with Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations. The DOT encourages DOT-regulated employers to use mobile collection services for testing if fixed-site collection facilities are unavailable. It also directs DOT-regulated employers to follow underlying modal regulations if drug and alcohol testing cannot be performed due to supply shortages, facility closures, quarantine orders, or unavailability of testing resources.

Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  • June 11, 2020: IRS issues Notice 2020-46 which provides that cash payments employers make to charitable organizations for COVID-19 relief in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that their employees choose to forgo will not be treated as compensation if such payments are:
    • made to section 170(c) organizations for COVID-19 victim relief in the affected geographic areas; and
    • paid to the section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2021.
  • May 7, 2020: IRS revises guidance on the Employee Retention Credit to allow employers who are not paying wages, but continue to pay health benefits to their furloughed employees to claim the tax credit.
  • March 31, 2020: IRS issues guidance on COVID-19-related tax credits for employers providing FFCRA paid leave. Employers with fewer than 500 employees that are required to pay "qualified sick leave wages" and/or "qualified family leave wages" are entitled to claim refundable tax credits. Among other things, the guidance:
    • provides detailed information on the documentation required for eligible employers to claim credits;
    • discusses the amount of and how to claim credits; and
    • clarifies that only one caretaker is eligible for emergency paid family leave to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed.

Department of Justice (DOJ) / Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • April 13, 2020: The DOJ's Antitrust Division and the FTC's Bureau of Competition release joint statement announcing that they will enforce antitrust laws against those seeking to exploit the pandemic to engage in anticompetitive conduct. While acknowledging that cooperation between government, businesses, and individuals may be necessary, the agencies stated that they are on alert for employers, staffing companies, and recruiters who engage in harmful conduct that suppresses competition in the labor markets, especially for workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis.

Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)

  • April 17, 2020: VETS publishes fact sheet on Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights for national guardsmen and reservists called to active duty to respond to COVID-19. The fact sheet does not create any new rights and obligations, but addresses scenarios that might arise from the application of USERRA in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

  • August 7, 2020: OPM issues interim regulations providing that employees who would forfeit annual leave in excess of the maximum annual leave allowable carryover because they continued working to support the nation during the national emergency will have their excess annual leave deemed to have been scheduled in advance and subject to leave restoration (85 Fed. Reg. 48096-01, (Aug. 10, 2020)).

Select Business and Trade Association Guidelines

Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP)

  • December 15, 2020: The AICP, in agreement with the International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees (IATSE), Directors Guild of America (DGA), and Teamsters, issues COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines. The guidelines are effective until April 30, 2021 and require, among other things:
    • all employees to be tested for COVID-19 within three days prior to starting employment and obtain a negative result before starting work;
    • Zone A employees to be tested every three days thereafter;
    • Zone B employees to be tested weekly;
    • Zone C employees to be tested every two weeks;
    • employers to provide face coverings to all employees as well as face shields for employees working in close contact with others;
    • employees who travel by air to the worksite to be tested and receive a negative result three days prior to departure and be retested after two days of work; and
    • each production to designate a COVID-19 Compliance Manager to monitor and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols from crew call until wrap.

Directors Guild of America (DGA), SAG-AFTRA, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and Teamsters

  • June 2020: The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters issue The Safe Way Forward, a report on COVID-19 safety guidelines for the production industry. The report provides guidance for production areas in the following three zones and does not allow employees to enter other zones unless tested and cleared within the last 24 hours:
    • Zone A, where performers are working closely with crew members with no social distancing and no personal protective equipment (PPE), requires employees to be tested at least three times per week;
    • Zone B, which includes production areas not in Zone A, requires employees to practice social distancing, wear PPE, and be tested at least once per week; and
    • Zone C, the outside world, requires employees to be diligent about COVID-19 safety practices.

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)

National Restaurant Association

  • April 13, 2020: The National Restaurant Association issues Coronavirus Tips for Restaurants, which includes Frequently Asked Questions that address:
    • COVID-19 transmission;
    • employee screening and refusal to work issues;
    • use of masks; and
    • cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

Related Federal Litigation

United Mine Workers of America Lawsuit to Force Mine Safety and Health Administration to Issue Emergency Temporary Standard

  • June 15, 2020: The United Mine Workers of America International Union files a petition to compel the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) within 30 days to protect miners from COVID-19. The petition argues that the MSHA's refusal to issue an ETS constitutes an "abuse of agency discretion so blatant and of such magnitude as to amount to a clear abdication of statutory responsibility." (In re: United Mine Workers of Am. Int'l Union et al., No. 20-1215 (D.C. Cir. June 15, 2020).)
  • July 16, 2020: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denies the United Mine Workers' petition to force the MSHA to issue an ETS, deferring to the MSHA's determination that its existing mandatory safety and health standards are sufficiently broad to allow it to require mine operators to take necessary steps to abate a variety of health hazards, including COVID-19 (In re: United Mine Workers of Am. Int'l Union et al. No. 20-1215 (D.C. Cir. July 16, 2020)).

AFL-CIO Lawsuit to Force OSHA to Issue Emergency Temporary Standard

  • May 18, 2020: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) files a petition to compel OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Infectious Diseases within 30 days. The petition argues that OSHA's refusal to issue an ETS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a "stunning act of agency nonfeasance" and "an abuse of discretion so blatant and of such magnitude as to amount to a clear abdication of statutory responsibility." (AFL-CIO v. OSHA (D.C. Cir. May 18, 2020).)
  • June 11, 2020: D.C. Circuit denies the AFL-CIO's petition to force OSHA to issue an ETS, holding that OSHA "reasonably determined" that an ETS was not necessary at this time and that such decision was entitled to "considerable deference." (In re AFL-CIO, (D.C. Cir. June 11, 2020)).

New York Attorney General Lawsuit Challenging Validity of DOL Temporary FFCRA Rule

  • August 3, 2020: Southern District of New York grants in large part the New York State Attorney General's motion for summary judgment, vacating certain provisions of the DOL's temporary FFCRA rule (State of N.Y. v. US Dep't of Labor, (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)). The court determined that the following provisions are inconsistent with the purpose of the FFCRA and are stricken from the temporary rule:
    • the work availability requirement (allowing employers to deny leave if they do not have work available for employees) as applied to three of the six enumerated grounds for leave;
    • the broad definition of "health care provider";
    • the requirement that an employee secure employer consent for intermittent leave; and
    • the requirement that employees provide documentation before taking leave.
  • April 14, 2020: The New York State Attorney General (AG) files a lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief in the Southern District of New York challenging the validity of certain provisions in the temporary rule (State of N.Y. v. US Dep't of Labor, 20 Civ. 3020, (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 14, 2020)). The AG filed a motion for summary judgment simultaneously with the complaint, contending that the temporary rule conflicts with the statutory language and Congressional purpose in enacting the FFCRA and:
    • is not in accordance with the law; and
    • violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because it exceeds the DOL's authority under the FFCRA.
    The lawsuit requests that the court sever and vacate the offending provisions, namely:
For information about state court lawsuits, see individual state entries under State Laws and Directives.
For a sample of other COVID-19 related litigation, see Mitigating Employer Reopening Liability Checklist: Recent COVID-19-Related Lawsuits.

State Laws and Directives

Many states have passed laws or issued executive orders and other directives in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis. Note that some state and local paid sick leave or paid family and medical leave laws already cover leave related to public health emergencies that may apply to leave necessitated by COVID-19. Laws that predate the pandemic declaration or provide for public health emergency leave more generically are not covered in this Note. For information about those laws, see Practice Notes, Paid Sick Leave State and Local Laws Chart: Overview and Paid Family and Medical Leave State and Local Laws Chart: Overview.
Given the number of state and local jurisdictions, and the pace of these developments, this may not be an exhaustive list of all developments, but we will continue to update and expand this list as more information becomes available.
For more information on state developments, see:

Alabama

  • December 9, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Twentieth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation extending the statewide mask order until January 22, 2021.
  • November 5, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Nineteenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation extending the statewide mask order until December 11, 2020.
  • September 30, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Eighteenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation extending the statewide mask order until November 8, 2020.
  • August 27, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Seventeenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation extending the statewide mask order until October 2, 2020.
  • July 29, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Fifteenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation extending the statewide mask order until August 31, 2020.
  • July 15, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Fourteenth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation which contains a statewide mask order requiring all individuals over the age of six to wear face coverings in all indoor public places, transportation services, and outdoor public spaces when within six feet of others.
  • July 8, 2020: Governor Ivey announces the Revive Alabama grant program, which will provide up to $15,000 to qualifying small businesses to reimburse expenses incurred due to business closures and interruptions. Business owners can apply through the Revive Alabama website between July 16 and July 25, 2020.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Ivey issues Thirteenth Supplemental State of Emergency, which:
    • allows nonprofit corporations to conduct remote meetings; and
    • extends the state of emergency until July 11, 2020.
  • July 1, 2020: Mobile Mayor William Stimpson issues face covering ordinance requiring all persons over the age of ten to wear face coverings in public places in the City of Mobile, except for outdoor activities where social distancing is maintained.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Ivey issues amended Safer at Home Order extending the prior order until July 31, 2020 and maintaining the current requirements for open businesses.
  • June 26, 2020: Jefferson County (Birmingham) Department of Health issues mandatory face covering order requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in:
    • indoor spaces of businesses or venues open to the general public;
    • transportation services available to the general public; and
    • outdoor areas open to the general public where ten or more people are gathered and unable to maintain six feet of distance.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Ivey issues amended Safer at Home Order allowing entertainment venues (including bowling alleys, arcades, theaters, museums, concert venues, and casinos) to reopen May 22, 2020, provided that they:
    • ensure social distancing between patrons;
    • limit capacity to 50%;
    • require employees to wear face coverings; and
    • regularly disinfect frequently used items.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Ivey signs Proclamation which protects businesses from civil liability for COVID-19 related deaths, injuries, or property damage unless it is established by clear and convincing evidence that the death, injury, or property damage resulted from wanton, reckless, willful, or intentional misconduct.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Ivey issues amended Safer at Home Order allowing restaurants, athletic facilities, and personal services providers to reopen May 11, 2020 and removing the 10-person limit on employee gatherings, provided that they:
    • facilitate remote working arrangements;
    • minimize employee travel;
    • regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces; and
    • maintain six feet of separation between employees.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Ivey approves Safer at Home Order allowing certain businesses to reopen beginning April 30, 2020 and requiring employers to:
    • facilitate remote working arrangements;
    • minimize employee travel;
    • regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces;
    • avoid gatherings of 10 or more employees; and
    • maintain six feet of separation between employees.
  • April 28, 2020: Birmingham City Council approves ordinance requiring all persons over the age of two to wear a face covering in public places. The ordinance requires employers to ensure that employees and visitors observe the requirement but does not require employers to provide them for employees.
  • March 16, 2020: Alabama Department of Labor offers unemployment benefits to workers affected by COVID-19. The Alabama Department of Labor modified its unemployment compensation rules to remove the one-week waiting period and the requirements that laid-off workers be able and available to work and must search for other work. Alabama employees may now file for unemployment benefits if they are:
    • quarantined by a medical professional or government agency;
    • laid off or sent home without pay by their employer for an extended period;
    • diagnosed with COVID-19; or
    • caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
For the latest Alabama information and resources on COVID-19, see Alabama Department of Labor, COVID-19 Resources.

Alaska

  • November 15, 2020: Governor Dunleavy issues Health Order No. 8 which provides guidance on intrastate travel, including:
    • permitting local communities to enact travel restrictions to minimize the spread of COVID-19; and
    • requires travelers on the Road System or the Alaska Marine Highway System for greater than 72 hours to be tested within 72 hours prior to travel and not commence travel until a negative test is received.
  • November 15, 2020: Governor Dunleavy issues Health Order No. 6 which requires all travelers arriving from outside of the state to:
    • either submit negative COVID-19 test results from a test taken within 72 hours of departure or pay $250 per test at the airport;
    • follow strict social distancing until test results are available;
    • for Alaska residents only, quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Alaska; and
    • for critical infrastructure workers, arrive with a letter from their employer providing details of the employee's travel plans and confirming that the employee is following the employer's Community Workforce Protective Plan on file with the state.
  • November 15, 2020: Governor Dunleavy issues Critical Infrastructure Guidance and Health Order No. 5 which, among other things:
  • August 20, 2020: Governor Dunleavy expands AK Cares Act Funding to include small businesses that:
    • have already received other federal assistance in excess of $5,000; and
    • are a source of secondary income.
  • July 20, 2020: City and Borough of Juneau enacts Ordinance 2020-41 requiring all persons age two and over to wear face coverings in indoor public settings or communal spaces outside the home.
  • June 26, 2020: Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issues proclamation requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor public settings or communal spaces outside the home.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Dunleavy announces Phase Three of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan allowing all businesses to reopen at 100% capacity on May 22, 2020. Phase Three includes general and detailed guidance, which encourages, but does not require, employers to:
    • provide opportunities for frequent hand washing;
    • maintain six foot distancing between non-family members;
    • encourage the use of face coverings;
    • screen for people who may be ill;
    • regularly clean the facility, paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces; and
    • provide special accommodations for those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor Dunleavy issues COVID-19 Health Mandate 018 requiring all businesses that have staff traveling between communities to file a protective plan with [email protected] outlining how the business will avoid the spread of COVID-19 and not endanger the lives and critical infrastructure in those communities.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Dunleavy issues guidance on Phase 2 of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan allowing additional businesses, including swimming pools, bars, theaters, bowling alleys, bingo halls, libraries, and museums, to reopen May 8, 2020. Such businesses must follow the updated guidance for each business type, which generally includes limiting capacity and implementing social distancing and sanitization measures.
  • April 22, 2020: Governor Dunleavy announces Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan, allowing certain businesses to reopen during Phase 1. The following businesses may resume operation April 24, 2020 provided they adhere to specific guidance for their business type, which generally requires employees and patrons to wear face coverings, thorough cleaning and sanitization measures, and limited capacity:
  • March 26, 2020: Governor Dunleavy signs bill expanding unemployment benefits. HB 308, which is retroactive from March 1, 2020, amends the state unemployment law by:
    • waiving the one-week waiting period;
    • waiving the requirement to actively seek work; and
    • increasing the weekly benefit for dependents from $24 to $75 per week.
For the latest Alaska information and resources on COVID-19, see Department of Labor and Workforce Development, COVID-19 Information.

Arizona

  • August 10, 2020: ADHS announces that the following paused businesses may reopen provided that they complete an attestation form and implement industry-specific public health recommendations:
  • July 23, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-52 extending Executive Order 2020-43 (closing bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks) for two weeks.
  • July 9, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-47 which requires all restaurants with indoor seating to operate at less than 50% capacity and ensure at least six feet of physical distance between tables.
  • June 29, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-43 which closes certain businesses until July 27, 2020, including:
    • bars;
    • indoor gyms and fitness centers;
    • indoor movie theaters; and
    • water parks and tubing operators.
  • June 19 – June 24, 2020: Cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Sedona, Scottsdale, and Yuma and Counties of Pima, Maricopa, Coconino, Santa Cruz, and Yuma enact policies requiring residents to wear face coverings in public.
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-40 permitting counties, cities, and towns to adopt policies that require face coverings to be worn in public.
  • May 12, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-36 rescinding the stay-at-home orders and requiring all businesses to implement policies to limit the spread of COVID-19 based on CDC, DOL, OSHA, and Arizona Department of Health Services guidance, including:
    • promoting healthy hygiene practices;
    • intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation practices;
    • monitoring for sickness;
    • ensuring physical distancing;
    • providing necessary protective equipment;
    • allowing for and encouraging telework where feasible;
    • providing plans, where possible, to return to work in phases; and
    • limiting the congregation of groups to no more than 10 persons when feasible.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-34 allowing the following businesses to resume operations, provided that they comply with guidance specific to each business type:
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services release additional guidelines for retail businesses to resume partial operations beginning May 4, 2020. The guidelines require such businesses to, among other things:
    • implement symptom screening for employees prior to the start of their shift;
    • consider offering face coverings to employees and visitors;
    • maintain physical distancing; and
    • implement comprehensive sanitization protocols.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Ducey issues Executive Order 2020-33 extending physical distancing measures pursuant to the Return Stronger plan to reopen Arizona. The order, effective until May 15, 2020, requires businesses that are currently open and those allowed to reopen in phases to, among other things:
    • promote remote working;
    • establish social distancing and sanitization measures; and
    • adjust operations to promote physical distancing, including limiting capacity and access to specific facilities.
  • April 8, 2020: Governor Ducey's office publishes guidance to assist workers in accessing unemployment benefits.
  • March 27, 2020: Governor Ducey signs bill to expand access to unemployment benefits. S.B. 1694, which is retroactive to March 10, 2020, waives the one-week waiting period and work search requirements and extends eligibility to employees who are:
    • out of work due to workplace closure;
    • directed to self-quarantine; and
    • caring for a family member.
  • March 25, 2020: Arizona Industrial Commission issues guidance about COVID-19 and paid sick leave. The guidance explains that employees may use their earned paid sick time under the state Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act if:
    • they or a family member contracts or must be tested for COVID-19;
    • their place of business has been closed by a public official's order due to COVID-19;
    • they must care for a child whose school has been closed by a public official's order due to COVID-19; or
    • they are quarantined or must care for a family member quarantined due to potential exposure to COVID-19.
    • waives the one-week period to apply for unemployment benefits;
    • waives work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits; and
    • extends eligibility to employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced, have been ordered to quarantine, or are caring for a family member with COVID-19.
For the latest Arizona information and resources on COVID-19, see Arizona Department of Administration, COVID-19.

Arkansas

  • November 19, 2020: Governor Hutchinson announces that all businesses licensed to sell and allow on-premises consumption of alcohol must close by 11pm beginning November 20, 2020 until January 3, 2021.
  • July 16, 2020: Governor Hutchinson signs Executive Order 20-43 requiring all persons age ten and over to wear face coverings in all indoor environments and outdoor settings where six feet of distance cannot be assured.
  • July 3, 2020: Governor Hutchinson signs Executive Order 20-41 allowing cities to implement ordinances that require face coverings.
  • June 25, 2020: Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. issues Declaration of Local Disaster Emergency 20-06 which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of 12 to wear face coverings when waiting in line for or inside public places or riding public transportation.
  • June 15, 2020: Governor Hutchinson issues three executive orders regarding business liability and workers' compensation benefits:
    • Executive Order 20-33, which provides immunity from civil liability to businesses and employees as a result of exposure to COVID-19;
    • Executive Order 20-34, which provides immunity from civil liability to health care providers; and
    • Executive Order 20-35, which considers COVID-19 an occupational disease for workers' compensation purposes, provided the employee can show a causal connection between employment and the disease.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health announce guidelines for personal services businesses to reopen on May 6, 2020, requiring them to, among other things:
    • provide services by scheduled appointment only;
    • screen clients and employees for symptoms prior to entry by questioning;
    • check employees' temperatures daily; and
    • require employees to wear a face covering at all times.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health announce guidelines for gyms and fitness centers to reopen on May 4, 2020, requiring them to:
    • require employees to wear masks at all times and patrons to wear face masks except when exercising;
    • screen employees and patrons for symptoms prior to entry by questioning;
    • check employees' temperatures daily with a digital thermometer; and
    • ensure at least 12 feet of distance between people when exercising.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Hutchinson announces that on May 11, 2020, restaurants may resume limited dine-in services, provided that they follow certain guidelines, including:
    • requiring employees who interact with patrons to wear a face mask;
    • requiring all employees to wear gloves and change them between each customer, customer group, and task;
    • conducting daily health screenings of all employees before entering the restaurant;
    • requiring customers to wear a face covering until their food or drink is served; and
    • limiting the number of customers to one-third of total capacity.
  • April 15, 2020: Governor Hutchinson announces additional pay for long-term services and supports (LTSS) direct-care workers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Arkansas's request to use Medicaid funds to temporarily increase the weekly income of eligible LTSS workers. Non-physician workers, including nurses, home health aides, assisted living workers, and respiratory therapists, will receive up to $250 per week in additional pay depending on the number of hours worked, and up to $500 per week if one of their clients tests positive for COVID-19.
  • March 17, 2020: Governor Asa Hutchinson directs the Arkansas Department of Commerce to expedite unemployment benefits for those whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19. This direction includes:
    • waiving the typical one-week waiting period and work-search requirements for 30 days; and
    • allowing the unemployed to apply for benefits online or by telephone.
For the latest Arkansas information and resources on COVID-19, see Arkansas Department of Health: COVID-19 Guidance for Employers.

California

  • December 21, 2020: San Francisco City and County Board of Supervisors extends the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance until February 11, 2021. The ordinance applies to employers with 500 or more employees worldwide and requires them to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of additional paid leave for specified COVID-19 related reasons.
  • December 16, 2020: San Francisco Department of Public Health issues Health Officer Order C19-17, which requires all persons who travel or return to San Francisco from outside of the Bay Area to quarantine for ten days upon arrival.
  • December 15, 2020: Sacramento County Board of Supervisors adopts ordinance extending the Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act of 2020 until March 31, 2021.
  • December 14, 2020: Governor Newsom signs Executive Order N-84-20, which:
    • allows migrant farm labor centers managed by the Department of Housing and Community Development to continue housing agricultural workers and their families beyond the statutory occupancy period;
    • suspends the requirement that migrant workers reside outside of a 50-mile radius from the migrant farm labor center for three of the preceding six months; and
    • provides a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes.
  • December 14, 2020: California Department of Health issues COVID-19 quarantine guidance, which states that asymptomatic close contacts of an infected person may discontinue quarantine:
    • after ten days from the date of last exposure with or without testing, provided that they continue to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing of at least six feet, and continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through day 14 after the last exposure; and
    • for essential critical infrastructure workers, after seven days from the date of last exposure if they have received a negative PCR test result from a specimen collected after day five.
  • December 8, 2020: San Mateo County Board of Supervisors passes Emergency Ordinance 20-930 extending the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance until June 30, 2021.
  • December 4 – 6, 2020: Bay Area Counties, including San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda, and the City of Berkeley issue stay-at-home orders in advance of ICU bed capacity falling below 15%.
  • December 3, 2020: California Department of Public Health issues Regional Stay at Home Order, which requires regions in the state where the adult ICU bed capacity is less than 15% to immediately:
    • close indoor recreational facilities, hair salons, barbershops, personal care services, museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, wineries, bars, breweries, family entertainment centers, and amusement parks;
    • limit retail businesses and shopping centers to 20% capacity; and
    • require critical infrastructure to comply with industry-specific guidance.
  • December 1, 2020: California Department of Industrial Relations provides webpage with resources regarding the Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations, which includes:
  • November 30, 2020: California approves the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (Cal OSHA) Board's Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations, which require employers to, among other things:
    • ensure that their COVID-19 Prevention Plans include certain procedures to identify and evaluate COVID-19 hazards, investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases, correct COVID-19 hazards, train employees regarding COVID-19 prevention and COVID-19 related benefits, separate employees by at least six feet, enforce the use of face coverings, keep records of and report COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and exclude exposed employees from the workplace until return-to-work requirements are met;
    • in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak (three or more COVID-19 cases at a workplace within 14 days), provide COVID-19 testing to all employees at the exposed workplace and notify the local health department within 48 hours of becoming aware of the outbreak;
    • in the event of a major COVID-19 outbreak (20 or more COVID-19 cases at a workplace within 30 days), provide COVID-19 testing at least twice per week to all employees at the exposed workplace, ensure that air is recirculated with MERV 13 or higher efficiency filters, determine whether to cease operations, and notify the local health department within 48 hours of becoming aware of the outbreak; and
    • comply with additional procedures if the employer provides housing and/or transportation.
  • November 24, 2020: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopts Ordinance 2020-0065U, which prohibits employers from discriminating or taking an adverse action against employees in retaliation for:
    • reporting or discussing noncompliance with county health officer orders or Title 11 of the Los Angeles County Code; or
    • belonging to a public health council, which educates employees regarding public health orders and assists employees in reporting health and safety violations.
  • November 16, 2020: Governor Newsom announces that 28 counties will move back to the most restrictive Tier 1 (Purple/Widespread), nine counties to Tier 2 (Red/Substantial), and two counties to Tier 3 (Orange/Moderate) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Counties in Tier 1 are required to, among other things:
    • cease all non-essential work and activities between 10pm and 5am, per the limited stay at home order;
    • restrict retail establishment capacity to 25%;
    • prohibit indoor activities at fitness centers, entertainment facilities, and movie theaters;
    • limit restaurant and wineries to outdoor service only;
    • close bars and breweries; and
    • require non-essential offices to work remotely.
  • November 16, 2020: Department of Health issues updated face covering guidance which requires all persons age two and over to wear face coverings at all times when outside of the home, unless they are:
    • in a car alone or with members of their own household;
    • working in an office or room alone;
    • actively eating or drinking and able to maintain at least six feet away from others; and
    • outdoors and within six feet of others.
  • November 12, 2020: Cal OSHA announces proposed temporary COVID-19 regulations to be reviewed and voted on by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on November 19, 2020. The proposed regulations will require all employers to, among other things:
    • establish, implement, and maintain a written COVID-19 Prevention Program that mirrors the state's Injury and Illness Prevention Program requirements;
    • notify all employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace within one business day;
    • implement recordkeeping procedures to track COVID-19 cases in the workplace and provide such records to the local health department, Department of Public Health, Cal OSHA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health upon request; and
    • provide face coverings to employees and ensure they are worn at all times when indoors and when outdoors and less than six feet away from others.
  • October 30, 2020: San Francisco Mayor London Breed announces that the majority of businesses and activities scheduled to reopen or expand capacity on November 3, 2020 will be paused, including:
    • reopening indoor pools, locker rooms, and showers at gyms;
    • reopening indoor family entertainment activities such as bowling alleys; and
    • expanding indoor dining, movie theater, museum, zoo, and aquarium capacity to 50%.
  • October 27, 2020: Cal OSHA issues COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction guidance which contains information to assist construction employers in updating their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs to include COVID-19 prevention at construction sites.
  • October 16, 2020: California Department of Public Health issues guidance on AB 685, which defines:
    • "COVID-19 outbreak" as at least three COVID-19 cases among workers at the same worksite within a 14-day period;
    • "infectious period" as two days before symptoms develop until ten days have passed since the symptoms first appeared and no fever for at least 24 hours or, in the case of a positive asymptomatic individual, ten days after collecting the specimen for the first positive test; and
    • "laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19" as a positive result on any viral test for COVID-19.
  • September 29, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom signs AB 2537 which requires public and private employers of employees in acute care hospitals to:
    • supply employees who provide direct patient care or personal care services with necessary personal protective equipment (PPE);
    • beginning April 1, 2021, maintain a three-month supply of specified PPE and provide an inventory of its stockpile and a copy of its written procedures to Cal/OSHA upon request; and
    • on or before January 15, 2021, report their highest seven-day consecutive daily average consumption of PPE during the 2019 calendar year to the Department of Industrial Relations.
  • September 28, 2020: Governor Newsom signs AB 2043 which requires Cal/OSHA to:
    • disseminate, in both English and Spanish, information on COVID-19 prevention best practices;
    • collaborate with community organizations to conduct a statewide outreach campaign targeting agricultural employees to educate them on COVID-19 related employment benefits to which they may be entitled; and
    • compile and report information on CAL/OSHA investigations related to COVID-19 in agricultural workplaces.
  • September 17, 2020: Governor Newsom signs AB 685 which, among other things:
    • requires employers to provide written notifications of a potential COVID-19 exposure to their employees within one business day;
    • requires employers to report information to a worksite's local public health agency if there is a COVID-19 outbreak (as defined);
    • authorizes Cal/OSHA to prohibit operations and entry into workplaces if it determines that it poses an imminent hazard to employees; and
    • authorizes Cal/OSHA to issue citations for serious violations without complying with notification and rebuttal procedures.
  • September 17, 2020: Governor Newsom signs SB 1159, which expands workers' compensation benefits by creating a rebuttable presumption from July 6, 2020 through January 1, 2023 that:
    • first responders and certain health care workers infected with COVID-19 contracted the virus during the course of their employment;
    • other employees infected with COVID-19 contracted the virus during the course of their employment if an "outbreak" (a certain percentage of the workforce tested positive within 14 days) occurred in the workplace.
  • September 8, 2020: San Diego City Council enacts COVID-19 Building Service and Hotel Worker Recall Ordinance, which is effective until January 1, 2021 and requires commercial property, hotel, and event center employers to:
    • offer all job positions that become available on or after September 8, 2020 to their employees who are qualified and were laid off on or after March 4, 2020;
    • offer these available positions to laid-off employees in the order of the greatest length of service in the position and then the greatest length of service with the employer at the worksite; and
    • allow them at least three business days in which to accept or decline the offer.
  • September 8, 2020: San Diego City Council enacts COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance, which applies to commercial property and hotel businesses that undergo a change of control and requires:
    • the incumbent business employer to provide the successor business employer with a list of eligible employees within 15 days of executing the transfer document;
    • the successor business employer to give hiring preference to the eligible employees on the list for six months and retain them for at least 90 days;
    • the successor employer to perform a written performance evaluation for each employee after the 90-day period and consider offering such employee continued employment if their performance is satisfactory.
  • September 8, 2020: Governor Newsom signs AB 1867 which, among other things:
    • requires all private employers with over 500 employees as well as employers that excluded their health care and emergency responder employees from FFCRA coverage to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental sick leave to employees who are unable to leave their home to perform work because they are subject to a quarantine order, advised to quarantine by a health care provider, or prohibited from working due to concerns related to COVID-19 transmission;
    • codifies and extends the mandates of Executive Order N-51-20 until December 31, 2020, which requires food sector employers to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave to employees who are subject to a quarantine order, advised to quarantine by a health care provider, or prohibited from working due to concerns related to COVID-19 transmission; and
    • requires food sector employers to permit their employees to wash their hands every 30 minutes and additionally as needed.
  • September 1, 2020: Sacramento County Board of Supervisors adopts Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act of 2020, which is effective October 1 through December 31, 2020. The Act applies to employers in the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County and requires:
    • employers to implement specified social distancing, mitigation, and cleaning protocols in their workplaces, and to provide and require employers to wear face coverings; and
    • employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave for specified COVID-19 related reasons.
  • August 18, 2020: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors enacts emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, effective August 18 through December 31, 2020, which requires employers with 500 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. Employers may offset the supplemental paid sick leave with the amount of paid sick leave currently accrued by employees. Eligible employees may use the supplemental paid sick leave if they cannot work because they are:
    • subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • caring for someone who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
    • caring for someone whose senior care or childcare provider is closed due to public health recommendation.
  • August 10, 2020: San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) clarifies the "Back to Work" Ordinance by publishing a website with model notices and an FAQ page. According to the FAQ:
    • covered employees are those who were employed at a San Francisco worksite for at least 90 days during the prior calendar year and laid off due to COVID-19 on or after February 25, 2020;
    • employers are required to provide notice to covered employees no later than September 6, 2020, including to those employees laid off between February 25 and July 3, 2020 (the effective date of the ordinance);
    • employers are required to make reemployment offers to laid-off workers in the order of seniority if the employer is hiring for the same or similar position;
    • employers must provide notice to OEWD of layoffs of ten or more employees within 30 days of when the layoffs begin;
    • employers are not required to offer reemployment to a laid-off worker if the worker engaged in dishonesty or a violation of law or employer policy, the worker executed a severance agreement with the employer due to a layoff prior to July 3, 2020, or the employer hired another person for the laid-off worker's position prior to July 3, 2020.
  • July 31, 2020: California Department of Public Health updates its COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening, which provides businesses with information and guidance to ensure the safety of workers and the public upon reopening. Among other things, the guidance requires employers to:
    • perform a detailed risk assessment and create a worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan;
    • train workers on limiting the spread of COVID-19;
    • set up individual control measures and screenings;
    • implement disinfection and physical distancing protocols;
    • establish universal face covering requirements; and
    • contact the local health department in any jurisdiction where a COVID-19 employee resides when there is an outbreak in the workplace.
  • July 22, 2020: San Francisco Department of Public Health issues Health Officer Order C19-12c which requires all persons in the City and County of San Francisco over the age of two to wear face coverings:
    • outside their residence if anyone else is within six feet;
    • outdoors where distances between people change frequently and often come to six feet or less;
    • in the workplace except when in a completely enclosed private space or isolated area;
    • in shared areas of buildings; and
    • when preparing food or other items for sale to non-household members.
  • July 21, 2020: Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issues COVID-19 infection prevention guidance for agricultural employers which requires such employers to, among other things:
    • provide training in a way that is readily understandable by all employees on the spread of COVID-19 and the importance of frequent hand-washing, using face coverings, coughing and sneezing etiquette, social distancing, staying home when symptomatic, etc.;
    • encourage sick workers to stay home by not punishing them for missing work and consider sick leave benefits to help prevent the spread among workers who might otherwise work out of economic necessity;
    • implement measures to ensure physical distancing such as limiting crew size, staggering break and lunch times, and providing additional seating and shade structures to physically distance themselves during break and lunch times; and
    • ensure bathrooms and hand-washing facilities are readily accessible at all times.
  • July 21, 2020: Oakland City Council passes Hospitality and Travel Worker Right to Recall Ordinance which requires certain hospitality businesses, including airport hospitality, event centers, hotels, and restaurants, to attempt to rehire laid-off workers before offering available positions to new employees. The ordinance requires such employers to send employment offers in writing (mail, email, and text message) and allow laid-off workers ten days to accept or deny such offers. Covered laid-off workers to be given priority include employees:
    • who worked at least six months in the 12 months preceding January 31, 2020; and
    • whose most recent separation from employment occurred after January 31, 2020 and was due to an economic, non-disciplinary reason.
  • July 20, 2020: California Department of Health issues guidance for hair salons and barbershops and other personal care services that can be performed outdoors in counties that have been on the Monitoring List for three consecutive days.
  • July 17, 2020: San Francisco Mayor London Breed signs Healthy Buildings Ordinance which requires operators of tourist hotels and large commercial office buildings to, among other things:
    • establish written cleaning standards that provide for cleaning and disinfecting high-contact areas multiple times daily;
    • provide training for all employees regarding the new standards and equipment;
    • provide COVID-19 testing for employees if recommended by the Department of Health at no cost to employees; and
    • not retaliate against employees for refusing to perform work that they believe poses a health risk.
  • July 13, 2020: California orders all counties to:
    • close indoor operations in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and cardrooms;
    • close indoor and outdoor operations in bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs; and
    • close other indoor operations at fitness centers, churches, protests, non-essential offices, personal care services, hair salons, barbershops and malls, if such counties have remained on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.
  • July 7, 2020: San Mateo County enacts emergency paid sick leave ordinance, which requires employers in unincorporated areas of the county with 500 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, up to a maximum of $511 per day or $5,110 total, to employees who are:
    • advised by a healthcare provider to isolate or self-quarantine or caring for someone who has been advised to isolate or self-quarantine;
    • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis or caring for someone who is;
    • caring for an individual subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order;
    • caring for an individual whose senior care provider or school or childcare provider is closed in response to a public health recommendation.
  • July 7, 2020: City of Santa Rosa enacts paid sick leave ordinance, which requires employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, up to a maximum of $511 per day or $5,110 total, to employees who are:
    • subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state, or local order, or advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • caring for someone quarantined or isolated, or otherwise unable to receive care due to COVID-19; or
    • caring for a minor child because their school or daycare is closed, or their childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
  • July 3, 2020: San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacts "Back to Work" emergency ordinance that creates a right to reemployment for eligible laid-off workers if their prior employees resume business operations and seek to hire staff. The ordinance remains in effect until September 2, 2020, applies to employers with 100 or more employees who conducted layoffs after the state of emergency was declared on February 25, 2020, and requires such employers to, among other things:
    • if a layoff has already occurred, provide written notice of reemployment to eligible employees within 30 days of July 3, 2020;
    • first seek to rehire the employee who previously held the open position, or a substantially similar position, before offering it to another individual;
    • not discriminate against eligible employees who are experiencing a Family Care Hardship due to the need to care for a child or other family member; and
    • make a good faith effort to reasonably accommodate eligible employees who are experiencing a Family Care Hardship.
  • July 1, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom announces that counties on the County Monitoring List must close indoor businesses such as restaurants, wineries, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, and museums for at least three weeks.
  • June 30, 2020: City of Sacramento passes Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act ordinance, which is effective July 15 through December 31, 2020 and requires:
    • employers to implement specified social distancing, mitigation, and cleaning protocols in their workplaces, and to provide and require employers to wear face coverings; and
    • employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave for specified COVID-19 related reasons.
  • June 28, 2020: Governor Newsom announces that counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more days must close bars through local health office order.
  • June 18, 2020: California Department of Public Health releases guidance requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in high-risk settings, including:
    • inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
    • obtaining services from the healthcare sector;
    • waiting for or riding public transportation or while in a taxi or car service;
    • engaged in work when interacting in-person with any member of the public;
    • engaged in work when working in any space visited by the public or where food is prepared or packaged for sale, in any common area, or in any room or enclosed area where physical distance cannot be maintained; and
    • outdoors in public spaces where maintaining six feet of distance is not feasible.
  • June 11, 2020: California Employment Development Department issues new COVID-19 FAQs stating that employees who refuse to return to work may be disqualified for unemployment benefits for refusal to accept "suitable work." According to the guidance, if employers comply with the state's requirements for reopening and all government safety regulations:
    • employees who refuse to return to work may be disqualified for unemployment benefits; and
    • high-risk employees who refuse to return to work may continue to be eligible unless their employer offers the ability to telework.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom signs Executive Order N-68-20, which extends the following deadlines by 60 days:
    • the period of time a Workers' Compensation judges must make and serve the findings, decision, order, or reward in a controversy;
    • the period of time a petition for reconsideration is deemed to have been denied by the Workers' Compensation Board; and
    • the period of time in which the Workers' Compensation Board must act on any decision submitted by a Workers' Compensation judge.
  • May 20, 2020: City of Oakland passes supplemental emergency paid sick leave ordinance which requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take time off work due to COVID-19. Employees may take paid sick leave if they are:
    • subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order or been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • caring for someone who is subject to a quarantine order or been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • caring for a child because the child's school or place of care has closed due to COVID-19; or
    • at least 65 years old or have a specified underlying health condition.
  • May 19, 2020: City of Long Beach passes COVID-19 paid supplemental sick leave ordinance which requires employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take time off work due to COVID-19. Employees may take paid sick leave if they are:
    • subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order or been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • caring for someone who is subject to a quarantine order or been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
    • caring for a child because the child's school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19 and the employee is unable to secure a reasonable alternative caregiver.
  • May 12, 2020: California Department of Public Health allows dine-in restaurants and shopping centers to reopen in certain counties that have been granted a variance to move into Stage 2 of the state reopening plan. Such businesses must adhere to their industry-specific guidance, both of which include:
    • establishing a written worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan and designating a person to implement the plan;
    • training employees on self-screening for symptoms, proper use of face coverings, and proper hygiene;
    • conducting temperature and/or symptom screenings for all employees at the start of each shift;
    • strongly recommending employees wear face coverings;
    • implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols; and
    • implementing measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between people.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom issues new industry guidance as the state moves into Stage 2 of reopening the state's economy, which allows lower-risk workplaces such as curbside retail and manufacturing businesses to reopen. The guidance includes industry-specific guidelines and checklists and requires all facilities reopening to:
    • perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan;
    • train employees on limiting the spread of COVID-19, including screening themselves for symptoms;
    • implement individual control measures and screenings;
    • implement disinfecting protocols; and
    • implement physical distancing guidelines.
  • May 7, 2020: California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issues guidance and a checklist for Logistics and Warehousing Facilities, which requires such businesses to, among other things:
    • establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan;
    • train employees on preventing the spread of COVID-19, self-screening at home, proper handwashing, and use of face coverings;
    • conduct temperature checks and/or symptom screenings for all employees at the beginning of their shifts;
    • implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols; and
    • implement measures to ensure physical distancing.
  • May 6, 2020: Governor Newsom issues Executive Order N-62-20 which creates a rebuttable presumption that any employee who contracts COVID-19 did so in the course of their employment for workers' compensation purposes, so long as:
    • the employee tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days after a day they performed services at their place of employment at the employer's direction;
    • the day the employee performed services at their place of employment was on or after March 19, 2020;
    • the employee's place of employment was not their home or residence; and
    • the diagnosis of COVID-19 was done by a physician with a license issued by the California Medical Board and the diagnosis was confirmed by further testing within 30 days.
  • April 29, 2020: County of Los Angeles passes COVID-19 Worker Protection Ordinance requiring employers with 500 or more employees working in unincorporated areas of LA County to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take time off work due to COVID-19. The ordinance does not apply to food sector workers who are eligible for paid sick leave under Executive Order N-51-20. Employees may take paid sick leave if they:
    • have been required or recommended to isolate or self-quarantine by a public health official or healthcare provider;
    • are at least 65 years old or have a specified underlying health condition; or
    • need to care for a family member subject to isolation or self-quarantine, or because their child care or senior care provider is closed.
  • April 29, 2020: Los Angeles City Council passes COVID-19 Right of Recall ordinance requiring covered employers, including airports, commercial properties, event centers, and hotels, to attempt to rehire laid-off workers before offering available positions to new employees. The ordinance becomes effective June 14, 2020 and states that employers shall send employment offers in writing (mail, email, and text message) and allow laid-off workers five days to accept or deny such offers. Covered laid-off workers to be given priority include employees who:
    • worked at least two hours per week in Los Angeles;
    • worked with the employer for at least six months;
    • was separated from active employment on or after March 4, 2020 due to economic, non-disciplinary reasons; and
    • held the same or similar position at the time of separation, or is or can be qualified for the position with the same training as a new worker.
  • April 29, 2020: Los Angeles City Council passes COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance requiring covered employers, including airports, commercial properties, event centers, and hotels, to retain certain workers when a change of ownership occurs within two years of the COVID-19 declaration emergency. The ordinance becomes effective June 14, 2020 and requires the new employer to, among other things:
    • hire employees from the old employer's list of workers for six months after opening to the public; and
    • retain each worker it hires for at least 90 days.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Newsom outlines four-phased plan to reopen California, which will begin with gradually reopening lower-risk workplaces such as retail with curbside pickup, manufacturing, and offices where telework is not possible.
  • April 23, 2020: County of Santa Cruz Health Officer issues order requiring all members of the public to wear face coverings when frequenting a business and all employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers of essential businesses to wear a face covering in the workplace or when working off-site whenever they are:
    • interacting with the public;
    • working in any space visited by the public;
    • working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution;
    • working or walking through common areas; or
    • in any room or enclosed area when other people are present.
  • April 17, 2020: San Francisco Mayor London Breed signs Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) requiring employers with 500 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid public health emergency leave to employees who perform work in San Francisco. The paid leave is in addition to any paid time off, including paid sick leave under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, that the employer offered or provided on or before April 17, 2020. The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards has published FAQs and a poster for employers to display. The PHELO was originally set to expire on June 16, 2020, but has been extended for an additional 61 days until August 16, 2020. Leave is available to employees who need to take time off due to COVID-19 because they are:
    • subject to a government quarantine or isolation order;
    • a member of a "vulnerable population" as defined in Order C19-05;
    • advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • caring for a family member who meets one of the above categories; or
    • caring for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed.
  • April 17, 2020: San Francisco issues Order of the Health Officer C19-12 requiring all members of the public to wear face coverings when inside or in line to enter any essential business. It also requires all essential businesses to:
    • require employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering at the workplace or when performing work off-site whenever they are interacting with any person, working in or walking through a public space, or working in any space where food is prepared or packaged; and
    • take reasonable measures to remind customers of the requirement to wear a face covering and prohibit anyone not wearing a face covering from entering.
  • April 16, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom issues Executive Order N-51-20 providing supplemental paid sick leave to food sector workers. The order applies to hiring entities with 500 or more employees nationwide and requires them to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave to food sector workers, with a maximum of $511 per day and $5,110 total. Eligible food sector workers include agriculture, food processing, grocery store, restaurant, and food delivery workers who are exempt from the statewide stay-at-home order and need to take time off because they are:
    • subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order;
    • advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate; or
    • prohibited from working by their hiring entity due to concerns of COVID-19 transmission.
  • April 11, 2020: Los Angeles publishes rules and regulations implementing COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.
  • April 10, 2020: Fresno City Manager issues Emergency Order 2020-13 (effective until May 6, 2020) requiring essential businesses to prepare, post, and implement a social distancing protocol in accordance with the order, which includes:
    • requiring employees to wear protective facial coverings;
    • limiting the number of people who can enter the facility; and
    • screening employees and visitors, but not customers, using the COVID-19 Non-Medical Employer Screening Tool.
  • April 10, 2020: Los Angeles County issues revised Safer at Home order (effective until May 15, 2020) requiring essential businesses to prepare, post, and implement a social distancing protocol in accordance with the order, which includes:
    • providing and requiring employees to wear face coverings if their duties require contact with other employees and/or the public;
    • limiting the number of people who may enter the facility; and
    • requiring members of the public to wear face coverings during their time in the facility.
  • April 9, 2020: Beverly Hills issues order requiring all persons, including essential workers, to wear face coverings when they leave their homes for any reason, even to take a walk in the neighborhood. A violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1,000, imprisonment, or both.
  • April 7, 2020: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issues Worker Protection Order that requires, among other things:
    • employees to wear face coverings while performing their work;
    • employers to provide non-medical grade face coverings for their employees;
    • employers to permit employees to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer at least every 30 minutes;
    • employers to implement social distancing measures to ensure a six-foot buffer between customers, visitors, and employees; and
    • customers and visitors of open businesses to wear face coverings.
  • April 7, 2020: The City of San Jose approves COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The ordinance, effective April 7, 2020 through December 31, 2020, applies to employers not covered by the FFCRA (i.e., having 500 or more or fewer than 50 employees). The ordinance requires employers to provide full-time employees with 80 hours of paid sick leave and part-time employees with sick leave equal to their average pay over a two-week period, with a cap of $511 per day and $5,110 total for both types of employees. Employees taking leave to care for a family member will receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, with a cap of $200 per day and $2,000 total. Employers that pay personal leave that is at least equivalent to that required under the ordinance are exempt. Employees are not entitled to carry over sick leave between years and are not entitled to be paid for unused sick leave. Employees can use paid sick leave if they are:
    • subject to or are caring for someone subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state or local order;
    • advised to self-quarantine or caring for someone who has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking medical diagnosis; or
    • caring for a minor child due to school or daycare closure.
  • April 7, 2020: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signs COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave ordinance. The signed ordinance modifies the version passed by the City Council and is effective April 7, 2020 until 2 weeks after the COVID-19 local emergency period expires. The ordinance applies to employers with 500 or more employees within Los Angeles or 2,000 or more employees within the US, and provides supplemental paid sick leave to employees who have been employed from February 3 to March 4, 2020, except emergency personnel, health care workers, and global parcel delivery employees. This leave can be waived by collective bargaining agreement, but only if the agreement currently addresses or is amended to address COVID-19 related sick leave. New businesses in Los Angeles, government agencies working in the course of their public service employment, and businesses that have either been shut down for 14 or more days or provided at least 14 days of leave are exempt. Full-time employees who work at least 40 hours per week will receive 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave and part-time employees will receive two weeks of their average pay, for a maximum amount of $511 per day and $5,110 total for both types of employees. Employers can reduce the amount of leave required under the ordinance by the amount of any COVID-19 leave they have already provided on or after March 4, 2020. Employees are entitled to supplemental paid sick leave if they take time off of work because they:
    • have been recommended by a public health official or health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine;
    • are at least 65 years old or has a health condition such as heart disease, asthma, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or weakened immune system;
    • need to care for a family member who is not sick but has been required or recommended to isolate or self-quarantine; or
    • need to care for a family member whose senior care provider or school or child care provider is closed due to a public health recommendation.
  • April 6, 2020: Riverside County Public Health Officer issues order requiring all persons, including essential workers, to wear face coverings in public. Failure to comply with the order is a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine, imprisonment, or both.
  • April 3, 2020: San Diego amends Health Office Order to require employees in contact with the public to wear cloth face coverings. The amendment applies to employees of grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other businesses that serve food.
  • March 31, 2020: Bay Area counties issue revised shelter-in-place orders. The counties of San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa, and the City of Berkeley significantly revised their current shelter-in-place orders and extended them until May 3, 2020. Besides revising the list of essential businesses, these orders require essential business employers to:
    • maximize the number of employees who work from home;
    • prepare, post, and implement social distancing protocols;
    • scale down their operations to the essential business component only; and
    • follow industry-specific guidance issued by the county public health officers.
  • March 24, 2020: San Francisco develops Paid Sick Leave Reimbursement Program. The Workers and Families First Paid Sick Leave Program will reimburse employers for paying an additional week of sick leave to their employees. All San Francisco employers with full- and part-time employees are eligible for reimbursement after exhausting their own sick leave policies and any sick leave available under state and federal policies. After April 1, 2020, employers with 200 to 499 employees must exhaust the additional 80 hours of paid sick leave required by the FFCRA before seeking reimbursement. The program reimburses employers for up to 40 hours at $15.59 per hour ($623) per employee and requires employers to pay the remaining cost if the employee's wage is above $15.59. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are only required to pay up to $30 per hour. Updated Office of Labor Standards Enforcement guidance allows employees affected by COVID-19 to use paid sick leave if:
    • public health officials or health care providers require or recommend isolation or quarantine;
    • the employee meets the definition of "vulnerable population";
    • the employee is out of work due to their employer temporarily ceasing operations in response to a public health official's recommendation;
    • the employee needs to provide care for a family member who has been required or recommended to isolate or quarantine; or
    • the employee needs to provide care for a family member whose school, child care provider, senior care provider or work is temporarily closed in response to a public health official's recommendation.
  • March 24, 2020: San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) updates paid sick leave guidance. During the period of the COVID-19 local health emergency, OLSE Rule 2.3 is suspended and employers are prohibited from requiring a doctor's note or other documentation for employees to use paid sick leave.
  • March 20, 2020: California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) issues COVID-19 guidance. The guidance answers many employment questions regarding COVID-19 including, among other things, the taking of employees' temperatures, the extent of information that can be revealed about employees exposed to the virus, and medical documentation required for leaves and accommodations.
  • March 17, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom signs Executive Order N-31-20, which relieves employers of some of the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requirements. The Executive Order applies for the duration of California's state of emergency. Employers that order a mass layoff, relocation, or termination at a covered establishment due to COVID-19 are no longer required to provide 60 days' notice to their employees as long as they:
    • provide written notice to their employees as soon as practicable;
    • state the basis for reducing the notice period; and
    • include this statement in the written notice: "If you have lost your job or been laid off temporarily, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI). More information on UI and other resources available for workers is available at labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019."
  • March 12, 2020: Governor Gavin Newsom issues Executive Order N-25-20, which allows the California Employment Development Department to waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits and disability insurance applicants who are unemployed and disabled due to COVID-19.
For more information on guidance from other California employment agencies, see Article, COVID-19 in the Workplace Under Major Federal and California Employment Laws.
For the latest California information and resources on COVID-19, see:

Colorado

  • December 23, 2020: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment issues Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion #6C which states that, pursuant to Section 405 of the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, employers are required to provide 80 more hours of paid sick leave for certain COVID-19 related absences beginning January 1, 2021, in addition to any paid sick leave provided in 2020.
  • December 8, 2020: Governor Jared Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 276 extending the face covering mandate of Executive Order D 2020 138 until January 7, 2021.
  • November 17, 2020: Governor Polis announces that counties in the red level must:
    • close indoor dining; and
    • limit gym capacity to 10% or 10 people per room.
  • November 9, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 245 extending the face covering mandate of Executive Order D 2020 138 until December 9, 2020.
  • October 11, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 219 extending the face covering mandate of Executive Order D 2020 138 until November 10, 2020.
  • September 12, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020-190 extending the face covering mandate of Executive Order D 2020 138 until October 12, 2020.
  • August 14, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 164 extending the face covering mandate of Executive Order D 2020 138 until September 13, 2020.
  • August 10, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 161 extending Executive Order D 2020 100, which expedites processing of unemployment claims, until September 9, 2020.
  • July 21, 2020: Denver Department of Public Health and Environment issues amended face covering order requiring all persons age three and over to wear a face covering when:
    • entering, inside, or moving within any Public Indoor Space as defined in Executive Order D 2020 138; and
    • while using or waiting to use the services of any taxi, bus, light rail, train, or other public transportation service.
  • July 16, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 138 which, among other things:
    • requires all persons over the age of ten to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces or while using public transportation;
    • prohibits owners or operators of public indoor spaces from providing service to any individual not wearing a face covering; and
    • requires owners or operators of public indoor spaces to post signs at entrances instructing individuals of the face covering requirement.
  • July 14, 2020: Governor Polis signs the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act which, among other things, extends the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act in the FFCRA to employers not covered by the FFCRA. Effective immediately through December 31, 2020, employers with 500 or more employees must provide up to 80 hours of sick leave to employees who need to take leave for specified COVID-19 related reasons. The Department of Labor Standards and Statistics provides more information regarding COVID-19 emergency leave in its Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion (INFO) #6A.
  • July 14, 2020: Governor Polis signs the Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law which prohibits employers from retaliating against any worker (including independent contractors) for:
    • voluntarily wearing their own personal protective equipment, such as masks, faceguards, or gloves, if it provides a higher level of protection than the employer-provided equipment;
    • raising reasonable concerns to any person regarding workplace violations of health and safety rules or a significant workplace threat to health or safety;
    • opposing any practice they reasonably believe is unlawful; or
    • making a charge or participating in an investigation as to any matter they reasonably believe to be unlawful.
  • July 12, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 133 extending Executive Order D 2020 100, which expedites unemployment benefits, until August 11, 2020.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 123 which closes bars unless they have taken steps to open as restaurants and allow access to served food at tables spaced at least six feet apart.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Polis signs two bills regarding financial relief for small businesses:
    • HB20-1413, which creates a loan program leveraged by private investment to assist small businesses with between 5 and 100 employees recover from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
    • SB20-222, which is financed by the state's CARES Act allocation and provides grants to small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
  • June 20, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 110 extending prior orders which require certain employees who interact with the public to wear face coverings, including employees of:
    • critical businesses;
    • mass transportation operations; and
    • government offices and facilities.
  • May 25, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020-079 allowing restaurants to open for in-person dining at the lesser of 50% capacity or a maximum of 50 people. The updated restaurant guidance requires employers to, among other things:
    • implement employee symptom monitoring protocols (including temperature checks and symptom screening questions);
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • provide training to employees on maintaining six foot distancing;
    • require employees to wear gloves or wash their hands frequently; and
    • implement increased cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • May 2, 2020: Boulder County issues public health order, effective May 9 through May 26, 2020, requiring all persons over age 12 to wear face coverings in public where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • May 1, 2020: Denver Department of Public Health & Environment issues public health order, effective May 6, 2020, requiring:
    • all members of the public over the age of three to wear a face covering when inside or in line to enter a business, obtaining healthcare services, and riding public transportation;
    • all retail and commercial businesses to require employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering at the workplace and when off-site if they are interacting with the public or working in any space visited by the public or where food is prepared or packaged for sale.
    • NOTE: this order was superseded by the July 21, 2020 face covering order.
  • April 27, 2020: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment publishes Safer at Home Guidance by Sector, providing general business guidelines and industry-specific guidelines regarding reopening dates and restrictions.
  • April 26, 2020: Pursuant to Executive Order D 2020 044, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment issues Public Health Order 20-28 allowing non-critical retail, non-critical office-based businesses, personal services, and limited healthcare settings to reopen, provided they, among other things:
    • deputize a workplace coordinator charged with addressing COVID-19 issues;
    • implement employee symptom screenings, including daily temperature checks, and exclude all employees until they are fever-free for 72 hours and seven days have passed since their first symptom.
    • maintain six-foot separations between employees and discourage shared spaces;
    • avoid gatherings (meetings, waiting rooms, etc.) of more than 10 people;
    • provide work accommodations for vulnerable individuals, such as those who are over 65 years old or have a health condition;
    • encourage and enable remote work whenever possible;
    • phase shifts and breaks to reduce density; and
    • provide appropriate protective gear such as gloves, masks, and face coverings.
  • April 26, 2020: Governor Jared Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 044 which allows certain businesses to reopen with restrictions and directs:
    • employers to accommodate workers with childcare responsibilities and those who live with a vulnerable person to the greatest extent possible by promoting remote work options and flexible schedules;
    • employers to provide reasonable accommodation for and refrain from discriminating against employees with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in contact with someone positive for COVID-19;
    • the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to issue temporary emergency rules to amend the Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules to cover individuals returning to work and to extend paid sick leave coverage to up to two-thirds pay for 14 days if a worker has tested positive for COVID-19, has COVID-19 symptoms, or has been directed to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19; and
    • the CDLE to issue temporary emergency rules to ensure that workers, particularly vulnerable workers such as those 65 or older or who have health conditions, are not in danger of losing unemployment insurance eligibility for refusing to return to work due to unsafe working conditions related to COVID-19.
  • April 17, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order 2020-39 requiring all employees of critical government functions and critical businesses, including critical retail, manufacturing, and infrastructure businesses, to:
    • wear face coverings while working; and
    • to the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers and goods.
  • April 10, 2020: Routt County issues Public Health Order 2020-03 mandating certain business mitigation plans. The order is in effect until May 10, 2020 unless extended, and failure to comply may result in a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 18 months. The order requires employers to, among other things:
    • have employees self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms every day, including checking their temperature, and maintain a record that such screen was completed. Employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms must be excluded from work;
    • require employees and customers to cover their nose and mouth with face coverings;
    • require employees using vehicles transporting more than one employee to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the vehicle, cover their nose and mouth with a cloth face covering while in the vehicle, and keep the windows open and or ventilation increased; and
    • limit employee travel in and out of the county as much as possible.
  • April 7, 2020: Glenwood Springs issues Public Health Order No. 2 requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings when entering and while inside a place open to the public. Failure to comply with the order could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and 364 days imprisonment per day for each violation.
  • April 6, 2020: Governor Jared Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 031 extending Executive Order D 2020 012 (which expedites unemployment benefits) until April 30, 2020.
  • March 26, 2020: Colorado Department of Health revises Health Emergency Leave With Pay (Colorado HELP) rules. The HELP amendments now provide four days of paid sick leave for employees:
    • of retail establishments that sell groceries; and
    • who are instructed to quarantine or isolate by a health care provider, even if not being tested.
  • March 20, 2020: Governor Polis issues Executive Order D 2020 012 directing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to expedite unemployment benefits. The directive ensures that employees out of work due to COVID-19 begin receiving benefits within ten days of filing and waives the waiting period and work search requirements. The order expires April 19, 2020 unless extended by Executive Order.
  • March 16, 2020: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment offers unemployment insurance benefits to employees whose employers have closed or reduced their hours to stop the spread of COVID-19. These benefits are available to:
    • laid-off employees;
    • part-time employees who have been reduced to zero hours for the next 30 days;
    • employees of ski resorts that have closed for one week; and
    • full-time entertainment venue employees whose hours have been reduced to fewer than 32 hours per week.
  • March 11, 2020: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Adopts Health Emergency Leave with Pay (Colorado HELP) Rules. This emergency temporary rule requires employers in the leisure and hospitality, food services, child care, education, home health, nursing home, and community living facility sectors to immediately provide up to four days of paid (at their regular rate) sick leave for employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for COVID-19. This rule remains in effect for 30 days or longer if the state of emergency continues.
For the latest Colorado information and resources on COVID-19, see Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: COVID-19.

Connecticut

  • October 13, 2020: Governor Lamont issues Executive Order 9G which allows municipal executives to revert to the more restrictive Phase 2 rules for businesses and gatherings if their towns are presenting a high COVID-19 infection rate.
  • October 8, 2020: Connecticut enters Phase 3 of reopening, which allows:
    • restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barber shops, and libraries to increase to 75% capacity;
    • outdoor event venues to increase to 50% capacity; and
    • indoor performing arts venues to open at 50% capacity.
  • September 16, 2020: Governor Lamont issues Executive Order 9C which amends the state travel advisory by:
    • not requiring travelers from affected states to self-quarantine for 14 days if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival or at any time following their arrival in Connecticut; and
    • requiring all travelers to complete a Travel Health Form providing information regarding their travel and quarantine no later than the day they arrive in Connecticut.
  • September 15, 2020: Governor Lamont issues Executive Order 9B which, among other things, authorizes fines to be issued to:
    • any person who fails to wear a face covering in a public place as required by Executive Order 7NNN; and
    • a business entity for any employee's failure to wear a required face covering at work; and
    • any person or business entity who organizes, hosts, or sponsors a gathering that violates the gathering size restrictions in Executive Orders 7ZZ and 7NNN.
  • September 8, 2020: Governor Lamont issues Executive Order 9A which reissues and extends all prior Executive Orders until November 9, 2020.
  • August 14, 2020: Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz signs Executive Order 7NNN modifying the face covering mandate to require all persons age two and over to wear face coverings:
    • in public places, whether indoor or outdoor, when they are not maintaining six feet of distance from others;
    • when riding public transportation or within any semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area; and
    • if they refuse to wear a face covering, provide medical documentation stating that they qualify for an exemption.
  • July 24, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7JJJ which, among other things, creates a rebuttable presumption that an employee diagnosed with COVID-19 contracted the virus during the course of employment for workers' compensation purposes.
  • July 21, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7III strengthening the travel advisory and requiring out-of-state travelers to complete a travel form upon entry into Connecticut stating their name, date of birth, state of origin, estimated length of stay and location while in Connecticut, as well as contact information.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Lamont announces travel advisory requiring individuals traveling from certain states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Connecticut. The advisory exempts critical infrastructure workers when such travel is work-related and state, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business.
  • June 16, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7ZZ which allows the following businesses to reopen on June 17, 2020, provided they comply with industry-specific guidance:
  • June 1, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7UU which modifies the unemployment statute regarding the determination of suitable work for claims submitted between May 17 and July 25, 2020. The modification requires the Administrator to find work unsuitable for an individual if it poses an unreasonable risk to the individual's health or, due to COVID-19, to the health of a member of the individual's household.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7TT allowing barber shops and hair salons to reopen June 1, 2020, provided that they, among other things:
    • stagger shift start/stop times;
    • maintain a log of all employees on premises to support contract tracing;
    • provide and require all employees to wear face shields and a face covering;
    • rearrange workstations to maintain at least six feet of distance between customers; and
    • require customers to bring and wear face coverings.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Lamont signs Executive Order 7PP which allows the following businesses to reopen in Phase 1 beginning May 20, 2020, provided they complete the DECD self-certification follow industry-specific guidance:
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Lamont announces distribution of infrared thermometers to eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship. Such entities can request thermometers by filling out online forms.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Lamont issues guidance for dentist offices that expand operations beyond emergency care, which requires such employers to, among other things:
    • assign a clinician to serve as the program administrator to ensure compliance with health and safety objectives;
    • ensure at least a 2-week supply of personal protective equipment prior to expanding operations and provide such equipment free of charge to employees;
    • maintain a daily log of employees on the premises, the clients they interact with, and documented temperature screenings and surveys;
    • not retaliate against workers for raising concerns about COVID-related or other safety and health conditions; and
    • install visual social distancing markers.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Lamont announces four-phased plan to reopen the state economy. Beginning May 20, 2020, restaurants (outdoor dining only), retail businesses, offices, and hair and nail salons may open provided that they self-certify that they commit to following business-specific guidance, which includes, among other things:
    • thoroughly cleaning the workplace;
    • appointing a program administrator to ensure rule implementation;
    • providing and requiring all employees to wear face coverings in all common areas;
    • screening employees prior to beginning work;
    • developing a cleaning and disinfecting checklist and training all employees on cleaning procedures;
    • maintaining a log of all employees on the premises to aid with contact tracing; and
    • not discriminating against employees who report COVID-19 related safety or health concerns.
  • April 17, 2020: Governor Lamont issues Executive Order 7BB requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in public places where social distancing cannot be maintained or when using any public transportation service.
  • April 16, 2020: Mayors of Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hamden issue emergency orders requiring employers in essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and big-box stores, restaurants, hotels, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and liquor/package stores, to provide and require employees to wear face coverings while performing their work. Employees must wash reusable face coverings at least once a day and properly discard single-use masks. Customers are also required to wear face coverings to enter such businesses and businesses are directed to refuse admission to any individual not wearing a face covering.
  • April 8, 2020: Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) allows 90-day extension for employers to complete the state mandatory sexual harassment prevention training. Employers who have hired employees after October 1, 2019 can request an extension by emailing the CHRO and explaining that they were unable to complete the training requirement due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • April 3, 2020: Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development issues Essential Safe Store Rules which requires retail employers to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • require customers to wear face coverings while inside the facility; and
    • limit capacity to 50% of store capacity.
  • March 13, 2020: Connecticut Department of Labor issues COVID-19 guidance. The Connecticut Department of Labor published an FAQ guide regarding several employment-related issues, including:
    • unemployment insurance. Employees still must meet the eligibility standards and be able and available for work. Thus, employees who are sick or caring for an ill family member can apply for benefits, but cannot collect them unless they are able to return to work. Employees who are not sick but are out of work due to an employer's closure or required quarantine may collect unemployment benefits;
    • employer layoff alternative. The guidance encourages employers to participate in the SharedWork program, which allows them to reduce their full-time employees' hours by as much as 60 percent while the employees collect partial unemployment benefits;
    • paid sick leave. Employers with 50 or more employees are covered by the Paid Sick Leave law, which may cover certain absences caused by COVID-19 and provide up to 40 hours of paid leave;
    • wage and hour issues. Employers that shut down operations temporarily must pay exempt employees their full weekly salary if they worked any portion of that week. If the business remains open, employers may deduct exempt employees' pay in full-day increments for each day they do not report for work. Nonexempt employees are not entitled to compensation for any time during which they do not work; and
    • family and medical leave. Employers with 75 or more employees in Connecticut are covered by the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and are required to provide unpaid, job-protected leave due to an employee's own or a family member's serious health condition. The guidance indicates that the FMLA only provides job protection if a health care provider substantiates a serious health condition. Thus, an employee who takes leave to monitor a family member who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but shows no symptoms would not be entitled to job protection because that family member does not have a serious health condition.
For the latest Connecticut information and resources on COVID-19, see Connecticut COVID-19 Response and Connecticut Department of Labor, COVID-19 FAQs.

Delaware

  • September 3, 2020: Governor Carney issues twenty-seventh modification of the state declaration of emergency, requiring all individuals age two and over to wear face coverings while visiting a business or an indoor or outdoor space open to the public.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Carney signs twenty-third modification of the state declaration of emergency, which closes bars in eastern Sussex County effective July 3, 2020 except for drink service at tables spaced at least six feet apart.
  • June 25, 2020: Governor Carney announces delay in moving to Phase 3, which was set to begin June 29, 2020.
  • June 19, 2020: Governor Carney signs twenty-second modification of the state declaration of emergency allowing personal care services to expand operations to 60% occupancy.
  • June 14, 2020: Governor Carney signs twenty-first modification of the state declaration of emergency, allowing Phase 2 businesses to reopen on June 15, 2020, provided that they, among other things:
    • require all employees and patrons to wear face coverings;
    • ensure social distancing of at least six feet;
    • post signs on proper hygiene and how to stop the spread of COVID-19;
    • disinfect all high-touch surfaces every 15 minutes to two hours; and
    • encourage telework as much as possible.
  • June 2, 2020: Governor Carney announces Phase 2 of the state reopening plan to begin June 15, 2020, which allows the following businesses to reopen or expand operations, provided that they continue requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings:
    • businesses currently open at 30% capacity (including retail establishments and restaurants) to expand to 60% capacity;
    • personal care services, including hair care, tanning, tattoo parlors, and massage therapy services to reopen at 30% capacity; and
    • exercise facilities to reopen at 30% capacity.
  • May 31, 2020: Governor Carney issues twentieth modification of the state declaration of emergency allowing businesses to begin Phase 1 reopening on June 1, 2020. The modification removes the maximum store occupancy restrictions and requires businesses to, among other things:
    • require employees, patrons, and visitors to wear face coverings at all times;
    • ensure social distancing of at least six feet between waiting patrons in line;
    • disinfect all high-touch surfaces every 15 minutes to two hours;
    • make hand sanitizer or handwashing stations readily available for all employees, patrons, and visitors; and
    • implement flexible and non-punitive sick leave policies.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Carney announces additional steps allowing retail establishments and restaurants to expand operations. Under the interim steps:
    • retail establishments may operate by appointment only beginning May 20, 2020; and
    • restaurants, bars, taprooms, and breweries may apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to begin June 1, 2020.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Carney announces Phase 1 of reopening to begin June 1, 2020, with details to be released next week, and extends state of emergency until May 31, 2020.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Carney announces interim steps allowing certain businesses to resume operations beginning May 8, 2020, including:
    • small business retailers for curbside pickup only, if social distance is maintained;
    • hair care services for essential business workers only, if certain restrictions (masks, gloves, symptom screening) are implemented; and
    • jewelry stores by appointment only.
  • April 25, 2020: Governor Carney issues thirteenth modification of the state declaration of emergency requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in public and, effective May 1, 2020, all businesses, including restaurants, to:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • provide hand sanitizer for employees;
    • decline entry to any individual who is not wearing a face mask unless they provide medical documentation stating they cannot wear one due to a medical condition.
  • April 17, 2020: Delaware Department of Labor releases guidelines on the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to eligible workers.
  • April 16, 2020: Delaware Department of Labor releases guidance for independent contractors and self-employed individuals regarding applying for unemployment benefits.
  • March 18, 2020: Delaware Governor announces Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) and expands unemployment benefits for workers. Governor John Carney announced a program to provide no-interest loans of up to $10,000 per month to hospitality-related businesses such as restaurants, bars, and hotels to be used for rent, utilities, and other unavoidable bills. Governor Carney also expanded the unemployment benefits program for the hospitality industry to:
    • allow employees to earn part-time income while collecting unemployment benefits as long as they can demonstrate decreased hours and earnings; and
    • not classify tipped employees as minimum wage earners as long as their tips are reported as wages.
  • March 17, 2020: Delaware Department of Labor expands unemployment benefits to workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Honorable Cerron Cade, Delaware Secretary of Labor, issued new guidelines to allow greater access to unemployment benefits for workers whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19. Under the guidelines, employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if:
    • their employer curtails or shuts down operations because of COVID-19;
    • they have been ordered by a medical doctor to self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19;
    • they have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave to care for children due to school closure or to care for a loved one who has contracted COVID-19; or
    • they have fallen ill to COVID-19 and are unable to work.
For the latest Delaware information and resources on COVID-19, see Delaware Department of Labor, COVID-19 Response Center.

District of Columbia

  • December 18, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser issues Mayor's Order 20-127 which, effective December 23, 2020 through January 15, 2021, requires:
    • restaurants to cease indoor dining;
    • non-essential businesses to require employees to telework except for staff needed for minimum business operations;
    • retail food sellers to make plans for safe social distancing; and
    • museums and libraries to close.
  • November 16, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser signs Protecting Businesses and Workers from COVID-19 Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-483) which, among other things:
    • prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees who test positive for COVID-19, were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need to quarantine, are sick and waiting to be tested, or are caring for someone with COVID-19 symptoms; and
    • requires employers to adopt and implement social distancing and worker protection policies that adhere to Mayor's Order 2020-080.
  • October 9, 2020: The Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-130) becomes effective which, among other things:
    • requires employers with 50-499 employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid public health emergency leave to employees who are unable to work due to specified COVID-19 related reasons;
    • requires employers of all sizes to provide up to 16 weeks of unpaid COVID-19 leave to employees who have worked at least 30 days if they are unable to work for specified COVID-19 related reasons;
    • extends unemployment benefits to employees who are self-employed, seeking part-time work, or do not have sufficient work history, as well as to employees who are isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19; and
    • expands shared work plan arrangements.
  • August 25, 2020: D.C. Office of Human Rights posts updated COVID-19 Leave notice, which notes that the temporary COVID-19 leave under the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act has been extended through October 9, 2020. COVID-19 leave entitles employees who have worked for an employer of any size for at least 30 days to take up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave if they:
    • have received a health care provider's recommendation to self-quarantine or isolate, including because they or a household member are at a high risk for serious illness for COVID-19;
    • are caring for a family member who is under a government order or health care provider's recommendation to quarantine; or
    • need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable.
  • August 13, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser signs Protecting Businesses and Workers from COVID-19 Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-384), which requires employers to, among other things:
    • immediately adopt and implement social distancing and other worker protection policies to prevent the transmission of COVID-19;
    • not disclose the identity of an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 except to the Department of Health or another District or federal agency;
    • refrain from taking an adverse employment action against an employee for their refusal to serve a customer or work within six feet of an individual who is not complying with the workplace protections; and
    • refrain from taking an adverse employment action against an employee because they tested positive for COVID-19, were exposed to someone with COVID-19, are sick and waiting for a COVID-19 test result, or are caring for someone with COVID-19 or who is quarantined.
  • July 24, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser issues Mayor's Order 2020-081 which requires all persons returning to or arriving in Washington, D.C. from high-risk areas to quarantine for 14 days.
  • July 22, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser issues Mayor's Order 2020-080 which requires:
    • all persons over the age of two to wear masks in all indoor places open to the public and whenever they leave their home and are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a fleeting time;
    • businesses, office buildings, and other public establishments to post signs stating the mask requirement and exclude persons who are not wearing masks; and
    • employers to provide masks to their employees.
  • June 19, 2020: D.C. Mayor Bowser announces that Phase Two will begin June 22, 2020, which allows the following businesses to reopen, provided they comply with industry-specific guidance:
    • indoor retail shopping at 50% capacity;
    • tanning, tattoo, waxing, skin services, and nail salons;
    • museums and zoos;
    • libraries at 50% capacity;
    • indoor restaurant dining at 50% capacity;
    • gyms and fitness centers at limited capacity; and
    • recreational facilities such as bowling alleys and skating rinks at 50% capacity.
  • May 29, 2020: D.C. Mayor announces that restaurants can apply to use expanded sidewalk space, alleys, parking lanes, and travel lanes for outdoor table seating. Retail businesses may also apply for additional space for curbside pickup and delivery.
  • May 27, 2020: D.C. Mayor issues Order 2020-067 allowing Phase One of the Reopen DC plan to begin May 29, 2020. During Phase One, the following businesses may open by following business-specific recommendations:
  • May 13, 2020: D.C. Mayor issues Order 2020-066 which:
    • extends the stay-at-home order through June 8, 2020; and
    • requires all persons over the age of nine to wear face coverings when in the presence of others in a business and when traveling and social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • April 23, 2020: D.C. Mayor announces ReOpen DC plan, a three-phased approach to reopen the district's economy.
  • April 15, 2020: D.C. Mayor issues Order 2020-063, which:
    • extends the business closure order until May 15, 2020; and
    • requires employees of food sellers, hotels, taxis, ride-sharing companies, and public transportation to wear cloth or surgical masks and gloves.
  • April 10, 2020: D.C. Council passes COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which provides paid sick leave and expanded unemployment benefits to D.C. workers (D.C. Code § 32-531.02a, as amended by B23-0757 on May 27, 2020 and D.C. Act 23-332 on July 7, 2020). Among other things, the bill:
    • requires employers with 50-499 employees (except health care providers) to provide emergency paid leave sufficient to cover up to two full weeks (80 hours) of work to employees who take leave for any of the approved FFCRA reasons;
    • per the May 27, 2020 amendments, requires employees to use emergency paid leave concurrently with or after exhausting any other paid leave under federal or D.C. law or an employer's policies;
    • per the May 27, 2020 amendments, allows employers to reduce employees' monetary benefits or number of hours of emergency leave by the amount provided under federal or D.C. law or the employer's policies;
    • per the July 7, 2020 amendments, requires employers of any size to allow employees to take up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave if they or a family member they are caring for have received a health care provider recommendation to self-quarantine or they need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed; and
    • modifies the definition of "employment" for unemployment purposes so that self-employed workers, those seeking part-time work, and others who otherwise would not qualify may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits during the period of public health emergency.
  • April 8, 2020: D.C. Mayor issues Executive Order 2020-058 requiring all food sellers to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear masks and gloves;
    • require customers to wear masks to enter the facility;
    • check employees for symptoms prior to beginning their shift and exclude employees with cold or flu-like symptoms;
    • require employees to notify the person in charge immediately if they or someone in their household is diagnosed with COVID-19; and
    • require employees with a confirmed COVID-19 positive test to provide written documentation from a health care professional stating they are approved to return to work.
  • March 17, 2020: D.C. Council passes Emergency COVID-19 Response Bill. The District of Columbia passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which adds "declaration-of-emergency" (DOE) leave to the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to take leave during a public health emergency. Unlike other sections of the D.C. FMLA, DOE leave applies to all employers, regardless of employer size. Employees are eligible for DOE leave if they have been recommended to self-quarantine by the Mayor, Department of Health, any other D.C. or federal agency, or a medical professional. The bill also extends unemployment benefits to employees who are out of work, without requiring them to search for other work, because:
    • they have been quarantined or isolated by the Department of Health or any other applicable District or federal agency;
    • they have self-quarantined or self-isolated in a manner consistent with recommendations of the Department of Health, any other applicable District or federal agency, or a medical professional; or
    • their employer has ceased or reduced operations due to an order or guidance from the Mayor or the Department of Health, or due to reduced business revenue related to the public health emergency.
For the latest District of Columbia information and resources on COVID-19, see District of Columbia, Coronavirus.

Florida

  • September 25, 2020: Governor DeSantis issues Executive Order 20-244 moving the state into Phase 3 and stating that:
    • no COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or operating a business;
    • restaurants cannot be limited by any COVID-19 emergency order to less than 50% of indoor capacity; and
    • any COVID-19 emergency order limiting restaurants to less than 100% of indoor capacity must both quantify the economic impact of each limitation on restaurants and explain why the limitation is necessary for public health.
  • July 27, 2020: Manatee County Board of Commissioners issues Resolution R-20-116 which requires all persons age six and over to wear face coverings in all business establishments when unable to maintain at least six feet of distance.
  • June 2020: Cities of Tampa, Miami, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Jacksonville, and Pensacola and Counties of Broward, Hillsborough, Leon, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Seminole issue orders requiring face coverings in public places.
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Ron Desantis issues Executive Order 20-139 regarding Phase 2 of reopening to begin June 5, 2020, which allows the following businesses to reopen with appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures:
    • restaurants, bars, movie theaters, auditoriums, concert venues, bowling alleys, and arcades to operate at 50% capacity; and
    • personal services, including tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture, tanning, and massage.
  • May 9, 2020: Governor Desantis issues Executive Order 20-120 allowing barbershops and hair salons to reopen May 11, 2020 provided they comply with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation guidelines, which include:
    • requiring employees to wear masks;
    • providing services by appointment only; and
    • allowing 15 minutes between appointments to properly disinfect.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Desantis issues three-phased plan for Florida's recovery, which allows restaurants, gyms, personal services, and retail businesses to reopen with limited capacity beginning May 4, 2020. The plan includes specific guidelines for each business type.
  • April 16, 2020: Governor DeSantis issues Executive Order 20-104 suspending the biweekly reporting requirements for unemployment claimants until May 8, 2020.
  • April 8, 2020: The City of Miami issues Executive Order 20-07 mandating that all employees and customers in grocery stores, restaurants, retail food facilities, food delivery services, pharmacies, convenience stores, and construction sites to wear masks at all times while on the premises.
For the latest Florida information and resources on COVID-19, see Florida COVID-19 Response, Businesses and Employers.

Georgia

  • December 21, 2021: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issues Executive Order requiring all persons age ten and over to wear a mask in indoor public places, including private businesses and establishments.
  • November 9, 2021: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms lifts city-wide face covering requirement except for city-operated facilities.
  • September 20, 2021: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms issues Executive Order 2021-114, which requires all individuals age ten and over to wear face coverings in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.
  • June 22, 2021: Governor Brian Kemp issues final executive order, which will end the COVID-19 state of emergency on July 1, 2021.
  • May 25, 2021: Governor Kemp issues executive order, which prohibits:
    • state agencies from implementing a Vaccine Passport Program or requiring individuals to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entering or conducting business with a state agency or receiving state services;
    • Vaccine Passport Programs to enter the state of Georgia;
    • state agencies from affording employment-related privileges, accommodations, or circumstances of employment based solely on COVID-19 vaccination status;
    • private employers from accessing or using any COVID-19 vaccination data held by the state for the purpose of a Vaccination Passport Program or to determine an individual's vaccination status; and
    • the sharing of data from the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services with any public or private entity for the purpose of a Vaccine Passport Program or to determine an individual's vaccination status.
  • March 12, 2021: Governor Kemp issues executive order which, effective March 16 through March 31, 2021:
    • lessens the restrictions on bars, so that they must comply with the same restrictions as restaurants; and
    • streamlines suggestions and requirements for critical infrastructure and non-critical infrastructure organizations to remove unnecessary requirements.
  • December 8, 2020: Governor Kemp issues executive order which, effective December 16 through December 31, 2020, requires all businesses, including critical infrastructure, to implement mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as:
    • teleworking for all possible workers;
    • delivering intangible services remotely;
    • prohibiting gatherings of workers during working hours;
    • screening workers who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and requiring such workers not to report to work; and
    • enhancing sanitation and disinfecting practices.
  • August 15, 2020: Governor Kemp issues Executive Order 8.15.20.01 which, among other things:
    • forbids local governments from enacting orders that are more or less restrictive than this Executive Order;
    • permits local governments to enact local option face covering requirements for public properties if the locality has more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days; and
    • allows businesses to choose whether to enforce a face covering requirement.
  • August 5, 2020: Governor Kemp signs Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (SB 359) which, among other things:
    • provides businesses with immunity from certain COVID-19 related tort claims as long as they did not result from gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or reckless or intentional infliction of harm; and
    • creates a presumption that a customer voluntarily assumed the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as long as the business posts a sign reading: "Warning: Under Georgia law, there is no liability for an injury or death of an individual entering these premises if such injury or death results from the inherent risks of contracting COVID-19. You are assuming the risk by entering these premises."
  • August 4, 2020: County of Athens-Clarke issues ordinance requiring all persons age ten and over to wear face coverings in all private businesses and establishments and in all public places where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.
  • July 16, 2020: Governor Kemp files lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council (Kemp v. Bottoms, (Ga. Super. Ct. July 16, 2020)), seeking to:
    • suspend Mayor Bottoms' orders requiring face coverings and moving Atlanta's reopening back to Phase I; and
    • enjoin Mayor Bottoms from issuing and the City Council from ratifying further COVID-19 related orders that are more or less restrictive than the governor's orders.
  • July 15, 2020: Governor Kemp issues Executive Order 7.15.20.01 which, among other things:
    • suspends all local orders that require persons to wear face coverings to the extent they are more restrictive than this Executive Order; and
    • suspends enforcement of all local orders that are more or less restrictive than this Executive Order.
  • July 10, 2020: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms orders Atlanta's reopening plan be moved from Phase II back to Phase 1, which requires:
    • restaurants and retail establishments to offer to-go and curbside pickups only;
    • businesses to continue practicing teleworking; and
    • businesses to implement frequent cleaning of public and high-touch areas.
  • July 8, 2020: Atlanta Mayor Bottoms signs Executive Order 2020-113 requiring all persons age ten and over to wear face coverings inside indoor public places and in outdoor spaces when it is not feasible to maintain appropriate social distancing.
  • June 30, 2020: Savannah Mayor Van Johnson signs emergency order requiring:
    • all persons over the age of ten to wear face coverings in commercial establishments; and
    • all employees in restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies to wear face coverings when having face-to-face interaction with the public.
  • June 11, 2020: Governor Brian Kemp issues Executive Order 6.11.20.01, which:
    • requires restaurant and banquet facilities to wear masks only when interacting with customers; and
    • allows indoor and outdoor performance venues to reopen beginning July 1.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Kemp issues Executive Order 5.28.20.02 allowing bars, nightclubs, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues to open beginning June 1, 2020 provided that they follow industry-specific guidance, which includes:
    • screening employees for illness;
    • limiting capacity; and
    • thoroughly and regularly sanitizing facilities.
  • May 12, 2020: Governor Kemp issues Executive Order 5.12.20.02 which:
    • includes additional guidance for restaurants;
    • strongly encourages all other businesses to provide personal protective equipment as appropriate to employees' job functions and locations; and
    • allows arcades within movie theaters and bowling alleys to reopen.
  • April 23, 2020: Governor Kemp issues Executive Order 4.23.20.02 allowing most businesses, including restaurants, hair and nail salons, retail businesses, movie theaters, and bowling alleys, to resume operations beginning April 24, 2020, provided that certain requirements are followed, including:
    • restaurant and dining room employees shall wear face coverings at all times and be screened and evaluated by their employers if they exhibit signs of illness;
    • all non-critical infrastructure employers shall screen and evaluate employees who exhibit signs of illness;
    • social distancing measures shall be employed; and
    • cleaning and sanitization protocols shall be implemented.
  • March 26, 2020: Georgia Department of Labor implements two Emergency Rules related to unemployment insurance. For unemployment claims filed on or after March 29, 2020, the Georgia DOL will only deduct earnings above $300 per week from the weekly benefit amount. For claims filed on or after March 14, 2020, the maximum benefits payable has been extended from 14 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • March 16, 2020: Georgia Department of Labor adopts Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5 regarding filing partial unemployment claims. Under the emergency rule:
    • employers must file all partial claims online in the Employer Portal;
    • employers must file partial claims for any week during which an employee works less than full-time due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by COVID-19; and
    • any employer found to be in violation of the rule must pay the full amount of benefits paid to the employee to the Commissioner of the unemployment fund.
For the latest Georgia information and resources on COVID-19, see Georgia Department of Public Health, Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hawaii

  • November 23, 2020: Governor Ige signs Sixteenth Proclamation, which allows travelers to Hawaii to bypass the 14-day mandatory quarantine period if they produce negative COVID-19 test results from a sample taken within 72 hours of arrival.
  • November 16, 2020: Governor Ige signs Fifteenth Proclamation which requires, among other things, all persons age five and over to wear face coverings in public settings.
  • August 20, 2020: Governor Ige signs Twelfth Proclamation which, among other things:
    • extends the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state and inter-island travelers until September 30, 2020; and
    • authorizes counties to establish Enhanced Movement Quarantine programs that restrict travelers to clearly defined geographical areas and ensure limited contact with those not subject to self-quarantine.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Ige signs Eleventh Proclamation requiring all persons traveling to the islands of Kaua'i and Hawaii and the islands comprising the counties of Maui and Kalawao to quarantine for 14 days.
  • July 29, 2020: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issues Emergency Order 2020-21 which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings when:
    • inside indoor public spaces;
    • in outdoor public spaces where six feet of distance cannot be maintained;
    • working at a business and engaged and interacting with customers, visitors, and other employees; and
    • using public transportation.
  • July 22, 2020: Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino issues amended public health emergency rules which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces.
  • July 20, 2020: Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim issues Emergency Rule 10 which, among other things:
    • requires all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in public settings; and
    • allows all businesses except nightclubs and large indoor and outdoor venues to reopen provided they comply with industry-specific guidance.
  • July 17, 2020: Governor Ige signs Tenth Proclamation extending the 14-day quarantine for travelers entering Hawaii and requiring them to undergo a mandatory screening process upon arrival.
  • July 14, 2020: Honolulu Mayor Caldwell issues Emergency Order 2020-19 which requires all individuals age five and over to wear face coverings while in indoor public places and in outdoor public places when maintaining six feet of distance from others is not feasible.
  • June 26, 2020: Governor Ige approves request to reopen swimming pools and bars in Hawaii County.
  • June 10, 2020: Governor Ige approves request to reopen additional businesses in Hawaii County, including restaurants and barber shops.
  • June 9 and 10, 2020: Governor Ige approves requests to reopen additional businesses in Maui and Kaua'i County.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Ige approves request to open additional businesses in Honolulu beginning June 19, 2020, including indoor attractions, fitness facilities, and bars.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Ige approves requests to reopen more businesses in Hawaii and Kaua'i counties.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Ige approves requests to reopen additional businesses in O'ahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kaua'i counties.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Ige outlines reopening and recovery plan to gradually reopen medium-risk businesses, including exercise facilities, museums, theaters, personal services, and dine-in restaurant services, beginning in June 2020.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Ige signs Seventh Supplementary Proclamation allowing certain businesses, including retail and repair services, shopping malls, agricultural services, auto dealerships, and pet grooming services, to resume operations beginning May 7, 2020, subject to certain county restrictions. Such businesses are encouraged to follow industry-specific guidelines listed in the order and must adhere to social distancing requirements, which include:
    • maintaining six-foot distances between all persons;
    • limiting customer occupancy;
    • requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings; and
    • regularly disinfecting all high-touch surfaces.
  • April 16, 2020: Governor Ige issues Fifth Supplementary Proclamation requiring, among other things, employees and customers of essential businesses to wear face coverings while in line or inside the facility. The proclamation is in effect through the disaster emergency relief period, which is continued until April 30, 2020. A violation of the proclamation is punishable as a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $5,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • April 14, 2020: Honolulu Mayor issues Emergency Order 2020-07 requiring all employees, customers, and visitors of essential businesses to wear face coverings. The order remains in effect until April 30, 2020. A violation of the order is punishable as a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $5,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • April 13, 2020: Kauai County Mayor issues Emergency Rule #6 requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings when outside of their homes, with certain exceptions such as exercising outdoors while maintaining social distancing, riding in a personal vehicle with their own household members, or entering banks where the inability to verify identity may pose a security risk. The rule is in effect until May 3, 2020, subject to modification. A violation of the rule is punishable as a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $5,000, one year imprisonment, or both.
  • April 9, 2020: Maui County Mayor amends Public Health Emergency Rules to require employees of essential businesses to wear face coverings if they have direct public contact or handle food. A violation of the rules is punishable as a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $5,000, one year in jail, or both.
  • March 25, 2020: Department of Labor and Industrial Relations modifies the state unemployment insurance law to:
    • waive the one-week waiting period; and
    • suspend the work search requirement.
For the latest Hawaii information and resources on COVID-19, see Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, COVID-19: Labor FAQs.

Idaho

  • August 21, 2020: Governor Little announces that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 for at least another two weeks.
  • July 23, 2020: Governor Little announces that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 for at least another two weeks and encourages residents to wear face coverings in public and practicing physical distancing.
  • June 25, 2020: Governor Little extends Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds plan for at least another two weeks and encourages residents to wear face coverings in public and maintain physical distance of at least six feet.
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Little announces additional program details for the Idaho Return to Work bonuses, which provide one-time cash bonuses of $1,500 for full-time and $750 for part-time employees that return to the workplace. Beginning July 13, 2020, employers can apply for the bonuses on behalf of their employees who:
    • submitted a request for unemployment benefits on or after March 1, 2020;
    • completed four consecutive weeks of work for the employer;
    • returned to work any time from May 1 through July 1, 2020;
    • receive wages of $75,000 or less annually; and
    • have a position intended to continue beyond four weeks.
  • June 11, 2020: Governor Little issues guidance for employers of high-risk employees, which discusses:
    • encouraging high-risk employees to self-identify without making unnecessary medical inquiries;
    • allowing high-risk employees to work from home wherever possible;
    • if high-risk employees are unable to work from home, offering those employees other duties and shifts to minimize contact with other people, providing medical masks instead of cloth face coverings, and placing them in enclosed offices;
    • not penalizing high-risk employees who raise workplace concerns; and
    • offering accommodations to employees who have high-risk household members.
  • June 9, 2020: Governor Brad Little launches ONE Idaho initiative, encouraging businesses to pledge to safely reopen their businesses by, among other things:
    • maintaining six-foot physical distancing for customers and employees;
    • encouraging employees to wear face coverings;
    • staggering work hours for employees; and
    • enhancing cleaning and disinfecting efforts.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Little announces plan to offer one-time cash bonuses to employees who return to work, which would provide $1,500 for full-time work and $750 for part-time work.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Brad Little announces that Stage 3 businesses as well as movie theaters (originally Stage 4) can reopen on May 30, 2020. Employers should allow telework whenever possible and return employees to the worksite in phases.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Little releases Stage 3 protocols for reopening, which allows outdoor pools, splashpads, and waterparks and bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries to reopen beginning May 30, 2020 provided they adhere to business-specific protocols.
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Little announces that small businesses and nonprofits can access a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves, and sanitizer.
  • May 6, 2020: Governor Little releases Stage 2 protocols for reopening, which allows restaurants, close-contact services, and indoor gyms to reopen beginning May 16, 2020 provided they adhere to business-specific protocols.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Little announces plans for more than 30,000 Idaho small businesses to receive Idaho Rebound cash grants as they prepare to enter Stage 1 of the reopening plan. Small businesses may receive up to $10,000 in cash grants and may reopen on May 1, 2020 as long as they follow Stage 1 protocols, which include, among other things:
    • establishing protocols to maintain social distancing, including by using telework and staggering work hours;
    • implementing sanitization and personal hygiene plans, including by encouraging employees, vendors, and patrons to wear face coverings;
    • modifying services to limit close interactions with patrons; and
    • identifying strategies for addressing ill employees.
  • April 23, 2020: Governor Little announces Idaho Rebound, a four-phased plan to reopen the state economy.
For the latest Idaho information and resources on COVID-19, see Idaho Rebounds, Stages of Reopening and Idaho Department of Labor: COVID-19.

Illinois

  • November 18, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-73 implementing Tier 3 Mitigations that require, among other things:
    • continued use of face coverings by all persons age two and over;
    • businesses to facilitate remote work when possible;
    • businesses to limit occupancy to 25% for customer-facing activity;
    • retail businesses to provide face coverings to all employees and limit occupancy to 25% for retail stores and 50% for grocery stores and pharmacies;
    • office buildings to limit capacity to 50% and provide face coverings to all employees;
    • restaurants and bars to suspend indoor dining; and
    • gyms and personal services facilities to limit occupancy to 25% and ensure face covering use at all times.
  • November 10, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-70 implementing public health restrictions for Region 5, Region 7, and Region 8, including:
    • requiring bars and restaurants to suspend indoor dining and close between 11pm and 6am;
    • requiring all businesses to institute remote work for high risk individuals and evaluate whether additional workers can telework;
    • limiting all meetings and social events to ten or fewer people; and
    • limiting indoor and outdoor recreation facilities to the lesser of 25 people or 25% capacity.
  • August 25, 2020: Illinois Department of Health issues updated mitigation measures for Region 7 which require:
    • bars and restaurants to close at 11pm and prohibit indoor dining; and
    • gaming and casinos to close at 11pm and limit capacity to 25%.
  • August 18, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-51 implementing public health restrictions for the Metro East region that require, among other things:
    • all businesses to institute remote work for high risk individuals and evaluate whether additional workers can telework;
    • restaurants and bars to close by 11pm and ensure that all customers are seated at least six feet apart; and
    • gaming venues and casinos to limit capacity to 25% and close by 11pm.
  • July 20, 2020: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces new COVID-19 restrictions for businesses effective July 24, 2020, which include:
    • prohibiting bars, taverns, and breweries without a food license to serve customers indoors;
    • reducing indoor fitness classes to a maximum of ten people; and
    • prohibiting personal services that require the removal of face coverings, such as shaves and facials.
  • July 2, 2020: Chicago Department of Public Health issues Emergency Travel Order requiring travels entering or returning to Chicago from certain states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • June 26, 2020: Governor J.B. Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-43, which expands business operations and activities during the community revitalization phase. The order continues to require all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in public places or when working.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-39 which, among other things, extends Executive Order 2020-25 regarding the suspension of wage garnishment summonses until June 27, 2020.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues Executive Order 2020-38 allowing retail businesses, manufacturers, office buildings, restaurants and bars, gyms, and personal services businesses to reopen in Phase 3. The order requires such businesses to adhere to industry-specific and general requirements, which include:
    • encouraging remote work from home when possible;
    • requiring employees to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible; and
    • prominently posting the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety.
  • May 22, 2020: Illinois General Assembly passes HB 2455 which:
    • creates a rebuttable presumption that essential workers who contract COVID-19 did so during the course of their employment for workers' compensation purposes; and
    • waives the waiting period for unemployment benefits for claims beginning on or after March 8, 2020 until the later of the last week of the COVID-19 disaster proclamation or the last week of federal cost sharing.
  • May 20, 2020: Chicago City Council approves Substitute Ordinance 2020-2343 which prevents employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees for obeying an order from a public official or treating healthcare provider to:
    • quarantine or isolate;
    • stay home to minimize the transmission of COVID-19; or
    • remain home while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or sick with COVID-19.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor JB Pritzker releases Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Our State, a five-phased plan to reopen the state economy.
  • May 3, 2020: Illinois District Court upholds stay-at-home order, rejecting the plaintiff pastor's arguments that such order violates the Free Exercise Clause as well as three Illinois statutes. The court held that the order still allows some forms of religious expression and that the balance of hardships favors the state since preventing enforcement of the order would pose serious risks to public health. (Cassell v. Snyders, (N.D. Ill. May 3, 2020).)
  • May 4, 2020: Plaintiff files appeal of Illinois District Court order.
  • May 1, 2020: The Fifth District Appellate Court vacates temporary restraining order against enforcement of the state stay-at-home order. The lawsuit, filed by a state representative, sought an injunction based on the Governor's lack of authority to enforce the stay-at-home restrictions. The plaintiff later filed a consent to entry of an order vacating the temporary restraining order and the matter has been remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings (Bailey v. Pritzker, 2020 IL App (5th) 200148-U).
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Pritzker issues extended stay-at-home order, Executive Order 2020-32, allowing certain businesses to reopen as essential businesses and requiring face coverings in public. The order goes into effect May 1, 2020 and requires, among other things:
    • all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings when in public indoor spaces and other public spaces where six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained;
    • all businesses to encourage remote work from home when possible; and
    • all essential businesses and manufacturers to provide and require employees to wear face coverings and limit occupancy in their facilities.
  • April 20, 2020: Villages of Deerfield and University Park and City of Evanston issue orders requiring all persons to wear face coverings when working in or patronizing essential businesses open to the public. The order also requires business owners to refuse admission to anyone who fails to wear a face covering.
  • April 20, 2020: Town of Cicero and Villages of Oak Lawn and Tinley issue orders requiring employers of essential businesses to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • decline entry to any visitor who refuses to wear a face covering;
    • implement infection control practices and provide sanitization materials to employees and visitors; and
    • enforce the six-foot social distancing requirement.
  • April 20, 2020: Villages of Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Skokie, and Wilmette, and Cities of Des Plaines, Highland Park, North Chicago, Park Ridge, and Waukegan issue orders requiring all persons to wear face coverings while they are:
    • working in any business that remains open as an essential business;
    • engaging in essential activities such as shopping for supplies and visiting a health care professional; and
    • driving or riding public transportation, including buses, trains, taxis, and ride shares.
  • April 13, 2020: Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) adopts emergency amendment creating a presumption that first responders and front-line workers contracted COVID-19 at work. Under the emergency amendment, employers will bear the burden to prove that the employee did not contract COVID-19 at work. The amendment applies to emergency personnel, health care providers, and "crucial" personnel such as those who work in grocery stores, pharmacies, food service, gas stations, and mail and delivery services.
    • NOTE: This law was repealed on April 27, 2020 by the IWCC after a Sangamon County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary injunction (Illinois Mfrs.' Ass'n v. Illinois Workers' Comp., No. 2020-CH-000098).
  • April 10, 2020: Village of Glenview issues Executive Order 2020-01 requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face masks when working in essential businesses, engaging in essential activities such as shopping for supplies or visiting a health care professional, and riding in public transportation, taxis, or ride shares. A violation of the order is subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
  • March 16, 2020: The Illinois Department of Employment Security adopts emergency rules to extend unemployment benefits to employees affected by COVID-19. Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if they:
    • were laid off to due employer closure. Laid-off employees do not have to register with the employment service and will be considered actively seeking work as long as they are prepared to return to work as soon as the employer reopens;
    • have been diagnosed with or are caring for a spouse, parent, or child who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, provided that they register with the employment service and actively seek work that can be performed from the confines of their home;
    • are confined to their home due to a government-imposed quarantine, provided that they register with the employment service and actively seek work that can be performed from the confines of their home; or
    • voluntarily left work to care for a child, provided that they register with the employment service and actively seek work that can be performed from the confines of their home.
For the latest Illinois information and resources on COVID-19, see Illinois, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response.

Indiana

  • November 13, 2020: Governor Holcomb issues Executive Order 20-48, rescinding Stage 5 and implementing capacity restrictions based on a four-level, county-by-county assessment. Counties must comply with restrictions based upon their color designation (blue, yellow, orange, or red) and all businesses are required to, among other things:
    • develop a COVID-19 response plan that addresses employee screening, enhanced cleaning, and social distancing requirements; and
    • require all employees and customers age two and over to wear face coverings.
  • September 24, 2020: Governor Holcomb issues Executive Order 20-43 to move the state to Stage 5 of the Back on Track Indiana plan beginning September 26, 2020. Under Stage 5:
    • restaurants, bars, taverns, nightclubs, and other food and drink establishments may operate at full capacity;
    • all persons age two and over must continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained;
    • all businesses must implement or reevaluate existing COVID-19 response plans, including employee health screening, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and social distancing requirements; and
    • all businesses are encouraged to allow employees to work remotely when practicable, ensure sick leave policies are up to date and flexible, and encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • August 26, 2020: Governor Holcomb issues Executive Order 20-42 which, among other things, extends Stage 4.5 and the face covering requirement until September 25, 2020.
  • July 30, 2020: Governor Holcomb issues Executive Order 20-39, which keeps the state in Stage 4.5 until August 27, 2020.
  • July 24, 2020: Governor Holcomb signs Executive Order 20-37 requiring all persons age two and over to wear face coverings when:
    • inside businesses and other indoor places open to the public;
    • outdoors and it is not feasible to maintain six feet of distancing from others; and
    • using public transportation.
  • July 16, 2020: Governor Holcomb signs Executive Order 20-36 keeping the state in Stage 4.5 of the Back On Track Indiana plan until July 31, 2020.
  • July 2, 2020: Marion County Public Health Director issues Public Health Order 20-2020 which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor places and in outdoor places where six feet of distancing cannot be maintained.
  • June 29, 2020: Elkhart County Health Department issues Public Health Order 01-2020 requiring businesses to:
    • require employees to wear face coverings when six feet of physical distance is unable to be maintained;
    • update their COVID-19 continued operations plan to require employees to wear face coverings; and
    • post copies of Public Health Order 01-2020 at all available entrances in both English and Spanish.
  • June 29, 2020: St. Joseph County Department of Health issues Public Health Order 2-2020 requiring:
    • all persons over age two to wear face coverings inside public spaces and businesses; and
    • businesses to provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol readily accessible at entrances and near high-touch surfaces.
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Holcomb announces partnership with Indiana Black Expo (IBE) to increase access to COVID-19 economic recovery programs for minority employers. Governor Holcomb also encourages small businesses to apply for Indiana Small Business Restart grants, which provides reimbursement for up to 80% of qualified expenses, such as rent payments, utilities, personal protective equipment, and infrastructure improvements.
  • June 11, 2020: Governor Holcomb signs Executive Order 20-32 moving the state to Stage 4 of the Back on Track Indiana plan on June 12, 2020. Under Stage 4, the following businesses may reopen or expand occupancy by following industry-specific guidance:
    • retail businesses at 100% capacity;
    • restaurant dine-in services at 75% capacity;
    • bars and taverns at 50% capacity;
    • movie theaters and concert venues at 50% capacity;
    • amusement parks, museums, aquariums, and zoos at 50% capacity; and
    • bowling alleys and skating rinks at 50% capacity.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Eric Holcomb signs Executive Order 20-28 moving the state to Stage 3 of the Back on Track Indiana plan on May 22, 2020. Under Stage 3, the following businesses may reopen by following industry-specific guidance:
    • retail businesses at 75% capacity;
    • restaurant dine-in services at 50% capacity;
    • personal services businesses with restrictions;
    • gyms and fitness centers with restrictions; and
    • professional office settings.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Holcomb announces Back on Track Indiana plan to safely reopen the economy, which includes guidelines for specific industries and general guidelines for all businesses. The plan requires all businesses to, among other things:
    • conduct daily employee screening procedures;
    • implement social distancing guidelines;
    • implement cleaning and disinfecting practices according to CDC guidelines;
    • develop plans to address employees who present symptoms or who test positive for COVID-19; and
    • encourage remote work as much as possible.
  • April 30, 2020: Indiana Department of Workforce Development updates Employer COVID-19 FAQs to address employees who are collecting unemployment benefits and refuse to return to work (Question 13).
  • April 23, 2020: Governor Eric Holcomb signs Executive Order 20-23 allowing the Department of Workforce Development to hire additional staff to review unemployment insurance claim appeals. It also waives paperwork requirements to help businesses apply for federal assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
For the latest Indiana information and resources on COVID-19, see Indiana Department of Workforce Development, COVID-19 Information.

Iowa

  • December 9, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation which, effective December 9, 2020 through January 8, 2021, requires:
    • all persons age two and older to wear face coverings in indoor spaces open to the public and within six feet of others for 15 minutes or longer;
    • indoor gatherings to be limited to 15 people;
    • outdoor gatherings to be limited to 30 people; and
    • restaurants and bars to close for on-premises consumption between 10pm and 4am.
  • November 10, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation which, effective November 17 to December 10, 2020 requires:
    • all persons age two and older to wear face coverings in indoor spaces open to the public and within six feet of others for 15 minutes or longer;
    • employers to take steps to enable employees to work remotely if feasible;
    • employers with in-person operations to take reasonable COVID-19 precautions, including employee screening, social distancing practices, and increased cleaning and hygiene practices; and
    • includes industry-specific requirements for businesses.
  • September 28, 2020: Iowa Department of Health adopts new quarantine guidance, departing from the CDC recommendation that all close contacts who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days. The new guidance states that, among other things:
    • if the infectious person and their close contacts consistently wore face coverings, close contacts need not quarantine for 14 days but should self-monitor;
    • if the infectious person wore a face covering but close contacts did not, the close contacts without masks must quarantine for 14 days; and
    • if the infectious person did not wear a face covering, all close contacts must quarantine for 14 days.
  • August 27, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation which, among other things, orders all bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and nightclubs to close in the counties of Black Hawk, Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Story. The proclamation allows restaurants in these counties to remain open but prohibits the sale of alcohol after 10pm.
  • July 23, 2020: Johnson County Board of Supervisors enacts Resolution 7-23-20-01 requiring all persons age two and over to wear face coverings when:
    • in public when unable to stay six feet away from others;
    • inside any indoor public setting;
    • outside, if keeping six feet away from others is not possible; and
    • using public transportation.
  • July 21, 2020: Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague issues order requiring all persons to wear face coverings when inside any indoor public place, other places (indoor or outdoor) where social distancing cannot be maintained, and when using public transportation.
  • July 5, 2020: City of Muscatine Mayor Diana Broderson issues proclamation requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in all indoor public settings and all outdoor areas where six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • June 18, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs COVID-19 Response and Back-to-Business Limited Liability Act (S.F. 2388), which protects business owners from civil liability for injuries sustained from an individual's exposure to COVID-19, unless the person who is in control of the premises:
    • recklessly disregards a substantial and unnecessary risk that the individual would be exposed to COVID-19;
    • exposes the individual to COVID-19 through an act that constitutes actual malice; or
    • intentionally exposes the individual to COVID-19.
  • June 10, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation allowing fitness centers, casinos, salons and barber shops, spas, theaters, malls, and various indoor recreational facilities to reopen on June 12, 2020, provided that they, among other things:
    • ensure six feet of physical distancing between individuals; and
    • implement increased hygiene practices and other public health measures consistent with Department of Health guidance.
  • May 26, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation allowing bars, wineries, breweries, and distilleries to reopen on May 28, 2020, provided that they, among other things:
    • limit capacity to 50%;
    • ensure six feet of physical distancing between patrons; and
    • implement increased hygiene practices.
  • May 20, 2020: Governor Reynolds signs proclamation allowing movie theaters, museums, aquariums, zoos, and swimming pools to reopen May 27, 2020 provided that they, among other things:
    • take measures to ensure social distancing; and
    • implement increased hygiene practices.
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Reynolds issues proclamation allowing salons, barbershops, and massage and tattoo establishments, as well as restaurants, fitness centers, and libraries in the counties that have remained closed to reopen May 15, 2020 provided that they, among other things:
    • limit capacity;
    • take measures to ensure social distancing; and
    • implement increased hygiene practices.
  • May 6, 2020: Governor Reynolds issues proclamation allowing tanning facilities, medical spas, and drive-in movie theaters to reopen May 8, 2020 provided that they ensure social distancing and increased hygiene practices.
  • April 27, 2020: Governor Reynolds issues proclamation allowing restaurants, fitness centers, malls, and other retail establishments (except in certain counties) to reopen provided that they:
    • limit capacity to 50% maximum occupancy;
    • implement reasonable measures to ensure social distancing of employees and customers; and
    • implement increased hygiene practices.
  • March 16, 2020: Governor Reynolds announces assistance for employees and employers affected by COVID-19 related layoffs. The assistance includes the availability of unemployment benefits for otherwise eligible employees who:
    • were laid off due to COVID-19; or
    • have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members, or because of an illness related to COVID-19.
For the latest Iowa information and resources on COVID-19, see Iowa Workforce Development: Updates and Resources About COVID-19.

Kansas

  • December 23, 2020: Governor Kelly issues Executive Order 20-71 which continues to waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Kelly issues Executive Order 20-52 which, effective July 3, 2020, requires:
    • all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings inside indoor public spaces or while obtaining healthcare services, riding public transportation, or in outdoor public spaces where six-foot distances cannot be maintained; and
    • all businesses to ensure that employees wear face coverings in spaces visited by the public, where food is prepared or packaged, in common areas, and in any room or enclosed area where other people are present and six feet of distance is unable to be maintained.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Kelly issues Executive Order 20-50 which waives the work search requirements for unemployment benefits until September 15, 2020 or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires, whichever is earlier.
  • June 22, 2020: Governor Kelly postpones Phase Out of the Ad Astra reopening plan, recommending that Kansas stay in Phase 3 for at least 2 more weeks.
  • June 8, 2020: Governor Kelly signs HB 2016 which, among other things:
    • provides immunity to persons conducting business from COVID-19 related civil actions if they were acting pursuant to and in substantial compliance with public health directives;
    • suspends the work search requirements for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    • waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment claims filed between April 5 and December 26, 2020; and
    • provides that unemployment benefits shall not be charged to an employer directly impacted by COVID-19.
  • June 8, 2020: Governor Kelly recommends that most local communities move to Phase 3 of the Ad Astra reopening plan, which has no recommended restrictions for on-site staffing.
  • May 26, 2020: Governor Kelly signs Executive Order 20-43 allowing negative account employers to participate in a shared work plan so that they can take part in the short-time compensation program under the CARES Act.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Kelly signs Executive Order 20-34 implementing Phase 2 of the Ad Astra reopening plan. Under Phase 2, recreational organized sports facilities, community centers, indoor leisure spaces, in-person group exercise classes may reopen on May 22, 2020.
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Kelly signs Executive Order 20-31 moving the state into Phase 1.5 and allowing personal service businesses and fitness centers to reopen provided that they:
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Kelly issues Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas, a four-phase plan that contains guidance for employers, such as:
    • allowing telework when possible;
    • avoiding gatherings of 10 or more employees and phasing in employees to ensure six feet of distance between workstations;
    • requiring any employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to stay home; and
    • minimizing or eliminating non-essential travel.
  • March 31, 2020: Governor Kelly issues Executive Order 20-17 waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits and requiring employers to notify their employees that they may be eligible for unemployment insurance.
  • March 19, 2020: Governor Kelly signs S.B. 27 extending unemployment insurance benefits. This bill extends the maximum eligibility period for unemployment benefits to 26 weeks, instead of the current effective maximum of 16 weeks, for claims filed on or after January 1, 2020.
For the latest Kansas information and resources on COVID-19, see Kansas Department of Health and Environment: COVID-19 Updates.

Kentucky

  • December 3, 2020: Governor Beshear issues Executive Order 2020-996 extending the statewide face covering order for an additional 30 days.
  • November 18, 2020: Governor Beshear issues Executive Order 2020-968 which requires, among other things:
    • all restaurants and bars to cease indoor food and beverage consumption;
    • all professional services and office-based businesses to require employees to work from home if able to do so and limit office capacity to 33%;
    • all indoor gatherings to be limited to eight people;
    • gyms, fitness centers, swimming facilities, and other indoor recreation facilities to limit capacity to 33%; and
    • indoor venues and theaters to limit capacity to 25 people per room.
  • November 12, 2020: Kentucky Supreme Court upholds Governor Beshear's declaration of a state of emergency and COVID-19 orders and regulations, determining that the public health interests of the state's citizens outweigh injuries to various business interests (Beshear v. Acree, (Ky. Nov. 12, 2020)).
  • November 12, 2020: Kentucky Supreme Court upholds Governor Beshear's COVID-19 orders, determining that he had the authority to issue emergency orders, including the industry-specific reopening requirements (Beshear v. Ky. Ct. of Appeals, 2020-CA-0834 (Nov. 12, 2020)).
  • November 4, 2020: Governor Beshear issues Executive Order 2020-931 extending the statewide face covering order for an additional 30 days.
  • August 10, 2020: Governor Beshear issues order allowing bars to reopen at 50% capacity and restaurants to increase indoor dining capacity to 50% provided that they comply with minimum requirements which include, among other things:
    • requiring all customers to be seated and served at tables;
    • ensuring six feet of space between groups;
    • discontinue bar seating and bar service; and
    • close bar areas to customer traffic except for entry, exit, and restroom traffic.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Beshear extends statewide face covering order for an additional 30 days.
  • July 28, 2020: Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services issues order requiring bars to close for in-person consumption and restaurants to limit indoor dining capacity to 25% for 14 days.
  • July 9, 2020: Governor Andy Beshear issues Executive Order 2020-586 requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings while:
    • inside or waiting in line to enter any business or other indoor public place where it is difficult to maintain six feet of distance from others;
    • waiting for or riding public transportation; or
    • in outdoor public spaces where six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • June 23, 2020: Governor Beshear releases updated guidance for restaurants and bars, which goes into effect June 29, 2020 and requires:
    • employees to wear face coverings for all interactions with customers, co-workers or while in common areas;
    • capacity to be limited to 50%;
    • employees to wash their hands after any direct contact with customers; and
    • enhance cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • June 8, 2020: Governor Beshear and the Commissioner of Public Health issue order allowing educational and cultural activities, including aquariums, distilleries, libraries, museums, wineries, and limited outdoor attractions, to reopen provided that they, among other things:
    • provide training on and ensure employees wear appropriate face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever they are within six feet or anyone else;
    • conduct daily temperature and health checks of employees;
    • limit capacity and maintain a distance of six feet between persons; and
    • regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Beshear issues Executive Order 2020-323 allowing most businesses, including manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain businesses, construction, vehicle dealerships, pet care, and office-based businesses, to reopen on May 11, 2020. Such businesses must adhere to industry-specific guidance and minimum requirements for all entities, which require employers to, among other things
    • continue telework where possible;
    • provide and ensure that employees were cloth masks;
    • conduct daily temperature and symptom checks;
    • make special accommodations for high-risk employees and customers;
    • implement a phased return to work, including generous telework, sick leave, and family leave policies;
    • enforce social distancing;
    • supply hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content or higher and encourage routine hand washing;
    • restrict common areas;
    • educate and train employees, vendors, and customers regarding the Healthy at Work protocols; and
    • designate a "Healthy at Work" officer responsible for compliance with the state guidance.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Beshear shares ten-step plan under the state's Healthy at Work Initiative to help businesses reopen safely, which includes:
    • continuing telework where possible;
    • a phased return to work;
    • onsite temperature/health checks;
    • universal masks and other necessary PPE;
    • closing common areas;
    • enforcing social distancing;
    • limiting face-to-face meetings;
    • installing sanitizer/hand wash stations;
    • providing special accommodations to vulnerable employees; and
    • a testing plan.
  • March 30, 2020: Governor Beshear signs SB 150, waiving business administrative fees and expanding unemployment benefits. In addition to codifying the waiver of the seven-day waiting period and work search requirements, the bill allows:
    • the state to adopt an alternative base period to allow employees who have not been employed long enough to be eligible for benefits;
    • self-insured, self-employed, and other employees not covered by unemployment insurance to access benefits due to COVID-19-related job loss; and
    • employees who have had their hours reduced by more than ten but less than 60% to be eligible for benefits.
  • March 16, 2020: Governor Beshear Executive Order 2020-235, which waives the seven-day waiting period and work search requirements and extends eligibility to employees who have:
    • temporarily lost their jobs due to COVID-19; or
    • been quarantined due to COVID-19.
For the latest Kentucky information and resources on COVID-19, see Kentucky, COVID-19.

Louisiana

  • December 22, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 209 JBE 2020, which extends the Phase 2 order and the statewide face covering order until January 13, 2021.
  • November 24, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 168 JBE 2020, which moves the state back to Phase 2 and extends the statewide face covering order until December 23, 2020.
  • November 5, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 158 JBE 2020, which extends Phase 3 and the statewide face covering order until December 4, 2020.
  • October 8, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 134 JBE 2020, which extends Phase 3 and the statewide face covering order until November 6, 2020.
  • September 11, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 117 JBE 2020, which moves the state into Phase 3 and continues the face covering order until October 9, 2020.
  • August 17, 2020: Eastern District of Louisiana upholds Governor Edwards' proclamations prohibiting the on-site consumption of food or drinks at bars. The court denied the bar owners' motion for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, holding that the ban of on-site consumption at bars bears a real or substantial relation to the goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and does not violate the bar owners' constitutional right. (4 Aces Enters., LLC v. Edwards, (E.D. La. Aug. 17, 2020).)
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 102 JBE 2020 which, among other things, suspends the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 101 JBE 2020 extending Phase 2, the statewide face covering order, and the closure of bars to on-premises consumption until August 28, 2020.
  • July 23, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 96 JBE 2020 extending the Phase 2 order and the face covering order until August 7, 2020.
  • July 11, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 89 JBE 2020 requiring all persons age eight and over to wear face coverings inside any indoor or outdoor public space when strict social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained.
  • July 1, 2020: Parishes of Jefferson and East Baton Rouge enact face covering orders requiring all persons ages two and over to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces.
  • June 25, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 83 JBE 2020, which extends Phase 2 until at least July 24, 2020.
  • June 13, 2020: Governor Edwards signs HB 826 which provides immunity from civil liability to individuals, state and local governments, and political subdivisions for injuries or deaths resulting from actual or alleged COVID-19 exposure in the course of their business operations, unless the individual, government, or political subdivision:
    • failed to substantially comply with applicable federal, state, or local COVID-19 procedures; or
    • engaged in gross negligence or wanton or reckless misconduct.
  • June 13, 2020: City of New Orleans announces Phase Two guidelines, which:
    • allows most businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, personal services businesses, gyms and fitness centers, and office buildings, to reopen at 50% capacity; and
    • requires such businesses to ensure that employees and customers wear face coverings inside, screen employees for symptoms prior to the start of each shift, and observe social distancing of at least six feet.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Edwards signs Proclamation 74 JBE 2020 allowing the state to move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 5, 2020. Phase 2 allows businesses to expand to 50% capacity, provided that they, among other things:
    • require employees to wear face coverings when interacting with the public;
    • maintain strict social distancing; and
    • increase cleaning and sanitation protocols.
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 58 JBE 2020 allowing the state to move to Phase 1 of the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana on May 15, 2020. Phase 1 allows dine-in restaurant services, barber shops and salons, shopping malls, and gyms and fitness centers to reopen under certain restrictions, including, among other things:
    • limiting capacity to 25%;
    • requiring employees to wear face coverings when interacting with the public; and
    • maintaining strict social distancing.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Edwards announces new, web-based program to assist businesses and religious organizations with safely resuming operations. OpenSafely.la.gov allows businesses owners to receive information regarding the phase in which their business is considered and the required social distancing and sanitization guidelines.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Edwards issues Proclamation 52 JBE 2020 extending the stay-at-home order until May 15 and requiring all employees who have contact with the public to wear a mask.
  • April 23, 2020: Louisiana Workforce Commission issues Emergency Rule requiring employers to notify workers of the availability of unemployment insurance benefits at the time of separation.
  • April 7, 2020: Governor Edwards issues proclamation addressing unemployment and workers' compensation benefits. The proclamation suspends the medical examination requirement in workers' compensation disputes and waives the one-week waiting and work search requirements for unemployment benefits. It defines "emergency-related claims" for unemployment purposes to include claims filed by employees who are:
    • sick, isolate, or quarantined;
    • caring for a sick family member; or
    • caring for a child whose school is closed due to COVID-19.
For the latest Louisiana information and resources on COVID-19, see Louisiana Workforce Commission, COVID-19 Information.

Maine

  • December 11, 2020: Governor Mills issues Executive Order 19 FY 20/21, which requires all persons age two and over to wear face coverings in all indoor public settings.
  • October 6, 2020: Governor Mills issues Executive Order 14 FY 20/21 which, among other things:
    • requires all businesses statewide to require employees and customers age two and over to wear face coverings inside;
    • allows the state to move into Stage 4 of the reopening plan beginning October 13, 2020; and
    • allows businesses that provide and require seating, such as restaurants and movie theaters, to reopen for in-person service at 50% capacity.
  • August 20, 2020: Governor Mills announces the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program to provide grants to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to cover payroll costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, operating expenses, and purchasing personal protective equipment. Businesses may apply for grants between August 21 and September 9, 2020.
  • July 8, 2020: Governor Mills issues Executive Order 2 FY 20/21 which requires eating establishments, bars, lodging operations, and large retail stores in certain counties to require customers to wear face coverings.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Mills releases additional COVID-19 prevention checklists for Stage 3 businesses reopening on July 1, 2020, including:
  • June 15, 2020: Governor Mills announces that restaurants in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can reopen indoor dining, provided that they comply with updated restaurant guidance which includes:
    • requiring employees to wear face coverings;
    • training employees on physical distancing guidelines, monitoring personal health, personal protective equipment, and cleaning protocols;
    • ensuring employees stay six feet apart whenever practical; and
    • staggering shifts and meal breaks.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Mills issues Executive Order 55, which:
    • eases restrictions on eating establishments;
    • continues to require businesses to utilize remote work to the greatest extent practicable; and
    • requires businesses accessible to the public to post readily visible signs by June 5, 2020 notifying customers of the requirement to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Mills announces update to the state reopening plan, delaying the June 1, 2020 start date of Stage 2 for certain businesses. Stage 2 industry-specific checklists have also been updated.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Mills updates plan to restart the state's economy, delaying the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons due to new concerns about COVID-19 transmissions in such establishments. The Governor plans to announce new reopening dates in June 2020.
  • May 14, 2020: Department of Economic and Community Development releases COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for businesses reopening in stages 1 and 2. The checklists include industry-specific guidance as well as a general business checklist, which requires employers to, among other things:
    • ensure six feet of separation between staff, customers, and vendors;
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms; and
    • implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Mills introduces rural reopening plan to reopen certain businesses in several rural counties. Retail businesses are permitted to reopen May 11, 2020 and restaurants may reopen on May 18, 2020 provided they comply with industry-specific guidance, which generally requires employers to:
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • ensure employees stay six feet apart whenever practical;
    • prohibit gatherings or meetings of ten or more people; and
    • provide employee training regarding physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment, monitoring personal health, and cleaning protocols.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Mills issues Stay Safer at Home Executive Order extending the stay-at-home order until May 31, 2020 and announcing the Together We Are Maine: Restarting Maine's Economy Plan. Effective May 1, 2010, the order requires all persons over the age of two to wear cloth coverings in public settings. According to the restarting plan, the Department of Economic and Community Development will issue COVID-19 Prevention Checklists to businesses ahead of staged openings that set forth general best practices related to physical distancing, hygiene, and personal protection, as well as best practices specific to each industry sector.
  • March 17, 2020: Governor Mills and the Legislature enact bipartisan legislation to increase flexibility in Maine’s unemployment benefits program. Among other things, the new legislation (S.P. 789):
    • expands eligibility for benefits to people who are under a temporary medical quarantine or isolation restriction or temporarily laid off due to a partial or full closure of the individual's place of employment because of the state of emergency and is expected to return to work; and
    • waives the waiting period.
For the latest Maine information and resources on COVID-19, see Maine Department of Labor: Information about COVID-19.

Maryland

  • December 17, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-12-17-01 and accompanying Department of Health Directive, which requires all out-of-state travelers (except from D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) to either:
    • be tested for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival or within 72 hours before traveling to Maryland; or
    • quarantine for ten days.
  • December 7, 2020: Baltimore City Council enacts two ordinances imposing reinstatement and retention obligations for commercial property, event center, and hotel employers:
    • COVID-19 Laid-Off Employees Right of Recall Ordinance, which requires such employers to make offers of employment to employees laid off after March 5, 2020 for any available position for which they are qualified; and
    • COVID-19 Employee Retention Ordinance which, after a change in control, requires the new employer to make written offers of employment to current employees for any continuing positions and to rehire current employees for any positions that become open later. It also prohibits such employers from discharging the retained employees, except for cause, during a 90-day transition period.
  • November 17, 2020: Governor Larry Hogan issues Executive Order 20-11-17-01 which, effective November 20, 2020, requires:
    • bars and restaurants to close between 10pm and 6am, except for carryout and delivery services;
    • bars and restaurants to limit capacity to 50% for indoor dining; and
    • retail establishments to limit capacity to 50%.
  • September 1, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-09-01-01 which moves the state into Stage Three and allows:
    • indoor theaters to reopen at the lesser of 50% capacity or 100 persons;
    • outdoor theaters to reopen at the lesser of 50% capacity or 250 persons; and
    • retail stores and malls to increase capacity to 75%.
  • July 29, 2020: Maryland Department of Health issues travel advisory which strongly recommends that anyone:
    • traveling or returning to Maryland from out of state get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival or within 72 hours of traveling to Maryland; and
    • who has traveled to a state with a positivity rate above 10% (except Virginia and the District of Columbia) get tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine until they receive results.
  • July 29, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-07-29-01 which expands the face covering order to require all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings when they are:
    • in or on public transportation;
    • indoors where members of the public are generally permitted;
    • outdoors and unable to consistently maintain at least six feet of distance from others; and
    • engaged in work where interaction with others is likely or where food is prepared or packaged.
  • July 22, 2020: Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young issues Executive Order allowing restaurants and bars to reopen for outdoor dining on July 24, 2020, provided that they, among other things:
    • require all staff to wear face coverings;
    • ensure customers are seated at least six feet away from each other and wear face coverings when not eating or drinking; and
    • clean and disinfect each table in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Larry Hogan announces that $45 million will be allocated to expand the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
  • June 10, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-06-10-01, which allows the following businesses to reopen, provided they adhere to industry-specific guidance:
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Hogan announces Stage Two of the Maryland Strong reopening plan to begin June 5, 2020. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-06-03-01, manufacturing, construction, retail businesses, offices, and personal services businesses may reopen with health and safety restrictions, including:
    • wearing face coverings when face-to-face interaction takes place;
    • conducting temperature checks for employees;
    • rotating employee hours and staggering shifts; and
    • encouraging telework whenever possible.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Hogan signs Executive Order 20-05-29-01 allowing breweries, wineries, and distilleries to serve alcoholic beverages in outdoor seating areas, provided that they:
    • require all employees to wear face coverings;
    • ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other; and
    • clean and disinfect tables between each seating.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Hogan announces that outdoor dining and other outdoor activities such as swimming pools and drive-in movie theaters may reopen. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-05-27-01, restaurants and bars may serve food and beverages in outdoor seating areas beginning May 29, 2020, provided that they:
    • require all employees to wear face coverings;
    • begin screening procedures, including daily temperature checks of all employees;
    • ensure patrons are seated at least six feet away from each other; and
    • sanitize tables and chairs between each customer seating.
  • May 20, 2020: U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland rejects constitutional challenge to Governor Hogan's emergency COVID-19 orders, stating that the stay-at-home and business closure orders are narrowly tailored to achieve the state's compelling interest in protecting the public from COVID-19 (Antietam Battlefield KOA v. Hogan, (D. Md. May 20, 2020)).
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Hogan announces the beginning of Stage One of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, allowing certain businesses to reopen on May 15, 2020. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-05-13-01, retail stores, manufacturing businesses, and personal services may reopen by following industry-specific guidance, which generally requires employers to, among other things:
    • encourage telework as much as possible;
    • encourage employees to wear face coverings (required for personal services);
    • screen employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • implement measures to ensure social distancing; and
    • clean and disinfect the facility in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • May 8, 2020: Maryland passes SB 780, which amends the Economic Stabilization Act effective October 1, 2020. The amendments give the Secretary of Labor power to issue both orders compelling compliance and fines for violations, and require businesses with at least 50 employees that are implementing a reduction in operations to:
    • provide 60 days' written notice to employees, bargaining agencies, the Division of Workforce Development's dislocated worker unit, and all elected officials in the jurisdiction; and
    • continue benefits, such as health, severance, and pension, for employees.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-04-29-03 prohibiting garnishment of CARES Act recovery rebates.
  • April 15, 2020: Governor Hogan issues Executive Order 20-04-15-01 requiring all public transportation, retail establishment, and food service establishment employees to wear face coverings. All retail establishments must designate six-foot spaces for customer lines and allow employees to wash their hands at least once every 30 minutes. A person who knowingly and willfully violates the order is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
  • April 14, 2020: Anne Arundel County Health Officer issues public safety order imposing requirements on retail business employers and guidance warning that failure to comply could lead to a shut-down and criminal charges. The order requires retail business employers to:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • require customers to wear face coverings;
    • limit customer capacity to 50% of normal capacity;
    • make aisles one-way and clearly mark six-foot separation and one-way requirements on the floor; and
    • provide access to sanitary restrooms and soap or hand sanitizer for customers and employees.
  • April 10, 2020: Governor Hogan directs Maryland Department of Labor to take steps to bolster the unemployment claims process. In response, the Maryland Department of Labor is doubling the staffing at statewide claims centers and is partnering with a vendor to expedite the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs under the CARES Act. Beginning April 17, 2020, eligible Maryland employees will begin receiving the additional $600 per week as part of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.
  • April 9, 2020: Montgomery County Health Department issues directive and order requiring grocery store, farmers' market, pharmacy, and other large chain retail establishment businesses to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • require customers to wear face coverings;
    • allow employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes;
    • implement and display appropriate signage for physical distancing between workers, customers, and visitors.
    • prohibits employers from terminating an employee solely because of an isolation or quarantine order, the employee leaving employment due to risk of exposure or infection, or to care for a family member due to COVID-19; and
    • gives the Secretary of Labor flexibility to approve unemployment benefits for workers whose place of employment has been closed, have been quarantined, or who must care for a quarantined family member.
For the latest Maryland information and resources on COVID-19, see Maryland Department of Health, COVID-19.

Massachusetts

  • December 22, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 59 which, effective from December 26, 2020 through January 10, 2021, limits:
    • all indoor gatherings (public and private) to 10 people;
    • all outdoor gatherings (public and private) to 25 people; and
    • most businesses to 25% capacity.
  • December 8, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 58 which, effective December 13, 2020, returns the state to Step 1 of Phase III of the Reopening Plan. Under the Phase II, Step 1 Safety Rules:
    • indoor performance venues and indoor recreational activities must close;
    • outdoor theaters and performance venues must limit capacity to 25% capacity and no more than 50 people;
    • most non-essential businesses must reduce capacity to 40%; and
    • restaurants must limit each table to 90-minute service and no more than six patrons.
  • December 8, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 57 which, effective December 13, 2020:
    • limits indoor gatherings at public settings to 25 people;
    • limits outdoor gatherings at public settings to 50 people;
    • requires venue operators and event organizers to report all anticipated outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people to the local board of health at least one week prior to the scheduled event, if practicable; and
    • requires all gatherings, no matter the size or location, to disperse by 9:30pm.
  • December 7, 2020: Massachusetts Department of Public Health issues quarantine and return to work guidance which allows individuals who have tested positive for or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to return to work:
    • if symptomatic, after at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared, symptoms have improved, and at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without medication; or
    • if asymptomatic, after at least ten days have passed since the first positive COVID-19 test was taken, assuming symptoms did not subsequently develop.
  • November 2, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 55 which, effective November 6, 2020:
    • requires all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings when in indoor or outdoor public places; and
    • allows employers to request documentation verifying a medical condition from employees who request an accommodation to not wear a face covering.
  • November 2, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 53 which, effective November 6, 2020, requires certain businesses to close between 9:30pm and 5:00am, including:
    • restaurants, however they may continue take-out and delivery services during the mandatory closing period;
    • arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation;
    • indoor and outdoor theaters, movie theaters, and performance venues;
    • close contact personal services;
    • fitness centers and health clubs; and
    • museums and cultural and historical facilities.
  • September 29, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 51, which outlines the process to allow "lower risk communities" to advance to Step II of Phase III of the reopening plan. To qualify as a "lower risk community," areas must have an average daily COVID-19 incidence rate of eight or fewer per 100,000 residents. Under Phase III, Step II, the following businesses may reopen or increase capacity:
    • indoor performance venues may open at 50% capacity or 250 maximum people;
    • outdoor performance venue may increase capacity to 50% or 250 maximum people;
    • indoor and outdoor recreation businesses may increase capacity to 50% and reopen trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks, and laser tag;
    • retail stores may reopen fitting rooms; and
    • gyms, museums, libraries, and driving and flight schools may increase capacity to 50%.
  • July 24, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order 45 which requires all persons arriving in Massachusetts from certain states to quarantine for 14 days unless they have received a negative test from a sample taken less than 72 hours before arrival.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Baker announces that Phase III will begin July 6, 2020, which allows the following businesses to reopen:
  • June 22, 2020: Governor Baker announces Step Two of Phase II to begin June 22, 2020, which allows the following businesses to reopen:
  • June 6, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order No. 37, authorizing Phase II, Step One of the Reopening Massachusetts plan to begin on June 8, 2020. Under Step One of Phase II, the following businesses may reopen by following sector-specific guidance:
    • retail with limited occupancy;
    • outdoor restaurant service;
    • hotels and lodgings;
    • warehouses and distribution centers;
    • personal services without close contact, such as home cleaning, photography, and tutoring; and
    • outdoor recreation facilities and outdoor historical spaces.
  • June 1, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order No. 35 detailing the list of businesses allowed to reopen in Phases II, III, and IV of the Reopening Massachusetts plan. The order also authorizes businesses reopening in Phase II, including retail businesses, hotels, and outdoor restaurant dining, to allow workers to return to their facilities to prepare for Phase II reopening when authorized.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Baker announces preparations for the start of Phase II of Reopening Massachusetts and issues updated workplace safety guidelines for the restaurant and lodging industries.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Baker signs S.2618, which:
    • prevents unemployment benefits paid as a result of COVID-19 from being charged to employers' accounts; and
    • extends unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 30 weeks for any week in which unemployment claims exceed 100,000.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Baker releases Reopening Massachusetts, the full report on the state's reopening plan, and replaces the stay-at-home advisory with a safer-at-home advisory. Provided they comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces and sector-specific guidance, and develop and post a COVID-19 Control Plan, the following businesses may reopen in Phase 1:
  • May 11, 2020: Governor Baker announces four-phased plan to reopen the state economy and publishes Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards applicable to all sectors and industries that will be open during Phase 1. The safety standards require all employers to, among other things:
    • implement social distancing measures to ensure all persons remain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible;
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • provide handwashing capabilities throughout the workplace and regularly sanitize all high-touch areas;
    • provide training for employees on social distancing and hygiene protocols; and
    • establish plans for employees who become ill at work and when they can return to work.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Baker issues COVID-19 Order No. 31 requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in public places, when social distancing is not possible, effective May 6, 2020.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Baker extends business-closure order until May 18, 2020 and announces formation of the Reopening Advisory Board, which will develop a report by May 18 that will include workplace safety standards and industry guidelines for reopening.
  • April 14, 2020: City of Worcester issues order requiring employees of essential retail businesses to wear face coverings. The order requires all employees of retail businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, home improvement stores, and farmers markets to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when interacting with the public and within six feet of a coworker. A violation of the order is subject to a fine of up to $100 for the second offense and up to $300 for subsequent offenses.
  • April 14, 2020: Northampton Health Department issues mandatory order requiring all consumers and employees to wear face coverings at all times when social distancing cannot be maintained, at any businesses providing essential services within the city.
  • April 9, 2020: City of Salem issues emergency order requiring all members of the public, including employees, to wear face coverings in all essential businesses and restaurants. Retail businesses must limit the number of customers and staff inside to maintain social distancing and designate an employee to ensure that the maximum number is not exceeded.
  • March 18, 2020: Governor Baker signs S. 2599 expanding unemployment benefits. This law waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits claims by anyone separated from work due to COVID-19 or the effects of the Governor's March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency. The law is effective March 10, 2020 until 90 days after the end of the state of emergency. In the event of an employer shutdown, employees may collect unemployment benefits if they:
    • remain in contact with their employer during the shutdown; and
    • make themselves available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do.

Michigan

  • December 29, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs amendment to Public Act 238 (HB 6032), which prohibits employees from reporting to work due to specified COVID-19 circumstances and prohibits employers from retaliating against those employees for complying with such provision. The amendment reflects the revised CDC quarantine and isolation guidance and removes the requirement that employees who have been in close contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms remain out of work for up to 14 days. Employees are now required to remain out of work:
    • if they tested positive, until they are advised by a health care provider that they have completed their isolation period or their isolation period has passed, symptoms have improved, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours;
    • if they have principal symptoms of COVID-19, until they receive a negative test or the isolation period has passed, symptoms have improved, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours; or
    • if they were in close contact with someone positive, until they have been advised by a health care provider that they have completed their quarantine period or the quarantine period has passed.
  • December 18, 2020: Director of Michigan DHHS Robert Gordon issues updated order, which is effective until January 15, 2021 and, among other things:
    • continues to require face masks to be worn for gatherings of any kind, including businesses, offices, and transportation providers;
    • continues to require businesses to maintain records of patrons for 28 days for contact tracing purposes; and
    • allows lower-risk recreational facilities, such as amusement parks, theaters, casinos, and bowling alleys, to reopen provided that capacity is limited to 100 people for recreational facilities, 20% capacity for fixed-seating venues, and 20 people per 1,000 square feet for venues without fixed seating.
  • November 16, 2020: MIOSHA creates state emphasis program to ensure that manufacturing establishments are protecting workers from COVID-19. MIOSHA will create a targeting list of manufacturing establishments to review their COVID-19 preparedness and response plans and will evaluate employers' compliance with the October 14 emergency rules.
  • November 15, 2020: Director of Michigan DHHS Gordon issues Gatherings and Face Mask Order and accompanying infographic which, effective November 18 through December 8, 2020:
    • requires certain indoor businesses, including workplaces when work can be done from home, to close;
    • limits workplace gatherings to those consistent with the October 14 MIOSHA emergency rules;
    • requires businesses allowed to remain open to maintain records of patrons for 28 days for contact tracing purposes; and
    • continues to require businesses to comply with face mask requirements.
  • October 29, 2020: Director of Michigan DHHS Gordon issues Emergency Order which, among other things, continues to require:
    • all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings when participating in non-residential gatherings; and
    • all persons responsible for businesses, offices, schools, events, or other operations to require individuals to wear face coverings and deny entry to all individuals who refuse to wear face coverings.
  • October 22, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs three bills related to COVID-19, including:
    • HB 6030 (COVID-19 Response and Reopening Liability Assurance Act), which provides immunity from COVID-19 tort liability claims to individuals and businesses that are in compliance with COVID-19 related laws, regulations, and orders;
    • HB 6031, which amends the state Occupational Safety and Health Act to provide immunity for employees' exposure to COVID-19 to employers that are in compliance with COVID-19 related laws, regulations, and orders; and
    • HB 6032, which provides that employees who test positive for COVID-19, have principal symptoms, or have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 must not report to work until specific conditions are met and prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who comply with this law or report COVID-19 related health violations.
  • October 20, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs SB 886, which amends the state Employment Security Act by, among other things:
    • extending the maximum period of benefit eligibility from 20 to 26 weeks in a benefit year;
    • relaxing requirements on shared work plans;
    • increasing unemployment eligibility for employees who leave work for certain COVID-19 related reasons; and
    • relieving employers from being charged for benefits paid through December 31, 2020.
  • October 14, 2020: Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issues emergency rules which require all employers covered by the state Occupational Safety and Health Act to, among other things:
    • categorize job tasks and procedures into low, medium, high, and very high exposure risks;
    • create written COVID-19 preparedness and response plans consistent with OSHA and CDC guidance and including measures to prevent employee exposure based on their job risk categorizations;
    • implement infection prevention measures, including prohibiting in-person work to the extent work activities can feasibly be completed remotely;
    • screen all employees prior to entering the workplace and complying with notification procedures when there is a known positive COVID-19 case;
    • designate one or more worksite COVID-19 safety coordinators to implement, monitor, and report on COVID-19 control strategies;
    • provide employees with necessary personal protective equipment, including respirators, that is appropriate to the exposure risk associated to the job;
    • comply with industry-specific guidelines set forth in Rule 9; and
    • provide training to all employees on COVID-19 infection-control practices, proper use of personal protective equipment, notification of COVID-19 symptoms or positive diagnoses, and reporting unsafe working conditions.
  • October 9, 2020: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issues emergency order which, among other things:
    • prohibits employee gatherings in the workplace if employees are not wearing face coverings or cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another;
    • places restrictions on when employees under quarantine or awaiting COVID-19 test results may return to work;
    • requires employers to screen employees before entering the workplace if employees are required to gather for work;
    • requires all persons age five and over to wear face coverings inside businesses, government offices, schools, and other operations;
    • restricts capacity in food service establishments, retail stores, libraries, and museums to 50%;
    • restricts capacity in sports and exercise facilities to 25%; and
    • requires food service establishments to close indoor common areas and prohibit indoor gatherings anywhere alcoholic beverages are sold for onsite consumption, except where parties are seated at least six feet from one another.
  • October 9, 2020: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair issue COVID-19 public health order, which contains nearly identical requirements to Governor Whitmer's orders that were struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court. Among other things, the order requires:
    • all individuals age five and over to wear face coverings in indoor places, when outdoors and unable to consistently maintain six feet of distance, and when waiting for or riding public transportation;
    • businesses to prohibit customers from entering its premises unless they are wearing face coverings;
    • businesses to develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and screen employees prior to entering the workplace; and
    • businesses to comply with industry-specific guidelines.
  • October 2, 2020: Michigan Supreme Court rules that the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act (EPGA), upon which Governor Whitmer relied in issuing over 100 COVID-19 related executive orders, was an unconstitutional delegation of power by the legislative branch (In re Certified Questions from the U.S. Dist. Ct., W.D. Mich., No. 161492 (Oct. 2, 2020)). In response, Governor Whitmer announced that the ruling will not take effect for at least 21 days and therefore the emergency COVID-19 orders, including the statewide mask mandate, will remain in effect for 21 days or until further direction from the court.
  • September 25, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-184 which updates workplace safety guidance to include new businesses that are allowed to reopen October 9, 2020 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-183. Such businesses are required to maintain records, including date, time of entry, names of patrons, and contact information, to aid with contract tracing.
  • September 25, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-183 which, beginning October 9, 2020, allows indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, sports venues, and entertainment facilities to reopen at 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20% of fixed seating capacity.
  • August 27, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-172, which prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who choose to stay home when they show symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Employers must treat such employees as though they were taking medical leave.
  • August 10, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-168 which extends health and safety orders for food-selling establishments and pharmacies until September 7, 2020, including requiring such businesses to:
    • deploy strategies to reduce COVID-19 exposure such as allowing employees sufficient break time to wash hands and ensure employees and customers remain six feet apart;
    • notify other food-selling employees and vendors if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 without revealing personal health-related information; and
    • offer accommodations to vulnerable employees, such as low-risk assignments or leaves of absence.
  • August 7, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-166, which prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who remain home because they show symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • August 4, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Directive 2020-8 which, among other things, requires:
    • licensing departments and agencies to consider violations of COVID-19 executive orders as evidence of lack of suitability for licensing;
    • state department and agency heads to consider noncompliance with COVID-19 executive orders to be presumptive evidence of a "public health hazard" or "imminent and substantial hazard to the public health"; and
    • the state police to enforce violations of COVID-19 executive orders as they would enforce any other violation of law.
  • July 29, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Orders 2020-160 and 2020-161 which, among other things:
    • close indoor service at bars if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcoholic beverage sales; and
    • allow casinos to reopen at 15% capacity on August 5, 2020, provided that they screen customers and employers prior to entering, require dealers and customers to wear face coverings, stagger shift and break schedules for employees, and clean and disinfect all high-touch objects.
  • July 17, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-153 which, among other things:
    • clarifies that businesses may not assume that customers who are not wearing masks cannot tolerate face coverings, though they may accept a verbal representation to that effect; and
    • requires public safety officers to wear face coverings unless doing so would seriously interfere with their responsibilities.
  • July 13, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-149 which, among other things, requires food-selling establishments and pharmacies to implement strategies to protect customers and employees by:
    • requiring checkout employees to wear face coverings;
    • allowing employees sufficient break time to wash hands as needed;
    • ensuring that employees and customers remain at least six feet apart; and
    • accommodating vulnerable employees by providing them with lower-exposure work assignments or the option to take an unpaid leave of absence.
  • July 10, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-147 which, effective July 13, 2020, requires businesses open to the public to:
    • refuse entry or service to any customer age five and over who is not wearing a face covering; and
    • post signs at entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.
  • July 1, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-143, which closes indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcoholic beverage sales. Other food service establishments that serve alcohol may remain open for indoor service, provided they require all patrons to wear face coverings except when seated at their table.
  • July 1, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs SB 690, which appropriates federal funding to ensure that frontline workers are fairly compensated by providing, among other things:
    • A $2/hour increase for direct care workers;
    • $100 million for hazard pay for local first responders and $200 million for local units of government;
    • $100 million in small business restart grants; and
    • $10 million in MIOSHA grants for protections to keep workers safe on the job.
  • June 19, 2020: Michigan District Court issues preliminary injunction striking down the provision in Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-110 which keeps indoor gyms closed (League of Independent Fitness Facilities & Trainers, Inc. v. Whitmer, (W.D. Mich. June 19, 2020)).
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-126 which requires food-selling establishments and pharmacies to, among other things:
    • require checkout employees to wear face coverings;
    • allow employees sufficient break time to wash hands as needed;
    • ensure that employees and customers remain at least six feet apart;
    • adopt procedures to meet the CDC environmental cleaning guidelines; and
    • accommodate high-risk employees by providing them with lower-exposure work assignments or the option to take an unpaid leave of absence.
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-125 which provides that prison employees, including correctional officers, medical staff, and cafeteria staff, are presumptively entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115, which:
    • allow Regions 6 and 8 to move to Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan on June 10, 2020;
    • allow personal services businesses to reopen statewide on June 15, 2020; and
    • update general business and sector-specific reopening requirements, which include developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms, and providing and requiring employees to wear face coverings when they cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals.
  • June 1, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding the Safer at Home order and moving the state to Phase Four of the MI Safe Start Plan. Under the order:
    • retail businesses may reopen June 4, 2020;
    • libraries, museums, outdoor swimming pools, and restaurants may reopen June 8, 2020; and
    • individuals must continue to wear face coverings when in any enclosed public space and businesses are permitted to deny entry to any individuals who refuses.
  • May 21, 2020: Michigan Court of Claims upholds Governor Whitmer's declaration of a state of emergency, rejecting the state House of Representative and Senate's constitutional challenge. The court determined that the governor acted within her authority under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act in issuing the declaration of emergency without legislative approval. (Mich. House of Representatives v. Whitmer, (Mich. Ct. Claims May 21, 2020).)
    • June 4, 2020: Michigan Supreme Court denies leave to appeal, holding that the case should follow the normal appeal route and be heard first by the Michigan Court of Appeals (Mich. House of Representatives v. Governor, (Mich. June 4, 2020)).
    • August 21, 2020: Michigan Court of Appeals upholds Governor Whitmer's declaration of a state of emergency, finding that the declaration and its extension, as well as her related executive orders, fell within the scope of the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act (Mich. House of Representatives v. Governor, (Aug. 21, 2020)).
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-96 allowing retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment only beginning May 26, 2020.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-92 allowing counties in Regions Six (Traverse City) and Eight (Upper Peninsula) of the MI Safe Start Plan to reopen businesses, provided they comply with the safety measures outlined in Executive Order 2020-91.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-91 requiring all businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines when reopening, which include, among other things:
    • developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan by June 1, 2020 and providing such plan to employees, labor unions, and customers;
    • designating one or more worksite supervisors to implement, monitor, and report on the COVID-19 response plan;
    • providing training to employees that covers infection-control practices, proper use of personal protective equipment, and reporting COVID-19 symptoms and unsafe working conditions;
    • conducting daily symptom screenings for employees;
    • providing and requiring employees to wear face coverings when they cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation;
    • adopting enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
    • prohibiting discharge, discipline, or retaliation against employees who stay home or leave work when they are at a particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19; and
    • promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Whitmer details MI Safe Start Plan, a six-phased plan to re-engage the state's economy.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-77 extending the stay-at-home order until May 28, 2020 and allowing manufacturing businesses to resume operations on May 11, 2020. The order requires manufacturing facilities to adopt measures such as:
    • conducting daily screening protocols for employees, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering the facility, including a symptom questionnaire and a temperature screening;
    • suspending all non-essential in-person visits;
    • training employees on COVID-19 transmission, symptoms, and safety measures;
    • implementing social distancing measures;
    • and limiting the sharing of tools and equipment.
  • May 6, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-76, which:
    • expedites unemployment benefits by allowing the state to review only an employee's most recent job separation to determine entitlement; and
    • extends the provisions of Executive Order 2020-57.
  • May 4, 2020: Plaintiff files complaint seeking an injunction against the Governor's stay-at-home orders and a declaratory judgment that such orders are unconstitutional (Mitchell v. Whitmer, (W.D. Mich. May 4, 2020)).
  • May 2, 2020: Governor Whitmer signs Executive Order 2020-71 extending current safety measures to protect grocery store and pharmacy employees and consumers until May 30, 2020. The order rescinds Executive Order 2020-60 and requires food-selling establishments and pharmacies to, among other things:
    • require checkout employees to wear face coverings;
    • develop and implement a daily employee symptom-screening program;
    • allow employees sufficient break time to wash hands as needed;
    • use best efforts to provide hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for employees and customers;
    • adopt procedures to meet CDC environmental cleaning guidelines;
    • accommodate vulnerable employees by providing lower-exposure work assignments or giving them the option to take an unpaid leave of absence; and
    • close to the public for sufficient time each night to allow stores to be properly sanitized.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-70 rescinding Executive Order 2020-59 and allowing construction and real estate activities to safely resume beginning May 7, 2020. Construction activities that resume are required to adopt a set of best practices, including:
    • designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies;
    • conducting daily employee health screenings;
    • providing and require employees to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed; and
    • ensuring there are sufficient hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.
  • April 26, 2020: Governor Gretchen Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-60 requiring food-selling establishments and pharmacies to implement strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including, among other things:
    • requiring checkout employees to wear face coverings;
    • developing and implementing a daily screening program for all employees entering the worksite;
    • using best efforts to provide employees and customers access to an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol;
    • ensuring that employees and customers remain at least six feet apart; and
    • closing to the public for sufficient time each not to allow the facility to be properly sanitized.
  • April 24, 2020: Governor Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-59 extending the stay-at-home order through May 15 and requiring, among other things:
    • all individuals to wear a face covering when in any enclosed public space; and
    • all businesses and operations to provide and require their employees to wear face coverings; and
    • anti-discrimination protections to be extended to all persons wearing masks.
  • April 22, 2020: Governor Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-57 further expanding unemployment benefits. Among other things, the order:
    • expands the state's workshare program, offering more tools to employers to reduce layoffs;
    • extends unemployment benefits to employees who left a job after accepting new employment but were unable to start the new job due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • allows employees with active unemployment claims to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits; and
    • temporarily suspends the work search requirements.
  • April 9, 2020: Governor Gretchen Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-42 requiring businesses that remain open to implement sound social distancing practices, which include:
    • developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with OSHA guidance;
    • restricting the number of employees present on the premises;
    • promoting remote work as much as possible;
    • keeping workers and patrons at least six feet from one another;
    • adopting policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19; and
    • increasing cleaning and disinfecting standards and adopting protocols to disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.
  • April 3, 2020: Governor Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-36 providing protections for employees who are home due to COVID-19. The order prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against an employee for staying home if they or a close contact tests positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19. Employers are not allowed to request documentation supporting the need to stay home and are directed to treat such employees as if they were taking medical leave under the state Paid Medical Leave Act and to provide unpaid leave if the employee has no paid leave available.
  • March 30, 2020: Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity enacts emergency rule creating a presumption that first responders who contract COVID-19 did so in the course of their employment for workers' compensation purposes.
  • March 25, 2020: Counties of Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Ingham issue public health emergency orders extending protections to employees who continue to work on-site.
  • March 23, 2020: Governor Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-21, which requires employers to restrict the number of in-person employees, maximize remote working, and implement social distancing policies, among other things.
  • March 18, 2020: Governor Whitmer enacts Emergency Rules regarding workers' compensation for first responders. The rules, which will remain in effect for six months, create a presumption that "first response employees" (e.g., health care employees and police officers) suffer a personal injury arising out of their employment if they:
    • are quarantined due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure;
    • receive a COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician;
    • receive a presumptive positive COVID-19 test; or
    • receive a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • March 16, 2020: Governor Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Workers. Executive Order 2020-10, in effect until April 14, temporarily expands eligibility for unemployment benefits. Under the order, unemployment benefits increase from 20 to 26 weeks, the application eligibility period increases from 14 to 28 days, and the in-person registration and work search requirements are suspended. Expanded unemployment benefits are offered to:
    • employees with an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures or those forced to care for loved ones who become ill;
    • employees who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off; and
    • first responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.
For the latest Michigan information and resources on COVID-19, see Michigan, Coronavirus.

Minnesota

  • December 16, 2020: Governor Walz signs SF 31 which, among other things, extends unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks.
  • December 16, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-103 which, effective from December 18, 2020 through January 10, 2021:
    • eliminates the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for out-of-state travelers and encourages such travelers to comply with the Department of Health's quarantine guidance;
    • continues to prohibit indoor dining at restaurants and other public places offering food and beverages;
    • requires restaurants and bars offering outdoor dining to close each day between 10:00pm and 4:00am;
    • allows gyms, fitness centers, and other exercise and recreational facilities to reopen with restrictions; and
    • continues the closure of public pools and indoor entertainment events, such as theaters, concert halls, and museums.
  • November 18, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-99 which, effective from November 20 through December 18, 2020:
    • requires persons arriving or returning to Minnesota from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days;
    • prohibits indoor dining at restaurants and other public places offering food and beverages;
    • closes public pools, gyms, fitness centers, and other exercise and recreational facilities;
    • closes indoor and outdoor entertainment venues; and
    • limits personal care services to 50% capacity.
  • November 10, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-96 which, effective November 13, 2020, prohibits all restaurants and indoor and outdoor venues that offer food and beverage service from offering such services between 10:00pm and 4:00am.
  • July 29, 2020: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issues Emergency Regulation 2020-17 which closes bar areas within restaurants, nightclubs, breweries, taprooms, and other indoor entertainment spaces. The regulation allows such businesses to serve alcohol at customers seated at tables.
  • July 22, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-81 requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and indoor public settings and when riding public transportation.
  • July 20 and 21, 2020: Cities of St. Louis Park, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Roseville, and Shoreview issue orders requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in indoor places open to the public.
  • July 6 – July 14, 2020: Cities of Duluth, Excelsior, Mankato, Minnetonka, Rochester, White Bear Lake, and Winona issue orders requiring face coverings to be worn in all indoor places accessible to the public.
  • July 1, 2020: Edina Mayor James Hovland issues Emergency Regulation 2020-02, which is effective July 6, 2020 and requires:
    • all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in indoor public places; and
    • all employees to wear face coverings whenever they have face-to-face contact with the public unless a physical barrier is in place or six feet of separation is maintained.
  • June 16, 2020: Governor Walz signs HF 5, which amends the small business emergency loan program to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses with less than 50 employees that were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Governor's press release, half of the funding will go to Greater Minnesota businesses, at least $10 million will go to minority-owned businesses, and $2.5 million each will go to veteran-owned and women-owned businesses.
  • June 12, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-75 extending the peacetime emergency through July 13, 2020, which will continue to:
    • protect employees from wage garnishment;
    • provide procurement power for personal protective equipment; and
    • protect employees from unsafe working conditions.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Tim Walz announces Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan to begin June 10, 2020. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-74, the following businesses are allowed to reopen or increase capacity, provided that they implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which requires compliance with the Minnesota OSHA Standards and industry-specific guidance:
    • restaurants may offer indoor dining at 50% capacity;
    • gyms, fitness centers, and martial arts studios may reopen at 25% capacity;
    • indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, may reopen at 25% capacity;
    • recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums may reopen at 25% capacity;
    • personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barber shops may increase occupancy to 50%; and
    • outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, may reopen at 25% capacity.
  • May 27, 2020: Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III issues Emergency Executive Order 2020-09 which goes into effect June 1, 2020. The order requires:
    • all persons except young children to wear face coverings at city-controlled property when social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained; and
    • businesses to require all individuals to wear face coverings at all times when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Tim Walz signs Executive Order 20-63 which, among other things, allows the following businesses to reopen June 1, 2020 provided that they adhere to business-specific guidance, which includes screening employees for symptoms and requiring them to wear face coverings:
    • barbershops, hair salons, and other personal care services may reopen at 25% capacity; and
    • restaurants and bars may offer outdoor dining to a maximum of 50 customers at a time.
  • May 23, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-62 amending Executive Order 20-56 to allow places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering spaces for weddings, funerals, or planned services to host such events with more than 10 people, provided that they:
    • ensure a minimum of six feet of physical distancing;
    • not exceed 25% capacity (with a maximum of 250 people) in indoor settings;
    • not exceed 250 individuals in outdoor settings; and
    • develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Health guidance.
  • May 21, 2020: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signs Emergency Regulation 2020-12, which goes into effect May 26, 2020. The regulation requires:
    • all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor public places; and
    • all employees in public accommodation spaces to wear face coverings when having face-to-face contact with the public.
  • May 20, 2020: Governor Walz announces the phases in the Stay Safe plan, with Phase II set to begin June 1, 2020. Phase II allows salons and barbershops to open at 25% capacity and restaurants and bars to offer limited outdoor dining provided that they ensure social distancing and require employees to wear masks.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Walz signs HF 4599 extending the time period for the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides that a creditor may not begin or continue debt proceedings subject to the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act until the later of 150 days after the debtor files a mediation request or December 1, 2020.
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-56 extending the closure of bars and restaurants until May 31, 2020 and requiring all other non-critical businesses to, among other things:
    • allow workers to work from home whenever possible;
    • establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan as set forth in Executive Order 20-40 and train employees on the contents and required procedures; and
    • for customer-facing businesses, ensure physical distancing of six feet and limit occupancy to 50% (customer-facing businesses).
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-54 prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees who:
    • communicate to management personnel about occupational safety or health matters related to COVID-19;
    • wear gloves, face coverings, eye protection, or other protective gear, provided such gear does not violate industry standards or employer policies related to health, safety, or decency;
    • refuse to work under conditions that they, in good faith, reasonably believe present an imminent danger of death or serious physical harm, including a reasonable belief that their work assignment is unsafe or unhealthful as related to COVID-19; or
    • request an inspection of their workplace from the Department of Labor and Industry.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-51 requiring healthcare facilities that offer procedures utilizing PPE or ventilators to develop a written plan that, among other things, prevents discrimination against employees who:
    • question or express concern about occupational safety or health matters related to COVID-19;
    • refuse to work under conditions that they reasonably believe are unsafe; or
    • request a workplace inspection by the Department of Labor and Industry.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-50 declaring that federal CARES Act recovery rebates and state, local, and tribal government emergency support funds are "government assistance based on need" and therefore exempt from all claims from creditors and debt collectors.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Walz issues Executive Order 20-48 extending the state's stay-at-home order until May 17, 2020 and allowing customer-facing retail businesses to open only for outdoor pickup or delivery services. These businesses must comply with the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan set forth in Executive Order 20-40.
  • April 29, 2020: Businesses file lawsuit seeking judgment that the executive orders requiring their businesses to be shut down are unconstitutional because they are not narrowly tailored to meet any compelling state interest (Free Minnesota Small Bus. Coal. v. Walz, (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2020)).
  • May 5, 2020: Minnesota Court of Appeals questions jurisdiction over this matter and orders parties to submit legal memoranda regarding whether the executive orders are formally promulgated rules subject to review under Minn. Stat. § 14.44 ( Free Minnesota Small Bus. Coal., (Minn. Ct. App. May 5, 2020)).
  • May 26, 2020: Minnesota Court of Appeals dismisses the petition due to lack of jurisdiction, finding that the executive orders are not formally promulgated rules subject to review under Minn. Stat. § 14.44 because they were issued under the governor's authority under the Minnesota Emergency Act of 1995, Minn. Stat. §§ 12.01-12.61 (Free Minnesota Small Bus. Coal., (Minn. Ct. App. May 26, 2020)).
  • April 29, 2020: Department of Employment and Economic Development announces MN Symptom Screener, a new web-based tool that allows businesses to enter non-personal health information to help determine whether to admit someone into their facility. The tool uses a few simple questions and also provides the option to record daily temperature checks.
  • April 24, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-40 allowing non-critical exempt businesses to reopen, provided they establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Covered businesses allowed to reopen include office-based businesses and industrial and manufacturing businesses that are not customer-facing retail environments. The required COVID-19 Preparedness Plan must:
    • require employees to work from home whenever possible;
    • establish procedures, including health screenings, to prevent sick employees from entering the workplace;
    • establish social distancing policies and procedures;
    • establish employee hygiene policies and workplace cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
    • be signed and certified by senior management;
    • be provided in writing and posted in all workplaces to be reviewed by all employees; and
    • include training for all employees on the plan's contents.
  • April 22, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-39 providing flexibility to the Department of Human Rights by modifying filing requirements during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
  • April 7, 2020: Governor Walz signs HF 4537 providing a presumption for COVID-19 workers' compensation claims for first responders and certain other employees. Workers including police officers, firefighters, health care workers, corrections officers, and child care workers providing care for the children of such workers will be eligible for workers' compensation benefits without having to provide proof that they contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment. To receive compensation, these employees must provide a positive laboratory test or a diagnosis from a physician, physician's assistant, or nurse based on the employee's symptoms.
  • April 6, 2020: Governor Walz signs Executive Order 20-29 to expedite unemployment benefits. The order amends Executive Order 20-05 by suspending certain administrative requirements and requiring employers to notify separated employees that they can apply for unemployment benefits.
  • March 20, 2020: Minnesota Department of Labor issues guidance on workers' compensation benefits related to COVID-19. Employees who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment must provide proof that they contracted it at work. However, emergency responders who contract COVID-19 do not have to provide proof, as they are presumed to have contracted it due to the nature of their employment. Workers' compensation benefits are only available to employees who have fallen ill to COVID-19. Employees who are not ill, but are home from work because of exposure to the virus are not eligible.
  • March 16, 2020: Governor Tim Walz signs Executive Order 20-05 to ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 have access to unemployment benefits and that employers are not required to pay into the system to cover these additional costs. The order waives the one-week waiting period. Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if they have:
    • temporarily or permanently lost their job or had their hours reduced due to COVID-19;
    • been recommended or ordered by a health care professional to avoid contact with others due to COVID-19;
    • been ordered not to come to work due to an outbreak of COVID-19; or
    • received notification that their child's school district, daycare, or other childcare provider has been canceled, provided that they have made reasonable efforts to obtain other childcare arrangements and requested time off or other accommodation from their employer and no reasonable accommodation is available.

Mississippi

  • December 11, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1535, which extends the statewide face covering order.
  • November 10, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1530, which extends the Safe Recovery Order until December 11, 2020.
  • September 30, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1525 (the Safe Recovery Order) which, effective until November 11, 2020:
    • extends the statewide face covering order;
    • requires restaurants and bars to provide and ensure all employees wear appropriate PPE, screen customers for illness prior to entry, and prohibit alcohol sales between 11pm and 7am;
    • limits capacity at auditoriums and movie theaters to 50%;
    • requires personal care services to require employees and customers to wear face coverings and screen customers for illness prior to entry; and
    • limits capacity at outdoor and indoor arenas to 25%.
  • August 4, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1516 which requires all persons in the state age six and over to wear face coverings while:
    • inside any indoor space open to the public; and
    • in any outdoor public space when it is not possible to maintain six feet of distance.
  • July 30, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1515 which extends Executive Order 1509 regarding face coverings until August 17, 2020 and includes additional counties.
  • July 24, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1512 which extends Executive Order 1509 regarding face coverings to additional counties.
  • July 24, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1510 which, among other things:
    • waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits for all claims filed between March 8 and December 26, 2020;
    • suspends the work search requirements from March 8 until August 8, 2020; and
    • increases the $40 earning allowance to $200 from May 3 until September 26, 2020.
  • July 19, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1509 which extends the requirement for employees and customers in certain counties to wear face coverings while inside businesses until August 3, 2020.
  • July 10, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1507, which requires businesses in specified counties to, among other things:
    • screen all employees prior to beginning their shift;
    • require employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment based on their duties and responsibilities (retail employers must require face coverings for employees and customers); and
    • provide hand sanitizer to all employees.
  • July 8, 2021: Governor Reeves signs Mississippi Back-to-Business Liability Assurance and Health Care Emergency Response Liability Protection Act (SB 3049) which, for one year after the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, provides civil immunity from:
    • COVID-19 exposure claims to any person who attempts in good faith to follow applicable public health guidance;
    • COVID-19 death and injury claims to any person performing services prior to applicable public health guidance was available; and
    • COVID-19 death and injury claims to healthcare workers.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1505, which extends Executive Order 1492 until July 20, 2020.
  • June 30, 2020: City of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba issues Second Amended Stay Safe Jackson Executive Order which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public spaces where six feet of distancing cannot be maintained.
  • June 10, 2020: Governor Reeves issues Executive Order 1496, which goes into effect June 15, 2020 and allows:
    • restaurants and bars to extend their hours past 10pm;
    • gyms and fitness centers to increase capacity to 50%; and
    • outdoor and indoor arenas to open at 25% capacity.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Reeves launches Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program website to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees will be able to apply for grants online once the applications go live.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1492 allowing all businesses and non-profit entities to reopen provided that they follow industry-specific guidance and make reasonable, good-faith efforts to comply with the Department of Health's and the CDC's guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include:
    • encouraging telework and work from home;
    • ensuring social distancing;
    • sending sick employees home and encouraging sick employees to stay home;
    • adopting and enforcing regular hand washing and personal hygiene protocols; and
    • screening employees before each shift.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1491 allowing movie theaters, auditoriums, libraries, and museums to reopen beginning June 1, 2020 provided that employers, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings if they have direct contact with customers;
    • screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • train employees regarding proper sanitation, use of personal protective equipment, and social distancing; and
    • limit capacity to 50% maximum capacity.
  • May 22, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1487 allowing outdoor recreational parks to reopen provided that employers, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings based on their duties;
    • screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • train employees regarding proper sanitation and use of personal protective equipment; and
    • limit capacity to 50% maximum occupancy.
  • May 15, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1486 allowing restaurants that do not serve alcohol to offer in-house dining 24 hours a day and tattoo parlors to reopen with limitations.
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1484 allowing certain public entities to begin returning non-essential employees work subject to compliance with the state Department of Health's and the CDC's regulations, orders, and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1483 requiring businesses in Attala, Leake, Scott, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton, and Lauderdale counties to, among other things:
    • screen employees for symptoms daily at the beginning of their shifts;
    • require employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment based on their duties and responsibilities;
    • retail businesses to provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • adopt and enforce regular hand-washing and personal hygiene protocols; and
    • take measures to ensure social distancing.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1481 further expanding unemployment benefits to workers affected by COVID-19. The order replaces and supersedes Executive Order 1462 and makes changes to the state unemployment laws, including, among other things:
    • extending the waiver of the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits until December 26, 2020;
    • suspending the work search requirements until June 27, 2020;
    • increasing the $40 earning allowance to $200 from May 3, 2020 until June 27, 2020; and
    • waiving all charges that could be assessed to employers and suspends interest accrual between March 8, 2020 and June 27, 2020.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1480 allowing barbershops, hair salons, and fitness centers to reopen provided that they, among other things:
    • screen all employees for symptoms prior to beginning shifts;
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings;
    • screen customers for symptoms prior to entering;
    • implement measures to ensure six feet of separation between customers; and
    • sanitize all high-touch areas at least every two hours.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1478 allowing restaurants and bars to resume in-house dining provided that they, among other things:
    • screen all employees for symptoms prior to beginning shifts;
    • provide and require employees with direct customer contact to wear masks;
    • train all employees regarding proper hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, use of PPE, and safe food-handling procedures;
    • reduce seating capacity to 50%;
    • screen customers for illness upon entry;
    • adopt measures to ensure six feet of separation between customers when dining and when waiting to be seated; and
    • sanitize all high-contact surfaces every two hours.
  • April 24, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1477 allowing businesses and non-profits to remain open and reopen provided that they:
    • utilize work from home or other telework procedures;
    • taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as encouraging sick employees to stay home and implementing daily screenings of employees for COVID-19 symptoms before beginning shifts;
    • limiting capacity to 50% of maximum occupancy;
    • close or enforce strict social distancing protocols in all common areas; and
    • to the extent possible, make special accommodations for vulnerable employees.
  • April 15, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1472 suspending the 90-day break-in-service requirement of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) until June 30, 2020. This order allows retired workers who wish to return to work to respond to the COVID-19 emergency to do so without suspending their retirement benefits, provided they:
    • work no more than one-half the normal working days or hours so that they receive no more than one-half the salary in effect for their position; or
    • work for an amount of time sufficient to earn up to 25% of their average compensation used for calculating retirement benefits.
  • April 8, 2020: Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker issues Executive Order 2020-4 requiring all employers that remain open in the city to provide and require employees to wear masks. The order is in effect from April 10, 2020 through April 30, 2020.
  • March 21, 2020: Governor Reeves signs Executive Order 1462 waiving the one-week waiting period and work search requirements for unemployment benefits until June 27, 2020.
For the latest Mississippi information and resources on COVID-19, see Mississippi Department of Employment Security: Resources for Workers and Businesses on COVID-19.

Missouri

  • July 14, 2020: Governor Parson announces $50 million in grant programs to assist businesses, including:
    • the Small Business Grant Program to provide reimbursement of business interruption costs to small businesses and family-owned farms with less than 50 or fewer employees; and
    • the PPE Production Grant Program to assist companies that produce personal protection equipment.
  • July 8, 2020: St. Louis City Council issues Council Bill 2020-159 which goes into effect July 16, 2020 and requires, among other things:
    • all persons over the age of 11 to wear face coverings in both indoor and outdoor places of public accommodation;
    • personal care services and retail businesses to limit capacity; and
    • restaurants to ensure that all staff and patrons wear face coverings and that patrons are spaced at least six feet apart.
  • July 2, 2020: City of St. Louis and St. Louis County issue orders requiring all persons over the age of nine to wear face coverings when present at any business or public accommodation or when outside and social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • June 26, 2020: Kansas City Mayor Lucas issues Ninth Amended Order 20-01 which requires, among other things:
    • businesses to reasonably accommodate employees who are at a greater risk of harm if they contract COVID-19, the primary caregiver for a family member who contracted COVID-19, or eligible for FFCRA leave because they must care for a child whose place of care is closed;
    • employees and visitors to wear face coverings in all indoor public accommodations; and
    • businesses to maintain six feet of distance between all areas of service.
  • June 12, 2020: Governor Mike Parson announces that Missouri will fully reopen and enter Phase 2 of the "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan on June 16, 2020. All businesses are allowed to reopen but should continue to follow the guidelines for businesses.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Parson extends Phase 1 of the "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan from May 31 to June 15, 2020.
  • April 27, 2020: Governor Parson announces first phase of "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan to begin May 4, 2020. The plan contains guidelines for businesses which include:
    • implementing basic infection prevention measures such as protective equipment, temperature checks, testing, and sanitization;
    • modifying workspaces to maximize social distancing;
    • minimizing business travel;
    • developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan;
    • monitoring workforce for indicative symptoms; and
    • developing workplace flexibilities, including telework, phased return to work, limiting access to common areas, and ensuring sick leave policies are consistent with public health guidance.
For the latest Missouri information and resources on COVID-19, see Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, COVID-19 Resources for Businesses.

Montana

  • November 16, 2021: Governor Greg Gianforte reaffirms Montana law banning COVID-19 vaccination mandates, stating that "no employer in our state should use President Biden's OSHA rule, now halted by a federal court, as a basis for imposing illegal vaccination requirements on employees."
  • July 28, 2021: Montana Department of Labor & Industry releases House Bill 702 FAQs, which clarify that government entities, public accommodations, and employers may:
    • ask individuals about their vaccination status but cannot require them to respond or discriminate against them for not responding;
    • offer vaccine incentives so long as they are not so substantial to be coercive; and
    • not discriminate against unvaccinated individuals by requiring them to wear a mask, but may require everyone to wear a mask as long as reasonable accommodations are allowed for religious beliefs and disabilities.
  • May 7, 2021: Governor Gianforte signs HB 702, which states that a person's vaccination status is a protected category and prohibits employee vaccine mandates. Effective July 1, 2021, it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for:
    • a person or governmental entity to refuse, withhold from, or deny access to services, goods, facilities, educational and employment opportunities, or health care access based on the person's vaccination status;
    • an employer to refuse employment to or discriminate against a person regarding employment terms or condition based on the person's vaccination status; and
    • a public accommodation to exclude, limit, segregate, refuse to serve, or discriminate against a person based on their vaccination status.
  • February 12, 2021: Governor Gianforte issues directive rescinding prior directives related to the stage of emergency, including the statewide mask requirement.
  • February 10, 2021: Governor Gianforte signs SB 65, which provides civil immunity to individuals and businesses from claims related to COVID-19, provided the act or omission did not constitute:
    • gross negligence;
    • willful and wanton misconduct; or
    • intentional tort.
  • January 13, 2021: Governor Gianforte issues directive requiring all persons age five and older to wear face coverings when:
    • in indoor spaces open to the public; and
    • at any organized outdoor activity where social distancing is not possible or observed.
  • November 17, 2020: Governor Steve Bullock issues directive which, among other things:
    • requires restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos to operate at 50% capacity and close between 10pm and 4am;
    • limits public gatherings to 25 or fewer people; and
    • continues the July 15 face covering directive.
  • July 15, 2020: Governor Bullock issues directive requiring all businesses, government offices, and others responsible for indoor public spaces to, among other things:
    • ensure that all employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, or other members of the public age five and over wear face coverings;
    • provide face coverings to all employees and volunteers; and
    • post a clearly visible sign at all points of entry stating "Mask or face covering use required for ages five and older."
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Bullock announces loan deferment program to assist Montana businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Coronavirus Relief Fund allows businesses to defer payments on existing loans for six to 12 months, up to a maximum of $150,000.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Bullock announces the Montana Business Adaptation Program, which will reimburse small businesses for COVID-19 expenses related to keeping their employees and businesses safe, such as purchasing personal protective equipment, remote work equipment, cleaning supplies, and business adaptations required for social distancing.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Bullock announces Phase Two of Reopening the Big Sky to begin June 1, 2020. Under the new Directive:
    • employers should continue to permit telework as much as possible and adhere to Phase One guidelines where telework is not possible;
    • restaurants, bars, breweries, gyms, group fitness classes, and pools may increase to 75% capacity if they continue to ensure physical distancing and increased sanitation practices; and
    • concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and must adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines and CDC sanitation protocols.
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Bullock issues Directive permitting other businesses, including gyms, pools, theaters, and museums, to reopen beginning May 15, 2020. The Directive contains industry-specific guidance which generally includes, among other things:
    • ensuring six-foot distances between patrons;
    • implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures; and
    • training workers on symptom awareness and proper handwashing.
  • April 22, 2020: Governor Bullock announces Reopening the Big Sky, a three-phased plan to reopen the state economy. The Governor's Directive allows retail businesses to reopen beginning April 27, 2020 and restaurants, bars, and casinos to reopen beginning May 4, 2020 provided that they follow Phase One industry-specific guidance in the Directive, which includes, among other things:
    • encouraging telework whenever possible;
    • conducting health assessments for all employees prior to beginning shifts;
    • enforcing strict social distancing protocol such as closing common areas and limiting capacity;
    • making special accommodations for vulnerable employees; and
    • implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures.
  • March 17, 2020: The Montana Department of Labor and Industry issues emergency rules making unemployment benefits accessible to workers affected by COVID-19. The rules waive the one-week waiting period and extend unemployment benefits to employees who are:
    • out of work due to employer shutdown or reduction in force;
    • subject to quarantine; or
    • caring for a family member subject to quarantine.
For the latest Montana information and resources on COVID-19, see Montana Department of Labor & Industry, COVID-19 Resource Guide for Montana Employers and Employees.

Nebraska

  • December 23, 2020: Governor Ricketts announces that the state is moving from the yellow to the blue phase, which increases capacity for indoor gatherings from 50% to 75%.
  • December 11, 2020: Governor Ricketts announces that the state is moving from the orange to the yellow phase, which increases capacity for indoor gatherings from 25% to 50%.
  • December 3, 2020: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services outlines options that allow individuals exposed to COVID-19 to discontinue quarantine:
    • without testing if at least ten days have passed, no COVID-19 symptoms have developed, and they continue to self-monitor symptoms and wear a face covering through day 14; or
    • with a negative COVID-19 test if at least seven days have passed since the exposure, the test was taken no earlier than five days of the exposure, and they continue to self-monitor symptoms and wear a face covering through day 14.
  • November 9, 2020: Governor Ricketts announces changes to the Directed Health Measures which, among other things:
    • require staff and patrons at salons, barbershops, bowling alleys, pool halls, and other close-contact indoor businesses to wear masks;
    • allows restaurants and bars to continue operating at 100% capacity; and
    • limits indoor gatherings to 25% occupancy.
  • August 11, 2020: Omaha City Council passes Emergency Ordinance 42309 requiring all persons age five and over to wear masks when in an indoor space open to the public unless six feet of separation from others can be achieved at all times.
  • July 19, 2020: Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department issues Directed Health Measure 2020-07 requiring, among other things, all persons age five and over to wear face coverings while indoors and unable to maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
  • June 15, 2020: Governor Ricketts announces that all but four counties will move to Phase 3 of reopening June 22, 2020 and releases new Directed Health Measures (DHMs) for Phases 3 and 4. The Phase 3 DHMs allow:
    • restaurants and bars to open at full capacity;
    • gyms and fitness centers to expand capacity to 75%; and
    • salons, barber shops, massage therapy, and tattoo parlors to expand capacity to 75%.
  • June 2, 2020: Governor Ricketts signs Executive Order 20-26 waiving the adjudication of separations from employment for all unemployment claims filed between March 15, 2020 and 30 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Ricketts announces new Phase II DHMs for all counties except Dakota, Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick. Effective June 1, 2020, the new DHMs allow:
    • restaurants and bars to reopen at 50% capacity;
    • gyms and fitness centers to reopen at the greater of 50% capacity or 25 people; and
    • salons, barber shops, massage therapy, and tattoo parlors to open at the greater of 50% capacity or 25 people.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor Ricketts and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announce less restrictive DHMs for certain health districts and release recommended reopening guidelines for certain businesses, including:
  • May 4, 2020: Nebraska DHHS publishes Directed Health Measure Order 2020-009 requiring certain businesses to implement restrictions, including:
    • fitness centers and spas to ensure six-foot distances between patrons;
    • beauty salons and other personal services businesses to require employees and patrons to wear face coverings; and
    • restaurants to restrict occupancy to 50% and maintain at least six feet of separation between customers.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Ricketts issues Executive Order 20-22 retroactively extending eligibility for unemployment benefits to include the week of March 15, 2020, allowing for one additional week of unemployment benefits.
For the latest Nebraska information and resources on COVID-19, see COVID-19 Nebraska Guidance Documents and Nebraska Department of Economic Development, COVID-19 Information.

Nevada

  • December 13, 2020: Governor Sisolak announces that the COVID-19 restrictions of Emergency Directive 35 are extended until January 15, 2021.
  • November 22, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Emergency Directive 35 which, effective November 24 through December 15, 2020:
    • limits non-retail indoor and outdoor venues such as bowling alleys, arcades, and amusement parks to 25% capacity;
    • limits retail and grocery stores to 50% capacity and requires such businesses to manage capacity at the entrances;
    • limits restaurants and bars to 25% capacity and requires six feet of distance to be maintained between patrons and employees to wear face coverings; and
    • limits fitness centers to 25% capacity provided that employees and patrons wear face coverings at all times.
  • August 11, 2020: Governor Sisolak signs Senate Bill 4 which, among other things:
    • limits the civil liability of certain businesses and entities for injuries or deaths resulting from COVID-19 exposure, provided that they substantially complied with COVID-19 health standards;
    • authorizes the Secretary of State to suspend the state business license of a person that does not comply with certain COVID-19 health standards; and
    • requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish minimum standards for cleaning in public accommodation facilities and adopt regulations requiring such facilities to adopt COVID-19 prevention and response protocols.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Sisolak signs Senate Bill 3 which, among other things:
    • extends eligibility to employees who deny offers to return to work for "good cause," such as those who are immunocompromised, have no childcare options, or live with high-risk family members; and
    • provides Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation administrators with authority and resources to implement procedures to reduce the backlog of unemployment claims.
  • July 9, 2020: Governor Steve Sisolak announces that all bars (including bar areas within restaurants) must close in certain counties. Restaurants may continue to allow indoor dining at 50% capacity but restrict access to bar areas.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Emergency Directive 024 which, among other things, requires all persons over the age of nine to wear a face covering in a public space.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Emergency Directive 021 allowing Phase 2 of reopening businesses to begin May 29, 2020. The directive allows most businesses to reopen at 50% capacity, provided they adopt measures that meet or exceed the Phase 2 Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, which includes:
    • providing and requiring employees serving the public to wear face coverings;
    • conducting daily symptom screening of all employees; and
    • adopting increased cleaning and disinfecting practices.
  • May 15, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Phase One industry-specific guidance and general guidance for business reopenings, which includes:
  • May 8, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Emergency Directive 018 allowing Phase 1 of reopening businesses to begin May 9, 2020. The directive allows dine-in restaurant services, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, drive-in movie theaters and religious services, and curbside retail businesses to resume operations with social distancing guidelines in place. The directive also requires employers to adopt measures that meet or exceed the Nevada OSHA guidelines, including, among other things:
    • providing and requiring employees who interact with the public to wear face coverings;
    • implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures; and
    • ensuring that six feet of social distancing can be maintained while performing job functions and if not, completing a job hazard analysis to identify specific protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19 for that particular job function.
  • April 30, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Nevada United, Roadmap to Recovery plan to safely restart the state economy. The plan proposes reopening the economy in four phases and contains employer guidelines that include, among other things:
    • encouraging telework whenever possible;
    • returning to work in phases, if possible;
    • closing common areas or enforce strict social distancing protocols; and
    • strongly considering special accommodations for vulnerable employees.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Sisolak issues Emergency Directive 016 extending the stay-at-home order until May 15, 2020 and allowing certain businesses to reopen, provided that they:
    • encourage employees to work from home to the maximum extent possible;
    • provide services in a manner that ensures social distancing; and
    • provide adequate protections to their workers and adopt sanitization protocols;
  • March 11, 2020: The Nevada Labor Commissioner issues COVID-19 Leave Guidance to employers regarding mandatory government quarantines. The guidance recommends that if a mandatory government quarantine is issued, employers should:
    • not count the quarantine time as leave against employees or take it from their leave balances;
    • pay employees for the time they are out of work due to quarantine and offer alternative working arrangements, such as teleworking, or additional paid time off; and
    • allow employees to choose to use paid leave or other applicable leave while out of work due to quarantine.

New Jersey

  • November 16, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 196 which limits:
    • all indoor gatherings to ten people; and
    • all outdoor gatherings to 150 people.
  • November 10, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 194 which requires all food or beverage establishments to, among other things:
    • close indoor operations from 10:00pm to 5:00am each day, provided they may continue to allow outdoor dining and delivery and take-out services during normal business hours;
    • prohibit seating at any indoor bar area; and
    • ensure that all tables are seated six feet apart.
  • October 28, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 192 which requires all employers that require their employees to be physically present at a worksite to, among other things:
    • require all individuals to maintain at least six feet from one another;
    • provide and require all employees to wear face masks except when they are more than six feet from other individuals or alone in a walled office;
    • require all individuals age two and over to wear face masks while on the premises;
    • provide sanitization materials to employees, customers, and visitors;
    • ensure that employees practice regular hand hygiene and provide break time for repeated handwashing throughout the day;
    • screen all employees for COVID-19 symptoms prior to each shift;
    • promptly notify all employees of any known COVID-19 exposure at the worksite; and
    • continue to follow DOH, CDC, and OSHA guidance and directives.
  • September 14, 2020: Governor Murphy signs SB 2380, which creates a rebuttable presumption that essential employees infected with COVID-19 contracted the virus during the course of their employment for workers' compensation purposes. The law applies retroactively to March 9, 2020 and covers all employees that are:
    • considered essential in support of gubernatorial or federally declared statewide emergency response and recovery operations; or
    • employed in the public or private sector with duties and responsibilities essential to the public's health, safety, and welfare.
  • September 8, 2020: The Department of Labor and Workforce Development issues final regulations related to the COVID-19 job protection act signed into law on March 20 (N.J.A.C. 12:70-1.1 to -1.8). The law (AB 3848) prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees who take time off based on the recommendation of a medical professional because they may infect others at the workplace. Among other things, the regulations:
    • define "medical professional" broadly to include state-licensed registered nurses; and
    • require employers to reinstate employees returning from protected leave to the same position with no reduction in seniority, status, benefits, pay, or other employment conditions.
  • July 31, 2020: New Jersey enacts SB 2380, which expands access to workers' compensation benefits for essential employees infected with COVID-19, creating a rebuttable presumption that they contracted the virus during the course of their employment. The presumption applies only to "essential employees," which include employees:
    • considered essential in support of gubernatorial or federal declared statewide emergency response and recovery operations; and
    • who work in the public or private sector with duties and responsibilities essential to the public's health, safety, and welfare.
  • July 28, 2020: Governor Phil Murphy announces an additional $15 million in CARES Act funding will be added to the Economic Development Authority's Small Business Assistance Grant program to provide funding to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • July 8, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 163 requiring all persons age two and over to wear face coverings in outdoor public places when it is not practicable to maintain six-foot distances from others.
  • June 29, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 158 rescinding the provision in Executive Order 157 that allows indoor dining to resume on July 2, 2020.
  • June 26, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 157 allowing indoor dining services and indoor recreational and entertainment businesses to reopen at 25% capacity on July 2, 2020.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Murphy announces travel advisory requiring all individuals traveling from certain states to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New Jersey.
  • June 13, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 154 allowing personal care services to reopen on June 22, 2020, provided that they comply with the Division of Consumer Affairs guidelines, which include, among other things:
    • performing health screens for employees and customers, including temperature checks;
    • requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings at all times; and
    • enhancing disinfection and cleaning practices.
  • June 8, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 153, which permits:
    • outdoor pools to reopen on June 22, 2020, provided they comply with Department of Health standards; and
    • outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses, excluding amusement parks and arcades, to reopen with limited capacity to ensure social distancing.
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Murphy signs Executive Order 150 permitting outdoor dining and limited indoor retail businesses to reopen on June 15, 2020.
  • June 1, 2020: Governor Murphy announces the start of Stage Two, which will allow outdoor dining and limited indoor retail to reopen on June 15 and barber shops and nail salons to reopen on June 22, 2020. Under Stage Two, businesses must continue to:
    • allow employers to work from home;
    • require employees and customers to wear face coverings in public;
    • disinfect workplaces; and
    • ensure social distancing.
  • May 20, 2020: Governor Murphy provides COVID-19 guidance for seasonal farm workers and employers, which requires such employers to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings at all times;
    • conduct temperature checks and symptom screenings for employees prior to each shift;
    • require employees to remain at least six feet from one another;
    • follow CDC recommendations for congregate living if they provide housing to their employees; and
    • ensure disinfection of high-touch areas.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Murphy announces three-stage approach to execute a responsible restart of the state's economy, which will allow non-essential offices and non-essential retail businesses to reopen in Stage 1 with significant modifications.
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Murphy issues Executive Order 142 allowing construction projects to resume and non-essential retail businesses to reopen for curbside pickup, provided that they, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings; and
    • require infection control practices, such as regular handwashing.
  • April 27, 2020: Governor Murphy announces "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health" to reopen New Jersey, which outlines six principles to guide the economic reopening process by ensuring public health.
  • April 14, 2020: Governor Murphy signs S 2353 amending the state's mini-WARN Act in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment modifies the definition of "mass layoff" to exclude layoffs due to a fire, flood, natural disaster, national emergency, act of war, civil disorder or industrial sabotage, decertification from participation in the Medicare and Medicare programs, or license revocation. The amendments made to the law in January 2020, originally set to go into effect in July 2020, will now go into effect 90 days after the termination of the order declaring a state of emergency in New Jersey.
  • April 14, 2020: Governor Murphy signs legislation to expand family leave protections during COVID-19 outbreak. The bill, S 2374, amends the state family leave act to allow employees to take time off in the event of a communicable disease epidemic. Employees who are forced to take time off to care for a family member due to COVID-19 may now take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period.
  • April 11, 2020: Governor Murphy signs executive order imposing additional mitigation requirements on restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, and bars. Executive Order No. 125 requires such businesses that are offering food delivery and/or take-out services to, among other things:
    • provide and require employees to wear cloth face coverings and gloves;
    • provide employees with break time for repeated handwashing throughout the day;
    • ensure six feet of distance between employees and customers except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;
    • arrange for contactless pay and pickup/delivery options where feasible; and
    • limit occupancy to 10% of the stated maximum capacity.
  • April 8, 2020: Governor Murphy signs executive order imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential businesses. Executive Order No. 122 directs essential retail, manufacturing, warehousing, and construction businesses to, among other things:
    • require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
    • provide break time to employees for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;
    • provide sanitization materials to employees and customers;
    • provide and require employees to wear cloth face coverings and gloves.
    • immediately separate and send home employees who appear to have COVID-19 symptoms;
    • promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, in accordance with confidentiality requirements of the ADA and any other laws;
    • clean and disinfect the worksite per CDC guidelines when a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19; and
    • clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely per CDC guidelines.
    • Earned Sick Leave (ESL). Employees may now use ESL if they or a family member cared for by the employee have been ordered to isolate or quarantine by a public health official because their presence would jeopardize the health of others.
    • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) / Family Leave Insurance (FLI). The definition of "serious health condition" was expanded to include illness, isolation, and quarantine due to a communicable disease epidemic. Employees may now access TDI or FLI benefits if they or a family member cared for by the employee are diagnosed with or exposed to a communicable disease, or the worker or family member is ordered to isolate or quarantine by a public health official. The seven-day waiting period was also eliminated.
    • Family Leave Act (FLA). The definition of "serious health condition" was expanded to allow employees to take unpaid, job-protected family leave to care for a family member who has been ordered by a health care provider or public health authority to isolate or quarantine because their presence would jeopardize the health of others. The amendment also restricts an employer's ability to deny leave to employees who must care for a family member who has been isolated or quarantined or whose "place of care" (e.g., school or child care facility) has been closed during a communicable disease epidemic.
  • March 20, 2020: New Jersey creates Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program to provide benefits to employees affected by COVID-19. The program establishes a $10 million fund to fully compensate out-of-work employees for lost wages due to COVID-19. Employees receiving unemployment benefits or have paid leave available are not eligible under the program. The program also establishes a separate $10 million fund to reimburse employers who continue to pay quarantined employees. Employees are eligible for the program if they are out of work as a result of COVID-19 because they are:
    • ill;
    • caring for a family member; or
    • caring for a child due to school or child care facility closure.
  • March 20, 2020: Governor Phil Murphy signs A.3848 providing job protection for certain absences during the state of emergency declared regarding COVID-19. The law prohibits employers from terminating or refusing to rehire an employee who requests or takes time off based on a written or electronically transmitted recommendation from a medical professional because the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease that may infect others at the employee's workplace. The law became effective immediately.
  • March 19, 2020: New Jersey Attorney General issues COVID-19 guidance on the Law Against Discrimination. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Civil Rights issued guidance addressing frequently asked questions regarding discrimination and harassment related to COVID-19.
  • March 19, 2020: New Jersey launches COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal. Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority developed a centralized resource to match employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced with employment opportunities in critical industries during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the latest New Jersey information and resources on COVID-19, see New Jersey, COVID-19 Information Hub, NJDOL: What Employers & Businesses Should Know, and NJDOL: What Employees Should Know.

New Hampshire

  • November 19, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #74, which requires all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in public spaces (indoor or outdoor) when unable to maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • November 14, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #72, which requires all residents and travelers/visitors coming to New Hampshire from outside of the New England states to comply with travel guidance by:
    • self-quarantining for ten days without being tested for COVID-19;
    • self-quarantining for seven days if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result from a sample collected on or after day six of quarantine;
    • quarantining in the originating state for ten days immediately prior to arrival, provided they do not travel on public transportation; or
    • quarantining in the originating state for seven days and obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result from a sample collected on or after day six of quarantine, provided they do not travel on public transportation.
  • August 27, 2020: The Economic Reopening Task Force issues updated Universal Business Guidelines which require employers to, among other things:
    • allow employees to work from home as much as practical;
    • prohibit all employees with COVID-19 symptoms, exposure to someone with COVID-19, or travel-related risks from entering the workplace;
    • conduct daily symptom screening and temperature checks for all employees prior to the start of their shift; and
    • ensure that employees providing direct service to customers wear face coverings.
  • August 21, 2020: Governor Sununu announces that restaurants in all counties may resume indoor dining at 100% capacity provided they comply with social distancing and public health guidelines.
  • August 13, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #65 which provides for civil penalties for business, organizations, property owners, and individuals who violate emergency orders. Penalties may be imposed for failing to:
    • comply with any emergency order;
    • cooperate in an investigation of a potential violation of an emergency order;
    • cease operations upon notification of the Division of Public Health (DPH) to do so; and
    • comply with DPH instructions after a notification of a positive COVID-19 test result.
  • June 15, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #52 requiring all businesses to comply with the Universal Business Guidelines and certain businesses to comply with Industry-Specific Guidelines. The Universal Business Guidelines require all employers to, among other things:
    • assign a person and location to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms and document their temperature prior to entering the workplace;
    • mitigate COVID-19 exposure by supporting the use of face coverings, implementing social distancing guidelines, and modifying employee schedules to reduce the number of physical interactions;
    • allow employees to work from home as much as practical; and
    • update employee illness policies to include COVID-19 symptoms and ensure they are consistent with public health recommendations and state and federal workplace laws.
  • June 11, 2020: Governor Sununu announces that the Stay at Home Order expires on June 15, 2020 and releases additional industry-specific reopening guidance and dates for reopening.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #49, which extends Emergency Order #40 until June 15, 2020.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor Sununu releases industry-specific guidelines and dates for certain businesses to reopen under the Stay at Home 2.0 plan. The timeline for reopening allows:
    • golf courses, barber shops, hair salons, retail establishments, drive-in theaters, and dental services to reopen May 11, 2020; and
    • restaurants to resume dine-in services on May 18, 2020.
  • May 4, 2020: The Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management provides order form for businesses to obtain free disposable masks.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #40 requiring businesses that are currently open or in the process of reopening to comply with the Stay at Home 2.0 universal guidelines, which include:
    • taking employees' temperatures and screening them for symptoms prior to beginning work;
    • implementing workplace cleaning and disinfection practices;
    • encouraging employees to wear face coverings;
    • allowing employees to work from home as much as practical; and
    • updating employee illness policies.
  • April 24, 2020: Governor Christopher Sununu issues Emergency Order #36 creating a prima facie presumption that a first responder's COVID-19 diagnosis is occupationally related.
  • March 17, 2020: Governor Sununu issues Emergency Order #5 expanding unemployment benefits for employees impacted by COVID-19. The order, enacted pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, waives the waiting period for benefits and extends eligibility to those unable to work or have reduced hours because:
    • their employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19;
    • they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been instructed to quarantine by a health care provider, employer, or government official;
    • they are caring for a family member diagnosed with or instructed to quarantine by a health care provider, employer, or government official;
    • they are caring for a family member whose place of care is closed due to COVID-19; or
    • they are self-employed and unable to operate their business due to one of the above reasons.
For the latest New Hampshire information and resources on COVID-19, see New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, COVID-19 Resources for Businesses.

New Mexico

  • December 18, 2020: New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) passes second emergency amendment to the state workplace safety laws, requiring employers to report an employee's positive COVID-19 test to the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (NM OSHA) within four hours of learning about it. The amendment will be effective until April 2, 2021.
  • December 2, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham announces tiered "Red to Green" Framework for further reopening restrictions, which designates counties in certain levels of reopening based upon COVID-19 positivity rates.
  • November 13, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham issues public health order requiring, among other things:
    • all non-essential businesses to reduce their in-person workforce by 100%;
    • retail businesses to close between 10pm and 4am and limit capacity to the lesser of 25% or 75 customers;
    • all physical office spaces or other public spaces of a business to close except for the minimum extent necessary to provide curbside pickup or delivery services;
    • all outdoor recreational facilities, museums, and indoor malls to close; and
    • all individuals to wear face coverings in public settings except when eating or drinking.
  • October 16, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham issues Executive Order 2020-072, which requires all persons arriving in New Mexico from another country or from a state with certain positivity rate to self-isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • August 25, 2020: Economic Recovery Council encourages small businesses affected by COVID-19 to apply for emergency loans through the Small Business Recovery Act. Small businesses are eligible for loans of up to $75,000 if they:
    • closed or reduced operations due to the public health order;
    • had annual gross revenue of less than $5 million in 2019; and
    • experienced a 30% decline in monthly gross receipts or revenue during April and May 2020 as compared to 2019.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham issues Executive Order 2020-056 requiring individuals traveling or returning to New Mexico to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival. The order directs the Department of Health to take all necessary steps to ensure the screening and appropriate quarantine of individuals, including:
    • making temporary holds of individuals or groups;
    • obtaining court orders requiring quarantine; and
    • imposing civil or criminal penalties.
  • August 5, 2020: New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (NM OSHA) issues emergency amendment to its injury and illness reporting regulation, requiring employers to report an employee's positive COVID-19 test to the bureau within four hours of learning about it. The amendment will be effective until December 3, 2020.
  • July 13, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel signs public health order which, among other things:
    • prohibits indoor dining at restaurants and indoor seating at breweries;
    • reduces capacity in gyms and close contact businesses to 25%; and
    • requires individuals to wear face coverings when exercising at indoor gyms and fitness centers.
  • July 9, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham announces amended public health order that will prohibit indoor dining at restaurants beginning July 13, 2020. Restaurants and breweries may continue outdoor seating at 50% capacity as well as take out, pickup, and delivery services.
  • July 7, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham announces the passage of the Small Business Recovery Act of 2020, which allows eligible small businesses and local governments financially affected by COVID-19 to borrow up to $75,000 in low-interest loans.
  • July 1, 2020: Governor Lujan Grisham issues Executive Order 2020-054 requiring all individuals who have arrived in New Mexico from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • June 12, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kunkel signs amended public health order allowing breweries to reopen at 50% capacity, provided that they comply with restaurant guidelines, which include:
    • requiring all employees to wear face coverings;
    • screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms; and
    • training employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • June 1, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kunkel signs amended public health order allowing indoor dining, hair salons, gyms, and indoor shopping malls to reopen on a limited basis. The order continues to require all individuals to wear a face covering in public settings except when eating, drinking, or exercising.
  • May 27, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kunkel signs amended public health order allowing restaurants to provide outdoor dining service at a maximum of 50% capacity.
  • May 15, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kunkel signs modified public health order that, among other things:
    • requires all persons to wear face coverings in public, except when eating, drinking, or exercising;
    • allows all retailers to operate at 25% of their maximum occupancy;
    • permits non-essential businesses (other than retailers) to operate at up to 25% of pre-crisis staffing levels; and
    • requires compliance with the COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers, which includes social distancing measures, encouraging remote work to the greatest extent possible, and training employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • May 5, 2020: Department of Health Secretary Kunkel amends public health order, clarifying that:
    • beginning May 6, 2020, all large grocery and essential retail spaces and restaurants must require all employees to wear face coverings;
    • beginning May 11, 2020, all essential businesses of any size must require employees to wear face coverings; and
    • all retail businesses must limit capacity to 20% of the maximum occupancy.
  • April 30, 2020: Department of Health Secretary issues public health order extending the stay-at-home order until May 15, 2020 and allowing retail businesses to reopen to provide curbside and delivery services. All businesses that remain open must allow remote working to the greatest extent possible.
  • April 23, 2020: Governor Grisham issues Executive Order 2020-025 creating a presumption that certain employees who contract COVID-19, including first responders, volunteer and paid medical personnel, and administrative and custodial staff at COVID-19 care centers, suffered a compensable occupational disease for workers' compensation purposes.
For the latest New Mexico information and resources on COVID-19, see New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Information for Workers Affected by COVID-19.

New York

  • November 11, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces additional COVID-19 restrictions, which require bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and any liquor-licensed establishments to close between 10pm and 5am daily.
  • October 31, 2020: Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 205.2 which modifies the out-of-state travel quarantine requirements to allow travelers to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine period if they:
    • are tested within 72 hours of departure from the state;
    • quarantine for at least three days upon arrival in New York; and
    • seek testing on the fourth day and test negative.
  • October 22, 2020: New York Department of Taxation and Finance clarifies in its Frequently Asked Questions that employees telecommuting outside of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to owe New York taxes if their primary office is in New York. An exception applies if the employee can show that the employer has established a bona fide employer office at the employee's telecommuting location.
  • October 6, 2020: Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 202.68 which, among other things, requires the Department of Health to determine areas in the state that require enhanced public health restrictions, including business closures, based upon the following risk-level categorizations:
    • "red" zones require all non-essential businesses to reduce their in-person workforce by 100% and close restaurants except for takeout and delivery;
    • "orange" zones require higher risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care services, to reduce in-person workforce by 100% and close restaurants for indoor service; and
    • "yellow" zones require non-essential gatherings to be limited to 25 people and restaurants to limit party sizes to four people.
  • August 18, 2020: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs Emergency Executive Order 141 requiring all New York City hotel, motel, and short-term lodging establishments to require guests traveling from restricted states to complete the Traveler Health Form prior to accessing a room.
  • August 17, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that gyms and fitness centers can reopen at 33% capacity beginning August 24, 2020, provided that all persons wear face coverings at all times and maintain six feet of separation.
  • August 14, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that bowling alleys can reopen at 50% capacity beginning August 17, 2020 and low-risk indoor cultural activities, including museums, aquariums, and other cultural arts, can reopen at 25% capacity beginning August 24, 2020.
  • July 17, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that New York City will enter Phase 4 on July 20, 2020.
  • July 13, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces travel enforcement operation that requires all airline passengers and out-of-state travelers from certain states to complete the Department of Health's Traveler Health Form prior to entering New York.
  • July 7, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that Long Island will enter Phase 4 on July 8, 2020.
  • July 3, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that New York City will enter Phase 3 of reopening without indoor dining.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces updated travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from certain states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York. The travel advisory guidance includes:
    • general quarantine requirements; and
    • specific quarantine requirements for essential workers and first responders depending on the length of their stay.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Capital Region may enter Phase 4 on July 1, 2020 and postpones the resumption of Phase 3 indoor dining in New York City.
  • June 17, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that New York City may enter Phase Two on June 22 and the Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island may enter Phase Three on June 23 and June 24, 2020, respectively.
  • June 16, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Capital Region may enter Phase Three on June 17, 2020.
  • June 11, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier Regions will enter Phase Three of reopening on June 12, 2020. Under Phase Three, restaurants and personal services businesses may reopen at 50% capacity, provided that they comply with industry-specific guidance, which includes:
    • providing and requiring employees to wear face coverings;
    • implementing mandatory daily health screening practices for employees;
    • ensuring six feet of distance between individuals; and
    • implementing cleaning and disinfection protocols consistent with CDC and DOH guidance.
  • June 9, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions may begin Phase Two of reopening on June 9 and June 10, respectively.
  • June 8, 2020: New York Workers' Compensation Board issues COVID-19 & Workers' Compensation Q&A, which provides information for workers who contract COVID-19 at work.
  • June 7, 2020: Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 202.39 which, among other things:
    • allows restaurants and bars in Phase Two regions to provide indoor dining services; and
    • allows local governments in Phase Two regions to return all non-essential employees back to work.
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in Phase 2 of reopening, provided that employees wear face coverings at all times and customers wear face coverings when not seated.
  • June 2, 2020: Governor Cuomo signs Executive Order 202.36 allowing barber shops and hair salons to reopen in regions currently in Phase Two, provided that they, among other things:
    • require employees to wear a face covering and a face shield while providing services;
    • limit capacity to 50%; and
    • ensure six feet of distance between individuals.
  • June 1, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that Western New York and the Capital Region may enter Phase 2 beginning June 2 and June 3, 2020, respectively.
  • May 31, 2020: New York Department of Health revises interim guidance for employees returning to work following COVID-19 infection or exposure. The interim guidance no longer requires employees to quarantine for 14 days if they were:
    • exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19; or
    • symptomatic upon arrival at work or during the workday.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that New York City will enter Phase One of reopening beginning June 8, 2020 and releases Phase Two business guidance for the five regions allowed to reopen in Phase Two.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Cuomo signs Executive Order 202.35 removing the in-person workforce reductions and restrictions for Phase Two industries, including professional services, real estate services, retail in-store shopping, and barber shops and hair salons.
  • May 26, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Mid-Hudson Valley Region may begin Phase One of the NY Forward Reopening plan on May 26, 2020 and Long Island can begin on May 27, 2020.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the Capital Region and Western New York are allowed to begin Phase One of the NY Forward Reopening plan on May 19, 2020.
  • May 13, 2020: Governor Cuomo announces that the North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley Regions are allowed to begin Phase One of the NY Forward Reopening plan on May 15, 2020. The four regions are allowed to reopen select retail curbside pickup services and construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, and fishing businesses with certain protections in place, including:
    • adjusting workplace hours and shift design to reduce density in the workplace;
    • enacting social distancing protocols;
    • requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact;
    • implementing strict cleaning and sanitization standards; and
    • screening individuals entering the workplace.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Cuomo outlines additional guidelines for businesses to follow when reopening, including:
    • adjusting workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace;
    • enacting social distancing protocols;
    • requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;
    • implementing strict cleaning and sanitization standards;
    • enacting continuous screening process for individuals to enter the workplace; and
    • developing liability processes.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Andrew Cuomo outlines guidelines for plan to reopen New York on a regional basis. Businesses may begin reopening in phases beginning May 15, 2020 and must have a plan to:
    • protect employees and consumers;
    • make the physical work space safer; and
    • implement processes that lower the risk of infection in the business.
  • April 20, 2020: New York Department of Labor launches new streamlined application for New Yorkers to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Prior to the updated application, workers were required to apply for regular unemployment insurance and be rejected before applying for PUA. They will now be able to fill out one form to obtain the correct benefits.
  • April 19, 2020: New York City Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene issues order and FAQs regarding documentation necessary for New York City employees who test positive for or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to claim paid sick leave under the New York State COVID-19 paid sick leave law.
  • April 16, 2020: Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 202.18 requiring all operators and passengers of public and private transportation to wear a face covering.
  • April 14, 2020: New York Department of Health issues interim guidance on Executive Order 202.16, which requires employees to wear face coverings.
  • April 12, 2020: Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 202.16 requiring all businesses to provide and require all employees to wear face coverings when in direct contact with the public.
  • March 25, 2020: New York publishes COVID-19 paid family leave guidance that provides information on benefits, eligibility, and how to apply.
  • March 18, 2020: New York passes emergency law to provide paid sick leave related to COVID-19. Governor Cuomo passed an emergency bill (SB 8091) guaranteeing unpaid and paid sick leave and job protection for individuals who have been quarantined or isolated as a result of COVID-19. The Governor's website includes informational pages for employers and employees. Employers must provide benefits to their employees depending on their size and income levels. Employers:
    • with ten or fewer employees and net income of $1 million or less must provide job-protected, unpaid sick leave for the duration of the quarantine or isolation and access to paid family leave and disability benefits;
    • with ten or fewer employees and net income of greater than $1 million must provide five days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine or isolation, and access to paid family leave and disability benefits;
    • with 11 to 99 employees must provide five days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine or isolation, and access to paid family leave and disability benefits; and
    • with 100 or more employees and all public employers must provide 14 days of paid sick leave and job protection for the duration of the quarantine or isolation.
  • March 17, 2020: New York waives seven-day waiting period for unemployment benefits. The New York Department of Labor issued a step-by-step guide for filing for unemployment benefits online.
For more information on guidance from other New York employment agencies, see Article, COVID-19 in the Workplace Under Major Federal and New York Employment Laws.
For the latest New York information and resources on COVID-19, see NYS Department of Health, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and New York, Paid COVID-19 Leave.

North Carolina

  • December 8, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 181 which, effective December 11, 2020 through January 8, 2021, requires:
    • all persons age five and over to wear face coverings in indoor spaces and when outdoors and unable to maintain six feet of distance from others;
    • all employers to make good faith efforts to provide face coverings to their employees;
    • all businesses (except essential businesses) to close to the public between 10:00pm and 5:00am;
    • restaurants and bars to cease serving alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption between 9:00pm and 7:00am; and
    • all non-essential businesses to limit capacity as directed in the order.
  • November 23, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 180, which amends the face covering order to require that all persons age five and over to wear face coverings:
    • in all indoor places outside the home if anyone else from outside the household is present;
    • outdoors if not possible to maintain six feet of distance from others; and
    • when exercising within six feet of someone else.
  • September 30, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 169 which moves the state to Phase 3 and, among other things:
    • requires all persons age five and over to wear a face covering in any indoor or outdoor public place where six feet of distance cannot be maintained;
    • requires employers to provide their employees with face coverings;
    • allows bars to open for outdoor consumption only;
    • prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption between 11pm and 7am; and
    • allows fitness centers, gyms, and movie theaters to open at 30% capacity and no more than seven guests per 1,000 feet.
  • August 5, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 155 keeping the state in Phase 2 for an additional five weeks.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Cooper signs HB 118 which:
    • provides limited immunity to individuals, businesses, and other entities from claims arising from acts or omissions that allegedly resulted in the contraction of COVID-19, except for those that constitute gross negligence, willful or wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing; and
    • requires all individuals and entities that own or possess a premises to provide notice of actions taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to those present on the premises. Such individuals and entities will not be held liable for any person's failure to comply with the rules, policies, or guidelines contained in the notice.
  • June 24, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 147 which extends Phase 2 until July 17, 2020 and requires all persons over the age of 11 to wear face coverings in public places.
  • May 22, 2020: Governor Cooper announces Count on Me NC, a free online training program to help restaurants, hotels, and other businesses learn to protect customers and employees from COVID-19.
  • May 20, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 141 moving the state to Phase 2 beginning May 22, 2020 and allowing:
    • restaurants to allow dine-in service at 50% capacity;
    • salons and barber shops to open at 50% capacity provided employees wear masks; and
    • pools to reopen at 50% capacity.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 138 modifying the stay-at-home order and transitioning to phase 1 of easing restrictions. The order allows retail businesses to reopen provided that they, among other things:
    • limit occupancy to 50% of stated fire capacity;
    • conduct daily symptom screenings prior to allowing employees to enter the workplace;
    • implement measures to ensure six-foot distances between customers; and
    • perform frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Cooper signs COVID-19 Recovery Act (SB 704), which provides that essential businesses shall be immune from civil liability for any injuries or deaths alleged to have been caused as a result of a customer or employee contracting COVID-19 while doing business with or while being employed by them. The bill also amends the state unemployment law to:
    • provide emergency unemployment benefits to employees out of work due to COVID-19;
    • waive the one-week waiting period and work search requirements; and
    • allow employers tax credits for contributing to the unemployment insurance fund for 2020.
  • April 9, 2020: Governor Cooper issues executive order imposing stronger social distancing requirements for essential businesses and expediting unemployment benefits. Executive Order 131 requires essential businesses to limit the number of people in stores to 20% of maximum capacity and to mark six feet of spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas. It also suspends certain administrative unemployment requirements, making it easier for employers to file a batch of claims for their out-of-work employees. The order is effective until 60 days after the state of emergency is lifted.
  • March 17, 2020: Governor Cooper issues executive order to make state unemployment benefits more widely available. Executive Order 118 addresses, among other things, unemployment benefits for those employees out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis. This Executive Order requires the North Carolina Department of Commerce, through the Division of Employment Security, to waive or flexibly interpret various provisions of the North Carolina Employment Security Law. Specifically, the Executive Order:
    • removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits;
    • removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job;
    • makes unemployment benefits available to employees who lose their jobs or have reduced hours due to COVID-19;
    • will not hold employers responsible for benefits paid as a result of COVID-19 claims; and
    • allows employees to apply for benefits online or by phone.
For the latest North Carolina information and resources on COVID-19, see North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, COVID-19 Response in North Carolina.

North Dakota

  • December 21, 2020: Governor Burgum issues Executive Order 2020-43.3, which allows bars, restaurants, and food service establishments to resume normal business hours for indoor dining.
  • December 9, 2020: North Dakota Department of Health issues Order 2020-08.1 which, effective until January 18, 2021, requires all persons over the age of four to wear face coverings in:
    • all indoor businesses and indoor public settings; and
    • outdoor businesses and outdoor public settings when not possible to maintain physical distancing.
  • November 13, 2020: Governor Burgum signs Executive Order 2020-43 which, among other things, requires bars, restaurants, and food service establishments to:
    • limit 50% capacity or 150 patrons;
    • require all employees to wear face coverings and patrons to wear face coverings except when consuming food and beverages; and
    • cease indoor dining service between 10pm and 4am.
  • September 3, 2020: Governor Burgum announces that:
    • eight counties will move from low-risk to the moderate-risk level of the ND Smart Restart plan; and
    • 13 counties will move from low-risk to the new normal level.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Burgum announces that the state has moved into the green (low-risk) level of the ND Smart Restart plan, which allows:
    • increased capacity for bars, restaurants, banquets/weddings, and movie theaters; and
    • fitness centers to hold classes with high inhalation/exhalation exchange with social distancing.
  • April 29, 2020: Governor Burgum signs Executive Order 2020-06.4 allowing businesses to reopen May 1, 2020 provided they follow industry-specific and general business guidelines included in the Smart Restart protocols.
  • April 28, 2020: Governor Burgum releases "North Dakota Smart Restart" protocols for businesses resuming or continuing operations. The plan includes industry-specific guidance as well as standards for all industries, which require all businesses to, among other things:
    • adhere to CDC guidelines and the North Dakota Department of Health recommendations;
    • encourage employees to use face coverings;
    • provide hand sanitizer, soap, and water near entrances;
    • regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces; and
    • develop policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation of sick employees and customers.
  • April 1, 2020: Governor Burgum issues Executive Order 2020-18 suspending the one-week waiting period for unemployment claims filed on or after March 14, 2020.
  • March 25, 2020: Governor Burgum issues Executive Order 2020-12 expanding eligibility for workers' compensation to quarantined first responders and health care workers. Effective March 13, 2020, first responders and health care workers exposed to COVID-19 in the course of employment may file a workers' compensation claim and be eligible for up to 14 days of wage replacement and medical coverage if quarantined. Such workers are eligible if they:
    • have been exposed to COVID-19 during the course of their employment;
    • are ordered to quarantine by a health care provider or public health official; and
    • have lost wages during the period of quarantine and are not eligible for lost wage benefits from another source.
For the latest North Dakota information and resources on COVID-19, see North Dakota, COVID-19 Business and Employer Labor Resources.

Ohio

  • December 10, 2020: Governor DeWine announces that the statewide curfew between 10pm and 5am will be extended until January 2, 2021.
  • November 19, 2020: Department of Health Director McCloud issues Stay at Home Tonight Order, which requires all persons to stay home between 10pm and 5am except for essential activities.
  • November 11, 2020: Governor DeWine reissues and makes additions to the statewide mask order, including:
    • requiring stores to post signs outlining face-covering requirements at all public entrances;
    • requiring stores to ensure that customers and employees are wearing masks; and
    • establishing a Retail Compliance Unit to inspect and ensure compliance.
  • September 23, 2020: Department of Health Director Lance Himes issues Director's Dine Safe Ohio Order, which allows bars, restaurants, and other establishments to resume dine-in service provided that they, among other things:
    • require all employees, customers, and visitors to wear face coverings;
    • require all employees to perform daily symptom screenings, including temperature checks;
    • ensure social distancing, frequent hand washing, and enhanced cleaning measures.
  • September 16, 2020: Governor DeWine signs HB 606, which is retroactive to March 9, 2020 and extends through September 30, 2021, and:
    • provides civil immunity to public and private employers from COVID-19 related lawsuits unless the exposure to or contraction of the virus was caused by reckless, intentional, or willful or wanton misconduct;
    • prohibits class action lawsuits for COVID-19 related claims; and
    • clarifies that government orders, recommendations, and guidelines cannot create a new cause of action or impose a duty of care on individuals based on the matters contained in such orders, recommendations, or guidelines.
  • August 25, 2020: Department of Health Director Himes issues Director's Order providing mandatory requirements for entertainment venues, which include, among other things:
    • requiring employees, patrons, and volunteers to wear face coverings at all times;
    • designating six-foot distances;
    • having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products available to all employees and patrons;
    • limiting capacity to the lesser of 1500 patrons or 15% of seated capacity for outdoor venues and 300 or 15% of seating capacity for indoor venues; and
    • increasing cleaning and sanitizing protocols.
  • July 22, 2020: Governor DeWine issues travel advisory recommending travelers from certain states quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and statewide mask mandate requiring all persons age ten and over to wear face coverings when:
    • at indoor non-residence locations;
    • outdoors and unable to maintain six-foot distances; and
    • waiting for, riding, or operating public transportation.
  • July 7, 2020: Governor DeWine announces that effective July 8, 2020, all persons age 10 and over will be required to wear face coverings in counties designated as Red Alert Level 3 or Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergencies when:
    • any indoor location that is not a residence;
    • when outdoors and unable to maintain a distance of six feet from other individuals; or
    • while waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation.
  • July 1, 2020: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley signs ordinance requiring all persons ages six and over to wear face coverings in all public businesses, city-operated buildings, and public transportation, and in any outdoor spaces when distances of six feet cannot be maintained.
  • June 16, 2020: Governor DeWine signs Executive Order 2020-24D which expands the definition of "good cause" to allow employees to continue receiving unemployment benefits if they refuse to return to work because they:
    • have been recommended by a medical professional to not return to work because they are "high risk" for contracting COVID-19;
    • are 65 years or older;
    • have tangible evidence of the employer's health and safety violation that does not allow for social distancing, hygiene, and personal protective equipment;
    • have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and recommended to quarantine by a medical professional; or
    • need to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19 or subject to a prescribed quarantine.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Mike DeWine announces that casinos, racinos, amusement parks, and water parks may reopen on June 19, 2020.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor DeWine announces that entertainment venues may reopen beginning June 10, 2020.
  • June 2, 2020: Lt. Governor Jon Husted announces creation of three programs to help small and medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program, which provides grants to manufacturers to retool existing facilities to make personal protective equipment (PPE) or reshore PPE production to Ohio;
    • Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program, which provides grants to certified minority-owned and women-owned businesses; and
    • Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program, which provides loans to small businesses in the Appalachian region that have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • May 29, 2020: Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton signs updated order for business guidance and social distancing, which requires all employers to, among other things:
    • comply with social distancing requirements for employees and members of the public, including designating six-foot spacing and having hand sanitizer available;
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • strongly encourage as many employees as possible to work from home; and
    • ensure sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves or other family members.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor DeWine announces that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) will distribute at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor DeWine announces that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants that resume operations on May 21, 2020 are complying with the Stay Safe Ohio order. The enforcement team will conduct safety compliance checks and issue administrative citations for violations, which could result in the revocation of liquor licenses and criminal actions.
  • May 11, 2020: Ohio Department of Health updates the following sector-specific guidelines for massage therapy and acupuncture services, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses, retail services, general office environments, and personal care services, all of which require employers to:
    • ensure six feet of separation between people;
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • perform daily symptom screenings of employees; and
    • implement frequent handwashing, cleaning, and disinfection measures.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor DeWine announces next phase of RestartOhio plan, allowing restaurants, bars, and personal care services to reopen, provided they comply with the following industry-specific guidelines, which include requiring employees to wear face coverings and take their temperatures daily:
  • April 30, 2020: Ohio Department of Health Director issues Stay Safe Ohio Order which includes general business and sector-specific mandates. The order requires all businesses to, among other things:
    • strongly encourage as many employees as possible to work from home;
    • require most employees to wear face coverings;
    • require employees to perform a daily symptom assessment that should include taking their temperature;
    • actively encourage sick employees to stay home without requiring a healthcare provider's note;
    • ensure sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children, or other family members; and
    • frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
  • April 28, 2020: Lt. Governor Jon Husted reemphasizes employee face covering requirement but notes exceptions for certain instances, including when:
    • an employee is prohibited by law or regulation from wearing a face covering on the job;
    • it is against documented industry best practices to wear a face covering on the job;
    • it is not advisable for health purposes or violates a company's safety policies;
    • an employee is sitting alone in an enclosed workspace; or
    • there is a practical reason an employee cannot wear a face covering.
  • April 27, 2020: Governor DeWine announces details of Responsible RestartOhio Plan allowing certain businesses to reopen provided they implement the following guidelines specific to their business sector, which generally include requiring employees to wear face coverings, performing daily employee symptom screenings, limiting capacity to meet social distancing guidelines, and allowing employees to work from home if possible.
  • March 30, 2020: Bureau of Workers' Compensation issues FAQs regarding workers' compensation benefits and COVID-19.
  • March 18, 2020: Governor DeWine encourages employers to take their employees' temperatures on arrival at work to identify anyone who is becoming ill. If that is not feasible, employers should ask their employees to take their own temperatures before arriving at work. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher should self-quarantine within their home.
  • March 16, 2020: Governor DeWine issues Executive Order 2020-03D, lifting certain unemployment restrictions. The order waives the waiting period and work search requirements and extends benefits to employees:
    • whose employers have temporarily shut down; or
    • who have been advised to quarantine, even if they are not actually diagnosed with COVID-19.
For the latest Ohio information and resources on COVID-19, see Ohio Department of Health, Coronavirus.

Oklahoma

  • November 16, 2020: Governor Kevin Stitt issues Seventh Amended Executive Order 2020-20 which requires, among other things:
    • all persons age 10 and over to wear face coverings when inside state buildings;
    • restaurants and bars to ensure tables are separated by at least six feet and prohibit the sale of food and beverages for on-site consumption between 11pm and 5am.
  • July 17, 2020: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt signs ordinance requiring all persons age 11 and over to wear face coverings while inside any indoor place open to the public.
  • July 16, 2020: City of Tulsa passes Ordinance 24408 requiring all persons age 18 and over to wear face coverings in all places of public accommodations, educational buildings, and in any public setting where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • July 8, 2020: Norman City Council passes ordinance requiring all persons age six and over to wear face coverings in all indoor public places and communal outdoor places.
  • July 2, 2020: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt issues proclamation requiring:
    • businesses to assess occupational hazards and allow employees to wear personal protective equipment as long as it does not interfere with their essential job functions;
    • all employees of restaurants, breweries, wineries, taverns, shopping mall food courts, and any other food service to wear facial coverings while on duty;
    • all breweries, wineries, bars, and other drinking establishments to reduce capacity to 50%; and
    • all theaters, concert halls, and other venues with theater-style seating to stagger seating to ensure customers are socially distanced.
  • July 2, 2020: Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issues Executive Order 2020-13 requiring all restaurant and bar employees to wear face coverings while working.
  • June 19, 2020: Governor Stitt announces creation of the Oklahoma Business Relief Program, which provides up to $25,000 in grants to businesses that have suffered a revenue loss of at least 25% from January to May of 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Kevin Stitt announces that the state will move to Phase 3 of the Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan beginning June 1, 2020. Under Phase 3, businesses may resume unrestricted staffing at their worksites by observing proper CDC-recommended social distancing protocols and increased cleaning practices.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Stitt signs Senate Bill 1946, which provides civil immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits to businesses that comply with federal and state reopening requirements and guidelines.
  • April 29, 2020: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt issues revised proclamation allowing food service businesses, personal care businesses, and gyms and other recreational facilities to reopen, provided that they, among other things:
    • check employees' temperatures each day;
    • require staff members interacting with customers to wear face coverings; and
    • properly sanitize tables, chairs, and equipment after each use.
  • April 22, 2020: Governor Stitt announces Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan, a three-phased approach to open the state's economy beginning April 24, 2020. The plan allows businesses to reopen in phases and requires employers to, among other things:
    • consider developing policies for employee temperature checks and monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms per CDC guidance;
    • consider implementing social distancing and PPE policies per CDC guidance;
    • create plans to allow employees to return to work in phases;
    • close common areas or enforce social distancing protocols; and
    • make accommodations for vulnerable employees.
  • April 10, 2020: City of Chickasha issues order requiring all individuals to wear a cloth face covering when making a public outing for essential activities and upon entering businesses.
  • April 8, 2020: Governor Kevin Stitt issues Executive Order 2020-13, which, among other things:
    • directs that correctional officers, law enforcement officers, and fire personnel shall not be excluded from Emergency Paid Sick Leave benefits under FFCRA;
    • requires all state agencies to implement a remote work policy;
    • waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits; and
    • requires all package delivery drivers to take their own temperatures and refrain from delivering packages if their temperature is over 100.4. They must also submit to screening, including temperature check and questionnaire, prior to delivering goods at the request of a hospital, clinic, long-term care facility, or child care facility.
  • April 6, 2020: City of Guthrie issues Ordinance 3330 requiring all persons to wear masks when making a public outing for essential activities and/or essential work. The ordinance is effective until May 5, 2020 and violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500.
For the latest Oklahoma information and resources on COVID-19, see Oklahoma COVID-19 Resources.

Oregon

  • December 17, 2020: Governor Kate Brown issues Executive Order 20-67, which extends the COVID-19 State of Emergency and the county-by-county risk metrics until at least March 3, 2021.
  • December 2, 2020: Governor Brown issues Executive Order 20-66, which establishes county-by-county risk metrics for determining business and activity restrictions. The order directs the Oregon Health Authority to issue industry-specific guidance for businesses based on the determined level of risk and requires all businesses with offices in Oregon
  • November 17, 2020: Governor Brown issues Executive Order 20-65 which, effective until December 2, 2020, requires:
    • food and drink establishments to cease on-premises consumption;
    • gyms, indoor recreational activities, museums, event venues, zoos, and aquariums to close;
    • grocery stores and pharmacies to limit capacity to 75%; and
    • all businesses to facilitate telework to the maximum extent possible.
  • November 6, 2020: Oregon OSHA issues final Temporary Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks which, effective November 16, 2020, requires all employers to comply with mandatory health and safety standards, including:
    • designing workflow and activities to ensure physical distancing between all individuals;
    • providing masks, face coverings, or face shields to all employees and ensuring that they are worn at the workplace and other premises under the employer's control in accordance with the Oregon Health Authority's face covering guidance;
    • regularly cleaning and sanitizing all common areas, shared equipment, and high-touch surfaces;
    • posting the COVID-19 Hazards Poster conspicuously in a central location and providing a copy to all remote employees;
    • maximizing the amount of outside air circulated through existing HVAC systems;
    • conducting a COVID-19 exposure risk assessment, including determining whether employees can work remotely, physically distance themselves at work, and have been informed about COVID-19 policies and procedures;
    • establishing and implementing an infection control plan based on the risks identified in the exposure risk assessment;
    • providing all workers with COVID-19 information and training on physical distancing, use of face coverings, sanitation requirements, and COVID-19 symptoms and transmission;
    • implementing procedures to notify employees of any work-related contact with a known case of COVID-19;
    • when necessary, making employees and space available for COVID-19 testing at no cost to workers;
    • directing workers who are recommended to quarantine or isolate to remain home and away from other non-quarantined individuals; and
    • complying with the mandatory industry-specific and activity-specific requirements contained in the appendices.
  • October 23, 2020: Oregon OSHA issues new draft of Temporary COVID-19 Rule which, after written comments are accepted, is anticipated to become effective on November 2, 2020.
  • October 19, 2020: Oregon Health Authority issues face covering guidance which;
    • requires all persons age five and over to wear face coverings when visiting businesses, indoor or outdoor spaces open to the public, and public or private workplaces;
    • reminds businesses to comply with sector-specific guidance regarding face covering requirements;
    • requires businesses to require employees, contractors, customers, and visitors to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor spaces open to the public (unless an employee has a private workspace apart from others);
    • provide masks, face coverings, or face shields to employees; and
    • provide accommodations for employees, contractors, customers, or visitors as required by state and federal disabilities and labor laws.
  • September 11, 2020: The Bureau of Labor and Industries issues Permanent Rule allowing employees to take paid sick leave under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) if their child's school or child care provider has been closed due to a statewide public health emergency. The Bureau also enacted new temporary amendments to the OFLA rules (effective September 14, 2020 through March 12, 2021) which:
    • define "child care provider" to include any physical place of care or person who cares for a child;
    • define "closure" to include ongoing, intermittent, or recurring closures that restrict physical access to the child care provider;
    • allow employees to take leave intermittently, including on an altered or reduced schedule due to the intermittent or recurring closure of their child's school or child care provider; and
    • allow employers to request verification for the need to take sick child leave, including the name of the child and the school or child care provider and a statement from the employee that no other family member is willing and able to care for the child.
  • August 18, 2020: Oregon Health Authority issues Statewide Reopening Guidance for Employers which addresses, among other things:
    • modifying employee schedules and travel;
    • implementing workplace safeguards, including complying with the statewide face covering mandate, ensuring physical distancing, and enhancing cleaning and disinfecting procedures;
    • complying with federal and state protective and paid leave laws and health insurance requirements; and
    • complying with federal and state requirements if downsizing or laying off employees becomes necessary.
  • August 13, 2020: Governor Brown announces that Malheur County will move from Phase 2 back to Phase 1 effective August 17, 2020.
  • July 30, 2020: Governor Brown announces that Umatilla County will be moved back to the Baseline Stay Home status and Morrow County will be moved to Phase 1 status effective July 31, 2020.
  • July 22, 2020: Governor Brown announces new safety measures for face coverings and businesses, including:
    • requiring all persons over the age of five to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when six feet of distance cannot be maintained, even in cases of physical exertion; and
    • limiting indoor capacity to 100 people for all venues in Phase II counties and restaurants and bars in Phase I and II counties.
  • July 21, 2020: Oregon Health Authority updates OSHA COVID-19 Workplace Advisory Memo, which addresses steps businesses should take when individuals attempt to enter the premises without a face covering.
  • July 13, 2020: Governor Brown announces that, effective July 15, 2020, all residents will be required to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • July 3, 2020: Governor Brown announces enhanced enforcement regarding face coverings, physical distancing, and occupancy standards for businesses. The Oregon OSHA and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will conduct inspections to ensure that restaurants, bars, and other businesses comply with COVID-related rules or face citations, fines, and red warning notices that require such businesses to close until they remedy the hazardous conditions.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Brown extends the state declaration of emergency until September 4, 2020.
  • June 29, 2020: Governor Brown announces that all residents will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces beginning July 1, 2020.
  • June 19, 2020: Governor Brown issues guidance requiring all businesses in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln counties to, among other things:
    • provide, and require employees to wear, masks, face shields, or face coverings; and
    • require all customers and visitors over the age of 12 to wear masks, face shields, or face coverings.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Brown issues Executive Order 20-27, which provides guidance for Oregon employers for Phase 2 of reopening. Pursuant to the order:
    • additional businesses may reopen, provided they comply with sector-specific Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance; and
    • workplaces may begin a limited return to office work, but must designate an employee to implement and enforce physical distancing policies and encourage remote work to the extent practicable.
  • June 5, 2020: Governor Brown approves Deschutes, Jefferson, and Umatilla counties to move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 6, 2020.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Brown approves 26 counties to move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 5, 6, and 8, 2020.
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Brown announces guidelines for Phase 2 reopening for the 31 counties that can apply to enter Phase 2 on June 5, 2020. The Phase 2 guidance allows:
    • businesses currently open to increase capacity;
    • indoor and outdoor activities, including pools, bowling, batting cages, and mini golf to reopen; and
    • restaurants and bars to extend curfews to midnight.
  • May 28, 2020: Governor Brown announces that Washington County can enter Phase 1 of reopening beginning June 1, 2020 provided businesses follow industry-specific guidance.
  • May 22, 2020: Governor Brown announces that Clackamas County can enter Phase 1 of reopening beginning May 23, 2020 provided businesses follow industry-specific guidance.
  • May 19, 2020: Oregon District Court denies motion for emergency injunctive relief declaring Governor Brown's emergency orders null and void. The plaintiffs, numerous businesses throughout the state, argued that the emergency orders violated their constitutional rights and exceed the governor's state law authority. Citing Jacobson v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the court rejected their claims that the orders violated their federal constitutional rights and denied the motion because the state law issue was properly before the Oregon Supreme Court in Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown. (Open Our Oregon v. Brown, (D. Or. May 19, 2020).)
  • May 18, 2020: Oregon Supreme Court issues temporary stay of circuit court decision overturning Governor Brown's emergency orders (Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown, (Or. May 18, 2020)). The Baker County Circuit Court struck down the emergency orders earlier that day, stating that the COVID-19 emergency restrictions exceeded the statutory 28-day time period without being approved by the Legislature (Elkhorn Baptist Church, (Or. Cir. Ct. May 18, 2020)).
  • May 23, 2020: Oregon Supreme Court issues alternative writ of mandamus, setting a deadline of May 26, 2020 for the Baker County Circuit Court to either vacate its temporary stay order or show cause by proceeding to further briefing.
  • June 12, 2020: Oregon Supreme Court vacates the Baker County Circuit Court's preliminary injunction, holding that Governor Brown's emergency orders were properly issued under ORS 401.165, which allows a declaration of a state of emergency for public health reasons without any time limits (Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown, (Or. June 12, 2020)).
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Brown approves certain counties to move to Phase 1 of the Reopening Oregon plan, which allows restaurants and bars, personal care services, and gyms to reopen on May 15, 2020, provided they follow business-specific guidance.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Brown announces details for Reopening Oregon, a three-phased plan to reopen the state economy with phase one to begin May 15, 2020. The plan includes general employer guidance as well as sector-specific guidance for:
  • March 27, 2020: Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issues emergency rule exempting manufacturing employers from certain overtime requirements. The temporary rule, in effect until September 22, 2020, applies to employers that manufacture products that "reasonably result in the preservation of life and property," such as food and medical equipment, and allows their employees to consent to work more than 55 hours in a workweek. According to the FAQ, employers applying for this temporary overtime exemption must:
    • provide written or online notice to the BOLI within seven days of permitting employees to work more than 55 hours in a week;
    • obtain written consent (which can be withdrawn at any time) from each employee they request to work more than 55 hours per week;
    • not allow employees to work more than 13 hours per day and 91 hours in a workweek; and
    • continue paying overtime (at least 1.5 hours the normal rate of pay) for all employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek.
  • March 18, 2020: Oregon Employment Department enacts temporary rules for unemployment insurance flexibility. The temporary rules modify the eligibility standards for unemployment benefits by waiving requirements that applicants affected by COVID-19 be able and available to work or be actively looking for work. The temporary rules apply retroactively to March 8, 2020 and provide unemployment benefits to employees who are unable to work because:
    • they are ill with COVID-19;
    • they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and have been subjected to mandatory quarantine;
    • they have been advised by their health care provider or by public official advice to self-quarantine due to possible risk of exposure to COVID-19;
    • their employer has ceased or curtailed operations due to COVID-19;
    • they have to stay home to care for a family or household member who is suffering from COVID-19 or is subject to mandatory quarantine;
    • they have to stay home to care for a child due to the closure of schools or child care providers due to COVID-19; and
    • working would require them to violate a mandatory quarantine or Governor's directive to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • March 18, 2020: Oregon BOLI issues Temporary Rule expanding Oregon Family Leave Act to parents affected by COVID-19. This temporary rule allows employees to use unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed due to a statewide public health emergency declared by a public health official. Because Oregon public schools are now closed until at least April 28, 2020 pursuant to Executive Order 20-08, all parents of school-aged children are eligible for unpaid family leave.
For the latest Oregon information and resources on COVID-19, see Oregon Health Authority, COVID-19 Updates.

Pennsylvania

  • December 10, 2020: Governor Wolf issues order directing limited-time mitigation which, effective December 12, 2020 through January 4, 2021:
    • prohibits indoor dining at restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and social clubs;
    • prohibits indoor gatherings and events of more than ten persons;
    • prohibits outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons;
    • prohibits indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities;
    • prohibits indoor operations at entertainment venues such as theaters, museums, and casinos; and
    • limits all in-person businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area to 50% capacity.
  • December 9, 2020: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signs Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance which, effective immediately through the end of the public health emergency, requires Pittsburgh employers of 50 or more employees to provide employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave if they are unable to work due to:
    • a determination by a public official or health care provider that the employee's presence on the job would jeopardize the health of others due to being exposed to or having symptoms of COVID-19;
    • caring for a family member who has been determined to pose a risk to the health of others due to being exposed to or having symptoms of COVID-19; or
    • self-isolation because the employee or a family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or is seeking a medical diagnosis related to COVID-19.
  • November 23, 2020: Governor Wolf issues order for mitigation, enforcement, and immunity protections which requires businesses to, among other things:
    • conduct operations remotely unless impossible;
    • implement strict cleaning and mitigation protocols, including employee temperature screenings and face covering requirements, and sending home all close contacts of any employee who tests positive for COVID-19;
    • limit capacity for in-person retail businesses, gyms, and personal care services to 50%;
    • limit capacity for bars to 25% and end all onsite alcohol consumption by 11:00pm; and
    • limit capacity for restaurants to 25% and end all onsite alcohol consumption by 10:00pm.
  • November 17, 2020: Pennsylvania Department of Health issues travel mitigation order which requires individuals traveling to Pennsylvania from any other state to either:
    • produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen collected within 72 hours of arriving; or
    • quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • November 17, 2020: Pennsylvania Department of Health issues universal face covering order which requires all persons age two and over to wear face coverings:
    • when indoors or in an enclosed space with others, regardless of the amount of physical distance;
    • when outdoors and six feet of distance cannot be maintained from others;
    • when waiting in a public area or riding public transportation; and
    • when working in any space where food is prepared, packaged for sale, or prepared for distribution.
  • September 17, 2020: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs Public Health Emergency Leave bill, which amends the city's paid sick leave law until December 31, 2020. The bill requires all hiring entities (including employers, individuals, corporations, and other entities) to provide employees with public health emergency leave of the greater of 80 hours or the average amount of hours worked over a 14-day period, up to a maximum of 112 hours, if they are:
    • subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order;
    • advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • experiencing symptoms related to a public health emergency and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order or advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
    • caring for a child because their school or place of care has been closed or is unavailable; or
    • experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • August 20, 2020: Philadelphia Board of Health announces that indoor dining may resume on September 8, 2020, provided that such establishments adhere to updated guidance which requires, among other things:
    • providing masks for all employees and face shields for servers to be worn in addition to masks;
    • installing physical barriers or partitions in kitchens, registers, host stands, and food pickup areas;
    • screening all employees prior to each shift;
    • questioning customers regarding COVID-19 symptoms before allowing entry into the dining area;
    • adjusting work assignments to ensure employees can stay six feet from each other during shifts; and
    • limiting seating capacity to 25%.
  • August 10, 2020: Governor Tom Wolf announces that the second round of the Small Business Assistance program, which will provide grants from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, will be open for applications from August 10 through August 28, 2020. The grants will be used to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and technical assistance to relaunch businesses.
  • July 22, 2020: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board issues clarifying guidance and the Department of Health issues frequently asked questions regarding Governor Wolf's July 15 order.
  • July 17, 2020: Allegheny County Health Director Debra Bogen issues order prohibiting all indoor and outdoor sit-down, dine-in service at bars, restaurants, and private catered events until further notice.
  • July 16, 2020: Governor Tom Wolf announces $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations. Employers in the following industries may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time employee for up to 500 employees per location:
    • healthcare;
    • transit and ground passenger transportation;
    • food manufacturing and food retail;
    • security services for eligible industries that were not closed; and
    • janitorial services to buildings and dwellings.
  • July 15, 2020: Governor Wolf issues order which, among other things:
    • prohibits bars from operating unless they offer sit-down, dine-in meals or take-out sales of alcoholic beverages and limit capacity to 25%;
    • prohibits restaurants from using bar seating for indoor operations; and
    • requires all businesses to conduct operations in whole or in part remotely through teleworking.
  • July 8, 2020: Allegheny County Health Department issues order prohibiting all indoor dining or alcohol consumption at bars, restaurants, and other establishments and allowing them to provide only outdoor dining, take-out, and delivery service.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Wolf announces that Lebanon County may move to the green phase on July 3, 2020, making all of Pennsylvania in the green phase.
  • July 1, 2020: Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signs expanded statewide order requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in all indoor public places and outdoors when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • June 26, 2020: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs anti-retaliation ordinance entitled "Employee Protections in Connection with COVID-19 Emergency Health Order," which:
    • requires employers to comply with all COVID-19 public health order requirements;
    • prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action against an employee who makes a protected disclosure or refuses to work in conditions they reasonably believe are unsafe and in violation of the public health order; and
    • creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee within 90 days of the employee's exercise of rights.
  • June 23, 2020: Governor Tom Wolf issues reminder that all Pennsylvanians over the age of two are required to wear masks when entering any business, regardless of which phase of reopening the county is in, as part of the Secretary of Health's April 19, 2020 order.
  • June 19, 2020: Governor Wolf announces 12 additional counties moving to the green phase on June 26, 2020.
  • June 17, 2020: Pennsylvania Department of Health updates FAQs for businesses operating during the COVID-19 emergency, which includes common questions regarding:
    • businesses operating in different phases of reopening;
    • the use of masks;
    • keeping employees and customers safe;
    • social distancing protocols; and
    • employee temperature screenings.
  • June 11 and 12, 2020: Governor Wolf announces 12 counties moving to the green phase on June 12, 2020 and eight counties moving into the green phase on June 19, 2020.
  • June 10, 2020: Governor Wolf releases updated guidance regarding the types of outdoor recreation businesses that can reopen in the yellow and green phases, including miniature golf, motorsports venues, go carts, rock climbing, and paintball.
  • June 8, 2020: Governor Wolf launches COVID-19 dashboard, which highlights demographic testing and reopening phase status for each county.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Wolf signs amended orders moving 10 counties to the yellow phase and 16 counties to the green phase beginning June 5, 2020.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Wolf announces 16 additional counties to reopen in the green phase beginning June 5, 2020.
  • May 27, 2020: Governor Wolf issues updated green phase order clarifying requirements for certain businesses that are reopening. Updated guidance for the restaurant industry and updated Life-Sustaining Business FAQs were also released.
  • May 22, 2020: Governor Wolf announces eight counties allowed to reopen in the yellow phase and 17 counties allowed to reopen in the green phase beginning May 29, 2020. The green phase allows:
    • businesses currently open at 50% occupancy to increase to 75% occupancy;
    • restaurants and bars to open at 50% occupancy;
    • gyms and indoor recreation facilities to open at 50% occupancy;
    • all entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) to open at 50% capacity; and
    • construction activity to return to full capacity.
  • May 21, 2020: Governor Wolf issues amended order moving 12 additional counties to the yellow phase beginning May 22, 2020.
  • May 19, 2020: Governor Wolf allows real estate industry to conduct limited business transactions statewide and provides guidance to operate in red and yellow phase counties, which includes:
    • requiring all persons present at a location to wear face coverings; and
    • limiting in-person activities; and
    • encouraging telework where possible.
  • May 15, 2020: Governor Wolf announces 12 additional counties allowed to reopen in the yellow phase beginning May 22, 2020.
  • May 14, 2020: Governor Wolf announces 13 additional counties allowed to reopen in the yellow phase beginning May 15, 2020.
  • May 7, 2020: Governor Wolf extends stay-at-home order for counties in red phase and issues updated FAQs for the businesses in the 24 counties allowed to reopen in the yellow phase on May 8, 2020.
  • May 4, 2020: Governor Wolf provides business guidance for the 24 counties allowed to move to the yellow phase of reopening on May 8, 2020. The guidance generally requires businesses to, among other things:
    • implement a plan in case the business is exposed to COVID-19, including taking each employees' temperature prior to entering the business, encouraging sick employees to stay home, and identifying employees who were in close contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19;
    • provide and require employees to wear non-medical masks while on the work site;
    • clean and disinfect high-touch areas frequently;
    • provide employees access to soap, water, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes; and
    • implement social distancing measures by restricting common areas and conducting virtual meetings.
  • May 1, 2020: Pennsylvania Department of Health updates its FAQs for Business Safety Measures, which now addresses:
    • cleaning and sanitization procedures;
    • employee temperature checks and screenings; and
    • measures to implement when employees test positive;
  • April 25, 2020: Governor Wolf announces three-phase plan to reopen Pennsylvania and states that the commonwealth will issue guidance for businesses to keep employees and customers safe.
  • April 20, 2020: City of Philadelphia issues Temporary Emergency Regulations to the Philadelphia WARN Act confirming that the Act does not apply to closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary regulations:
    • state that the COVID-19 pandemic is a "natural disaster" and a "national emergency" as those terms are used in the Philadelphia WARN Act; and
    • create a presumption that certain business closures were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provided that the business provides notice within a "reasonably practicable" time.
  • April 15, 2020: Pennsylvania Secretary of Health issues order directing public health safety measures for businesses. The order requires, among other things, employers to:
    • provide and require employees to wear masks while on the worksite;
    • limit all in-person meetings to 10 employees at one time while maintaining a distance of six feet;
    • stagger employee start, stop, and break times to reduce the number of employees together at one time; and
    • establish protocols upon discovering that the business has been exposed to COVID-19, including checking employee temperatures prior to starting work and notifying employees who were close contacts of any known exposure.
  • April 13, 2020: Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects constitutional challenges to Governor Wolf's business closure order, determining that the order closing non-essential businesses was within his statutory authority (Friends of DeVito v. Wolf, (Pa. Apr. 13, 2020)).
  • May 5, 2020: Petition for certiorari docketed by the US Supreme Court.
  • March 17, 2020: Pennsylvania expands unemployment benefits for employees impacted by COVID-19. Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 68, which waives the one-week waiting period and work search and registration requirements for unemployment benefits. Employees may apply for unemployment benefits if:
    • their employer closes or goes out of business due to COVID-19;
    • their employer reduces their hours due to COVID-19;
    • they have been told not to work due to concerns of spreading COVID-19; or
    • they have been told to quarantine or self-isolate.
  • March 16, 2020: Philadelphia enacts Supplemental Emergency Regulation expanding the City's paid sick time ordinance. The emergency regulation allows employees to use accrued sick leave for:
    • self-quarantining due to COVID-19 symptoms or suspected exposure to COVID-19;
    • caring for a family member due to school, child care, or adult care facility being closed;
    • mandatory business closure;
    • self-quarantine order from public official preventing employee or family member from traveling to work; or
    • self-quarantining per recommendation of a health care professional or public health official because they or a family member have a greater risk of harm if they contract COVID-19.

Rhode Island

  • December 11, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-105 which extends the closure of office-based businesses, gyms and fitness centers, and sporting facilities until December 20, 2020.
  • November 30, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-100 which requires office-based businesses, gyms and fitness centers, and sporting facilities to close for indoor operations until December 13, 2020.
  • November 5, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-94 extending the statewide face covering mandate, requiring all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in all indoor and outdoor settings.
  • August 28, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-67 moving the state into Phase III of reopening, which allows:
    • office-based businesses to allow 66% of workers to be on site, provided that they wear face coverings and comply with physical distancing;
    • retail businesses to allow one customer per 100 square feet;
    • restaurants to continue limited indoor dining; and
    • personal services and gyms and fitness centers to allow one person per 100 square feet.
  • August 6, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-61 which closes bar areas and prohibits the sale of alcohol after 11pm.
  • July 31, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-60 extending the face covering order until September 2, 2020.
  • July 29, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-58 which, among other things, requires:
    • all persons arriving in Rhode Island from outside of the United States to immediately quarantine for 14 days;
    • all persons arriving in Rhode Island for a non-work-related purpose from a location with a high community spread rate to immediately quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
  • July 3, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-52 which, among other things, extends the face covering order until August 2, 2020.
  • June 29, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-50 regarding Phase III, which allows movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, and museums to reopen at 66% capacity or one person per 100 square feet.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-42, which extends Executive Order 20-19 (increasing access to unemployment benefits) until July 4, 2020.
  • June 4, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-41, which continues the requirement for all persons over the age of two to wear face coverings in places open to the public until July 4, 2020.
  • May 29, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-40 regarding Phase II, which allows limited reopening of office-based businesses, retail stores, indoor dining, personal services businesses, and gyms and fitness centers. Under Phase II guidelines, employers must:
    • develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan that includes procedures to ensure social distancing, wearing of face coverings, decontamination, responding to positive cases, and minimizing access to positive or symptomatic individuals;
    • provide and require employees to wear face coverings when six feet of distance is unable to be continuously maintained;
    • screen employees and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • place posters educating employees, customers, and visitors about protecting themselves from the spread of COVID-19; and
    • implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • May 6, 2020: Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) release Phase 1: General Business Guidelines as part of Reopening RI, the three-phased plan to reopen the state economy. Phase I will begin May 9, 2020 and the guidelines require businesses reopening to, among other things:
    • develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan that includes procedures to ensure social distancing, wearing of face coverings, decontamination, responding to positive cases, and minimizing access to positive or symptomatic individuals;
    • complete a reopening checklist by May 11, 2020 and post it in an area visible to employees and visitors;
    • provide and require all employees to wear face coverings;
    • screen all employees and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • appoint at least one representative to work with RIDOH on testing employees, contact tracing, investigation, isolation, and quarantine;
    • limit occupancy to comply with RIDOH and CDC guidance regarding gathering sizes and social distancing; and
    • implement industry-appropriate cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-30 requiring that all persons over the age of two wear face covering in a public place (indoor or outdoor) where social distancing cannot be maintained. The order is effective from May 8, 2020 until June 4, 2020.
  • April 14, 2020: Governor Raimondo issues Executive Order 20-24 requiring employers of businesses still in operation to provide and require their employees to wear cloth face coverings unless they can easily and continuously maintain at least six feet of distance from others during work. All customer-facing businesses must also take steps to require customers to wear face coverings, including posting such requirements at the entrance.
  • March 10, 2020: Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training extends benefits to employees affected by COVID-19. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training waived the seven-day waiting requirement for employees impacted by COVID-19 to apply for temporary disability insurance and unemployment insurance. Employees who are out of work to care for themselves or a family member due to COVID-19 may be eligible for temporary disability insurance or temporary caregiver insurance. Employees who are out of work due to business closures may be eligible for unemployment insurance.
For the latest Rhode Island information and resources on COVID-19, see Rhode Island Department of Health, COVID-19.

South Carolina

  • November 25, 2020: Governor McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-73 which, among other things, requires:
    • restaurants and bars to require all employees and customers to wear face coverings except while actively eating or drinking;
    • restaurants and bars to prohibit the sale of alcohol between 11pm and 10am;
    • restaurants and bars to screen employees prior to each shift, including temperature checks;
    • all gatherings to be limited to the lesser of 50% occupancy or 250 persons; and
    • the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits to continue to be waived.
  • July 29, 2020: Governor McMaster announces that previously recommended guidelines for restaurants and other public establishments will become mandatory effective August 3, 2020. The guidelines require, among other things:
    • indoor capacity to be limited to 50%; and
    • employees and customers to wear face coverings.
  • July 11, 2020: Governor McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-45, which prohibits restaurants and bars from selling alcohol after 11pm
  • July 1, 2020: Charleston Mayor issues City Ordinance 2020-084, which requires all persons age ten and over to wear face coverings in all indoor public places.
  • June 12, 2020: Governor McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-40, which allows:
    • retail businesses to fully reopen; and
    • bowling alleys to reopen, provided they adhere to specific guidelines.
  • May 20, 2020: Governor McMaster announces that attractions, including zoos, museums, aquariums, water parks, amusement parks, and miniature golf facilities, may reopen on May 22, 2020 provided they follow business-specific guidance, which generally includes:
    • reducing capacity;
    • ensuring social distancing; and
    • implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor McMaster announces that fitness centers, close contact service providers such as hair and nail salons, and public pools may reopen in a limited capacity on May 18, 2020 by implementing business-specific guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Such guidelines generally recommend that employers:
    • ensure social distancing, such as by limiting capacity;
    • implement enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures;
    • conduct symptom screenings; and
    • provide training for employees on safety and hygiene practices.
  • May 11, 2020: Governor McMaster allows restaurants to reopen for limited dine-in services and provides Phase Two Recommendations, which include:
    • checking employees' temperatures prior to each shift;
    • requiring all employees handling food to wear gloves;
    • limiting capacity to 50% of posted occupancy;
    • spacing tables six to eight feet apart; and
    • implementing additional cleaning and sanitizing measures.
  • May 1, 2020: Governor McMaster lifts stay-at-home order and allows restaurants to begin providing outdoor dining services beginning May 4, 2020 as long as they comply with the temporary outdoor seating guidelines.
  • April 16, 2020: Governor McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-25 extending emergency measures for unemployment claims and benefits. The order extends the one-week waiting period suspension throughout the rest of the state of emergency and directs the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to expedite the processing of claims due to COVID-19.
  • April 8, 2020: Governor McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-22 allowing furloughed employees to receive "COVID-19 Support Payments" and still qualify for unemployment benefits. The order classifies voluntary payments provided by employers in response to furloughing employees as a form of severance pay, which is not considered wages under South Carolina law, thus allowing employees to collect the full amount of unemployment benefits to which they are entitled. Employers choosing to provide such "COVID-19 Support Payments" must submit a plan to the DEW that:
    • details the anticipated length of furlough;
    • states the amount of COVID-19 Support Payments;
    • identifies the names of the employees receiving the COVID-19 Support Payments; and
    • includes an attestation that the employer is not making such payments as a form of remuneration for the employee performing personal services during the furlough and that the employee is not required to repay such payments.
  • March 19, 2020: Governor Henry McMaster issues Executive Order 2020-11 waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits until April 18, 2020 and suspending unemployment insurance payments for employers until June 1, 2020.
For the latest South Carolina information and resources on COVID-19, see South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

South Dakota

  • April 28, 2020: Governor Noem announces "Back to Normal" plan to reopen the state economy, which contains guidance for employers, including:
    • encouraging good hygiene and sanitization practices;
    • encouraging employees to stay home when sick;
    • transitioning remote employees back to the workplace; and
    • where appropriate, screening employees for symptoms prior to entering the workplace.
  • March 23, 2020: South Dakota Department of Health issues COVID-19 guidance for employers, which includes:
    • encouraging staff to telework if possible;
    • screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms and keeping a daily screening log;
    • emphasizing respiratory etiquette and performing routine cleaning;
    • encouraging sick employees to stay home without requiring a note from a healthcare provider; and
    • ensuring sick leave policies are flexible to allow employees to care for family members.
For the latest South Dakota information and resources on COVID-19, see Governor's Office of Economic Development: COVID-19 and Department of Labor & Regulation, COVID-19 Resources.

Tennessee

  • November 20, 2020: Shelby County Health Department issues Health Directive No. 15 which designates businesses that allow onsite food and beverage consumption as high-risk settings and requires, among other things:
    • bars, restaurants, and other establishments that allow onsite food and beverage consumption to limit indoor seating to 50% capacity, require customers to wear face coverings at all times except when actually eating or drinking, and cease food and beverage services at 10:00pm; and
    • other businesses to prohibit onsite food and beverage consumption and require customers to wear masks at all times.
  • August 17, 2020: Governor Lee signs Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act which limits civil liability for individuals and entities for claims of loss, damage, injury, or death that arise from COVID-19 unless the claimant can prove by clear and convincing evidence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
  • August 14, 2020: Governor Lee announces expanded financial relief programs for small businesses, agribusinesses, displaced workers, and the tourism industry through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, including:
    • expansion of the Tennessee Small Business Relief Program to include additional categories of businesses;
    • economic support program for agricultural businesses and forestry businesses;
    • tourism industry recovery for destination marketing organizations; and
    • workforce development programs to provide reemployment services to unemployed workers.
  • July 3, 2020: Governor Lee signs Executive Order 54 granting mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue orders requiring all persons age 12 and over to wear face coverings in public places.
  • June 29, 2020: Governor Lee issues Executive Order 50 which extends the state of emergency until August 29, 2020 and, among other things:
    • encourages employers to allow or require remote/telework if possible;
    • requires employers to comply with the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group guidelines; and
    • provides easier access to unemployment benefits.
  • June 25 and 28, 2020: Memphis and Nashville issue orders requiring all persons over the age of 12 to wear face coverings in indoor public places.
  • June 18, 2020: Governor Lee announces development of the TN Strong Mask Movement, which will distribute nearly 300,000 free or low-cost face coverings to businesses.
  • June 4, 2020: Tennessee Economic Recovery Group issues updated guidelines for close contact services, exercise facilities, and attractions and large venues, which require such businesses to, among other things:
    • question all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • encourage employees to wear face coverings; and
    • temperature screen employees prior to arriving at work.
  • June 2, 2020: Governor Lee announces Tennessee Business Relief Program, which will provide financial relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 20, 2020: Tennessee Economic Recovery Group issues updated guidance for restaurants and retail businesses and allows large attractions (including concert venues, amusement parks, theaters, zoos, and museums) to open. The guidance for such businesses generally requires employers to, among other things:
    • question all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • encourage employees to wear face coverings (required for restaurant employees and other employees having close contact with others); and
    • temperature screen employees prior to arriving at work.
  • May 6, 2020: Tennessee Economic Recovery Group issues guidance for reopening recreation, offices, lodging, construction, and manufacturing businesses, which generally requires such businesses to, among other things:
    • question all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • encourage employees to wear face coverings;
    • temperature screen employees prior to arriving at work; and
    • implement enhanced sanitization and disinfection measures.
  • April 30, 2020: Tennessee Economic Recovery Group issues guidance for reopening close contact businesses, which requires such businesses to, among other things:
    • question all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;
    • check employees' temperatures prior to arriving at work;
    • encourage employees to wear face coverings;
    • provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitization, handwashing, cough and sneeze etiquette, and use of PPE;
    • allow services by appointment only and prohibit use of waiting areas; and
    • make appropriate physical modifications to accommodate social distancing.
  • April 24, 2020: Governor Bill Lee announces the "Tennessee Pledge," the plan to reopen the state's economy. The state plan includes General Guidelines for Businesses, recommending that employers:
    • allow employees to work from home as much as possible;
    • question all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms and/or exposure;
    • temperature screen employees upon arrival to work;
    • implement social distancing guidelines and modify scheduling;
    • implement workplace cleaning and disinfection practices; and
    • plan for potential COVID-19 cases.

Texas

  • September 17, 2020: Governor Abbott issues Executive Order GA-30 which, among other things:
    • eliminates occupancy limits for outdoor dining, religious services, local government operations, child-care services, recreational sports programs, and drive-in concerts and movies; and
    • allows most businesses, including restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, museums, and libraries to increase capacity to 75%.
  • July 2, 2020: Governor Abbott issues Executive Order GA-29 which requires all persons age 10 and over to wear a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
  • June 17 – July 1, 2020: Cities of Austin, College Station, and San Antonio and counties of Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, and Travis issue orders requiring businesses to develop a health and safety policy that includes:
    • requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings where social distancing is not feasible; and
    • implementing other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including temperature checks or health screenings.
  • June 16, 2020: Texas Workforce Commission announces that the work search requirements for unemployment benefits will resume July 6, 2020.
  • June 3, 2020: Governor Greg Abbott signs Executive Order GA-26, which allows:
    • all businesses to reopen at 50% capacity beginning June 3, 2020;
    • restaurants to expand capacity to 75% beginning June 12, 2020;
    • businesses in counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases to expand occupancy to 75%; and
    • amusement parks and carnivals to reopen at 50% capacity beginning June 19, 2020.
  • May 26, 2020: Governor Abbott issues proclamation allowing water parks, adult recreational programs, driving schools, and food-court areas in shopping malls to reopen under Phase Two by adhering to business-specific guidance.
  • May 22, 2020: Governor Abbott announces that the Texas Workforce Commission has extended unemployment benefit payment deadlines for employers from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
  • May 18, 2020: Governor Abbott signs Executive Order GA-23 allowing certain businesses, including child care centers, massage centers, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and bars, to reopen in Phase Two of the reopening plan by adhering to business-specific guidance.
  • May 5, 2020: Governor Abbott issues Executive Order GA-21 expanding the opening of certain businesses, provided that they adhere to the Texas Department of State Health Services protocols for each industry type. The order allows:
    • personal services businesses, including hair, nail, and tanning salons to reopen May 8, 2020; and
    • office-based businesses, manufacturing services, and gyms to reopen May 18, 2020.
  • April 30, 2020: Texas Workforce Commission issues guidance allowing workers to continue receiving unemployment benefits if they choose not to return to work because they:
    • are or have a family member at high risk of developing COVID-19;
    • are or have a family member diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19; or
    • have to remain home to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed and no alternatives are available.
  • April 27, 2020: Governor Abbott announces Phase One to reopen Texas and issues Executive Order GA-18 allowing all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls to reopen on May 1, 2020 with capacity limited to 25%. The Governor also issued Texans Helping Texans: The Governor's Report to Open Texas, which contains minimum standard health protocols for employers and employees, as well as industry-specific protocols for retailers, restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses. The minimum standard health protocols require employers to, among other things:
    • screen employees for symptoms before coming into the business;
    • ensure employees maintain at least six feet of separation;
    • consider requiring employees to wear face coverings; and
    • train all employees on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • April 17, 2020: Texas Department of State Health Services issues COVID-19 guidance for reopened retail services requiring employers to, among other things:
    • screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and feeling feverish, before beginning work;
    • require employees to wear face coverings;
    • require employees to maintain at least six feet separation from one another; and
    • train employees on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • April 16, 2020: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issues amended order and rules for essential retailers, manufacturers and distributors, financial institutions, and the construction industry. A violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail. The order, in effect until April 30, 2020, requires such businesses to, among other things:
    • have employees take their temperature at home before going to work and stay home if it is above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit;
    • have supervisors check all employees' temperatures with a forehead thermometer before the employee begins work and send home any employee with a temperature above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit;
    • provide 15-minute rest breaks every four hours so that employees may follow hygiene guidelines; and
    • refrain from taking adverse action against an employee who has been quarantined or advised to self-quarantine, not reported to work due to a temperature higher than 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or requested to use paid sick leave under the employer's policy.
  • April 16, 2020: San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg issues Addendum to Stay Home Work Safe Measures requiring all people ten years of age and older to wear face coverings when in a public place where social distancing is difficult. The order also requires exempted businesses, including grocery stores, big-box stores, liquor stores, gas stations, and farmers' markets, to:
    • provide face coverings and training for appropriate use to employees working in an area or on an activity that will involve close proximity to coworkers or the public; and
    • reduce the occupancy of their business to 25% of the maximum occupancy and post staff at entrances and exits to ensure compliance with such occupancy limit.
  • April 13, 2020: Travis County Judge issues order requiring all persons over the age of ten to wear face coverings when entering a building open to the public, using public transportation, taxis, or ride shares, and pumping gas. The order requires essential business employers to, among other things:
    • require employees to wear a face covering when in public and performing job duties in the presence of others;
    • question employees prior to entering work whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, have a fever of greater than 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, have been in contact with someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, or traveled to a place the WHO or CDC considers a "hot spot"; and
    • immediately separate or send home any employee who becomes sick or has a temperature greater than 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The order strongly encourages, but not does not require, employers to take employees' temperatures prior to beginning work each day.
  • March 31, 2020: City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz issues Amended Emergency Ordinance, which requires, among other things:
    • retail employees and employees of restaurants and other food-preparation facilities to wear masks and gloves; and
    • all persons over the age of five to wear a face covering when entering any building open to the public, using public transportation, taxis, or ride shares, or pumping gas.
  • March 17, 2020: Texas Workforce Commission waives one-week waiting period and work search requirements for unemployment benefits. Texas employees affected by COVID-19 may now begin collecting unemployment benefits as soon as they apply, without having to meet the minimum weekly work search requirements.

Utah

  • November 8, 2020: Governor Gary Herbert issues Executive Order 2020-73 which, among other things, requires:
    • all individuals age three and over to wear face masks when in a public indoor space and when outdoors and within six feet of another person;
    • employers to ensure that all employees and customers wear a face mask and maintain at least six feet apart from others;
    • employers to post signage advising employees and customers of the face mask and social distancing requirements.
  • October 13, 2020: Governor Herbert announces new three-tiered Transmission Index to evaluate COVID-19 transmission risk, placing counties in either high, moderate, or low levels and imposing guidelines for businesses and individuals for each level. According to the FAQ, masks are required to be worn:
    • in counties in the "high" level in public indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing is not feasible;
    • in counties and cities where local officials have enacted mask requirements;
    • at any establishment that allows public gatherings, such as live events and movie theaters, no matter what level the county is in; and
    • in counties in the "moderate" level until October 29, 2020.
  • August 20, 2020: Governor Herbert issues Executive Order 2020-56, which extends the face covering requirement in all state facilities until September 4, 2020.
  • July 10, 2020: Governor Herbert signs Executive Order requiring all persons ages two and over to wear face coverings in state facilities.
  • June 30, 2020: Governor Herbert signs HB 5010, which creates COVID-19 Economic Recovery Programs that will provide grants to businesses
    • with revenue declines due to COVID-19 if they provide a financial incentive to customers; and
    • to purchase supplies and materials to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines.
  • June 26, 2020: Salt Lake County issues