Wow – how fast things can change in a day! Following up to my post yesterday, as all of Minnesota is well aware now, Governor Walz issued his Stay-At-Home Executive Order 20-20 effective March 27 at 11:59 pm to April 10, 2020. I’ve barely had time to write this post as I’ve been on the phone constantly helping employers navigate whether they are exempt from the order as a critical business. So, apologize for the delay, but here you go…

  1. Read the order.  If your business is listed there as exempt – you’re good to go.
  2. Check the CISA list. As I blogged about yesterday, if your business is on the list, it is exempt.
  3. Check DEED’s NAICS list. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) issued a list by NAICS code as to whether a business is considered “critical”. Note – the list changed between last night and this morning, so if you were “NO” before you may be “YES” – so if you are a “NO” today, keep checking it.
  4. Ask for an Exemption Clarification. If you are unsure, you may send a request for clarification to DEED for your business.

Finally, I’m being asked a lot about providing employees “proof” of their work status to get to and from work during the shutdown.  I’m not aware of any such requirement. However, I am aware that employers are voluntarily providing each employee with a letter that confirms they are exempt and need to travel to work – while not necessary this is not a bad idea for employers to confirm to employees that they are exempt and need to come to work.

And finally, don’t forget that even exempt businesses do not have carte blanche to continue to operate as normal – it is only the jobs that cannot be done remotely that are exempt; if employees can work remotely, they must. If employees must come to work, to the extent possible, provide for social distancing (if possible, add staggered break and lunch times, multiple shifts, reduce workforce presence, etc.).