Late Thursday the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-40 allowing certain non-critical sector businesses to go back to work, with certain restrictions.
Specifically, the order allows workers in the following areas to go back to work:
- Industrial and Manufacturing businesses (to the extent not already classified as a critical sector employee). Requirements for Industrial and Manufacturing businesses bringing back employees can be found here. AND
- Office-based businesses: Office-based businesses where workers do their work within an office space at their desk, and their work is not primarily customer facing. Requirements for office-based businesses bringing back employees can be found here.
Notwithstanding the above allowances, the Executive Order requires that any employees who can work from home remain working remotely. However, employees who cannot work from home may return to the business office, if covered by the order.
Before a business can allow employees to return, the Non-Critical Exempt Business must establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The requirements for the plan include information about:
- infection prevention measures;
- prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
- housekeeping, including cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
- communications and training for managers and workers necessary to implement the plan; and
- provision of management and supervision necessary to ensure effective ongoing implementation of the plan.
There are criminal penalties for non-compliance with the terms of the order, up to $1000 per employee and $3000 per business owner/supervisor. The attorney general may also seek civil penalties up to $25,000 per occurrence from businesses.
A sample Preparedness Plan can be found on the State’s website here. Preparedness Plans must be signed by senior management and posted at each business location. Preparedness Plans do not have to be submitted for approval by the state or local governments, but must be available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers. The Governor estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 workers will be able to go back to work under these revised guidelines.
Virtus Law, PLLC continues to monitor developments in this (and other COVID-19 areas) and will continue to post relevant updates to this website.