California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a mandatory Shelter-in-Place restriction to combat the novel Coronavirus known as COVID–19 on March 19, 2020. The order allows only those employees needed to maintain continuity of operations essential to critical infrastructure to continue working. Those sectors exempt from the stay-at-home order include critical government services, schools, childcare, construction and other industry groups. This list, which is based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (‘CISA’), is evolving and subject to modification by the State Public Health Officer, who is the Director of the California Department of Public Health.
If your business or organization, whether for-profit, non-profit or not-for-profit, engages in sectors on the current list, you may operate and do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the state to do so. If you are still operating, it may be advisable to provide documentation to those employees who continue to work in your physical space, in the event they are questioned while they are commuting to work. Leech Tishman can assist you in the preparation of such credentials.
What can you do if your business is not on the list of exempt sectors, or if it is unclear whether your operations fall within the profile of an exempt sector? The State Public Health Officer has the authority to issue directives as conditions warrant. Due to the severe impact the stay-at-home order may have on the viability of your business, you may not be able to wait for new orders to be issued. Leech Tishman has substantial experience for clients with operations throughout the country that may be seeking such clarification and can assist you and your business in petitioning the State Public Health Officer for a waiver.
These processes continued to evolve every day. As the Governor has specifically cited statutory authority to enforce his Order, Leech Tishman stands ready to counsel you in the event that you, your business or your employees are subjected to an enforcement action aimed at shutting down your operations or otherwise sanctioning you for conducting business in violation of the Order.
Should you have any questions regarding the California Shelter-in-Place Order and its potential impact on your business, please contact any member of Leech Tishman’s Employment & Labor Practice Group.
Steven D. Irwin is a Partner with Leech Tishman and a member of the Corporate, Employment & Labor and Litigation Practice Groups. He also is Chair of the Government Relations Group. Steve is based in the Pittsburgh office and can be reached at 412.261.1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ivan Posey is a partner at Leech Tishman and a member of the Intellectual Property and Litigation Practice Groups. Ivan is based in Leech Tishman’s Pasadena office and can be reached at 626.796.4000 or email@example.com.
Christopher Gonzalez is a Partner with Leech Tishman and member of Corporate, Employment & Labor, Intellectual Property, and Litigation Practice Groups. He is also Co-Chair of the Cannabis Group and member of the International Group. Chris is based in the firm’s Pasadena, California office and can be reached at 626.796.4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa A. Mantella is Counsel in Leech Tishman’s Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense & Government Investigations, and Internal Investigations practice groups. Lisa is based in Leech Tishman’s Pittsburgh office and can be reached at 412.261.1600 or email@example.com.
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, aviation & aerospace, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.