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Latest Executive Order Mandates Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Businesses

In the State’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Lamont issued his 23rd Executive Order late on Tuesday, April 7.  Executive Order 7V mandates that essential businesses “shall take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among employees, customers, and others entering the workplace, such as delivery drivers, maintenance people, or others who may enter the workplace”.  The Order is effective immediately.

In furtherance of the Governor’s Order, the DEDC issued statewide rules proscribing protective measures which are “legally binding” pursuant to the Governor’s Order and mandatory for any essential business and nonprofit permitted to continue operate under prior Executive Order 7H. Further, these rules supersede and pre-empt any current and future municipal order.

The DEDC “Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers”, also issued yesterday, require essential businesses follow these general guidelines:

  • Essential employees who are able to work from home SHOULD BE WORKING FROM HOME.
  • For employees who have traveled internationally in a region where COVID-19 is active, or have returned from a cruise, it is recommended to stay home and self-monitor for fourteen days, subsequent to returning.
  • Eliminate all non-essential workplace travel.
  • Distribute summaries of health insurance processes and procedures to employees.
  • Control access to external visitors including:
    • Prohibiting entry into the facility for non-essential visitors.
    • Interviewing approved visitors about their current health condition and recent travel history.
    • Using hand sanitizer at point of entry to the facility.

In addition, the DEDC rules set forth specific guidelines for controlling contact between and among employees and customers, eliminating transmission points; and employees exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. The full text of the DEDC ‘s “Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers” can be accessed here.  Essential employers should familiarize themselves with these guidelines in order to ensure compliance.

As everyone works to keep up with the rapid developments brought upon by the coronavirus, our labor and employment attorneys are here to guide you through the many employment-related decisions employers must face.  Please contact us to assist you.