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Illinois Employees Don’t Need Travel Papers to Commute to Work at “Essential Businesses and Operations”

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In the wake of Governor Pritzker’s March 20, 2020 “Stay at Home Order,” we’ve heard from several employers wondering if they need to provide a letter or certification to those employees who need to travel to work. There is no legal requirement that employees carry any letter or certification when commuting to work or engaging in other activities permitted by the order.  

Governor Pritzker has made it very clear in his announcements that the “Stay at Home Order,” does not require members of the public to show papers to travel. This is confirmed by the “FAQ” document currently (as of March 23, 2020) posted on the coronavirus web page, which states:

I need to leave my house for an allowed reason. How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?

No one should be asking you where you are going, and it is fine for people to be out on their way to or from work, to be out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or to be out just taking a walk.  People gathering in groups over 10 may be asked why they are gathering, to practice better social distancing, or to go home.  Illinoisans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.

Although the Stay at Home Order does not require anyone to carry documentation of their reason for being out of the house, we have heard isolated reports of employees on their way to work for essential businesses or operations being questioned by police. If your employees are concerned, you may consider providing them with a letter confirming that their commute to work is for a purpose allowed by the Stay at Home Order. 

If you have questions about how the “Stay at Home Order” applies to your workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact any Franczek attorney.