Pritzker Extends Stay-At-Home Order: New Freedoms and Obligations for Employers
On April 30, Governor Pritzker issued Illinois’ second stay-at-home order which will remain in effect through May 30. The Order represents the first step in the process to reopen the State during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis. Although the order lifts restrictions on some businesses and public properties such as state parks and golf courses, most of the restrictions regarding social distancing remain in place from the first order. Here are a few highlights for employers who are continuing their operations or re-opening during the term of the order.
The order requires all businesses to evaluate which employees can work from home and to facilitate telework when possible. In addition, employers are required to post Covid-19 workplace safety guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Employees of Essential Businesses and Operations
Essential Businesses and Operations, including but not limited to grocery stores, drugstores, hardware stores, restaurant carryout and delivery, gas stations, financial institutions, critical trades, law firms and accounting firms, must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements, including where possible:
- Face coverings for all employees who are not able to maintain 6 feet distancing at all times. If circumstances require, employees should be provided with other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in addition to face coverings;
- Spacing markings of 6 feet for employees and customers to maintain appropriate distance;
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employee and customer use.
For employers challenged in locating commercially produced masks for face coverings, bandannas and scarves can also be used. An employer can also opt to provide employees with the supplies and instructions to make their own, although time spent making a face covering is compensable.
Employees of Non-Essential Retail Stores
Retail stores not designated as essential, such as bookstores and clothing stores, may re-open but only to fill telephone and online orders through onsite pickup and delivery. Under the order, employees must wear a face covering when they may come within 6 feet of another employee or customer. In addition, employees must follow general social distancing guidelines such as maintaining 6 feet distances and washing hands as frequently as possible.
Manufacturers permitted to operate during the term of the order must continue to abide by general social distancing guidelines and take additional precautions that may include the following:
- Providing face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain 6 feet distancing at all times;
- Staggering shifts;
- Reducing line speeds;
- Operating only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines;
- Following social distancing requirements in common spaces such as locker rooms and lunchrooms;
- Downsizing operations to the extent necessary to implement social distancing guidelines.
Earlier this week, two separate lawsuits were filed by Illinois lawmakers challenging the Governor’s order, with a temporary restraining order granted in one, although limited to the lawmaker himself and not extending to Illinois residents generally. We will continue to monitor these lawsuits and all developments related to the Governor’s order. For more information about this issue or any other issue related to the Governor’s order, contact the authors of this post or any other Franczek attorney.