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Massachusetts Orders “Nonessential” Businesses to Close Their Doors for Two Weeks

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order (the “Order”) that as of noon, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, “all businesses and organizations that do not provide ‘COVID-19 Essential Services’ [must] close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public.”

The Order remains in effect through noon, April 7, 2020. The Order replaces any less restrictive regulations or orders in place locally. Links to the Order and the incorporated listing of COVID-19 Essential Services are attached below along with links to guidance we have previously provided about some employment law issues arising out of these kinds of governmental orders.

The focus of the Order is to define what are COVID-19 Essential Services as well as to identify categories of employees of those entities the Baker administration believes are sufficiently important, that they may continue to work on site. In many cases the Order expressly includes third-party contractors to businesses that provide COVID-19 Essential Services within the definition of essential services or employees. The Order therefore recognizes necessary services often are provided by nonemployees or other businesses. Please be advised, however, the Order does not do this consistently or include employees of contractors in nearly every category. This has generated a significant degree of uncertainty for businesses that provide services or products to one or more of the enumerated “essential” businesses.

Read the full article here.


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